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After Nuclear Deal, Iran Takes Role to End Syria War

Iran's nuclear deal with world powers has bolstered its central role in efforts to end the spiraling Syrian civil war, bringing Tehran back to the world stage, analysts say.

Though the conflict seems trapped in a military mire -- Russia's air campaign on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad being the latest intervention -- Iran is seen as a crucial diplomatic channel.

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Did U.S. Strike on Afghan Clinic Exceed Combat Authority?

The deadly U.S. attack on a hospital in Afghanistan, which U.S. officials have called a "mistake," leaves open the possibility that the decision to open fire exceeded the authority under which American forces have operated since their combat mission ended nearly a year ago, officials say.

U.S. officials have declined to discuss most circumstances of the attack in Kunduz that killed 22 civilians, since American and Afghan investigations are under way.

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In Syria, Russia Chasing Chechens Once Again

While Russian President Vladimir Putin's air campaign in Syria may have other aims, one result seems to be that it is hitting Islamists from Russia's Caucasus, say analysts.

High on the list of places Russia appears to have targeted are positions held by the Al-Nusra Front -- an al-Qaida associate with a high concentration of fighters from Chechnya, Dagestan and Muslim ex-Soviet nations in Central Asia.

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Palestinian Unrest Leaves Netanyahu with Tough Political Choices

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came under pressure Tuesday from right-wing allies in his razor-thin coalition to respond forcefully to Palestinian unrest, but that could risk provoking the violent escalation of an already volatile situation.

The dilemma for Netanyahu, long known as a wily political operator, was made clear Monday night, when several thousand right-wing protesters gathered in front of his residence demanding more security and new settlement construction.

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Russia Carving out a Fortress for Assad, Say Experts

The contours of Russia's strategy in Syria are emerging as it tries to carve out a rebel-free zone for Bashar Assad's regime and shut out Western forces from his air space.

Although the stated aim of Russia's mission was to target the Islamic State (IS) group, most analysts have dismissed these claims as window-dressing for a campaign that primarily seeks to prop up Assad's embattled regime against a much broader group of rebels.

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Is a New Palestinian Intifada at Hand?

A new wave of violence has hit Israel and the Palestinian territories, prompting warnings of the risk of a third intifada similar to uprisings that began in 1987 and 2000.

Here is a series of questions and answers about the situation:

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Syrian Refugees Increasingly Return to War Zones in Homeland

Growing numbers of Syrian refugees are returning to their war-ravaged homeland from Jordan because they can't survive in exile after drastic aid cuts, can't afford to pay smugglers to sneak them into Europe or are simply homesick.

The returns, along with the increasing migration to Europe, signal that conditions in regional host countries have become increasingly intolerable, the refugees and aid officials said.

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Turkey's Erdogan Faces Tough EU Talks on Refugees, Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets EU leaders Monday but they will find it hard to bridge gaps on the migrant crisis and the Syrian war that has produced so many of the refugees they must both deal with, analysts say.

Russian air strikes in Syria have upped the ante in a conflict which has destabilized a region in which Ankara plays a pivotal role, with Turkey taking around two million refugees from Syria.

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If not now, when? America's Endless Gun Control Debate

Since America's latest school carnage the debate on gun control has flared anew, as every time a mass shooting rocks the nation. The arguments are well-rehearsed, the rival positions seemingly irreconcilable.

President Barack Obama has led renewed calls for a comprehensive reform in the wake of the community college shooting in Oregon, but gun control advocates doubt the status quo will shift an inch.

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Three Days of Russian Air Strikes on Syria

A snapshot of developments since Russia's first air strikes on Syria, an intervention the West says is directed more at regime opponents than Islamic State group jihadists.

The Russian defense ministry says Moscow has sent more than 50 military aircraft as well as marines, paratroopers and special forces to Syria.

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