September 28, 2017 / 6:00 AM / 22 days ago

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TOP STORIES

Japan parliament dissolved, snap Oct. 22 election expected

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls a snap election, as fresh opinion polls show a fledgling conservative party led by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike gains momentum ahead of the Oct. 22 vote. (JAPAN-ELECTION/ (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV), moving shortly, by Linda Sieg and Elaine Lies, 643 words)

Trump proposes U.S. tax overhaul, stirs concerns on deficit

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump proposes the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in three decades, calling for tax cuts for most Americans, but prompting criticism that the plan favors business and the rich and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit. (USA-TAX/ (UPDATE 5, PIX), moved, by David Morgan and Richard Cowan, 982 words)

Baghdad piles pressure on Iraqi Kurds to reverse overwhelming independence vote

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq - Baghdad heaps pressure on Iraq’s Kurds, demanding they cancel their overwhelming vote for independence while parliament urges central government to send troops to take control of vital oil fields held by Kurdish forces. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/KURDS-REFERENDUM (WRAPUP 4, PIX, TV, GRAPHICS), moved, by Ahmed Rasheed and Raya Jalabi, 996 words)

Schaeuble to head German parliament, unblocking coalition talks

BERLIN - Germany takes first decisive step toward forming new government when its veteran finance minister, conservative Wolfgang Schaeuble, agrees to become president of parliament, clearing way for another party to take his job. (GERMANY-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 3, TV, PIX), moved, by Thomas Escritt, 693 words)

ASIA

S.Korea expects more N.Korea provocations mid-October

SEOUL - South Korea expects North Korea to engage in more provocative action next month to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of its communist party and China’s all-important Communist Party Congress. (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/SOUTHKOREA (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christine Kim, 548 words)

+ See also:

- OLYMPICS-2018/NORTHKOREA (EXCLUSIVE, PIX), moved, by Jane Chung and Hyunjoo Jin, 871 words

Aid groups call for access to Myanmar conflict zone

YANGON - International aid groups in Myanmar urge the government to allow free access to Rakhine State, where an army offensive has sent 480,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh but hundreds of thousands remain cut off from food, shelter and medical care. (MYANMAR-ROHINGYA/ (PIX, TV), by Simon Lewis, 666 words)

Millionaires’ wealth reached $63.5 trillion globally in 2016 - study

HONG KONG - The number of millionaires rose 7.5 percent to an all-time high of around 16.5 million people with record total wealth of $63.5 trillion, an annual report by global consultancy firm Capgemini shows. (GLOBAL-WEALTH/, moving shortly, 399 words)

MIDDLE EAST

‘Rain begins with a single drop’: Saudi women rejoice at end of driving ban

RIYADH - Saudi women rejoice at their new freedom to drive, with some taking to roads though licenses will not be issued for nine months. (SAUDI-WOMEN/DRIVING (UPDATE 1, TV, PIX), moved, by Stephen Kalin and Katie Paul, 898 words)

Interpol approves membership for State of Palestine over Israeli objections

JERUSALEM - Interpol votes to admit State of Palestine as member over Israeli objections at international police organization’s general assembly in Beijing. (ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS/INTERPOL (UPDATE 3, TV), moved, by Jeffrey Heller, 446 words)

EUROPE

‘Political mainstream,’ Corbyn says Britain’s Labour ready for government

BRIGHTON, England - Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn tells Prime Minister Theresa May to step aside and make way for Labour party to lead Britain’s Brexit talks, saying his leftist ideas are now “political mainstream”. (BRITAIN-POLITICS/LABOUR-CORBYN (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, by Elizabeth Piper and William James, 796 words)

UNITED STATES

Mexico opens way for NAFTA talks to run into 2018

OTTAWA - Mexico opens the possibility that talks to revamp the NAFTA trade pact were so complex they could run into 2018, beyond an end-December deadline designed to avoid its presidential election campaign that kicks off in March. (TRADE-NAFTA/ (UPDATE 3, PIX), moved, by Adriana Barrera and Lesley Wroughton, 500 words)

Equifax apologizes as U.S. watchdog calls for more oversight

Equifax Inc promises to make it easier for consumers to control access to their credit records in the wake of the company’s massive breach after the top U.S. consumer financial watchdog called on the industry to introduce such a system. (EQUIFAX-CYBER/CFPB (UPDATE 2), moved, by John McCrank, 425 words)

AMERICAS

Puerto Rico seeks waiver of shipping restrictions to speed hurricane relief

SAN JUAN - Puerto Rico officials pressed the Trump administration on Wednesday to lift a ban on foreign shipping between American ports as the U.S. island territory struggled with fuel, water and medical supply shortages one week after Hurricane Maria struck. (USA-PUERTORICO/ (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved, by Robin Respaut and Scott DiSavino, 913 words)

+ See also:

- USA-PUERTORICO/COMMUNICATION (PIX, TV), by Robin Respaut and Dave Graham, 901 words

- USA-PUERTORICO/COMFORT (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, by Idrees Ali, 596 words

Venezuelan leader blasts Rajoy, mocks Trump

CARACAS - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rails at two of his main international critics, chiding Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for “meddling” and mocking U.S. President Donald Trump for geographical ignorance. (VENEZUELA-POLITICS/ (PIX), moved, by Diego Oré and Andrew Cawthorne, 486 words)

ENTERTAINMENT

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at age 91

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men’s magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, dies aged 91, Playboy Enterprises says. (PEOPLE-HUGHHEFNER/ (UPDATE 6, PIX), moved, by Bill Trott, 1,002 words)

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