Associated Press
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Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Vows Revenge to U.S. Airstrikes

An Iranian-backed militia said Monday that the death toll from U.S. military strikes in Iraq and Syria against its fighters has risen to 25, vowing to exact revenge for the "aggression of evil American ravens."

The U.S. attack - the largest yet targeting an Iraqi state-sanctioned militia - and the calls for retaliation, represent a new escalation in the proxy war between the U.S. and Iran playing out in the Middle East that could threaten U.S. interests in the region.

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Lebanese Protesters Turn their Ire on Banks

Dozens of Lebanese protesters held a brief sit-in inside a bank in Beirut and another in the country's south on Saturday, part of their focus on banking policies they complain are inefficient and corrupt.

Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, while protests against corruption and mismanagement have gripped the country since October. The local currency has taken a nose dive, losing more than 40% of its value after over 20 years of being pegged to the dollar. Banks are imposing unprecedented capital controls to protect their deposits amid a deepening confidence crisis. Meanwhile, layoffs and salary cuts are becoming the norm while politicians bicker over forming a new government.

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Final Goodbye: Recalling Influential People who Died in 2019

A lauded writer who brought to light stories overshadowed by prejudice. An actress and singer who helped embody the manufactured innocence of the 1950s. A self-made billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president.

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Iran-Backed Groups Accuse Iraqi President of Caving to US

Iran-supported groups on Friday blasted Iraq's president for not naming their preferred prime minister candidate, saying his decision was at the behest of the United States, and warned him not to designate anyone who could be "an agent of the Americans."

In refusing to appoint Fatah-backed candidate Asaad al-Eidani on Thursday, President Barham Salih said he was responding to broad opposition by anti-government protesters who have flooded the streets for nearly three months to demand the overthrow of Iraq's entire political class.

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Treason or Civic-Minded? Iraqis Split on President's Threat to Quit

Iraqis were divided Friday by their president's threat to resign rather than accept a pro-Iran coalition's candidate for premier, with some saying it was unconstitutional but others praising his civic-mindedness.

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Israel's Netanyahu Sweeps Party Primary in Re-Election Boost

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told supporters Friday he would win a March general election after scoring a landslide victory in the leadership primary of his right-wing Likud party.

Israel's longest-serving premier, who faces a corruption indictment as well as a third general election in 12 months, was expected to beat rival Gideon Saar in the leadership primary.

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Lebanese Protest Bank Policies amid Severe Crisis

Dozens of protesters staged a sit-in outside the central bank and the Lebanese Banks' Association building Thursday to protest the banks' policies amid unprecedented capital controls.

The protesters called on citizens to stop paying their loans and taxes and demanded that loan payments be rescheduled after amending interest rates.

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Storm Topples Wall, Graves in Old Jewish Cemetery in Beirut

A severe storm, carrying heavy rain and strong winds, toppled an old wall and several graves at a Jewish cemetery in the Lebanese capital on Thursday.

The cemetery in Beirut's Sodeco district, which dates back to the early 1820s, is Beirut's only Jewish cemetery and has been closed to the public for many years.

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Lebanese Help Each Other as Economic Crisis Crushes Lives

Panic set in on a WhatsApp group used to organize Lebanese protests when one member said he intended to kill himself because he can't provide for his kids.

The desperate call came on the heels of the suicide of a father of two that had stunned the public and raised alarm over how dire Lebanon's economic conditions have become.

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Looking Down on a Decade: Satellite Images Tell the Stories

There has been no shortage of big news over the last decade. Spanning the globe, some stories were expected while others caught the world off guard. Some were so massive they were visible from space, captured through state-of-the-art imaging satellites belonging to technology company and imagery provider Maxar Technologies. Together, The Associated Press and Maxar assembled a selection of the most striking images.

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