Detained US Navy veteran freed by Iran as part of deal

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U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Mashhad, Iran.
A U.S. Navy veteran whose family said his only crime was falling in love left Iran on Thursday after nearly two years of detention, winning his freedom as part of a deal that spared an American-Iranian physician any more time behind American bars.

Worrying over future, Hong Kong defies ban to mark Tiananmen

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Undercover police arrested attendees during a memorial vigil in Mongkok on June 4, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Thousands gathered for the annual memoria
Thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a police ban Thursday evening, breaking through barricades to hold a candlelight vigil on the 31st anniversary of China's crushing of a democracy movement centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
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New Zealand military buys 5 Lockheed Hercules planes for $1B

New Zealand's military said Friday it will buy five Super Hercules transport planes from Lockheed Martin for $1 billion.
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Asia Today: 39 new cases in S. Korea; China defends record

South Korea on Friday reported 39 new cases of the coronavirus as infections continued to spike after rigid social distancing rules were relaxed.
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Protesters rally for black lives, remind Australia of past

Thousands gathered in Australia's capital on Friday to remind Australians that the racial inequality underscored by George Floyd's death was not unique to the United States.
World
9:55pm

Storm season adds to pandemic worries for Mexico, C. America

Weeks ago, civil defense officials in Mexico's Tabasco state, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and now Tropical Storm Cristobal, asked health authorities for daily lists of infections in vulnerable communities.
World
8:10pm

Anger rising in Mexico over alleged police brutality death

As protests rock the United States over allegations of police abuses, anger built in Mexico on Thursday over its own police brutality case: a young man allegedly beaten to death after officers detained him for not wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
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7:55pm

Mexico leader urges calm after jump in reported COVID deaths

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged the country to remain calm Thursday as Mexico registered the second straight day of escalating coronavirus death numbers that rivaled those coming out of Brazil or the United States.
World
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Mexico's cuts in nature, archaeology budgets draws protests

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has cut budgets for things like archaeology, nature reserves and crime victims so deeply — about 75% in some cases — that parts of his own government cried foul Thursday.
World
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An Iranian rocket carrying a satellite prepared for launch from an undisclosed site believed to be in Iran's Semnan province.

Russia defends Iran satellite launch against US opposition

Russia is defending Iran's right to launch a satellite, dismissing U.S. claims that Tehran was defying the U.N. resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers by sending it into space.
World
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Face coverings to be mandated on public transport in England

Passengers on England's buses, subways and trains will have to wear face coverings from June 15 when most shops reopen, the British government said Thursday.
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Tripoli forces say they have ended siege of Libyan capital

Forces allied with Libya's U.N.-supported government said Thursday they regained control of all of Tripoli's entrance and exit points after taking back the airport, claiming that the siege by rival troops trying to capture the capital for over a year has effectively ended.
World
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Syria's Assad seeks to control economy, goes after cousin

On a summer day last year, presidential guards drove out of the charity organization founded by Syria's wealthiest businessman and a close cousin of President Bashar Assad, carting away boxes of documents and computers. At the same time, the charity's director was being questioned at the palace on suspicion of corruption.
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Syria: Israeli warplanes strike targets in central Syria

Syrian air defenses responded to an Israeli attack near a central town on Thursday that caused explosions and a large fire in the area, state-run media said.
World
2:24pm

Mexico seizes 2 tons of meth, 8 tons of marijuana, fentanyl

Mexican soldiers have seized a huge drug stash at a house in the border city of Tijuana, including about two tons of methamphetamine, eight tons of marijuana and 131,500 pills containing the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
World
2:00pm

Study shows Spain far from having 'herd immunity' to virus

A second round of random testing in Spain for antibodies to the new coronavirus indicates that a third of those infected do not develop symptoms, Spanish health authorities said Thursday.
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Burundi court upholds disputed presidential election results

Burundi's constitutional court on Thursday upheld the results of last month's presidential election and rejected the complaints filed by opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, who had alleged widespread irregularities.
World
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Killing of Palestinian man with autism draws Floyd parallel

Eyad Hallaq liked to watch cartoons. He loved dressing up and wearing cologne. He even dreamed of getting married. But his favorite activity was walking to school, where he volunteered in the kitchen, preparing meals for his fellow special-needs students.
World
1:25pm

Germany's Merkel dismisses talk she might seek 5th term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday firmly rejected suggestions that she might seek a fifth term at the helm after pledging in 2018 to step down when her current government leaves office.
World
1:15pm

European Central Bank nearly doubles pandemic support scheme

The European Central Bank has boosted its pandemic emergency support program by an unexpectedly large 600 billion euros to 1.35 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion), adding to efforts in Europe and around the world to help the economy weather the steep downturn caused by the virus outbreak.
World
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Prince Charles misses hugging his family amid virus lockdown

Prince Charles says he has missed giving his family members a hug during the long weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
World
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Group: Lack of virus tests pushes Afghanistan toward crisis

A prominent international aid organization warned Tuesday that Afghanistan is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster because the government is unable to test at least 80% of possible coronavirus cases.