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Saudi-Iran Crisis a Rebuke for U.S. Policy

Washington's single-minded pursuit of the Iran nuclear deal damaged its alliance with Saudi Arabia, experts say, and fed the escalating crisis in the Gulf.

The United States failed to manage its traditional Sunni Arab allies in the region while it reached out to mend ties with their bitter Shiite foes in Tehran.

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Saudi Asserts Itself with Execution but Risks Escalation

Saudi Arabia's execution of a leading Shiite cleric reflects an assertive but risky new approach that threatens to escalate its proxy wars with arch-rival Iran in Syria and Yemen, experts said Sunday.

Hours after the Sunni-ruled kingdom announced Saturday's execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a driving force behind anti-government protests in 2011, angry demonstrators set fire to its embassy in Shiite-dominated Iran.

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Boko Haram Threat Hangs Heavy over Nigeria in 2016

As Nigeria rings in 2016, the ever-present threat of violence by Boko Haram hangs heavy over Africa's most populous country, despite official claims that the battle against the Islamist group has been "technically" won.

After setting a December 31 deadline to rid his country of Boko Haram, President Muhammadu Buhari told the BBC: "I think technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighborhoods."

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In Israel, Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' an Enduring Taboo

The controversy over the upcoming re-publication of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in Germany is having particular resonance in Israel, where memories of the Holocaust run deep and the book remains taboo.

Hitler's anti-Semitic rant, which he wrote from prison in the early 1920s, loses its copyright in Germany on Friday, and the country's first release of it since 1945 is due out soon in the form of an extensively annotated version.

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U.S.-Led Strikes in Syria, Iraq Hit IS 'Middle-Management'

U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State group officials in Iraq and Syria are robbing the jihadists of one of their most valuable resources: experienced mid-level commanders.

Ten of the group's higher-ups, including one with "direct" ties to the alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks, were killed in air strikes in December alone, the U.S. military said.

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Hollande under Fire over Call to Strip Citizenship from Terror Convicts

President Francois Hollande's call for convicted terrorists to lose their French citizenship if they have a second nationality has triggered uproar among those who see him adopting right-wing ideas that recall dark moments in France's history.

Ever since the French Revolution in the late 1700s, "le droit du sol" ("the right of the soil") has been a fundamental principle, giving everyone born in the country the right to citizenship.

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Central Africa: from 2013 Coup to Key Poll

Here is a snapshot of events since a March 2013 coup in Central African Republic, which holds presidential and parliamentary elections Wednesday.

- March 2013: The fall of Bozize -

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Back-to-Back Losses in Iraq and Syria Deal Blow to IS

The Islamic State group's self-proclaimed "caliphate" is far from dead but back-to-back losses in Syria and Iraq have turned a series of setbacks for the jihadists into a losing streak.

IS's seizure of Ramadi in Iraq in May along with Palmyra in Syria sent the alarming signal that it could still expand a year after seizing swathes of the two countries.

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IS Gains and Losses in Iraq and Syria

Following the Iraqi forces' victory in Ramadi, here is a recap of key cities and towns in Iraq and Syria seized by the Islamic State group or recaptured from them.

- IRAQ -RAMADI: This Sunni Arab city 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad is the capital of Anbar, the country's largest province, which stretches from the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to just west of the capital.

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Merkel Takes Center Stage in EU's Year of Crises

In a year of crises for Europe, from the Ukraine war to Greece's debt turmoil to the historic refugee influx, Germany's Angela Merkel emerged as the continent's de facto leader, drawing more praise and fire than ever.

Whether spearheading EU diplomacy with Moscow, bargaining with Athens over tough bail-out terms or responding to the world's biggest refugee wave since World War II -- Merkel was in the middle, again and again.

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