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International

Clashes after Catalan leaders detained

Crowds of protesters in Spain’s Catalonia region have clashed with police after the Supreme Court stepped up legal action against separatists. Spain’s Supreme Court ruled 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state. Convictions could result in up to 30 years in prison. More than 20 people were injured as police used riot batons to ...

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Trump signs new transgender military ban

President Trump has signed a memorandum that bans some transgender people from US military service but rolls back the blanket ban he ordered last year. The new directive adopts recommendations from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis that “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition” cannot serve. But it gives the Pentagon and other agencies some discretion in the matter. ...

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DR Congo to shun its own aid conference

The Democratic Republic of Congo says it will not attend a donor conference in Geneva next month, complaining the country is being given “a bad image”. The meeting aims to raise nearly $1.7bn (£1.2bn) for what the UN has described as a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Acting Prime Minister Jose Makila acknowledged that the country was facing an emergency but said ...

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Nana Addo returns to Togo to continue mediation

President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo is back in Togo to continue the mediation process between President Faure Gnassingbé and opposition political parties. Today’s meeting comes weeks after the leaders of the political parties met the President in Accra to report on progress made so far. The 14 opposition parties suspended all forms of protests and demonstrations as agreed in their last meeting. ...

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‘Two dead’ in French hostage-taking

A gunman has killed at least two people during a hostage-taking at a supermarket in Trèbes, southern France, authorities say. An operation involving elite police is continuing at the Super U shop, where others were wounded. Reports say the gunman, who remains in the supermarket, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. Earlier, a policeman was shot and wounded while ...

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Trump replaces National Security Adviser

President Donald Trump is replacing US National Security Adviser HR McMaster with Bush-era defence hawk and former United Nations ambassador John Bolton. Mr Trump tweeted to thank Gen McMaster, saying he had done an “outstanding job & will always remain my friend”. Mr Bolton, who has backed attacking North Korea and Iran, told Fox News his job would be to ...

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Kenya: Mother awarded $25,000 after being made to deliver baby on floor

A woman who was physically abused and left to deliver her baby on the floor of a county hospital in Kenya has been awarded $25,000 (£18,000). In the landmark ruling, a Bungoma high court judge said Josephine Majani’s rights were violated as she gave birth. Mrs Majani said nurses had slapped and verbally abused her in 2013 and left her ...

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Kenya bans anal exams for men suspected of being gay

A Kenyan court has ruled that the forced anal examination of men suspected of being gay is unlawful after rights groups argued the tests are a form of torture. Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya, as in most African countries. Gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Until today’s ruling, Kenya was one of at least ...

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Trump to announce China sanctions after intellectual property theft claims

Donald Trump's use of Twitter to attack opponents is unprecedented

The Trump administration plans to announce sanctions against China on Thursday after determining that the country is encouraging the theft and transfer of intellectual property from US businesses. The White House said the actions come after years of talks about the issue that failed to produce change. The actions are expected to include tariffs, as well as other measures. The ...

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Human Rights Watch: Libya ‘incapable’ of holding elections

Libya is not ready to hold free and fair elections, campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned. The country’s rival authorities are planning to hold parliamentary and presidential elections later this year, but no date has been set. The United Nations and the European Union support the upcoming vote. But HRW worries “voters, candidates, and political parties” are at ...

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