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U.S. says its warning appears to have averted Syrian chemical attack

BRUSSELS/ISTANBUL U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad appeared so far to have heeded a warning this week from Washington not to carry out a chemical weapons attack. | Video

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Celebration and protest as China president visits Hong Kong

HONG KONG President Xi Jinping arrives in Hong Kong on Thursday to celebrate its 20th anniversary of Chinese rule, but he faces a city divided, mass protests and aggrieved crowds resentful of Beijing's growing meddling in local affairs.

8:57pm EDT

North Korea calls for execution of ex-South Korea leader over 'assassination' plot

SEOUL North Korea said on Wednesday it has issued a standing order for the execution of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her spy chief for what it said was a plot to assassinate its leader, and it demanded that the South hand the pair over.

Moscow prepares retaliation for U.S. seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds

MOSCOW Moscow is preparing retaliatory measures to Washington's decision to seize two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States in 2016, Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

3:07pm EDT

What next in Afghanistan? Europe seeks U.S. leadership

BRUSSELS European allies will tell U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Thursday they are willing to help step up NATO's mission in Afghanistan - but only if the United States is clear on its strategy, diplomats said.

Afghanistan 7:09pm EDT

Chinese paper says Australia spying on embassy, monitoring citizens

BEIJING The Australian government has been spying on China's embassy in the country and "harassing" Chinese people to provide intelligence, an influential state-run newspaper said on Thursday, citing a security source.

China, Australia 9:12pm EDT

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