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US and Afghan Taliban agree to partial truce

Image caption It is understood that no major offensive operations will be launched during the partial truce. A seven-day "reduction in violence" between the US and the Afghan Taliban will begin on Saturday, officials say. The partial truce is scheduled to come into effect at midnight local time, a spokesman for Afghanistan's National Security Council told the BBC. If successful, the two sides will then sign the first phase of a deal aimed at ... Full story

Honda delays plans to restart operations at Wuhan plant to March 11

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen on the production line at Honda Motor's new joint venture plant with Dongfeng Motor Group in Wuhan, Hubei province, China April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Norihiko Shirouzu/File Photo. TOKYO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co ( ) on Friday said it would push back plans to resume operations at its vehicle plant in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, after government authorities asked firms to keep workers away ... Full story

Coronavirus weakens job market for record number of Chinese graduates

BEIJING (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak is denting the prospects of this year’s record 8.7 million-strong Chinese university graduating class, with many students stuck at home just as the corporate recruitment season usually swings into high gear. FILE PHOTO: Students shield themselves from the sun as they line up at a job fair at a university in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China November 29, 2018. Tan Qingju/Southern Metropolis Daily ... Full story

'West Side Story' on Broadway: A moving, gritty new production

NEW YORK — You can teach an old show new kicks. Look for proof to the bravura audacity of director Ivo van Hove’s movingly gutsy new “West Side Story,” the much anticipated Broadway revisit to the masterwork by the ’50s hive-mind genius of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents. Van Hove and his choreographer, Belgian postmodernist Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, vowed to come up with a “West Side Story” for a new ... Full story

Assange's fate hangs in balance as UK court considers U.S. extradition bid

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost a decade after his WikiLeaks website enraged Washington by leaking secret U.S. documents, a London court will begin hearings on Monday to decide whether Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States. FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson. A hero to admirers who say he has exposed abuses of power, Assange is ... Full story

European shares fall as investors eye data showing virus impact

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo. (Reuters) - European shares dropped on Friday as markets awaited a local reading on economic health to gauge the extent of the impact of the coronavirus on business activity in the bloc. The outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people so far and upended industrial activity in China, causing ... Full story

Japan Jan. factory output seen slowing, retail sales to fall: Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s factory output likely slowed in January and retail sales fell for a fourth straight month, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, a worrying sign as the new coronavirus outbreak adds to threats to the economic outlook. FILE PHOTO: A worker cycles near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo. Recent data, including exports and machinery orders, have ... Full story

Australia to spend $726 million to upgrade strategic northern airbase

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri. SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will spend A$1.1 billion ($725.9 million) to upgrade an airbase in the country’s tropical north, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, a development that increases Canberra’s military armory in ... Full story

Iran's Khamenei says voting in parliamentary election 'a religious duty'

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves as he meets with people in Tehran, Iran February 18, 2020. Official Khamenei website/Handout via REUTERS. DUBAI (Reuters) - Casting a vote in Iran’s parliamentary election is “a religious duty”, the country’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated on Friday after voting in Tehran, broadcast live on state TV. “Voting is a religious duty ... which will also ... Full story

Russia, Germany, Coronavirus: Your Friday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up .). Good morning. We’re covering an intelligence warning of Russian aid to the Trump campaign , Germany’s reckoning with a domestic terrorist attack Full story