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Italian PM Renzi speaks during the last rally for a "Yes" vote in the upcoming referendum about constitutional reform, in FlorenceBy Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italians started to vote on Sunday in a referendum on constitutional reform which will decide the political future of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has promised to resign if he loses. Financial markets and Europe's politicians fear victory for the opposition 'No' camp could trigger political instability and renewed turmoil for Italy's battered banks, pushing the euro zone towards a fresh crisis. Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0600 GMT), with about 51 million Italians eligible to vote on Renzi's plan to drastically reduce the role of the upper house Senate and claw back powers from regional authorities.


Rebel fighters stand near a damaged bus used as a barricade in the rebel-held besieged Bab al-Hadid neighbourhood of AleppoSyrian rebel groups have told the United States they will not leave Aleppo after Moscow called for talks with Washington over a full withdrawal of rebel fighters from the city's besieged eastern districts, a rebel official said on Sunday. Speaking to Reuters from Turkey, senior rebel official Zakaria Malahifji said the message was delivered to U.S. officials in contacts on Saturday following the statement from Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally. "Our response to the Americans was as follows: we cannot leave our city, our homes, to the mercenary militias that the regime has mobilized in Aleppo," said Malahifji, the head of the political office of an Aleppo rebel group.


A woman holds an image of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro at a tribute to Castro in Santiago de CubaBy Sarah Marsh SANTIAGO, Cuba (Reuters) - Fidel Castro will be laid to rest on Sunday alongside the mausoleum of Cuban independence hero Jose Marti, ensuring that the polarizing nature of Castro's life will continue in death. Castro and his leftist revolutionaries claimed Marti's mantle upon overthrowing a U.S.-backed regime in 1959 and later married Marti's ideals to their brand of Soviet communism, enraging other nationalists, anti-communists and Cuban exiles who also claim Marti as their own. Castro, who survived five decades of U.S. attempts to kill or overthrow him, died on Nov. 25 age 90, a decade after resigning from office due to an intestinal illness and ceding power to his brother, current President Raul Castro, 85.


Malaysia's PM Razak talks to the media beside Indonesia's President Widodo after a bilateral meeting at Presidential Palace in JakartaMalaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called for foreign intervention to stop the "genocide" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar on Sunday, as he joined thousands of Rohingya protesters in Kuala Lumpur. Muslim-Majority Malaysia has been increasingly critical of Myanmar's handling of violence and allegations of state abuses in northern Rakhine state, which has driven hundreds of ethnic Rohingya to flee across the borders to Bangladesh. Najib called on the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to intervene.


Commuters pass by the front of the Bangladesh central bank building in DhakaThe Philippine government wants Bangladesh to share the findings of its investigation into how unknown hackers pulled off one of the world's largest cyber bank heists, to help speed up recovery of the stolen funds. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who last week met with a Bangladesh delegation, said Manila "strongly recommended" Dhaka share the results of its investigation. Cyber criminals tried to steal nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank in February and made off with $81 million via an account at the New York Federal Reserve.


U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a costume party at the home of hedge fund billionaire and campaign donor Robert Mercer in Head of the HarborBy Harry Pearl SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday he was confident a refugee resettlement deal with the United States would go ahead, despite White House comments which seemed to cast doubt about its future under a Trump Administration. White House deputy spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters the deal to resettle in the U.S refugees currently held at Australian-funded offshore processing centers was reached with President Barack Obama, and it was the prerogative of each president to set policies. "The President-elect, Donald Trump, will set the policies once he takes the oath of office." Turnbull downplayed the comments when questioned by reporters in Sydney on Sunday.


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's official IRNA news agency is reporting that President Hassan Rouhani submitted a $83 billion budget bill to parliament for the next fiscal year, beginning in March.
A Syrian rebel commander recently appointed head of a new military alliance in Aleppo has been seriously wounded in an ongoing government assault on the city's opposition-held eastern districts, a rebel official said on Sunday. Abu Abdelrahman Nour will be replaced as head of the "Aleppo army" he was appointed to lead last week, said Zakaria Malahifji, head of the political office of one of the Aleppo factions, Fastaqim. A rebel official from Nour's faction, Jabha Shamiya, confirmed he had been wounded on Saturday.

Harold Varner III of the US celebrates winning the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines, Gold Coast on December 4, 2016American Harold Varner III claimed his first professional victory at the Australian PGA Championship Sunday on the Gold Coast by two strokes. Varner, 26, who lost in a three-way play-off in last year's event, fired rounds of 65, 72, 67 and 65 for 19-under 269. Varner came closest to winning his first top-level pro event when runner-up after a three-way playoff with Dylan Frittelli and eventual 2015 champion Nathan Holman a year ago.


Australian batsman Steve Smith (C) smashed 164 in the the One Day International against New Zealand in Sydney on December 4, 2016Skipper Steve Smith smashed 164 Sunday, the highest one-day international score at the Sydney Cricket Ground, to lead Australia to 324 for eight against New Zealand. Smith struck 14 fours and four sixes in his seventh ODI century after winning the toss in the first match of three in the Chappell-Hadlee Series to put his side in a strong position. Smith's top-ranked team suffered a 5-0 ODI series drubbing in South Africa in October and looked shaky again when reduced to 92 for four in the 21st over.


