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Venezuela's Maduro decried as 'dictator' after Congress annulled

CARACAS Opposition leaders branded Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro a "dictator" on Thursday after the Supreme Court took over the functions of Congress and pushed a lengthy political standoff to new heights.

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Trump grants U.S. military more authority to attack militants in Somalia

WASHINGTON The White House has granted the U.S. military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, the Pentagon said on Thursday, the latest sign President Donald Trump is increasing U.S. military engagement in the region.

4:15pm EDT

U.S. priority on Syria no longer focused on 'getting Assad out': Haley

NEW YORK The United States' diplomatic policy on Syria for now is no longer focused on making the war-torn country's president, Bashar al-Assad, leave power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Thursday, in a departure from the Obama administration's initial and public stance on Assad's fate.

United Nations, Syria 5:21pm EDT

'El Chapo' prison conditions worst in U.S., prevent proper defense: lawyers

Held without access to sunlight or his relatives, Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is under more restrictive captivity than any other U.S. prisoner and it is difficult to mount a defense, his court appointed lawyers said on Thursday.

Mexico, U.S. 4:22pm EDT

U.N. experts see 'alarming' U.S. trend against free speech, protest

GENEVA Nineteen U.S. states have introduced bills that would curb freedom of expression and the right to protest since Donald Trump's election as president, an "alarming and undemocratic" trend, U.N. human rights investigators said on Thursday.

Russia 2:38pm EDT

South Africa's Zuma sacks Gordhan as finance minister in reshuffle: eNCA TV

JOHANNESBURG South Africa's President Jacob Zuma sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle late on Thursday, eNCA television said, after days of speculation that has rocked the country's markets and currency.

Africa 6:36pm EDT

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