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China Reports Major Drop in New Virus Cases; 143 New Deaths

China reported 2,641 new virus cases Saturday as it escalates measures to contain the outbreak and reassure an anxious public.

The figure is a major drop from the higher numbers in recent days since a broader diagnostic method was implemented. The number of new deaths rose slightly to 143, bringing the total fatalities in mainland China to 1,523. The number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 66,492, according to China's National Health Commission.

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Freezing Weather Compounds Crisis for Displaced in Syria

A military offensive on an opposition-controlled region of northwestern Syria has created one of the worst catastrophes for civilians in the country's long-running war, sending hundreds of thousands of people fleeing, many of them sleeping in open fields and under trees in freezing temperatures.

The military campaign in Idlib province and the nearby Aleppo countryside has also killed hundreds of civilians, and a bitter winter has compounded the pain.

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Nissan Sues Ghosn, Seeking Damages for Property, Jet Use

Nissan filed a civil suit Wednesday seeking 10 billion yen ($91 million) in damages from the Japanese automaker's former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

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5 Accused of Trying to Trade in Sanctioned Iranian Oil

Five men have been arrested and charged with trying to trade in Iranian oil in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, Zhenyu Wang, Robert Thwaites and Nicholas James Fuchs, all of Dallas; Daniel Ray Lane of McKinney, Texas; and Nicholas Hovan of New York City are charged with conspiracy and violating U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.

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Diab's Government Wins Parliament Vote of Confidence

Lebanon’s new government won parliament’s vote of confidence on Tuesday, as 63 MPs voted in favor, 20 voted against and one MP abstained.

The MPs of Hizbullah, the Free Patriotic Movement, the AMAL Movement and their allies granted confidence to Hassan Diab’s government as those of al-Mustaqbal Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party and the Lebanese Forces withheld it.

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Diab Vows to Get Lebanon Out of Crisis

Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Tuesday vowed during a Cabinet confidence vote session to get Lebanon out of its economic and financial crisis, the worst since the end of the 1975-90 civil war, as protesters clashed with security forces outside the Parliament.

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373 Injured as Protesters Clash with Security Forces around Parliament

Lebanon's parliament met Tuesday for a confidence vote on a new government as protesters clashed outside with security forces who used teargas and water cannon to disperse them.

The Red Cross said a total of 373 people were treated for teargas exposure and other injuries, including 45 who were taken to hospital.

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Syrians Scramble for Refuge in Last Opposition Frontier

Throughout Syria's civil war, Maad al-Khalaf helped other Syrians find shelter in the opposition enclave in the northwest as they fled government military advances around the country. Now he's the one in need of refuge as a swift offensive overwhelmed his home village.

He joined hundreds of thousands in Idlib province scrambling to escape the widening, multi-front assault by President Bashar Assad's forces, squeezing into whatever structures they can find in a shrinking territory.

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‘No Confidence’ Protests March against Government

Defying a cold storm that saw temperatures drop significantly in Lebanon, demonstrators kicked off a march on Saturday rejecting the new government of PM Hassan Diab named to deal with an economic crisis, which they say lacks a popular mandate.

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Anger at Trump Plan Could Mobilize Arab Voters in Israel

It might have seemed to be one of the more innocuous elements in President Donald Trump's deeply divisive Middle East peace initiative: the suggestion that a densely populated Arab region of Israel be added to a future Palestinian state, if both sides agree.

Instead, the proposal has infuriated many of Israel's Arab citizens, who view it as a form of forced transfer. They want no part in the Palestinian state envisioned by the Trump administration, with many comparing it to the areas set aside for black South Africans as part of the apartheid government's policy of racial segregation.

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