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Russia sending more warplanes to Syria as world anger grows over 'barbarous' strikes

By Dmitry Solovyov and Ellen Francis MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Russia is sending more warplanes to Syria to further ramp up its campaign of air strikes, a Russian newspaper reported on Friday, as Moscow defied global censure over an escalation that Western countries say has torpedoed diplomacy. In a statement issued by the White House after the two leaders spoke by telephone, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the Russian and Syrian bombing of Aleppo as "barbarous". Fighting intensified a week into a new Russian-backed government offensive to capture all of Syria's largest city and crush the last remaining urban stronghold of the rebellion.

Philippines leader likens himself to Hitler, wants to kill millions of drug users

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Friday and said he would ?be happy? to exterminate three million drug users and peddlers in the country. ?You know my victims.

Peres funeral, attended by Obama, briefly brings Israeli, Palestinian leaders together

By Jeffrey Heller and Jeff Mason JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook hands during a brief chat and U.S. President Barack Obama gently reminded them of the "unfinished business of peace" at the funeral Friday of Shimon Peres, the last of a generation of Israel's founding fathers. Peres, a former president and prime minister who died on Wednesday at the age of 93, shared a Nobel Prize for the interim land-for-peace accords he helped reach with the Palestinians as Israel's foreign minister in the 1990s.

Regional SAARC summit postponed amid rising Pakistani-Indian tensions

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders set for Islamabad in November has been postponed indefinitely, the Pakistani government said on Friday, amid rising tension between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. India's foreign ministry had announced on Tuesday that it would skip the meeting, blaming Pakistan for a deadly assault this month on an army base in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir. Pakistan denies the accusations.

In ex-Soviet Georgia, pope issues veiled criticism of Russia

By Philip Pullella and Margarita Antidze TBILISI (Reuters) - Pope Francis called for respect for international law and the sovereign rights of nations as he arrived in Georgia on Friday, an implicit criticism of Russia, which keeps troops in two breakaway areas of the ex-Soviet state. Russia, which fought a short war with Georgia in 2008, is one of the few countries that recognize the contested areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Speaking at the welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace, Francis, in a clear reference to the Georgian situation, said relations between states in the region "can never lay aside respect for the sovereign rights of every country within the framework of international law".

Duterte visit to China may lead to changing alliances in East Asia

By Manuel Mogato and Benjamin Kang Lim MANILA/BEIJING (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte travels to China next month on a visit that could redraw alliances in East Asia after his incendiary comments about the United States and active courting of Washington's chief rivals. The friendly relationship between the Philippines and the United States has been one of the pillars of Washington's strategic military rebalance to Asia under President Barack Obama.

Subaru recalls about 593K cars; wiper motors can overheat

DETROIT (AP) ? Subaru is recalling nearly 593,000 vehicles, some for a second time, because windshield wiper motors can overheat and increase the risk of a fire.

The Latest: And they're ... up! Americans take 2-0 lead

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) ? The Latest on the Ryder Cup (all times local):

Top Asian News 4:34 p.m. GMT

ISLAMABAD (AP) ? One of Pakistan's most vicious militant groups has dramatically stepped up its attacks over the past month, striking mosques, Christians and security forces in attacks that have killed more than 60 people in what appears to be a backlash to military operations against it. Ever since it broke away from the Pakistani Taliban in 2014, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or the Freedom Movement had been carrying out sporadic attacks, often weeks or months apart. But since the beginning of September, it has struck 10 times, including a horrific bombing of a mosque earlier this month that killed 36 people, many of them children.

Pakistan blames India for postponement of SAARC conference

ISLAMABAD (AP) ? Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says it remains committed to hosting the 19th SAARC Summit, which has been postponed after India's decision to abstain.

Portugal president vetoes taxman's automatic access to bank accounts

By Andrei Khalip LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's president on Friday vetoed a government decree that would have given the tax service information on all bank accounts holding more than 50,000 euros ($56,000), citing its likely harmful impact on a weak banking system and economic recovery. In a statement, the centrist President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who has so far had a good working relationship with the left-leaning Socialist government since taking office in March, said the bill was "politically inopportune". As part of its fight on tax evasion, the government wanted banks to lift their secrecy rules and automatically feed information on accounts with combined balances of over 50,000 per taxpayer to the tax authorities.

German minister heads to Iran, business ties still limited

By Andrea Shalal BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel heads to Iran next week with a planeful of industry executives keen to rebuild trade ties, but remaining U.S. sanctions and political concerns are holding back a hoped-for business boom. Gabriel says a German-Iranian business commission will meet for the first time in 15 years, and forecasts concrete business deals will be announced, but he has also said Tehran must accept Israel's right to exist and stop military support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in order to normalize ties.

French jets in action as Mosul force readies

French jets blasted off from an aircraft carrier Friday to go into action over Iraq as the international coalition builds up for the looming battle to win back Mosul from Islamic State jihadists. Eight jets took off from the Charles de Gaulle carrier in the eastern Mediterranean in the first operations since it left port in France on September 20, an AFP journalist on board reported. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the carrier was "contributing to the coalition's strikeforce", but that the offensive for Mosul had not yet begun.

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