WSJ.com What's News - Worldwide News Briefs for Jul 26

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U.S. PUTS MORE VENEZUELAN OFFICIALS UNDER SANCTIONS

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The U.S. government leveled sanctions at 13 high-ranking Venezuelan officials days before a scheduled vote for a constitutional assembly that many believe would deal a death blow to Venezuela's democracy.

EU CAUTIONS U.S. ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS BILL

The European Union stands ready to act "within days" if its concerns about the U.S. bill to impose new sanctions on Russia aren't addressed, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

AFGHAN MILITARY BASE HIT BY TALIBAN ATTACK

The Taliban attacked an Afghan army base in southern Kandahar province overnight and killed at least 26 soldiers, as the insurgent group increases pressure on government forces.

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NEW CHALLENGE TO U.S. POWER: CHINESE EXCEPTIONALISM

China's once-reticent citizens see their country as economically, diplomatically and politically ascendant-and the U.S. in decline. The phenomenon bolsters President Xi's signature slogan exhorting the "China Dream."

EU THREATENS POLAND WITH SANCTIONS OVER COURT OVERHAUL

The European Union warned it could still pursue unprecedented sanctions against Poland, trying to pressure the government as both sides weigh their next moves after the president vetoed legislation to replace the entire Supreme Court.

U.K. ECONOMY POSTS LACKLUSTER GROWTH

U.K. economic growth remained subdued in the second quarter, as a modest revival in consumer spending offset shrinking industrial production, a sign that a hoped-for shift toward export-led growth remains elusive.

VATICAN FINANCE CHIEF WILL PLEAD NOT GUILTY TO SEX-ABUSE CHARGES

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' finance chief, will plead not guilty to multiple charges of sexual abuse leveled against him in Australia.

SPANISH PRIME MINISTER DENIES KNOWLEDGE OF ALLEGED ILLEGAL FINANCING

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy testified in court on Wednesday as a witness in a graft trial and said he had no knowledge of the alleged illegal financing scheme that helped fund his Popular Party.

(For continuously updated news from the Wall Street Journal, see WSJ.com at http://wsj.com.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 17:36 ET (21:36 GMT)