December 31, 2016 / 6:09 AM / a year ago


Editor: Michael Perry + 612 9321 8289

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(All times GMT/ET)


Trump praises Putin for holding back in U.S.-Russia spy dispute

PALM BEACH - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Friday praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for refraining from retaliation in a dispute over spying and cyber attacks, in another sign that the Republican plans to patch up badly frayed relations with Moscow. (USA-RUSSIA/CYBER (WRAPUP 9, PIX, TV), moved, by Richard Cowan and Polina Devitt, 904 words)

China considering strong measures to contain Taiwan-sources

BEIJING - China’s military has become alarmed by what it sees as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s support of Taiwan and is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence, sources with ties to senior military officers said. (CHINA-TAIWAN/USA (PIX), by Ben Blanchard and Benjamin Kang Lim, 723 words)

Taiwan says will be calm when dealing with China, but 2017 will test national security

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday that Taiwan will be “calm” when dealing with China, but uncertainties in 2017 will test the self-ruled island and its national security team, even as she recommitted to maintaining peace. (TAIWAN-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 2, TV, PIX), by J.R. Wu, 495 words)

Clashes, air raids tarnish Russia and Turkey’s Syria truce

BEIRUT - Clashes, shelling and air raids in western Syria mar Russian- and Turkish-backed cease-fire that aims to end nearly six years of war and lead to peace talks between rebels and government emboldened by recent battlefield success. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA (WRAPUP 7, PIX, TV), moved, by John Davison and Ellen Francis, 1,142 words)

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-UN (UPDATE 3, PIX), moved, by David Ingram, 289 words


S.Korea court issues arrest warrant for pension chief in corruption scandal

SEOUL - A South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for the head of the national pension fund, the world’s third largest, early on Saturday in a corruption scandal that has led to President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, an official said. (SOUTHKOREA-POLITICS/ (moved), moved, 429 words)

How ties to an “equestrian princess” landed Samsung at center of a scandal

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics Co’s sponsorship of the equestrian-athlete daughter of a long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye has helped to land South Korea’s top company in the center of the country’s influence-peddling scandal. (SOUTHKOREA-POLITICS/SAMSUNG-EQUESTRIAN (INSIGHT, PIX), moved, by Ju-min Park and Miyoung Kim, 1207 words)


Merkel says Islamist terrorism is biggest test for Germany

BERLIN - Islamist terrorism is the biggest test facing Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday in a New Year’s address to the nation, and she vowed to introduce laws that improve security after a deadly attack before Christmas in Berlin. (GERMANY-MERKEL/, moved, 463 words)


Britain, edging toward Trump, scolds top U.S. diplomat over Israel

LONDON - Britain scolds U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for describing Israeli government as most right-wing in Israeli history, move that aligns Prime Minister Theresa May more closely with President-elect Donald Trump. (ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS/BRITAIN (UPDATE 2, PIX,) moved, by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton, 711 words)


Brazil says Greek ambassador murdered by wife’s policeman lover

RIO DE JANEIRO - A Rio de Janeiro policeman confessed to murdering Greece’s ambassador to Brazil in what investigators on Friday called a “cowardly act” carried out at the direction of the diplomat’s Brazilian wife with whom the officer was romantically involved. (BRAZIL-GREECE/KILLING (UPDATE 6, PIX, TV), moved, by Paulo Prada, 550 words)


Mormon Tabernacle Choir member resigns rather than sing for Trump

Member of Mormon Tabernacle Choir resigns over its plan to sing at inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, and more than 22,000 people sign petition opposing choir’s participation. (USA-TRUMP/INAUGURATION (PIX), moved, 428 words)


Congo deal reached for Kabila to step down after 2017 elections

KINSHASA - Congolese President Joseph Kabila will step down after elections to be conducted by end of 2017 under last-minute deal struck by political parties, lead mediator of talks says. (CONGO-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 3, TV), moved, by Aaron Ross, 407 words)


Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher to be buried side by side

LOS ANGELES - A joint memorial service and side-by-side burial are being planned for mother-and-daughter Hollywood stars Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, who died a day apart earlier this week in Los Angeles, the family said on Friday. (PEOPLE-REYNOLDS/ (PIX), moved, by Steve Gorman, 404 words)

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