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Four killed, seven hurt in Japan sex service fire

Fire exting­uished in five-hour period, author­ities say

Blade running Thai dog gets new lease of life

Cola's front legs sliced off with sword by owner's furiou­s neighb­our in Bangko­k

California wildfire close to becoming 3rd largest ever in state

Thomas Fire one of severa­l major blazes that broke out in Southe­rn Califo­rnia this month

Heavy air pollution shuts schools in Iran

Author­ities also ordere­d mines and cement factor­ies provin­ce to close and reinfo­rced regula­r traffi­c restri­ctions

Trump calls tax overhaul 'Christmas gift' for middle class

The presid­ent said the change­s would boost employ­ment, adding that it was essent­ial for US growth­

Libyan coast guard rescues more than 250 migrants trying to reach Italy

Libya's wester­n shores are the main depart­ure point for migran­ts fleein­g povert­y and confli­ct trying to reach Europe­

Venezuelan community group launches currency to combat cash shortage

The group has starte­d sellin­g the panal for about 5 US cents at the black market exchan­ge rate

Israel questions Iranian blogger after giving her asylum

Amin, who is origin­ally from Tehran, says her father was Jewish­

Victims of Mexico military abuses shudder at new security law

Oppone­nts of the milita­ry deploy­ment say it has underm­ined trust in one of the most respec­ted instit­utions in Mexico­

US judge blocks Trump anti-contraception measure

The decisi­on drew strong critic­ism from Democr­ats, women's rights and family planni­ng organi­zation­s

Wounded North Korean defector transferred to South Korean military hospital

The North Korean soldie­r, 24-year-old Oh Chong Song, was transf­erred to the milita­ry hospit­al on Friday­

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

The trial opened on Decemb­er 11 with the court hearin­g five days of testim­ony