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Detained Venezuelan violinist, symbol of protests, released

Caracas - A young Venezuelan violinist who became a beloved fixture at anti-government protests has been released after spending 19 days in police custody.Wuilly Arteaga, 23, was freed overnight Tuesday, attorney general Tarek William Saab said on Twitter.

Burkina restaurant attackers 'came from Mali': security source

Ouagadougou - Militants who shot and killed 18 people at a restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital most likely came from Mali, a security source in Ouagadougou told AFP on Wednesday.

Lebanon scraps reviled rape law after campaign

Birut - Lebanon's parliament on Wednesday scrapped a controversial law allowing rapists who marry their victims to go free, official media and activists said, after a high-profile campaign for its repeal.

Trump praises N. Korean leader's 'wise' decision to halt Guam missile test

New York - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised North Korea's leader for backing off on plans to fire missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam."Kim Jong-Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision.

China rejects US criticism on religious freedom

Bejing - China on Wednesday denied violations of religious freedom after the United States accused Beijing of persecuting Christians, Muslims, Falun Gong members and Tibetan Buddhists in an annual report.

US military chief urges China to pressure North Korea

Bejing - The head of the US military said during a visit to Beijing that it was increasingly urgent for China to step up pressure on North Korea, according to a Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday.

British PM says 'no equivalence' in US clashes

London - Far-right views should always be condemned and there could be no equivalence with opponents of fascism, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday in comments that implicitly criticised US President Donald Trump.

Fire-hit Greece calls off EU help as PM says conditions improve

Atenas - Greece on Wednesday called off a request for European assistance in battling wildfires as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said firefighters had gained the upper hand in halting a destructive blaze near Athens after three days.

Philippines' Duterte praises police killings of 32, urges more

Manila - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged police to kill dozens of drug suspects every day, as he praised officers who shot dead 32 people this week in "shock and awe" raids.

Troubled Cathay loses HK$2.05 billion in first half 2017

Hong Kong - Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific on Wednesday reported a massive net loss of HK$2.05 billion ($262.07 million) for the first half of the year as the airline struggled with intense competition from rivals.

Fears for 600 still missing in Sierra Leone floods

Freetown - Concerns shifted Wednesday to the estimated 600 people still missing and thousands made homeless in Sierra Leone by deadly floods in the capital, as it emerged that at least a third of those killed were children.

Brazilian army, police swoop on Rio suburb

Rio De Janeiro - Police backed by heavily armed troops swooped on one of Rio de Janeiro's main suburbs Wednesday in the latest large-scale crackdown against crime in the increasingly violent city, authorities said.

SEA Games: Malaysia promises to iron out 'glitches'

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia's sports minister admitted Wednesday there were "glitches" with preparations for the Southeast Asian Games after a report said a key venue was not ready and fans had trouble getting into a football game.

'Rot is deep' at Indian hospital where 85 children died

Gorakhpur - Inside the decrepit children's ward at an Indian hospital where 85 infants died last week, Ram Prasad prayed his two-year-old daughter would escape the same fate as he scanned the overcrowded hallways for a doctor.

Tunisian ex-fisherman buries migrants who drowned at sea

Zarzis - Armed with just a spade, Chamseddine Marzoug is determined to give a dignified burial to migrants who drowned in waters off his Tunisian hometown trying to reach Europe.

Hong Kong activists defiant in face of possible jail term

Hong Kong - A defiant Joshua Wong, who became the face of Hong Kong's huge Umbrella Movement, said Wednesday he had no regrets as he prepared for a possible prison sentence for his leading role in the mass pro-democracy protests.

Japan, US conduct live-fire drill amid regional tension

Nihon - Some 300 Japanese and US military personnel on Wednesday carried out live-fire artillery training in northern Japan, officials said, amid high regional tensions over North Korean missile threats.

Objects spotted near suspected MH370 crash site - Australia

Sydney - Several "probably man-made" objects were floating near the suspected crash site of MH370 just weeks after it vanished, Australian researchers revealed Wednesday, more than six months after the hunt for the doomed jet was called off.

S.Africa police decline to reveal if Grace Mugabe has fled

Johanesburg - South African police Wednesday said they knew the whereabouts of Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe, who faces accusations of assault, but declined to say if she had fled the country.

Russian ex-minister accuses Putin ally at bribery trial

Moscow - Russia's ex-economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev on Wednesday accused the head of state oil giant Rosneft, a powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin, of personally entrapping him as he is accused of taking a massive bribe.
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