In historic first, G20 weighs ageing as global risk

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(Fukuoka) - Ballooning healthcare costs, labour shortages and financial services for the elderly: for the first time Sunday, the world´s top policymakers are tackling economic issues relating to ageing and shrinking birthrates. G20 finance…

Canada to ban single-use plastics in 2021

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(Montreal) - Canada will ban single-use plastics from 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced declaring it a "global challenge" to phase out the bottles, straws and plastic bags clogging the world´s oceans. "I am very pleased to announce…

Obamas sign deal to produce podcasts for Spotify

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(New York) - Barack and Michelle Obama's production company Higher Ground has signed a deal with Spotify to create a series of podcasts for the music streaming service, which is seeking to diversify its content. "We're excited… because…

Afghan president pledges to release nearly 900 prisoners

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(Kabul) - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pledged to release nearly 900 inmates from prisons across Afghanistan. During an address to the nation for Eid -- the festival marking the end of Ramadan -- Ghani said 887 inmates would be set free. The…

India heatwave temperatures pass 50 Celsius

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(New Delhi) - Temperatures passed 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in northern India as an unrelenting heatwave triggered warnings of water shortages and heatstroke. The thermometer hit 50.6 degrees Celsius (123 Fahrenheit) in the Rajasthan…

Modi makes major cabinet changes for second term

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(New Delhi) - India´s Prime Minister Narendra Modi named his trusted aide Amit Shah to the key home affairs ministry as part of a major cabinet shakeup for his second term in office. Nirmala Sitharaman moved from defence to become finance…

Powerful tornado devastates US town, killing two

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(Oklahoma) - Rescuers in the US state of Oklahoma were searching for survivors in the tangled remains of mobile homes and other structures demolished overnight by a powerful tornado that killed at least two people. "Right now (we are) doing…

80 countries ready to step up on climate: UN

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(United Nations) - About 80 countries have signaled that they are willing to scale up their commitment to cut carbon emissions under the Paris agreement to combat climate change, the UN climate envoy said. Under the landmark deal, countries…

Final votes cast as Europe chooses future course

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(Brussels) - Tens of millions of Europeans voted as 21 countries choose their representatives in a battle between the nationalist right and pro-EU forces to chart a course for the bloc. Seven EU member states have already voted, and provisional…

US orders new troops to Middle East

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(Washington) - The United States said it was deploying 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East to counter "credible threats" from Iran in a move denounced by Tehran as "a threat to international peace". "Increased US presence in our region…

Trump names woman as head of US Air Force

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(Washington) - US President Donald Trump announced he had nominated a former ambassador and Arizona businesswoman to lead the Air Force. Barbara Barrett, 68, served as the US ambassador to Finland from 2008 to 2009 under the George W. Bush…

BJP sweeps Indian polls, leads show

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(New Delhi) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked on course for a major victory in the world’s biggest election, with early trends suggesting his Hindu nationalist party will win a bigger majority even than 2014. Right-wing Bharatiya…

Christchurch attacker charged with terrorism

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(Wellington) - The man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks was formally charged with terrorism for the first time, New Zealand police said. In addition to the terror charge, Brenton Tarrant also…

Violent clashes rage south of Libya's Tripoli

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(Tripoli) - Violent clashes raged south of Tripoli, marking an uptick in fighting as the UN envoy for Libya warned of a "long and bloody war". Heavy artillery fire could be heard from the city centre as the most intense fighting took place…