Venezuela’s opposition leader meets EU foreign policy chief | AFP

The leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido, who has been recognized as president by the United States and more than 50 other countries, meets with the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels. IMAGES

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Hong Kong reports first ‘preliminary positive’ SARS-like virus case | AFP

Hong Kong reports its fisrt “preliminary positive” case of the new SARS-like coronavirus in a 39-year-old man who arrived at the city from Wuhan via cross-border high speed railway. SOUNDBITE

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Thousands protest against migrant camps in Lesbos | AFP

Thousands protest against migrant camps on the Greek island of Lesbos, demanding the immediate removal of asylum-seekers. The island’s largest camp of Moria hosts more than 19,000 asylum seekers in a camp with a capacity for 2,840. IMAGES

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Former conjoined twins return to Cameroon | AFP

Twin girls Bissie and Eyenga Merveille who were born as conjoined twins attached at the abdomen and then separated in an operation in France, return home to Cameroon.

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Lebanon’s new ‘Technocratic’ government poses for first group photo | AFP

Ministers of Lebanon’s newly-unveiled ‘Technocratic’ government pose for their first group photo with the President Michel Aoun in the Presidential Palace in Baabda. IMAGES

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US threatens EU with auto tariff against any ‘arbitrary’ digital tax: Mnuchin | AFP

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin threatens the EU with auto tariffs in retaliation for any arbitrary digital tax. SOUNDBITE

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India’s ‘Rapunzel’ remains a cut above with world’s longest teen hair | AFP

Nilanshi Patel, a 17-year-old from India’s Gujarat state, remains a cut above the rest according to the Guinness World Records, having bettered her record of 170.5 centimetres (5.59 feet) set in December 2018 with a new length of 190 centimetres.

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Malaysians craft giant incense sticks by hand for Lunar New Year | AFP

Thousands of giant incense sticks, some mounted with dragon heads, line the walls of a Malaysian workshop where they are being made by hand before the Lunar New Year holidays. In the rural town of Kubang Semang, the workers spend months crafting the sticks — some as tall as two metres (6.5 feet) — before sending them to stores. IMAGES AND SOUNDBITESN°1NZ94P

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China warns virus could mutate and spread as death toll rises | AFP

A new virus that has killed nine people, infected hundreds and already reached the United States could mutate and spread, China warns, as authorities scramble to contain the disease during the Lunar New Year travel season.

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North Korea to ban all foreign tourists over SARS-like virus | AFP

North Korea will ban all foreign tourists to protect itself against a new SARS-like virus that has claimed at least nine lives in China and sickened hundreds.

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Blocked roads and burning tires as Iraq protests resume | AFP

Iraqi protesters blocked roads on Tuesday in an attempt to pressure authorities to implement long-awaited reforms. Anti-government rallies have rocked Iraq since October but had thinned out in recent weeks amid spiralling tensions between Baghdad’s key allies Tehran and Washington.

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Central Americans migrants stuck at the Mexico border | AFP

Migrants from Honduras and Salvador are stuck near the Suchiate river, a natural border between Mexico and Guatemala. Hundreds of them were pushed back yesterday with tear gas by the Mexican national guards.

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Europe’s guardian of stem cells and hopes, real and unrealistic | AFP

Poland is home to Europe’s largest bank for stem cells sent from across the continent. More and more parents are saving umbilical cord blood containing stem cells as a health insurance policy for their newborns. at the Polish Stem Cell BankN°1MY25D

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Can CO2 play a role in sustainable development? | AFP

Researchers in Lyon are exploring whether one waste product can be used to recycle other waste products. They are using carbon dioxide to recover the rare metals contained in used telephone or car batteries.

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Demonstration against Davos Forum and for climate action | AFP

Dozens of people demonstrate in Davos where the World Economic Forum is being held, calling for immediate action on climate change. The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum was aiming for a strong focus on climate change but US President Donald Trump delivered a bullish speech which rejected earlier warnings made by teenage eco-warrior Greta Thunberg. of a demonstration in DavosN°1O35PD

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New day of protest in Colombia against Duque’s government | AFP

Students take the streets of Bogota for a new day of protests against Ivan Duque’s government. Colombia’s unions have been calling for a national strike, marking two months of protest against country’s administration. IMAGES

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Panama stunned by sect killings | AFP

Several open bibles, messages alluding to Satan, piled up clothes and several musical instruments can still be seen in the makeshift church in the Altos de Terrón indigenous community in Panama, where last week a religious sect allegedly sacrificed seven people.

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Senate kicks off debate in Trump impeachment trial | AFP

The historic impeachment trial of US president Donald Trump opens debate in the Senate as Democrats accuse Republicans of attempting a “cover-up” of evidence that the US leader abused his powers. The first full day of the historic trial saw the Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell submit a resolution on procedures that does not admit evidence from the investigation of the president. IMAGES

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Romancing the stone: Louis Vuitton shows off huge rough diamond | AFP

The biggest rough diamond discovered in over a century was shown to private clients Tuesday by French luxury handbag-maker Louis Vuitton, which acquired the 1,758-carat gem to make a big splash in the high-end jewellery market. The stone named “Sewelo,” meaning “rare find” in the tswana tongue of Botswana where it was discovered, is the size of a tennis ball.

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McConnell speaks ahead of Trump trial, defends rules | AFP

“Nobody, nobody will dictate Senate procedure to United States Senators” says Senator Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor ahead of the Trump impeachment trial, defending the rules as Democrats accuse Republicans of attempting a “cover-up” of evidence that the US leader abused his powers. SOUNDBITE

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Trump’s legal team arrives at the US Capitol | AFP

Members of Donald Trump’s legal team arrive at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, for Trump’s impeachment trial before the Senate. IMAGES

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Elite team from French army train in Alps ahead of Greenland trek | AFP

In the Alps, 12 of the French army’s mountaineering elite are preparing for a 300 kilometre ski expedition to Greenland in March. There they will have to overcome temperatures of minus 30 degrees for three gruelling weeks. The training in the Alps for the team of ten men and two women aims to enable them to master the environment and not just survive, in order to be able to be able to carry out missions in the far north, a region of increasingly strategic significance.

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China’s zero-waste activists fight overconsumption | AFP

Carrie Yu, a Beijing resident, has worked hard to reduce her consumption of plastic to next to nothing. She is part of the zero-waste movement in China which is grabbing public attention and spreading the message of mindful consumption. China will produce as much as 500 million tonnes of waste annually by 2030, the World Bank warns, up from just 30 million in 1980.

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