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Vladimir Putin to Hold Traditional Year-End Press Conference
The Russian president is set to go ahead with his annual marathon press conference at 12 pm Moscow time (9 am GMT) on Thursday.

UN, World Powers Renew Call for Climate Action at One Planet Summit in Paris
On December 12, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the One Planet Summit, where leaders gathered to call for concrete action to implement the 2015 Paris climate deal and raise both public and private funds to fight climate change.

Trump Auctions Over 33,400 Acres of Public Lands in Nevada for Fracking
The Trump administration auctioned public lands in the US state of Nevada for oil fracking in violation of environmental laws, the Center for Biological Diversity said in a press release on Wednesday.

General Dynamics Wins $198Mln for US Navy Ship, Submarine Radio Systems
General Dynamics won almost $200 million to manufacture and test digital modular radio (DMR) systems and high frequency amplifier components for US navy ships and submarines, the Defense Department said in a press release.

Lines of Trust Blurred for NGOs Under China's New Law
Law concerning NGOs needs to be clarified at provincial level.

Three Crew Members Leave International Space Station to Return to Earth
Three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) are set to return to Earth.

Russia's LNG Project May Mean 'Golden Age' for Energy Cooperation with China
Russia's $27 billion gas project in the Arctic landmark project will help shore up Moscow's energy cooperation with China, but it's purely a business deal that will help relieve acute shortages of natural gas in China.

Trump Has No Say on Who Rules Syria After Assad’s Victories - Ex-US Ambassador
The Syrian Army’s combat victories have confirmed President Bashar Assad’s hold on power and it is laughable to think President Donald Trump or the United States can do anything about it, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman told Sputnik.

China-US Trade War Unlikely, Despite Ongoing Friction
Recently, the US has been putting pressure on China over trade. For the first time since 1991, the US Department of Commerce launched "self-initiated" anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into imports of alloy aluminum sheets from China. And in late November, the US told the WTO it refused to recognize China as a market economy.

US Missile Defense Agency Invests Heavily in 'Directed Energy'
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is making significant investments in directed energy to intercept ballistic missiles during boost phase.

Russian Military Operation in Syria Reached End Goal - Kremlin
Russia’s air campaign in Syria has largely reached the final goal of freeing the land from Islamist militants, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

Israel Puts Gaza Border on Lockdown Over Security Concerns
Israel will close two border crossings with the Gaza Strip on Thursday over security concerns, the Israeli military said Wednesday.

Who Said What? Trump, Tillerson Send Mixed Messages on North Korea Talks
Even though US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement on Tuesday implied that the US is ready to begin negotiations with North Korea without preconditions, it appears as though the US is not yet ready to hold talks with North Korea.

‘Privacy Violations For All’: Chinese Province Collects Biodata Without Consent
The regional government in China’s westernmost Xinjiang Province is expanding its biodata collection project to include the DNA, fingerprints, iris signatures, and blood types of all people between the ages of 12 and 65, according to a new report.

UK Surgeon Admits He Made a ‘Mistake' After Signing His Initials Inside Patients
Simon Bramhall, a liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon, pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting two patients by burning his initials onto their livers during transplant surgeries.

‘We’re Going to be Deported’: Activist Urges US Congress to Pass Dream Act
The fates of 800,000 so-called Dreamers, minors who entered the US illegally that have been granted conditional residency in the US, hang in the balance as many in Congress call for the passing of the DREAM Act that would provide a road to permanent residence.

Trump's Jerusalem Move Undermines US Reputation as 'Global Power' - Lawmaker
The recent statement of US President Donald Trump on recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has significantly undermined the reputation of the United States as "global power," Russia's senior lawmaker told Sputnik.

God Has Spoken
Despite losing to Democrat Doug Jones Tuesday, Roy Moore’s election night statement was far from a concession speech.

Neighborly Bickering: Canada Ups Ante in Trade Battle with US, Boeing
Disagreements between US President Donald Trump’s administration, the Canadian government and Boeing have escalated to the point where Canada has inserted a “Boeing clause” into its defense procurement policy stating that acquisitions cannot harm the Canadian economy.

Number of Imprisoned Journalists Reaches New High in 2017, Says Watchdog
According to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a whopping 262 journalists worldwide were behind bars for doing their job - reporting the news.

