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World News

US and UK ban cabin laptops on some inbound flights.

The US and UK are banning laptops from cabin baggage on flights from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Turkey. The US ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone is being imposed as an anti-terrorist precaution. It covers inbound flights on nine airlines operating out of 10 airports. Phones are not affected. The British ban, announced hours after the American measure, is similar but applies to different airlines.

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye faces prosecutors.

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye is being questioned by prosecutors over a corruption scandal that brought her down. After arriving at the office, she told reporters she was "sorry". Ms Park resisted efforts to question her when she was president, but lost her immunity when judges upheld parliament's decision to impeach her. She could be charged for allegedly allowing close friend Choi Soon-sil to extort money from large firms. Ms Choi has been charged with bribery and corruption.

FBI's Comey confirms investigation of election 'interference'.

FBI director James Comey has confirmed for the first time that the FBI is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. However, Mr Comey said his agency had seen no evidence to back up President Trump's claim that his phones had been tapped by the Obama administration. He was giving evidence to the congressional intelligence committee. The Trump administration said nothing had changed and there was "no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion".

Theresa May to trigger Brexit process next week.


Prime Minister Theresa May is to officially notify the European Union next Wednesday that the UK is leaving. Downing Street said she would write a letter to the European Council, adding that it hoped negotiations on the terms of exit and future relations could then begin as quickly as possible.

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Aircraft pound rebel-held eastern Damascus

Syrian government forces are reportedly bombarding eastern areas of the capital, Damascus, a day after rebel fighters launched a surprise offensive. Activists said opposition-held parts of Jobar had been targeted repeatedly by aircraft and artillery, amid fierce clashes along the frontlines.

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US intelligence chiefs to give evidence on Trump-Russia claims.

The heads of top US spy agencies are to testify before Congress about possible links between Russia and President Donald Trump's election campaign. They will also address Mr Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by Barack Obama. FBI director James Comey and the NSA's Admiral Mike Rogers will speak at a rare open hearing of the congressional intelligence committee. Russia denies trying to influence the election, while Mr Trump denounced the investigation as a "total witch hunt".

UN's Rima Khalaf quits over report accusing Israel of apartheid

A UN official has resigned after saying the UN had pressured her to withdraw a report accusing Israel of apartheid over its treatment of Palestinians. The report was published by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), led by Under Secretary General Rima Khalaf. She had said it was the first to conclude Israel was a racist state. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had distanced himself from the report, saying it reflected its authors' views.(BBC)

Senate intelligence panel rejects Trump wiretap claim.

There are "no indications" that Trump Tower was under surveillance by the US government before or after the election, a Senate committee has said. The statement from Republican Senator Richard Burr, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, dismissed Donald Trump's claim his phones were tapped. Mr Trump had accused his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the presidential race. But White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump maintains his claims.

Dutch election: Wilders defeat celebrated by PM Rutte.

Dutch people rejected "the wrong kind of populism", Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said, as he celebrated victory in Wednesday's election. "The Netherlands said 'Whoa!'" he declared after his center-right VVD party's lead positioned him for a third successive term as prime minister. With nearly all votes counted, his party easily beat the anti-immigration Freedom party of Geert Wilders. Fellow eurozone countries France and Germany also face elections this year.

US judge blocks new executive order to Trump’s travel ban

A Federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump's new travel ban, hours before it was due to begin at midnight today. The ruling by US District Judge Derrick Watson stops the executive order from going into effect. Hawaii is one of several US states trying to stop the ban.

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