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MPs defeat May's government on Brexit law


LONDON MPs defeated Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Wednesday, voting to change her Brexit blueprint in a move which could complicate her efforts to sever ties with the European Union.

Fed raises interest rates, keeps policy outlook unchanged for 2018 7:06pm GMT

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, as anticipated, but left its rate outlook for the coming years unchanged even as policymakers projected a short-term acceleration in U.S. economic growth.

Irish parliament committee backs referendum on abortion up to 12 weeks 6:47pm GMT

DUBLIN An Irish parliamentary committee on Wednesday recommended that an abortion referendum due next year should offer the choice of allowing terminations with no restrictions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, a more liberal position than some had anticipated.

Muslim leaders call on world to recognise East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital 4:50pm GMT

ISTANBUL Muslim leaders condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and called on the world to respond by recognising East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Alabama win thrills Democrats as Republicans scramble for answers 5:17pm GMT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala./WASHINGTON Democrats said on Wednesday their U.S. Senate victory in Alabama could lead to a sweeping comeback for the party in 2018 elections while Republicans sought to assess blame for a defeat in one of the nation's most conservative states. | Video

Zimbabwe orders illegal settlers to vacate farms 5:39pm GMT

HARARE Zimbabwe's new agriculture minister on Wednesday ordered illegal occupiers of farms to vacate the land immediately, a move that could ultimately see some white farmers who say they were unfairly evicted return to farming.

Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar, face official secrets charges 6:26pm GMT

YANGON Myanmar's government said on Wednesday that police had arrested two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The reporters had been working on stories about a military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rahkine State that has caused almost 650,000 people to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

EU reopens feud over quotas for hosting refugees 6:14pm GMT

BRUSSELS Rivals from the two sides of the European Union's migration dispute will meet in Brussels on Thursday in a goodwill gesture just as the bloc reopens a bitter feud over hosting refugees.

White House says not right time for North Korea talks, despite Tillerson overture 6:01pm GMT

WASHINGTON No negotiations can be held with North Korea until it improves its behaviour, a White House official said on Wednesday, raising questions about U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offer to begin talks with Pyongyang anytime and without pre-conditions.

Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle to spend Christmas with royals 5:49pm GMT

LONDON Prince Harry's fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle, will join Queen Elizabeth and other senior Windsors for their family Christmas celebrations in what commentators said was a break with royal protocol.