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US to Keep around 600 Troops in Syria, Says Pentagon Chief

The United States will maintain around 600 troops in Syria, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said Wednesday, despite Donald Trump's desire to end US involvement in what the president calls "endless wars".

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US Congress Can Still Seek Trump Tax Records, Court Decides

Congress can request nearly a decade of Donald Trump's tax filings, an appeals court said Wednesday, striking a new blow to the US president as he attempts to keep his financial records out of Democrats' hands.

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Schools Closed as Protests Put Chokehold on Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities ordered schools and universities closed Thursday as protesters challenging China's rule brought parts of the city to a near standstill by barricading roads and disrupting public transport links.

Six months of anti-government political action have morphed from peaceful mass rallies into a so-called "blossom everywhere" campaign of violent hit-and-run confrontations with police by groups of black-clad protesters.

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Ceasefire Takes Effect after Spike in Israel-Gaza Violence

A Gaza Strip ceasefire came into effect early Thursday, an Egyptian source and a senior Islamic Jihad official told AFP, following a spike in violence and bloodshed in the Palestinian enclave.

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Iraq’s Protests Raise Question: Where Does the Oil Money Go?

Waves of violent protests have engulfed Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces, with demonstrators chanting for the downfall of a political establishment that they say doesn’t prioritize them.

Fueling the unrest is anger over an economy flush with oil money that has failed to bring jobs or improvements to the lives of young people, who are the majority of those taking to the streets. They say they have had enough of blatant government corruption and subpar basic services.

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Iraqis Aim to Rekindle Protests with Iran Football Match

For Iraqis opposed to the Baghdad government and its sponsor Tehran, there is even more than football at stake when Iraq faces Iran in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

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Facebook Nixes Billions of Fake Accounts

Facebook on Wednesday said it has nixed 5.4 billion fake accounts already this year, many within moments of being created at the leading social network.

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Islamist-Inspired Party Leader Elected Tunisia House Speaker

The leader of Tunisia's Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, Rached Ghannouchi, was elected parliament speaker on Wednesday, a month after it came top in legislative polls. 

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U.N. Envoy Says Iraq Officials Must 'Step Up' to Enact Reforms

Iraqi officials must ramp up their response to mass demonstrations demanding an overhaul of the political system, the U.N. representative in Baghdad told AFP in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

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Afghanistan's Presidential Poll Results Delayed Again

Preliminary results from Afghanistan's presidential election have been delayed for a second time, election officials announced Wednesday, a postponement likely to fuel more political uncertainty and fraud allegations.

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