USA: 'My time has not come' - Pacquiao responds to Thurman's retirement promise


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Filipino boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao shrugged off undefeated WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman's promise "to end his legacy" and send him into retirement after their title fight on July 20.

"I heard that many times from my opponents that they are going to send me to retirement, but it's not happening, it will not happen because my time has not yet come," Pacquiao told reporters at a promotional event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has repeatedly threatened to retire the 40-year-old, who is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing.

"We all love him, we respect him and I am respectfully going to kick the shit out of him," stated Thurman.

For his part, Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) said he would relish the challenge to prove he was 29 again.

The welterweight title consolidation fight will take place on July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Japan: Carlos Ghosn appears in court for pre-trial hearing


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Former Nissan chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn appeared at a Tokyo court for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday.

Ghosn, who is currently on bail, is facing charges ranging from falsifying financial records to redirecting company money into his own accounts.

The news of his arrest in late 2018 shocked the motor industry, as Ghosn led the sector's biggest automotive alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

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USA: Judge orders release of Trump financial records


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A New York judge refused to block congressional subpoenas seeking financial records which did business with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

District Judge Edgardo Ramos said that Trump and his company were unlikely to in their lawsuit to find subpoenas for records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One unlawful and unconstitutional.

A group of protesters cheered the result outside court, believing it to be one step closer to impeachment.

The lawyers for the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees said access to documents from the banks would be used to investigate possible "foreign influence in the US political process".

The ruling comes two days after another a federal judge in Washington found against Trump in a similar case, concluding that the president cannot block a subpoena from Congress for information from a financial services company that worked for him and the Trump Organization.

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Albania: Students return to streets of Tirana


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Student protesters returned to the streets of Tirana on Wednesday, accusing the government of reneging on promises to reform higher education.

Protesters were seen carrying banners and burning flares outside the Ministry of Education, were they hung anti-government signs.

Student leaders are mobilising again after a similar wave of protests last December over the cost of higher education.

The government said it would meet the protesters' demands, although inaction on lower university fees and increased research funding has spurred opposition to Prime Minister Edi Rama.

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UN: General Assembly backs end to UK's control of Chagos Islands


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The UN General Assembly passed a resolution demanding the UK return control of the Chagos Islands to Mauritius at a session in New York on Wednesday.

The 116-6 non-binding vote was a major diplomatic defeat for the UK and the US, who share a military base on Diego Garcia. Fifty-six states abstained, including several European allies.

The vote endorsed an advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February, calling on the UK to relinquish it's continued control of the archipelago in order to complete the process of decolonisation.

Mandatory credit: UN TV


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Germany: Merkel calls for more trade deals between EU and its partners


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped the recent trade deal agreed between the EU and Japan would soon be followed by additional agreements with other partners, while speaking at the national maritime conference in the German city of Friedrichshafen on Wednesday.

"Any deal that lowers trade barriers for all those involved, is, I believe, a good deal," she said.

Merkel went on to say that rather than avoiding any new or higher tariffs, Germany was more interested in improving it trade ties with the US in general.

The German leader also expressed satisfaction at the EU member states' adoption of a mandate to start trade talks with the US.

Addressing the ongoing Brexit developments, Merkel stressed the importance of ensuring an orderly withdrawal. "And for the [German] federal government, a deal in which all the important questions for an orderly withdrawal are regulated is always better than no deal," she said.

The chancellor also mentioned China as having been Germany's most important trading partner in 2018, but she urged Beijing to ensure fair competitive conditions for German companies operating in the east Asian country; which she said were reciprocated in the EU.

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Honduras: Violent clashes as protests enter fourth week


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Violent clashes broke out between student protesters and police in the capital city of Tegucigalpa on Wednesday, as protests against educational and health reform entered fourth week.

Protesters threw missiles at riot police, who responded with tear gas. The group then erected barricades in the streets using burning tyres and refuse.

"We should be on a national strike to get rid of these corrupt people who are starving the people to death," said one protester.

The protests began when the Honduran Congress passed two bills seeking reform to the ministries of health and education. Doctors and teachers immediately on strike, claiming that those bills were the first step towards privatisation.

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UK: Ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson closes EU election campaign in Manchester


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Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson ended his EU election campaign in Salford on Wednesday night.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is standing as an independent candidate to became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in the North West region.

A few hundred supporters attended the rally, which was opposed by a group of anti-fascists. Police formed lines to prevent demonstrators from clashing with the counter-protest.

