Daesh Takes Syrian Town as Fighting Looks Set to Intensify

BEIRUT (Reuters) Daesh fighters drove Syrian government forces from a town in the west of the country on Sunday, as fighting looked set to intensify despite a flurry of international diplomacy and talks between regional rivals. The jihadists’ advance came even as Russian warplanes and Syrian forces supported by them stepped up assaults against insurgents

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Azerbaijan’s Ruling Party Likely to Win Elections

BAKU, Nov 1 (Reuters)  Azeri voters headed to the polls on Sunday for a parliamentary election, which Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s ruling party is widely expected to win, and which mainstream opposition and international monitors are shunning. Aliyev has consolidated his power since succeeding his father and long-serving leader Heydar in 2003, presiding over a

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Al Shabaab Claims Responsibility for Somali Hotel Attack

MOGADISHU, Nov 1 (Reuters)  Two bombs ripped into a hotel in the Somali capital on Sunday and security forces fought Islamist Al Shabaab gunmen, who stormed the building for hours afterwards, police and witnesses said. At least 11 people were killed. Al Shabaab, which has frequently launched attacks in Mogadishu in its bid to topple

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Polls Open in Turkey; Erdogan Hopes for Majority

Divided Turkey holds snap elections amid rising security and economic fears BY Staff Reporter  ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Nov 1): Turks began casting their votes on Sunday against a backdrop of economic and security concerns. The vote comes after failure to create a coalition government following June elections. The parliamentary elections–that were suddenly called–are set to decide the fate of the

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International Airlines Suspend Flights Over Sinai after Russian Plane Crash

BY Staff Reporter DUBAI (Nov. 1) Emirates, along with Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, have suspended flights over Sinai as a precaution, following Saturday’s crash of a Russian plane that resulted in the death of all 224 passengers aboard. “Emirates is currently avoiding flying over the Sinai peninsula until more information is available,” said a spokesperson of the Gulf carrier

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U.S.-backed Syrian Rebels Declare New Offensive Against Daesh

BEIRUT, Oct 31 (Reuters)  A U.S.-backed Syrian rebel alliance on Saturday announced a fresh offensive against Daesh in the northeast province of Hasaka, a day after the United States said it would send special forces to advise insurgents fighting the jihadists. “Today … we announce the start of the liberation of the southern countryside of Hasaka province,”

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Turkish Election To Shape Political Landscape

BY Nick Tattersall and Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan is unambiguous about what he wants from an election on Sunday, casting it as a pivotal moment for Turkey: a return to the single-party rule he presided over for more than a decade until June. The outcome of the second parliamentary election this

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Egypt Confirms Russian Plane with 224 Aboard Crashes in Sinai

ISMAILIA/CAIRO, Oct 31 (Reuters) A Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers and crew crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Saturday, the Egyptian civil aviation authority said, and a security officer who arrived on the scene said all aboard the plane were probably dead. The Airbus A-321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia with registration number KGL-9268, was

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KSA, S&P Spat Continues Over Ratings

By Staff Reporter DUBAI, Oct. 31 Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance accused ratings agency Standard and Poor’s of acting “on an unsolicited basis” few hours after the agency downgraded the Kingdom’s credit ratings to A+ with a negative outlook. The ministry further challenged economic data provided by S&P, saying the Kingdom’s economy had already taken provisional measures to

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Through Thick, Thin and Stink

A crisis of waste management in Lebanon prompts a protest movement that shows no signs of abating BY Nour Samaha Newsweek Middle East Web Exclusive BEIRUT: What started out with just 10 people on the streets protesting against an old garbage problem soon escalated to crowds in the tens of thousands, demanding an overhaul of

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