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Philippine court orders arrest of Japanese casino mogul Okada

MANILA (Reuters) - A Philippine court has ordered the arrest of Japanese pachinko billionaire Kazuo Okada, about a month after the country’s Department of Justice recommended the filing of charges against him over three counts of fraud. Universal Entertainment Corp's founder Kazuo Okada attends a news conference at the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, Japan September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Issei KatoThe DOJ has found cause to indict Okada for three counts of swindling after he acquired “through mistake or fraud” $3.15 million in salary and consultancy fees during his tenure as chief executive of Manila casino operator Tiger Resort. Okada had filed a motion for reconsideration at the…

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Taliban seek venue change for peace talks with U.S.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban will not attend planned peace talks with the United States in Saudi Arabia this month, and want to shift the venue to Qatar, Taliban officials said on Sunday, seeking to fend off Riyadh’s push to include the Afghan government in talks. The upcoming negotiations, the fourth in a series aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan, are scheduled between the leaders of the Taliban and U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to discuss the withdrawal of foreign forces and a possible ceasefire in 2019. Leaders of the hardline Islamic militant group have rejected the Kabul government’s offer for direct talks, despite…

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UK health minister: Hopefully chances of winning Brexit vote have improved

Britain's Health and Social Care Secretary, Matthew Hancock, leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleLONDON (Reuters) - British health minister Matthew Hancock said on Sunday that he hoped the probability of getting the government’s Brexit deal approved by parliament have improved over the Christmas break. “I certainly hope that the chances of the deal going through have improved. I think if people have gone back to their constituencies, as I have, and talked to normal people then they will have found an overwhelming sense of ‘please can we just get on with it’,” he told Sky News. Reporting by William James; Editing…

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Iran plans naval drills with Russia in Caspian Sea

Iran's army servicemen with the national flag attend the opening ceremony of the airborne platoon competition, part of the International Army Games 2017, in Guangshui, Hubei province, China, July 30, 2017. China Daily via REUTERSDUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and Russia are preparing to hold joint naval exercises in the Caspian Sea, including rescue and anti-piracy drills, the commander of the Iranian navy was quoted on Sunday as saying. “Tactical, rescue and anti-piracy war games between Iranian and Russian naval forces are being planned and will be implemented in the near future,” the semi-official news agency Mehr quoted Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi as saying. Iran and Russia have…

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