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Portugal far-right deputy calls for black MP to be 'sent back'

Lisbon - Portugal's only far-right deputy sparked outrage Wednesday after saying a black member of parliament should be "sent back to her country of origin".

Berlin's panda twins ready for public debut

Berlin - Two panda cubs born at Berlin Zoo last year charmed local media on Wednesday, a day before their debut in front of the general public.

Review: Patty Griffin wins 2020 Grammy Award for 'Best Folk Album' Special

Veteran singer-songwriter Patty Griffin has a major reason to celebrate. She won the 2020 Grammy Award for "Best Folk Album," which was indeed glorious.

EU announces strict 5G rules, but no Huawei ban

Apo - EU countries could ban telecoms operators deemed a security risk from critical parts of 5G infrastructure under bloc guidelines issued Wednesday, amid US pressure to shut out Chinese giant Huawei.

Kobe Bryant's helicopter not equipped with vital warning system

Los Angeles - The helicopter that crashed into a Los Angeles hillside killing NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others, was not equipped with vital software that alerts pilots when aircraft are too close to the ground, officials said.

Fury as Polanski's new film tops French 'Oscar' nominations

Paris - Roman Polanski's new film "An Officer and a Spy" topped the list of nominations on Wednesday for the "French Oscars", sparking fury from feminists.

UAE reports Middle East's first cases of new coronavirus

Dubai - The United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday the first confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the Middle East, with a four-member Chinese family from Wuhan found to be infected.

French writer 'regrets' his paedophile sex tourism in Asia

Paris - French writer Gabriel Matzneff said in an interview Wednesday that he "regrets" his trips to Asia to have sex with children, claiming that at the time "no one ever said it was a crime".

Syria army says retakes key northwest town

Beirut - Syrian government forces recaptured a strategic highway town in the northwest from jihadist and allied rebels Wednesday, in the latest blow to the country's last major opposition bastion.

Syria's Maaret al-Numan: from protest hub to ghost town

Beirut - For years, Syria's Maaret al-Numan was a defiant hotspot for anti-government protests, before increased regime bombardment reduced it to a graffiti-daubed ghost town.

Long road to freedom: fugitive giraffe legs it in Thailand

Bangkok - A giraffe that bolted from a convoy destined for a Thai safari park was on the run Wednesday, as vets scoured farmland near the escape zone in an almost 24-hour search gripping the public.

Brexit: UK fast tracks visas for researchers Special

One thing appears certain in post-Brexit Britain: there will continue to be a shortage of scientists and technologists, meaning that the nation will be dependent upon recruiting overseas talent.

Syria army says retakes key northwest town

Damascus - Syria government forces recaptured the strategic highway town of Maaret al-Numan from jihadist and allied rebels on Wednesday, the army said, returning for the first time in seven years.

In Wuhan, luxury hotel feels haunted by virus outbreak

Wuhan - The receptionist's seat is empty, the five-star hotel's restaurant is no longer serving customers and staff flee at the sight of any guests.

Twitter row over Taiwan virus response hits UN aviation body

Taipei - A Twitter row over Taiwan's lack of access to international agencies to fight the new coronavirus outbreak has landed the UN aviation body in hot water after it blocked followers who criticised its refusal to work with the self-ruled island.

Budapest's Banksy disciple sparks treasure hunts and nostalgia

Budapest - Drawing inspiration from enigmatic British artist Banksy, a sculptor of tiny bronze statues has gained a cult following in the Hungarian capital Budapest by placing his quirky works around the city for the public to discover.

Sadness and hopes for future at EU's post-Brexit centre

Gadheim - In the tiny village of Gadheim in northern Bavaria, a lovingly laid out garden marked with regional, German and European flags marks the spot that will stand at the geographic centre of the European Union after Brexit.

Pompeo takes on growing rift with Brexit Britain

London - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits London on Wednesday to repair a post-Brexit alliance with an old friend whose defiance on China and Iran underscores Washington's diplomatic isolation.

'I'm never coming back': Lebanon crisis fuels brain drain

Beirut - When Lebanon's protests erupted in October, thousands found a renewed commitment to their homeland and vowed to fix a country that has long fed its best and brightest to the diaspora.Then the economy unravelled.

Israeli President to address German MPs 75 years after Auschwitz

Berlin - Israel's president will deliver a speech in Berlin on Wednesday to mark 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp as fears re-emerge about the safety of Jews in Germany.
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