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Who Are the Haqqanis, Afghanistan's Most Feared Insurgents?

The rescue of an abducted US-Canadian family in Pakistan last week has spotlighted their captors the Haqqani network, former CIA assets now considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

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Iraq Operation Follows 3 Weeks of Tension since Kurd Referendum

Iraqi forces have launched a major military operation in Kirkuk province, three weeks into a deepening crisis between Baghdad and the country's Kurds since their September 25 independence referendum.

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Disputed Territory at Heart of Iraq-Kurd Crisis

The crisis between Iraq's central government and the autonomous Kurdish region is rooted in a long-standing dispute over territory stretching from the Syrian border to the frontier with Iran.

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IS a Threat to SE Asia Despite Leader's Death, Aanalysts Say

The reported death of Islamic State's top leader in Southeast Asia is a major blow to the jihadists but analysts warn it remains a potent threat, with battle-hardened fighters set to return from the Middle East.

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To Beat IS, Syria Force Goes Back to Basics

Once the last Islamic State group fighters are ousted from Syria's Raqa, the unconventional forces battling the jihadists say they'll have batteries and masking tape to thank for their victory. 

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The Far-Right in Europe

Austria's hard-right Freedom Party has a shot at sharing power after elections on Sunday, having narrowly lost out in a presidential vote last year.

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Coup, Revolution and Mistrust: Moments in Iran-US Relations

President Donald Trump's decision to not re-certify the Iranian nuclear deal marks yet another key moment in relations between Iran and America, which has seen decades of mistrust and mutual recriminations. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mentioned many of them in his reaction to Trump's decision Friday night.

Here are some of the key moments of that relationship:

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Catalonia, One of Spain's Economic Heavyweights

Catalonia, which may be poised to declare independence from Spain, is one of the powerhouses of the Spanish economy, buoyed by industry, research and tourism but burdened with heavy debt.

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Islamic State: Defeating the Virtual Caliphate

The Islamic State group may soon be defeated in Iraq and Syria but a "virtual caliphate" could be harder to conquer, experts and officials have warned. 

The jihadist propaganda machine will continue to exist in hidden corners of the dark web, inciting sympathisers to action, they say.

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IS Latches on to Global Attacks as It Fights for Survival

Just hours after Stephen Paddock unleashed a hail of bullets on a country music festival in Las Vegas, the Islamic State group issued a flurry of statements claiming the 64-year-old gunman as one of its own. The quick responsibility claim — discounted by FBI officials — is the latest in a series of dubious or seemingly fake IS claims, reflecting the extremists' eagerness to latch onto global attacks it can tout as its own as it fights for survival in its Mideast base.

Three years after it declared its so-called Islamic caliphate across huge swaths of Syria and Iraq, IS has lost most of the territory and is on the run in its few remaining bastions. Far from the confident propaganda it pumped out when it controlled a pseudo state, the group now justifies its losses to its supporters and urges them not to give up the fight.

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