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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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Saudi FM denies Pakistan mediation between Riyadh and Tehran

MANAMA: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir has denied that Pakistan mediated between Saudi Arabia and Iran amid recent tensions between the two rival countries, Bahrain’s state media reported Monday. Some countries had offered to mediate and communicate ideas between Riyadh and Tehran, however there will be no mediation "unless Iran responds positively", the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) report quoted...

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New York, Washington at standstill after storm

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: New York City emerged on Sunday from a massive blizzard that paralyzed much of the U.S. East Coast, while snowy gridlock gripped the nation's capital and surrounding areas, where federal, state and local offices and schools planned to remain closed on Monday. Midtown Manhattan sprang back to life on a bright and sunny Sunday as residents and tourists...

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Iran to buy 114 Airbus planes this week: Minister

TEHRAN: Iran will sign a contract this week to buy 114 Airbus planes from France, during a visit to Paris by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran’s transport minister said Sunday. Abbas Akhoundi, quoted by Iranian media, said the deal “will be signed between Iran Air and Airbus” when Rouhani is in Paris on Wednesday on the final day of his...

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Kerry in Riyadh as Saudi-Iran tensions simmer

RIYADH: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday hoping for an easing of tensions between the Sunni power and its predominantly Shiite rival Iran. Kerry was to attend a joint meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir and other foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. He will also hold talks with King Salman...

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Twelve Marines declared dead after helicopter crash off Hawaii

HAWAII: Twelve US Marines missing after two military helicopters collided last week off Hawaii's Oahu island have been listed as deceased, the military said on Thursday. The Coast Guard called off the search for the missing Marines on Tuesday after five days of search and rescue efforts across some 40,000 square nautical miles of ocean, along with shorelines. The Marines...

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India says it has no hand in Bacha Khan University attack

ISLAMABAD: Both Pakistan and India have expressed restraint on the attack on the Bacha Khan University as the former refrained from drawing a “conclusion” while the investigation is under way and the latter made it clear that it had no hand in the incident. India said that media allegations that it had any role in Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the...

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Bomb kills six during police raid on Cairo apartment

CAIRO: A bomb blast killed six people including three policemen Thursday as a team of officers raided an apartment in the Egyptian capital suspected to be a militant hideout, police said. The explosion in Cairo’s Al-Haram district, near the pyramids, came ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. “Six people have been killed...

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Syria picks UN envoy as chief negotiator for peace talks

Damascus: Syria's UN envoy will be the regime's chief negotiator in upcoming peace talks, a government source said Thursday, as a dispute over the opposition's representatives threatened to delay the negotiations. The latest bid to end the Syrian war through indirect talks between the government and opposition was scheduled to begin on January 25 in Geneva. But a disagreement over...

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Iraq, Syria air strikes to be ‘accelerated’: French President

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande said Thursday that a coalition waging a bombing campaign against the Islamic State group would "accelerate" air strikes. "The pace of the interventions will be accelerated and France will play its role in this," Hollande said in a speech to ambassadors. His comments followed a meeting by the defence ministers of seven countries in the...

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Gunmen kill five Egyptian police in Sinai

CAIRO: Unknown assailants have shot dead five Egyptian policemen in an attack on a security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, the interior ministry said on Thursday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault on Wednesday night in North Sinai, where security forces are battling jihadists linked to the Islamic State (IS) group. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire on...

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US offers Turkey technology to block IS at Syria border

WASHINGTON, DC: The United States is accelerating efforts to help Turkey clamp down on its border with Syria, senior US officials said, and for the first time will offer technologies to Ankara to help it secure the frontier. Washington and Ankara have been discussing for months how to seal the last piece of unsecured border, a 98-kilometer-long (60 mile-long) stretch...

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Iran supreme leader condemns attack on Saudi embassy in Tehran

TEHRAN: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday condemned the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran this month, saying it was "really bad". In remarks published on his website, he also thanked Revolutionary Guards for detaining a group of U.S. sailors in the Gulf last week, adding they had done the right thing. Reuters

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Saudi accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition, unrest, chaos’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday accused Iran of a nearly four-decade record of "sedition, unrest and chaos," as the international community tried to calm tensions between the regional rivals. Tensions between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and predominantly Shiite Iran reached a new high this month when Riyadh and a number of its Sunni Arab allies cut diplomatic ties with Tehran. They...

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IS frees 270 of 400 people kidnapped from Syria’s Deir al-Zor

BEIRUT: Islamic State on Tuesday released 270 of an estimated 400 civilians, most of them women and children, kidnapped at the weekend when its fighters attacked Syrian government-held areas in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, a monitoring group said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said, however, that the ultra-hardline group rounded up another 50 men on Tuesday...

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US Navy SEAL had photo of Osama bin Laden’s corpse: Report

WASHINGTON: A former United States (US) Navy SEAL kept an unauthorised photo of Osama bin Laden's corpse on a computer that he turned over to investigators, US-based news website The Intercept reported Tuesday. The discovery came after Matthew Bissonnette, who shot Osama in the infamous 2011 raid on the Al Qaeda leader's compound in Pakistan, gave investigators a copy of...

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UN report: Iraqi civilians dying at a ‘staggering’ rate

BAGHDAD: Iraq witnessed a sharp increase in civilian deaths following the fall of large swaths of territory to the Islamic State group in the summer of 2014. Now despite a string of recent battlefield losses for IS, civilians in Iraq continue to die at a "staggering" rate, according to a new United Nations report. At least 18,802 civilians were killed...

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