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Sun12172017

Last updateSun, 17 Dec 2017 7am

World News

New York truck attack suspect charged with terrorism

An Uzbek immigrant has been charged by US prosecutors with causing the deaths of at least eight people in New York by mowing them down in a truck.Sayfullo Saipov, 29, is also accused of providing material support and resources to Islamic State (IS) group. He was shot and injured by police at the scene of the attack, and received treatment in hospital. Prosecutors say he spoke freely to them, waiving his right to avoid self-incrimination while in custody

Iraq 'to take control of Kurdistan border crossings

The Iraqi military has said it is preparing to take control of the autonomous Kurdistan Region's only border crossings with Turkey and Syria. A statement said a delegation had visited the Ibrahim al-Khalil and Fish Khabur posts to determine requirements.

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Record surge in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide seen in 2016

The World Meteorological Organization states that concentrations of Carbon Dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere surged to a record high in 2016. Last year's increase was 50 percent higher than the average of the past 10 years. Researchers say a combination of human activities and the El Niño weather phenomenon drove Carbon Dioxide to a level not seen in 800,000 years. Scientists say this risks making global temperature targets largely unattainable. The figures published by The World Meteorological Organization are the remaining levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, after significant amounts are absorbed by the Earth's "sinks", which include the oceans and the biosphere.

Trump adviser George Papadopoulos lied about Russian links

An election campaign adviser to Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the timing of meetings with alleged go-betweens for Russia.George Papadopoulos admitted the talks happened while he worked for Mr Trump, not before, court papers show.

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The United States Navy’s Nimitz Carrier Strike Group scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka

The United States Navy’s Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka’s Colombo port for a planned port visit on the 28th of October, reflecting the growing relationship between the US and Sri Lankan navies. It will be the first time a aircraft carrier is visiting Sri Lanka since 1985. The US Embassy says that it is estimated that the carrier strike group will add approximately 1.54 billion rupees to the Sri Lankan economy as the ships purchase supplies and US sailors come ashore and support local businesses. During the visit, the sailors will have opportunities to explore the local community and meet with their counterparts in the Sri Lankan Navy.  While in port, sailors will also work with local non-profit organizations to support community service events at a local hospital, an orphanage, and other sites. The group is scheduled to depart on the 31st of October.

Spanish Prime Minister dissolves Catalan parliament

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the Catalan parliament and called for snap local elections after Catalonia declared independence yesterday. Mr Rajoy said the unprecedented imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was essential to "recover normality". He also fired Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet. Mr Rajoy also announced the sacking of the Catalan police chief. Regional elections are scheduled for the 21st of December.

Pressure mounts on Catalan leader.

Pressure is rising on Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont over his regional government's drive for independence from Spain. He had been due to make a statement to clarify his position, but the move has been suspended. The Spanish government plans to strip the regional government and Mr Puigdemont of their powers. Article 155 of the Spanish constitution lets Madrid take control of institutions, police and finances. The Spanish Senate is set to vote on triggering Article 155 today.

Xi Jinping's name and ideology enshrined in China's Communist Party constitution

China's ruling Communist Party has voted to enshrine Xi Jinping's name and ideology in its constitution, elevating him to the level of founder Mao Zedong. The unanimous vote to incorporate "Xi Jinping Thought" took place at the end of the Communist Party Congress, China's most important political meeting. More than 2,000 delegates gathered in Beijing's Great Hall of the People for the final approval process to enshrine into the Communist Party constitution of China "The Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era".

Iraq rebuffs US call to disband Iran-backed militias.

Iraq's prime minister has defended Iran-backed militias, during talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who had criticised their role.

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Japanese Prime Minister promises to tackle North Korea

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised strong "counter-measures" against North Korea, after winning a decisive victory in yesterday's election. Mr Abe had called an early election for a greater mandate to deal with "crises", including the growing threat from Pyongyang, which has fired missiles over Japan in recent months. His ruling coalition has retained a two-thirds majority in parliament. This paves the way for Mr Abe to amend Japan's post-war pacifist constitution. Mr Abe has previously called for the existence of the country's armed forces to be formalised, a controversial move which he says is needed to strengthen Japan's defence, although critics say it is a step towards re-militarisation.

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