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Sudan's Protests Point to Weaknesses in Bashir's Rule

Sudan's Omar Bashir fended off a march by opponents on his presidential palace in the capital, Khartoum, unleashing his security forces in hopes of putting an end to an Arab Spring-style uprising. But nearly a week of protests has pointed to the weaknesses threatening his 29-year hold on power.

Despite the heavy hand of police, who have reportedly killed at least 37 protesters, Bashir's response has been feeble. He left the capital ahead of Tuesday's march on his palace, and he has been fumbling and vague in addressing the economic crisis that prompted the outburst of anger.

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Pope's Initial Blind Spot on Sex Abuse 'Threatens' Legacy

It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis, whose blind spot on clergy sex abuse conspired with events beyond his control to threaten his legacy and throw the Catholic hierarchy into a credibility crisis not seen in modern times.

The latest development — a high-profile verdict in a far-away country — cements the impression that Francis simply didn't "get it" when he first became pope in 2013 and began leading the church.

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Scuffles, Roads Blocked as Beirut Protesters Denounce Living Conditions

Clashes erupted and several Beirut roads were blocked Sunday as demonstrators took to the streets to denounce the dire social and economic situations in the country.

Carrying Lebanese flags, protesters in downtown Beirut chanted ‘No Sectarianism, We All Want Health Care Cards’ and ‘The People Want to Topple The Regime’.

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Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Stay Put despite Hardships

Rozan Qarqour lives with her husband and six children in a tiny room in an unfinished building, where they share a bathroom with other Syrian refugees. Her husband sells paper cups of cardamom-flavored Arabic coffee on the streets of the southern port city of Sidon to earn a few dollars to buy bread and vegetables.

But despite their dismal life in Lebanon, the family, which fled Syria's central province of Hama six years ago, has no plans to return home. Nor do the 160 other families who live in the Ouzai compound — or most of the other 1.2 million Syrian refugees who live in Lebanon.

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Saudi Prince's Reform: Car Race, Concerts, but No Criticism

Women, some without headscarves, drove themselves to a Formula-E car race where thousands of young Saudis and hundreds of international visitors partied into the night at concerts by Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas and DJ David Guetta.

It's a vision of Saudi Arabia that epitomizes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's top-down reform efforts. The spectacle would have been unthinkable until recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom where religious police used to enforce strict gender segregation, scolded women for not covering their hair and barged into restaurants to demand music be turned off.

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London's Gatwick Flights Operating after 2 Arrested for Using Drone

London's Gatwick Airport is seeking to run a full schedule Saturday after police arrested a man and a woman in connection with the "criminal use of drones."

In a statement, Britain's second-biggest airport said it is operational but urged passengers, tens of thousands of whom have been stranded since the drone incursions began on Wednesday evening, to check the status of their flights.  

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Japan Prosecutors File New Allegation against Nissan's Ghosn

Japanese prosecutors added a new allegation of breach of trust against Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn on Friday, dashing his hopes for posting bail.

Ghosn, along with another former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, was arrested Nov. 19 and charged with underreporting his income by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015. They are also facing the prospect of additional charges that claim the two underreported Ghosn's income for other years by nearly 10 billion ($80 million) in total.

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Mattis Resigning as Pentagon Chief after Clashes with Trump

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Thursday after clashing with President Donald Trump over the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and after two years of deep disagreements over America's role in the world.

Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump's administration, will leave by the end of February after two tumultuous years struggling to soften and moderate the president's hardline and sometimes sharply changing policies. He told Trump in a letter that he was leaving because "you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours."

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US Allies in Syria Rattled by Trump Decision to Withdraw

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria has rattled Washington's Kurdish allies, who are its most reliable partner in Syria and among the most effective ground forces battling the Islamic State group.

Kurds in northern Syria said commanders and fighters met into the night, discussing their response to Wednesday's surprise announcement.

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Trump Pulling Out of Syria. Might Afghanistan Be Next?

Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind?

Trump has said his instinct is to quit Afghanistan as a lost cause, but more recently he's suggested a willingness to stay in search of peace with the Taliban. However, the abruptness with which he turned the page on Syria raises questions about whether combat partners like Iraq and Afghanistan should feel confident that he will not pull the plug on them, too.

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