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Tillerson to visit Turkey as Raqqa operation heats up

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with senior Turkish officials in Ankara next week, in talks that could be vital to an advancing U.S.-backed campaign to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State, U.S. officials said on Friday.

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Google ad boycott could aim ire at ad-serving software

SAN FRANCISCO: Google’s money-making foundation is strong enough to endure a current boycott by advertisers, but the movement could rattle the practice of software “programmed” ad placement, analysts said on Thursday. The internet giant’s core business of serving up advertising along with online search results appeared to be safe from the boycott, motivated by companies…

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Gillani authorised Haqqani to provide visas to Americans

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani had authorised Hussain Haqqani to issue Pakistani visas to Americans. According to a letter dated July 14, 2010, then Prime Minsiter Yousuf Raza Gillani had empowered Haqqani through to issue entry visa to any American for one year, based on the recommendation of the US Department…

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Sexual assault watched live on Facebook

NEW YORK: US police are searching for six people in connection with sexual assault on a teenage girl that was broadcast on Facebook Live. The video shows at least five to six males — some possibly juveniles — sexually assaulting the 15-year-old, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. At least 40 people were watching the live…

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US to ban airline passengers from carrying electronics

Passengers on some U.S.-bound foreign airline flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone once U.S. authorities formalize a new ban in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday. The new rule is expected to be announced Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security, the officials…

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Google apologizes to ad clients for YouTube content fiasco

Google apologized on Monday for allowing ads to appear alongside offensive videos on YouTube as more high-profile firms such as Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) and HSBC (HSBA.L) pulled advertising for British markets from Google sites.

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Migrants in Europe, facts and figures

Brussels, Belgium: Of the more than 500 million people in the European Union, some 34 million or less than seven percent are counted as migrants. Of that total, 14.3 million are EU citizens who have taken advantage of the bloc’s free movement possibilities, while just under 20 million come from third countries outside. Here is…

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US Secretary of State to visit Turkey on March 30, says Turkish minister

ANKARA: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Turkey on March 30, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, in what is likely to be the most high-level meeting with Ankara since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January.

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Far-Right Populism and “Dutch Donald Trump”

By: Nazia Memon After months of heated campaigning Dutch voters have cast their votes on Wednesday and rejected the far-right populist agenda of Geert Wilders.  These parliamentary elections were being closely watched as a possible indicator of the strength of far-right populism ahead of national votes in France and Germany later this year. At almost…

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Trump to slash foreign aid in ‘hard power’ budget plan

Washington: President Donald Trump will propose drastic cuts to America’s foreign aid and environmental programs in a security-heavy first budget blueprint to be released later Thursday. In a plan designed to translate bold campaign promises into dollar and cent commitments, the Republican leader will propose a 28 percent cut in State Department funding. That could…

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Toshiba offers memory chip shares as collateral for loans: sources

TOKYO: Japan’s crisis-racked Toshiba Corp (6502.T) has offered shares in its memory chip unit to creditors as collateral to secure debt refinancing, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

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US ready to quit UN rights council if no reform

UNITED NATIONS: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told rights groups that the United States will quit the UN Human Rights Council unless it undergoes “considerable reform,” according to a letter obtained by AFP on Wednesday.

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White House official calls leakers ‘enemies to the state’

A top White House security official delivered a stiff warning to leakers of classified materials, calling them “enemies” of the United States. Thomas Bossert, President Donald Trump’s assistant on homeland security and counterterrorism, said the administration would have “no tolerance” for anyone leaking materials from the inside for any reason. “We need to find the…

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Judgment day for Trump’s revamped travel ban

Washington: President Donald Trump faces a day of legal reckoning Wednesday on the fate of his revised travel ban, with three federal courts from Maryland to Hawaii to mull the measure on the eve of its implementation. Several states along with refugee assistance programs and rights groups have brought suits over the Republican leader’s executive…

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Haqqani says he facilitated presence of CIA operatives in Pakistan on order of civilian leaders

Former Pakistani ambassador to Washington Hussain Haqqani admits that he had helped the United State station a large number of CIA operatives on the ground in Pakistan with the authorization of the then civilian government. Haqqani, who had served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US from Apr 2008 to Nov 2011 before being forced to…

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Revised Trump travel ban gets first legal blow

Washington: President Donald Trump’s revamped travel ban is facing its first major legal setback, after a federal judge halted enforcement of the directive that would deny US entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee already granted asylum. In a preliminary restraining order issued Friday that applies only to the Syrian man and…

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Scientists grow potato under Mars-like conditions in Peru

Lima, Peru: Potatoes on Mars? Scientists are reporting promising results growing the tuber under conditions that mimic the Red Planet in an experiment in Peru linked to US space agency NASA. “Preliminary results are positive,” the International Potato Center (CIP) said this week after a potato grew under simulated Mars atmospheric conditions in an experiment…

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Eating yogurt may curb symptoms of depression naturally

ISLAMABAD: A recent study suggests eating yogurt can help ease the symptoms of depression. According to researchers, depression is one of the major mental diseases affecting millions of people today and across different age groups,a private news channel reported. The study done by University of Virginia in the US, eating yogurt rich in lactobacillus, which…

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Trump assails CIA after hacking materials leak

Washington: President Donald Trump’s administration levelled fresh criticism at the CIA Thursday after WikiLeaks published a trove of documents describing the US spy agency’s cyber espionage operations. Hours after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Central Intelligence Agency of “devastating incompetence” for failing to protect its hacking secrets, Trump’s spokesman echoed that, branding its systems…

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US mulls splitting immigrant children from parents

Washington: The United States is considering separating immigrant children from their parents in a bid to deter illegal migration, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Monday. Kelly, in an interview with CNN, was asked whether DHS was weighing an  initiative that would split children from their parents if they were caught trying to…

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Pressure mounts on Uber and CEO after missteps

Washington: After a series of embarrassing revelations, ridesharing giant Uber faces challenges in keeping growth on track, with top executive Travis Kalanick likely to face pressure to give up some control. Analysts say Uber’s rocky past month — marred by disclosures about a culture of sexism and its covert use of law enforcement-evading software —…

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