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Libyan Officials Collect Evidence of Russian Fighters in War

Officials in Libya's U.N.-supported government say they plan to confront Moscow over the alleged deployment of Russian mercenaries fighting alongside their opponents in the country's civil war.

Libyan and U.S. officials accuse Russia of deploying fighters through a private security contractor, the Wagner Group, to key battleground areas in Libya in the past months.

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Mass Strike over Pensions Tangles Transport across France

France's vaunted high-speed trains stood still Thursday, schools across the country shut down and the Eiffel Tower warned visitors to stay away as unions held nationwide strikes and protests over the government's plan to overhaul the retirement system.

Paris deployed 6,000 police for what's expected to be a major demonstration through the capital, an outpouring of anger at President Emmanuel Macron for a reform seen as threatening the hard-fought French way of life.

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Man Kills Himself in Latest Suicide Linked to Economic Crisis

In a stark reflection of the deepening economic crisis in Lebanon, a man in his 40s shot himself to death Wednesday with a bird rifle when he became despondent over salary cuts in recent weeks, according to his family.

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Central Bank Slashes Interest Rates amid Crisis

Lebanon's central bank on Wednesday dramatically lowered interest rates on dollar and Lebanese pound deposits and loans -- the latest measure to shore up the country's banking system amid a burgeoning economic crisis.

Banque de Liban also announced that for the next six months it would pay 50% of the interest it owes banks on dollar deposits and deposit certificates in Lebanese pounds -- a move that would also ease the demand on the dollar.

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Hundreds of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Return Home

Hundreds of Syrian refugees have headed home in the first batch to leave Lebanon since protests broke out in the small Arab country more than a month ago.

Since the early hours of Tuesday, scores of Syrians boarded buses in several locations in Lebanon before heading back to their hometowns in war-torn Syria.

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Amnesty Says at Least 208 Killed in Iran Protests, Crackdown

At least 208 people in Iran have been killed amid protests over sharply rising gasoline prices and a subsequent crackdown by security forces, Amnesty International said Monday, as one government official acknowledged telling police to shoot demonstrators.

Iran has yet to release any nationwide statistics over the unrest that gripped the Islamic Republic beginning Nov. 15 with minimum prices for government-subsidized gasoline rising by 50%. Iran's mission to the United Nations disputed Amnesty's findings early Tuesday, though it offered no evidence to support its claim.

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Amnesty: Yemen's Disabled are Neglected, and Suffering

Yemen's civil war has exacted an enormous toll on people with disabilities, who find themselves on the margins of society and excluded from badly needed humanitarian assistance, Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday.

The 50-page report by the London-based global rights group shines a light on the inadequate or nonexistent support for disabled Yemenis — a population "most at risk and most marginalized" in the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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Iran State TV Says 'Rioters' Shot and Killed amid Protests

Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged security forces shot and killed what it described as "rioters" in multiple cities amid recent protests over the spike in government-set gasoline prices — the first time that authorities have offered any sort of accounting for the violence they used to put down the demonstrations.

The acknowledgment came in a television package that criticized international Farsi-language channels for their reporting on the crisis, which began on Nov. 15.

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Protesters Throw Stones at Troops, Injuring Some

The Lebanese army says protesters have hurled stones at soldiers opening a highway south of Beirut, injuring several troops.

The army said in a statement on Tuesday that one of the protesters in the town of Naameh fired bullets from a pistol the night before. It says that made the troops fire in the air to disperse the protesters.

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Trump Administration Quietly Releases Lebanon Military Aid

The Trump administration has quietly released more than $100 million in military assistance to Lebanon after months of unexplained delay that led some U.S. lawmakers to compare it to the aid for Ukraine at the center of the Trump impeachment inquiry.

The $105 million in Foreign Military Financing funds for the Lebanese Army was released just before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and U.S. lawmakers were notified of the step on Monday, according to two congressional staffers and an administration official.

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