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ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader said on Thursday he favored a parliamentary vote on its nuclear deal reached with world powers and called for sanctions against Tehran to be lifted completely rather than suspended, state television reported. President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist whose 2013 election paved the way to a diplomatic thaw with the West, and his allies have opposed such a parliamentary vote, arguing this would create legal obligations hampering the deal's implementation. "Parliament should not be sidelined on the nuclear deal issue ... ...
By Steve Bittenbender ASHLAND, Ky. (Reuters) - A county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs heads to court on Thursday where a federal judge could hold her in contempt for defying his order to do so. Lawyers for Kim Davis, the elected Rowan County clerk who is an Apostolic Christian, on Wednesday asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to temporarily block his order requiring her to issue marriage licenses while she appeals the issue. Davis has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution.
Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded his country as a major power and a force for world peace Thursday as he presided over a spectacular military parade marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II. With concerns rife over China's rise, Xi announced that the People's Liberation Army -- the world's largest military -- would be reduced by 300,000 personnel, although the defence ministry said the cuts would mainly fall on outdated units and non-combat staff. The mixed messages drew a rebuke from Japan which said it was "disappointed" by Xi's speech for focusing too much on the past and for its lack of "rapprochement" between the Asian powers, the world's second- and third-largest economies.