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Top News: World

Historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuba relations

Washington - The United States and Cuba made a historic breakthrough in their Cold War stand-off Wednesday, moving to revive diplomatic ties and ease a five-decade U.S. trade embargo against its communist foe.

Spy row as Kremlin agent in Estonia tells all on Russian TV

Moscow - In a rare disclosure by a spy agency, Russia's secret service has revealed it had an agent inside the secret police of NATO neighbour Estonia for 15 years.

Greek presidential vote enters second round, fuelling economy fear

Athens - Greece's high-stakes presidential election went into a second round Wednesday after parliament failed to pick a head of state in a first ballot, fuelling concerns about the future of fiscal reforms.

Op-Ed: Libyan fighting in several areas with no sign of dialogue

Tripoli - Libyan Dawn border guards at the Ras Jadir crossing into Tunisia are reported to have fled across the border into Tunisia after being attacked by forces of the Libyan National Army. The LNA and General Haftar's militia are now merged.

Some quiet but little peace on Ukraine frontline

Donetsk - Rebel commander Tikhii holds a finger in the air as the sound of an explosion echoes in the distance."That's them shelling our position again, that's the ceasefire," he says. "It was a howitzer cannon.

Hackers invoke 9/11 in new chilling Sony threat

Los Angeles - Hackers invoked the 9/11 attacks Tuesday in their most chilling threat yet against Sony Pictures, warning cinema-goers not to see a film which has angered North Korea.

Iran says Australia ignored warnings about gunman

Tehran - Iran repeatedly warned Australia about the criminal past of the perpetrator of the Sydney cafe siege and called for him to be kept under surveillance, top officials in Tehran said.

Russian central bank announces measures to support financial system 

Moscow - The Russian central bank announced Wednesday a series of measures aimed at "stabilising the financial system" following the plunge in the value of the ruble this week.

Russian Mistral sailors to leave France, says shipbuilder

Paris - About 400 Russian sailors are returning home, French shipbuilder DCNS said Wednesday, as Paris weighs whether to deliver the Mistral-class warship to Russia amid the Ukraine crisis.

Up to one million facing hunger in Ebola-hit countries: UN

Paris - Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday.

Silent classes, bloody notebooks: after the Pakistan school massacre

Peshawar - An eerie silence hung over the shattered, blood-spattered corridors and classrooms of the Army Public School on Wednesday -- the silence of 132 dead Pakistani children, their lives cut short by Taliban gunmen.

Leader of the 'Pakistani Taliban' was released by U.S. in 2005

As the world reels from the brutal attack upon schoolchildren in Pakistan by the group known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, unclassified CIA documents show that a key leader of the group was in U.S. custody and released from Guantanamo in 2004.

Pope played key role in Cuba normalization talks: U.S.

Washington - Pope Francis played a vital role in bringing Cuba and the United States to the negotiating table, making a "personal appeal" to the nations' leaders, a US official said Wednesday.

Armed group seizes and beats Mexican reporters

- An armed group briefly seized about 60 Mexican reporters and their families and beat some of them for supposedly showing disrespect towards 43 missing students, a local journalist organization said Tuesday.

Palestinians push UN bid for statehood

New York - The Palestinians pressed ahead on Wednesday with a UN draft resolution that would set a course toward statehood, ratcheting up pressure on the United States and Israel to join a renewed peace effort.

Ukraine, pro-Russia rebels to restart peace talks

Kiev - Ukraine's pro-European leaders and Kremlin-backed rebels agreed Wednesday to hold long-delayed peace talks, as Russia reeled from a currency crisis and faced still more sanctions from the West.

Mass grave of 230 killed by jihadists found in Syria: monitor

Birut - The bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

Cuba to 'reestablish diplomatic relations' with US: Castro

Havana - Cuban President Raul Castro said Wednesday that Cuba had agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties with Cold War enemy the United States after a prisoner swap paved the way to a historic breakthrough."We have agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties.

UN chief to travel to Ebola-hit countries: UN sources

New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Ebola-hit countries in West Africa this week to raise awareness about the health crisis, UN officials said Tuesday.
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