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Afghan government loses 5 percent of territory in 4 months: U.S. government watchdog

By Reuters The Afghan government lost control or influence of nearly 5 percent of its territory between January and May, the U.S government’s top watchdog on Afghanistan said in a report on Friday, an indication of the challenges its forces are facing. Fifteen years after the United States invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban rulers who had harbored al Qaeda militants who attacked the United … Continue reading Afghan government loses 5 percent of territory in 4 months: U.S. government watchdog

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Syria: Save the Children says Idlib hospital bombed

By Agencies A Syrian maternity hospital in a rebel-held area of Idlib province has been extensively damaged after a direct hit, according to the international charity Save the Children, which supports the facility. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said on Friday that the hospital in the town of Kafar Takharim was heavily damaged and left barely operational. The charity also published a … Continue reading Syria: Save the Children says Idlib hospital bombed

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Nusra confirms split with al-Qaeda ‘to protect Syrian revolution’

By Agencies Nusra Front leader Abu Muhammad al-Juolani confirmed late on Thursday that his group has formally split from al-Qaeda and has renamed itself as Jabhat Fath al-Shaam (Levantine Conquest Front). “The creation of this new front aims to close the gap between the jihadi factions in the Levant,” Joulani said in his first televised appearance, soon after Nusra released the first photo of the … Continue reading Nusra confirms split with al-Qaeda ‘to protect Syrian revolution’

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Does Trump’s America First policy mean Allies Last?

By Carl Bildt There is a new Trump doctrine in foreign and security affairs emerging: be unpredictable about everything. In general, there is something to be said for an element of uncertainty. Potential spoilers and adversaries should not be able to anticipate every single response to their different advances. So far, I guess Henry Kissinger would agree. But in some respects there has to be … Continue reading Does Trump’s America First policy mean Allies Last?

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Priest killed in hostage situation at French church

By Agencies An 84-year-old priest has been killed with a knife, and another person seriously wounded, after two men with alleged links to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, took several people hostage in an attack on a church in northern France. Father Jacques Hamel reportedly had his throat slit on Tuesday before French police entered and shot dead the attackers, a French police source told … Continue reading Priest killed in hostage situation at French church

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Germany: Syrian arrested after deadly machete attack

  By Agencies A woman has been killed and two people injured in a machete attack in southern Germany. Police said the perpetrator, who has been arrested, is a 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker. The attack took place in the German city of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart. The assailant’s motives were unknown. “There is no danger to anyone else at this time,” a police official told Reuters … Continue reading Germany: Syrian arrested after deadly machete attack

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80 killed, 231 injured in Kabul bomb blasts

By Agencies Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry says at least 80 people were killed and 231 others wounded in two bomb blasts in the capital Kabul. The blasts were carried out at the Deh Mazang Square, where thousands of Hazara demonstrators had gathered from early morning in protest against a controversial power line project. The so-called Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the bombing. According to police, one of the attackers … Continue reading 80 killed, 231 injured in Kabul bomb blasts

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Several dead in Munich shopping mall shooting

FINAL UPDATE By Agencies At least nine people have been killed in a shooting at a major shopping center in the southern German city of Munich. The shooting took place at a fast food restaurant at the Munich Olympia Shopping Center shortly before 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Friday, Munich police spokesman Thomas Baumann said. Twenty others were also injured in the shooting, which police described as a … Continue reading Several dead in Munich shopping mall shooting

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Black therapist shot by Florida police while helping patient [Video]

By Agencies A black therapist in the US state of Florida trying to calm a man with autism in the middle of the street says he was shot by police, even though he had his hands in the air and repeatedly told them that both were unarmed. The moments before the shooting on Monday were recorded on cellphone video, showing Charles Kinsey lying on the … Continue reading Black therapist shot by Florida police while helping patient [Video]

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President declares three-month state of emergency in Turkey

FINAL UPDATE By Agencies Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that the country will be placed under a “state of emergency” for three months, in response to the failed coup. In a televised address on Wednesday, Erdogan said the decision was made following a meeting with members of the national security council. The state of emergency was needed “in order to remove swiftly all … Continue reading President declares three-month state of emergency in Turkey

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The failed coup’s inside story

