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PM Abadi, Sadr alliance brings Iraq government closer

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NAJAF, Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Saturday their political blocs would enter into an alliance, bringing Iraq one step closer to forming a new government after an election marred by low turnout and fraud allegations.

Syria pounds rebel areas in south, thousands flee to border zone 9:06pm BST

AMMAN The Syrian army and allied forces pounded rebel-held areas of the southwest as thousands of civilians fled to safer opposition held areas along the border with Jordan and Israel, aid workers and rebels said.

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Rescuers pick up hundreds of migrants across Mediterranean ahead of EU talks 6:24pm BST

BARCELONA/VALLETTA Spanish coast guards rescued nearly 600 migrants trying to make the perilous crossing from Africa, authorities said on Saturday, while off the coast of Libya coastguards recovered bodies of five migrants and picked up 185 survivors.

Iran sees little extra oil if OPEC, partners stick to deal 6:10pm BST

VIENNA Iran said on Saturday the world will see little extra oil reaching the market if OPEC and its partners adhere properly to a supply pact, underlining a disagreement with top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Iraq bombs meeting of Islamic State leaders in Syria - military 6:05pm BST

BAGHDAD Iraq has launched an air attack on a gathering of Islamic State leaders inside neighbouring Syria, killing 45 members of the hardline militant group, its military said on Saturday.

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Saudi pledges 'measurable' oil supply boost as OPEC, Russia agree deal 5:36pm BST

VIENNA OPEC agreed with Russia and other oil-producing allies on Saturday to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost but giving no specific numbers.

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Pompeo warns Iran on nuclear arms; hopes military force will never be needed 5:18pm BST

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday warned Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons, saying it would face the "wrath of the entire world" if it did so, but added that he hoped it would never be necessary for the United States to take military action against the country.

Pakistani Taliban appoints new chief after previous leader killed in drone strike 4:56pm BST

PESHAWAR/DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan The Pakistani Taliban named Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud as the new leader on Saturday, a week after the previous chief Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a U.S.-Afghan air strike in Afghanistan, the group's spokesman said.

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Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim hospitalized after pain in shoulder and back 4:39pm BST

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's prime minister-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim, was rushed to hospital late on Saturday night after he complained of a pain in his shoulder and back on his return from Turkey.

Detained Iranian rights lawyer faces security charges - husband 3:11pm BST

DUBAI Iran has charged prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh with security offences after re-arresting her earlier this month, her husband was quoted as saying on Saturday.

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