Moscow Faces Information Confrontation Aimed to 'Strangle' Russia - Kremlin
The "information war" unleashed against Russia is part of attempts to 'strangle' the sovereignty of the country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

‘Unprecedented Transition’: Arctic Melting at Fastest Rate in 1,500 Years
A new US government report released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reveals that the Arctic seawater is warming and the permafrost is thawing at the fastest rate in 1,500 years.

Beach Blunder: Pup’s Creation Crushed by the Ocean
All that hard work…

Sidelines Statescraft: US, North Korean Leaders Attend Security Summit Together
Officials from both North Korea and the United States are expected to attend an international meeting on security scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, presenting an opportunity for sideline talks.

German Authorities Conduct Counterterrorism Raids in 3 Federal States
German law enforcement agencies have carried out a counterterrorism operation in three federal states of Germany, local media reported on Wednesday.

Study: Common Electronic, Wireless Devices Could Increase Miscarriage Rates
New research reveals that pregnant women who are exposed to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields have a significantly higher miscarriage rate.

'Now Is Not the Right Time' for US Talks With North Korea - State Dept.
The United States is willing to hold talks with North Korea but not right now, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing.

Prisoners Once Cleared to Leave Gitmo Now Face ‘Potential Lifetime of Detention’
The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who were told just last year they no longer posed a threat to US national security and would soon be able to return home now see their futures again thrown into doubt thanks to US President Donald Trump.

South Korea Looks to Strengthen Economic Ties, But is China a Willing Party?
Arriving in Beijing Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in landed with the hope of deepening economic relations after relations between the two neighbors turned frosty in 2016 over Seoul's use of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Netanyahu Rebuffs OIC Remarks on Jerusalem, Urges Palestine to 'Accept Reality'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was "not impressed" with the statements made by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the issue of the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Kitten Turns Tables on Demanding Owner
“There’s a new sheriff in town, human.”

Kigali: French Government ‘Aware of and Aided’ 1994 Genocide in Rwanda
A US law firm contracted by Kigali has released a new report reminding Frace of their complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed an estimated 800,000 lives in a 100-day period.

Catalan Crisis Could Cost Spain Nearly 15% of Tourists, Over $14Bln
The tourist flow to Spain could go down by as much as 15 percent because of the crisis caused by Catalonia's attempt to secede, survey shows.

Journalists Seized in Yemen Released, Including Sputnik Correspondent
All 40 staff of the Al Yaman al-Yaum TV station as well as the freelance Sputnik correspondent who were seized two weeks ago were released Wednesday by their captors in Yemen.

‘Huge Victory’: DC Judge Drops Felony Riot Charges Against Six J20 Defendants
In what was described as a “huge victory” by Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, a federal judge on Wednesday dropped the felony riot charges against the first six of the more than 160 J20 protesters currently facing trial for alleged crimes committed during protests against US President Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20.

Beijing Bombers, Fighter Jets Encircle Taiwan in Drill
A group of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6K bombers and Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets conducted a mission Monday “that circled the island of Taiwan, further improving their ability to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a PLAAF spokesman said this week, according to a fact sheet obtained by China Daily.

India Slams US for Blocking Hunger Solution at WTO
While the US has alleged that countries with impressionable GDP are availing WTO concessions in the name of “self-proclaimed” development status, India has accused the US of derailing efforts to solve the world's hunger problem by refusing to endorse public stockholding for food security.

Number of Chinese Tourists to Russia Grows by 30% Annually - Tourism Association
The president of the Russian-Chinese Tourism Association positively has outlined his views on the conditions of the cultural exchange between Russia and China, saying the bilateral tourist flow to increase.

Russian Physicists Develop New Theory on What Happens Inside Black Holes
Physicists from Moscow's Steklov Institute of Mathematics have come up with a testable theory on how matter behaves inside a black hole.

Federal Reserve Hikes Interest Rates For Third Time This Year
The US Federal Reserve has boosted interest rates from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent in a policy meeting discussing the Fed's predictions and policies for the incoming year of 2018.

Israel Invites Saudi Crown Prince to Mediate Palestine Peace Talks
Saudi newspapers have reported that Israel has invited Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to their country to lead peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine as a sign of the rapidly warming relations between the Gulf Kingdom and the Jewish State.

Doctors Diagnose 2,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy with Cancerous Tumor (VIDEO)
Doctors at the Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York, diagnosed cancer in a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy using a computed tomography scan this week.

Woman's Naked Walk Through NYC Was Punishment for ‘Cheating' (VIDEO)
Taking the stand Tuesday, Jasson Melo, the New Yorker who forced his girlfriend to walk down the streets of Harlem naked, claimed that she'd agreed to the punishment in order to be forgiven for texting other men.

