Strong earthquakes hit central Italy; no deaths reported
ROME Two strong earthquakes rocked a wide area of central Italy on Wednesday, striking fear among residents rattled by a deadly tremor in August, but there were no reports of casualties.
MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratified an agreement with the Syrian government that allows Russia to use the Hmeimim air base in Syria indefinitely, the Kremlin said on Friday.
Russia's air force has launched air strikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from the Hmeimim base.
Russia also this week announced plans to build a permanent naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus.
The Kremlin said costs associated with the agreement ratified by Putin will fall within normal defence spending in each year's federal budget.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Christian Lowe)
CHICAGO The Republican Party's grip on U.S. state legislatures could loosen in next month's election as Democrats seek to link Republican candidates to the sinking fortunes of the party's White House candidate, Donald Trump.
ATHENS Leaders of ethnically-split Cyprus will move peace talks to Switzerland in November where territorial issues will be discussed, the United Nations said on Wednesday, in the latest attempt at ending one of Europe's most enduring conflicts.