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Kerry warns al-Assad over ceasefire

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of “repercussions” if his regime flouts a new truce being negotiated, as talks to halt the violence shifted to Berlin yesterday. Russia has said a new ceasefire to halt fighting in Aleppo could be imminent,FULL STORY

Prime Minister says Australia to have July 2 election

Australia’s election campaign will officially start soon with climate change policy and union corruption in the national building industry shaping into key battlegrounds for the July 2 poll. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said that he was likely to visit Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove thisFULL STORY

China singer performs on Spratlys

China’s military this week sent a famed singer of patriotic anthems to perform before navy officers and construction workers on a newly created island in a disputed section of the South China Sea, underscoring its growing confidence in asserting its maritime claims. The visit byFULL STORY

Xi’s Silk Road dream hits Thai speed bump

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is so devoted to his Silk Road project for China to deepen economic ties across Asia that he recently had top officials attend a “study” session on the millennia-old history of the route. References to the initiative, launched by Xi inFULL STORY

‘Waiting for order to kill:’ China video seeks army recruits

China’s military is appealing to the younger generation with a slick new recruitment video featuring aircraft carriers, tanks and special forces troops, all set to a rousing rap-rock soundtrack. With lyrics such as “just waiting for the order to kill, kill, kill,” the video appearsFULL STORY

Rousseff vows Games safe amid crisis

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff greeted the Olympic flame in Brazil on Tuesday, promising not to allow a raging political crisis, which could see her suspended within days, to spoil the Rio de Janeiro Games. Rousseff said they would be “the most successful Olympic Games in history.” “WeFULL STORY

US Navy Seal killed in Iraq attack

The Islamic State group broke through Kurdish defenses in northern Iraq on Tuesday and killed a US Navy Seal deployed as part of the US-led coalition against the militants. The attack came as the UN said that fighting with the Islamic State in northern Iraq couldFULL STORY

Brazilian prosecutors sue BHP, Vale over burst dam

Brazilian prosecutors have filed a US$43.4 billion lawsuit against BHP Billiton and Vale over the Samarco mine dam burst that killed 19 people and wreaked environmental havoc. The authorities “estimate the preliminary value for repairs to be 155 billion reais,” the public prosecutor’s office in theFULL STORY

President Obama faces trade dispute with China

US President Barack Obama is facing a fresh trade row with Beijing that could inflame this year’s US election race and complicate his farewell visit to China in September. Beijing is pressing Obama’s administration to treat China like a “market economy,” a move that would spellFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

SPAIN Warrants issued for Russians A judge has issued arrest warrants for 12 Russians, including some senior officials, who are alleged to be linked to one of Russia’s largest criminal syndicates that operated out of Spain, a court document showed. After a decade-long investigation into the activitiesFULL STORY

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