Corrected: Sri Lanka president calls third vote on no-confidence motion against premier

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday asked an all-party meeting to hold a third vote on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, deepening the country’s political crisis. Sirisena called the all party leaders’ meeting after Rajapaksa, his choice to lead the government, was voted out twice within days by a majority in a no-confidence motion. A lawmaker loyal to Sirisena told reporters that the president rejected the outcome of the second vote held on Friday, which potentially strengthened the hand of Ranil Wickremesinghe who…

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Analysis: Two years after Philippines' pivot, Duterte still waiting on China dividend

MANILA (Reuters) – Two years after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced a divorce with old ally the United States in return for bumper business ties with China, he doesn’t have much to show for it. Duterte left Beijing in 2016 with $24 billion of Chinese loans and investment pledges for his ambitious infrastructure overhaul, a few weeks after saying the Philippines was being treated like a dog by Washington and would be better off with China. But only a fraction of China’s pledged support has materialised, exposing Duturte to criticisms…

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Tennis: Zverev stuns Djokovic to claim ATP Finals title

LONDON (Reuters) – Twenty four hours after being booed for having the audacity to take down a tennis great, Alexander Zverev returned to topple another one as he stunned Novak Djokovic to win the ATP Finals title on Sunday. Zverev, billed as the player most likely to lead the sport into a new golden era once the holy trinity of Roger Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have hung up their rackets, took full advantage of an off-key Serb to win 6-4 6-3. Hamburg-born Zverev had been shamefully booed and heckled…

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Corrected: Grim search for 1,276 missing after deadliest California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) – Authorities sifted through the charred wreckage of California’s deadliest ever wildfire on Sunday, searching for any signs of the 1,276 people now listed as missing after the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise. The remains of 76 people have been recovered so far, 63 of whom have been tentatively identified pending DNA confirmation. Early on Sunday the blaze, which ignited on Nov. 8, was 60 percent contained, officials said, up from 55 percent Saturday. Rain is forecast for the area this week, potentially…

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Exclusive: Rohingya repatriation, relocation plans set to be pushed back to 2019 – Bangladesh government official

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a top Bangladeshi official said on Sunday. Abul Kalam, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, told Reuters “a new course of action” needed to be adopted on repatriation that took into account refugees’ key demands. He later clarified these were his own personal views and not those of the government. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled…

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UK PM May: Getting rid of me risks delaying Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday toppling her would risk delaying Brexit and she would not let talk of a leadership challenge distract her from a critical week of negotiations. Since unveiling a draft divorce deal with the European Union on Wednesday, May’s premiership has been thrust into crisis by the resignation of several ministers, including her Brexit minister, and some lawmakers from her own party seeking to oust her. To trigger a confidence vote, 48 of her Conservative Party lawmakers must submit a letter…

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Cricket: India 'taking no prisoners' against Australia, says Shastri

SYDNEY (Reuters) – India’s head coach Ravi Shastri says his side will take no prisoners in their upcoming test series against Australia, who are still formidable opponents despite results going against them in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. The scandal, which occurred during the third test against South Africa in Cape Town in March, resulted in year-long bans to former Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, with batsman Cameron Bancroft suspended for nine months. Australia have struggled to recover from the crisis, losing a test series to…

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Exclusive: Rohingya repatriation, relocation plans pushed back to 2019 – Bangladesh government official

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis have been stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely to be revisited following year-end general elections, a top Bangladeshi official said on Sunday. Abul Kalam, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, told Reuters “a new course of action” needed to be adopted on repatriation that took into account refugees’ key demands. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to U.N. agencies. The crackdown…

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APEC fails to reach consensus as U.S.-China divide deepens

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific leaders failed to agree on a communique at a summit in Papua New Guinea on Sunday for the first time in their history as deep divisions between the United States and China over trade and investment stymied cooperation. Competition between the United States and China over the Pacific was also thrown into focus with the United States and its Western allies launching a coordinated response to China’s Belt and Road program. “You know the two big giants in the room,” Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime…

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Bikers hurl grenade at religious gathering in Amritsar, three killed

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Two men on motorcycles threw a grenade at a Sikh religious gathering of about 250 people in Amritsar city in Punjab on Sunday, killing three and injuring around 20, police said. Initial reports suggest that two people armed with pistols came to the venue, said provincial police chief Surinder Pal Singh. “There was a religious congregation over here and they lobbed a grenade,” Singh added. It was not clear if the incident was linked to a separatist campaign by Sikh militants. Some Sikhs began agitating for…

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