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White House Signals Western Wall Has to Be Part of Israel

Senior Trump administration officials outlined their view that Jerusalem's Western Wall ultimately will be declared a part of Israel, in another declaration sure to enflame passions among Palestinians and others in the Middle East.

Although they said the ultimate borders of the holy city must be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the officials — speaking ahead of Vice President Mike Pence's trip to the region — essentially ruled out any scenario that didn't maintain Israeli control over the holiest ground in Judaism. The issue is sensitive because the wall is beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders and abuts some of the Islamic world's most revered sites.

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Lebanon Sets Date of Parliamentary Elections for May 6

Lebanon has set the date for the country's first parliamentary elections in nine years, scheduling the vote for May 6, the National News Agency reported.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq signed a decree Friday setting the date, NNA said.

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Russia to Resume Flights to Egypt, Halted after 2015 Bombing

Russia is to resume flights between Moscow and the Egyptian capital of Cairo in February after more than a two-year hiatus, Russian transportation minister said on Friday.

Moscow suspended flights to Egypt after an Islamic State bomb brought down a Russian airliner over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

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Dustin Hoffman Accused of New Incidents of Sexual Misconduct

More women are accusing Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct, including an incident in which a playwright says the actor exposed himself to her in a New York hotel room when she was 16-years-old.

Playwright Cori Thomas described the 1980 incident in a story published Thursday by the trade outlet Variety. She confirmed the story in an email to The Associated Press.

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EU Leaders Set to Launch New Phase in Brexit Talks

European Union leaders are set to authorize a new phase in Britain's departure from the bloc.

The expected clearance Friday to trade discussions will provide a welcome boost to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who earlier this week lost a key parliamentary vote over giving lawmakers the final say on the Brexit deal.

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Poll: Most Believe Trump Trying to Obstruct Russia Probe

Most Americans think Donald Trump did something illegal or at least unethical regarding ties between his presidential campaign and Russia — and they think he's trying to obstruct the investigation looking into those possible connections.

The deeply divided country is more concerned about health care and the economy than any collusion with the Kremlin, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. But the survey also shows that Americans are unhappy with the way Trump is dealing with the investigations led by Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Firefighter Dies, Thousands More Take on California Blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across Southern California has died, but authorities gave no hint of how.

San Diego-based Cory Iverson was assigned to the blaze northwest of Los Angeles, which has become the fourth largest in California history. Iverson, 32, was an engineer with a state fire engine strike team. He died Thursday.

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Lebanon among 9 Films Vying for Foreign Language Oscar Nomination

Nine films are now vying for an Academy Award nomination in the foreign language category.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the short-list Thursday, which includes films from Chile, Germany, Israel and Lebanon. Ninety-two films were initially in contention for possible nomination.

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U.S. to Give Lebanon Attack Helicopters as Visiting General Hails LAF

The United States on Wednesday announced new assistance to the Lebanese military including helicopters and other advanced military equipment.

The new assistance package was disclosed during a visit by the head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel to Lebanon on Wednesday during which he met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Defense Minister Yaacoub el-Sarraf and Army chief General Joseph Aoun.

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FBI Agent Removed from Russia Probe Called Trump an 'Idiot'

Two FBI officials who would later be assigned to the special counsel's investigation into Donald Trump's presidential campaign described him with insults like "idiot" and "loathsome human" in a series of text messages last year, according to copies of the messages released Tuesday.

One of the officials said in an election night text that the prospect of a Trump victory was "terrifying."

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