Dec 17, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump supports massive government spending plans hammered out by Congress this week and plans to sign the $1.4 trillion budget bill into law, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday to advance a $738 billion defense policy bill, clearing the way for a vote on final passage on Tuesday, which will send it to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign into law.

Hong Kong residents have been gathering across the city on weekends and in lunch breaks to write Christmas cards to injured protesters and those in detention as anti-government demonstrations grind on through the holiday season.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar have agreed to form a transitional unity government even if they fail to resolve all their differences before a new deadline, the two leaders said on Tuesday.

French trade unions crippled transport, shut schools and brought demonstrators into the streets on Tuesday in a redoubled effort to force President Emmanuel Macron to ditch a planned pension reform by Christmas.

Clashes erupted in New Delhi on Tuesday between thousands of protesters and police, the latest violence in a week of opposition to a new law that makes it easier for non-Muslims from neighboring countries to gain citizenship.

Boeing Co said on Monday it would suspend production of its best-selling 737 MAX jetliner in January, its biggest assembly-line halt in more than 20 years, as fallout from two fatal crashes of the now-grounded aircraft drags into 2020.

The Trump administration is finalizing a set of narrow rules to limit exports of sophisticated technology to adversaries like China, a document seen by Reuters shows, in a boon to U.S. industry that feared a much tougher crackdown on sales abroad.

Workers at three Amazon logistics centers in Germany have joined a strike called by trade union Verdi that will last until Saturday as part of a long-running bid for better pay and conditions.

U.S. manufacturing output rebounded more than expected in November, as the end of an almost six-week strike at General Motors plants boosted auto production.

AP Top Stories

Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, appealed for calm today as violent nationwide student-led protests against "anti-Muslim" citizenship legislation continued for a fifth day.

Malaysia will this week host a summit of Muslim leaders billed as a forum to look at the Islamic world's problems, but it will be closely watched for Middle East power plays and their stance on China's Uighur minority.

A migration deal will allow immigration authorities to send asylum seekers to Honduras and prevent them from reapplying in the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Finland will try to repatriate children of Finnish mothers who traveled to Syria to join Islamic State "as soon as possible", Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Monday.

Finland's central bank said on Tuesday that the burden on public finances, as more people head for retirement, is unsustainable and requires a political response. The warning comes just days after 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin took office.

Pope Francis has abolished the "pontifical secret" used in clergy sexual abuse cases, after mounting criticism that the high degree of confidentiality has been used to protect pedophiles, silence victims and keep law enforcement from investigating crimes.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the Holy See's ambassador to France, who has been accused of sexual molestation, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

Vietnam said it hoped China would show restraint in the South China Sea next year after a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts spent months within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone in what Hanoi called a blatant violation of its sovereignty.

Mexico raised its national minimum wage 20% Monday, but it still doesn't amount to even $1 an hour. The Labor Department said the lowest legal wage will be 123.22 pesos a day starting Jan. 1, or about $6.50 at current exchange rates.

BBC

Police have rescued a 12-year-old boy who fled a raging bushfire in Western Australia by driving his brother's pickup to safety with their dog.

Angola's justice minister says the country has so far this year recovered more than $5bn stolen from the state. Francisco Queiroz said this included $3bn siphoned off from the sovereign wealth fund.

The Mozambican authorities are detaining 12 Iranians caught allegedly shipping drugs off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Occupants of the vessel are said to have set it on fire moments before their arrest. Police say the fire destroyed the approximately 1.5 tonnes of heroin suspected to be on board.

An increasing number of children are self-harming and attempting suicide in the Greek migrant camp on Lesbos, according to psychologists working there.

WND

U.S. lawmakers are in talks to raise the minimum tobacco age to 21 and repeal Obamacare's so-called "Cadillac tax," an unpopular provision of the health law, as part of the deal that funds discretionary spending across a dozen bills through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, the aides said.

Wedding website Zola will no longer run advertisements on the Hallmark Channel after the network removed four commercials that featured two brides kissing each other.

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