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Indonesia reviews early release of radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir linked to Bali bombings

JAKARTA Plans to free a radical cleric linked to the deadly Bali bombings are under review, Indonesia has said, after the surprise decision drew sharp criticism. Abu Bakar Bashir, once synonymous with militant Islam in Indonesia, was tied to a terror network behind the 2002 attacks that killed more than …

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Russia snubs US-Polish conference on Iran as ‘counter-productive’

UNITED NATIONS Russia on Tuesday slammed a planned US-Polish conference on peace and security in the Middle East as “counterproductive” because of its focus on countering Iran, and said it would not attend. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced plans for the major conference in Warsaw on February …

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Pakistan, UAE sign $3 billion bailout package

ISLAMABAD Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday signed a USD 3 billion bailout package, as part of Abu Dhabi’s support to boost the cash-strapped country’s dwindling dollar reserves. The UAE in December last year had announced to provide USD 3 billion financial assistance to Pakistan after Saudi Arabia made a similar commitment to help Islamabad successfully …

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Never mind climate change, Davos elite prefer private jets

DAVOS (SWITZERLAND) The Davos elite say they are more worried than ever about climate change. But that isn’t stopping them chartering private jets in record numbers. The convenience and comfort of flying privately rather than commercially appears to outweigh any concerns about the outsized carbon footprint it involves, judging by …

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Trump transgender troop limits can take effect, US Supreme Court decides

WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed President Donald Trump a victory on his policy barring many transgender people from the military, lifting lower court rulings that had blocked it on constitutional grounds from going into effect. The decision, with the court’s five conservative justices prevailing over its four …

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Belarus escort who claimed Trump secrets freed from Russian jail

MOSCOW A Belarusian escort who claimed she had proof of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s election campaign was freed from a Russian jail on Tuesday following her arrest last week, lawyers said. Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, was arrested alongside Alexander Kirillov, a self-styled sex guru, when the …

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