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Last updateFri, 24 Mar 2017 7pm

World News

Turkey rallies row: Germany and Netherlands harden stance

Several EU leaders have criticised Turkey, amid a growing row over the Turkish government's attempts to hold rallies in European countries.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany and the Netherlands of "Nazism" after officials blocked rallies there.Dutch PM Mark Rutte called his comments "unacceptable", while Germany's foreign minister said he hoped Turkey would "return to its senses".Denmark's leader has also postponed a planned meeting with Mr Erdogan.
Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was concerned that "democratic principles are under great pressure" in Turkey.

South Korea's Park leaves presidential palace after impeachment

Ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye has now left the presidential palace, two days after judges upheld parliament's decision to impeach her. Ms Park, who has still not commented on the ruling, arrived at her home in southern Seoul amid waving supporters. She has been impeached over her role in a corruption scandal involving close friend, Choi Soon-sil. Ms Park's opponents, who are calling for her arrest, and her supporters both held rallies in Seoul on Saturday.

A high profile US prosecutor, says he was fired

A New York federal prosecutor who refused to resign when he and 45 other prosecutors were asked to by the Trump administration says he has been sacked. "I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired," said Preet Bharara on Twitter. Mr Bharara was first asked to remain in his post by President Donald Trump, when they met after the election. But on Friday he was included in a list of prosecutors appointed by former President Barack Obama who were asked by the Justice Department to step down.

Syria conflict: Damascus twin bombing 'kills dozens

At least 30 people have been killed in a twin bomb attack in Syria's capital, Damascus, monitors and media say.  The attack was close to the Bab al-Saghir cemetery, which houses several Shia mausoleums, state media reported. Sunni militants often target Shia shrines but attacks in most parts of the capital remain uncommon. A nationwide truce brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran took effect on 30 December after talks in Kazakhstan, but sporadic attacks continue.

US sends Marines to support Raqqa assault.


The US has sent 400 additional troops to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the so-called Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. They include Marines, who arrived in the past few days. US special forces are already in Syria. Meanwhile, US-led coalition air strikes killed 20 civilians - including children - near the city, reports say. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to host talks with coalition members ahead of an expected assault on Raqqa.

Trump travel ban: Hawaii files first legal challenge

Hawaii has become the first US state to file a suit against President Donald Trump's revised travel order. Its attorney general says the new version is fundamentally the same as the first, calling it "Muslim Ban 2.0". The directive, which takes effect on 16 March, places a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations and a 120-day ban on all refugees.The previous order, which was blocked by a federal court, sparked confusion at airports and mass protests

FBI and CIA launch criminal investigation into 'malware leaks'


US officials say that US federal agencies have launched a criminal investigation into the public release of documents said to detail CIA hacking tools. They told US media that the FBI and CIA were co-ordinating the inquiry after Wikileaks published thousands of files.

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In the world arena: U.S. slips to seventh best country in the world after Trump election

A new ranking of the best countries shows America has fallen three spots to seventh place. The ranking shows the Unites States has lost its position as fourth best among world's best countries. Among the 21,000 surveyed, 75 percent said they lost some respect for U.S. leadership after the last year's presidential election.

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Stranded Afghans queue to leave Pakistan

Thousands of stranded Afghans and Pakistanis have been queuing to get home after Pakistan temporarily opened two main border crossings. Officials at the Torkham point said 2,900 people crossed into Afghanistan and 550 entered Pakistan on Tuesday. Figures from the other main crossing at Chaman were not immediately available. Pakistan shut the crossings nearly three weeks ago after a wave of deadly attacks by militants it said were operating from Afghan soil.

Brazil's recession worst on record

Brazil has been in recession for two years, the latest figures show, marking the deepest decline since records began. The economy contracted by 3.6 percent in 2016, meaning it is now 8 percent smaller than it was in December 2014. The country has been hard hit by the fall in commodity prices and an internal political crisis that has undermined investor confidence. However, analysts believe the economy should start to pick up from here.

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