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U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Lebanese 'Money Laundering' Group

U.S. officials on Thursday announced that Washington has sanctioned a Lebanese network accused of laundering millions of dollars for "drug kingpins" and helping finance Hizbullah, the Iran-backed Shiite movement that Washington labels a "terrorist organization."

The U.S. Treasury Department said it has added Lebanese national Kassem Chams to its blacklist, along with two related entities: the "Chams Money Laundering Organization" and Chams Exchange, a money service business in Lebanon.

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Israeli Spacecraft Crashes during Moon Landing

Israel's attempt at a moon landing failed at the last minute Thursday when the craft suffered an engine failure as it prepared to land and apparently crashed onto the lunar surface.

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Poll Predicts Comedian Zelensky Will Win Ukraine Vote

A new poll released Thursday predicted comedian Volodymyr Zelensky would win the second round of Ukraine's presidential election scheduled for April 21. 

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Young Chinese to be Sent Back to Villages in Mao-Style Move

China is planning to send millions of youth "volunteers" back to the villages, raising fears of a return to the methods of Chairman Mao's brutal Cultural Revolution of 50 years ago.

The Communist Youth League (CYL) has promised to dispatch more than 10 million students to "rural zones" by 2022 in order to "increase their skills, spread civilization and promote science and technology," according to a Communist Party document.    

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EU Countries Approve Launch of U.S. Trade Talks

EU member states gave the green light on Thursday for Brussels to open trade talks with Washington, diplomatic sources said, ending months of stalemate due to opposition from France.

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'Political Police' Revelations Hit Spain's Election Campaign

Spain's so-called "political police," which under previous conservative governments allegedly dug up dirt and fabricated evidence to harm rivals, has emerged as an explosive theme in the campaign for elections at the end of this month.

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U.S., Europeans Call for U.N. Security Council Talks on Sudan

The United States and five European countries on Thursday called for a U.N. Security Council meeting on Sudan after president Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the army, diplomats said.

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Lagarde Says Brexit Delay Averts 'Terrible Outcome'

The European Union decision to offer Britain a six-month delay in exiting the economic bloc averts disaster but perpetuates the uncertainty of Brexit, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Thursday.

"At least the UK is not leaving on the 12th of April without a deal," Lagarde told reporters at the start of the IMF's spring meetings with the World Bank.

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Italy Warns of Libya Humanitarian, Migration Emergency

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned Thursday that the deteriorating situation in Libya could create a humanitarian crisis and increase the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

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Monsanto Loses Appeal in French Farmer's Poisoning Case

A French court on Thursday upheld a guilty verdict against chemicals giant Monsanto over the poisoning of a farmer who suffered neurological damage after using one of its weedkillers, the latest legal setback for the company over its controversial pesticides.

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