Obama takes final bow at star-studded Washington dinner

WASHINGTON With seven performances under his belt, U.S. President Barack Obama will try one last time to bring the house down at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner on Saturday, a night of playful ribbing of both politicians and the news media. The black-tie event, which Obama has previously joked is “a night when Washington celebrates itself,” brings together journalists and media moguls, Hollywood stars and policy wonks and the…

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Saudi hands over Houthi prisoners as Yemen peace efforts inch ahead: spokesman

DOHA Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Saturday its foe Saudi Arabia had handed over 40 prisoners as part of an agreement to quell border fighting as U.N.-backed peace negotiations to end Yemen’s civil war crept forward. The Iran-allied Houthis and Yemen’s Saudi-backed exiled government are trying to broker a peace and ease a humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country where conflict has drawn in regional powers and killed…

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Berkshire preliminary first-quarter operating profit falls

OMAHA, Neb. Warren Buffett on Saturday said preliminary first-quarter profit at his Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) fell about 12 percent, hurt by weaker performance in its railroad and insurance operations. Quarterly operating profit for the Omaha, Nebraska-based insurance and investment conglomerate probably fell to $3.73 billion from $4.24 billion. Net income probably rose to $5.59 billion from $5.16 billion, helped by a gain from the swap of Procter &…

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Reformists poised for victory in Iran

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Iranians went to the polls again on Friday Moderates and reformists are poised to take control of parliament in Iran after strong gains at run-off elections, early results suggest. Preliminary results show politicians allied with reformist President Hassan Rouhani won half of the 68 seats being contested on Friday. With the support of independents, they are assured of a working majority, a BBC correspondent reports….

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Kenya sets fire to huge ivory stockpile

Image copyright AFP Image caption The pyres are expected to burn for several days Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has set fire to a huge stockpile of ivory in an effort to show his country’s commitment to saving Africa’s elephants. More than 100 tonnes of ivory was stacked up in pyres in Nairobi National Park where it is expected to burn for several days. The ivory represents nearly the entire stock…

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Astronomers find a tailless comet, first of its kind

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Astronomers have found a first-of-its-kind tailless comet whose composition may offer clues into long-standing questions about the solar system’s formation and evolution, according to research published on Friday in the journal Science Advances. The so-called “Manx” comet, named after a breed of cats without tails, was made of rocky materials that are normally found near Earth. Most comets are made of ice and other frozen compounds and…

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Hundreds of protesters storm Baghdad's Green Zone, enter parliament

BAGHDAD Hundreds of supporters of Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed into Baghdad’s Green Zone on Saturday and entered the parliament building after lawmakers failed to convene for a vote on overhauling the government, two Reuters witnesses said. The protesters, who had gathered outside the heavily fortified district housing government buildings and many foreign embassies, crossed a bridge over the Tigris River chanting, “The cowards ran away!” in apparent reference…

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Five killed in Texas floods as severe weather lashes central U.S.

AUSTIN, Texas A grandmother and four of her grandchildren were killed in floods in Texas caused by a storm system that unleashed tornadoes, damaging hail and torrential rains on several central U.S. states, officials said on Saturday. The flood victims in Palestine, Texas, 100 miles (160 km)southeast of Dallas, escaped a house where flood waters had reached the roof line and were then swept away by the rushing waters, Palestine…

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Air strikes pound Syria's Aleppo, 'calm' farther southwest

BEIRUT Nearly 30 air strikes hit rebel-held areas of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, killing more people in a ninth straight day of bombardments by warring sides, and a temporary “calm” declared by Syrian military took hold around Damascus and in the northwest. The violence in Aleppo, which has borne the brunt of an escalation in fighting that has all but destroyed a ceasefire deal brokered in February…

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