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Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 8pm

World News

Trump outlines major tax cut plans

US President Donald Trump has called for major tax cuts as part of a longstanding Republican effort to overhaul the US tax system. A framework released by Republicans calls for lowering the tax rate for corporations from 35% to 20%, among other changes. The president said the revamp will make the US more competitive and help middle class families.

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US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visits Afghanistan as rockets hit Kabul

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is in Afghanistan - in his first visit since Donald Trump announced his commitment to the Afghan conflict. The US recently confirmed it would send 3,000 extra troops to the country, to help local forces struggling against a resurgent Taliban. Sixteen years after the US-led invasion, the Afghan government still only controls about 60% of the country. Several rockets were fired near Kabul airport hours after Gen Mattis arrived.

Former Thai Prime Minister sentenced to five years imprisonment

Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been found guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced in absentia to five years in prison. The Supreme Court convicted her of mishandling a rice subsidy scheme which allegedly cost Thailand at least 8 billion US dollars. Ousted in 2014, weeks before a military coup, and later impeached, Ms Yingluck denies all charges and fled before the verdict, reportedly to Dubai.

The US dismisses North Korea war allegations

The US has said a statement from North Korea accusing Washington of declaring war on it was "absurd". The White House also warned Pyongyang to stop provocations after it said it had the right to shoot down US bombers.

A UN spokesman said fiery talk could lead to fatal misunderstandings. South Korea has called for a level-headed response, warning that accidental clashes in the region could quickly spiral out of control.(BBC)

Turkey President says Iraqi Kurds must give up on independence or go hungry.

Turkey's president has said Iraqi Kurds could go hungry as a result of the punitive measures it is considering after Monday's independence referendum. Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government of "treachery" for pressing ahead with the vote despite international opposition.

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North Korea accuses US of declaring war.

North Korea's foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country and said Pyongyang had the right to shoot down US bombers. Ri Yong-ho said this could apply even if the warplanes were not in North Korea's airspace. The White House dismissed the statement as "absurd". The Pentagon warned Pyongyang to stop provocations.

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Japan's Abe announces snap election amid worries over North Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would dissolve parliament's lower house on Thursday for a snap election, seeking a mandate to stick to his tough stance toward a volatile North Korea and rebalance the social security system. Abe, in power for five years, had been expected to call the election for next month to take advantage of improved support and disarray in the opposition camp. Natsuo Yamaguchi, the head of Abe's junior coalition partner the Komeito party, said he understood the election would be on October 22.

Thousands evacuated from Mount Agung area as Bali volcano eruption becomes imminent

More than 42,000 people have been evacuated from their homes near an active volcano in Bali, as authorities warn it could erupt. The area around Mount Agung has seen hundreds of tremors and signs of magma rising to the surface in recent days. Authorities have imposed a 12 kilometer exclusion zone around the mountain and issued their highest level alert on Friday. The island's main tourist areas and flights remain unaffected for now.(BBC)

New antibody attacks 99 percent of HIV strains

Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99 per cent of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates. It is built to attack three critical parts of the virus, making it harder for HIV to resist its effects.

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Bangladesh PM urges UN to protect Rohingya.

Bangladesh's prime minister has urged the United Nations to protect Rohingya Muslims, a persecuted ethnic minority fleeing neighboring Myanmar. Sheikh Hasina made the call in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Her country is sheltering Rohingya who fled Myanmar's western state of Rakhine amid clashes between the country's security forces and Rohingya militants. Hasina accused Myanmar of laying land mines near the border to prevent those who have fled to Bangladesh from returning.

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