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Wednesday Morning Briefing

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Uber revealed it paid hackers to hide a huge data breach last year, a U.S. Navy plane crashed in the Philippine sea and Zimbabwe’s former vice president is due to be sworn in as president on Friday.

Iran pushes to retain Asia oil buyers as possible U.S. sanctions loom

SINGAPORE Iran is pushing to retain customers for its oil in Asia, hoping that price reductions will boost the appeal of its crude compared with other Middle Eastern supply even as the potential threat of further U.S. sanctions on the country looms.

6:07am EST

U.S. prosecutors charge Iranian in 'Game of Thrones' hack

U.S. prosecutors have charged an Iranian national with hacking into cable TV network HBO and stealing episodes and plot summaries for unaired programs including "Game of Thrones," then threatening to release the data unless he was paid $6 million.

Iran's Rouhani urges France to remain "realistic, impartial" in Middle East

BEIRUT/PARIS France can play a productive role in the Middle East by taking a "realistic and impartial approach", Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, in a phone call on Tuesday, according to Iranian state media.

World, Davos, France Nov 21 2017

Iran's president declares end of Islamic State

BEIRUT Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State on Tuesday while a senior military commander thanked the "thousands of martyrs" killed in operations organised by Iran to defeat the militant group in Syria and Iraq.

World, Davos Nov 21 2017

U.S. appeals court revives claims in $1.7 billion Iran terrorism lawsuit

NEW YORK A federal appeals court in New York on Tuesday revived part of a $1.68 billion lawsuit against Iran's central bank, Bank Markazi, by families of soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon.

World, U.S. Nov 21 2017

Macron scores diplomatic coup on Lebanon but balancing act under test

PARIS President Emmanuel Macron's initiative in bringing Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri to Paris puts France at the center of a power struggle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran and will test a policy of neutrality that critics doubt can be sustained.

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Officials accuse U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law on child soldiers, Tencent surpasses Facebook to become the world’s fifth-most valuable company and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe faces the start of the impeachment process.

Lebanon's Hezbollah denies sending weapons to Yemen

BEIRUT The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Monday his Iran-backed group had not sent any weapons to Yemen and denied that it was behind the firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh from Yemeni territory held by Tehran-allied Houthi forces.

World, Yemen, Lebanon Nov 20 2017

U.S. sanctions individuals, entities for Iran-linked counterfeiting

WASHINGTON The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday sanctioned a network of individuals and companies it said counterfeited Yemeni bank notes potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran Revolutionary Guard's Qods Force.

World, Yemen Nov 20 2017
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U.S. Navy plane crashes in Philippine Sea, three missing

TOKYO A U.S. Navy transport plane carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.