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France Says Syrian Refugee Intake Insufficient, Vows to Double Efforts

PARIS, April 5 – France acknowledged on Tuesday that its intake of Syrian refugees had been slow and insufficient, but vowed to double efforts to meet commitments in light of a deal agreed between the European Union and Turkey. Under a pact criticised by refugee agencies and human rights campaigners, Ankara will take back all

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Obama to Hold Informal Talks With Turkey’s Erdogan as Ties Show Strain

By Can Sezer and Jeff Mason ISTANBUL/ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, March 30  – P resident Barack Obama will hold informal talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Washington this week, the White House said on Tuesday, dismissing suggestions that the lack of a formal meeting represented a snub to Ankara. Erdogan will be among more than 50 world leaders

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Assad Says Syria Military Gains Will Speed Up Political Deal

By Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW, March 30 – The Syrian army’s successes and its strong support from Russia will help accelerate a political settlement to the country’s civil war, President Bashar Al Assad said, as the two allies maintained an offensive against Daesh militants. Assad was speaking in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency published on Tuesday, two days

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Mobile Phone Service Cut as Pakistan Blasphemy Killer’s Supporters Protest

By Faisal Mahmood and Asad Hashim ISLAMABAD, March 29 – Pakistani authorities blocked mobile phone service for a third day in Islamabad on Tuesday as hundreds of hardline Muslim activists continued to protest the execution of a man who killed a governor over his criticism of harsh blasphemy laws. Security forces occasionally jam mobile phone

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Man Shot by Police at U.S. Capitol Complex

By Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON, March 28 – A man walked into the underground U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on Monday and was shot and wounded by police after he pointed what appeared to be a weapon at officers, police said. The suspect, Larry Dawson, 66, of Tennessee, was in stable but critical condition

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U.S. Says it May Not Need Apple To Open San Bernardino iPhone

By Joseph Menn March 22 – U.S. prosecutors said Monday that a “third party” had presented a possible method for opening an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, a development that could bring an abrupt end to the high-stakes legal showdown between the government and Apple Inc. A federal judge in Riverside,

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Turkish Officials Arrive In Greece Under Migrant Accord

By Karolina Tagaris LESBOS, Greece, March 21 – Turkish officials arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday to help implement a deal with the European Union to tackle a migrant crisis that has tested European cohesion to its limits. The day after the formal start of an agreement intended to close off the

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Biden Says Israel Settlements Raise Questions About Commitment to Peace

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON, March 21 – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called on Israel’s government on Sunday to demonstrate its commitment to a two-state solution to end the conflict with the Palestinians and said settlement expansion is weakening prospects for peace. “Israel’s government’s steady and systematic process of expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, seizing land,

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Curfew Lifted in Area of Southeast Turkey, Security Tight for Festival

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, March 21 – Turkish authorities lifted a curfew imposed to fight Kurdish militants in an area of southeast Turkey’s largest city, Diyarbakir, on Monday but security was tight as Kurds celebrated the Newroz spring festival. NATO-member Turkey is on heightened alert after a series of bombings which have killed more than 80 people,

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As Iraqi Civilian Rule Weakens, Shiite Clerics Call The Shots

By Maher Chmaytelli BAGHDAD, March 21 – With Iraq’s politicians tainted by corruption and the army’s standing hurt by battlefield defeats, two Shiite clerics have re-emerged as leaders in matters of state. In their different ways, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani and Hojatoleslam Moqtada Al Sadr, Iraq’s two most influential Shiite leaders, are pressuring Prime

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