November 23, 2017 / 7:36 PM / 19 days ago

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TOP STORIES

Mugabe granted immunity, assured of safety in Zimbabwe

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s ex-president Robert Mugabe is granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety will be protected in his home country under a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations say. (ZIMBABWE-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 4, PICTURES, TV), moved, by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Cris Chinaka, 900 words)

Mnangagwa the “Crocodile” to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president

HARARE- Emmerson Mnangagwa will cap a stunning political comeback when he is sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president on Friday, bringing the final curtain down on the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe. (ZIMBABWE-POLITICS/ (TV, PIX, GRAPHIC), expect by 2300 GMT/7 P.M. ET) by MacDonald Dzirutwe, 500 words)

+ See also:

- ZIMBABWE-POLITICS/AFRICA-LEADERS (UPDATE 1, PICTURES), moved, by Katharine Houreld, 1,022 words

- ZIMBABWE-POLITICS/IMF (UPDATE 1, PICTURES), moved, 230 words

Merkel ally urges Social Democrats to consider new German “grand coalition”

BERLIN - Germany’s Social Democrats should reconsider their opposition to joining a new “grand coalition” with Angela Merkel’s conservatives because Europe needs a stable government in Berlin, a senior ally of the chancellor says. (GERMANY-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURES, TV), by Michael Nienaber, 645 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY-POLITICS/MERKEL (ANALYSIS, TV, PICTURES), by Paul Carrel, 828 words

Myanmar, Bangladesh ink Rohingya return deal amid concern over army’s role

NAYPYITAW - Myanmar and Bangladesh sign an accord over terms for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh, a government official says, amid concern that Myanmar’s powerful army could prove obstructive. (MYANMAR-ROHINGYA/ (UPDATE 3, PICTURES, TV), moved, by Yimou Lee and Thu Thu Aung, 760 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-MYANMAR/DEFENCE (UPDATE 1), moved, 485 words

Iran Guards ready to help rebuild Syria, Hezbollah will not disarm-TV

ANKARA - Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are ready to help rebuild Syria and bring about a lasting “ceasefire” there, chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari says, adding that disarming Lebanon’s Hezbollah is out of the question, state TV reports. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAN-GUARDS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Parisa Hafezi, 495 words)

UNITED STATES

In Thanksgiving message, Trump hails military gains and ‘big, beautiful, fat tax cuts’

PALM BEACH - U.S. President Donald Trump gives a bullish Thanksgiving address to troops overseas, hailing progress in Afghanistan and against ISIS, and telling them they were fighting for “something real,” including a stock market at record highs and his promised “big, beautiful fat tax cuts.” (USA-TRUMP/THANKSGIVING (moved), by Roberta Rampton, 344 words)

After DNA test, California man freed from prison in 1978 double-murder

LOS ANGELES - A man wrongfully convicted in California of the 1978 double-murder of a woman and her child is spending his first Thanksgiving Day as a free man in 39 years, after being released on the basis of DNA evidence. (CALIFORNIA-PARDON/ (moved), by Alex Dobuzinskis, 409 words)

AMERICAS

Possible explosion detected near missing Argentine sub’s last known location

BAHIA BLANCA, Argentina - The Argentine navy raises the possibility that a navy submarine missing in the South Atlantic suffered an explosion, heightening concerns over the fate of the 44 crew members.(ARGENTINA-SUBMARINE/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURES, TV), moved, by Walter Bianchi, 660 words)

+ See also:

- ARGENTINA-SUBMARINE/POLITICS, moved, by Luc Cohen, 695 words

- ARGENTINA-SUBMARINE/FACTBOX (FACTBOX), moved, 505 words

Cuba, North Korea reject “unilateral and arbitrary” U.S. demands

HAVANA - Cuba’s foreign minister and his North Korean counterpart reject “unilateral and arbitrary” U.S. demands while expressing concern about escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, the ministry says. (CUBA-NORTHKOREA/ (UPDATE 1, TV), moved, 448 words)

MIDDLE EAST

Top Russian general says Moscow likely to reduce its troops in Syria

SOCHI, Russia - The size of the military force that Russia has in Syria is likely to be reduced, the chief of the general staff of the armed forces says. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-RUSSIA-MILITARY (UPDATE 2), moved, 248 words)

+ See also:

