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Turkey should not attack Kurds after U.S. Syria pull-out: U.S. national security adviser

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File PhotoJERUSALEM (Reuters) - White House national security adviser John Bolton added a new condition on Sunday to the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, saying Turkey must agree to protect the United States’ Kurdish allies. President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to announce a U.S. pull-out from Syria left open many questions, chiefly whether Kurds fighters operating in northern Syria would now be targeted by their long-time enemy Turkey. Bolton, on a four-day trip to Israel and Turkey, said he would stress…

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Erdogan spokesman says irrational to claim Turkey targets Kurds

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Sunday it was irrational to claim Turkey targets Kurds, saying Ankara’s targets were the militants of Islamic State and the Kurdish groups YPG and PKK, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported. Ibrahim Kalin’s comments emerged after White House national security adviser John Bolton said he would stress in talks with Turkish officials this week, including President Tayyip Erdogan, that the Kurds must be safeguarded. Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Alison WilliamsOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Ecumenical Patriarch hands over decree, sealing Ukraine church independence

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide on Sunday presented the head of the Ukrainian church with a decree granting it independence from Moscow, a historic split strongly opposed by Russia. Ukraine sees the break as vital to its security and independence, but it is bound to aggravate the wider conflict between the two countries. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who signed the autocephaly decree on Saturday, handed the document to Ukrainian Metropolitan Epifaniy at St George’s Cathedral in Istanbul after a mass to mark the feast of Epiphany. “Unity has been restored. Now we are united,” Epifaniy told the congregation, standing with Bartholomew at the…

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Britons would now vote to stay in EU, want second referendum: poll

FILE PHOTO: Anti-Brexit protestors gather outside Downing Street, on Whitehall in central London, Britain January 2, 2019. REUTERS/Henry NichollsLONDON (Reuters) - More Britons want to remain a member of the European Union than leave, according to a survey published on Sunday which also showed voters want to make the final decision themselves. Britain is due leave the EU on March 29, but Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to get her exit deal approved by parliament, opening up huge uncertainty over whether a deal is possible, or even whether the country will leave at all. The survey by polling firm YouGov showed that if a referendum were…

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France presses Renault over executive compensation paid via Dutch holding company

PARIS (Reuters) - The French government has told Renault (RENA.PA) to provide more details on compensation paid to senior executives via a Dutch holding company jointly owned with alliance partner Nissan, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. FILE PHOTO: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe WojazerLe Maire made the demand after France’s CGT trade Union voiced concerns over payments made to certain high-ranking executives via the alliance’s Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV) Dutch venture and called for more transparency at the carmaker. Corporate governance inside the alliance has come under…

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Merkel’s coalition partner demands answers over German data breach

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), demanded on Sunday that her interior minister quickly find out what Germany’s security agencies knew about a huge data breach and how they reacted. FILE PHOTO: Lars Klingbeil of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) arrives for coalition talks at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin, Germany, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeThe breach has shocked Germany’s establishment and risks rocking Merkel’s awkward ‘grand coalition’ again just months after a row over the fate of the domestic intelligence agency chief came close to tearing apart the ruling alliance. The government said on Friday that…

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Iran’s central bank proposes slashing four zeros from falling currency: IRNA

FILE PHOTO: A man counts Iranian rials at a currency exchange shop in Basra, Iraq, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani - RC153985B7A0/File PhotoDUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s central bank has proposed slashing four zeros from the rial, state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday, after the currency plunged in a year marked by an economic crisis fueled by U.S. sanctions. “A bill to remove four zeros from the national currency was presented to the government by the central bank yesterday and I hope this matter can be concluded as soon as possible,” IRNA quoted central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati as saying. Proposals to remove four zeros from the…

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Mercedes aims to be among top two players to scale autonomous tech: paper

FILE PHOTO: Mercedes-Benz logo is seen on the second press day of the Paris auto show, in Paris, France, October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit TessierFRANKFURT (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz’s is not aiming to be the first manufacturer to develop a self-driving car but it wants to be among the first two players able to scale up the technology, Mercedes-Benz executive Christoph Schroeder told German paper Welt am Sonntag. Carmakers and tech companies like Uber [UBER.UL], Google, General Motors, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) are vying to roll out robotaxi services for paying customers as a way to enter the ride-hailing business. Google’s Waymo division has completed the most test miles with prototype…

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Thai activists protest as election faces delay

Activist and university students gather to demand the first election in Thailand since the military seized power in a 2014 coup to be held on February 24 this year in Bangkok, Thailand January 6, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya TunBANGKOK (Reuters) - Dozens of Thai activists on Sunday protested against a possible delay of a national election set for next month, the first such gathering since the military government lifted a ban on political activity imposed after a 2014 coup. The junta has promised and postponed the election several times since it came to power, with the latest date set for Feb. 24. However, the vote faces yet another…

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China says pace of Xinjiang ‘education’ will slow, but defends camps

URUMQI/KASHGAR/HOTAN, China (Reuters) - China will not back down on what it sees as a highly successful de-radicalisation program in Xinjiang that has attracted global concern, but fewer people will be sent through, officials said last week in allowing rare media access there. Weapons the government says were seized from militants in Xinjiang are on display at an exhibition titled "Major Violent Terrorist Attack Cases in Xinjiang”, during a government organised trip in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, January 3, 2019. Picture taken January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ben BlanchardBeijing has faced an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts over what they call mass…

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