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Yemen President Urges Unity in Visit to Restive North

Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi called Wednesday for unity during a visit to the northern city of Amran, briefly seized by Shiite rebels in clashes with government forces and loyal tribes.

The capture on July 2 of Amran, just 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Sanaa, by Huthi rebels threatened a federalization plan that was agreed in February following national talks as part of a political transition.

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U.N. Rights Chief Condemns Israel and Hamas

Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip could amount to war crimes, U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay said Wednesday while also condemning indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants Hamas.

"There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes," Pillay told an emergency session on Israel's Gaza offensive at the U.N. Human Rights Council, citing attacks that have killed Palestinian civilians, including children.

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Tunisia Faces Dilemma in Anti-Jihadist Campaign

Tunisia has hit back at a deadly jihadist attack on troops by closing mosques and media outlets seen as sympathetic to extremists, raising fears of a return to the censorship of the old regime.

In the wake of a July 16 attack which left 15 soldiers dead in Mount Chaambi near the Algerian border, the authorities have laid down a "red line" against criticism of the army and police.

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Kerry Says Made 'Some Steps Forward' in Ending Gaza Conflict

Washington's top diplomat said global efforts to end 16 days of bloodshed in Gaza were progressing Wednesday as the fighting raged on and airlines suspended flights over rocket fears.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon held talks in Jerusalem, they appeared cautiously optimistic, saying they had pooled their efforts in the hope of boosting the quest for a truce in a conflict that has claimed almost 700 lives in Gaza and 32 in Israel.

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Iraq Air Strikes Claiming Heavy Civilian Toll

Iraqi government air strikes against jihadists, some with the use of barrel bombs, have killed at least 75 civilians since the start of June, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

The New York-based rights group said hundreds of civilians had also been wounded in such strikes since June 6.

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Syria Air Raid Kills 6 Children from Same Family

Six children from the same family were killed in an air strike by government forces on a village in the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing local residents, said three boys and three girls from the Muslim family died in Tuesday's raid on Wahshiyeh.

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Jordan National Carrier Suspends Flights to Tel Aviv

National carrier Royal Jordanian said on Wednesday it has suspended flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion international airport after a Gaza rocket struck near runways.

The announcement by the airline, which operates 20 weekly flights to Tel Aviv, was made in a short statement carried by state-run Petra news agency.

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Alleged Australian Jihadist Supporter Deported, Not Charged

An Australian convert to Islam arrested in the Philippines for allegedly urging people to join "jihad" in Iraq and Syria was deported to his homeland Wednesday, but police said he would not be charged.

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Paris Ramps Up Security Ahead of pro-Gaza Rally

Police in Paris ramped up security ahead of a fresh protest Wednesday days after similar rallies against the Israeli offensive in Gaza descended into violence and looting.

The government, which had banned the prior protests seeking to restrain what it called anti-Semitic radicals, authorized Wednesday's march after its organizers gave "security guarantees", Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

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Jihadists Organize Tours in their Syria, Iraq 'Caliphate'

Known for kidnapping, public stonings, lashings and executions, the Islamic State (IS) is now expanding into tourism, taking jihadists on honeymoon and civilians to visit other parts of its "caliphate".

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