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Afghanistan: Four killed in Taliban bomb attack on security forces


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At least two members of the security forces and two civilians were killed after an explosion in the eastern city of Ghazni on Wednesday, according to provincial officers.

A reported 10 civilians and five police officers were also wounded in the incident.

Police had ordered an explosive-laden Humvee to stop at a checkpoint, but the driver refused to do so prompting it to come under fire from security forces.

The vehicle was reportedly trying to enter the former Provincial Reconstruction Team base before being hit by rocket fire.

Four Taliban members inside were also killed in the resulting explosion, said Arif Noori, the provincial governor's spokesman.

The remains of the Humvee and a large crater can be seen on the roadside.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in Ghazni.

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USA: Trump calls time on Democrats over impeachment threats


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US President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders after they accused him of engaging in a "cover-up".

"Get these phoney investigations over with," the Republican president said in an unscheduled briefing from the White House's Rose Garden on Wednesday.

His remarks came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Democrats to discuss impeaching the president. Trump is currently fighting congressional inquiries into his financial and business dealings.

Trump spoke only minutes after cutting short a meeting with Speak of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. The trio were discussion bipartisan co-operation over infrastructure spending.

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South Africa: Parliament elects Cyril Ramaphosa as president


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South African lawmakers elected Cyril Ramaphosa as president in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The new president promised to "address the needs of our people" regardless of whether "tough decisions against certain people, certain interest groups."

The African National Congress (ANC) won the general elections on May 8 with 57 per cent of the votes, ensuring the party could choose the next president in parliament.

However, the ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, saw its majority fall to a new low, in the wake of corruption and cronyism under Ramaphosa's predecessor Jacob Zuma.

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USA: Khabib's teammates receive reduced suspensions


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Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov, both teammates of Khabib Nurmagomedov, had their UFC 229 brawl-related suspensions reduced at a hearing in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled that their one-year suspensions would be dropped by 35 days after a community service agreement was reached.

The pair were suspended after entering the Octagon and exchanging blows with Conor McGregor following his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018.

The ruling frees up the UFC to strike a deal with Khabib Nurmagomedov to defend his lightweight title against interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.

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Colombia: Foreign minister calls for an end to Maduro's 'tyrannical regime'


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Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo called on the international community to put an end to the "tyrannical dictatorial regime of Maduro" during a press conference in Bogota on Wednesday.

"The structured solution to the crisis has to do with conditions that allow to put an end to the tyrannical dictatorial regime of Maduro," Trujillo said, adding that Colombia cannot cope with increasing numbers of migrants from Venezuela.

"Today it is 1,296,552 [people]. This is the second largest migration in the world, after the Syrians in Turkey," he stated.

The foreign minister then went of to explain that the migration crisis was "the biggest in the history of our region" and called for external assistance.

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Switzerland: IOC calls for boxing to remain at Olympics but not under AIBA


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The suspense over boxing's future at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 was lifted in Lausanne on Wednesday as the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach addressed the media at the IOC headquarters after an IOC Executive Board meeting.

The IOC president announced that the organisation's executive body will retain boxing as an Olympic sport at the 2020 Games, but is calling on an upcoming IOC session to suspend the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as the sport's Olympics overseer over concerns it has with the running of the organisation.

Stating that these two decisions were taken "in the interest of the athletes and the sport of boxing," Bach further clarified that "for the boxers of the world I think this is a very good day" as it will ensure that this will be "a safe and fair competition in which all the athletes have equal chances."

With AIBA suspended, the IOC has asked the president of the International Gymnastics Federation, Japan’s Morinari Watanabe, to lead a task force that will organise the boxing qualifiers and competition in Tokyo.

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UK: Sarri discusses Chelsea future one week out from Europa League final


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Chelsea players trained in London on Wednesday, nearly a week ahead of their Europa League final against Premier League rivals Arsenal FC.

Holding a press conference after the training session, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri spoke about his future at the club. “I have two years of contract here, so I have no contract with another club at the moment, so I have to speak to my club first of all. After the final, now I want to know if they're happy with me or not,” said the manager.

“Ten months of work and then I have to play everything in 90 minutes. It's not right. It's not the right way. You're either happy about my work or you are not happy,” he added.

In the mixed zone, Brazilian player David Luiz revealed his satisfaction with the season. “I'm happy because English football is going to finish very well this season and I'm happy because the English teams and the English Football is going to start the new season with the European Super Cup,” said the footballer.

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