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U.S. calls Russian decision to add Navalny to list of ‘terrorists and extremists’ disturbing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Tuesday said Russia's decision to add jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a handful of his allies to an official list of "terrorists and extremists" was disturbing, and it again called for Navalny's immediate and unconditional release.

"This latest designation represents a new low in Russia's continuing crackdown on independent civil society," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Costas Pitas; Writing by Daphne Psaledakis)

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Qatar’s emir to visit Washington on Jan. 31

DOHA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Qatar's ruling emir plans to visit Washington on Jan. 31, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, a trip likely to address Afghanistan, the security of gas supplies to Europe as well as Iran.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit, the first since President Joe Biden took office a year ago, comes as Washington discusses with energy-producing states and firms a potential diversion of supplies to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the matter with the foreign minister of Qatar, a top liquefied natural gas producer, in a phone call on Monday, one of the sources said.

Washington is concerned that a possible Russian military assault on Ukraine could trigger U.S. and Eur

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Badminton fans share support for banished shuttler Jin Wei

FORMER national badminton player Goh Jin Wei’s video on YouTube has received huge support from fans around the world.

Her video came out on Sunday (Jan 23), just days after another former national badminton player, Lee Zii Jia, tendered his resignation from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

In the two-and-a-half minute video, Jin Wei spoke about tendering her own resignation from the BAM in Sept 2021.

She said she has a right to play the sport, and that she has not breached any policies and that she did not deserve to be banned from international tournaments.

She further added that playing badminton was the only job she knew, and that it is affecting her livelihood.

Watch her video here:

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Football: Soccer-Watford appoint former England coach Hodgson as interim manager

(Reuters) - Watford have named former England and Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson as their manager after sacking Claudio Ranieri on Monday following their 3-0 defeat at home by Norwich City, which left them in 19th place, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

"The ex-England national team boss is joined by his trusted assistant Ray Lewington. Hodgson and Lewington begin preparations immediately for Watford's next Premier League fixture, away to Burnley on Saturday Feb. 5," the club said in a statement.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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Two Senegalese soldiers killed, nine missing after clash with separatists

DAKAR (Reuters) - Two Senegalese soldiers were killed and nine were likely taken hostage when they went missing during fighting with separatist rebels in neighbouring Gambia, Senegal's army said on Tuesday.

One rebel from the Movement of Democratic Forces for Casamance (MFDC) was also killed and three captured by Senegalese forces in the fighting on Monday, an army statement said.

"The nine missing soldiers are probably held hostage by the MFDC. Operations are ongoing to find them and secure the zone."

The soldiers were monitoring timber trafficking as part of a multinational force in Gambia, which is bordered on three sides by Senegal.

The MFDC was formed in 1982 to fight for independence for Senegal's southern region of Casamance, which borders Gambia.

The movement has been largely dormant since a ceasefire in 2014 bu

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Football: Soccer-Senegal reach 1ast eight as Mane scores but suffers head injury

(Reuters) -Senegal's Sadio Mane scored but then went off with a head injury as they beat nine-man Cape Verde Islands 2-0 in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam on Tuesday.

Mane fired home from a set-piece after 62 minutes but had been hurt earlier in a nasty clash of heads with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha, who was sent off for the incident.

Liverpool forward Mane then left the field shortly afterwards complaining of a headache and could be a doubt for the quarter-final in Limbe on Sunday.

Substitute Bamba Dieng scored the second goal deep in stoppage time against a gallant Cape Verde side, who also had Patrick Andrade sent off after 20 minutes.

"It was a difficult game because Cape Verde were very organise

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U.S. seeks to protect Europe’s energy supplies if Russia invades Ukraine

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) -Western leaders stepped up preparations for any Russian military action in Ukraine on Tuesday, with the United States focusing on how to protect energy supplies and Britain urging other European nations to get economic sanctions ready.

Tensions remained high after NATO said https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/nato-sends-ships-jets-eastern-europe-ukraine-crisis-2022-01-24 on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets in response to a Russian troop build-up near its border with Ukraine.

Russia, which denies planning an attack, said it was watching with "great concern". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated Moscow's line that the crisis is being driven by U.S. and NATO ac

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