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Israeli Arabs, Gazans protest against 'quiet mosques' bill


Jerusalem (AFP) – Hundreds of Muslims in Israel and the Gaza Strip demonstrated on Friday against a bill to limit the volume of calls to prayer at mosques in the Jewish state. In the southern city of Rahat, 100 Israeli Arabs held a rally against the bill, while more than 500 people took part in various demonstrations in the north, ...

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Ugandan incident prompts concern for flower farm workers


NSANGI, Uganda (AP) — Difficulties breathing, abdominal pain and vomiting. These are the symptoms experienced by Ugandan women working at a flower farm who were told to cut flowers in greenhouses that had been fumigated with a toxic chemical a day before. More than 80 Ugandan women accuse a Dutch-owned flower exporter of exposing them to a toxic fumigant, in ...

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U.N. council extends inquiry into Syria toxic gas attacks


By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Thursday extended for one year an international inquiry to determine blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, paving the way for a showdown between Russia and Western powers over how to punish those responsible. Russia had said it wanted the inquiry to be broadened to look more at ...

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Iraqi troops expand foothold in Mosul as IS pledges more suicide attacks


By Isabel Coles MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – U.S.-backed Iraqi troops expanded their foothold on the eastern side of Islamic State’s stronghold of Mosul on Friday, as the group pledged to mount more suicide attacks on their offensive to take the city. The elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) stormed the Tahrir district on the northeastern edge of Mosul, the last major city ...

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Benzema fit to play for Real in Madrid derby


MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid will be able to count on Karim Benzema for the Madrid derby at Atletico on Saturday. Coach Zinedine Zidane picked the France striker for the Spanish league match at Vicente Calderon Stadium, but he didn’t reveal if he will start Benzema or place him in the reserves. “He is better, and if he is on ...

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Some Turkish military officers at NATO seeking asylum: alliance chief


By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Some Turkish military officers posted to NATO in Europe have requested asylum since the abortive coup in Turkey in July, alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday. Reuters exclusively reported in October that Turkish authorities had dismissed hundreds of senior military staff serving with NATO in Europe and the United States following July’s coup ...

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Syria regime steps up fierce Aleppo assault


Aleppo (Syria) (AFP) – Air strikes and ferocious artillery bombardment pounded rebel-held east Aleppo on Friday as an escalating military offensive underscored the Syrian regime’s determination to take full control of the divided city. Streets were deserted and residents took refuge indoors as the government unleashed a fourth straight day of bombardment on opposition-controlled parts of Aleppo, Syria’s second city. ...

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Obama urges European leaders to work with Trump


BERLIN (AP) — President Barack Obama used a meeting with key European leaders Friday to urge them to work with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump and to discuss steps necessary to resolve the conflicts in Syria and eastern Ukraine, the White House said. Obama’s meeting with the leaders of Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain was likely his ...

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Interpol drops arrest warrant for MOL's chief


ZAGREB (Reuters) – An international arrest warrant has not been renewed for the head of Hungary’s MOL who is accused in Croatia of bribery, the Hungarian oil and gas firm said on Friday. Zsolt Hernadi, MOL’s chief executive and chairman, has been indicted in Croatia for allegedly bribing former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader to allow MOL to have a ...

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