Israeli Military Shoots Down Rockets Fired From Gaza Strip - IDF
The Israeli Defense Forces thwarted two allegedly Palestinian rocket attacks launched from Gaza Strip Wednesday night, according to an IDF spokesperson.

We Came, We Saw, We (Sorta) Won: Those Times That US Triumphed Abroad… Or Not
As the US leadership declares that they were the ones who defeated Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, it appears that this is far from the first time that Washington claimed victory without quite attaining it.

EU Needs Larger Budget, Int'l Cooperation to Tackle Cybercrime - Analysts
The European Union is unable to tackle cybersecurity attacks, which threaten individual member countries, such as the one alleged by German domestic intelligence services to be perpetrated by Chinese intelligence, without a larger budget and wider cooperation, experts told Sputnik.

UN Patron for Oceans to Try 400-Mile Swim to Draw Attention to Climate Change
The UN patron of the ocean Lewis Pugh, a swimmer who is best known for swimming long distances in order to draw attention to fight global environmental problems. Now he has announced his new endeavor that will take place in 2018.

'Charming Man'? Der Spiegel Releases Uncut Audio of Shocking Morrissey Interview
A dispute between the former Smiths frontman Morrissey and Der Spiegel over comments about disgraced actor Kevin Spacey and US President Trump has been settled, after the German media outlet released the uncut audio of the interview.

Indian Temple Festival Turns Into Nightmare as Elephants Run Amok
One person was killed 12 others were seriously injured when the elephants that were part of a customary parade went on a rampage attacking people.

Palestinian, Israeli Leaders Too Weak to Implement Two-State Solution – Analyst
Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, has declared a third Intifada against Israel. Professor Meir Litvak, an Israeli specialist on Hamas and director of the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University, has shared his views with Radio Sputnik on the possibility of riots and stressed the viability of a two-state solution.

You’re Fired? The Apprentice Star Turned White House Staffer Resigns
Omarosa Manigault, a quarrelsome contestant of the first season of the TV show The Apprentice, who was appointed a White House aide, will leave her post on January 20, 2018, a year after Donald Trump's inauguration.

ADB Lowers India’s Growth Forecast Even as It Lifts Asia’s Overall Outlook
India’s recovery from the economic deceleration during the last quarter has been sluggish due to rising crude oil prices and cold private investment growth, according to the ADB.

Lebanon: The Balance of Military and Political Power
The Republic of Lebanon, which borders Syria and Israel, gained independence in 1947 from France and has since faced a rash of political and military conflicts.

Physicists Unravel Mystery of Stable Fullerenes
Scientists at the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI) have explained the stability of nitrogen-doped fullerenes, which makes their industrial production and application easier. The article outlining the research was published in the reputable Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures magazine.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
On December 6, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite international pressure. The decision triggered bloody clashes in Israel, mass protests all over the world and even prompted Hamas to declare the beginning of the third Intifada, that is, struggle of Arabs (mainly in Palestine) against the Jewish state.

Komfort, Qualität: Tough German Reviewer Gives Russia's Lada Vesta Passing Grade
The Russian sedan, which went on sale in Germany earlier this year, has helped drive Lada sales up an estimated 50% in the country in 2017, with some 600 Vestas sold since the spring.

Fowl Play? The Great Turkey Scam Leaves Brits 'Well Stuffed' Over Birds' Origin
In what can only be described as a classic case of "fowl" play on the part of supermarkets, millions of Brits are being totally duped into thinking they're eating homegrown turkeys for Christmas dinner, while in reality they hail from the European Union.

UK Government Ends Loophole Allowing Army to Investigate Sexual Assaults Alone
After a lengthy battle, an archaic legal grey area that allowed the UK Armed Forces to not report cases of sexual harassment and abuse to authorities, and investigate charges themselves, will be closed by the government. Several previous cases of internally-investigated rapes by military personnel saw accused soldiers walk free.

After Russia's Pullout It's Up to Damascus to Maintain Stability – Analyst
Russia does not seek to boost its military influence in the Middle East – after assisting the legitimate government of Syria to preserve sovereignty and integrity Moscow has started pulling out its troops of the region, Yang Mian, a political analyst at the Center for International Relations at the Chinese Institute of Communications, told Sputnik.

Russia Offered to US to Exchange Non-Interference Letters, US Refused - Moscow
According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the United States actually acknowledged that there was no threat from the Russian side to the American electoral system.