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Russia Accuses Turkey of Preparing to Invade Syria

Russia on Thursday accused Turkey of actively preparing to invade Syria, saying it had spotted troops and military equipment on the border with the war-torn country.

"We have serious grounds to suspect Turkey is in intensive preparations for an armed invasion of the territory of a sovereign state -- the Syrian Arab Republic," the defense ministry said in a statement.

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Tunisia Lifts Nationwide Nighttime Curfew

Tunisia said on Thursday it is lifting a nationwide nighttime curfew imposed last month after the worst social unrest witnessed in the country since its 2011 revolution.

"In light of the improvement in the security situation, it was decided that from Thursday... the curfew on all Tunisian territory will be lifted," the interior ministry said in a statement.

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Tens of Thousands Flee as Syria Regime Advances near Aleppo

Tens of thousands of Syrians were reported to have fled their homes on Thursday as regime troops pressed a major Russian-backed offensive around second city Aleppo.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking at a donors conference in London, warned that up to 70,000 people were headed towards his country to escape the fighting.

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Iraq Building Security Wall around Baghdad

Iraq is building a three-meter-high security wall and trench defenses around Baghdad in an effort to thwart jihadist attacks, a security official said on Thursday.

The aim is to prevent the infiltration of "terrorists" and car bombs into the city, Brigadier General Saad Maan said.

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Germany: Syria Regime 'Escalations' Led to Talks Pause

"Military escalations" by the Syrian regime led to the suspension of U.N.-brokered peace talks in Geneva this week but there is still a "glimpse of hope," Germany's foreign minister said Thursday.

After meeting King Salman and other leaders in Saudi Arabia, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the talks broke down "because of the military escalations by the regime".

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Passengers Evacuated from Madrid-Riyadh Flight after Bomb Hoax

Passengers on a flight to Riyadh from Madrid were evacuated Thursday after a note threatening a bomb attack was found inside the plane in what was later confirmed as a hoax.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines flight had been due to take off in the mid-morning from Madrid but the captain requested an evacuation after a note reading "11:30 bomb" was discovered pinned to the interior. The plane was taken to an isolated part of the airport for inspection.

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Two Israelis Jailed for Life, 21 Years for Burning Palestinian Teen Alive

A court sentenced two young Israelis to life and 21 years in prison Thursday for the 2014 burning alive of a Palestinian teenager, a case that has been closely watched at a time of renewed unrest.

The sentencing came amid a wave of Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car-rammings that erupted in October, including an attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday that killed a policewoman.

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World Powers Pledge $10 Billion in Aid for Syria

World leaders pledged over $10 billion (9.0 billion euros) Thursday to help conflict-hit Syrians at a London conference overshadowed by the breakdown of peace talks in Geneva.

The European Union, Germany, Britain and the United States were among the biggest donors to provide food, education and job opportunities for Syrians in their homeland and neighboring countries where they have fled.

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Kerry Demands Russia Halt Syria Bombing after Talks Suspended

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded Thursday that Russia stop bombing the Syrian opposition, implicitly blaming Moscow for the collapse in peace talks.

Speaking in London ahead of a conference on the Syrian humanitarian effort, Kerry said he had called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for a "robust" discussion.

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Two Israeli Arab Teen Girls Stab Bus Station Guard

Two Arab Israeli teenage girls stabbed and lightly wounded a guard at a bus station in central Israeli city Ramle on Thursday before being arrested, police said.

The attack was the latest in a four-month wave of Palestinian violence targeting Israeli civilians and security personnel in the West Bank and Israel.

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