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At Least 27 Killed in South Yemen Fighting

At least 27 people were killed in Yemen on Saturday as fighting raged in two southern towns between rebels and loyalists of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, local officials said.

At least four pro-Hadi fighters and six Huthi rebels were killed in dawn clashes in the town of Daleh, north of the main southern city of Aden, an official said.

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Knife-Wielding Palestinian Shot Dead near Jerusalem

Israeli police shot dead a knife-wielding Palestinian who attempted to stab colleagues at an east Jerusalem checkpoint, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The 17-year-old assailant from the Al-Tur neighbourhood of annexed Arab east Jerusalem managed to get past one checkpoint but was brought down at a second near Al-Zaim without any police casualties, the spokeswoman said.

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U.N. Envoy: 'Stress Test' Will Flush Out Desire for Syria Peace

The United Nations envoy to war-torn Syria said Friday that he will know by the end of June if there is any appetite among the opposing sides to find a peaceful way out of the conflict.

During closed discussions with the 15-member U.N. Security Council, Staffan de Mistura acknowledged that the "odds and conditions for launching a political transition are no better now than six months ago," diplomats at the briefing said.

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Kerry Urges Yemen Rebels and their Allies to Enter Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday on Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen and those who have "influence over them" to come to the negotiating table and end the unrest in the Gulf nation.

"This has to be a two-way street," Kerry told reporters, saying Saudi Arabia was moving to a humanitarian phase of its Yemen campaign and "we need the Huthi and we need those that can influence them to make sure that they are prepared to try to move... to the negotiating table."

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Saleh Urges Huthi Allies to Implement U.N. Decisions, Pull Back

Yemen's influential former president urged his rebel allies Friday to heed U.N. demands to withdraw from territory seized in months of fighting, so Saudi-led air strikes can end and reconciliation begin.

Ali Abdullah Saleh, who still holds sway over army units allied with the Iran-backed Huthi rebels who now control large swathes of the country, had welcomed this month's Security Council resolution as a way to "stop bloodshed" in Yemen.

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Family Confirms Death of Syria's Rustom Ghazaleh

Syria's former political intelligence chief Rustom Ghazaleh has died, after being fired for a quarrel with another regime official in which he was beaten up, a source close to his family said Friday.

Ghazaleh, an ex-stalwart of President Bashar Assad's regime, had been in hospital since the dispute with another intelligence official early in March.

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Angelina Jolie Criticizes U.N. Failures on Syria Crisis

Actress Angelina Jolie on Friday criticized the U.N. Security Council's failure to end the war in Syria, as she appealed for urgent help for the growing ranks of Syrian refugees.

The Hollywood star spoke at the council in her role as special envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which has seen her visit camps hosting victims of the Syrian crisis 11 times.

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Tunisian Fishermen Save 80 Migrants from Sinking Boat

Tunisian fishermen rescued a group of around 80 migrants Friday after their boat got into difficulties while trying to sail from Libya to Europe, the Red Crescent told AFP.

"The flow (of illegal immigrants) does not seem to be stopping," said Mongi Slim, head of the Red Crescent in the southeastern port of Zarzis near the North African country's border with violence-plagued Libya.

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Iraq Lacks DNA Results to Test Body of 'Saddam Deputy'

Iraq's health ministry does not have DNA test results from a close relative of Izzat al-Duri that could determine whether Saddam Hussein's long-fugitive deputy has been killed, a spokesman said Friday.

"The ministry does not have any DNA test (results) for any relative of Duri at the present time," ministry spokesman Dr Ziyad Tareq told AFP.

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Iran Protests over Yemen Aid Flights 'Blocked by Saudi'

Iran summoned the Saudi envoy Friday to protest after his country's warplanes allegedly turned back humanitarian aid flights headed for war-torn Yemen, whose airspace is controlled by a Saudi-led coalition.

Aboard the flights were women and children who had been treated in Iran after being wounded in "terrorist" attacks before the coalition launched its air campaign against Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen last month, state news agency IRNA said.

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