By Cemil Ertem The attempted coup on July 15, 2016 was the consequence of a process that started in 2013. First of all, this bloody attempted coup was a consequence of a primitive and outdated political view that denies human reason. Therefore, we need to oppose it without objection. Like all other coups, the night of July 15 was the finale of an economic and … Continue reading The failed coup’s inside story

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Award-winning journalist Pavel Sheremet killed in Ukraine car bomb

By Agencies Award-winning journalist Pavel Sheremet has been killed by a car bomb explosion in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. Sheremet, a Belarusian-born journalist with popular news website Ukrayinska Pravda, was killed on Wednesday morning while driving a car owned by his partner, Olena Prytula, who is the publication’s owner. He was on his way to work to anchor a talk show on Vesti Radio when the bomb went off. … Continue reading Award-winning journalist Pavel Sheremet killed in Ukraine car bomb

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Turkey: Arrests continue after failed coup

By Agencies – FINAL UPDATE Two Turkish pilots who played a role in the downing of a Russian jet in November are in custody over the July 15 failed coup in Turkey, a Turkish official said. The downing of the Russian fighter jet on the Syrian last November border sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Russia, which ended last month when the two countries … Continue reading Turkey: Arrests continue after failed coup

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Dozens of Afghan police recruits dead in Taliban attack

By Agencies The Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack on a police academy near the capital, Kabul, that killed dozens of recruits. At least 27 people were killed and another 40 wounded in the suicide blasts, a government official told the Reuters news agency. Mousa Rahmati, the district governor of Paghman, told the Associated Press that Thursday’s attack took place around 20km west of … Continue reading Dozens of Afghan police recruits dead in Taliban attack

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Australia mosque targeted in firebomb attack

By Agencies A suspected petrol bomb has detonated outside an Islamic centre in the city of Perth, Australia, as hundreds of worshippers attended an evening prayer service inside. The explosion outside the Thornlie Mosque on Tuesday night caused no injuries but damaged four vehicles, one of which was completely gutted by the fire, police said. Anti-Islam graffiti was later found spray-painted on a wall associated with an … Continue reading Australia mosque targeted in firebomb attack

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Turkey confirms nationalities of attackers of Istanbul’s airport

UPDATE 4 By DN 24 and agencies Turkey has declared a day of national mourning after three suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, killing at least 41 people and wounding 239. The three suicide bombers were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a Turkish government official has said. The official gave no further details beyond confirming the attackers’ nationalities and declined to be named because details of … Continue reading Turkey confirms nationalities of attackers of Istanbul’s airport

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Documenting America’s white nationalists

By Julie Platner I first met Jeff Hall in a supermarket parking lot 11 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. I had driven there in a beat-up Dodge pickup I’d borrowed in the hope of blending in, and immediately noticed the tall, dark-eyed man pacing back and forth as he spoke on his mobile phone. A large Iron Cross tattoo adorned the back of his clean-shaven … Continue reading Documenting America’s white nationalists

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Deadly suicide bombings rock eastern Lebanon

By AFP At least five people were killed in multiple suicide bombings early Monday in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria, officials said. At least four suicide blasts hit the predominantly Christian village of al-Qaa, a military source told AFP. “The first attacker knocked on one of the homes in the village, but after the resident became suspicious, he blew himself up,” the source … Continue reading Deadly suicide bombings rock eastern Lebanon

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Clashes erupt as Jews visit Islam’s holiest site in al-Quds

By Agencies Several Palestinian worshipers have been hurt after they clashed with Israeli police at the al-Aqsa Mosque, following protests against Jewish visits at the site during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday that its medical team took seven Palestinians to an East al-Quds/Jerusalem hospital for treatment of injuries from sponge-tipped bullets, tear gas and beatings. Israeli police said … Continue reading Clashes erupt as Jews visit Islam’s holiest site in al-Quds

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Abbas retracts rabbis ‘water poisoning’ comment

By Agencies Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has retracted comments he made this week about an alleged plot by rabbis calling on Jewish settlers to poison the drinking water of Palestinians. Abbas’ office acknowledged on Saturday that his comments were “baseless”, adding he “didn’t intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world.” In a speech to the European Union in … Continue reading Abbas retracts rabbis ‘water poisoning’ comment

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Why Trump makes me scared for my family

