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Top News: World

Forest fires blaze from the Arctic circle and all across Sweden

Sweden's government is asking for international help in fighting forest fires that have spread across the country. The fires have reached north into the Arctic Circle, with 44 burning from Lapland in the far north to the southern island of Gotland.

French court denies request by Tariq Ramadan to drop rape charges

Paris - French judges have rejected a request by lawyers for Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan to drop charges of raping two women, a source close to the inquiry told AFP on Friday.

What now for deposed Catalan leader Puigdemont?

Madrid - Now he is rid of a Spanish international arrest warrant, Catalonia's deposed president Carles Puigdemont can go anywhere he pleases save Spain, and continue playing a central role in his region's separatist politics from afar.So what's next?

EU migrant policy suffers blow as Italy, Libya reject proposals

Apo - The European Union's migrant strategy suffered a major new setback Friday with Italy refusing to freely accept people rescued at sea and Libya spurning a proposal for asylum processing centres.

Libya rejects EU plan for asylum processing centres

Berlin - Libya's prime minister said Friday he would not allow the EU to set up asylum processing centres in his country, in a new setback for European leaders seeking to curb new migrant arrivals.

Dangerous craze: surgeon warns on balcony-jumping trauma in Balearic Islands

Madrid - The number of drunk mostly British and Irish tourists ending up in hospital in Spain's Balearic Islands after jumping from balconies has spiked this year, a surgeon who has studied the dangerous craze warned Friday.

Deadly Israeli strikes pound Gaza after soldier killed

Gaza - Israeli forces unleashed a wave of deadly strikes across the Gaza Strip on Friday after a soldier was shot dead, as fears grew of a wider conflict with the Palestinian territory's Islamist rulers Hamas.

'Treasure ship' stock bubble draws South Korea warning

Seoul - Rumours of a treasure trove on a Russian ship that sank off South Korea a century ago have sent a company's shares on a rollercoaster ride, triggering a warning Friday from financial regulators.

At Trump summit, Putin made 'concrete' Ukraine offer: envoy

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a concrete offer on Ukraine to his US counterpart Donald Trump, the Russian ambassador to Washington said Friday, after a report that the Kremlin chief suggested a referendum in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

US groups warn of security threats to 2019 Nigeria vote

Abuja - Widespread violence in Nigeria could affect next year's presidential election, two US pro-democracy groups said on Friday.

Afghanistan probes civilian casualties in Kunduz military operation

Kunduz - Afghan authorities are probing reports that 14 civilians were killed or wounded during a military operation, the defence ministry said Friday, with several officials saying women and children were among the victims.

Austria rejects registering Jews for kosher meat

Vienna - Austria rejected Friday registering Jews who want to purchase kosher meat after a far-right politician proposed introducing stricter controls on ritual slaughtering to reduce the practice citing animal rights.

Pakistan troops kill IS-linked blast mastermind

Quetta - Pakistani security forces on Friday killed the mastermind of the country's worst ever suicide bombing in an early morning shootout in the southwest province of Balochistan, officials said.

France, Russia to jointly deliver humanitarian aid to Syria

Paris - France and Russia will jointly deliver humanitarian aid to the former Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, the French Presidency said in a statement with Russia on Friday.

Big tech firms agree on 'data portability' plan

San Francisco - Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter unveiled plans Friday to make it easier for users to take their personal data and leave one online service for another.

US pushes UN to maintain sanctions pressure on NKorea

New York - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged UN member-states to keep tough economic sanctions fully in place on North Korea and maintain pressure on Kim Jong Un to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear program.

European heatwave brings drought, wildfires

London - Wildfires in the Arctic Circle, drought-stricken farmers and a spike in hospital treatment for sunburn: an unusually long heatwave this summer has northern Europe in its grip.

G5 Sahel force licks wounds after HQ attack

S - On June 29, a suicide attack shook the headquarters of the Sahel's five-nation anti-terror force, failing to inflict major damage but exposing the fragility of the much-trumpeted scheme.

Syria rebels begin leaving zone near Golan: state media

Damascus - Hardline rebels and civilians began leaving a southwestern sliver of Syria near the Israeli-annexed Golan on Friday under a surrender deal, state media, as the evacuations turned deadly with a car accident.
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Top News: World