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IMF and Pakistan reach $3 billion stand-by deal

Pakistan could get temporary relief for its ballooning foreign debt with a new stand-by arrangement worth $3 billion announced by the IMF in Washington late Thursday.. "I am pleased to announce that the IMF team has reached a staff-level agreement with the Pakistani authorities on a nine-month standby arrangement in the amount of SDR 2,250 million (about $3 billion)," said IMF official Nathan Porter in a statement.

Cambodian PM threatens to block Facebook access

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced Friday he could block access to Facebook in Cambodia, after the company said it would remove a video in which he threatened to beat up political opponents.. Facebook announced Thursday it would remove one of Hun Sen's videos in line with a ruling by the Oversight Board for Meta, Facebook's parent company, which also recommended his account be suspended.

US Supreme Court bans the use of race in university admissions

The US Supreme Court on Thursday banned the use of race and ethnicity in university admissions, dealing a major blow to a decades-old practice that boosted educational opportunities for African-Americans and other minorities.. Others have said the policy has outlived its need because educational opportunities have vastly improved for Blacks and other minorities.

Kyiv claims gains in Donbas, Moscow says killed Ukraine generals

Kyiv said Thursday its forces were gaining ground in Donbas, as Moscow claimed it had killed two generals in a missile strike earlier this week -- the same day strikes on a restaurant in east Ukraine killed at least 12 people.. Russia claimed it had "eliminated two generals and up to 50 officers" in a missile strike Tuesday in Kramatorsk -- the largest east Ukrainian city under Kyiv's control. 

Mother leads rally in memory of French teen killed by police

Thousands of people on Thursday took to the streets of a Paris suburb to remember a French teen killed by police during a traffic stop, with protesters led by his mother as anger showed no sign of abating.. Some carried signs such as "Police kill", "How many other Nahels were not filmed?"

Guard, gunman dead in shooting at US consulate in Saudi

Saudi authorities were investigating Thursday after an assailant and a security guard were killed in an exchange of gunfire outside the US consulate in Jeddah, the gateway city for the massive hajj pilgrimage taking place in Mecca. . "Security forces reacted... resulting in an exchange of fire that killed the assailant," it said, adding that the Nepalese guard later died of his wounds.

After long wait, Virgin Galactic begins commercial spaceflights

Virgin Galactic is set Thursday to finally begin commercial spaceflights, a major milestone for the company founded in 2004 by British billionaire Richard Branson.. But the company subsequently faced setbacks, including a brief grounding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which found the Branson flight deviated from its assigned airspace and Virgin Galactic did not communicate the "mishap" as required.

Canada wildfires again bring more unhealthy air in North America

Smoke from Canada's worst-ever wildfires was severely impacting air quality Wednesday across Ontario and at least 15 US states, with monitors warning that over one hundred million people face potentially unhealthy conditions.. Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland recorded some of the worst air quality in the United States, with residents told to stay inside or limit outdoor activity as smoke blanketed huge swaths of the country just weeks after communities suffered similar disruptions from Canada's hundreds of active forest fires.

Astronomers reveal evidence of universe's 'background hum'

Astronomers across the world announced on Thursday that they have found the first evidence of a long-theorised form of gravitational waves that create a "background hum" rumbling throughout the universe.. Joining forces under the banner of the International Pulsar Timing Array consortium, scientists working at gravitational wave detectors on several continents revealed on Thursday they have finally found strong evidence of these background waves.

France braces for protests after 'unforgivable' police shooting

France braced for more angry protests Wednesday after the killing of a teenager by police during a traffic stop that President Emmanuel Macron called "unforgivable".. That is inexplicable and unforgivable," President Emmanuel Macron said during an official visit to Marseille, southern France.