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Trump fires back after incoming Senator Romney blasts president

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday cautioned fellow Republican Mitt Romney to be a “team player” after the former presidential candidate and incoming U.S. senator sharply criticized the president’s actions and questioned his character. In a Washington Post essay published late on Tuesday, Romney suggested the U.S. leader had “caused dismay around the world” and said his presidency had “made a deep descent in December.” “On balance, his conduct over the past two years ... is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” said Romney, who starts his new role representing Utah on Thursday. “The appointment of senior…

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Netflix pulls comedy show episode in Saudi Arabia

(Reuters) - Netflix withdrew an episode of the comedy show “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” from its Internet streaming service in Saudi Arabia after officials of the kingdom complained, the company said on Wednesday. Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala - Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between - Arrivals - New York City, U.S. - 01/05/17 - Comedian Hasan Minhaj. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonThe episode of the news-comedy program in question criticized the country over the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year at the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey. Amnesty International denounced “Saudi Arabia’s censorship of Netflix” as “further proof of a relentless crackdown…

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Protests in India after women defy ancient ban on visiting Hindu temple

KOCHI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Two women defied a centuries-old ban on entering a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala on Wednesday, sparking protests and calls for a strike by conservative Hindu groups outraged by their visit. Police fired teargas and used water cannons to disperse a large crowd of protesters in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, television news channels showed. There were protests in several other cities in the state, media reported. India’s Supreme Court in September ordered the lifting of the ban on women or girls of menstruating age from entering the Sabarimala temple, which draws millions of worshippers a year. But the temple…

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Brazil’s new Justice Minister Moro: Ending impunity top goal

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s new Justice Minister Sergio Moro said powerful drug gangs are a threat to democracy and that despite nearly five years of intense anti-corruption investigations, perceived levels of graft are still far too high. Moro, a former federal judge who spearheaded the “Car Wash” corruption trials, said his top order from President Jair Bolsonaro was to rid Brazil of impunity. Moro said that by next month he will propose an ambitious anti-crime bill before Congress. Reporting by Ricardo Brito and Brad Brooks; Editing by Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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White House calls Democrats’ plan to end shutdown ‘non-starter’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Congress was set to reconvene on Wednesday with no sign of a workable plan to end a 12-day-old partial federal government shutdown and President Donald Trump not budging on his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Capitol is seen on the first day of a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File PhotoThe Senate and House of Representatives will meet briefly to mark the last day of the Republican-controlled 2017-2018 Congress. When Democrats, led by presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, take over the House on Thursday, they plan to approve a two-part spending…

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After brutal 2018, world stocks nurse a New Year’s hangover

LONDON (Reuters) - World shares began 2019 on a downbeat note, oil prices and bond yields skidded lower and the Japanese yen strengthened on Wednesday as data from China to France confirmed investors’ fears of a global economic slowdown. The U.S. S&P500 and Dow Jones index futures slipped around one percent and Nasdaq futures fell 2 percent, signaling Wall Street would open in the red on the first trading day of the New Year after closing 2018 with the worst annual loss since 2008. Weak manufacturing-activity surveys across Asia were followed by disappointing numbers in the euro zone, sending MSCI’s index of world shares 0.4 percent lower…

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U.S. demands immediate return of ex-Marine detained in Russia on spy charges: Pompeo

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference after the U.S.-Canada ministerial meeting at the State Department in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jim YoungBRASILIA (Reuters) - The United States is demanding the immediate return of a retired U.S. Marine detained by Russia on spying charges, and wants an explanation on why he was arrested, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. Speaking in Brasilia the day after Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated, Pompeo said the U.S. government hoped to gain consular access to Paul Whelan within the next few hours following his arrest in Moscow. Reporting by…

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Six killed in train accident on bridge linking Denmark’s two main islands

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Six people were killed in a rail accident on a bridge linking Denmark’s two main islands on Wednesday when a train hit debris from an oncoming freight train, officials said. A view of a train accident site on the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark, January 2, 2019. Tim K. Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERSPolice said 16 people sustained injuries but were not in critical condition. The train was heading towards the capital with 131 passengers when it hit what could have been tarpaulin or something else from the freight train on the tracks, said Banedanmark, which maintains and controls rail network traffic. A preliminary investigation by…

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North Korea warns of ‘new path’, but options limited

SEOUL (Reuters) - In his New Year address on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he might take a “new path” if Washington maintains sanctions amid his country’s push for economic development, but experts say it may be too late to change the trajectory of negotiations. FILE PHOTO - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses for photos in Pyongyang in this January 1, 2019 photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS/File Photo Kim did not specify what the new approach might be. His warning may sound similar to the bellicose rhetoric that Pyongyang often deployed before last year’s summit,…

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Big claims strain senior living market for U.S. insurers

(Reuters) - Last March, a 103-year-old resident of a Sunrise Senior Living facility in Willowbrook, Illinois, went on a field trip to the movies.  Ruth Smith, who used a walker, fell down two concrete steps in the theater and died about six weeks later. Now Smith’s estate is suing Sunrise, saying that aides did not properly watch her. FILE PHOTO: A senior citizen, walks down the hallway with the aide of her walker to visit a neighbor at her independent living complex in Silver Spring, Maryland April 11, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File PhotoAs the U.S. society ages, senior living communities are on the rise. So are claims and…

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