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Sultan Abdullah Sworn In As Malaysia’s 16th King

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Sultan Abdullah Sworn In As Malaysia's 16th King

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was on Thursday sworn in as Malaysia’s 16th king in a ceremony at the national palace in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Members of Malaysia’s royal families had elected Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the new king after the unexpected abdication of the previous monarch, who abruptly resigned on January 6 after just two years on the throne.

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59-year-old Sultan Abdullah was sworn in for a five-year term. Abdullah, is an avid athlete and heavily involved in sports. He is a council member of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and a council member of FIFA, the football international governing body.

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Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with the king assuming a largely ceremonial role, including acting as custodian of Islam in the Muslim-majority country. The ceremony was televised nationally and attended by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and hundreds of guests decked out in Islamic finery.

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At the same ceremony, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, took the oath of office as deputy king.

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Brexit Deal: Britain And EU Edging Closer To Compromise

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Brexit Deal: Britain And EU Edging Closer To Compromise

Britain and the European Union are playing down the chances of clinching an immediate Brexit divorce deal, but diplomats say they were edging closer to a legal compromise that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will win over the British parliament.

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May is trying to get changes to the divorce package before putting it to another vote in parliament.  If that fails, may will have to decide whether to delay Brexit or endanger the world’s fifth largest economy by leaving without a deal in slightly more than a month.

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May’s biggest problem is the so-called Irish backstop, an insurance policy to keep the border open between the British province of Northern Ireland, and EU member Ireland if a future trade deal falls short after Brexit.

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Why the Irish backstop deal is so important is that many Brexit-supporting members of the Prime Minister’s party fear it could lock Britain into E.U. rules indefinitely.

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Venezuela’s Maduro Closes Border With Brazil

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Venezuela’s Maduro Closes Border With Brazil

Venezuela’s embattled president Nicolas Maduro has closed the country’s border with Brazil to block aid entry as a showdown looms over Brazil’s declaration it would help get emergency food and medicine aid into the country.  Maduro says this is part of a U.S. Coup plot against him.

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Amid the mounting tensions, opposition leader Juan Guaido, the self declared president of Venezuela has set off in a cross country caravan for the border with Colombia where much of the U.S. supplied aid is warehoused.

He has also called on thousands of ordinary Venezuelans to assembly on Saturday to help take the items across.

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A group of lawmakers who had headed to the Colombian border was stopped a few hours outside of Caracas by national guardsmen who had blocked the highway with a trailer truck.

Not only has Maduro blocked the vast jungle border with Brazil, he has also blocked air and sea travel between Venezuela and Dutch Caribbean Island of Curacao where the first cargo of relief supplies had arrived on Thursday from Venezuelan exile community in Miami, Florida.

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UK, US To Reconsider Blocking ISIS Brides From Returning Home

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UK, US Block ISIS Brides From Returning Home

A London teenager who joined ISIS in Syria has appealed to British authorities on Thursday to reconsider their decision to revoke her citizenship.  She wants them to re-evaluate her case with quote: “mercy in their heart.” End quote.

Nineteen-year-old Shamima Begum was fifteen when she ran away to join ISIS with two school friends from East London in 2015.  She married a Dutch ISIS fighter and gave birth to a son in a refugee camp last weekend.  She now wants to go home.

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In a Sky television interview, Begum said she had lost two children and would not want anything bad to happen to her third child.  Asked if she could change or be rehabilitated, she replied that she would be willing to change.

In a similar case, the father of an American woman, Hoda Muthana, who had been denied re-entry into the United States, for leaving home to join the Islamic State in Syria, has filed a lawsuit against the american government asking U.S. Leaders to make good faith efforts to return his daughter, and her eighteen month old son, to the United States.

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Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday twenty-four-year-old Muthana is not an American citizen, and president Trump had also tweeted on Wednesday about instructing Pompeo not to allow her back into the country.  But CNN had obtained her birth certificate which shows she was born in Bergen county, in the state of new jersey.

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Muthana joined the Islamic State after becoming radicalized in November 2014.  She recently expressed her regrets for aligning herself with the terrorist organization and wants to return to the United States with her son.

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