Xinhua world news summary at 0830 GMT, Dec. 27

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JALALABAD, Afghanistan -- The spokesman of the Islamic State (IS) group Sultan Aziz Azam has been killed in air raids on the insurgent group in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, an army statement released here Thursday said.

"Acting upon intelligence reports, the unmanned planes targeted the IS hideout in Pachiragam district on Wednesday, killing Sultan Aziz Azam, the mouthpiece of the hardliner group for Afghanistan," the statement added. (Afghanistan-Airstrike-IS)

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WASHINGTON -- The first visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to American troops deployed in the Middle East on Wednesday has been somehow clouded with secrecy.

Yet so far a major topic for him in Iraq was no secret -- the justification of his controversial decision to withdraw troops from Syria. (U.S.-Iraq-Syria)

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WASHINGTON -- The impact from a partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government has grown further after Christmas as it stretched into the fifth day on Wednesday.

The shutdown, which started Friday midnight, resulted from a budgetary impasse between the White House and Congress over whether to fund the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, a plank of President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016. (US-Government Shutdown)

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Brazilian government on Wednesday criticized Japan's decision to resume commercial whale hunting.

In a statement, Brazil's Environment Ministry described Japan's move as "a great regression in the global scenario" and highlighted that the decision disregards the stance of the majority of countries. (Brazil-Japan-Whaling) Enditem

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