Middle East and North Africa

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U.S. says 'disappointed' by Palestinian unity deal

WASHINGTON - The United States said on Wednesday it was let down by a unity pact agreed to between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization and added it could make peace efforts difficult.

U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria 1:34am BST

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded on Wednesday that the Security Council take action in Syria on violations of international law as he reported to the body that none of the warring parties was adhering to U.N. demands for aid access.

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Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy 23 Apr 2014

WASHINGTON - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.

Armenian leader says Ankara denies 'genocide' but Turks not enemy 23 Apr 2014

YEREVAN - Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan accused Turkey of "utter denial" of what Armenia sees as the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire 99 years ago, but said his country does not consider Turks its enemy.

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Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement 23 Apr 2014

GAZA/RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) announced a unity pact on Wednesday, deepening a crisis in U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel.

Three charged in plot to ship chemical lab equipment from U.S. to Syria 23 Apr 2014

WASHINGTON - Three men have been charged in a conspiracy to export chemical laboratory equipment from the United States to Syria, according to an unsealed indictment released on Wednesday by the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

U.S. says 'disappointed' by Palestinian unity deal 23 Apr 2014

WASHINGTON - The United States said on Wednesday it was disappointed by a unity pact agreed between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and said it could seriously complicate peace efforts.

Bahrain says expels representative of Shi'ite Ayatollah Sistani 23 Apr 2014

MANAMA - Bahrain expelled a prominent Shi'ite religious figure on Wednesday, accusing him of acting as a representative of influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani without permission.

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Militants returning from Syria pose threat to Europe - Dutch minister 23 Apr 2014

AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands warned on Wednesday militants returning from Syria posed a security threat to Europe and said two Dutch citizens had carried out suicide attacks in Syria and Iraq in the past six months and about 100 had fought in Syria in 2013.

First candidate for Syria's presidential election steps forward 23 Apr 2014

BEIRUT - A Syrian lawmaker has nominated himself for president, state media said on Wednesday, the first candidate in an election likely to cement President Bashar al-Assad's rule over a country devastated by civil war.

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