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Gates Foundation Says Billions ‘Mired in Inequality’

Living conditions have improved greatly since 2000 even for the world’s poorest people, but billions remain mired in “layers of inequality.” That is the assessment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s third annual report on progress toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goals – 17 measures that most countries have pledged to try to reach by …

Netanyahu Faces Tough Re-Election Fight Against Rival Gantz

Israelis are voting Tuesday in general elections as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a challenge from former military chief Benny Gantz. Polls show Tuesday’s contest too close to call, with Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party tied with Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party, with neither predicted to win a majority of seats in the 120-member Knesset, …

China and US Clash Over ‘Belt and Road’ in Afghan Resolution

China and Russia clashed with the U.S. and other Security Council members Monday over China’s insistence on including a reference to Beijing’s $1 trillion “belt and road” global infrastructure program in a resolution on the U.N. political mission in Afghanistan. The mission’s six-month mandate expires Tuesday and council members met behind closed doors for over …

Split Emerges in Venezuela Opposition Over Talks with Gov’t

A minority group of opposition parties in Venezuela agreed Monday to enter negotiations with President Nicolas Maduro’s government without the participation of U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, eroding his efforts to hold together a coalition to confront the socialist administration. The agreement was signed by representatives of several opposition parties alongside Maduro’s top aides in …

Israeli PM Vows to Annex ‘All The Settlements’ in West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to annex “all the settlements” in the West Bank, including an enclave deep in the heart of the largest Palestinian city, in a last-ditch move that appeared aimed at shoring up nationalist support the day before a do-over election. Locked in a razor tight race and with legal …

Outsiders Surge in Tunisia Presidential Polls

Two candidates who claim they will win through to Tunisia’s presidential runoff — a conservative law expert and an imprisoned media mogul — could hardly be more different, but both bill themselves as political outsiders. Nabil Karoui, behind bars since August 23 on charges of money laundering, is a populist showman whose political colors changed …

Johnson, Juncker Hold Brexit Talks; No Visible Breakthrough

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker held their first face-to-face talks Monday, without any visible signs of a breakthrough on an elusive Brexit deal. The two men talked over a two-hour lunch of snails and salmon in Juncker’s native Luxembourg, amid claims from the U.K. — though not the EU — that …

Hong Kong-Born Australian Lawmaker Faces Probe into Links to Chinese Communist-Backed Groups

The first Chinese-born woman to sit in the lower house of Australia’s federal parliament is under a sustained attack for failing to disclose her membership in organizations linked to China’s Communist Party.  There are claims Gladys Liu had connections with senior figures in Beijing’s covert political propaganda apparatus, which have raised questions about her eligibility …

Iran Threatens War, as Oil Prices Spike

Analysts warn that Saturday’s drone attack on two Saudi oil facilities, which appear to have shattered the prospect of a rapprochement between Tehran and Washington, could push the price of a barrel of oil as high as $100. The drone strike came as it emerged that U.S. President Donald Trump had been thinking of easing …

Economy, Honesty Key Concerns as Tunisians Choose Their President

Tunisians voted Sunday to select their next president among some two dozen candidates. More than seven million people were eligible to cast their ballot in what is only the North African country’s second free presidential election, eight years after its so-called Jasmine Revolution. A steady stream of people filed into this primary school in the …