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Report: Detained Abdullah Azzam Militant was Involved in Shatah's Assassination

A senior militant recently detained by the Lebanese army was involved in the assassination of Minister Mohammed Shatah, the transfer of suicide bombers who killed dozens of people, in addition to several other terror offenses, media reports said on Thursday.

“Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Abbas was arrested in (the Bekaa town of) Majdal Anjar before being immediately transferred to the defense ministry building,” al-Mayadeen television reported.

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Govt. Admits Negotiations 'Tough' as Masri Says Met with 9 IS-Held Captives

The government admitted Thursday that the negotiations to release the captive servicemen are “tough” and “moving slowly,” as Lebanese cleric Sheikh Wissam al-Masri announced that he met the captors who belong to the Islamic State group in the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal.

“The crisis cell will continue its efforts to secure the release of the servicemen although the negotiations are tough and moving slowly,” Information Minister Ramzi Jreij announced after a cabinet session at the Grand Serail.

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U.N. General Assembly Wants to Refer North Korea to ICC

The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday called for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court over its dismal rights record, in a landmark resolution adopted by a strong majority.

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U.N. Will Take Time to Decide on Palestinian Resolution

Negotiations on a draft U.N. resolution that sets terms for a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will take time, Jordan said Thursday, indicating that a Security Council vote was not imminent.

Jordan presented the measure on Wednesday to the U.N. Security Council on behalf of the Palestinians, who said they were open to negotiations on the text.

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Spain Holds Four Accused of Recruiting Women Islamist Militants

A judge in Spain on Thursday remanded in custody four suspects for allegedly recruiting women online for the Islamic State jihadist group, a judicial source said.

A fifth suspect, a minor, was in detention in a juvenile center pending further proceedings, the source told AFP.

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Turkey Media Bosses to Be Charged with 'Terror Group Membership'

Two anti-government Turkish media chiefs arrested during controversial weekend raids that have strained ties with the European Union are to be charged with membership of a terrorist group, reports said Thursday.

Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily newspaper and Hidayet Karaca, the head of Samanyolu TV (STV), were being interrogated by Istanbul judges to decide whether to remand them in custody ahead of trial.

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Iraq Jihadists Behead Man on Sorcery Charges

The Islamic State group on Thursday beheaded a man publicly on charges that he was a "sorcerer", north of their bastion of Tikrit, the jihadist organization and residents said.

The group released pictures of the execution on a square in Nahyat al-Alam, a town a few kilometers north of Tikrit.

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If Sanctions Failed on Cuba, why Should they Work against Russia?

The irony is striking: just as the United States prepares to double down on sanctions against Russia, it has admitted that 50 years of sanctions against Cuba have been a failure.

"We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests," said President Barack Obama on Wednesday as he drew the curtain on what one expert calls the "most drawn-out foreign policy mistake in U.S. history".

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Warning on Funds, U.N. Doubles Estimate of Destroyed Gaza Homes

The U.N. warned Thursday it was running out of funds to house families in Gaza, as it doubled its estimate of the number of homes damaged or destroyed in this summer's war with Israel.

"Unless the situation changes urgently, we will run out of funds in January, meaning we will not be able to provide rental subsidies to many affected families nor provide the support required to carry out repairs," said Robert Turner, the operations director for the UNRWA Palestinian refugee agency.

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Obama Acts Boldly on Cuba, with Eye on Legacy

While campaigning in 2008, Barack Obama said it was time to come up with a new U.S. policy towards Cuba. Now, with two years left in his second term in the White House, he has finally acted.

The president has broken with a half century of seeking to isolate Cuba by announcing plans to restore diplomatic relations with the communist-run island after a year and a half of secret negotiations.

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