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U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder

WASHINGTON In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China's claims in the South China Sea this month, United States officials talked about rallying a coalition to impose "terrible" costs to Beijing's international reputation if flouted the court's decision.

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China denies access to Hong Kong magazine founder, a U.S. citizen: U.S.

WASHINGTON The U.S. State Department confirmed on Wednesday that U.S. citizen James Wang has been imprisoned in China and that American diplomats have been denied permission to meet with him since he was arrested nearly 14 months ago.

China 4:06pm EDT

Australian police investigate Vatican treasurer over abuse: ABC

SYDNEY Cardinal George Pell, the Australian-born Vatican treasurer, is being investigated by police in relation to multiple allegations of child abuse in his home country, the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) reported on Wednesday.

Australia, Pope 5:35pm EDT

At least 120 cases of sexual violence in South Sudan capital: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations said on Wednesday there has been at least 120 cases of sexual violence and rape against civilians in South Sudan's capital Juba since fighting erupted three weeks ago between troops loyal to the country's rival leaders.

United Nations, Africa 6:50pm EDT

Malta denies visas for North Korea workers, sending them home: Yonhap

SEOUL Malta has denied visa extensions for North Korean workers, effectively expelling them, due to a diplomatic campaign by South Korea and human rights groups, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

Polish leader rejects EU critique, sees no exit referendum: Bild

BERLIN The leader of Poland's ruling eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party on Thursday rejected a European Union disciplinary procedure that is pressuring the government, and said the European Commission was overstepping its bounds.

8:19pm EDT

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