World Roundup May 19

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1.  China reports progress on South China Sea code of conduct :  China says it has reached agreement with the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast AsiaNations on the rough outline of a legally binding code of conduct designed to prevent clashes in the strategic South China Sea.

2.  Japan cabinet approves bill allowing emperor's abdication :  The Japanese government on Friday approved a one-off bill allowing ageing Emperor Akihito to step down from the Chrysanthemum Throne, in the first such abdication in two centuries.

3.  Times Square car crash: Driver was US Navy veteran, had 'history of drunk driving' :  One person died and 12 others injured when a car plowed into pedestrians in New York's busy Times Square today, with authorities saying the driver of the vehicle, a US Navy veteran, has a criminal history and record of drunk driving.

4.  Pakistan at crossroads in terror fight, must decide: Army chief :  Pakistan stands at a "crossroads" in its fight against extremism and must decide whether it wants to enjoy the benefits of its young demography or suffer at the hands of terrorism, Armychief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said today.

5.  Syria, Iraq discuss direct cooperation against Islamic State: SANA :  An Iraqi envoy met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Thursday to explore direct military cooperation against Islamic State (IS) militants, Syrian state media said.

6.  French President Macron talks to Putin, faces media uproar :  French President Emmanuel Macron held a special security meeting, spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and convened his Cabinet for the first time Thursday _ all under a growing cloud of concern that his office is trying to control the press.

7.  Ancient ornamental stud stolen from Pompeii; site closed :  Officials say an ancient ornamental bronze stud has been stolen from an exhibit inside the Pompeii archaeological site.

8.  Pakistan rejects Musharraf's conditions for his high treason trial :  Pakistan has rejected former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's demands of military security and safe passage to Dubai to face his high treason trial, saying an "absconder" cannot give conditions and "dictate his prerequisites" to the court.

9.  Hassan Rouhani looks to beat hard-liner as Iran prepares to vote :  Iranian President Hassan Rouhanistaked his political future on opening Iran ever so slightly to the outside world and overcoming hard-liners' opposition to secure a historic nuclear deal in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions.

10.  India has been diverting nuclear materials to make weapons: Pakistan :  Pakistan has accused India of diverting nuclear materials it had obtained for peaceful purposes under the NSG waiver to make weapons.

11.  Qatar World Cup 2022: Abuse of migrant workers continues, says Amnesty International :  Abuse of migrant workers remains widespread as Qatar's World Cup stadium hosts first match on Friday.


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