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Moroccan Men Jailed 4 Months for Kissing in Public

Two Moroccan men were jailed for four months Friday for kissing in public, after a string of recent controversies over homosexuality in the conservative Muslim kingdom, said NGO officials who attended the trial.

The men, Lahcen, 38, and Mohsine, 25, were convicted of an "affront to public decency" and of an "unnatural act with a person of the same sex," and also fined 500 dirhams ($52/46 euros), the sources said.

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Morocco Arrests 57 in Cash-for-Answers Exam Scandal

Dozens of people have been arrested in Morocco for selling answers to high school leaving exams in a racket that even saw two pages of answers posted on Facebook, authorities said Saturday.

The General Directorate of National Security said 57 people were arrested in 15 towns across the kingdom in a cash-for-answers scandal that saw other test responses sent to students via SMS. 

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Morocco Dismantles IS-Linked 'Terrorist' Cell

Morocco on Thursday dismantled a seven-member "terrorist" cell linked to the Islamic State group that was planning to abduct and murder tourists, the interior ministry said.

The suspects, whose identities were not revealed, had "pledged allegiance" to the jihadist IS group, the ministry said in a statement carried by the MAP news agency.

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Warring Libya Factions in 'Decisive' U.N. Talks

Libya's warring factions meet for a new round of "decisive" talks Monday as the U.N. scrambles for a peace deal before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan next week.

Amid warnings the oil producer is on the verge of collapsing into a failed state, United Nations envoy Bernardino Leon is pushing for an agreement before the June 17 start of Ramadan.

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Morocco Jails Three for Homosexuality

Three Moroccan men accused of homosexuality have been sentenced to three years in jail each by a court in northeastern Morocco, a rights group said on Monday.

Homosexuality and sexual relations outside marriage are forbidden in the conservative North African nation. 

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Boat Migrant Arrest over Tunisia Attack Sparks Italy Row

Italy said Wednesday it had arrested a Moroccan illegal immigrant suspected of involvement in a deadly attack on a Tunis museum, fueling a row over the threat of jihadists arriving in Europe by boat.

Authorities in Tunisia have arrested nearly two dozen suspects in connection with the March attack in which 21 tourists died, but Abdel Majid Touil, 22, was thought to be the first to be detained abroad.

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Body of Moroccan Pilot Found, Returned Home from Yemen

A Moroccan pilot missing since his plane crashed during a mission over Yemen has been found dead and his body returned home on Tuesday, Saudi official media reported.

First Lieutenant Yassine Bahti, 26, is the first airman to die since a Saudi-led coalition began bombing Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen on March 26.

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Morocco King Eases Restrictions on Abortion for Incest, Rape

Moroccan King Mohammed VI has ordered that laws restricting abortion be loosened, allowing it in the case of rape, incest, danger to the mother's health or fetal malformation.

Debate erupted in this North African kingdom earlier this year over reforming the penal code, which banned abortion except in cases of a threat to the mother's life. The king had his justice minister, religious affairs minister and the head of the state human rights organization study the issue.

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Morocco 'Hopeful' over Pilot Missing in Yemen

Morocco said it was hopeful of finding its pilot alive after his F-16 crashed during a sortie for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, with the armed forces saying there was no evidence of his death.

Huthi rebels claimed they shot down the fighter at the weekend but the coalition denied rebel fire was responsible, saying the crash was due to a technical problem or human error.

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Fault or Human Error Downed Moroccan Jet, Says Coalition

A technical fault or human error caused the crash of a Moroccan warplane in Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition said on Tuesday, denying rebel fire was responsible.

Yemen's Shiite Huthi rebels said on Monday that they shot down a coalition warplane at the weekend, shortly after Morocco reported one of its fighters missing on a sortie.

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