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-OPPOSITION (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Steven Kalin and Suleiman al-Khalidi, 600 words

PM Hariri urges Lebanese to put country first

BEIRUT - Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri says Lebanon’s political crisis is “a wake-up call” for Lebanese with different loyalties to put their country ahead of regional issues. (LEBANON-POLITICS (UPDATE 3), moved, 316 words)

+ See also:

- LEBANON-POLITICS/ECONOMY (UPDATE 1), moved, 160 words

Iraq launches operation to clear desert near Syria of Islamic State

BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces launch an operation to clear the desert bordering Syria of Islamic State in a final push to rid Iraq of the militant group, the military says. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-ISLAMICSTATE (UPDATE 2, TV), moved, by Ahmed Rasheed, 466 words)

Iraqi militia indicates will hand heavy guns to army after IS quashed

BAGHDAD- A prominent Iraqi militia indicates it will give any heavy weapons it has to the military once Islamic State is defeated and rejects a proposed U.S. congressional bill designating it a terrorist group. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-NUJABA (PIX, TV), moved, by Ahmed Aboulenein, 614 words)

EUROPE

Waiting for May, Brussels eyes December Brexit deal

BRUSSELS - When Theresa May visits Brussels on Friday, EU negotiators will be listening intently for signs the British prime minister is preparing to risk a domestic backlash and raise her offer to secure a Brexit deal in December. (BRITAIN-EU/ (UPDATE 1, PICTURES), moved, by Alastair Macdonald and Jan Strupczewski, 816 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BUDGET/ (UPDATE 1, PICTURES), moved, by Andy Bruce, 563 words

French conservatives’ leader-in-waiting out to woo far right

PROVINS, France - France’s main conservative party needs to go on the political offensive against President Emmanuel Macron by rediscovering a right-wing identity and increasing its appeal to National Front voters, its leader-in-waiting says. (FRANCE-POLITICS/WAUQUIEZ (INTERVIEW, PICTURES, TV), moved, by Ingrid Melander and Simon Carraud, 595 words)

ASIA

PNG police order protesting asylum seekers out of Australian-run camp

SYDNEY - About 50 asylum seekers depart an Australian-run detention camp in Papua New Guinea after police move into the complex, confiscating food, water and personal belongings from the roughly 310 who remain. (AUSTRALIA-ASYLUM/ (UPDATE 4, PICTURES, TV), moved, by Tom Westbrook and Jonathan Barrett, 637 words)

Cambodia’s Hun Sen to end like Zimbabwe’s Mugabe -opponent Rainsy

PARIS - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power for more than 30 years, will be toppled like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, veteran opposition chief Sam Rainsy tells Reuters, adding that Western powers should impose targeted sanctions after his party was dissolved. (CAMBODIA-OPPOSITION/RAINSY (INTERVIEW, PICTURES), moved, by John Irish, 660 words)

India pares back planned funding for crucial public health scheme

NEW DELHI - India approves a three-year budget for its flagship public health programme almost a fifth lower than the health ministry estimated, according to sources and previously unreported government documents reviewed by Reuters. (INDIA-HEALTH/ (EXCLUSIVE, PICTURES), moved, by Aditya Kalra and Tommy Wilkes, 785 words)

Islamic State beheads 15 of its own fighters - Afghan official

JALALABAD, Afghanistan - Islamic State has beheaded 15 of its own fighters due to infighting in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, officials say, while a separate suicide attack kills at least eight in a crowd in the provincial capital Jalalabad. (AFGHANISTAN-ISLAMIC STATE/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURES), moved, 363 words)

Anger at ‘ineffective’ U.S.-led strikes on Taliban Afghan opium labs

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan/KABUL - As U.S. and Afghan forces pound Taliban drug factories, farmers in Helmand, the country’s largest opium producer, as well as narcotics experts say the strategy just repeats previous efforts that failed to stamp out the trade in the past. (AFGHANISTAN-DRUGS/, moved, by Mohammad Stanekzai and Girish Gupta, 700 words)

RELIGION

Pope faces diplomatic dilemma in Myanmar visit

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis visits Myanmar next week, a delicate trip for the world’s most prominent Christian to a majority Buddhist country accused by Washington of the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslim Rohingya people. (POPE-ASIA/MYANMAR (PICTURES, TV), moved, by Philip Pullella, 722 words)

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