UN Syria envoy not expecting breakthrough at Geneva talks
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UN Syria envoy not expecting breakthrough at Geneva talks

GENEVA (AP) — Playing down expectations, the U.N. envoy for Syria said Wednesday that he’s not expecting a breakthrough in the first U.N.-mediated peace talks between government representatives and the opposition in 10 months, rather hoping to build momentum toward peace after nearly six years of war. Staffan de Mistura spoke a day before convening … Continue reading

Iraqi troops advance on western Mosul as Mattis holds talks
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Iraqi troops advance on western Mosul as Mattis holds talks

SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi forces advanced Monday into the southern outskirts of Mosul on the second day of a push to drive Islamic State militants from the city’s western half, as the visiting U.S. defense secretary met with officials to discuss the fight against the extremists. With aerial support from the U.S.-led … Continue reading

North African diplomats seek solutions for chaotic Libya
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North African diplomats seek solutions for chaotic Libya

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The presidents of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia will hold a summit soon to try to find ways to reconcile neighboring Libya’s rival political factions and stem the country’s chaos, diplomats said Monday. The summit was announced in Tunis after a new round of diplomatic efforts for Libya, where two rival administrations … Continue reading

Pentagon chief says NATO members must boost defense spending
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Pentagon chief says NATO members must boost defense spending

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday issued a sharp ultimatum to NATO Wednesday, telling allies they must start increasing defense spending by year’s end or the Trump administration will “moderate its commitment” to them. He did not detail what the United States might do if NATO members failed to fall in … Continue reading

Israel fumbles goodwill visit of NFL players
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Israel fumbles goodwill visit of NFL players

JERUSALEM (AP) — It was supposed to be a feel-good visit by a group of professional football players to give a boost to image-conscious Israel. But in an embarrassing fumble by the Israeli government, only five of 11 NFL players in the delegation showed up after being blitzed by Palestinian activists opposed to the visit. … Continue reading

Hezbollah leader says ‘idiot’ Trump makes him optimistic
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Hezbollah leader says ‘idiot’ Trump makes him optimistic

BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group says the world will benefit from having an “idiot” in the White House. Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech Sunday that his group is much stronger than when it was created in the early 1980s and should not be concerned about threats from the West. … Continue reading

Jordan commander: IS expands hold in border camp for Syrians
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Jordan commander: IS expands hold in border camp for Syrians

JORDAN-SYRIA BORDER (AP) — Armed Islamic State extremists are expanding their influence in a sprawling camp for displaced Syrians on Jordan’s border, posing a growing threat to the U.S.-allied kingdom, a senior Jordanian military commander said. Brig. Gen. Sami Kafawin, chief of Jordan’s border forces, spoke to The Associated Press during a tour of the … Continue reading

Trump urges Israeli premier to ‘hold off’ on settlements
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Trump urges Israeli premier to ‘hold off’ on settlements

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Israel’s prime minister to “hold off” on building Jewish settlements in land the Palestinians claim for their future state, yet held back from explicitly endorsing support for a future independent Palestine. After weeks of dancing around the issue of expanded Israeli settlements, Trump made the request … Continue reading

Swiss ease citizenship for ‘third-generation’ foreigners
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Swiss ease citizenship for ‘third-generation’ foreigners

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Voters in Switzerland decided Sunday to make it easier for young “third-generation foreigners” to get Swiss citizenship, agreeing to extend to about 25,000 people under age 25 access to the fast-track process now available to foreign spouses of Swiss nationals. The national statistics office said the “naturalization of third-generation immigrants” initiative … Continue reading

Hamas names shadowy militant as new leader in Gaza
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Hamas names shadowy militant as new leader in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas has named a shadowy militant commander as its new leader in the Gaza Strip, an official media outlet confirmed on Monday, placing one of the Islamic militant group’s most hard-line figures in charge of its core power base. The appointment of Yehiya Sinwar, who was freed by Israel … Continue reading

More than 1.5 million are refugees from South Sudan, says UN
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More than 1.5 million are refugees from South Sudan, says UN

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — More than 1.5 million South Sudanese have become refugees and their humanitarian needs are overwhelming aid efforts during the country’s civil war, according to the United Nations. South Sudan’s civil war began in December 2013 and roughly 3.6 million people have fled their homes or become refugees, according to the U.N. … Continue reading

The Latest: Syria unveils new Hama statue to Assad’s father
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The Latest: Syria unveils new Hama statue to Assad’s father

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local): 6:40 p.m. Syria’s state news agency says authorities have unveiled a statue of late President Hafez Assad in the city of Hama to replace the one pulled down by demonstrators nearly six years ago, in the early days of the uprising against his … Continue reading

Gorsuch would be 8th man to hold ‘Justice Scalia’s seat’
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Gorsuch would be 8th man to hold ‘Justice Scalia’s seat’

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the night Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, he was thinking about history. “The towering judges that have served in this particular seat on the Supreme Court, including Antonin Scalia and Robert Jackson, are much in my mind at this moment,” … Continue reading

Cyprus: UN Security Council has role in reunification talks
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Cyprus: UN Security Council has role in reunification talks

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — U.N. Security Council member states must take part in a future summit aiming to remove a key stumbling block to a deal reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus, the island’s government spokesman said Monday. Nicos Christodoulides told The Associated Press that Security Council members have expressed their readiness to “actively and effectively take … Continue reading

Israeli leader presses UK to impose new sanctions on Iran
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Israeli leader presses UK to impose new sanctions on Iran

LONDON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to follow the American administration and impose new sanctions on Iran over a recent missile test. The two leaders met at 10 Downing St. for talks British officials tried to focus on boosting trade ties between the two countries … Continue reading

Turkey hit by 2 magnitude 5.3 quakes; 11 villages damaged
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Turkey hit by 2 magnitude 5.3 quakes; 11 villages damaged

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Two earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 5.3 jolted Turkey’s northern Aegean Sea coast on Monday Feb. 6, 2017,  damaging dozens of homes in 11 villages and injuring at least five people, officials said. The first quake, which was centered beneath the Aegean off the coast of the town of Ayvacik in … Continue reading

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University student gets 3 years’ probation in cybercrime

  PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Carnegie Mellon University student who developed and sold malicious software through an online cyber criminal marketplace that allowed others to remotely control Google Android smartphones has been sentenced to three years’ probation. U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab also ordered Morgan Culbertson, 22, to perform 300 hours of community service. The … Continue reading

Travel ban lifted but for how long? Court must decide
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Travel ban lifted but for how long? Court must decide

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Washington state and Minnesota are telling a federal appeals court that restoring President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries would “unleash chaos again.” The filing with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco came early Monday Feb. 6, 2017 after the White House … Continue reading

UN refugee chief opposes ‘safe zones’ in Syria
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UN refugee chief opposes ‘safe zones’ in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N.’s top official on refugees pushed back against a proposed initiative that has gained recent traction to create “safe zones” in Syria for refugees, saying the country was “not the right place” for the initiative. “Let’s not waste time planning safe zones that will not be set up because they will … Continue reading