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Bahrain Rights Activist Bailed ahead of Trial

Bahrain human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja was bailed Thursday pending trial for assaulting police officers, her lawyer said, following a plea from civil society groups from around the world.

Khawaja, a director of the Beirut-based Gulf Center for Human Rights, also has Danish nationality and is a daughter of jailed Shiite opposition idol Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.

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U.S. Targets IS Training Camp in Iraq for First Time

U.S. aircraft have targeted a training camp for Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq, bombing buildings, troops and vehicles in the first such air strike, military officers said Thursday.

"In total, one air strike near an ISIL (Islamic State group) training camp southeast of Mosul destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle, two ISIL-occupied buildings and a large ISIL ground unit," the U.S. Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East, said in a statement.

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Kerry Says Assad Broke Chemical Arms Pact with Chlorine Gas

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of breaking the terms of a global pact on chemical weapons by unleashing chlorine gas this year.

"We believe there is evidence of Assad's use of chlorine, which when you use it -- despite it not being on the list -- it is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention," Kerry told U.S. lawmakers.

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Israeli Arab Rights Group Calls for International Gaza Probe

An Israeli Arab rights group on Thursday called for an international investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes during the latest Gaza conflict, a week after the army dismissed several cases.

The army announced on September 10 it launched five criminal investigations into incidents involving its forces during the 50-day conflict that killed more than 2,140 Palestinians and 73 people on the Israeli side.

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Paris Says Ready to Conduct Air Raids in Iraq, U.S. Lauds Move

President Francois Hollande announced Thursday that France has decided to conduct air strikes in Iraq, where militants from the Islamic State group have terrorized large parts of the population.

France will join the United States in providing what Hollande called "aerial support" for the Iraqi army in fighting jihadists who have taken over nearly half of the violence-ridden country.

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IS Group Posts Video of Captive British Journalist

The Islamic State group released a video Thursday of a British freelance photojournalist, John Cantlie, in which he says he is being held captive.

In the video posted on YouTube, Cantlie, wearing an orange jumpsuit, speaks to the camera in the style of a news report and promises to reveal in a series of programs the "truth" about the jihadist group that has seized parts of Iraq and Syria.

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French Lower House Approves Bill to Crack down on Jihadists

France's lower house National Assembly Thursday approved an "anti-terrorism" bill which will usher in a travel ban on anyone suspected of planning to wage jihad abroad.

The bill comes as authorities are increasingly concerned about the number of French citizens traveling to fight in Iraq and Syria who could potentially come back and stage attacks in their home country.

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Libya MPs Reject Govt. Lineup, Want Crisis Team

Libya's parliament rejected Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani's proposed 18-member cabinet Thursday, calling for a slimline "crisis" team of not more than 10 ministers, a deputy said.

Thani and the internationally-recognized parliament, elected in June, are in virtual domestic exile in the far eastern city of Tobruk because of widespread insecurity, including in the capital, where a rival administration has been set up.

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14 Bahraini Shiites Given Life Terms for Bombing

A Bahrain court on Thursday sentenced 14 Shiites to life in prison after convicting them of attacking police with explosives during an anti-regime protest, a judicial source said.

The Gulf kingdom's prosecution service had accused the group of attempted murder of policemen using petrol bombs and explosives, and taking part in an unauthorized protest.

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Moroccan 'Rancorous' Rapper Freed from Jail

Rapper Mouad Belghawat, a voice of Morocco's February 20 protest movement, was released from jail on Thursday after serving a four-month sentence for assaulting police.

The 26-year-old known as Lhaqed was freed from prison in Casablanca, the country's commercial capital.

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