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Russia and Saudi Arabia said Friday they believe a deal is possible to gradually boost oil output from as soon as July as world oil prices have recently hit highs last seen in 2014. Meanwhile President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow would be satisfied with the price of crude oil dropping to $60 per barrel, from its recent level of around $80. Russia and Saudi Arabia are the key movers behind a pact between OPEC and other producers that has limited production since 2017 but which experts fear may soon lead to a spike in prices.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A day after international prosecutors said they had unequivocal evidence of Russian involvement in the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine nearly four years ago, the Netherlands and Australia on Friday announced they were holding Moscow legally responsible for its role in the missile attack.
An elderly Australian nun facing deportation after angering Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte launched a last-minute appeal against the order on Friday, the deadline for her to leave the country. Sister Patricia Fox, 71, has been accused of illegally engaging in political activism as the government cracks down on foreign critics on its soil. Duterte, who accuses the Melbourne native of "disorderly conduct", had the immigration service detain her briefly last month, after which her missionary visa was cancelled.
Two unidentified men walked into a restaurant on Thursday in the Canadian city of Mississauga and set off a bomb, wounding more than a dozen people, and then fleeing, authorities said. The blast went off in the Bombay Bhel restaurant at about 10:30 p.m. Fifteen people were taken to hospital, three of them with critical injuries, the Peel Regional Paramedic Service said in a Tweet. The two male suspects went into the restaurant and detonated their improvised explosive device, Peel Regional Police said in a Tweet.
Victims and survivors of mass shootings in Texas choked back tears, recounted the bloodshed that unfolded before their eyes and pleaded with Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday to improve safety so that another massacre does not take place. "May 18th came around and it finally happened to our school and we weren’t surprised," said Grace Johnson, a senior at Santa Fe High School, the latest campus in a string of deadly U.S. mass shootings that stoked a debate about the best ways to stop the carnage. "Why Santa Fe and we said why not.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate committee passed its version of a $716 billion defense policy bill on Thursday, including a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis, would remove Turkey from the F-35 program over its detention of U.S. citizen Andrew Brunson, Shaheen's office said.
A dozen pro-regime fighters were killed in an air strike on Syrian army positions a monitor said Thursday was carried out by the US-led coalition, but the Pentagon denied the report. State media reported the overnight air raid in an area where both the regime and coalition have been battling holdout jihadists, but said it only caused material damage. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a broad network of sources across Syria, said the strike had hit army positions south of Albu Kamal, a town on the border with Iraq.
Pope Francis warned Italian bishops this week to vet carefully applicants to the priesthood and reject anyone they suspected might be homosexual, local media reported on Thursday. "Keep an eye on the admissions to seminaries, keep your eyes open," the pope was quoted as saying by newspaper La Stampa's Vatican Insider service. "If in doubt, better not let them enter." The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on the remarks, which Vatican Insider and Il Messaggero said were made at a closed-door gathering on Monday.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday they had arrested a French citizen who headed an Islamic State group in Syria and had been involved in the Paris and Nice attacks in 2015 and 2016. An SDF statement said the man arrested was Adrien Lionel Kayali and that he was born in 1983 and converted to Islam in 2003. French media have reported the captured man's name as French citizen Adrien Guihal, wanted in connection with terrorist activities in France.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson discussed dealing with Moscow in an 18-minute phone call with Russian pranksters impersonating the prime minister of Armenia in a recording posted online Thursday and confirmed by the foreign ministry as genuine. During the hoax, which purportedly occurred last week, Johnson congratulates the caller -- whom he thinks is new Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan -- before promptly turning to Britain's frayed relations with Russia. "It's very important, I think, prime minister that we don't have a new Cold War," he added on the call, advising "determination and firmness" in dealing with Moscow.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen lashed out at China on Thursday after Burkina Faso broke diplomatic ties with the island, the second country to do so this month. The move, which has been welcomed by China, comes after the Dominican Republic switched recognition to Beijing earlier this month, leaving Taiwan with only 18 diplomatic allies around the world.
