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Washington is "not taking sides" following clashes between Iraqi forces and the country's Kurds, US President Donald Trump said Monday, as tensions escalate following the autonomous Kurdish region's independence referendum.

Chinese businesses herald Communist congress by closing shop

Businesses ranging from cookware to karaoke in China's teeming capital have temporarily shut down as the ruling Communist Party prepares to hold its most important political event of the last five years.

Kyrgyzstan eyes peaceful power transfer after vote

Kyrgyzstan's presidential challenger who lost a bitterly-fought election to former premier Sooronbai Jeenbekov, appeared Monday to accept the result, paving the way for an unprecedented peaceful transfer of power between two elected presidents.

May and Juncker agree to 'accelerate' Brexit talks

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said they agreed after talks Monday to "accelerate" efforts for a Brexit deal ahead of a decisive EU summit this week.

EU will send chief diplomat to fight for Iran deal in Washington

The EU is to dispatch its chief diplomat Federica Mogherini to Washington next month to fight for the Iran nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump threatened to tear it up.

Austria far-right eyes power in 'whizz-kid' government

Austria's far-right looked set Monday for a possible return to power in a coalition with conservative "whizz-kid" Sebastian Kurz, the world's youngest leader-in-waiting, in a fresh triumph for European populists.

Defence lawyers for S.Korea's Park quit over alleged bias

Former South Korean president Park Geun-Hye's defence lawyers resigned en masse Monday in protest at what they called a biased corruption trial, as the ex-leader described the proceedings as "political revenge".

Maduro claims landslide win in disputed Venezuela elections

President Nicolas Maduro has claimed a landslide victory in closely watched regional elections in Venezuela, based on official results that the opposition immediately rejected.

Populists set to thrash traditional parties in Czech vote

The Czech populist movement, ANO, led by a billionaire dubbed as the "Czech Trump", is the clear favourite in a general election on Friday and Saturday where the traditional parties are set to take a thrashing.

Abe on course for landslide win in Japan vote: poll

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is on track for a landslide win in Japan's upcoming election, the latest survey suggested Monday, as a new party founded by Tokyo's popular governor loses momentum.

British PM in Brussels Monday to meet EU chief Juncker: source

British Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Brussels on Monday to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, ahead of a decisive EU summit this week, a Downing Street source told AFP Sunday.

Austria's Kurz: world's youngest leader in waiting

"Whizz-kid", "Basti Fantasti", "Messiah" are just some of the monikers given to Austrian conservative Sebastian Kurz, the world's youngest leader in waiting.

Iran move won't weaken US hand with NKorea: Tillerson

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Sunday denied that Donald Trump's threat to tear up the Iran nuclear deal had weakened America's chance of reining in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile drive through diplomacy.

Trump and the dismantling of Obama's legacy

Brick by brick, the demolition job has begun: since taking office less than a year ago, Donald Trump has launched an all-out assault on the legacy of Barack Obama.

Netanyahu, Israeli police face off over graft probe

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli police faced off in a rare public dispute Sunday over an intensifying graft probe that has led to speculation over whether he will eventually be forced from office.

Austria set to elect EU's youngest leader in rightwing push

Austrians were voting Sunday in a watershed election tipped to see conservative Sebastian Kurz, 31, become the EU's youngest leader and form an alliance with the far-right, in the bloc's latest populist test.

Op-Ed: Canada will be better off if Trump rejects NAFTA

Many commentators appear worried that US President Trump will end up sabotaging any new NAFTA deal by insisting on new provisions that Mexico and Canada cannot accept.

EU summit to throw Britain a Brexit bone

EU leaders are set to extend an olive branch to British Prime Minister Theresa May at a summit in Brussels this week in a bid to break a deadlock in Brexit negotiations.

Venezuelans vote in crucial regional elections

Millions of Venezuelans voted peacefully in regional elections on Sunday following months of violent protests earlier this year aimed at unseating President Nicolas Maduro.

Who's who in the Austrian election

Austrian conservative Sebastian Kurz, 31, is set to become Europe's youngest leader and could form an alliance with the far-right in Sunday's election. Here is a look at him and his key rivals in the race.

