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BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces took control of the two largest oil fields in the disputed northern province of Kirkuk on Tuesday, dealing a heavy blow to the finances of the autonomous Kurdish government. The Kurds withdrew without a fight after federal government troops and militia seized the provincial governor’s office and…

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BANGKOK: Smokers who flout a smoking ban on 20 of Thailand’s most famous tourist beaches will face a $3,000 fine or up to a year in prison, Thai authorities have said. The ban, which comes into force in November, follows a clean-up of nearly 140,000 cigarette butts from a 2.5…

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RAQA, Syria: US-backed forces said Tuesday they had retaken the main hospital in Syria’s Raqa from the Islamic State group, leaving the jihadists to make a last stand around the city’s stadium. The capture of the state hospital brought the Syrian Democratic Forces closer to completing their conquest of Raqa,…

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HANOI: A former Vietnamese lawmaker has been sentenced to life in prison for fraud after she pocketed $16 million in down payments from would-be homeowners when she was a real estate developer, a court clerk said on Tuesday. Chau Thi Thu Nga is the latest to be punished as part…

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CARACAS: The United States condemned closely watched regional elections in Venezuela as neither free nor fair on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), as European countries weighed imposing sanctions, leaving President Nicolas Maduro increasingly isolated after declaring a landslide win. Maduro’s opponents cried foul after official results said his socialist party won…

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Food security for all requires tackling climate change and ending conflicts, His Holiness, Pope Francis, stressed Monday (Tuesday in Manila) at an official ceremony for World Food Day held at the Rome headquarters of the United Nations agriculture agency. “It is clear that wars and climatic change are a cause…

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DUBLIN: Ireland was hit by what officials called an “unprecedented storm” on Monday that left three people dead, more than 300,000 customers without power and shut down schools as well as government offices. A police spokesman said one woman in her 50s was killed outside the village of Aglish, near…

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ANKARA: People wounded in the weekend’s massive bombing in Somalia—the deadliest ever attack to hit the conflict-torn nation—were flown to Turkey on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) for treatment, an Agence France-Presse photographer said. The Turkish military plane carrying 35 wounded Somalis landed at an Ankara airport, where ambulances were at…

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SEOUL: A former senior official of South Korea’s spy agency was detained on Tuesday over allegations that he led efforts by the organization to undermine critics of the country’s previous conservative governments. Choo Myeong-Ho, a former department head at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), is suspected of directing a string…

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