Colombian right-wing critic of peace deal to face leftist in runoff

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Right-winger Ivan Duque, who wants to overhaul a peace deal with Marxist rebels, won Colombia’s first-round presidential election on Sunday, setting up a runoff next month with leftist Gustavo Petro, who has pledged to take on wealthy elites. The first election since the peace accord was signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016 now heads for a June 17 runoff to select the successor to President Juan Manuel Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the five-decade-old conflict. Duque, 41, has…

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Truckers clear some roads in Brazil, but protests continue

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Despite a reduction of road blockades, most Brazilian truckers protesting high diesel prices have not gone back to work and Latin America’s largest economy is poised to enter an eighth day of protests on Monday with near-zero road cargo transportation. A truck carrying army officials passes by people supporting the truck owners striking in protest against high diesel prices in Luziania, Brazil May 27, 2018. The sign reads “We are all truckers”. REUTERS/Ueslei MarcelinoHospitals are reporting shortages of some basic products, while many farm animals are…

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Theresa May to urge Trump to avoid London protests during UK visit: The Sun

(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge U.S. President Donald Trump to avoid protesters in central London during his UK visit in July and instead meet her at her country residence, the Sun newspaper reported on Sunday. FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018 REUTERS/Carlos Barria The details of the plan will be given to the White House by Kim Darroch, British ambassador to the United…

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Italy's president calls in former IMF official amid political turmoil

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s president is expected to ask a former International Monetary Fund official on Monday to head a stopgap government amidst political and constitutional turmoil, with early elections looking inevitable. Italian President Sergio Mattarella speaks to media after a meeting with Italy’s Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, May 27, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro BianchiPresident Sergio Mattarella has called in Carlo Cottarelli after two anti-establishment parties angrily abandoned their plans to form a coalition in the face of a veto from the head of state…

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Anti-corruption group says Nigeria expanding use of opaque $670 million 'slush fund'

ABUJA (Reuters) – Anti-corruption group Transparency International said on Monday Nigeria’s government has in the run-up to elections expanded the use of opaque $670 million-a-year funds that fuel graft. The funds, known as “security votes”, are a relic of military rule, mainly disbursed in hard cash and nominally released for dealing with unexpected security issues. They come from both federal and state governments, although the vast majority is disbursed under the latter. According to Transparency International’s report on Monday they have become “synonymous with official corruption and abuse of power”.…

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Paris mayor praises Malian 'hero' for scaling building to save child

PARIS (Reuters) – Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Sunday praised the heroism of a Malian immigrant who scaled the facade of a four-storey building in the north of capital to save a child hanging from a ledge, saying the city will support his effort to settle in France. The video of Mamoudou Gassama’s quick climbing to reach the child, cheered on by terrified onlookers, went viral on social media, with people calling the 22-year-old a real spider man. Gassama has even been invited to the Elysee presidential palace to meet…

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Colombia's right-wing Duque, leftist Petro head to presidential runoff

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Right-winger Ivan Duque, who wants to overhaul a peace deal with Colombia’s Marxist rebels, won Sunday’s first-round presidential election, setting up a runoff next month with leftist Gustavo Petro, who has pledged to take on entrenched elites. The first election since the peace accord was signed in 2016 with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) now heads for a June 17 runoff to select the successor to President Juan Manuel Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the five-decade-old conflict. Duque has pledged to…

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Britain's May refuses to relax Northern Ireland abortion rules

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown with ministers and lawmakers in her Conservative party after refusing to back reform of Northern Ireland’s highly restrictive abortion rules after neighboring Ireland’s vote to liberalize its laws. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File PhotoVoters in Ireland, a once deeply Catholic nation, backed the change by two-to-one, a far higher margin than any opinion poll in the run up to the vote had predicted. [L5N1SY0CM] The…

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U.S. team in North Korea for talks on summit, Trump says

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday a U.S. team had arrived in North Korea to prepare for a proposed summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which Trump pulled out of last week before reconsidering. Earlier, the U.S. State Department said U.S. and North Korean officials had met at Panmunjom, a village in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that runs along the heavily armed border between North and South Korea. “Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the…

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Italy's efforts to form government fail as president defends euro

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s efforts to form a government broke down on Sunday after the president rejected a eurosceptic pick for the key economy ministry, triggering a potential constitutional crisis and opening the prospect of fresh elections. Italy’s Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte leaves after a meeting with the Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, May 27, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro BianchiThe leaders of the two anti-establishment parties trying to field a government, the far-right League and the 5-Star Movement, accused President Sergio Mattarella of betraying the constitution…

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