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US states sue Trump administration in showdown over border wall funds

A coalition of 16 US states led by California sued President Donald Trump and top members of his administration on Monday to block his decision to declare a national emergency to obtain funds for building a wall along the US-Mexico border. The lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California came after Trump invoked emergency powers...

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WikiLeaks’ Assange says to leave Ecuador embassy, accept arrest if loses U.N. case

SYDNEY: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he took refuge in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, and accept arrest on Friday if a UN panel investigating his case rules against him, he said in a statement. Assange, 44, is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape in 2010 which the...

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Hezbollah kills four Qaeda-linked militants in north Lebanon

BEIRUT: Hezbollah fighters killed at least four members of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in a rocket attack on their car in northeastern Lebanon on Tuesday, a security source said. The incident took place in a restive area near the Syrian border, just outside the Lebanese town of Arsal, which Nusra Front and Islamic State fighters overran briefly in 2014...

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Russia to bomb Syria until ‘terrorists’ defeated: Lavrov

MOSCOW: Russia said Wednesday it would press ahead with its bombing campaign in Syria until "terrorist organisations" such as the Islamic State group are defeated amid the latest international push to end the conflict. "Russian air strikes will not cease until we truly defeat the terrorist organisations ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Oman,...

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Obama makes first trip to US mosque

WASHINGTON: Seven years into his presidency, Barack Obama will make his first trip to an American mosque on Wednesday, offering a symbolic rebuttal of harsh Republican election rhetoric against Muslims. Obama, whose grandfather converted to Islam, will make the short helicopter ride to the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque, where he will meet community leaders and deliver remarks. He has...

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US to increase anti-IS funds 50 percent to $7.5 billion: Pentagon chief

WASHINGTON: The United States will spend $7.5 billion a 50 percent increase to fund the fight against the Islamic State group, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday. "Because we are accelerating the campaign, (the Pentagon) is backing that up in our budget with a total of $7.5 billion dollars in 2017, 50 percent more than 2016," Carter said in a...

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ISIS pushed back in Iraq, Syria, but a threat in Libya: Kerry

ROME: An international coalition is pushing back Islamic State militants in their Syrian and Iraqi strongholds but the group is threatening Libya and could seize the nation's oil wealth, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday. Officials from 23 countries are in Rome to review the fight against Islamic State militants, who have created a self-proclaimed Caliphate across...

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Airstrikes in eastern Afghanistan destroy IS radio station

KABUL: U.S. airstrikes on a remote region of Afghanistan have destroyed a radio station operated by the Islamic State group, American and Afghan officials said on Tuesday. "Voice of the Caliphate" radio operated by Islamic State near the border with Pakistan was destroyed in U.S. two airstrikes, according to a U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because...

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Taliban suicide bomber kills 20 outside Kabul police base

KABUL: 20 people were killed and several wounded, most of them civilians in Monday's suicide bomb attack outside a police station in a busy area of western Kabul, Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Ayub Salangi said in a Twitter post. The attack was the latest in a series to hit the Afghan capital this year as the Kabul government has pushed...

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Death toll up to 70 from Islamic State Damascus attack: Monitor

BEIRUT: The death toll from a suicide attack in Damascus on Sunday that was claimed by the Islamic State militant group has risen to more than 70, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. A car bomb and two suicide bombers attacked the Sayeda Zeinab district, home to Syria's holiest Shi'ite shrine, as representatives of Syria's government and its divided...

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Egypt attacks in Sinai leave four security forces dead: officials

Cairo: Two Egyptian policemen and two soldiers were killed on Sunday in two bombing attacks in the country's restive Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic State (IS) jihadists have regularly attacked security forces. In one attack at dawn, a remotely-detonated bomb hit a police vehicle as security forces were carrying out a search operation in the Rafah region, on the border with...

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A series of blasts rock Damascus, kills atleast 45

Three blasts have killed 45 people and wounded at least 40 in Syria's capital Damascus, officials and state television said. The blasts, one of which was caused by a car bomb, happened near the Shia Muslim shrine of Sayyida Zeinab on Friday, the interior ministry said. State television footage showed burning buildings and car wreckage in the neighbourhood where the...

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Australian Islamic State recruiter reported dead

SYDNEY: Australia’s most senior recruiter for the Islamic State group in Syria, who was reportedly linked to an alleged plot to attack Anzac Day commemorations, has been killed, local media said Sunday. News of Neil Prakash’s death was posted on secure communications app Telegram, Melbourne’s Herald Sun reported, citing an IS member. “It was posted on Telegram,” the member, who...

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Coalition airstrikes kill over 32 in Yemeni capital

SANAA, Yemen: Airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemen's Shiite rebels killed over 32 people overnight including at least eight civilians in the capital, Sanaa, officials said on Saturday. The airstrikes appeared to target a rebel camp and factories producing food and plastic in northern and western Sanaa, the security and medical officials said. Yemen has been torn by conflict...

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Sixteen more starve to death in Syria’s besieged Madaya: MSF

BEIRUT: At least 16 more people have died of starvation in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya since an aid convoy entered earlier this month, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Several dozen more residents of the town are in "danger of death" because of severe malnutrition, the humanitarian group warned. The latest deaths bring the number of people reported...

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Strong 7 magnitude quake strikes eastern Russia: USGS

MOSCOW: A strong 7 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Russia on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake struck 109 km (67 miles) north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, USGS said. It struck at a relatively deep 153 km. There were no initial reports of damage or casualties. Reuters

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Dutch jets to bomb Islamic State targets in Syria

THE HAGUE: The Dutch government on Friday agreed to extend its role in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State to include the bombing of targets in Syria, it said in a statement. A Dutch squadron of six F-16 warplanes is already stationed in the region, but has been limited to striking Islamic State positions in Iraq. The aircraft will now...

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