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Syria Kurds Return 25 Yazidis Freed from IS to Iraq

Syrian Kurds on Saturday repatriated 25 women and children from Iraq's Yazidi minority after freeing them during the final push against the Islamic State group, a local official said.

The US-backed fighters say they rescued some 300 Yazidi women and children during the fight to take the jihadists' last scrap of territory in eastern Syria.

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UN 'Gravely Concerned' over Tunisia Detention of Libya Expert

The United Nations has expressed its "grave concern" over the detention in Tunisia of a UN expert tasked with investigating violations of a Libya arms embargo.

"The arrest and detention by the Tunisian authorities of Moncef Kartas... while he was performing his official duties is a matter of very grave concern," the spokesman for the UN secretary-general said in a statement Friday. 

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Lebanon Marks Civil War Anniversary, Families of Missing See Hope

As Lebanon marks 44 years since the start of its civil war on Saturday, families whose loved ones disappeared during the conflict hope they might finally get some answers.

The small multi-confessional country passed a landmark law in November to determine the fate of thousands of Lebanese who went missing in the 1975-1990 war.

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Kim Gains More Power in N.Korea Leadership Shuffle

North Korea has replaced its long-serving head of state with a close aide to leader Kim Jong Un, promoting a man who was placed on a US sanctions list last year for alleged human rights abuses, state media said Friday.

The move came as part of a top-ranking reshuffle that analysts said further cemented Kim's already unshakeable grip on power.

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Rescued Migrants on Rescue Ship Sea-Eye to Disembark in Malta

Dozens of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean after being stranded at sea for 10 days, will disembark in Malta following a deal for Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg to take them in, Malta's prime minister said Saturday.

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Thai New Year Splashes in with Water Fights, Raves

Water-spraying elephants, raves and boisterous, street-blocking water fights -- Thailand's Buddhist new year arrived with a splash Saturday, a once calm festival now celebrated with a more raucous edge. 

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Venezuela, China Loom Large as Pompeo Begins LatAm Tour

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a four-nation tour of Latin American allies Friday, arriving in Paraguay after talks in Santiago with Chile's President Sebastian Pinera that focused on Venezuela and the growing commercial influence of China.

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Egypt Inmates Dread Noose as Executions Rise under Sisi

After years of anxiously waiting in cramped prison cells, appointments with the noose can come fast to the many on Egypt's death row. 

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Britain's Shame: The 1919 Amritsar Massacre

The Amritsar massacre, 100 years ago this Saturday in which British troops opened fire on thousands of unarmed protestors, remains one of the darkest hours of British colonial rule in India.

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India Hopes to Avoid US Sanctions over Russian Missile Deal

India is hopeful it will avoid US sanctions over its purchase of Russia's S-400 missile system, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told AFP.

New Delhi has been "heard and understood" by the US administration over its accord to buy the S-400 missile defence system for $5.2 billion, the minister said in an interview this week.

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