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U.N. to hold new Libya talks, gunmen kidnap deputy foreign minister

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By Ayman al-Warfalli and Ulf Laessing BENGHAZI/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A new round of talks between rival Libyan factions will take place in Geneva on Monday, the United Nations said, even as gunmen kidnapped the deputy foreign minister of the recognised government. Nearly four years after a NATO-backed revolt ousted Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in turmoil with two rival governments and two parliaments backed by armed factions who Western governments fear may drag the country into civil war. The internationally-recognised government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and the elected House of Representatives have worked out of the east after one faction, Libya Dawn, took over Tripoli in the summer, set up its own government and reinstated the old parliament known as the GNC.

Trial to begin in Boy Scout sex abuse civil case

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Previously sealed Boy Scouts "perversion" files spanning 16 years could soon be in the public eye as part of a negligence lawsuit set for trial Monday in California that was filed against the organization by a victim of sex abuse.

At Koch summit, Rand Paul splits with Cruz, Rubio

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Rand Paul is demonstrating how he could disrupt the Republican presidential field if he seeks the nomination, sparring with potential rivals over Iran, Cuba and the Pentagon's budget in a face-to-face forum that offered an early preview of the feisty policy debate to come.

Congo parliament passes election law stripped of census requirement

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Democratic Republic of Congo's parliament gave final approval on Sunday to an electoral law shorn of a controversial provision that risked delaying a vote due in 2016 and triggered days of deadly protests. Last weekend, the lower house passed the law with a measure ordering a national census before the next presidential election. Critics of President Joseph Kabila said it was intended to delay the vote and allow him to stay in power. Diplomats called on Congo's government and lawmakers to drop the demand for a census, which could take years to complete in the country, which is home to over 60 million and lacks basic infrastructure.

Central African Republic minister kidnapped, another targeted

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By Crispin Dembassa-Kette BANGUI (Reuters) - Central African Republic's minister for youth and sport was kidnapped on Sunday by gunmen in the capital, Bangui, and a second minister narrowly escaped capture in a town to the north, officials said. The seizure of Armel Ningatoloum Sayo follows the brief kidnapping earlier this week of a U.N. staff member and a French charity worker, highlighting insecurity in the country despite the presence of French and U.N. peace keepers. Tatiana Yangeko, Sayo's spokeswoman, said the minister was driving his wife and his brother back from church when four unidentified gunmen in a taxi stopped their vehicle in Bangui's 8th arrondissement, in the north of the capital. Later, a government source told Reuters that Education Minister Eloi Anguimate was targeted in a separate kidnapping attempt in Kaga Bandoro, some 300 km (186 miles) north of Bangui on Sunday.

Obama takes in India's grand Republic Day parade

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for the media before they held their talks, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. Seizing on their personal bond, Obama and Modi said Sunday they had made progress on nuclear cooperation and climate change, with Obama declaring a "breakthrough understanding" in efforts to free U.S. investment in nuclear energy development in India. (AP Photo/Press Trust of India) INDIA OUTNEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India's annual Republic Day festivities.


Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city

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Soldiers walk through Hausari village during a military patrol near MaiduguriBy Lanre Ola and Ardo Abullah MAIDUGURI/BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria's military repelled multiple attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants on Borno state capital Maiduguri in the northeast, security sources said on Sunday, but the insurgents captured another Borno town. The assault on Maiduguri, with a population of around two million, began just after midnight. A raid on Monguno, 140 km (80 miles) north, began later in the morning and the town fell under militant control by the late afternoon. The militants also simultaneously attacked another town, Konduga, which is 40 km (24 miles) from Maiduguri, but the military was able to repel the raid.


Ecobank to comply with Ivorian order in defamation case

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By Matthew Mpoke Bigg ACCRA (Reuters) - Pan-African lender Ecobank will comply with an order by a court in Ivory Coast to publish in international media a judgment in a defamation case brought by its former chief executive even as it appeals against the ruling, a bank spokesman said on Sunday. Ecobank must publish the commercial court's ruling on former CEO Thierry Tanoh's case in "all news media and internet sites" or face a fine of $400,000 a day, according to the judgement issued on Jan. 15. The court said Ecobank and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa must pay Tanoh $15 million for defamation in a ruling Tanoh's lawyer said re-established his honour. The PIC is the largest asset manager in Africa and one of the top shareholders in Ecobank, a bank headquartered in Togo and listed in Nigeria, Ghana and on the West African regional bourse BRVM.

At least 17 killed in protests on anniversary of Egypt uprising

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Anti-government protesters help an injured protester when pro-government protesters threw stones during a protest in CairoBy Maggie Fick and Shadi Bushra CAIRO (Reuters) - At least 17 people were killed on Sunday in Egypt's bloodiest protests since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected president, as security forces fired at protesters marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Gunfire and sirens could be heard in Cairo into the night as armoured personnel carriers moved through the centre of a city where security forces had once again used lethal force against dissenters. A Health Ministry spokesman said at least 17 people had been killed at protests across the country. The anniversary was a test of whether Islamists and liberal activists had the resolve to challenge a government that has persistently stamped out dissent since the then-army chief Sisi ousted elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.