By Aziz Ansari “DON’T go anywhere near a mosque,” I told my mother. “Do all your prayer at home. O.K.?” “We’re not going,” she replied. I am the son of Muslim immigrants. As I sent that text, in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Orlando, Fla., I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she worshiped. … Continue reading Why Trump makes me scared for my family

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China tornado kills almost 100 people in Jiangsu

By Agencies At least 98 people have been killed and 800 others injured in an unusually violent hail storm and tornado that swept across eastern China’s Jiangsu province. Winds of up to 125km an hour struck near Yancheng city, a few hours’ drive north of Shanghai, early Thursday. The extreme weather levelled whole villages, flattened power lines and overturned cars in a city of approximately … Continue reading China tornado kills almost 100 people in Jiangsu

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Syria: Kurdish-led forces enter IS-held Manbij city

By Agencies Kurdish and Arab fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have entered a key northern city of Manbij, an IS stronghold, the forces and monitoring group have said. SDF was advancing slowly to the centre of Manbij on Thursday after entering the city backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition bombing the so-called Islamic State (IS) group. Nasser Haj Mansour, an adviser to … Continue reading Syria: Kurdish-led forces enter IS-held Manbij city

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Political earthquake: UK voted to leave EU

By Agencies Britain has voted to leave the European Union in a referendum, with the result throwing into question the fate of the 28-nation bloc and Prime Minister David Cameron announcing he will step down by October. The official results were announced on Friday with the Leave campaign receiving 52 percent in Thursday’s historic referendum. Cameron, who had backed the campaign to remain in the … Continue reading Political earthquake: UK voted to leave EU

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Iraqi forces ‘retake Fallujah city hall’ from IS

By Agencies Iraqi forces have retaken the main government compound in the centre of Fallujah from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, top commanders say. The government lost control of Fallujah in 2014, months before IS took Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and swept across large parts of the country. “The counterterrorism service and the rapid response forces have retaken the government compound in the … Continue reading Iraqi forces ‘retake Fallujah city hall’ from IS

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UK MP Jo Cox dies after brutal attack

By DN 24 and agencies Jo Cox, a member of the British parliament, died after being shot in northern England, UK police have said. West Yorkshire Police said on Thursday a 52-year-old man had been arrested following the incident, which prompted the suspension of campaigning for next week’s EU referendum. Local media reported that Labour party member Cox, 41, had been shot at her advice surgery in Birstall, near … Continue reading UK MP Jo Cox dies after brutal attack

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Legalise shooting gay people in the head, US lawyer proposes in new bill

By Agencies A California lawyer says he wants to legalize the execution of gay people, and there may be nothing the state’s attorney general can do to stop the proposal from moving forward. Matt McLaughlin, an attorney in Huntington Beach, California, filed paperwork to bring his proposal, which would sanction the killing of gay and lesbian residents on the basis of their sexuality, before voters … Continue reading Legalise shooting gay people in the head, US lawyer proposes in new bill

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Jewish settlers granted new East Jerusalem building

By Agencies Israeli authorities have approved the construction of a three-storey residential building for Jewish settlers in a Palestinian neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem. The building, approved on Wednesday, is located in Silwan neighbourhood that has become a flashpoint in the struggle between ideologically driven Israelis and longtime Palestinian residents. Hundreds of Jews, armed or protected by Israeli security forces, already live among 50,000 Palestinians … Continue reading Jewish settlers granted new East Jerusalem building

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More than 700 refugees feared drowned off Italy

By Agencies The UN refugee agency said more than 700 refugees may have drowned in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days. Spring weather has led to a surge of people attempting the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. It is now a key migration route since a deal curbed numbers sailing to Greece. Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for UNHCR, … Continue reading More than 700 refugees feared drowned off Italy

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Letter from Raqqa: ‘A prison guarded by men in black’

NOTE: In this article dated 23 November 2015, the so-called Islamic State (IS) group is referred to as “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” ———————————————————————————————— Syria’s Raqqa province was taken by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group in late 2013 and its main city declared its capital. What was once a busy and bustling city is now a place where … Continue reading Letter from Raqqa: ‘A prison guarded by men in black’

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Afghan Taliban announces new leadership

