Argentina: outgoing president Macri attends his farewell rally | AFP

Outgoing Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and his wife Juliana Awada attend his farewell rally in Buenos Aires, where is greeted by hundreds of cheering supporters. IMAGES

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Bangladesh tears down brick kilns to fight toxic smog | AFP

Bangladesh authorities bulldoze illegal soot-belching brick kilns after Dhaka’s air quality soared to among the world’s worst last week, with the kilns — which use coal and wood to make bricks from clay — identified by authorities as a key pollutant.

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Iraqis gather at the site of the overnight attack in Baghdad | AFP

Iraqis gather at Al-Khallani square where 17 people at least were killed and dozens more wounded overnight in the capital Baghdad, amid ongoing anti-government demonstrations. Late Friday, armed men in pick-up trucks attacked a large building where protesters had been camped out for weeks near the capital’s Al-Sinek bridge.

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New EU chief in Ethiopia for first trip outside bloc | AFP

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen arrives in Ethiopia, her first trip outside Europe since assuming her post, for meetings expected to touch on migration and support for African security operations.

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‘Laugh at what’s hurting you’: Lebanon cartoonists connect with wider audience | AFP

Lebanese political cartoonists foment debate and connect with a wider audience as a surge of public anger fuels countrywide protests against corruption and the ruling elite.

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Terence Blanchard, the jazz trumpeter making opera history | AFP

A top-tier jazz trumpeter and Spike Lee’s go-to film score master for three decades, Terence Blanchard is now set to make history as the first black composer to stage a production at New York’s esteemed Metropolitan Opera. AFP spoke to the musician about being the first black composer to be staged at the Metropolitan Opera, hours ahead of a tribute to his career at the 2019 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Competition & Gala.

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US states consider ‘red flag’ laws to curb gun violence | AFP

More than a dozen states across the United States have adopted red flag laws that allow family members or law enforcement to seek a court order to temporarily seize guns from people who are deemed to pose an immediate danger to themselves or others. But some gun rights advocates argue that such measures can strip gun owners of their due process rights.

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Chilean demonstrators hit the streets of the capital again | AFP

Thousands of Chileans take the streets again in Santiago to protest social and economic inequality and against an entrenched political elite that comes from a small number of the country’s wealthiest families, among other issues. Some climate change protesters also join this rally after the country delays its emissions goal boost at its own UN climate talks taking place in Madrid. Protests in Chile initially erupted in mid-October over metro fare hikes but quickly escalated into the most severe outbreak of social unrest since the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1990. IMAGES

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Fashionable feathers: Italian designer’s life in plumes | AFP

Feathers have adorned the most glamorous of fashionistas throughout history, from Marie Antoinette to Lady Gaga, and one Italian octogenarian continues to fuel the fantasy.

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Food truck ferries meals to Syria’s displaced in northern Idlib | AFP

Relief workers with the Ataa Relief and Development Association, a small NGO registered in Turkey, ferry meals to displaced Syrians in Sarmada, in northern Idlib province.

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French farmers rise up against “agribashing” | AFP

In the spring, the neighbours of farmer Olivier Coupery launched a petition against him over concerns about the pesticides he uses on his fields. Faced with the rise of “agribashing”, he and a colleague launched the free telephone number “Ici la Terre” in September to answer city dwellers’ questions about agricultural practices.

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A round up of news and features | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly we begin in Burkina Faso in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso; once a magnet for tourists it’s now largely overlooked by Western travellers because of recurrent jihadist attacks. Then we head to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where after three years in the making, the country’s National Museum has opened its doors in the capital of Kinshasa.

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Auschwitz survivor fears rise of anti-Semitism | AFP

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Auschwitz for the first time, 96-year-old survivor Frederick Terna will be at home in New York worrying about a resurgence of anti-Semitism.

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Ukraine’s Zelensky visits front line before talks with Putin | AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits frontline troops fighting Moscow-backed separatists in the country’s east a few days before crucial talks on the conflict with Vladimir Putin. Dressed in a khaki jacket and trousers, the 41-year-old president gives medals to servicemen.

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Hong Kong police carry out explosives demonstration | AFP

Hong Kong police carry out a number of controlled explosions, intended to demonstrate the power of the explosive TATP. The demonstrations, to which international media were invited, took place at the police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) depot.

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‘Parasite singles’: searching for a partner in Japan | AFP

A sharply dressed crowd of Japanese singletons shuffle awkwardly around conference-room tables, exchanging small-talk and CVs in an attempt to find a marriage partner — all of them accompanied by their parents. (ATTN CLIENTS: This video is part of an AFP series on the changing social norms around sex, love and marriage in East Asia. Related videos from China and South Korea are also available.)

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Young Ecuadorians promote green projects to mitigate climate change | AFP

In the coastal city of Guayaquil, in southwestern Ecuador, two young environmental engineers fight against climate change by creating green walls, green roofs and sustainable buildings.

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Amid strike, French government meets with public transport officials at Matignon | AFP

The minister for Ecological Transition, Elisabeth Borne, and Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebarri, arrive in Matignon, followed closely by SNCF President Jean-Pierre Farandou and RATP CEO Catherine Guillouard. The SNCF and RATP, which respectively manage the French national rail network and public transport in Paris’s Ile de France region, do not expect to give any good news to travellers concerning potential improvements for travel on Monday. France’s transport system has been crippled by the strike for two days. IMAGES

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Weinstein arrives at the Supreme Court of the state of New York for bail hearing | AFP

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Supreme Court of the state of New York, ahead of bail hearing. IMAGES

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Weak Arctic ice sees polar bears descend on Russian village | AFP

More than 50 polar bears have gathered on the edge of a village in Russia’s far north, environmentalists and residents say, as weak Arctic ice leaves them unable to roam. The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund said climate change was to blame, as unusually warm temperatures prevented coastal ice from forming.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays tribute to Auschwitz victims | AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays tribute to Holocaust victims at the “Death Wall” in the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz during her first ever visit as chancellor. IMAGES

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AI judges and verdicts via chat app: the brave new world of China’s digital courts | AFP

Artificial-intelligence judges, cyber-courts, and verdicts delivered on chat apps — welcome to China’s brave new world of justice spotlighted by authorities this week.

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