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Officials picked through the wreckage of toppled spires and crumbling temple walls in Myanmar's ancient capital Bagan on Thursday after a powerful earthquake rattled the top tourist destination, leaving three dead.

Iranian navy in 'unsafe' intercept of US destroyer: defense official

Four Iranian military vessels sped close to two US Navy guided missile destroyers with their weapons uncovered in the Strait of Hormuz in an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter between the longtime foes, American defense officials said.

Italy quake toll hits 247 as rescuers hunt for survivors

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook central Italy rose to 247 on Thursday, officials said, as rescuers desperately searched for survivors in the rubble of devastated mountain villages.

Sepp Blatter in court, bids for redemption

Sepp Blatter is back in court on Thursday in a final bid for redemption as he seeks to overturn a six-year ban from football following more than a year of scandal.

Brazil's Rousseff enters final act of impeachment

Brazil's first woman president, Dilma Rousseff, faced the final act of an impeachment battle Thursday likely to see the suspended leader of Latin America's biggest economy sacked within days.

Colombia peace deal: key points

Here are key points of the peace deal announced Wednesday to end five decades of conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government.

Nine killed as militants raid Kabul's American University

At least nine people were killed after militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, officials said on Thursday, in a nearly 10-hour raid that prompted anguished pleas for help from trapped students.

Five beachgoers die in Britain on hottest day of year

Five beachgoers died as Britain sweltered on the hottest day of the year Wednesday, officials said, bringing to 12 the number of people to have perished in the past week.

N. Korea leader says missile test 'greatest success'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un declared a submarine-launched missile test the "greatest success", state media said Thursday, as the UN weighed a condemnation of the launch which appears to advance Pyongyang's nuclear strike capability.

Colombia, FARC rebels reach historic peace deal

Colombia's government and FARC rebels announced Wednesday that they have reached a historic peace deal to end their half-century civil war, the last major armed conflict in the Americas.

Italy quake toll climbs to at least 159: official

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck a remote area of central Italy climbed to at least 159 late Wednesday, said the head of the country's civil protection agency, Fabrizio Curcio.

N. Korea leader says missile test was 'greatest success': KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un declared a recent submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test the "greatest success", Pyongyang's state media said Thursday.

French writer Michel Butor dies aged 89: family

French writer Michel Butor, one of the leading figures of the experimental 1950s "Nouveau Roman" literary movement, died on Wednesday aged 89, his family told Le Monde newspaper.

The burkini, the veil, the niqab: What French law says

Burkinis banned on dozens of beaches, no veils in schools, no niqabs in the neighbourhood: in staunchly secular France, the law imposes an array of restrictions on anything denoting religious affiliation.

Syria regime launched chemical attacks, IS used mustard gas: UN report

A UN investigation has established that President Bashar al-Assad's forces carried out at least two chemical attacks in Syria and that Islamic State jihadists used mustard gas as a weapon, according to a report seen by AFP on Wednesday.

South Africa documents may offer clues on UN chief's death

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday pushed for a further inquiry of the mysterious 1961 plane crash that killed ex-UN chief Dag Hammarskjold, saying documents from South Africa may help shed light.

Hostage taker at Moscow bank turns himself in

A man who took four people hostage at a bank in central Moscow late Wednesday has surrendered to police, local authorities said.

Colombia announces historic peace pact

Colombia's government and FARC rebels announced that they have reached a historic peace deal to end their half-century civil war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

French schools boost anti-terror defences

Thousands of police reservists will patrol outside French schools next week as children return to the classroom after a summer overshadowed by two jihadist attacks, the government announced Tuesday.

Russia jails leader of banned nationalist group

A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced ultranationalist politician Alexander Belov, a former leader of a banned anti-immigration movement, to seven and a half years in prison for extremism and money laundering.

UN chief says N.Korea missile launch 'deeply troubling'

North Korea's test-firing of a missile from a submarine towards Japan is "deeply troubling" and undermines stability on the Korean peninsula, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

Israeli army closes file on 2014 Gaza school shelling

The Israeli army said Wednesday it has closed its files on several allegations of military misconduct during the 2014 Gaza war but others are still under investigation.

UN has 'high expectations' as Cyprus talks enter decisive phase

The United Nations said Wednesday it holds "high expectations" of Cyprus peace talks which have entered a new intensified phase of negotiations aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island.

Muslim women say burkini debate 'absurd'

Before Wendy bought her first burkini this summer, the 22-year-old French Muslim convert would dress up in leggings, a tennis skirt and a T-shirt to enjoy days at the beach. "I usually wear a normal headscarf, I don't hide my face.

Militants storm American University in Kabul

Explosions and gunfire rang out as militants stormed the elite American University of Afghanistan in Kabul Wednesday, prompting desperate calls for help from students trapped inside classrooms, in the latest attack in the Afghan capital.

Top ETA figure barred from running in Spain's Basque election

A prominent former ETA member credited with helping to move the armed Basque separatist group away from violence was barred Wednesday from running in Spanish regional elections next month.

German ex-president Scheel, 'Ostpolitik pioneer' dies aged 97

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, died on Wednesday aged 97, his party's spokesman said.

Why has Turkey launched an operation against IS in Syria?

Turkey launched its most ambitious operation of the Syrian conflict on Wednesday with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying it targeted the double threat from Islamic State extremists and Syrian Kurdish militias.

Brazil court rejects Rousseff request to annul impeachment session

Brazil's Supreme Court chief justice has rejected a request from suspended president Dilma Rousseff to annul the session at which senators voted to open an impeachment trial against her.

Italy quake struck notorious seismic hotspot

The deadly earthquake that struck central Italy before dawn Wednesday occurred in a notorious seismic hotspot, and dangerous aftershocks are possible, scientists said.

'We only heard their cats': quake sorrow of Italian village

Sitting with his brother on a bench in Illica, one of the Italian mountain villages devastated by a powerful earthquake on Wednesday, Guido Bordo clasps and unclasps his hands repeatedly.

World's largest aircraft damaged in crash landing

The world's largest aircraft suffered cockpit damage on Wednesday after nosediving while landing on its second test flight, but there were no injuries, according to the craft's manufacturer.

French Muslim body to meet with govt on burkini ban

The head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) will meet Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Wednesday to discuss the burkini bans at the centre of a bitter row over Muslim integration.

Victims to blame in fatal tiger attack in China, probe finds

The Beijing wildlife park whose tigers killed one woman and injured another this summer was not to blame for their deaths, an official investigation concluded Wednesday.

Laziz the tiger and friends leave Gaza for new life

Gaza's last tiger left the war-ravaged Palestinian enclave Wednesday with monkeys, emus, a porcupine and other animals from a zoo dubbed the "world's worst", heading for a new life in South Africa and elsewhere.

Malian jihadist 'lost way' in Timbuktu attacks, court told

A Malian jihadist who admitted to razing ancient tombs in the fabled city of Timbuktu is "an honest man" who briefly took the wrong path in life, his lawyer pleaded Wednesday, as prosecutors urged a jail term of up to 11 years.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water to prepare for possible terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Erdogan says Syria operation aimed at IS jihadists, Kurdish PYD

The Turkish operation inside Syrian territory is aimed not just against jihadists but also Kurdish militia and should permanently put an end to problems on the border, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

US judge sides with artist forced to prove painting is not his

In a court case with repercussions for the art world and millions of dollars at stake, a US judge ruled Tuesday in favor of an artist who was sued for denying a painting was his.

Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam

A new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared.

Clinton in eye of Trump storm over charity donors

Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on Hillary Clinton as her campaign battled to silence suggestions that donors to her family's charity paid for access when she was America's top diplomat.
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