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Iraqi Kurds defy Baghdad to vote on independence

Iraqi Kurds yesterday voted in an independence referendum, defying warnings from Baghdad and their neighbors in a historic step toward a national dream. The non-binding vote, initiated by veteran leader Massud Barzani, has angered not only Iraq’s federal government, but also Turkey and Iran, whoFULL STORY

Junta leader looks like campaigning politician

In his dark suit, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha cut an incongruous figure guiding a rice tractor across a muddy paddy field in front of cameras and watching villagers. The junta leader’s latest photo opportunity won applause from farmers watching in straw hats and his visitFULL STORY

Beijing jails ex-Tianjin mayor, fines tech firms

China yesterday jailed former Tianjin mayor Huang Xingguo (黃興國) for 12 years, after he took more than 40 million yuan (US$6 million) in bribes to push through promotions and land approvals, a court in Hebei Province said. Dozens of senior officials have been investigated or jailedFULL STORY

Troops hunt for Rakhine’s missing Hindu villagers

Government troops yesterday searched for dozens of missing Hindu villagers feared dead after the discovery of a grave containing 28 corpses in Rakhine state, evidence of what the army says is a massacre by Rohingya Muslim militants. Northern Rakhine has been ravaged by communal violenceFULL STORY

New Zealand told it could be weeks to get government

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English yesterday said that he expects two or three weeks of “tense” negotiations with maverick lawmaker Winston Peters to break the country’s general election deadlock. Peters emerged as kingmaker in Saturday’s election after English’s conservative National Party and the LabourFULL STORY

NFL players, team owners defy Trump

US National Football League (NFL) players on Sunday sat out, knelt and linked arms during pregame national anthems played across the country and in London, hours after US President Donald Trump called on fans to boycott teams that do not discipline players who protest. In theFULL STORY

New Trump move limits travel from eight countries

US President Donald Trump on Sunday restricted or suspended travel to the US from eight countries, adding North Korea and Venezuela, while subtracting Sudan, from his earlier ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations. “I must act to protect the security and interests of the UnitedFULL STORY

Macron tested by truckers in wake of Senate defeat

French truckers yesterday began blocking motorways and fuel depots at the start of a series of demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron and changes to labor law, one day after Macron’s political party suffered its first electoral setback in French Senate elections. Drivers from theFULL STORY

EU ups pressure ahead of new round of Brexit talks

The EU yesterday ramped up pressure on Britain ahead of a new round of Brexit talks, warning again that time is running out for UK Prime Minister Theresa May to clinch a deal. “There has been some progress, but we really need to move forward now.FULL STORY

Brazilian with German Olympian’s heart runs race of her life in Rio

Brazilian Ivonette Balthazar felt jittery ahead of a Rio de Janeiro road race on Sunday, but her heart — transplanted from a German Olympian a year earlier — spurred her on. In the midst of a long recovery from a transplant operation last year, the 3kmFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

AUSTRALIA Space agency planned Canberra yesterday said it would create its own space agency to increase its share of the US$330 billion space economy. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the agency would be part of the development of an innovation and science economy. “It’s a small agencyFULL STORY

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