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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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Islamic State threatens to destroy Saudi prisons after executions

RIYADH: Islamic State threatened to destroy Saudi Arabian prisons holding jihadists after Riyadh's execution of 47 people including 43 convicted al Qaeda militants. The militant group, which has claimed responsibility for attacks in the kingdom and stepped up operations in neighbouring Yemen, singled out the al-Ha'ir and Tarfiya prisons where many al Qaeda and Islamic State supporters have been detained....

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Bangladesh upholds death sentence for Jamaat-e-Islami leader

DHAKA: Bangladesh's highest court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence for the 'Emir' of the Jamaat-e-Islami party for crimes during the country's 1971 independence struggle, paving the way for his execution within months. The Supreme Court led by chief justice S.K. Sinha dismissed an appeal by Jamaat 'Emir' Motiur Rahman Nizami, who was sentenced to be hanged for murder, rape...

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Obama says U.S. must act on gun violence, defends new gun control rules

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama made an emotional plea on Tuesday in defense of his administration's plan to increase background checks for buyers of firearms over the Internet and at gun shows, saying current exceptions do not make sense. "We've created a system in which dangerous people are allowed to play by a different set of rules," Obama said in address...

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US, Afghan casualties in special ops mission in Helmand: US official

Washington: Several US and Afghan troops were wounded Tuesday during a special operations mission in Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province, a US defense official said. NBC News reported that one US service member had been killed and two others wounded. The defense official was unable to immediately confirm that to AFP. "I know at the least there are some wounded...

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Iran says Saudi Arabia cannot cover ‘crime’ by cutting ties

DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday Saudi Arabia cannot hide "its crime" of executing a Shi'ite Muslim cleric by cutting ties with Tehran, warning that discord could affect the fight against terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan broke all ties with Iran and the United Arab Emirates downgraded its relations on Monday after the Saudi embassy in Tehran...

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Pathankot siege: At least 1 gunman still remains at Indian airbase, says official

PATHANKOT: A fifth gunman was killed on Monday on the third day of a siege at the heavily fortified Pathankot Indian air base and at least one attacker remained as troops worked to secure the sprawling compound, a military official said. Seven troops have been killed. The search operations at Pathankot air force base will continue until all areas have...

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IOK group claims airbase attack

MUZAFFARABAD: An alliance of Kashmiri militant groups on Monday claimed the deadly attack on an Indian Air Force’s Pathankot airbase. The United Jihad Council (UJC) said in a statement released that the attack was a message to India that Kashmiri fighters could strike at any sensitive installation across India. "Pathankot air base attack has been carried out by the mujahideen...

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Russia ready to act as ‘intermediary’ between Saudi Arabia, Iran: Foreign ministry source

MOSCOW: Russia is ready to act as an intermediary to help settle the dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Russian news agencies reported on Monday citing an anonymous Foreign Ministry source. "As friends we would be ready to play, if it is demanded, an intermediary role in settling the existing contradictions and any new ones that arise between these two...

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Iran says Saudi Arabia looking for an excuse to fuel tensions

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia used an attack on its embassy in Tehran as a pretext to fuel tensions, Iran's foreign ministry said on Monday in response to Riyadh's severing of relations, adding that Tehran was committed to protecting foreign diplomatic missions. Iranian protesters had stormed the Saudi embassy in the early hours of Sunday after Saudi Arabia executed a Shi'ite cleric,...

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Suicide bomber blows himself up near Kabul airport: Police

KABUL: A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up close to a police checkpoint near Kabul airport on Monday but caused no other casualties, a police spokesman said. The bomber was spotted by police as his car approached the checkpoint, prompting him to detonate his explosives, the spokesman said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The blast follows...

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Saudi diplomats evacuated from Iran, lands in Dubai: Al Arabiya TV

DUBAI: Saudi diplomats evacuated from Iran after their embassy was stormed by protesters in Tehran landed in Dubai on their way home to the kingdom, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported early on Monday. Their arrival coincided with an announcement by Saudi Arabia that it was cutting ties with Iran in protest at the assault on its embassy, in a worsening...

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Saudi-Iran relations deteriorate after protests over cleric’s execution

Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran took a turn for the worse on Sunday as Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and Riyadh asked the Iranian diplomat to leave the Kingdom within 24 hours. Iranian protestors ransacked the Saudi Embassy early Sunday morning, reacting with fury to Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr earlier...

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Shi’ites across the Middle East decry execution of Saudi cleric

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's execution of a leading cleric from the Shi'ite Muslim minority drew warnings of a backlash against the ruling Al Saud family and threatened to further intensify a wave of sectarian conflict in the region. Lebanon's Supreme Islamic Shi'ite Council called the execution of cleric Nimr al-Nimr a "grave mistake", and the Hezbollah group termed it an assassination....

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Putin names United States among threats in new Russian security strategy

MOSCOW: A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years. The document, "About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation", was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version,...

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Saudi Arabia to pay ‘high price’ for executing Shiite cleric, says Iran

TEHRAN: Saudi Arabia will pay "a high price" for executing prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said. "The Saudi government supports terrorist movements and extremists, but confronts domestic critics with oppression and execution the Saudi government will pay a high price for following these policies," Ansari said, quoted by the official IRNA...

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Saudi Arabia says 47 executed on terror charges, including Shi’ite cleric

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia executed 47 people on Saturday for terrorism, mostly suspected al Qaeda members but also a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, Interior Ministry said in a statement broadcast on state television. The conservative Islamic kingdom, which usually executes people by public beheading, detained thousands of militant Islamists after a series of al Qaeda attacks from 2003-06 that...

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