Egypt’s Christians flee Sinai amid Islamic State killing spree | Reuters

By Ahmed Aboulenein | ISMAILIA, Egypt ISMAILIA, Egypt Christian families and students fled Egypt’s North Sinai province in droves on Friday after Islamic State killed the seventh member of their community in just three weeks.A Reuters reporter saw 25 families gathered with their belongings in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia’s Evangelical Church and church officials said 100 families, out of around 160 in North Sinai, were fleeing. More than 200 students studying in Arish, the province’s capital, have also left.Seven Christians have been killed in Arish between Jan. 30 and Thursday

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U.S. charges former Guatemala VP, ex-minister with drug trafficking | Reuters

GUATEMALA CITY Former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti and an ex-minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla have been indicted on drug trafficking charges, the U.S. embassy in Guatemala said on Friday.

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Kansas man charged with killing Indian in possible hate crime | Reuters

By Dave Kaup and Aditya Kalra | KANSAS CITY/NEW DELHI KANSAS CITY/NEW DELHI A 51-year-old man has been charged with killing an engineer from India and wounding two other men when he opened fire in a Kansas bar in what federal authorities were investigating on Friday as a possible bias-motivated crime that shocked the victim’s home country.

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Germany’s Merkel ready to meet French frontrunner Macron | Reuters

BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to meet independent French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron before the French election and the two sides are discussing dates, a German government spokesman said on Friday.Macron, the election frontrunner, did not get an audience with Merkel when he visited Berlin last month, but was welcomed in London this week by Prime Minister Theresa May.The spokesman said there was no firm date yet but the expectation is that Merkel and Macron will meet in March.In the run-up to the last French election in 2012, Merkel, a conservative, refused to meet with Socialist Francois Hollande, the eventual winner, amid pressure from incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, also a conservative. That may have contributed to the rocky start in relations between Merkel and Hollande. Some Merkel aides later described the decision not to meet him as a mistake.Fillon visited Merkel in Berlin in late January, a day before French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine published a story revealing that he had paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros in taxpayer money over a number of years to be his parliamentary assistant, despite no evidence that she had actually worked

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Gold hits 3-1/2-month high as Trump inflation trade fades | Reuters

By Marcy Nicholson and Maytaal Angel | NEW YORK/LONDON NEW YORK/LONDON Gold reached its highest in 3-1/2 months on Friday as the dollar fell to a one-week low after the new U.S. Treasury chief poured cold water on the “Trumpflation trade” that had boosted the greenback this year.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that any steps U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration takes on policy would probably have only limited impact this year, though he wants to see tax reform passed by August.The comments suggested much work was still needed on the sweeping tax plan that Mnuchin called his main priority, and which investors had bet would stoke growth and inflation this year.”We’ve got a vacuum of (U.S

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French judge takes over probe on Fillon ‘fake jobs’ scandal | Reuters

By Chine Labbé and Michel Rose | PARIS PARIS French prosecutors on Friday appointed a magistrate to investigate allegations concerning presidential candidate Francois Fillon and his wife in a scandal over public money she received for work she may not have done.The prosecutor’s decision to open up a new stage in the case marks a blow for Fillon, whose status as favourite to win the presidency has faded since a newspaper first reported the “Penelopegate” affair, named after his British wife.By involving a magistrate in what had so far been a preliminary probe led by police, the prosecutor is putting more resources into the investigation. The magistrate has more powers to investigate, including tapping phones or placing suspects under house arrest.The judge can still decide to drop the case, place the suspect under formal investigation, or send it to trial. It remained unclear if the probe could be concluded before the presidential election, scheduled for April 23 and May 7.

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Trump to put ‘regulatory reform task forces’ in U.S. agencies | Reuters

By David Shepardson and Steve Holland | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to place “regulatory reform” task forces within federal agencies in what may be the most far reaching effort to pare back U.S. red tape in recent decades.Trump signed the directive in the Oval Office with chief executives of major U.S

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Wall Street dips; Dow poised to break 10-day record run | Reuters

By Chuck Mikolajczak The Dow was on track to break its 10-day record-setting streak on Friday, as banks weighed and investors turned cautious after recent comments from the Trump administration indicated its pro-growth policies may have a longer path to implementation.Major Wall Street indexes have rallied to record levels since the election of Donald Trump as U.S.

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French magistrate takes over probe on ‘fake jobs’ scandal concerning Fillon | Reuters

PARIS French prosecutors on Friday appointed a magistrate to investigate allegations concerning presidential candidate Francois Fillon and his wife, over charges that his wife got large sums of money for work she may not have done.The prosecutor’s decision to open up a new stage in the case marks a blow for Fillon, whose status as favourite to win the presidency has faded since a newspaper broke what has become known as “Penelopegate” after his British wife.By involving a magistrate in what had so far been a preliminary probe led by police, the prosecutor is putting more resources into the investigation. The magistrate has more powers to investigate, including tapping phones or placing suspects under house arrest.The judge can still decide to drop the case, place the suspect under formal investigation, or send it to trial

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White House says too early to guess at motive in Kansas shooting | Reuters

WASHINGTON A White House spokesman, addressing the fatal shooting of an Indian engineer and the wounding of two other men in Kansas this week, said on Friday any loss of life is tragic but it would be absurd to link the action to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.Spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters it was too early to guess at the motive for the incident, in which a man opened fire in a bar, prompting concern that Trump’s “America First” stance on immigration and jobs has fuelled a climate of intolerance. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by David Alexander)

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