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Top News: World

China journalist, 71, to serve five years in jail: Lawyer

Beijing - A Chinese court on Thursday reduced the seven-year jail sentence given to a 71-year-old Chinese journalist convicted of "leaking state secrets" by two years, her lawyer said after an appeal in a case condemned by free speech advocates.

Turkish military says did not know downed jet was Russian

Istanbul - Turkey's military said Wednesday it did not know the warplane it downed on the Syrian border was Russian and that it was ready for "all kinds of cooperation" with the Russian military authorities following the incident.

Russia retaliates against Turkey over downed plane

Moscow - Russia on Thursday stepped up its retaliation against Turkey for the downing of one of its warplanes, tightening controls over Turkish food imports as President Vladimir Putin demanded Ankara apologise.

U.S. Republicans move to dump Trump

Washington - Many say the populist crazy talk is typical of the White House primaries, but Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's increasingly incendiary remarks are leading some conservatives to brand him a "fascist" and party rivals to ramp up attacks against him....

Facts take a back seat in White House race

Washington - It is campaign season, and facts are taking it on the chin.Republican Donald Trump's claim that Arab Americans cheered during the September 11, 2001 attacks is just the latest in a string of falsehoods from US presidential candidates.

Queen Elizabeth set for emotional 'home-coming' in Malta

Valletta - Queen Elizabeth arrives in Malta on Thursday for a state visit to the Mediterranean island where she reputedly spent her happiest years as a carefree princess in the early 1950s.

U.S. Syria sanctions target World Chess chief, IS oil buyer

Washington - The United States slapped sanctions Wednesday on backers of the Syrian regime including a middleman accused of buying oil from the Islamic State group and the Russian head of the World Chess Federation.

Venezuelan opposition candidate shot dead at campaign event

Caracas - An opposition candidate in Venezuela's upcoming legislative elections was shot dead during an event Wednesday, alongside the wife of a jailed opposition leader, an official said.

Reality check for Putin after Turkey shoots down plane

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin has found himself in a bind after the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, which highlights the risks of his gung-ho Syria campaign and the difficulty of forging consensus on the war-torn country's future.

France's Hollande heads to Russia to press anti-IS coalition

Paris - French President Francois Hollande will hold talks on Thursday with Russian leader Vladimir Putin as part of his diplomatic marathon to forge a broad coalition against Islamic State jihadists in the wake of the Paris attacks.

UN climate talks brought forward as new report warns of peril

Paris - Negotiations for a world pact to curb global warming will start in Paris Sunday, a day ahead of schedule, the UN said Wednesday as a report warned 2015 could become the hottest year on record.

Canadian mine digs up gold, Mexico town digs up bodies

Chilpancingo - The Mexican villagers found the latest clandestine grave among bushes off a dirt path, a short drive from a Canadian-owned gold mine in the country's gang-plagued south.

Fifteen killed in Russian helicopter crash in Siberia

Moscow - Fifteen people were killed in Russia on Thursday when a civilian helicopter crashed in Siberia, regional authorities said.

Vast crowds celebrate pope's first mass in Africa

Nairobi - Pope Francis held his first open-air mass in Africa on Thursday with huge crowds calling heavy rains "God's blessing" as they sung and danced in the Kenyan capital.

Heat grows on US for independent probe into MSF hospital strike

Kabul - Pressure was growing Thursday for an international inquiry into a catastrophic US strike on an MSF hospital in Afghanistan, after the military detailed "tragic but avoidable" errors but refused to say if there would be an independent investigation.

'Child brides' suffer, but African Union seeks to end custom

Maxixe - Lucia Felix, a 15-year-old Mozambican girl, dreams of returning to her village school but instead she must prepare for motherhood after she was chosen for an arranged marriage and became pregnant.

Australia firefighters battle deadly inferno

Adelaide - Firefighters on Thursday searched burnt-out cars and homes after a devastating "Armageddon-like" blaze in Australia left two dead and 16 in hospital after raging across a 40-kilometre (25-mile) front.

The Turkish army releases audio of warnings to downed Russian plane

Istanbul - The Turkish army on Wednesday released a series of audio recordings of apparent warnings issued to a Russian jet before it was downed near the Syrian border. "This is Turkish Air Force speaking on guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace.

Paragliding jihadist leaves family in Israel fearing his fate

Shortly before sunset, Nidal Salah stared across the fence towards his new life in Syria with the Islamic State movement -- paraglider at the ready.
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