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Iran president urges clerics to tolerate Internet

  TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s president urged the country’s clerics Monday, Sept. 1, to be more tolerant of the Internet and new technologies, which are often the target of criticism by influential hard-liners in the Islamic Republic. Hassan Rouhani made the appeal during a meeting with clerics in Tehran, where he said that the [...]

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Rebuilding Gaza will take 20 years, group says

  JERUSALEM (AP) — An international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years under current levels of restrictions to rebuild the Gaza Strip’s battered and neglected housing stock following the war between Hamas and Israel. Most of the new building would be to make up for the current housing deficit, [...]

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Israeli fire on Gaza town raises war crimes claim

  RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The first of August dawned as a day of promise for the Mahmoum clan and thousands of other Palestinians stuck in United Nations shelters in Rafah — thanks to a temporary cease-fire with Israel they could go home for three days. But the expected respite quickly turned into one [...]

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Philippine troops pull ‘greatest escape’ in Golan

BEIRUT (AP) — Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers escaped their besieged outpost in the Golan Heights after a seven-hour gunbattle with Syrian rebels, Philippine officials said Sunday, Aug 31. Al-Qaida-linked insurgents still hold captive 44 Fijian troops. The getaway, combined with the departure of another entrapped group of Filipino troops, marked a major [...]

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UN says Syria refugees top 3 million mark

  GENEVA (AP) — The civil war in Syria has forced 3 million people out of the country as more than a million people fled in the past year, creating a crisis that the U.N. refugee agency said requires the biggest operation in its 64-year history. The tragic milestone means that about one of every [...]

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US delivers military aid to Lebanese army

  BEIRUT (AP) — The United States has delivered its first emergency shipment of weapons to Lebanon, officials said Friday, to help bolster military forces as part of a broader regional response to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic extremists. The delivery is in response to a request by the Lebanese government after a [...]

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Iraqi town holds out against militant juggernaut

  BAGHDAD (AP) — As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli decided to stay and fight. The wheat and barley farmers took up arms, dug trenches and posted [...]

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EU ministers call for new sanctions against Russia

  MILAN (AP) — Several European Union foreign ministers on Friday accused Russia of invading eastern Ukraine and said Moscow should be punished with more sanctions. The meeting of the 28-nation bloc’s top diplomats in Milan came one day after NATO said Moscow has slipped at least 1,000 Russian soldiers and much heavy weaponry into [...]

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Palestan Leader Says Hamas Caused Prolonged War

  RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of needlessly extending fighting in the Gaza Strip, causing a high death toll. Abbas told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday that “it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (damaged or destroyed).” Israel [...]

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Israel identifies body as missing American student

  JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forensic investigators on Friday, August 29, identified a recently found body as that of a U.S. religious student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week, Israeli police said, adding that he had been buried near Jerusalem. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the body was confirmed early on Friday morning [...]

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Syrian rebels seize border crossing with Israel

  BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels, including fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group, seized control of a frontier crossing with Israel in the Golan Heights on Wednesday after heavy clashes with President Bashar Assad’s forces, activists and rebels said. The capture of the post along Syria’s de facto border in the Golan held more symbolic value [...]

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