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Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 7am

World News

Vatican bans sale of cigarettes

Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year. The motive is clear as the Holy See cannot be co-operating with a practice that is clearly harmful to health. World Health Organization statistics reveal that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year. The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, also a tiny country, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005.

Theresa May faces fresh reshuffle after Preethi Patel's resignation

Theresa May is facing a second cabinet reshuffle in a week, as she comes under pressure to say what the Foreign Office knew of Preethi Patel's visit to Israel. Ms Patel resigned as international development secretary yesterday, after holding a series of unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials.


Trump urges N Korea to 'come to table' over nuclear issue

US President Donald Trump has urged North Korea to "come to the table" and discuss giving up its nuclear weapons. Striking a different tone from previous fiery rhetoric, he said he "hoped to God" he did not have to use the US military against Pyongyang.


China to build world's highest planetarium in Tibet

China will begin construction of the world's highest planetarium in Tibet, next year. It will have the region's largest optical astronomical telescope. Planned to be completed in 2019, the planetarium will be built within the Tibet Museum of Natural Sciences in Tibet's provincial capital Lhasa. Dubbed as the "Roof of the World" on account of its altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, Tibet has superb clear skies which are ideal for astronomical observation.

China anger after doctor sued over smoker's death

Chinese social media users are reacting angrily after a doctor was ordered to pay compensation for his alleged role in a smoker's death.The doctor, surnamed Yang, was told by a court in central Henan province that he must pay compensation of 2,200 dollars as a matter of "principle fairness" to the family of an elderly man surnamed Feng, who died in May.


Australian parliamentarians 'to disclose citizenship'

Australia's Prime Minister has announced new rules to make all federal politicians declare their citizenship status. It comes amid a dual citizenship saga, which has led to six politicians losing their office. In Australia, dual citizens are not allowed to run for federal office. Malcolm Turnbull unveiled the new disclosure rules today in a bid to clear up the uncertainty around politicians' eligibility in Canberra. However, the plan will need to be voted on, in both, the upper and lower houses in Australia's parliament, before coming into force.

Catalan leader hands himself to Belgian police

Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont and four former advisers have turned themselves in, to Belgian police. An investigating judge would decide by tomorrow morning whether to execute an EU arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge on Friday.


Donald Trump embarks 12 day tour of Asia


US President Donald Trump has embarked on an 12-day trip to Asia during which he will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. It will be the longest tour of Asia by a US president in 25 years.


IS loses Deir al-Zour in Syria and Al-Qaim in Iraq on same day

The so-called “Islamic State” has lost control of two of its last remaining strongholds in Syria and Iraq. Early yesterday, Syria's army announced it had taken Deir al-Zour. Later in the day the Iraqi prime minister said Al-Qaim, across the border, had been recaptured by government forces. Iraqi forces say they have also seized the last border post between Iraq and Syria that was held by IS. Last month, a US-backed Syrian alliance took control of Raqqa in Syria, the former capital of the Islamic State's self-styled "caliphate". Although its ideology remains powerful, the territorial ambitions of the IS are now almost destroyed.

Sacked Catalonian ministers held in Spanish jails.

Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region's push for independence. Prosecutors had asked the judge to detain eight of the nine former regional government members who turned up for questioning in Madrid. They are accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. Prosecutors are also seeking a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont

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