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Pacific grim: Australia torn between US and China

It's a storyline that's telling about Australia's attitude to Asia's pre-eminent power. On the one hand, China is the country's biggest trading partner, but it also poses a potential regional military threat that's drawing the attention of the US, Australia's closest defence ally.

China, for its part, appears keenly aware of Australia's apparent reluctance to embrace it fully. In recent months, a series of bilateral irritations have sent relations between the two countries plunging to their lowest point for nearly a decade.

Syria war: US warns over Turkish-Kurdish violence

Clashes in places where so-called Islamic State (IS) was not present were a "source of deep concern", the US envoy to the anti-IS coalition tweeted.

Turkish forces have attacked what they say are Kurdish "terrorists" since crossing the border last week.

But the Kurdish YPG militia says Turkey just wants to occupy Syrian territory.

US: Iran cash linked to prisoner release

Spokesman John Kirby maintained the payment was negotiated separately from the release, but said it was withheld until the Americans had left Iran.

Five Americans held in Iran were released in January in exchange for seven detained Iranians.

The US airlifted $400m (£300.8m) worth of cash to Iran on the same day.

The exchange came as the US lifted international sanctions against Iran as part of the country's historic nuclear deal.

The timing of both incidents has prompted an outcry from Republicans, who accused the Obama administration of quid pro quo.

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Rio Olympics 2016: US basketball teams to stay on luxury cruise liner Silver Cloud

The Silver Cloud, which docked at the city's port at the weekend, can accommodate up to 400 people in its 196 cabins, some of which have already been allotted to the US men's and women's Olympic basketball teams, the general directorate of the Maua port terminal said.

The US delegation reserved all the cabins for the Olympics, and the ship, with all its amenities and attractions, will become practically a floating US embassy during the Games.

Iran MPs want US to pay damages for 'hostile action' Posted 9 minutes ago

"The Government has the duty to take the necessary measures seeking compensation for material and moral damages caused by the United States" to the country and Iranians over the past 63 years, the text reads.

It cites "material or moral damage" caused by the US during the coup against nationalist leader Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, in the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, in the destruction of oil platforms in the Gulf and in espionage against the Islamic republic.

Barack Obama: 'Change is going to happen in Cuba'

He is the first sitting US president to visit since the 1959 revolution, which heralded decades of hostility between the two countries.

Mr Obama said change would happen in Cuba and that Cuban President Raul Castro understood that.

The two leaders met to talk about trade and held a joint news conference.

Mr Castro denied that there are political prisoners in Cuba, telling journalists to "give him a list" and then they would be released "tonight".

Obama arrives in Cuba for what he calls a "historic visit"

"This is a historic visit and a historic opportunity," Obama said as he greeted staff of the new U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Air Force One touched down on a rainy, overcast day in the Cuban capital. The president was joined by wife Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.

Obama was greeted by top Cuban officials — but not President Raul Castro. The Cuban leader frequently greets major world figures upon their arrival at Jose Marti International Airport, but was absent on the tarmac. Instead, he planned to greet Obama on Monday at the Palace of the Revolution.

Palestinian stabs 10 people, killing US tourist

The attack took place along a boardwalk near a beach popular with tourists.

US Vice-President Joe Biden was in a meeting a few kilometres away.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said four of the injured had severe injuries.

"A terrorist, an illegal resident who came from somewhere in the Palestinian territories, came here to Jaffa and embarked on a run along the boardwalk," Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told Army Radio.

"On his way he indiscriminately stabbed people."

CDC: 14 more US reports of possible Zika spread through sex

The 14 cases all involve men who visited areas with Zika outbreaks, and who may have infected their female sex partners, who had not traveled to those areas.

Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquito bites, and sexual transmission has been considered rare. There have been two reported cases, including a recent one in Texas, and at least two other reports of the Zika virus found in semen.

US tuna fleet shut out of lucrative Pacific region

The US Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has told all US vessels they are prohibited from fishing in the region from January 1 until new licences are issued.

Nearly 40 US vessels usually work in the region and are estimated to catch US$300-$400 million worth of tuna annually.

Mike Tosatto, Honolulu director of the NMFS confirmed Friday he had written to tuna fleet operators to get out of the water by New Year's Day if the agreement to pay was not honoured.