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  1. Trump fires opening salvo in risky test of wills with Beijing

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a rally as part of their "USA Thank You Tour 2016" in CincinnatiBy David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump indicated a tougher U.S. approach to China by speaking to Taiwan's president last week, but how far he will push a risky test of wills to wring concessions from Beijing on issues from trade to North Korea is unclear. The call between Trump and Tsai Ing-wen was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president with a Taiwanese leader since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan in 1979.


  2. Renzi to resign after referendum rout, leaving Italy in limbo

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in RomeBy Steve Scherer and Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Monday that he would resign after suffering a resounding defeat in a referendum over constitutional reform, leaving the euro zone's third-largest economy in political limbo. Italy's largely ceremonial head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, told the prime minister to stay on until parliament had approved the 2017 budget. The referendum, intended to change rules to make Italy more governable, was opposed by right-wing and populist parties, including groups that want Italy to ditch the euro.


  3. Aleppo's fall would be win for Russia, defeat for U.S. in Mideast

    Smoke rises after strikes on the rebel-held besieged neighbourhoods of eastern AleppoBy Jonathan Landay and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-backed moderate rebels' loss of the eastern half of Syria's largest city Aleppo to Russian-backed government forces would be a defeat for President Barack Obama's efforts to promote democracy and defeat terrorism in the Middle East, U.S. officials conceded on Monday. The defeat would leave President-elect Donald Trump with less influence over the course of the more than five-year-long civil war that is likely to grind on, fueling greater instability, violent extremism, refugee flows and regional rivalries, the officials said.


  4. U.S. seeks to reassure Beijing after Trump call with Taiwan leader

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a costume party at the home of hedge fund billionaire and campaign donor Robert Mercer in Head of the HarborBy Roberta Rampton and Ben Blanchard WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it had sought to reassure China after President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan's leader last week, which the Obama administration warned could undermine progress in relations with Beijing. The statement from a spokesman for U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted concerns about the potential fallout from Trump's unusual call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, which prompted a diplomatic protest from Beijing on Saturday.


  5. Russia says to start talks with U.S. on Aleppo rebel withdrawal

    Smoke rises after airstrikes on rebel-controlled besieged eastern AleppoBy Ellen Francis, Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Maria Kiselyova BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian government said on Monday it would start talks with Washington on a rebel withdrawal from Aleppo this week as Russian-backed Syrian forces fought to seize more territory from rebels who are struggling to avoid a major defeat. The latest army attack, which saw fierce clashes around the Old City, aims to cut off another area of rebel control in eastern Aleppo and tighten the noose on opposition-held districts where tens of thousands of people are trapped. Advances in recent weeks have brought Damascus, backed militarily by Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah, closer to recapturing Syria's second largest city before the nearly six-year war and a prize long sought by President Bashar al-Assad.



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