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Iran says foreign minister Zarif could hold nuclear talks in New York

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Iran’s foreign minister could meet counterparts from the major powers in New York later this month to press efforts for a comprehensive nuclear agreement, his ministry said on Wednesday.

Mohammad Javad Zarif and the top diplomats from the six powers will be in New York to address the five-yearly review conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which opens on April 27.

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“It could be possible that negotiations take place on the sidelines,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told a news conference.

The New York meeting will open just a week after negotiators from Iran and the powers launch talks on turning a framework agreement they reached on April 2 into a final deal.

Zarif has said those talks will begin on April 21 although he did not say where.

The negotiators must resolve a series of difficult technical issues, including the timetable for a lifting of international sanctions, by a June 30 deadline.

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Iran demands that the sanctions be lifted immediately on the same day any deal is implemented.

But the world powers have said the sanctions will be lifted only gradually and want a mechanism to ensure they can be swiftly reimposed if Iran breaks its word.

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‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.

"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."

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Vote-splitting fears raised in final days of Canada election

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In the dying days of what Justin Trudeau described as one of the "nastiest" election campaigns in Canadian history -- with plenty of mudslinging, attack ads and misinformation -- he played up fears on Thursday of vote-splitting handing victory to his rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

Policy announcements gave way to calls to vote strategically to keep Trudeau's Liberals in power and prevent a rollback of his progressive policies by the Tories.

Pollsters predict a minority government -- either Liberal or Conservative -- resulting from the October 21 ballot.

Attack ads accused Liberals of seeking to legalize hard drugs and the Tories of allowing assault rifles on Canadian streets -- claims that are flat out wrong or exaggerated, respectively.

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Japan emperor to proclaim enthronement in ritual-bound ceremony

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Japan's new Emperor Naruhito will formally proclaim his ascension to the throne next week in a ritual-bound ceremony, but the after-effects of deadly typhoon will cast a shadow over proceedings.

Naruhito officially assumed his duties as emperor on May 1, a day after his father became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.

But the transition will not be complete until his new role is officially proclaimed on Tuesday, in a series of events expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries from nearly 200 countries.

The event will come just over a week after Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan, killing nearly 80 people and leaving a trail of destruction.

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