INDIA’S RULING PARTY SUFFERS DEFEAT IN KEY STATES

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12 DECEMBER 2018 (SOURCE: INDEPENDENT) – The ruling party of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has suffered a major setback just a few months before a general election, trailing the rival Congress Party in three key state polls. In the last set of state elections before the whole country goes to the ballot box in spring, preliminary results showed bad defeats…

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ATTACKS CONTINUE AS IRAQ MARKS ONE YEAR SINCE DEFEATING ISIS

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11 DECEMBER 2018 (VOA) –  In the desert outside Mosul there is a giant sinkhole, once thought a natural wonder, with stories about it going back for generations. There are believed to be as many as 10,000 or more bodies decomposing inside, unceremoniously dumped by Islamic State militants, after or during the killings. And as…

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WEEK 7: God Never Sleeps

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“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:2-4, NIV)   I’ve always liked a solid eight hours of sleep at night. That…

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YEMEN WARRING PARTIES HOLD FIRST PEACE TALKS IN SWEDEN

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10 DECEMBER 2018 (SOURCE: REUTERS) – Yemen’s warring parties held the first direct talks in U.N.-led peace efforts in Sweden on Sunday to iron out a prisoner swap, one of several confidence-building measures intended to help launch a political process to end nearly four years of conflict. Since talks began on Thursday, U.N. officials have been…

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114 IRANIAN CHRISTIAN ARRESTED IN ONE WEEK

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07 DECEMBER 2018 (SOURCE: WWM) – Over 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in the past week and nearly 150 in the past month, as part of the government’s attempt to “warn” Christians against proselytising over Christmas, according to the advocacy director of religious freedom charity Article 18. Mansour Borji called the number of arrests…

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“YELLOW VEST” PROTEST FORCES FRENCH GOVERNMENT TO DROP TAX HIKE

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06 DECEMBER 2018 (SOURCE: REUTERS) –  President Emmanuel Macron’s government is dropping further fuel-tax hikes in next year’s budget in the face of protests across France over living costs, his prime minister said on Wednesday, a day after announcing their suspension for six months. The Macron administration is struggling to defuse the anger driving the “yellow…

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THREE COUNTRIES MOVING TOWARDS PEACE IN 2018

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By Cherolyn Amery, Alex Pollock and Donnelly McCleland   News outlets around the world bombard their audience with stories of war, disaster and famine. Seldom do stories of peace and hope make the headlines, and if they do, they usually disappear quickly, or commentators and analysts quickly provide an alternative outlook, focusing on what could…

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THREE KEY GEOPOLITICAL EVENTS OF 2018

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By Andrew Richards   2018 Overview 2018 saw world powers battling it out in proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, expanding the fight through cyber warfare and even trying to force each other into submission by means of a trade war. Arguably, Turkey made the biggest geopolitical shift in the Middle East as the NATO…

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THREE HEADLINE-MAKERS IN 2018

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By Donnelly McCleland, Alex Pollock and Cherolyn Amery   CROWN PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN – The Man Who Would Be King Since his meteoric rise to power in 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has enjoyed favourable coverage in the international media, with a major focus on his economic and social reforms in…

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PRISONER SWAP AHEAD OF YEMEN PEACE TALKS

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05 DECEMBER 2018 (SOURCE: INDEPENDENT) – Yemen’s recognised government and the Houthi rebels have agreed to a massive prisoner swap to boost UN efforts for a ceasefire deal, as a rebel delegation flew to Sweden for a fresh round of peace talks. The agreement was struck by UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who was in the rebel-held capital Sana’a on…

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