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China's global Belt and Road Initiative could boost economies and reduce poverty rates in dozens of developing countries, but risks environmental damage, debt and corruption if improvements aren't made, the World Bank said Wednesday.

ASEAN leaders told to get serious on Rohingya issue

Southeast Asian leaders must use an upcoming summit to hold unvarnished talks on Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya, rights groups urged Wednesday, after a report by the bloc was pilloried for whitewashing the persecution of the Muslim minority.

Hong Kong lawmakers grill security chief over protest violence

Members of Hong Kong's legislature met Wednesday for the first time since the largest anti-government protest in the city's history, with many opposition lawmakers slamming the pro-Beijing administration's handling of the crisis.

Egypt accuses UN of seeking to 'politicise' Morsi death

Egypt accused the United Nations on Wednesday of seeking to "politicise" the death of the country's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi by calling for an "independent inquiry".

Hong Kong's 'leaderless' protesters mull next move

Hong Kong's "leaderless" demonstrations brought millions of people onto the streets and forced the city's pro-Beijing leadership into a rare climbdown. But with no one directing the action, where does the movement go now?

Arctic could face another scorching annus horribilis

Scientists say 2019 could be another annus horribilis for the Arctic with record temperatures already registered in Greenland -- a giant melting icicle that threatens to submerge the world's coastal areas one day.

Argentina's new poor sink deeper amid recession

Like many Argentines, Daniel Roger and his family found themselves slipping down the social ladder over the past year to join the one-third of their compatriots living below the poverty line.

Indonesia pet orangutans released back into the wild

The young orangutan looks back at her rescuers before clambering over her steel cage and into the trees, swinging from hand to hand and hanging upside down.

Record 70.8 million people displaced at end of 2018: UN

More than 70 million people were counted last year as displaced from their homes, a record that underestimates the real number of refugees and asylum seekers, the UN said Wednesday.

In China's Chongqing, high-rises buck property slowdown

In many Chinese cities, government restrictions have cooled formerly feverish property markets, but in the southwestern city of Chongqing, construction is booming and sales soaring as investors rush in.

'Generation climate' to occupy huge German coal mine

Thousands of European environmental activists are readying to blockade a huge open-pit coal mine in Germany, backed for the first time by the student climate movement launched by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

Saudi de-fangs religious police but plans to enforce 'decency'

Saudi Arabia has rendered toothless the once-feared religious police amid a liberalisation drive, but a planned "public decency" law is stoking controversy with some fearing a revival of morality policing.

Russia, China, block US effort to halt North Korea fuel deliveries

Russia and China on Tuesday blocked an American initiative that aimed to halt fuel deliveries to North Korea, which Washington accuses of exceeding its annual ceiling for 2019, diplomatic sources said.

Egypt's Morsi likely 'more popular' after death

Unpopular in power and deposed after huge protests, Egypt's ex-president Mohamed Morsi could be humanised in the eyes of many Egyptians after his death in court Monday.

MH17 crash probe set to name suspects

International investigators are on Wednesday expected to announce charges against four suspects including a Russian officer in the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine five years ago.

UN chief asks Russia, Turkey to 'stabilize' Syria's embattled Idlib

UN chief Antonio Guterres called on Russia and Turkey Tuesday to "stabilize the situation" in the Syrian province of Idlib, rocked by intense fighting that the UN body warned is creating a humanitarian disaster.

Euthanasia now legal in Australian state

Terminally ill Australians can for the first time apply to end their own life, after new laws went into effect in the state of Victoria Wednesday.

Ecuador denies Galapagos Islands will host US military base

Ecuador President Lenin Moreno insisted Tuesday the United States would not be installing a military base on the Galapagos Islands, a day after the government revealed that American aircraft would be able to use an airstrip there.

US hospital ship on mission to aid Venezuela refugees

US Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort sets out this week to the Caribbean and Latin America as part of a mission to help Venezuelan migrants, Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday.

Spain busts gang that helped 'finance Al Qaeda militia'

Spanish police on Tuesday detained 10 nationals of Syrian origin accused of financing "Al Qaeda terrorist militia" in Syria, the interior ministry and a source close to the probe said.