An international investigation has said the Russian military brought the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 into eastern Ukraine, leading to the tragedy that killed 298 people. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team said last year the Buk 9M38 surface-to-air missile in question arrived from Russia and was fired from territory held by Russia-backed separatists. But Thursday's press conference in the Netherlands for the first time implicated the Russian military, of which president Vladimir Putin is the commander in chief, in the catastrophe that shocked the world in July 2014. Although the JIT did not say who pulled the trigger, the conclusion that the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade from Kursk, a unit of a “few hundred people,” was operating the missile marks a step closer to naming the perpetrators. Investigators said they were working toward a court case in the Netherlands against those who fired the Buk Telar missile system as well as higher-ups in their chain of command. They are reportedly focusing on 100 or so suspects. Dutch police investigator Wilbert Paulissen next to the engine casing and thrust nozzile of the missile that brought down MH17 Credit: FRANCOIS LENOIR /Reuters The allegations come after Yulia Skripal said she was lucky to have survived an “attempted assassination” with a nerve agent in Salisbury, raising pressure on Russia three weeks before the start of the World Cup here. The JIT said it had again requested information from Russia, which had failed to tell it of this missile unit's activities, and put out another open call for confidential witness testimony. “We are looking for people that were directly or indirectly involved in the downing of MH17, but we're also thinking of individuals who were responsible for the operation that deployed the Buk Telar,” said Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Dutch national police. Russian officials began pushing back against the Dutch allegation almost immediately. Moscow has since the days after the plane went down put out a raft of unlikely theories to shift the blame to Ukraine and vetoed a proposed United Nations tribunal. Video: The Telegraph's Roland Oliphant visits site of downed jet Yury Shvytkin, a member of parliament from the ruling party, called the investigation “aggression against our country like that during the Skripal case” and claimed it would have to “at the minimum” find a soldier's fingerprints on the Buk missile to accuse Moscow. One of the two main Russian state television channels ignored the news on Thursday afternoon, while the other posted a news item on its website that avoided any mention of the Russian military involvement. The defence ministry could not immediately be reached for comment, even as it continued to post on social media footage tanks and ships at war games. Those killed when the missile hit MH17 at 33,000 feet, raining bodies and debris onto the farm fields below, were mostly Dutch but also of 17 other nationalities including British, Australian, Malaysian and Indonesian. Mr Paulissen said a “fingerprint for the missile” had been established through seven markings and features on the sides of the launcher visible in social media images. Photographs, videos and witness testimony traced the progress of this launcher in a convoy from Kursk to the Ukrainian border in June 2014, and it was photographed again near the launch site on the day of the catastrophe. Investigators also detonated a Buk missile to compare the debris to that found in the fields and bodies of MH17 victims, according to Australian federal police commander Jennifer Hurst. She displayed an engine casing and thrust nozzle from the Buk responsible with a serial number she said indicated it had been produced at a factory near Moscow in 1986. FAQ | Flight MH17 Asked whether there were satellite images of the launch, Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said the investigation had more information that it could not reveal at the risk of “showing our cards to the other side”. He added it was entering the “last phase” ahead of possible legal proceedings. Relatives of MH17 victims said in a letter in the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta on Wednesday that a “shadow” hangs over the World Cup, and the “Russian leaders who will profess to welcome the world with open arms, are those who are chiefly to blame for shattering our world”.
By Rozanna Latiff KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak, whose near 10-year rule ended two weeks ago, returned to an anti-graft agency on Thursday to resume his explanation for the suspicious transfers of $10.6 million dollars into his bank account. The sum represents just a fraction of billions of dollars that went missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund founded by Najib, in a scandal that was a key reason why voters dumped him in an election on May 9. Entering the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the embattled 64-year-old Najib appeared relaxed, smiling and waving as he walked through a throng of journalists.