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

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

North Korea reportedly test fires missile, challenging US
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North Korea reportedly test fires missile, challenging US

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea reportedly fired a ballistic missile Sunday, Feb 12, 2017  in what would be its first such test of the year and an implicit challenge to President Donald Trump, who stood with the Japanese leader as Shinzo Abe called the move “absolutely intolerable.” There was no immediate confirmation from … Continue reading

Tech firms take stand against travel ban, risking backlash
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Tech firms take stand against travel ban, risking backlash

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Through a Super Bowl ad, public statements and court filings, Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are taking a strong stand against President Donald Trump’s travel ban, saying high tech needs immigrants’ creativity and energy to stay competitive. Although the companies are risking a backlash from customers who side with Trump, they say … Continue reading

Visa changes could stunt budding US-India ties under Trump
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Visa changes could stunt budding US-India ties under Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and India seem like a natural fit in the Trump era: rambunctious democracies, led by populists, focused on economic growth and fighting radical Islam. It’s a budding partnership that could be set back by a nuts-and-bolts dispute over employment visas. As President Donald Trump looks to help American workers, 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

US commander: Mosul and Raqqa should be retaken in 6 months
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US commander: Mosul and Raqqa should be retaken in 6 months

CAMP TAJI, Iraq (AP) — Forces fighting the Islamic State group should be able to retake the IS-held cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria within the next six months, according to the top U.S. commander in Iraq. On a tour north of Baghdad Wednesday, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said “within … 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

Syrian troops, Turkey-backed forces surround IS stronghold
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Syrian troops, Turkey-backed forces surround IS stronghold

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian pro-government forces advanced Monday Feb. 6, 2017 toward al-Bab, completing the encirclement of the Islamic State-held town which had been partially besieged by Turkey-backed opposition forces, state media and an activist group said. Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters, known as Euphrates Shield, have been trying to seize the town for … 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

Germany deplores migrant camp abuse in Libya
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Germany deplores migrant camp abuse in Libya

ROME (AP) — The Latest on Europe’s migrant influx (all times local): 6:25 p.m. Germany says the human rights situation in Libya is “catastrophic,” with migrants heading for Europe bearing the brunt of abuse. A report Sunday by German weekly Welt am Sonntag quoted an internal Foreign Ministry memo describing how migrants face torture and … Continue reading

UK says Trump visit still on amid outcry over travel ban
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UK says Trump visit still on amid outcry over travel ban

LONDON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s order barring U.S. entry to people from seven majority Muslim nations is “divisive, discriminatory and wrong,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday. But he rebuffed calls for the government to cancel Trump’s planned state visit to the U.K. because of the temporary ban. Johnson said he had told … Continue reading