UN chief calls on Russia, Turkey to 'stabilize' Syrian province

UN chief Antonio Guterres called on Russia and Turkey Tuesday to "stabilize the situation" in the Syrian province of Idlib, rocked by intense fighting between pro-government and jihadist-led forces.

Pompeo: US must be able to respond to any Iranian attack

The United States must have the capability to respond to any Iranian attack on US interests, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.

Japan tsunami advisory lifted following strong quake

A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Japan on Tuesday, sparking an tsunami advisory that was later lifted with no reports of major damage or injuries.

EU delays decision on North Macedonia, Albania membership bids

The European Union on Tuesday delayed a decision on whether to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia until October, dealing a fresh blow to the Balkan states' hopes.

Trump-Xi meeting at G20 raises hope for trade truce

US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have agreed to meet at the G20 summit in Japan next week, raising hopes for a truce in the bruising trade war between the world's top two economies.

Belgium seeks Uighur family in Xinjiang after disappearance

A Belgian diplomat was expected to travel to China's restive Xinjiang region on Tuesday to confirm the whereabouts of a Uighur family that was escorted from Belgium's embassy in Beijing by police last month.

Trump says attacks on oil tankers 'very minor'

President Donald Trump downplayed recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that Washington blames on Iran and noted that the United States is less dependent on energy supplies from the region.

US announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine

The United States announced Tuesday a $250 million military aid package for war-torn Ukraine to strengthen the former Soviet republic's naval and land capabilities. The amount is part of a series of Pentagon payments now totaling $1.

Trump's Pentagon nominee quits, Iran targets CIA network

President Donald Trump lost his nominee for Pentagon chief on Tuesday, adding to the volatility in a tense standoff with Iran, which claimed to have dismantled a CIA network.

Trump says having 'extended meeting' with Xi at G20 summit

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had a positive phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and the two leaders will hold an "extended meeting" next week at the Group of 20 summit in Japan.

Sri Lanka policeman defies president to testify at attack probe

A Sri Lankan police officer on Tuesday defied President Maithripala Sirisena and testified before a parliamentary investigation into the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 258 people.

Greece calls on EU to condemn 'illegal' drilling off Cyprus

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday demanded that the European Union issue a reprimand to Turkey for its "illegal" gas exploration in Cyprus, after Ankara defied calls for it to cease drilling in the region.

Merkel says she's 'fine' after trembling spell

German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed concerns about her health after visibly trembling at an official ceremony Tuesday, saying she was just a bit dehydrated in the heat.

UN gives Myanmar aid cut warning over Rohingya camp closures

The UN has warned it will pare back aid to thousands of Rohingya Muslims left destitute as Myanmar's government closes camps in Rakhine state, over fears its continued support "risks entrenching segregation".

Backlash in Ukraine as president says beautiful women 'our brand'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has described beautiful women as part of the country's "brand", prompting a furious backlash from activists and on social media Tuesday.

Alarm at far-right threat after killing of German politician

Germans have voiced shock at the suspected far-right murder of a pro-migrant official, fuelling debate on Tuesday on whether the country has failed to take seriously a rising threat from neo-Nazis.

DR Congo's army moves in to dislodge illegal miners

Democratic Republic of Congo's army has sent a battalion of troops to oust illegal miners from land worked by a majority-owned Chinese company, the military said Tuesday.

Syria clashes kill 45 fighters: monitor

Clashes between pro-government forces and jihadist-led groups that control Syria's northwest killed at least 45 combatants on Tuesday, a war monitor said.

Hundreds of thousands flee violence in northeast DR Congo: UN

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled inter-ethnic violence in northeastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past two weeks, local authorities and the UN said Tuesday.

Summit faces stalemate as Europe haggles over top jobs

European leaders are expected to clash over Brussels' top jobs on Thursday, as rifts between France and Germany and between the EU parliament and national capitals deepen.

Death toll in Indonesia ferry sinking rises to 18

The death toll from an Indonesian ferry sinking has risen to 18, authorities said Tuesday, the latest maritime accident to hit the archipelago nation.
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