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China lodges protest after Trump call with Taiwan president
By Ben Blanchard BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the "petty" move. The 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan's leadership was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China".
Castro's last goal? A soccer field for neighborhood kids
By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Fidel Castro is remembered around the world as a charismatic revolutionary or a ruthless tyrant, but in his neighborhood he was also a friendly old man who used his influence to build a soccer field for kids two weeks before his death. Castro, who led Cuba's 1959 revolution and for five decades defied U.S. efforts to topple him, died on Nov. 25 at age 90, a decade after ceding power to his brother Raul Castro. Castro lived on the western edge of Havana in a large complex hidden from view by trees and adjacent to a typical Cuban neighborhood called Jaimanitas.
Iran says extension of sanctions act shows U.S. unreliable
A U.S. Senate vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years shows the world that Washington cannot be relied upon to act on its commitments, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday. Iran has vowed to retaliate against the ISA extension, passed unanimously on Thursday, saying it violated last year's agreement with six major powers to curb its nuclear program in return for lifting of international financial sanctions. "To the world community, the extension of sanctions against Iran shows the unreliability of the American government," state broadcaster IRIB quoted Zarif as saying on arriving in India for an official visit.
Russia seeks full rebel pullout from Aleppo
By Tom Perry, Isla Binnie and Vladimir Soldatkin BEIRUT/ROME/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Saturday it was ready for talks with the United States about a withdrawal of all Syrian rebels from eastern Aleppo where advances by the Russian-backed Syrian army and its allies threaten to deal a crushing blow to the rebellion. An official with an Aleppo rebel group accused Russia of backtracking on ideas agreed at talks in Turkey that would have led to a ceasefire, and said rebel commanders had vowed to fight on even as they face intense bombardment and ground assaults. Russia has acknowledged contacts with the rebels but given no details of the talks in Turkey.
South Koreans march close to presidential Blue House demanding Park resign
By Joyce Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans rallied in Seoul on Saturday in the sixth straight weekend of protests demanding the resignation of scandal-tainted President Park Geun-hye that took them closer than ever to the presidential Blue House. The march came after three opposition parties introduced a bill for parliament to impeach Park, who could become the first democratically elected leader to leave office early in disgrace. The bill, signed by 171 members of the 300-seat unicameral assembly, said Park had violated the constitution and criminal law by abusing her power in the influence-peddling scandal.
Mosul residents fear cold and hunger of winter siege
By Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - No food or fuel has reached Mosul in nearly a week and the onset of rain and cold weather threatens a tough winter for more than a million people still in Islamic State-held areas of the city, residents said on Saturday. Iraqi troops waging a six-week-old offensive against the militants controlling Mosul have advanced into eastern city districts, while other forces have sealed Mosul's southern and northern approaches and 10 days ago blocked the road west. A trader in Mosul, speaking by telephone, said no new food or fuel supplies had reached the city since Sunday.
IS jihadist linked to French plot arrested in Morocco
A suspected Islamic State group jihadist who delivered instructions to a cell planning to carry out an attack in France has been arrested in Morocco, authorities said Saturday. The suspect was linked with a French IS cell that had planned to attack Paris on Thursday but was broken up by French authorities in November, the Moroccan interior ministry said. The orders came from the jihadist group in territory it controls in Syria and Iraq.
Syrian and allied troops advance in besieged Aleppo
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Tottenham thrashes Swansea 5-0 in Premier League