By Reuters The Afghan Taliban have named Haibatullah Akhunzada their new leader, a spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that gave the group’s first official confirmation that former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been killed in a U.S. drone strike. Haibatullah is a former head of the Taliban’s judiciary and was deputy to Mansour. Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a network blamed for many high-profile … Continue reading Afghan Taliban announces new leadership

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US-backed Syrian alliance launches new attack near IS group’s ‘capital’

By Agencies A US-backed alliance of Syrian militias launched an offensive against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group near their de facto capital of Raqqa on Tuesday, a monitoring group and an official said. An unspecified number of Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters were seen moving south from their stronghold of Tel Abyad near the Turkish border Tuesday towards Ain Issa, a town about 60 … Continue reading US-backed Syrian alliance launches new attack near IS group’s ‘capital’

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Pope in historic talks with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar

By AFP Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican in a historic encounter that was sealed with a hugely symbolic hug and exchange of kisses. The first Vatican meeting on Monday between the leader of the world’s Catholics and the highest authority in Sunni Islam marks the culmination of a significant improvement in relations between the two faiths … Continue reading Pope in historic talks with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar

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Afghan Taliban leader ‘killed in US air strike’

By Agencies Senior Afghan Taliban sources on Sunday confirmed the death of their chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike in Pakistan, adding a shura or council is underway to decide his successor. Mullah Abdul Rauf, a senior Taliban commander, told the Associated Press earlier Sunday that Mansour was indeed killed in the drone strike. President Obama authorized the strike in a remote … Continue reading Afghan Taliban leader ‘killed in US air strike’

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US moves to unseal IS defector’s case

By Reuters US prosecutors on Friday sought to unseal the to-date secret criminal case of a so-called Islamic State (IS) group defector after NBC News broadcast an interview with the New York man in which he spoke out against the militant group. Unsealing the case could allow the US Justice Department to make public details of why the man turned against IS at a time … Continue reading US moves to unseal IS defector’s case

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Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam refuses to speak before French court

By Agencies The last known survivor of the team that carried out last November’s Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, refused to talk during questioning by judges amid frustration at 24-hour video surveillance of his cell, his lawyer said. The hearing ended abruptly on Friday, dashing French authorities’ hopes that Abdeslam would provide more details about the so-called Islamic State (IS) group’s strategies and individuals behind the … Continue reading Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam refuses to speak before French court

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Israeli politician who suggested beheading Arabs offered job as defence minister

By News sites The man reportedly offered the role of Israeli Defence Minister has called for “disloyal” Arab citizens of Israel to be beheaded. Avigdor Lieberman, who has previously served as Foreign Minister between 2009 and 2012 and 2013 to 2015,  leads the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu [Israel is Our Home] party and has been described by some academics as a “far-right extremist”. The controversial cabinet move follows the resignation of his predecessor, Moshe … Continue reading Israeli politician who suggested beheading Arabs offered job as defence minister

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EgyptAir jet with 66 aboard crashes into Mediterranean

By Agencies Egypt’s foreign ministry has exchanged condolences with France over what it called the “fall” of an EgyptAir flight carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo. The statement was the first official admission that those on board were likely to have died. The plane was carrying people from multiple nationalities including 30 Egyptians and 15 French nationals. French President Francois Hollande said in a … Continue reading EgyptAir jet with 66 aboard crashes into Mediterranean

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Colombia records ‘biggest seizure’ of cocaine

By Agencies Colombian authorities have confiscated eight tonnes of cocaine along the border with Panama in what its president described as the “biggest seizure of drugs in history”. An estimated $240m worth of cocaine was seized on a banana plantation in the municipality of Turbo in Antioquia region by 50 commandos backed by helicopters, the national police agency said on Sunday. Three people were arrested … Continue reading Colombia records ‘biggest seizure’ of cocaine

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Senior Hezbollah commander killed in Syria

By Agencies Hezbollah’s top commander in Syria, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in a purported Israeli airstrike in the country earlier this week, according to Lebanese media reports. A statement from the organization early Friday confirmed Badreddine’s death, but did not blame Israel for the airstrike that killed him, which reportedly took place near Damascus’s airport on May 10. Several Lebanese television outlets, including the al-Mayadeen … Continue reading Senior Hezbollah commander killed in Syria

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Dozens killed in Baghdad bombing claimed by IS

