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US defense secretary arrives in Baghdad on unannounced visit

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit, reportedly for discussions on defeating the Islamic State terrorist group. He said earlier on Monday that the US military is not in Iraq “to seize anybody’s oil.” “I think all of us here in this room, all of us in America, have generally paid for our gas ...

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Death toll in Somalia marketplace blast rises to 34

The death toll from a car bomb at a marketplace in Somalia’s capital has risen to 34 with 52 injured, said a police officer. Somalia’s new president visited victims wounded by the Mogadishu car bomb that on Sunday killed 34. President Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those who planned the blast. ...

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Iraq starts offensive to retake western Mosul from ISIS

Iraqi forces advance toward western Mosul on Sunday. Iraq’s government announced the beginning of an offensive on Sunday to take back the western half of Mosul from the Islamic State, nearly three years after the city was overrun by the terror group. Overnight, planes crisscrossed the sky over the city’s occupied half, carpeting the ground with leaflets, which made a ...

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Myanmar army halt “clearance operations” in north Rakhine

Myanmar’s army has halted “clearance operations” in northern Rakhine, a senior official said Wednesday, ending a four-month crackdown by security forces the UN has warned may amount to crimes against humanity. Hundreds from the Muslim minority are thought to have died and almost 70,000 have fled to Bangladesh since the military launched a campaign to find militants who attacked police ...

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Motives behind killing of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother unclear

The motives behind the killing of Kim Jong-un’s elder half-brother in a Malaysian airport on Tuesday could not be confirmed yet by any world media or news agency. According to a Malaysian official, he had been grabbed from behind and attacked with a chemical spray. Multiple South Korean media reports said he had been assassinated by two female North Korean ...

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Afghanistan avalanches bury villages as deadly slides kill more than 100

Heavy snow in parts of Afghanistan has triggered avalanches, burying entire villages and killing more than 100 people. Most of the deaths occurred in isolated Nuristan province, where at least 50 people were killed when an entire village was buried under snow, Sky News reports. At least 54 others were killed following avalanches over the last three days in the ...

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Chief Minister Panneerselvam may replace with Sasikala Natarajan

The ruling AIADMK has summoned its legislators to the party office in Chennai on Sunday and no agenda for the meeting has been announced, sparking speculation that the party may replace Chief Minister O Panneerselvam with General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan. Ms Natarajan is not an elected member of the assembly but her take over as chief minister is seen as ...

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UK lawmakers back bill to trigger EU exit talks

Britain moved closer to leaving the European Union Wednesday as lawmakers backed a bill authorising divorce proceedings and kept alive the government’s plan to trigger Brexit talks within weeks. The House of Commons decisively backed the bill by 498 votes to 114, sending it on for committee scrutiny. The result was a victory for the Conservative government, which had fought ...

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3 Ukrainian troops killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine

Fighting in eastern Ukraine has escalated, killing at least three people overnight, injuring many more and trapping 200 coalminers underground. The press office of the Ukrainian government’s operation in the east said on Tuesday that heavy shelling around Avdiivka on the northern outskirts of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk has killed at least three troops and injured 20 more. The ...

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