Austria set to elect youngest EU leader in right-wing push

Austrians vote Sunday in a snap election tipped to see conservative Sebastian Kurz, 31, become the EU's youngest leader and form an alliance with the far-right, in the bloc's latest populist test.

China Communist Party agrees to amend constitution at key conclave

China's Communist Party announced Saturday that it agreed to amend its constitution, ahead of a keenly-watched congress, with speculation mounting that leader Xi Jinping's name will be added to the document, enshrining his legacy.

Catalan talks with Spain 'would aim at independence'

A senior Catalan official on Saturday said an offer of talks with Madrid over his region's independence push was aimed at negotiating secession from Spain, not stopping it.

Trump puts America first, but more and more alone

Donald Trump has gambled with US diplomatic credibility by attacking an Iran nuclear deal that his European allies cherish as a benchmark for international cooperation.

Kerry condemns Trump's 'dangerous' Iran deal decision

President Donald Trump is "creating an international crisis" with his "dangerous" decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, John Kerry, the former Secretary of State who negotiated the agreement, said Friday.

US Congress may hold key to Iran deal future

President Donald Trump dumped the fate of the Iran nuclear deal on US lawmakers Friday, leaving open the question of whether they can turn the screw on Tehran without killing the accord.

Moscow slams Trump's Iran strategy, hopes nuclear deal intact

Russia's foreign ministry criticised the new tougher Iran strategy announced by US President Donald Trump on Friday, accusing him of using "aggressive and threatening rhetoric".

America First or America Alone? The withdrawal agenda

Since President Donald Trump took office in January, the US has abandoned or threatened to quit several international accords under his "America First" policy.

Protecting workers key to NAFTA success: Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that a new North American Free Trade Agreement must better protect workers and the middle class, acknowledging the malaise that has fueled Donald Trump's attacks on the deal.

Macron confident future German govt won't oppose EU reforms

France's President Emmanuel Macron expressed confidence Friday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's potential coalition partners would not oppose his ambitious plans to reform the European Union.

Ukraine bans Russian banknote with Crimea image

Ukraine said on Friday it was banning a new Russian banknote showing an image of the Crimean peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014.The announcement came one day after Russia unveiled a new note worth 200 rubles ($3.

Trump throws fate of Iran deal to Congress

President Donald Trump will unveil a more aggressive strategy to check Iran's growing power Friday, but stop short of withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal or declaring the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

EU's Juncker says the British 'have to pay'

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday that Britain must "pay" for its financial commitments to start Brexit trade talks, comparing it to someone trying to leave a bar after a round of beers.

Former French culture minister picked to head UNESCO

French former culture minister Audrey Azoulay was named to head the UN's embattled cultural agency on Friday, beating her Qatari rival after a politically charged contest clouded by Gulf tensions and accusations of anti-Israel bias.

China urges US to 'preserve' Iran nuclear deal

China on Friday called on the United States to maintain its commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump is expected to declare no longer in America's interest.

Kyrgyzstan gears up for closely fought presidential poll

Voters in ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan will go to the polls on Sunday to choose their next president in a toughly contested election setting the Central Asian country apart from its deeply authoritarian neighbours.

'Emperor Kurz', the Austrian whizz-kid on the path to power

Sebastian Kurz's gaze is focused, his grip firm, each step appears carefully measured.

Israel says Hamas must disarm under Palestinian unity deal

Hamas must disarm and recognise Israel under a Palestinian unity deal announced on Thursday with its rival Fatah aimed at ending their decade-long split, an Israeli government official said.

Moscow assails US over flag removals amid consulate dispute

Moscow has lodged a protest with Washington over the removal of Russian flags from two of its closed diplomatic missions in the United States, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

North Korea looms large as Trump's challenges Iran

As President Donald Trump prepares to decide on certifying the Iran nuclear deal, the White House has come to see a rapidly escalating standoff with North Korea as both a complicating factor and a cautionary tale.

State vote, coalition poker spell tough week for Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, freshly re-elected but with no clear majority, is hoping for a regional poll victory Sunday for her conservatives before she starts perilous coalition talks next week.