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Trump in Japan: Sumo, barbecue and an imperial audience

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is pulling out all the stops for his country's closest ally.

Sources: Turkey Arms Syrian Rebels Facing Russian-Backed Assault

Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian rebels it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and rebel sources said  Saturday.  Russia is backing the Syrian army's large aerial and ground assault as it seeks to gain control of the last big stretch of rebel-held territory in the northwest of the country.  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched the assault last month, saying rebels had breached an… Read Full Article

Saudi women runners push boundaries on the streets

Jeddah Running Community is one of a growing number of mixed gender Saudi Arabian running groups.

India's President Appoints Modi as PM for Second Term 

India's president on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi as the prime minister soon after newly elected lawmakers from the ruling alliance, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, elected him as their leader following a thunderous victory in national elections.    President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet that he also asked Modi to forward the names of those to be appointed as ministers in his government and the date for the swearing-in for his second five-year term as prime… Read Full Article

Korean Director Wins Cannes' Top Prize

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's social satire Parasite, about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family, won the Cannes Film Festival's top award, the Palme d'Or, on Saturday.      Parasite was the first Korean film to win the Palme. In the festival's closing ceremony, jury president Alejandro Inarritu said the choice was ``unanimous'' for the nine-person jury.      The genre-mixing film had arguably been celebrated more than others at Cannes this year, hailed by… Read Full Article

Norway Says Venezuela Mediation to Resume Next Week

Representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition have decided to return to Norway for a mediation effort aimed at resolving the political crisis in the South American country, the Norwegian government said Saturday.    Norway said it would facilitate discussions next week in Oslo, in an indication that the negotiation track is gaining momentum after months of escalating tension between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido.    Norwegian Foreign… Read Full Article

Why Americans Obsess About Their Grass

In the United States, the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, a holiday that honors people who died in military service during wartime. The end of May also marks the beginning of a less serious kind of war. It is one many living Americans fight each summer. It is a battle for – and about – the perfect lawn. That’s right, the lawn: the grass around most American houses. Virginia Scott Jenkins is an expert on Americans’ extreme interest in lawns. In fact, in her book on the issue, she calls… Read Full Article

Russia ordered to release Ukraine sailors

The chances of Moscow complying with the UN tribunal's ruling are thought to be minimal.

Militants Kill 25 Nigerian Soldiers, Some Civilians, Sources Report

Islamist insurgents killed at least 25 soldiers and a number of civilians in an  ambush in northeast Nigeria on Saturday morning, two security sources said, the second deadly attack on the army this week.    Militants opened fire as the soldiers were escorting a groups of evacuees from a village in Borno state, where Boko Haram and other militants have been fighting for a decade.    "They ambushed and surrounded the vehicles of both the soldiers and the civilians and opened fire on them,"… Read Full Article

Russia Launches Nuclear Icebreaker 

Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic's commercial potential. The ship, dubbed the Ural, was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg. It's one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.    Russia is building new infrastructure and overhauling its ports as, amid warmer climate cycles, it readies… Read Full Article