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Putin's, Xi's ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West

Putin's sudden announcement this week of constitutional changes that could allow him to extend control way beyond the end of his term in 2024 echoes Xi's move in 2018 to eliminate constitutional term limits on the head of state.

Pakistan court sentences 86 Islamists to 55-year prison over blasphemy protests

The anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi was hearing a case against the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers who held violent protests and clashed with the police over the arrest of party chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi in 2018, Dawn news reported.

Fires, then floods: How much can a koala bear?

A week ago, koalas at an Australian wildlife park were in the path of raging bushfires. On Friday, they were soaking wet and being carried to safety from flash floods. Months of drought that have contributed to Australia's catastrophic bushfire season have this week given way to huge downpours in some of the blaze-ravaged areas. At the Australian Reptile Park on the nation's east coast near Sydney, heavy rains on Friday morning sent torrents of water through its bushland setting. In pic - An image shows park staff moving koalas to drier enclosures during a flash-flood at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby.

An 'Interceptor' for plastic waste

Scooping waste from a Malaysian river to stop it reaching the sea, a solar-powered barge named the "Interceptor" is the latest weapon in a global battle to rid the world's waters of plastic.

From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunker

Dotted around Taiwan lie the remains of abandoned bunkers originally built to repel an invasion from China, during a period in the island's history when it was under martial law and fear of a Chinese attack was a part of daily life. The threat from China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own to be brought under Beijing's rule by force if needed, has not gone away but the ageing bunkers are no longer needed for defence purposes. In pic - A former military bunker that was renovated into part of a playground, stands in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Child 'love marriages' in Nepal blight young lives

Teenager Asha Charti Karki told her parents she was going out to study, but instead she ran off to wed her boyfriend - one of a growing number of Nepali teenagers who are marrying young by choice. "There were rumours about us in the village and I had fights at home. I felt I had no choice but to run away," Karki told AFP at her home in the western district of Surkhet. Nepal has one of the world's highest rates of child marriage even though the practice was banned five decades ago and the legal marrying age is 20. Some 50 percent of Nepali women aged between 25 to 49 were married by their 18th birthday, according the Himalayan nation's 2016 Demographic Health Survey. Marriages in the conservative country were traditionally arranged by parents, with many forcing their children to marry for cultural reasons or out of poverty. Such marriages are declining but child rights activists warn an increasing number of underage couples are eloping for "love marriage" - a term used to describe unions by choice.

Video shows explosion after small plane crash

The pilot killed when his small plane crashed into a Utah neighborhood Wednesday was the founder of a company that made skis and he loved water skiing, snow skiing and flying his airplane, the business said Thursday.

Trump impeachment: US President insists he doesn't know Lev Parnas despite claims

President Donald Trump is denying knowing a close associate of his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is claiming Trump was directly involved in the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. Lev Parnas says he delivered an ultimatum in May to the incoming president of Ukraine that no senior U.S. officials would attend his inauguration and vital American security aid would be withheld if an investigation into Biden wasn't announced.

China posts weakest growth in 29 years as trade war bites, but ends 2019 on firmer note

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) rose 6.0% from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, steadying at the same pace as the third quarter, although still the weakest in nearly three decades.

Trump knew exactly what was going on in Ukraine: Lev Parnas

Parnas said he was working as part of Trump’s legal team and that Giuliani would tell Ukrainian officials that Parnas was working on behalf of Trump so the Ukrainians would take him seriously.

Historic Trump impeachment trial begins in Senate

Historic Trump impeachment trial begins in Senate

For just the third time in American history, the hushed Senate chamber was transformed into a court of impeachment, presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who administered the oath to senators.

Nissan punishes more mgrs after 10,000-hour Ghosn investigation

Nissan punishes more mgrs after 10,000-hour Ghosn investigation

The investigation involved more than 10,000 hours of analysis, including the collection of 9 million documents and interviews with more than 70 people within the company. Ghosn and Kelly were not among them, Nissan said.

We are still a player in search for identity: Josep Borrell

We are still a player in search for identity: Josep Borrell

Borell acknowledged the fact that the EU is “facing a nationalist and populist comeback” that is threatening the foundations of a “multilateral rules based order” espoused by the EU. To address the rise of such authoritarian regimes, Borell made a call towards taking onus for shaping the future world order.

Australia firefighters save rare trees from ruin

Australia firefighters save rare trees from ruin

Australian authorities say a specialist firefighting team was able to help save prehistoric pine trees from wildfires which burned nearby. (AP)

Secret mission saves Australia's 'dinosaur trees' from bushfires

Secret mission saves Australia's 'dinosaur trees' from bushfires

A secret operation by specialist firefighters has saved the world's last stand of Wollemi Pines, a pre-historic species known as "dinosaur trees", from Australia's unprecedented bushfires, officials said.Fewer than 200 of the trees exist in the wild, hidden in a gorge in the World Heritage Blue Mountains northwest of Sydney, which have been hit by one of the biggest bushfires that have been ravaging much of Australia for months.

Patient in Japan confirmed as having new virus from China

Patient in Japan confirmed as having new virus from China

Japan's government said Thursday a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China has tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

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