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Last update: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 06am

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Despite Brexit, Kerry says, EU and US must work closely together ROME: Citing the need to address the threat from Islamic State and conflicts from Libya to Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the United States, European Union and Britain must cooperate closely despite Britain's decision to leave the EU. "There is a continuing criticality to this relationship, and one of the things that I want to emphasize in coming here today to Europe is how important the relationship of Europe, the EU, is to the United States and to the world," Kerry said in remarks with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The comments by Kerry, who is due to visit Brussels and London on Monday, appear to underscore concerns that the political upheaval in Europe could complicate US President Barack Obama's priority goal of managing an international coalition to defeat armed Islamic militants. At the same time, Kerry said he and Obama are "absolutely convinced ...

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Iraqi commander declares defeat of Islamic State in Falluja FALLUJA: Iraqi forces recaptured the last district held by Islamic State militants in the city of Falluja on Sunday and the general commanding the operation declared the battle complete after nearly five weeks of fighting. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed victory in Falluja more than a week ago, but clashes continued inside the city west of Baghdad, including in its central Golan district. The assault is part of a wider offensive by Iraqi forces against ...

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Peru state energy company reports Amazon oil spill LIMA: An oil spill in the Amazon region of Peru was detected on Friday night, state energy company Petroperu said in a statement on Saturday, adding that measures were being taken to fix the ruptured pipeline and to protect the environment. The company said it was investigating the cause of the spill, which took place in the Barranca district of Maranon province. Cleanup efforts were focused on preventing spilled oil from being absorbed into the ...

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Ecuador says Brexit 'spoils' scheduled bond issue QUITO: Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday that Britain's vote to leave the European Union has "spoiled" a bond issue that had been planned for next week to help shore up the cash-strapped oil-exporter's finances. Thursday's "Brexit" vote spooked global markets and spurred a plunge in stock and commodities prices as investors flocked toward safer investments and steered away from riskier securities such as emerging market bonds. "We were going to launch an issue ...

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Deadly California wildfire has destroyed 150 homes, more threatened LOS ANGELES: A massive wildfire burning out of control in the foothills of central California has left at least 150 homes in ruins and damaged another 75, officials said on Saturday, warning that more residents may be forced to flee the advancing flames. The so-called Erskine fire, which broke out on Thursday some 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Bakersfield in Kern County, has already claimed two lives, sent three firefighters to the hospital and ...