U.N. rights experts urge Indonesia to probe use of snake to scare Papua suspect

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations rights experts have urged Indonesia to investigate accusations of violence by police and military in Papua after a video showed officers using a live snake to intimidate a suspect during questioning. Reports of human rights abuses by security forces often trickle out of the easternmost region of Papua, where a separatist movement has simmered for […]

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Bootleg liquor kills at least 17 on Indian tea plantation as dozens fall ill

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) – At least 17 Indian tea plantation workers have died from drinking toxic bootleg liquor after receiving their weekly wages, with more than 40 critically ill in hospital, a doctor said on Friday. The deaths come less than two weeks after more than 100 people died after drinking tainted alcohol in India. Seven women were among the […]

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Eastern Libyan military forces claim control of El Feel oilfield

BENGHAZI, Libya/TUNIS (Reuters) – Eastern-based Libyan military forces took control on Thursday of the southwestern El Feel oilfield, their spokesman and a field engineer said. Production was unaffected and continuing in the range of 75,000 barrels a day, the usual level, the engineer said, asking not to be named. He denied local media reports that there had been fighting inside […]

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Operation to end last IS Syria pocket hits evacuation snag

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) – The operation to destroy Islamic State’s final vestige of rule in Iraq and Syria hit a temporary snag on Thursday, as an expected evacuation of the remaining civilians from its last enclave in eastern Syria did not go ahead. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has steadily driven the jihadists down the Euphrates, has […]

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Russia charges top U.S. investor Michael Calvey with fraud

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian state prosecutors on Thursday formally charged top U.S. investor Michael Calvey, the founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, with fraud, hours before Washington accused Moscow of denying its diplomats access to him. Calvey was first detained last week along with three other executives from his fund after investigators accused him and others of embezzling […]

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UAE signs $5.5 billion in military contracts as Yemen war heightens scrutiny

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates awarded 20 billion dirhams worth ($5.5 billion) of military procurement contracts during a defense show this week, at a time when arms sales to the country are under scrutiny due to its role in Yemen’s devastating war. The majority were awarded to international companies such as U.S. firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, […]

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India will stop share of its water flowing into Pakistan: minister

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has decided to stop the flow of water to Pakistan from its share in the rivers under the Indus Water Treaty regulating river flows between the two nations, a government minister said on Thursday. “Our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan,” Nitin Gadkari, India’s transport and […]

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Taiwan unveils Asia's first draft law on same-sex marriage

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan on Thursday proposed a draft law to allow same-sex marriage in Asia’s first such bill, but the legislation was criticized by rights activists and conservative groups amid a heated debate over marriage equality. Voters opposed marriage equality in a series of referendums late last year, defining marriage as between a man and a woman and asking […]

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U.S., Britain, Norway alarmed at escalating violence in South Sudan

OSLO (Reuters) – The United States, Britain and Norway jointly expressed their alarm on Wednesday at reports of fighting in the Yei River area of South Sudan between government forces and the rebel National Salvation Front. “(It) represents a flagrant breach of the December 2017 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement. These military actions, and […]

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EU's Tusk: Longer Brexit talks would be better than no deal

WARSAW (Reuters) – Brexit negotiations might be extended if Britain fails to work out a sensible deal for leaving the European Union, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday. “Together with Prime Minister May we have prepared a very good and secure deal for both sides and it turned out that the British rejected it and offered nothing in […]

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