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French intelligence says Assad forces carried out sarin attack

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PARIS French intelligence has concluded that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out a sarin nerve gas attack on April 4 in northern Syria and that Assad or members of his inner circle ordered the strike, a declassified report showed. | Video

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Israel seeks U.S. backing to avert permanent Iran foothold in Syria 26 Apr 2017

WASHINGTON Israel is seeking an "understanding" with the Trump administration that Iran must not be allowed to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria, Israel's intelligence minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

Turkish army, Kurdish militia exchange fire across Syria border 26 Apr 2017

ISTANBUL Turkey's military outposts on the border with Syria came under fire from Kurdish militia across the frontier, the army said on Wednesday, a day after Turkish warplanes bombed groups in northeastern Syria and Iraq affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

EU lawmakers call for suspension of Turkey accession talks 26 Apr 2017

BRUSSELS Leading European Union lawmakers called on Wednesday for a formal halt to Turkey's long-stalled EU membership talks, citing President Tayyip Erdogan's plans to assume much greater powers after a referendum this month backed a constitutional overhaul.

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Yemen government seeks U.N. oversight of port - prime minister 26 Apr 2017

GENEVA The Yemeni government has proposed to the United Nations that it monitors the rebel-held port of Hodeidah to ensure that no arms are smuggled through it, the prime minister said on Wednesday.

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Tunisia parliament debates contested amnesty for Ben Ali-era corruption 26 Apr 2017

TUNIS Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday debated a bill that would grant amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali - a bill already delayed two years by popular opposition.

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Mosul businesses start reconstruction without waiting for final IS defeat 26 Apr 2017

MOSUL, Iraq Some businessmen in Mosul have begun rebuilding their shattered premises without waiting for financial support from the cash-strapped Iraqi government or for the final defeat of Islamic State in the city. | Video

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Pope to Egypt to mend ties with Islam but conservatives wary 26 Apr 2017

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis hopes to mend ties with Muslims on his trip to Egypt on Friday but faces criticism from church conservatives for meeting Islamic religious leaders after a spate of deadly attacks against Christians.

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Israel's 'Checkpoint Q' - a daily hurdle for Palestinians 26 Apr 2017

QALANDIYA, West Bank To one side loom towers manned by Israeli soldiers who keep watch from behind bulletproof glass. To the other stand concrete walls charred by fire bombs, pitted with bullet holes and scrawled with Palestinian graffiti. In between, barriers and steel fences block traffic or corral vehicles and pedestrians.

UAE jails businessman for trying to ship generator to Iran - agency 26 Apr 2017

DUBAI A United Arab Emirates court sentenced an Iranian businessman on Wednesday to 10 years in jail for trying to ship a power generator to Iran for use in its nuclear programme in violation of international sanctions, the UAE state news agency said.

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