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Emergency workers have recovered the bodies of three Palestinians who went missing in a smuggling tunnel between Gaza and Egypt.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, center, drives between Phoenix Suns' Dragan Bender, left, and Alex Len during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, California (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 31 points in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors ran their NBA-record streak of regular season games without consecutive losses to 106 by beating the Phoenix Suns 138-109 on Saturday night.


Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney (30) makes a save on a shot by Arizona Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) during a shootout of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Blue Jackets defeated the Coyotes 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)PHOENIX (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets led 13 seconds in and then poured on a flurry of shots — and still needed a late rally and shootout to beat Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes.


FILE - This combination of two photos shows U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, left, speaking during a "USA Thank You" tour event in Cincinatti Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, delivering a speech during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. Trump spoke Friday, Dec. 2, with Tsai, a move that will be sure to anger China. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Chinag Ying-ying, File)TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — With a 10-minute phone call and two tweets, Donald Trump inspired banner headlines and renewed hopes across Taiwan for a stronger partnership with the United States, while also inflaming the complex relationships between the U.S., mainland China, and the self-governing island China regards as a renegade province.


TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — With a 10-minute phone call and two tweets, Donald Trump inspired banner headlines and renewed hopes across Taiwan for a stronger partnership with the United States, while also inflaming the complex relationships between the U.S., mainland China, and the self-governing island China regards as a renegade province. Whether the U.S. president-elect meant to jump into the generational fight between China and Taiwan remains an open question. But by speaking to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Trump upended four decades of American foreign policy and engaged China directly on the issue of Taiwan, which Beijing has threatened to reclaim by force if necessary.

FILE - In this May 2, 2016, file photo, Harold Varner III tees off the 18th hole during the final round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Varner held on to win the Australian PGA Championship in Gold Coast, Australia, on Sunday, Dec.4, 2016 by two shots after a roller-coaster last round of 65 that included seven birdies and two bogeys in an entertaining nine-hole stretch at Royal Pines. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Harold Varner III held on to win the Australian PGA Championship by two shots on Sunday, claiming his first title outside the United States after a roller-coaster last round 65 that included seven birdies and two bogeys in a nine-hole run at Royal Pines.


RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — President Mahmoud Abbas' long-dominant Fatah movement has concluded a special conference by cementing the rule of the longtime leader and shutting out his key rival.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) talks with Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev after laying flowers at the grave of late Uzbek leader Islam Karimov in SamarkandUzbekistan went to the polls on Sunday to elect a successor to the late strongman Islam Karimov with long-serving prime minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev expected to score a comfortable victory in the ex-Soviet state. According to the Central Electoral Commission some 33.73 percent of the 20 million plus electorate cast votes in the first five hours of the vote -- exceeding the minimum turnout of a third of voters required to make the polls valid. Mirziyoyev, who was appointed prime minister in 2003, became interim president following Karimov's death aged 78 in September from a stroke.


SYDNEY (AP) — Nicholas Colazo scored a contentious equalizer as Melbourne City overcame fatigue to snatch a 1-1 draw with top-four rival Brisbane in the ninth round of Australian football's A-League.
PARIS (AP) — The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church is consecrating a new church near the Eiffel Tower seen as a controversial symbol of President Vladimir Putin's influence in Europe.

Australia's Steven Smith raises his helmet after making 150 runs against New Zealand during their one day international cricket match in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)SYDNEY (AP) — Steve Smith went to the crease in the first over and belted 164 from 157 balls to guide Australia to 324-8 on Sunday in the series-opening limited-overs international against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground.


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian rescuers on Sunday recovered body parts in the sea where a police plane with 13 people aboard is believed to have crashed the day before.
HELSINKI (AP) — Local officials in Finland say that three people have been fatally shot in a southeastern town overnight.
Floods brought by torrential rain since late November have killed at least 13 people in central Vietnam while more heavy rain is expected in coming days, the government and state media said on Sunday. Six people have died in floods in Binh Dinh province since Thursday and another four were killed in Quang Ngai province, while more than 10,000 homes in the two provinces were submerged, the government said. Three children aged between four and 13 were swept away in flood waters in Quang Nam province on Saturday, the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper cited a provincial report as saying.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's President Hassan Rouhani demanded Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama not sign an extension of U.S. sanctions, saying the bill is a violation of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, center, drives between Phoenix Suns' Dragan Bender, left, and Alex Len during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, California (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 31 points in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors ran their NBA-record streak of regular season games without consecutive losses to 106 by beating the Phoenix Suns 138-109 on Saturday night.


Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney (30) makes a save on a shot by Arizona Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) during a shootout of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Blue Jackets defeated the Coyotes 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)PHOENIX (AP) — Columbus pummeled Mike Smith with a franchise-record 60 shots, Alexander Wennberg scored with 2:16 left in the third period and the Blue Jackets beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout Saturday night.


