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Iraqi PM To Resign After Deadly Anti-Government Protests

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Iraqi PM Adil Abdul Mahdi To Resign After Deadly Anti-Government Protests

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi will resign after nearly two months of anti-government protests in Iraq which has continued unabated.

In a statement on Friday, Abdul Mahdi’s resignation came in response to a call for a change of leadership by Iraq’s top shia leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Abdul Mahdi said he “listened with great concern” to al-Sistani’s sermon and made his decision in response to his call and in order to “facilitate and hasten its fulfillment as soon as possible”.

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Earlier, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in a sermon on Friday that parliament, which put the year-old government of Abdul Mahdi in power, should “reconsider its options.”

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Iraqi security forces on Thursday shot dead at least 44 people in the country’s south in one of the bloodiest days of violence since the anti-government protests erupted in early October.

33 protesters were reported killed in Nasiriya city after security forces used live ammunition and tear gas canisters on crowds while another 11 people were killed in Shia holy city of Najaf, where an Iranian consulate was torched a day earlier by angry protesters.

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Security sources told reporters at least 233 people were wounded in the crackdown on protests in Nasiriya.

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Pelosi Asks Committee To Proceed With Articles Of Impeachment

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Pelosi Asks Committee To Proceed With Articles Of Impeachment

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has directed the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment hearings started on Wednesday, and other democratic committee chairs, to begin drafting articles of impeachment against president Donald Trump.

She says the inquiry shows that president Trump had defied the norms of presidential conduct when he asked Ukraine to launch an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden, who happens to be one of his chief 2020 democratic challengers, to help him as he runs for re-election.  Pelosi said this violates Trump’s sworn obligation to uphold the U.S. constitution.

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After months of challenging, deriding and demeaning the impeachment inquiry, the White House is now publicly embracing the likelihood of a trial in the Republican-controlled senate.

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Pelosi said “the facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.”

Even before Pelosi gave the directives for drafting of articles of impeachment, Trump had goaded Democrats in a tweet on Thursday that, “if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the senate, and so that our country can get back to business.”

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French Workers Extend Strike Over Macron’s Pension Reforms

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French Workers Extend Strike Over Macron's Pension Reforms

At a NATO summit in London this week, French president Emmanuel Macron seemed to style himself as the leader of Europe, and the only continental leader who can stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump.

But, like Trump, the French leader returned home on Thursday to a serious mess:  a general strike over his plans to overhaul an over-extended pension system.

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The strike, which has crippled the country, is expected to continue perhaps till next week.  It is partly a response to Macron himself who is a former investment banker with a domineering personal style.

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This general strike spells big trouble for macron’s government.

The general strike has shuttered schools and disrupted transportation across the nation.

Last year’s “yellow vest” demonstrations were led by the marginally employed, and fueled by anger over inequality and government plans to overhaul the nation’s generous social welfare system. But the current strike features many unionized workers, including teachers, hospital workers and some civil servants.

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US Navy Base Shooting: 3 Killed Including Gunman At Florida Base

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US Navy Base Shooting: 3 Killed Including Gunman At Florida Base

The US Navy on Friday said at least two persons have been killed and a gunman dead after he opened fire at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

The Navy tweeted that “unknown number of injured people [are] being transferred to local hospitals,” the Navy added.

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It is thought 11 persons have been taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, at least six injured persons were expected at the trauma centre of the Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola, spokesman Mike Burke said.

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The circumstances of the incident remained unclear. NAS Penascola Security and local law enforcement are currently on the scene and are investigating the incident

Local media said that the base hosts 16,000 military personnel and more than 7,000 civilians, and is home to a flight demonstration squadron.

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