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France questions if US support for NATO is 'perennial'

Washington - France's defense minister questioned Monday whether the US commitment to the NATO alliance is "perennial" and said Europe needs to build defense "autonomy" as that question goes unanswered.

Democratic rock star Beto O'Rourke casts wide net ahead of 2020

Mount Pleasant - Media sensation Beto O'Rourke, who has shaken up the Democratic race for the White House since announcing his candidacy this week, had just spent three long days in Iowa hammering home his left-leaning priorities while insisting he is a "capitalist.

Venezuela's pro-regime 'colectivos' vow to back Maduro whatever it costs

Caracas - Jorge Parrado collects water for his Caracas district. But he is also ready to fight completely in support of President Nicolas Maduro as a member of a "colectivo," cells that uphold and enforce the regime's socialist ideals.

Nicaragua government, opposition agree on 'roadmap' for talks

Managua - Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's leftist government and the opposition have agreed a "roadmap" for extended peace talks to resolve 10 months of crisis sparked by a deadly crackdown on dissent in which hundreds of people were killed.

Nicaragua government, opposition agree on 'roadmap' for talks

Managua - Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's leftist government and the opposition have agreed a "roadmap" for extended peace talks to resolve 10 months of crisis sparked by a deadly crackdown on dissent in which hundreds of people were killed.

Brazil ex-leader Lula returns to jail after grandson's funeral

S - Brazil's ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva returned to prison on Saturday after being allowed to attend the funeral of a grandson who died suddenly at age seven.

French justice minister calls sports hijab row 'hysterical'

Paris - French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet on Wednesday waded into a row over the marketing of a sports version of the hijab Muslim headscarf in France, saying she regretted the "hysterical" debate and stressing that selling such items would in no way br...

Retailer Decathlon cancels plans to sell sport 'hijab' in France

Paris - Retailer Decathlon Tuesday cancelled plans to sell a sports version of the hijab Muslim headscarf in France, following an outcry.

Gabonese President Bongo makes post-stroke appearance

Libreville - President Ali Bongo, whose stroke last October plunged Gabon into uncertainty, held a string of meetings on Monday ahead of the first gathering of the cabinet, according to the government.

Police and protesters clash outside Albanian parliament

Tirana - Thousands of opposition supporters clashed with police outside the Albanian parliament on Saturday during an anti-government protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Catalan separatists' rebellion trial starts in Madrid

Madrid - Catalan separatist leaders accused of rebellion for trying to make their region independent from Spain launched their defence on Tuesday at the start of a long-awaited trial.

UN says ready to send aid if Caracas govt approves

Geneva - UN agencies are ready to send aid to Venezuela as requested by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who more than 40 nations recognise as interim president, but they can only act with authorisation from the Caracas government, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Five arrested in S.Africa over Zuma-era graft allegations

Johanesburg - Five suspects, including South Africa's former chief financial officer for prisons, were arrested on Wednesday in the latest move against alleged government corruption under former president Jacob Zuma.

Cuba keeping a watchful eye over events in ally Venezuela

Havana - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is hanging onto power in the crisis-wracked country in large part thanks to backing from the military, which according to the United States is receiving support and advice from Cuba.

Nobel winner Murad, Guaido envoy invited to Trump's State of Union

Washington - Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's envoy to Washington are among the top guests invited to attend US President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, lawmakers announced Monday.

Guaido boosted by Europe backing in Venezuela standoff

Madrid - International clamor for snap elections in Venezuela intensified Monday as European powers recognized opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim leader, after Nicolas Maduro rejected an ultimatum to call new polls.

Nayib Bukele: president-elect disrupting Salvadoran politics

Sansalvador - Nayib Bukele, former San Salvador mayor, was on Sunday elected president of El Salvador -- crushing a two-party system in place since civil war ended in 1992.

Dropping weapons treaty would let US update its nuclear arsenal

Washington - The US scrapping of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia could launch a new arms race, but will also allow the United States to update its nuclear arsenal, a publicly stated goal for the past year.

Land, jobs are top priorities for radical S. African party

Soshanguve - The far-left South African EFF party unveiled Saturday its programme for legislative elections in May, with land expropriation and jobs at the top of the list.

Venezuela opposition cling to social media lifeline

Caracas - Deprived almost entirely of coverage on mainstream media, Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido has been deftly using the social networks to woo support, but even that avenue is increasingly being cut off.

Venezuela's opposition to up pressure on Maduro with new rally

Caracas - Venezuela's US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido prepared Friday to crank up the pressure on embattled President Nicolas Maduro with a massive weekend protest to push for early elections as Washington warned the socialist leader had run out of time ...

Venezuela's Guaido, protesters urge military to reject Maduro

Caracas - Thousands of opposition protesters, led by Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido, on Wednesday called on the armed forces to abandon President Nicolas Maduro and allow humanitarian aid into the crisis-wracked country.

Venezuela bars self-declared president Guaido from leaving country

Caracas - Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice barred self-declared president Juan Guaido from leaving the country and froze his bank accounts Tuesday, as leader Nicolas Maduro seeks to neutralize the American-backed opposition chief.

Amnesty calls for 'immediate' release of Cameroon opposition chief

Yaound - Amnesty International on Tuesday called for the "immediate and unconditional" release of Maurice Kamto, leader of Cameroon's opposition MRC, after he was arrested in the country's economic capital Douala.

Macron 'deplores' 11 deaths in 'yellow vest' protests

Apo - French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he "deplores" the deaths during "yellow vest" demonstrations of 11 people, which he said were not caused by French security forces.

UN Security Council divided on climate-security link

New York - Russia and the US resisted on Friday efforts by the UN Security Council to take a tougher stand on climate change -- a day after UN chief Antonio Guterres warned of a lack of political will to fight global warming.

Frustration and sadness as Italy migrant centre closed

Castelnuovo Di Porto - "I found a family here, I worked with the parish priest, I helped with mass, I went to school," said Nigerian Anthony Ehikwe, one of hundreds of migrants being expelled from Italy's second-largest migrant centre.

Trump vows not to 'cave' on 32nd day of government shutdown

Washington - President Donald Trump had a message Tuesday for Democrats hoping he'll relent in the political arm wrestling that has seen funds blocked to parts of the government for a record 32 days: "No Cave!

Trump offers concessions on immigrants in return for wall funds

Washington - US President Donald Trump on Saturday offered to temporarily shield a million immigrants from deportation if Congress authorizes funding for his Mexican border wall -- an idea Democrats rejected, making the US government shutdown likely to continue.

Butterflies, the unlikely victims of Trump's border wall

Mission - In Mission, Texas, the construction of part of a long-promised wall on the border with Mexico to stem the tide of undocumented migrants is already in progress.Among the many who will be affected? Butterflies.
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