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Thursday, December 12th, 2019

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by August 20, 2017 General

Editor: Jon Boyle + 44 20 7542 7923

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(All times GMT)

TOP STORIES

Barcelona van attack suspect may have crossed into France – Spanish police

BARCELONA – Spanish police hunting for a suspect after the Barcelona van attack that killed 13 people said they could not rule out that he had slipped over the border into France. (SPAIN-SECURITY/ UPDATE 1, TV, PIX), expect by 1930 GMT, by Angus Berwick, 800 words)

– SPAIN-SECURITY/RIPOLL (TV, PIX), moved, by Angus Berwick, 700 words

Syria’s Assad says war not won, but West’s plots foiled

AMMAN – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says while his country had foiled Western designs to topple him, his army had not won Syria’s war and the fight was continuing to crush a six-year-old insurgency. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA (UPDATE 3), moved, by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, 500 words)

Iraq starts offensive to take back Tal Afar from Islamic State

ERBIL – Iraqi security forces launch an offensive to take back the city of Tal Afar, their next objective in the U.S.-backed campaign to defeat Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-TAL AFAR (UPDATE 3, TV), moved, by Raya Jalabi and Phil Stewart, 955 words)

Evangelical Christians denounce racism, Charlottesville; back Trump

WASHINGTON – Two prominent religious conservatives defend President Donald Trump after he was widely criticized for saying both sides were responsible for violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally organized by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. (USA-TRUMP/), moved, 696 words.

AFRICA

Grace Mugabe returns to Zimbabwe after South Africa assault allegation

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe returns home from South Africa, state media says, pursued by demands she face prosecution over the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model in an upmarket Johannesburg hotel room.(SAFRICA-MUGABE/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Kuda Chideme, 490 words)

Nearly 500 dead pulled from Sierra Leone mudslide – coroner

FREETOWN – Rescue workers unearth 499 dead bodies after last week’s devastating landslide near Sierra Leone capital Freetown, the city’s chief coroner says. (LEONE-MUDSLIDE/ moving shortly, by Christo Johnson, 264 words)

EUROPE

Police quiz suspect, conduct searches in Finland knife attack probe

HELSINKI – Police search premises in the city of Turku and interview chief suspect as part of investigation into Finland’s first suspected Islamist militant attack.(FINLAND-STABBING/ (UPDATE 1, TV, PIX), moved, by Jussi Rosendahl and Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, 430 words)

Britain calls on EU to move Brexit talks forward

LONDON – Brexit minister David Davis calls on European Union to relax its position that the two sides must first make progress on a divorce settlement before moving on to discussing future ties in Brexit talks (BRITAIN-EU/DAVIS (PIX), moving shortly, 400 words)

Britain won’t rule out EU oversight of UK borders after Brexit

LONDON – Britain will not rule out the possibility that the European Union may retain oversight of customs controls at UK borders after it leaves the bloc, as the country seeks ways to retain unhindered access to EU markets following Brexit. (BRITAIN-EU/CUSTOMS), by Tom Bergin, moved, 800 words)

Germany bets on second time lucky with migrant workers

GESCHER, Germany – As Germany struggles to absorb more than a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa, the government is hoping to avoid the mistakes it made half a century ago when it brought in a generation of guest workers from Turkey. (GERMANY-ELECTION/MIGRANTS (INSIGHT, TV, PIX, GRAPHIC), moved, by Joseph Nasr, 1,000 words)

ASIA

Thousands protest in Hong Kong over jailing of democracy activists

HONG KONG – Thousands of people take to the streets of Hong Kong to protest against the jailing of three young democracy activists, with many questioning the independence of the Chinese-ruled city’s judiciary. (HONGKONG-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), by Venus Wu, moved, 635 words)

India investigates after fourth major train accident in past year kills 23

NEW DELHI – India investigates train crash in which 23 people were killed, the fourth major accident over the past year on the world’s fourth biggest rail network which is grappling with chronic under-investment and over-crowding. (INDIA-RAILDERAILMENT/ (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), moved, 400 words)

UNITED STATES

U.S. troop reduction in exercise not due to N.Korea concerns – Mattis

AMMAN – A reduction in U.S. troops taking part in a joint exercise with South Korean forces this year simply reflects a need for fewer personnel and is not because of tensions with North Korea, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says. (USA-MILITARY/SOUTHKOREA), moved, by Idrees Ali, 400 words)

Trump has made Afghanistan decision after “rigorous” U.S. review – Mattis

AMMAN – President Donald Trump has a made a decision on the United States’ strategy for Afghanistan after a “sufficiently rigorous” review process, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says. (USA-MILITARY/AFGHANISTAN (UPDATE 2), moved, by Idrees Ali, 472 words)

Bannon’s exit unlikely to herald Trump shift to center

WASHINGTON/BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – U.S. President Donald Trump’s ouster of former chief strategist Steve Bannon is unlikely to mark the abandonment of the “America First” agenda that has unnerved investors and trade partners and split the White House into nationalist and globalist camps. (USA-TRUMP/ (PIX), moved, by John Walcott and Steve Holland, 707 words)

– USA-TRUMP/VOTERS, moved, by Robert Chiarito, 480 words

Millions of Americans to gaze upon once-in-lifetime eclipse

Twilight will fall at midday on Monday, stars will glimmer and birds will roost in an eerie stillness as millions of Americans and visitors witness the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States from coast to coast in 99 years. (SOLAR-ECLIPSE/USA (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), moved, by Steve Gorman, 761 words)

NAFTA negotiators wrap up first round of talks

WASHINGTON – Trade negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico wrap up first round of talks to revamp the NAFTA trade pact amid signs that an ambitious schedule to reach a deal by early 2018 could slip in coming months. (TRADE-NAFTA/ (UPDATE 1) moving shortly, 300 words)

AMERICAS

Venezuelan “congress in resistance” rejects new super-assembly

CARACAS -Venezuela’s opposition-controlled Congress rejects self-proclaimed law-making authority of new legislative superbody elected at behest of President Nicolas Maduro, widening political divide in the crisis-hit country. (VENEZUELA-POLITICS, (UPDATE 2, TV, PIX), moved, by Hugh Bronstein and Diego Ore, 420 words)

(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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