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Syria ceasefire comes into effect under US-Russia deal

Syria cease fireA nationwide ceasefire in Syria brokered by the United States and Russia began at sundown on Monday, coinciding with the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, but there are concerns about whether it will hold.

Several hours into the ceasefire, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said major conflict zones across the country were quiet.

"Calm is prevailing," said SOHR director Rami Abdulrahman, adding, however, that there had been light shelling by both rebel groups and government forces in the country's southwest.

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At least 20 killed in Bangladesh factory fire

Bangla Desh fireAt least 20 people died in a factory fire after a boiler exploded in a four-story building in Bangladesh on Saturday.

According to CNN, local police chief Harunur Rashid said the explosion caused a fire while employees were inside the building in Tongi near the capital city of Dhaka.

The death toll is expected to rise as hundreds of firefighters attempt to extinguish the fire and 50 people were hospitalized with injuries.

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North Korea's fifth nuclear test prompts U.S. calls for more sanctions

N Korea's fifth nuclear testThe United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the test and said it would begin work immediately on a resolution. The United States, Britain and France pushed the 15-member body to impose new sanctions.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the group to remain united and take action that would "urgently break this accelerating spiral of escalation."

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US, Russia seal Syria cease-fire, new military partnership

Russia and USSR sign pact re SyriaThe United States and Russia early Saturday announced a breakthrough agreement on Syria that foresees a nationwide cease-fire starting on Monday, followed a week later by an unlikely new military partnership targeting the Islamic State and al-Qaida as well as new limits on President Bashar Assad's forces.

After a daylong final negotiating session in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said shortly after midnight Saturday that the plan could reduce violence in Syria and lead to a long-sought political transition, ending more than five years of bloodshed. He called the deal a potential "turning point" in a conflict that has killed as many as 500,000 people, if complied with by Syria's Russian-backed government and U.S.-supported rebel groups.

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Mexico's treasury minister resigns after Trump visit

mexico's treasury minister resignsMexican Treasury Minister Luis Videgaray has resigned, a week after Donald Trump's controversial visit to the country to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, a ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Videgaray, one of Peña Nieto's closest advisers, did not state a reason for stepping down, but he will not take another public position for the time being, Finance Ministry spokeswoman Claudia Algorri said.

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UK: Work to begin on Calais wall to stop Channel migrants

Calais wallBritain hopes a 4 meter-high (13 foot-high) concrete wall will succeed where security guards and barbed wire have failed, and stop migrants reaching the U.K. from the northern French port of Calais.

Home Office Minister Robert Goodwill announced this week that a 1 kilometer-long (0.6 mile-long) barrier will be built as part of a 17 million pound ($23 million) security package agreed to by Britain and France. He told lawmakers on Tuesday that its construction along the main highway to the port would start "very soon."

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Maldives president's corruption revealed

Abdullah YameenAl Jazeera's Investigative Unit has exposed massive corruption at the top of the Maldives government, including theft, bribery and money laundering. President Abdulla Yameen is accused of receiving cash in bags filled with up to $1m - so much that it was "difficult to carry", according to one of the men who delivered the money.

A new documentary, Stealing Paradise , provides an unprecedented insight into how international corruption is carried out. The story is told through data obtained from three of former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb's smartphones and dozens of confidential documents. It also features secretly recorded confessions of three men who embezzled millions and delivered the stolen cash on the orders of the president and his deputy.

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