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EU-Russia Ties at New Low ahead of Ukraine Talks

Ties between the EU and Russia remain at their lowest ebb over the conflict in Ukraine, ahead of a series of key talks including a visit by President Petro Poroshenko to Brussels on Thursday.

Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Moscow rebels and Kiev's government forces has made a mockery of a February ceasefire, while the European Union has renewed tough sanctions against Russia.

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Forty Terrifying Minutes on the 15:17 from Amsterdam

He watches one last YouTube video of an Islamist preacher, then alone in the bathroom of a high-speed train he removes his shirt and grabs his assault rifle.

Ayoub El Khazzani is ready to commit a massacre, according to an account of the 40 terrifying minutes on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris last week pieced together by French prosecutors and witness statements.

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Libya in Tatters after Bloody Year of Rival Governments

Torn apart by a year of fighting between two rival governments, Libya is now in tatters with hopes sparked by the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi having fizzled out.

"The situation is more perilous than at any time since the fall of the Gadhafi regime in 2011," said Patrick Skinner, analyst with the Soufan Group intelligence consultancy based in New York.

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Saudis Turn a Blind Eye as Qaida Gains Ground in Yemen

Al-Qaida has gained more ground amidst the chaos in Yemen -- this time in second city Aden -- but for now Saudi Arabia is turning a blind eye to its longtime enemy, experts say.

Supported by a Saudi-led military coalition, forces loyal to Yemen's exiled government retook Aden last month from Iran-backed Huthi rebels who have seized large parts of the country including the capital Sanaa.

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Top Shiite Cleric Plays Major Role in Iraq Reform Drive

As Iraq attempts to curb rampant corruption and streamline the government, the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is playing a crucial role supporting the reform drive.

Sistani, who is revered by millions and has unmatched prestige in Iraq, issued multiple calls for change this month, kickstarting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reform efforts and making it politically risky for Shiite politicians to openly oppose them.

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Republican Barbs Raise Nuclear Deal Doubts in Iran

Fierce criticism of the Iran nuclear agreement by Republicans seeking the U.S. presidency has raised a big question in Tehran -- will future American leaders keep their side of the bargain?

Despite tension and continuing mutual mistrust, Iran's government and President Barack Obama's White House are partners in the same fight, telling their domestic audiences that the July 14 deal is as good as it gets.

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Arbil: The Departure Terminal for Iraq's Exodus

Iraq's gateway to Europe, the northern city of Arbil, is the first bottleneck on a long and uncertain journey for a growing number of Iraqis choosing exile.

"We're selling a lot of one-way tickets these days. More than ever. People are desperate," said Emre Shawkat, who runs a tourism transport business in Arbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

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Analysts: Turkey's Risky Offensive Can Weaken but Won't Destroy PKK

Turkey's almost month-long campaign of air strikes against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Turkish southeast and northern Iraq will weaken but cannot destroy the Kurdish militant group, analysts say.

With some 50 Turkish soldiers killed in attacks blamed on the PKK over the last month, the campaign also risks creating an uncontrolled escalation that could wreck the chances of agreeing a final settlement to end the PKK's over 30-year insurgency. 

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Sweden's Far-Right Posts Record Score as Migration Soars

As immigration to Sweden soars, the far-right Sweden Democrats have topped an opinion poll for the first time, illustrating growing hostility to refugees and beggars in a country known for its open-arms policy.

With a cradle-to-grave welfare state, a reputation for tolerance, a healthy economy, and a job market, Sweden is a favored destination for the record number of migrants fleeing conflicts, authoritarian regimes and poverty worldwide.

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Obama to Take Last Shot at Closing Gitmo

After embarrassing false starts, Barack Obama is making a final push to close Guantanamo prison, but to fulfill that glaringly incomplete campaign promise he faces unpalatable compromises and internal resistance.

When Congress returns from recess in September, Obama's top counterterror advisor Lisa Monaco and Defense Secretary Ash Carter will submit a fresh plan to shutter the infamous 13-year-old facility. 

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