U.N. Syria Envoy Says Rebel City Idlib Risks Aleppo Fate If No Peace Talks

PARIS – U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned on Thursday that without a ceasefire or political agreement the rebel-stronghold of Idlib risked becoming a new Aleppo after the evacuation of thousands from the besieged city started. The operation to evacuate civilians and fighters from Aleppo began on Thursday, part of a ceasefire deal

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Syria’s White Helmets Accuse Russia of Aleppo War Crimes in Letter

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 15 – Russian air strikes in the Aleppo, Syria, region have killed some 1,207 civilians, 380 of them children, the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group told United Nations war crimes investigators in a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday. The White Helmets, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Independent Doctors Association

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Facebook to Roll Out New Tools to Tackle Fake News

Dec 15 – Facebook Inc said on Thursday it will roll out a number of new tools to prevent fake news stories from spreading on the social media network. The company will make it easier for users to flag fake articles on their News Feed, and will also work with organizations such as fact-checking website

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French Prosecutor Calls for IMF’s Lagarde to be Acquitted

By Chine Labbé PARIS, Dec 15 – The chief prosecutor in the negligence trial of IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Paris called for her acquittal on Thursday saying the hearing had failed to support the “very weak” accusation against her. Lagarde, 60, faces charges, which she denies, of being negligent when, as French finance minister,

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Syrian Opposition Figure Urges More Gulf Arab Support After Aleppo

RIYADH, Dec 15 – A senior Syrian opposition figure called on Thursday for an increase in Gulf Arab military support for armed rebels following the fall of the city of Aleppo to government forces this week. The loss of the rebels’ last urban stronghold this week has dealt a devastating blow to efforts to oust

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Aleppo Rebel Evacuation Takes Place After Ceasefire Deal

By Laila Bassam, Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Tom Perry ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT, Dec 15 – An operation to evacuate thousands of civilians and fighters from the last rebel bastion in Aleppo began on Thursday, part of a ceasefire deal that would end years of fighting for the city and mark a major victory for Syrian President Bashar

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Syrian Girls Flee War Only to Become Mothers in Jordan Camp

By Lin Taylor ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan, Dec 15 – In a crowded maternity clinic at a refugee camp in Jordan near the Syrian border, Elhem cradled her crying 11-month-old son, bounced him on her knee and then handed him to her mother to help calm him down. “When I had the baby I felt

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Cost of Pump-at-Will Oil Policy Spurred Saudi OPEC U-Turn

By Rania El Gamal and Dmitry Zhdannikov DUBAI/LONDON, Dec 15  – Saudi Arabia has long said it could produce as much as 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil if needed, but that pump-at-will claim – which would require huge capital spending to access spare capacity – has never been tested. Sources say the

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