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Vigilance Urged over Threat to American Schools in Mideast

U.S. embassies in the Gulf and Egypt are calling for vigilance after a post on a jihadist website encouraged attacks on American and other international schools there, specifically teachers.

The warnings have been issued by missions in Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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U.N. Chief Dispatches Envoy to Burkina Faso

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday dispatched a special envoy to Burkina Faso to help end a wave of violence engulfing the West African country.

The U.N. special envoy for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will be in Burkina Faso on Friday as part of a joint peace mission with the African Union and the West African grouping ECOWAS.

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FSA Says Has 400 Fighters in Kobane, More to Come

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) already has 400 fighters in Kobane and more are on the way, the commander of a unit there said in a rare public appearance Thursday.

Nizar al-Khatib, who said he was in charge of an FSA unit sent into Kobane, told reporters in Istanbul that a command post had been set up to coordinate activities between his forces and the Kurdish fighters also battling Islamic State (IS) jihadists for the town.

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Al-Azhar Says Israel's Closure of al-Aqsa 'Barbaric'

Sunni Islam's top institution, al-Azhar, said Israel's closure of the al-Aqsa mosque compound in annexed east Jerusalem on Thursday was a "barbaric" act that fueled religious conflict.

Israel said its closure of Islam's third holiest site, which is also holy to Jews, was temporary and aimed at calming tempers after police shot dead a Palestinian accused of trying to kill a Jewish hardliner.

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Cabinet Allocates L.L.30 Billion for Tripoli, Secures Payment of Civil Servants Wages

The government allocated on Thursday 30 billion Lebanese pounds for the northern city of Tripoli, following the violent clashes that took place in the old souks and Bab al-Tabbaneh last week.

“Ministers agreed that some areas of Tripoli and Akkar are suffering from extreme poverty and negligence and that the situation needs to be addressed in a serious manner through a reconstruction plan,” Information Minister Ramzi Jreij announced after a cabinet session at the Grand Serail.

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Turkish Foreign Ministry, Norway Embassy Targeted by 'Suspect Packages'

The Turkish foreign ministry and Norwegian embassy in Ankara on Thursday received suspicious packages, officials said, the latest in a string of such incidents in the country.

Turkey's emergencies management agency AFAD said in a statement that both reported receiving the suspect packages in the morning.

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Amman Accuses Israel of 'State Terrorism' in Jerusalem

Jordan on Thursday accused Israel of "state terrorism" after it closed Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.

Israel said its closure of the shrine, which is also holy to Jews, was temporary and aimed at calming tempers after police shot dead a Palestinian accused of trying to kill a Jewish hardliner.

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Kerry Says Insults against Netanyahu 'Disgraceful, Damaging'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hit out Thursday at reported insults by an American official against the Israeli prime minister, saying it was "disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging."

Kerry also pledged that the United States would continue to work "quietly and effectively" in order to relaunch the peace process with the Palestinians in a thoughtful and even-handed way, saying it was "doable."

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U.S. Calls on Iran to Make 'Tough Decisions' for Nuclear Deal

The world will know in the coming weeks if Iran can make the "tough decisions" needed for a nuclear deal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

As the clock ticks down to a November 24 deadline for an agreement on reining in Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, Kerry vowed that global powers were going to be "very careful, everything will be based on expert advice."

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Mozambique Elects Nyusi as New President

Mozambique has elected Filipe Nyusi of the governing Frelimo party as the next president, the National Electoral Commission said Thursday in announcing final results of polls two weeks ago.

The former defense minister won 57 percent of the vote in the southern African nation -- sharply down on Frelimo's 75 percent victory in the last presidential election in 2009.

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