By Agencies A car bomb at a crowded Baghdad market has killed at least 64 people, officials say, in one of the worst recent attacks in the Iraqi capital. At least 87 others were wounded in the blast in the Shia Muslim district of Sadr City during the morning rush hour. So-called Islamic State (IS) said it had carried out the attack. There are fears … Continue reading Dozens killed in Baghdad bombing claimed by IS

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Turkey and Qatar help secure release of Spanish journalists detained by Nusra

Three Spanish freelance journalists who went missing in Syria last year and were believed to have been kidnapped, have been released, according to the Spanish Press Federation and the government. Antonio Pampliega, Jose Manuel Lopez and Angel Sastre disappeared last July while working on an investigative report in the northern city of Aleppo, where other journalists have been captured in the past, Spanish media reported at the … Continue reading Turkey and Qatar help secure release of Spanish journalists detained by Nusra

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Canada wildfire could double in size as mass evacuations continue

By Agencies A Canadian official has said that a massive wildfire going on in the state of Alberta is likely to double in size, as evacuation efforts continue in the fire-ravaged oil city of Fort McMurray. Canadian police led convoys of cars through the burning ghost town of Fort McMurray on Friday in a risky operation to get thousands of people to safety. A day … Continue reading Canada wildfire could double in size as mass evacuations continue

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IS advances in Libya’s Misrata

By Agencies Advances by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group along the southern coast of Libya’s third largest city of Misrata have prompted armed groups in the city to deploy militiamen to counter the offensive. The mobilisation came on Friday after IS took over the Abu Grein crossroads, which lies 120 kilometres south of Misrata where the highway along Libya’s Mediterranean coast meets the main road … Continue reading IS advances in Libya’s Misrata

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Turkey’s PM Davutoglu says he will not seek a new term

By Agencies Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party will hold a fresh leadership election later this month, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday. Davutoglu announced he would not stand in the vote for the party chairmanship, a role he currently holds alongside the premiership, meaning he will also be replaced as prime minister. “I do not intend to be a candidate in an absence of … Continue reading Turkey’s PM Davutoglu says he will not seek a new term

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US and Russia reach deal on ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo

By Agencies An agreement has been reached with Russia to extend a ceasefire in Syria to Aleppo province, including the besieged city of Aleppo, the US State Department said. The expansion went into effect on Wednesday just after midnight in Damascus (02:00 GMT), the State Department said, noting an “overall decrease in violence” since then despite some continued fighting. “Since this went into effect today at 00:01 … Continue reading US and Russia reach deal on ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo

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Iran warns it could close Strait of Hormuz to US

By Agencies Iran will close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a passageway through which a third of the world’s oil is transported, unless the US and its allies stop “threatening” it, a senior Iranian military commander has said. “If the Americans and their regional allies want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz and threaten us, we will not allow any entry,” state media quoted … Continue reading Iran warns it could close Strait of Hormuz to US

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Brazil’s Rousseff rallies anti-impeachment crowd

By AFP Brazil’s embattled leftist President Dilma Rousseff vowed at a protest Sunday to go down fighting ahead of what could be her final full week in power before impeachment. Thousands of people attended May Day rallies organized by labor unions in cities across Latin America’s biggest country, with Rousseff telling a crowd in the financial powerhouse Sao Paulo that she would “fight to the … Continue reading Brazil’s Rousseff rallies anti-impeachment crowd

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Deadly bomb strikes Turkey’s Gaziantep

By Reuters One police officer was killed and 13 people were wounded on Sunday in an attack in front of a police headquarters in Turkey’s southeastern city of Gaziantep, the provincial governor was quoted by broadcaster CNN Turk as saying. Nine of the wounded were police officers, Ali Yerlikaya, governor of Gaziantep province, which borders ISIS-controlled territory in Syria, said, according to CNN Turk. Separately, … Continue reading Deadly bomb strikes Turkey’s Gaziantep

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Shia cleric’s supporters storm parliament in Baghdad

By The Marmara and agencies Supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr broke through barricades of the protected Green Zone in Baghdad after MPs again failed to convene for a vote. It is the climax of weeks of political turmoil in Iraq that has seen MPs hold a sit-in, brawl in the parliament chamber and seek to sack the speaker, stalling Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s efforts … Continue reading Shia cleric’s supporters storm parliament in Baghdad