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World News

Thailand election date set

Thailand's military government has announced: political parties are free to start campaigning ahead of a long-awaited election scheduled for 24th February.
The announcement ends a ban on political campaigning, brought in when the military ousted the elected government in a coup, four years ago.

The military took power in Thailand in 2014, overthrowing the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the hugely popular Pheu Thai party. At the time, Military leaders said, they were restoring order after months of political unrest which had at times turned violent. They later drew up a new Constitution with changes to the Electoral System, which were approved by the public in a referendum last year.
The Constitution effectively ensures that even after the election, the military will remain an influential force in politics. It will be able to appoint the Senate, which in turn will help choose the next Prime Minister.

Theresa May suffers three Brexit defeats in Commons

Theresa May has suffered three Brexit defeats in the Commons as she set out to sell her EU deal to sceptical MPs. Ministers have agreed to publish the government's full legal advice on the deal after MPs found them in contempt of Parliament for issuing a summary.

And MPs backed calls for the Commons to have a direct say in what happens if her deal is rejected next Tuesday. Mrs May said MPs had a duty to deliver on the 2016 Brexit vote and the deal on offer was an "honourable compromise".

Nigerian President Buhari denies death and body double rumours


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has denied rumours that he had died and had been replaced by a lookalike. Some people thought he had been cloned. Mr Buhari said it was real him. Rumours that he had been replaced with a body double called "Jubril" from Sudan had been widely shared online.The 76-year-old Mr Buhari, who is seeking re-election in
February next year, has been beset by ill health since taking office in 2015.

Brexit: Minister resigns over Theresa May's 'naive' deal

A UK minister has resigned saying a row over involvement in the EU's Galileo satellite-navigation system exposes Theresa May's Brexit deal as "naive". The UK had wanted to stay part of Galileo after Brexit, but the EU said it would be banned from the extra-secure elements of the programme. Mrs May confirmed on Friday that the UK was pulling out of the project. Science minister Sam Gyimah said it was "a clarion call" and that any deal with Brussels would be "EU first".(BBC)

Touchdown triumph for NASA's Mars probe

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The US space agency: NASA has landed the new robot 'InSight' on Mars, after a dramatic seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet.

Confirmation of touchdown came through at 7.53pm GMT.

The 'InSight' probe, aims to study the planet's deep interior, which makes it the only planet - apart from Earth - that has been examined in this way. Scientists want to know how the planet is constructed - from its core to its crust.

InSight is now sitting on a vast, flat plain known as Elysium Planitia, close to the Red Planet's equator. The first picture of this landscape came back very quickly. The image was taken through the translucent lens-cap of a camera positioned on the underside of the lander. The dust kicked up in the descent obscured much of the scene, but it was still possible to make out a small rock, and the sky on the horizon.

Russia resists Western calls to free captured Ukrainian ships

Russia resisted international calls today to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols had fired on and seized near Crimea at the weekend, triggering the most dangerous crisis in years between Moscow and Kiev. With relations still raw after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the incident risks pushing the two countries towards a wider conflict and is likely to renew Western calls for more sanctions on Moscow.

The Pakistan Prime Minster lashes out at Trump 'tirade'.


Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan today lashed out at U.S. President Donald Trump following his remarks that Pakistan doesn’t “do anything” for the United States despite billions of dollars in U.S. aid for the South Asian nation. The friction threatens to further worsen already fragile relations between Islamabad and Washington, who have repeatedly clashed about the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s alleged support for Islamist militants. Khan said in a series of tweets that “record needs to be put straight on Mr Trump’s tirade against Pakistan” over the weekend.

Trump 'personally answers Mueller Russia questions'


Donald Trump says he has finished answering questions into alleged Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential campaign. The US leader told reporters he had personally answered the questions "very easily", but that they had yet to be submitted to Robert Mueller's team. Mr Mueller has been looking into allegations of collusion between Mr Trump's campaign and Russia since 2017. Mr Trump strongly denies any collusion, calling the probe "a witch hunt".

Stan Lee: Marvel Comics legend dies aged 95

American writer and former president of Marvel Comics Stan Lee has died at the age of 95.In 1961, Lee created The Fantastic Four for Marvel Comics, and went on to create titles including Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk.

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Rains and floods kill nine and force tourists to flee Petra. Jordan

Heavy rains and flooding killed at least nine people in Jordan and forced authorities to evacuate more than 3,700 tourists from the ancient city of Petra Yesterday. The visitors were taken to safe areas before flash floods inundated parts of the mountainous city famed for its carved rock ruins.

Government spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat said two women and a girl were killed in Madaba province when their vehicle was swept away. He said nine people were admitted to hospital, including some in critical condition.

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