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Al-Assad travels farther in Syria for Eid prayers

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday delivered prayers for Islam’s Eid al-Fitr holiday in Hama, the farthest he has traveled inside Syria in years, showing his growing confidence. Assad joined worshippers at the Nouri Mosque for prayers on the first day of the three-day holiday. State television broadcastFULL STORY

Hopes fade as more landslide victims found

Rescue workers in China yesterday pulled more bodies out of piles of rock and mud on Sunday as they searched for 93 people still missing a day after a landslide buried a mountain village, with hopes fading of finding survivors. A couple and their two-month-old babyFULL STORY

The Philippines: Eight-hour Eid truce held in Marawi

The Philippine military yesterday declared an eight-hour ceasefire in its offensive against Muslim militants occupying parts of the war-torn city of Marawi, to allow residents to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Assaults backed by air and artillery bombardment stopped at the start of Islamic prayersFULL STORY

The Philippines: Detained Leila de Lima has no regrets

Philippine police have arrested more than 80,000 people during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, but few as prominent or defiant as Senator Leila de Lima. A long-time Duterte foe, De Lima was arrested in February on drugs charges she says were trumped upFULL STORY

‘Girls as dessert’: Thai sex scandal tied to traditions

When senior bureaucrats visited the remote northern Thai province where local official Boonyarit Nipavanit worked, the routine was often the same: Welcome them with the finest food and drink and then bring out the teen girls, often referred to as “dessert.” The tradition — known byFULL STORY

Police use pepper spray to break up clashes at protest

Australian police yesterday fired pepper spray to break up clashes between right-wing nationalists and anti-racism protesters on the streets of Melbourne, the latest protest held by anti-immigration groups in the nation. Far-right protesters from the True Blue Crew, which says it is opposed to refugees andFULL STORY

Mayors oppose Trump’s orders

Mayors are warning US President Donald Trump that toughening immigration enforcement meddles with US cities’ affairs. More than 250 mayors are meeting at the US Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach, Florida, to take a stance on issues from climate change to the federal budget andFULL STORY

Davis ‘pretty sure’ of good deal

British Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis yesterday said he was “pretty sure” he could negotiate a good deal, something that would require a transitional arrangement for about one or two years. Davis, who launched the Brexit talks with EU negotiator Michel BarnierFULL STORY

Al-Sisi cedes islands to Saudi Arabia

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday ratified an agreement that cedes sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, brushing off widespread public criticism of the deal. The Red Sea islands accord has become politically sensitive for al-Sisi. He counts on Saudi Arabia asFULL STORY

Two divisive Argentine ex-leaders to run again

Former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez, a leftist who dominated the nation’s politics for years alongside her late husband, has remained a divisive figure since leaving power — and is now seeking public office again. The 64-year-old is to make a bid for a senate seat inFULL STORY

OAS head offers to resign if Venezuela has free vote

Organization of American States (OAS) President Luis Almagro on Saturday offered to resign if Venezuela holds free elections and enacts reforms to protect democracy in the troubled nation. “I will resign from the Organization of American States the day that free, fair and transparent national electionsFULL STORY

Local election will show if Berlusconi is a player again

Italians were to vote in the final round of municipal elections yesterday with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi looking to show that he is still a political force. More than 4 million voters were asked to pick mayors in 111 towns and cities, including Berlusconi’sFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

INDIA Arrest made in train killing Police have arrested one Hindu for suspected involvement in the killing of a Muslim man who was attacked with a knife on a train near New Dehli. The arrested man told reporters late on Saturday that he was drunk when heFULL STORY

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