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Turkish troops shell Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia

Istanbul - Turkey on Friday started shelling the Syrian town of Afrin held by a US-backed Kurdish militia that Ankara considers "terrorists" in a move to oust them, the defence minister said.

Winnie loses battle for Mandela's rural home

Johanesburg - A South African court on Friday struck down a long-running effort by late president Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to claim ownership of his former rural home.

China to enshrine Xi's name in state constitution

Bejing - China's Communist Party proposed on Friday to engrave President Xi Jinping's guiding philosophy in the country's constitution, further cementing his status as its most powerful leader in decades.

In Greece, nationalists seek momentum amid Macedonia talks

Atenas - A quarter of a century after Greece saw an unprecedented million-strong march in its name row with Macedonia, nationalists are trying to whip up similar sentiment amid a new push to solve the festering issue.

Chechen police raid rights group for third time

Moscow - Chechen police raided the office of human rights group Memorial on Friday for the third time this week in connection to the internationally condemned arrest of its director, the group said in a statement.

Seven years' jail for man who sold gun to Munich mass killer

Munich - A German court jailed a man for seven years Friday for supplying a pistol to a teenager who killed nine people in a 2016 rampage at a Munich shopping centre.

Tensions rise as new inmate attack fuels French prison strikes

Paris - French police fired tear gas to break up a picket line of striking prison guards at Europe's biggest prison on Friday, as a fresh assault by inmates on staff at a facility in Corsica fuelled demands for better security.

Ethiopians throng streets for Christian Orthodox festival

Addis Ababa - Under a blazing sun, a procession carrying a replica of the Ark of the Covenant marched on a path of red carpets through the streets of Ethiopia's capital, sending believers to their knees in reverence.

Vienna marks 100 years since artistic heyday

Vienna - Vienna is marking 100 years since the death of a string of luminaries from its fin-de-siecle glory days with an avalanche of exhibitions of modernist art, design and architecture that still inspire and shock today.

Iraqi teen denies attempted bombing of London train

London - An Iraqi teenager on Friday pleaded not guilty to allegations he was behind the attempted bombing of a London underground train last year which left 30 people injured.

WWII Soviet bomber parts found in lake near Auschwitz

Warsaw - A Polish carp breeder found fragments of a Soviet bomber aircraft from World War II when he drained his lake near the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, local history buffs announced Friday. "The discovery was made just before Christmas....

'A Year In Provence' author Peter Mayle dies aged 78

London - Peter Mayle, who wrote the best-selling novel "A Year In Provence", has died at the age of 78, his publishers announced.

Review: Granger Smith electrifies Irving Plaza in New York City Special

New York - On January 18, country star Granger Smith performed a headlining show at Irving Plaza in New York City, as part of "NASH 94.7 Presents."

Ex-Catalan leader says can govern from Belgium

Barcelona - Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont, who was sacked by Madrid over his attempt to break from Spain, said Friday he can govern the region from Belgium where he is in self-exile as he eyes a comeback after scoring big in elections.

India's top court acquits Bollywood director of rape

New Delhi - India's top court on Friday upheld the acquittal of a Bollywood director accused of raping an American research scholar in a case that has sparked intense debate about consent in a country with high levels of sexual violence.

Ex-Catalan leader says can govern region from Belgium

Barcelona - Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont, who was sacked by Madrid over his attempt to break from Spain, said Friday he can govern the region from Belgium as he eyes a comeback after scoring big in elections.

Taiwan businessman in N. Korea oil probe attempts suicide

Taipei - A Taiwanese businessman who has been investigated and sanctioned by authorities on suspicion of selling oil to North Korea attempted suicide on Friday, prosecutors said.

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital: monitor

Kilis - Mortar fire on a town in northern Syria held by Turkish-backed rebels wounded at least 14 people in a psychiatric hospital, a monitor said on Friday.

Zimbabwean president wants UN to observe vote

London - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa wants international observers including UN officials to watch over the country's upcoming elections, he said in a Financial Times interview.

Siberian teen wounds six in school axe attack

Moscow - A teenage boy injured six people, five of them minors, in an axe attack in a Siberian classroom on Friday, local authorities said, days after 15 were injured in a knife fight at another Russian school.
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