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NEWS|Current Affairs 
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US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Congress to end a partial government shutdown and assured the international community that the budget impasse will be resolved shortly. Kerry on Saturday said it was regrettable that a small group in Congress - Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives - was preventing US President Barack Obama from meeting with his Chinese and Russian counterparts at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, Indonesia. The secretary of state was standing in at that gathering for Obama, who cancelled his trip due to the budget standoff. "All of our friends and foes watching around the world should not mistake this momentary episode in American politics as anything more than that," Kerry said. The partial suspension of federal government operations, which began at midnight Monday, was spurred by the unwillingness of some House Republicans to vote to fund the government unless Obama and the Democrats agreed to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The Act, also known as Obamacare, is the administration's flagship domestic initiative and the President refused to consider any changes or delays. The two-day APEC forum, which will get under way Monday, is a gathering attended by representatives of 21 pacific rim countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the US and Vietnam.

Indonesia's president-elect eyes swift  fuel hike to boost budget

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Indonesia's president-elect eyes swift fuel hike to boost budget

JAKARTA (Reuters) - President-elect Joko Widodo will sit down with Indonesia's outgoing leader next week in the hope of reaching an agreement to raise fuel prices before the handover in October, a mov...


Documented death toll in syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014 - U.N.

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Documented death toll in syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014 - U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - At least 191,369 people have been killed in Syria's conflict through April, more than double the figure documented a year ago and probably still an under-estimate, the United Nation...

Iraq promised to free Saddam Hussein's defence minister - report

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Iraq promised to free Saddam Hussein's defence minister - report

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's government promised to release from prison one of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's defence ministers, the outgoing deputy prime minister said in comments published on...

WHO says drawing up 6-9 month strategy to combat Ebola

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WHO says drawing up 6-9 month strategy to combat Ebola

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that it had drawn up a draft strategy plan to combat Ebola in West Africa over the next six to nine months, implying that it does ...

Moscow defies Kiev, orders aid convoy onto Ukrainian soil

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Moscow defies Kiev, orders aid convoy onto Ukrainian soil

DONETSK-IZVARINO BORDER CROSSING, Russia (Reuters) - Russia ordered a convoy of aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine on Friday apparently without Kiev's permission, raising the danger of ...

Gunmen execute 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza; Israel launches air strikes

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Gunmen execute 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza; Israel launches air strikes

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Hamas-led gunmen in Gaza executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel on Friday, a day after Israeli forces killed three Hamas commanders, the highest-ranki...

WHO warns of "shadow zones", hidden cases in Ebola outbreak

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WHO warns of "shadow zones", hidden cases in Ebola outbreak

GENEVA (Reuters) - The scale of the world's worst Ebola outbreak has been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of "shadow zones" that medics cann...