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International

US shutdown begins as Senate fails to pass new budget

The US government has begun a federal shutdown after the Senate failed to agree on a new budget. Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until 16 February did not receive the required 60 votes. It is the first shutdown ever to happen while the same party, the Republicans, controls Congress and the White House. In ...

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Uganda may reintroduce executions – Museveni 

Uganda could begin enforcing the death penalty again, President Yoweri Museveni has said, 13 years after the country’s last execution. Mr Museveni said his “Christian background” had prevented him from going ahead with executions, but this “leniency” was encouraging criminals. Human rights groups have warned against the move. In Uganda, 28 offences merit the death penalty, the highest in east ...

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New Zealand PM reveals she is pregnant

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that she is pregnant. Ms Ardern said she and her partner, Clarke Gayford, were expecting their child in June, after which she planned to take a six-week break. “And we thought 2017 was a big year!” she wrote on Instagram. Ms Ardern, 37, is now set to be the second elected world ...

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Drogba’s Foundation builds first school in Ivory Coast

Children in Pokou-Kouamekro, Côte d’Ivoire will no doubt be sporting huge smiles in this New Year for one of the simplest reasons- they can now learn to nurture their hopes and dreams, in a suitable facility built for this purpose. 350 children can now have access to quality education in the rural cocoa growing community, thus decreasing the risk of ...

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Cape Town slashes water use amid drought

The South African city of Cape Town will slash residents’ water allowance to 50 litres a day from next month amid fears that it could become the world’s first major city to run out of water. The city had reached a “point of no return”, Mayor Patricia de Lille said. Cape Town, a popular tourist destination, has been hit by ...

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Trump wall: President’s view on Mexico border has changed – Kelly

US President Donald Trump’s views on the Mexico border wall have evolved, says his chief of staff, John Kelly. Speaking to Fox News, Mr Kelly also did not deny reports that he had described the president as “uninformed” when he made campaign promises about a wall. The comments were overheard during an immigration meeting on Wednesday, according to US media. ...

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Jailed Ethiopia opposition leader freed

Jailed Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina has been freed after more than a year in detention. The leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress was released on Wednesday morning and allowed to go home, where he was welcomed by thousands of people. He has been in prison since December 2016 and was facing charges, including association with terrorist groups. The Ethiopian ...

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Kazakhstan accident: Bus fire kills 52

A bus has caught fire in north-western Kazakhstan, killing 52 people, the interior ministry has said. Five people managed to escape and were treated by rescue workers on the spot, reports said. The accident happened at 10:30 local time on Thursday (04:30 GMT) in the Irgiz district of Aktobe region. Local media say that the bus was believed to have ...

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Koreas to march under single ‘united’ flag in Olympic Games

North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single “unified Korea” flag at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South. They also agreed to field a joint women’s ice hockey team in rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom. These are the first high-level talks between the two Koreas in more than two years. The Games ...

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Joshua Wong receives second jail term over 2014 protests

A Hong Kong court has jailed activist Joshua Wong for three months, his second prison sentence related to the 2014 pro-democracy protests. Along with other activists he was found guilty of contempt of court for blocking clearance of a protest site. He had been on bail pending an appeal against another six-month term in a separate case linked to the ...

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