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Saudi Crown Prince to Visit China

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit China next week, Beijing's foreign ministry said on Friday, as part of a swing through Asia in which the monarch is expected to sign an investment package with cash-strapped Pakistan.

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Dubai Airport Briefly Halts Flights over Drone Sighting

Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest airport for international travel, has briefly halted flights over an alleged drone sighting.

The airport says it halted flights from 10:13 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Friday over "suspected drone activity." It says flights were later resumed.

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In Tense West Bank City, Palestinians Try to Fill a Void

Palestinian activists are trying to fill the void following Israel's expulsion of an international observer force from a volatile West Bank city by launching their own patrols to document alleged Israeli settler violence.

The activists in Hebron don blue vests and are armed with video cameras.

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Turkey Media Publish Image of 'Local Collaborator' in Khashoggi Killing

Turkish media on Thursday published images of a so-called "local collaborator" who allegedly helped the Saudi hit squad dispose of the body of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, citing Istanbul police.

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UK Teen Runaway who Joined IS 'Wants to Come Home'

An unrepentant British teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria said in an interview Thursday that she wanted to come home, highlighting the challenge for Western governments on how to deal with returning jihadist supporters.

Shamima Begum, who ran away from London with two school friends in 2015, spoke to The Times newspaper from a refugee camp in eastern Syria after fleeing the collapse of the IS group's "caliphate".

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Egypt Parliament Votes to Extend Sisi Presidency

Egypt's parliament on Thursday gave preliminary approval to constitutional changes that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power after his second term ends in 2022.

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Putin: Russia, Turkey, Iran See U.S. Pullout from Syria as 'Positive Step'

Moscow, Ankara and Tehran see the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria as a positive step, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after a summit with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts on Thursday.

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Palestinians Say Warsaw Meet 'Normalises' Israeli Occupation

A Warsaw conference jointly organised by US President Donald Trump's administration lacks credibility as it aims to "normalise" the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, a Palestinian official said in remarks published Thursday.

"By fully siding with the Israeli government, (the Americans) have tried to normalise the Israeli occupation and the systematic denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination," Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, wrote in a column published by Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

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Situation in War-Torn Yemen Worsening, UN Says

The situation in war-torn Yemen, already facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, is getting even worse, the United Nations warned on Thursday.

Since 2014, the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has been battling the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels in a conflict that has pushed the country to the brink of famine and economic collapse.

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U.S.-Backed Syrian Forces Clearing IS Remnants from Villages

U.S.-backed Syrian forces were clearing two villages in eastern Syria on Thursday of remaining Islamic State militants who are hiding among the local population, and detaining others attempting to flee with the civilians, the U.S.-led coalition said.

The coalition said the clearance operations were taking place in the villages of Shajalah and Baghouz, near the border with Iraq.

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