Polls suggest Norbert Hofer (R) of the hardline Freedom Party is neck-and-neck with ex-Green party chief Alexander Van der Bellen in Austria's presidential voteAustrians returned to the polls on Sunday in a bitterly fought marathon election, which could propel the European Union's first far-right president to power and boost the anti-establishment tide sweeping many countries. Norbert Hofer of the hardline Freedom Party (FPOe) hopes to emerge victorious after he narrowly lost to his Greens-backed rival Alexander Van der Bellen in a first run-off in May, which was annulled over ballot count breaches. Boosted by Brexit and Donald Trump's shock US election win, smooth-tongued gun enthusiast Hofer has vowed to "get rid of the dusty establishment", seek closer ties with Russia and fight against "Brussels centralising power".


If Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's proposals to streamline a 68-year-old parliamentary system are voted down in a referendum, he has vowed to resignItalians went to the polls Sunday in a constitutional referendum on which reformist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has staked his future. If the centre-left Renzi's proposals to streamline a 68-year-old parliamentary system are voted down, he has vowed to resign. The most apocalyptic scenarios involve a crisis of investor confidence causing the failure of a rescue scheme for Italy's most indebted banks, triggering a broader crisis across the eurozone.


Firefighters inspect a warehouse in Oakland, California where it is feared a fire may have killed up to 40 people during a rave partyFire crews in California worked into the night Saturday sifting through the remains of a warehouse gutted by a blaze during a rave party, with officials saying they fear the death toll could reach 40. Relatives of dozens of people missing in the Friday night blaze in Oakland near San Francisco continued their anxious wait for news. Firefighters said the building seemed to have no sprinklers or smoke detectors.


Protesters walk during a demonstration against Norbert Hofer, candidate for presidential elections of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. The poster on the left reads 'No Nazis in the Hofburg' referring to Austria's presidential palace. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)VIENNA (AP) — In an election sure to reverberate across Europe, Austrian voters are choosing between a right-wing populist and a left-leaning former politician for their next president.


Wisconsin's Corey Clement (6) runs out of the tackle of Penn State's Marcus Allen during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — As Penn State's band played and Lucas Oil Stadium rocked, thousands of fans clad in their traditional white shirts chanted "We Are Penn State."


Italian PM Renzi speaks during the last rally for a "Yes" vote in the upcoming referendum about constitutional reform, in FlorenceROME (Reuters) - Italians started voting on Sunday in a referendum on constitutional reform, with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promising to resign if he loses the ballot. Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) and are set to close at 11 p.m. (2200 GMT). Some 51 million Italians are eligible to vote and full results are expected in the early hours of Monday. The reform reduces the role of the upper house Senate and claws back powers from regional authorities -- measures that the government says will bring political stability to Italy. ...


Angel Garcia (R) speaks with homeless people eating a free dinner at the Robin Hood restaurant in MadridIt is early evening at a restaurant in central Madrid and Jose Silva sits down for a meal of rice, meatballs and vegetables as waiters flit from one table to another. The project is the brainchild of the "Messengers of Peace" association, led by Angel Garcia, a 79-year-old rebel priest with a thick head of white hair and kindly smile known for his charity work and alternative church. Garcia has plans for three more such eateries in Madrid and other parts of Spain, where one in five people live close to the poverty line after a devastating economic crisis.


Wisconsin's Corey Clement (6) runs out of the tackle of Penn State's Marcus Allen during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Trace McSorley threw four touchdown passes and No. 8 Penn State stunned No. 6 Wisconsin 38-31 in US college football Saturday night, overcoming a 21-point first-half deficit in the greatest comeback in Big Ten title game history.


Tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters joined with President Raul Castro in pledging to uphold his brother Fidel's revolution at a massive, final rallyCuban President Raul Castro pledged to uphold his brother Fidel's socialist revolution at a massive rally in honor of the communist icon before his burial. Tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters recited the oath with Raul Castro at the Revolution Plaza of Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of Fidel's guerrilla struggle. "He demonstrated that yes we could, yes we can, yes we will overcome any obstacle, threat, turbulence in our firm resolve to build socialism in Cuba," he said.


Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin is recovering in New Zealand after experiencing health problems while on a trip to the South PoleRetired US astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, was recovering after his medical evacuation from Antarctica but is not yet able to return home, his manager Christina Korp said Sunday. "He still has some congestion in his lungs so has been advised not to take the long flight home to the States and to rest in New Zealand while it clears up," Korp said in a statement. Aldrin, 86, was evacuated to a hospital in Christchurch on Friday after experiencing health problems while on a trip to the South Pole.


Wisconsin's Corey Clement (6) runs out of the tackle of Penn State's Marcus Allen during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Trace McSorley threw four touchdown passes and No. 8 Penn State stunned No. 6 Wisconsin 38-31 in US college football Saturday night, overcoming a 21-point first-half deficit in the greatest comeback in Big Ten title game history.


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