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Trump had undisclosed second meeting with Putin, White House confirms

A White House official has acknowledged the two presidents met again informally after their bilateral talks at the G20 summit in Germany in July Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin held a second, previously undisclosed meeting during the G20 summit in Germany, the White House confirmed on Tuesday. There was much media scrutiny of the leaders’ formal bilateral talks on 7 July in which, the US president later said, Putin denied allegations that he led efforts to interfere in last year’s US election. Continue reading...

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China’s ocean burial of Liu Xiaobo backfires as activists stage sea protests

Beijing’s aim of denying the dissident’s supporters a focal point is thwarted by protests from the Chinese coast to the Atlantic Beijing has inadvertently transformed two thirds of the world’s surface into a vast aquatic protest zone, activists have said, after the ashes of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo were cast into the sea in what friends believe was a bid to submerge his political ideas. Supporters of the democracy campaigner, who died in custody last week, will hold a series of global memorials on Wednesday, the seventh day since his death and a highly symbolic day of mourning in Chinese tradition. Continue reading...

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Head of French military quits after row with Emmanuel Macron

Pierre de Villiers says he no longer feels able to command sort of armed forces he thinks necessary, amid dispute over funding The head of the French armed forces has resigned amid a bitter public row with the president, Emmanuel Macron – an unprecedented dispute that has highlighted the strain on the French military, deployed in numerous operations abroad and at home. The military chief, Gen Pierre de Villiers, said in a resignation statement on Wednesday that he no longer felt able to command the sort of armed forces “that I think is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people”. Continue reading...

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Mexico leaders’ pledges fall short as graft remains ‘heart of the political system’

In the year since President Enrique Peña Nieto signed an anti-corruption system into law, the government and its allies have undermined it, activists say It was billed as an unprecedented weapon against Mexico’s endemic corruption, and a fresh start for a scandal-plagued government. One year ago, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law a new national anti-corruption system as he apologized over a damaging conflict of interest scandal in which he, his wife and his finance minister purchased properties from crony contractors – then appointed an ally to investigate the deal. Continue reading...

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Thailand convicts traffickers after 2015 mass graves discovery

Bodies were found in southern Songkhla province where authorities said hundreds of migrants had been held captive A Thai judge has found dozens of people guilty, including senior army general, in the country’s largest ever human trafficking trial following the discovery two years ago of mass graves in a squalid jungle camp where hundreds of migrants had been brutally exploited. Related: Cages, watchtower and 37 graves: inside an abandoned migrant camp in Malaysia Continue reading...

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France’s armed forces chief resigns after clash with Macron over budget cuts

PARIS (Reuters) - France's armed forces chief resigned on Wednesday in a dispute with Emmanuel Macron over defense budget cuts, an early test of the newly elected president's mettle and the tough presidential style he is cultivating.

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North Korea conducts public executions for theft, watching South Korea media: report

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea carries out public executions on river banks and at school grounds and marketplaces for charges such as stealing copper from factory machines, distributing media from South Korea and prostitution, a report issued on Wednesday said.

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