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Exclusive: Trump eyes hardening line toward Pakistan after Afghan war review

President Donald Trump’s administration is exploring hardening its approach toward Pakistan to crack down on Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan, two U.S. officials tell Reuters. Potential Trump administration responses being discussed include expanding U.S. drone strikes, redirecting or withholding some aid to Pakistan and perhaps eventually downgrading Pakistan’s …

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Britain seeks ‘special’ EU ties as Brexit talks start

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels on Monday to launch talks he hoped would produce a “new, deep and special partnership” with the EU in the interest of Britons and all Europeans. Beaming as he met the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier at the EU executive’s Berlaymont headquarters, …

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Shell signs bunkering deal with Qatar

Royal Dutch Shell has signed a framework agreement with Qatar Petroleum on LNG bunkering, according to a statement on June 14. The super-major’s deal comes despite the recent political turmoil around Qatar’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The agreement follows two earlier memoranda of understanding (MoUs) …

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ISIS-claimed attacks on Iran’s parliament, shrine kill 12

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Iran’s parliament and the shrine of its revolutionary leader on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people, wounding dozens and igniting an hours-long siege at the legislature that ended with four attackers dead. The Islamic State group claimed the attacks, marking the …

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Trump dismays, angers allies by abandoning global climate pact

By Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason | WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, drawing anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry. Trump, tapping into the “America First” message he …

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Ridley Scott’s Alien in the Cupboard!

  By Emad El-Din Aysha, PhD — Finally forced myself to watch Alien Convent (2017). I wasn’t impressed by the ‘content’ of the trailers for the movie (see below) with the cute cast and the apparent rehash of the original horror format (with the unsuspecting ‘dope’ getting impregnated by the face-hugger. …

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Mattis to focus on North Korea

 By Idrees Ali and David Brunnstrom | WASHINGTON for REUTERS —  U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to press for greater cooperation to contain North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat at a regional security forum in Singapore later this week, where for years Washington has sought to spotlight China’s …

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Qatar’s state news agency hacked by ‘unknown entity’

Qatar said on Wednesday its official state news agency was hacked and subsequently carried a “false statement” on sensitive regional topics attributed to the country’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Among the issues allegedly addressed by the Qatari ruler were the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, strategic relations with Iran, and comments …

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Chinese Uyghur colonies in Syria a challenge for Beijing

By Christina Lin* — A reporter for Dubai-based Al Aan TV recently aired an undercover story on Idlib province – the Syrian “rebel” opposition stronghold that is supported by the US and other Western governments – and the site of the recent alleged chemical attack that prompted direct US missile strikes against the Syrian …

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Iranians demanding change deliver emphatic victory for Rouhani

By Parisa Hafezi and Babak Dehghanpisheh  for REUTERS| Iranians yearning for more freedom at home and less isolation abroad have emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, throwing down a challenge to the conservative clergy that still holds ultimate sway. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmanifazli announced Rouhani’s victory on Saturday on state television. Rouhani …

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Trump in Saudi on first foreign trip

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland | RIYADH for Reuters — Dogged by controversy at home, Donald Trump opened his first presidential foreign trip in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and won a warm reception as he looked to shift attention from a political firestorm over his firing of former FBI Director …

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