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In Syria's Sweida, Young Men Take Up Arms to Defend Villages

Maysoun Saab's eyes filled with tears as she recalled finding her parents bleeding to death on the fround outside their home, minutes after they were shot by Islamic State militants on a killing spree across once tranquil villages they infiltrated in a southeastern corner of Syria.

Within an hour, she had lost her mother, father, brother and 34 other members of her extended family. Overall, more than 200 people were killed and 30 hostages abducted in the coordinated July 25 attacks across Sweida province.

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Interpol President Reported Missing after Trip to China

A French judicial official says the president of Interpol has been reported missing after traveling to China.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for an ongoing investigation, said Meng Hongwei's wife reported him missing on Friday.

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As Gaza Worsens, Palestinian Leader Controls Fate of US Plan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been sidelined, isolated and humiliated by the Trump administration. But the embattled Palestinian leader may have the final say in determining the fate of the White House's long-awaited vision for Mideast peace.

In recent weeks, Abbas has thwarted a series of internationally backed initiatives aimed at rehabilitating the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. With Gaza expected to be the centerpiece of the U.S. peace plan, Abbas has given himself a virtual veto over the expected American initiative. The deadlock over Gaza appears to be a key reason behind the repeated delays in unveiling the plan.

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White House Approves Counterterrorism Strategy, Slams Iran, ‘Sponsored Groups’

President Donald Trump's national security adviser on Thursday unveiled the administration's long-awaited counterterrorism strategy, delivering it with harsh words for Iran and “sponsored groups such as Lebanese Hizbullah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic jihad.”

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Human Rights Watch: Lebanon Law Discriminates against Mothers

A prominent rights group has called on Lebanese authorities to amend a nearly 100-year-old law that discriminates against Lebanese women married to foreigners, denying their children citizenship.

Human Rights Watch's deputy Middle East director Lama Fakih said the 1925 law has "caused untold hardship" for thousands of families, such as denying kids and spouses national health insurance, limiting access to jobs and requiring them to apply for residency every 12 to 36 months.

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Assad Says 'Understanding' Reached with Arab States

Syrian President Bashar Assad told a little-known Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria has reached a "major understanding" with Arab states after years of hostility over the country's civil war.

The interview in the Al-Shahed newspaper, published Wednesday, is Assad's first with a Gulf newspaper since the war began in 2011.

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Deaths of Instagram Model, Other Women Shock Iraq

She was a 22-year-old former beauty queen, fashion model and social media star, whose daring outfits revealed tattoos on her arms and shoulder.

Tara Fares won fame and 2.8 million Instagram followers in conservative, Muslim-majority Iraq with outspoken opinions on personal freedom, such as: "I'm not doing anything in the dark like many others; everything I do is in the broad daylight."

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Aid Slowly is Trickling to Indonesian Disaster-Hit Areas

Aid was slowly making its way into areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck a central Indonesian island, with one neighborhood's residents clapping, cheering and high-fiving in their excitement Wednesday at seeing a stopped truck laden with supplies.

"I'm so happy," said Heruwanto, 63, who goes by one name. He was clutching a box of instant noodles. "I really haven't eaten for three days."

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Saudi Gives Yemen $200 Million amid Currency's Slide

Saudi Arabia has given a $200 million cash infusion to Yemen's Central Bank to shore up its reserves after the war-torn country's currency went into freefall over the past few weeks.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency says the "donation" will help "achieve stability of the Yemeni economy and boost the local currency."

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Bassil Takes Ambassadors to 'Missile Sites', Urges World to Prevent Any Attack

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil led dozens of ambassadors and journalists to locations near Beirut's international airport on Monday, including a golf course and a soccer stadium, seeking to dispel Israeli allegations of secret Hizbullah rocket facilities.

In a speech before the U.N. General Assembly last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Lebanese group of setting up rocket factories near the airport and hiding them among civilians, holding up an aerial image of the area with the alleged missile sites labeled.

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