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A Year on, No Quick Fix to Halt IS 'Caliphate'

A year after its establishment, the Islamic State group's self-declared "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq remains well-funded and heavily armed, and experts say it could be around for years to come.

The would-be state headed by IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -- called Caliph Ibrahim by his followers -- has suffered setbacks in the months since it was proclaimed.

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Accidental Conflict is True Danger of Russia-West Clash

Military posturing and increasingly hostile rhetoric between Russia and the West are raising the risk of an accidental slide towards a wider conflict that neither nuclear-armed side wants, experts warn.

Within days of reports that the United States was poised to send heavy military equipment to eastern Europe and the Baltic states, Russia retorted by announcing it planned to add 40 intercontinental nuclear missiles to its arsenal.

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Syria's Raqa: for IS a 'Model City', for Others a Living Hell

It's called Heaven Square, but after the Islamic State group started using the roundabout in Raqa for gruesome public executions it earned a new name: Hell Square.

In the year since the jihadist group announced its "caliphate" last June, its de facto Syrian capital of Raqa has been transformed into a macabre metropolis.

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A Year on, Islamic State 'Caliphate' Infamous for Brutality

In the year since it declared its "caliphate," the Islamic State group has become the world's most infamous jihadist organisation, attracting international franchises and spreading fear with acts of extreme violence.

IS proclaimed its self-described caliphate on June 29, 2014, urging Muslims worldwide to pledge allegiance to its Iraqi leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, renamed Caliph Ibrahim.

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Long, Hard Road for Nepal's Disabled Quake Survivors

Eight hours after Bim Bahadur Gurung started walking along a mountain path, carrying his severely injured daughter on his back and hoping to find a hospital, a second earthquake struck already-devastated Nepal.

As the rocks tumbled and the earth shook, Gurung never thought of stopping, desperate to see 10-year-old Maya receive a prosthetic replacement for her leg, crushed when their house collapsed in the first quake.

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Bangladesh's Rohingya Relocation Plan Raises Concerns

The remote Bangladeshi island of Thengar Char disappears completely under several feet of water at high tide, and has no roads or flood defenses.

But that hasn't stopped the government from proposing to relocate thousands of Rohingya refugees living in camps in the southeastern district of Cox's Bazar which borders Myanmar to its marshy shores.

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Geneva Peace Talks Look to Break Yemen Deadlock

Yemen's warring factions will meet for U.N.-sponsored talks in Geneva from Sunday in their first bid to break a deadlock after more than two months of Saudi-led air strikes.

Fourteen Yemeni representatives -- seven from each side of the conflict pitting Iran-backed rebels against the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and its allies -- will take part in the talks in the Swiss city, expected to last two to three days.

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Armenians, Yazidi, Roma in Turkey's Diverse New Parliament

The new Turkish parliament will show greater diversity than before, with three Armenians elected from three different parties and also representatives from other minority ethnic or religious backgrounds.

Their presence is a hugely important step in Turkey, where non-Muslim minorities have long complained their voice has not been heard.

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Israelis, Palestinians Would Gain Billions from Peace

Israelis and Palestinians would gain billions of dollars from making peace with each other while both would face daunting economic losses in case of other alternatives, particularly in case of a return to violence, according to a new study released on Monday.

The RAND Corp., a U.S.-based nonprofit research organization, interviewed some 200 officials from the region and elsewhere during more than two years of research into the costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its main finding was that following a peace agreement, Israelis stood to gain $120 billion over the course of a decade. The Palestinians would gain $50 billion, marking a 36-percent rise in their average per-capita income, the report said.

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The Islamic State: A Year of Death and Destruction

The Islamic State jihadist group launched a sweeping offensive a year ago that overran large chunks of Iraqi territory, led to thousands of deaths and displaced millions of people.

These are some key events in the conflict:

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