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Suspected Israeli Strikes Target Syrian State Company

Syrian state media reported loud explosions in the Syrian coastal Latakia province on Monday evening, saying they likely resulted from Israeli strikes targeting a state company for technical industries.

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Obama's Return: Good or Bad for Democrats?

Nearly two years out of the White House, former President Barack Obama is facing another political test.

To the delight of many Democrats, he's stepped back into the fray that former presidents often try to avoid, campaigning for Democratic candidates ahead of the midterms and blasting the political culture of the Trump era. He attracted a large, adoring crowd this past week in Ohio and will be in Pennsylvania on Friday campaigning for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

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Mattis Condemns Russia for Influence-Peddling in Macedonia

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Macedonia Monday, condemning Russian efforts to use its money and influence to build opposition to an upcoming vote that could pave the way for the country to join NATO — a move Moscow opposes.

Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Skopje that there is "no doubt" that Moscow has been funding pro-Russian groups in order to defeat the referendum on a name change later this month.

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Scientists: World's Warming; Expect More Intense Hurricanes

A warmer world makes for nastier hurricanes. Scientists say they are wetter, possess more energy and intensify faster.

Their storm surges are more destructive because climate change has already made the seas rise. And lately, the storms seem to be stalling more often and thus dumping more rain.

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Trump, Pompeo Bash Ex-Secretary of State Kerry on Iran Talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has unloaded on his Obama-era predecessor John Kerry for "actively undermining" U.S. policy on Iran by meeting several times recently with the Iranian foreign minister, who was his main interlocutor in the Iran nuclear deal negotiations.

In unusually blunt and caustic language, Pompeo said Friday that Kerry's meetings with Mohammad Javad Zarif were "unseemly and unprecedented" and "beyond inappropriate." President Donald Trump had late Thursday accused Kerry of holding "illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people."

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Officials Free Lebanese Woman Jailed for Insulting Egypt

An Egyptian lawyer says a Lebanese woman who was jailed for insulting Egyptians in a video she posted online has been sentenced to a suspended one-year term and has left Egypt.

Emad Kamal tells The Associated Press on Friday that Mona el-Mazbouh has been released, just days after an appeals court reduced her sentence from eight years in prison.

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U.S. Man who Killed Lebanese Neighbor Dies in Prison

An American man serving a life sentence for the hate-crime killing of his Lebanese neighbor has died, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said on Thursday.

Department spokesman Matt Elliott said 63-year-old Stanley Majors was found dead Wednesday in his bed at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Majors was in the prison infirmary. No information about his condition has been made available.

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Singer Rachid Taha, who Fused Arabic Music and Rock, Dies

France-based Algerian singer Rachid Taha has died. His record label, Naïve, announced his death at age 59 in a statement on its Facebook page.

Naïve said Wednesday that the singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno died overnight after suffering a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburbs.

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UN: Syria War Displacement this Year Worst Ever

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry says Syria this year has witnessed levels of internal displacement not seen before in the seven-year conflict.

The agency said in a report released Wednesday that over 1 million Syrian men, women and children have been displaced so far this year "with most now living in dire conditions."

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Lebanon-Born Man Dies after Being Shot in Berlin

A Lebanese-born man has died after being shot in Berlin, German police said.

There was no immediate word on who was responsible.

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