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Official quits after harassment claim

A senior Ministry of Finance official resigned on Wednesday after being accused of sexual misconduct in the latest embarrassment for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s embattled government, already hit by cronyism and other scandals. Japanese Vice Minister of Finance Junichi Fukuda denied the allegations, butFULL STORY

I ordered nun’s investigation: Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he ordered the investigation into a 71-year-old Australian nun for “disorderly conduct, justifying it as a legal move against “undesirable” foreigners. Sister Patricia Fox, a coordinator of a Philippine congregation of Catholic nuns called Notre Dame de Sion, wasFULL STORY

Australian minister tells banks they must do more to regain public’s trust

Australia’s financial services minister yesterday said that the country’s banks have a lot of work to do to regain the public’s trust as executives prepared for another day of grilling before a powerful inquiry into the scandal-hit sector. Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’DwyerFULL STORY

Erdogan calls early elections in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday caught Turkey off guard by calling early elections for June, in a move that could cement his grip on power a year ahead of schedule. Erdogan announced that parliamentary and presidential elections, originally scheduled for November nextFULL STORY

May defeated in Lords on Brexit

The UK’s upper house voted against a key part of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit policy, inflicting a defeat on the government that could eventually push it toward keeping closer ties with the EU. The defeat by a margin of more than 100 votes wasFULL STORY

Saudi Arabia screens ‘Black Panther’ to mark opening

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday held a private screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther to herald the launch of movie theaters in the kingdom, and tickets went on sale yesterday for public showings today. Authorities held the invitation-only event in a concert hall converted into aFULL STORY

UN in security talks with Syria after chemical investigation is put on hold

UN security experts have said they were negotiating with Syrian and Russian authorities for international chemical inspectors to deploy to the site of an alleged toxic gas attack near Damascus, after a reconnaissance mission came under fire. The team from the world’s chemical arms watchdog hasFULL STORY

Zimbabwe fires striking nurses for ‘political’ move

Zimbabwe said it has sacked 16,000 striking nurses as the new government seeks to keep a lid on labor unrest in the buildup to the first elections since the fall of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. The nurses walked out on Monday over unpaid allowances andFULL STORY

Doctor Asperger ‘actively’ worked with Nazis: study

Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, after whom Asperger’s syndrome is named, “actively cooperated” with the Nazi euthanasia program, a new study published yesterday said. “Asperger managed to accommodate himself to the Nazi regime and was rewarded for his affirmations of loyalty with career opportunities,” Herwig Czech, aFULL STORY

Cuba set to swear in new president

An era was set to end in communist-run Cuba yesterday when President Raul Castro retires, likely handing over the reins to his right hand man, Miguel Diaz-Canel, born the year after brothers Fidel and Raul led their 1959 leftist revolution. However after nearly 60 years ofFULL STORY

TESS embarks on mission to find exoplanets

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) spacecraft on Wednesday embarked on a quest to find new worlds around neighboring stars that could support life. TESS rode a SpaceX Falcon rocket through the evening sky, aiming for an orbit stretching all the way to the moon.FULL STORY

Alabama endures ‘poop train’ from New York City

A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet — and the “poop train” is just the latest example of the south being used as a dumping ground forFULL STORY

US nanny who killed two kids convicted of murder

A once-trusted nanny who butchered two children in her care while their mother was at a sibling’s swimming lesson and their father was on a business trip was convicted of murder by a jury that did not believe her claims she was too insane atFULL STORY

New Mexico town rethinks tribute to Spanish conqueror

A northern New Mexico city nestled among tribal lands is reconsidering its annual commemoration of the 1598 arrival of Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate, who is both revered as a Hispanic founding father and reviled for brutality against Native Americans. Newly elected Espanola Mayor Javier SanchezFULL STORY

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