World

Hezbollah Media says Deal on Track to Let Rebels Leave Aleppo

AMMAN, Dec 15 – A military media unit run by Damascus’s ally Hezbollah said early on Thursday that overnight contacts succeeded in reviving a ceasefire that would lead to the evacuation of rebels from Aleppo “within hours”. “Intensive contacts between the responsible parties involved in the negotiations led to re-consolidating a ceasefire to exit armed

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Dozens of Afghans Deported from Germany Arrive in Kabul

By Mohammad Aziz KABUL, Dec 15  – A group of 38 Afghans arrived in Kabul from Germany on Thursday, the first to be deported under an agreement reached between the two countries this year, following the rejection of their applications for asylum. Thousands of Afghans joined asylum-seekers from the Middle East and elsewhere entering Europe

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Kabul Security Gates in Storage as Afghan Officials Trade Accusations

By Hamid Shalizi KABUL, Dec 15  – A set of giant security gates financed by China and intended to protect Kabul from large bombs and drug smuggling lie stored in a warehouse more than five months after they arrived, while Afghan authorities bicker over who should install them. Intended for the four main entry points

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Rebel Officials say Aleppo Evacuation Plan Back on Track

By Laila Bassam, Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Tom Perry ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT, Dec 15 – Syrian opposition groups said an evacuation of rebel-held areas of Aleppo was back on track and expected to begin early on Thursday, but uncertainty persisted as a media outlet run by Lebanon’s Hezbollah said truce talks faced “big complications”. Such an exodus

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U.S. May Target Weapons Seized by Daesh in Palmyra

By Phil Stewart and David Alexander WASHINGTON, Dec 15 – The head of U.S. forces fighting Daesh said on Wednesday the United States may target weapons seized by the group when it captured the Syrian city of Palmyra, adding the equipment posed a danger to the U.S.-led coalition in the region. Army Lieutenant General Stephen

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Putin and Erdogan Agree to Make Joint Effort to Evacuate East Aleppo

ANKARA, Dec 14 – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone call on Wednesday to make a joint effort to start the evacuation of civilians and opposition forces from eastern Aleppo as soon as possible, Turkish presidential sources said. Putin and Erdogan emphasised the need to prevent the violations

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Swiss High Court Slaps Down Effort to Ban University’s Islamic Centre

By John Miller ZURICH, Dec 14  – Switzerland’s highest court on Wednesday blocked efforts to ban a state-funded Islamic-focused academic centre at a Swiss university, ruling that an anti-immigration political party’s proposed local referendum on it was discriminatory. The University of Fribourg’s Swiss Centre for Islam and Society opened in early 2015 to advance public

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Risk of Atrocities Not Over Despite Aleppo Ceasefire

By Astrid Zweynert and Umberto Bacchi LONDON, Dec 14  – A plan to evacuate civilians from eastern Aleppo stalled on Wednesday as renewed air strikes and shelling rocked the city. A ceasefire brokered on Tuesday by Russia and Turkey was intended to end years of fighting in the city, giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad his

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