Three Malian soldiers killed in clash with gunmen in north

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Malian soldiers train for an ambush at the EU training mission headquarters in KoulikoroUnidentified gunmen clashed with Malian security forces in the northern region of Timbuktu on Sunday, killing at least three soldiers, officials said. The fighting took place between Timbuktu and the town of Goundam after security forces came across gunmen who had seized and were robbing a group of travellers on the remote desert road. Oumar Abocar Toure, the mayor of the nearby commune of Douekire who was among the group initially seized by the gunmen, said the major in charge of the Malian military unit and two other soldiers were killed in the exchange of fire. Colonel Souleymane Maiga, spokesman for Mali's armed forces, said a pickup truck with a mounted machinegun had been recovered and the situation was now under control.


Rain on India's parade, but Obama visit keeps spirits high

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India's PM Modi, US President Obama, India's President Mukherjee and Vice President Ansari sit as they attend the Republic Day parade in New DelhiBy Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama watched a dazzling parade of India's military might and cultural diversity on Monday, the second day of a visit trumpeted as a chance to establish a robust strategic partnership between the world's two largest democracies. It rained on the parade through the heart of New Delhi, but excitement nevertheless ran high over Obama's landmark visit, which began on Sunday with a clutch of deals and 'bromance' bonding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Most significant was an agreement on two issues that, despite a groundbreaking 2006 pact, had stopped U.S. companies from setting up nuclear reactors in India and had become one of the major irritants in bilateral relations. The bonhomie was a remarkable spectacle, given that a year ago Modi was persona non grata in Washington and was banned from visiting the United States for nearly a decade after deadly Hindu-Muslim riots in a state he governed.


Falcons' Ryan throws deciding TD in Pro Bowl win

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Team Irvin quarterback Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons walks off the field after the 45th Pro Bowl event, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on January 25, 2015Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw the deciding touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham late in the fourth quarter as Team Irvin edged Team Carter 32-28 in the NFL Pro Bowl. The 45th edition of the all-star event on Sunday featured teams picked by Hall of Fame receivers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took most of the snaps for Team Irvin, throwing for 316 yards and two touchdowns, including one of two caught by Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders.


Medical pot only OK for sick kids failed by other drugs: MDs

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FILE-This Jan. 13, 2015 file photo, shows parents of children who suffer from epilepsy. With virtually no hard proof that medical marijuana benefits sick children, and evidence that it may harm developing brains, the drug should only be used for severely ill kids who have no other treatment option, the nation's most influential pediatricians group says in a new policy. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)CHICAGO (AP) — With virtually no hard proof that medical marijuana benefits sick children, and evidence that it may harm developing brains, the drug should only be used for severely ill kids who have no other treatment option, the nation's most influential pediatricians group says in a new policy.


Tsipras moves to form anti-austerity Greek government after crushing victory

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The head of radical leftist Syriza party Tsipras speaks to supporters after winning the elections in AthensBy Costas Pitas and James Mackenzie ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek leftwing leader Alexis Tsipras will move on Monday to build a stable government that can take on international lenders and reverse years of painful austerity following a crushing election victory by his Syriza party. Fresh from his defeat of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the 40-year-old Tsipras will meet the head of the small Independent Greeks party which, like Syriza, opposes Greece's bailout deal. Syriza won 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament in Sunday's election, two short of an absolute majority, but the result marked a comprehensive rejection of the years of austerity demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in return for the 240 billion-euro bailout.


Safety concerns cloud early promise of powerful new cancer drugs

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By Ransdell Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new wave of experimental cancer drugs that directly recruit the immune system's powerful T cells are proving to be immensely effective weapons against tumors, potentially transforming the $100 billion global market for drugs that fight the disease. In some trials, the two new approaches, known as CAR T cells and bispecific antibodies, have eliminated all traces of blood cancers in 40 percent to 90 percent of patients who had no remaining options. Bispecific antibodies are a twist on conventional antibodies, Y-shaped proteins whose two arms grasp for the same protein target found on cancer cells. With bispecifics, one arm of the antibody typically grasps a cancer cell while the other arm takes hold of T cells, bringing the mortal enemies into contact. The T cell punches holes into the adjacent tumor cell and injects deadly enzymes.

As Obama visits, Indian president slams nation's failures

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By Rupam Jain Nair NEW DELHI (Reuters) - President Pranab Mukherjee gave a stern assessment of India 65 years after it declared itself a republic, criticizing parliamentary dysfunction and the overuse of decrees in a message that might also resonate with his visitor, U.S. President Barack Obama. In a Republic Day address on the eve of the celebrations, India's largely ceremonial president was also scathing about rampant violence against women in the world's second most populous nation. Mukherjee said the opposition should debate laws responsibly rather than disrupting the houses of parliament, and warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government against governing by decree.

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