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Iran Denies Satellite Programme Has Military Dimension

Iran's government on Wednesday rejected US allegations that the Islamic republic's satellite programme has a military dimension, days after the failed launch of its latest satellite.

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French Academic Held in Iran Ends Hunger Strike

French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, jailed in Iran since June, ended a six-week hunger strike on Wednesday, according to her lawyer.

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Kremlin Urges 'Implementation' of Syria Deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed de-escalation of the Syrian crisis, the Kremlin said Wednesday, adding that Russian-Turkish agreements should be implemented in full.

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'Parasite' Shares Rocket after Oscar Wins

South Korean shares linked to director Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning movie "Parasite" -- a dark comedy about the gap between rich and poor -- have soared after investors piled in following its unprecedented Academy Awards.

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Global Cost of Air Pollution $2.9 Trillion a Year, NGO Report Says

The global cost of air pollution caused by fossil fuels is US$8 billion a day, or roughly 3.3 percent of the world's GDP, an environmental research group said Wednesday.

The findings from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and Greenpeace Southeast Asia are the first to assess the global cost of air pollution specifically from burning oil, gas and coal. 

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US-Taliban Breakthrough Appears Closer as Ghani Reports Progress

The US and the Taliban appeared closer Wednesday to sealing a deal for an American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reported "notable progress" in negotiations and a senior Taliban official said violence could be slashed in the coming days.

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IMF Due in Argentina for Debt Restructuring Talks

Delegates from the International Monetary Fund were to arrive in Argentina on Wednesday to begin talks on restructuring the recession-hit South American country's crippling foreign debt.

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China Virus Death Toll Tops 1,100 as New Cases Fall

The death toll from China's coronavirus epidemic climbed past 1,100 on Wednesday but the number of new cases fell for a second straight day, raising hope the outbreak could peak later this month.

As Beijing scrambles to contain the outbreak, the number of people infected on a cruise ship off Japan's coast rose to 174 -- the biggest cluster outside the Chinese mainland.

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Venezuela Opposition Leader Guaido Returns Home, Fighting Erupts

Opposition leader Juan Guaido returned to Venezuela on Tuesday after an international support-building tour and called on the people in the crisis-wracked nation to keep pushing back against President Nicolas Maduro.

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Indonesia Says Won't Repatriate Hundreds of IS Recruits

Indonesia has said it will not bring home nearly 700 hundred nationals who joined the Islamic State group in the Middle East over security fears, but added it would still consider repatriating young children.

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