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Iraq Oil Exports Dip after Jihadist Offensive

Iraq exported 2.42 million barrels of oil per day in June, the month of a jihadist offensive, the oil ministry said, falling far short of a budgeted projection of 3.4 million bpd.

Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said June exports generated revenue of $7.47 billion, or $600 million less than in May, despite higher oil prices.

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Kerry Reaches out to Hamas Allies to Press Truce

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke Thursday to his counterparts in Qatar and Turkey, which support the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as he pressed for a Gaza ceasefire.

Kerry -- who is in Egypt, which has drafted a truce proposal for the Israel-Hamas conflict -- spoke by phone with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, a U.S. official said.

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Turkey Police Hunt Nine Suspects in Wire-Tapping Probe

Turkish authorities were on Wednesday hunting for nine police intelligence officers still on the run after a massive operation against suspected illegal wire-tapping resulted in the arrest of over 100 people.

A total of 105 serving and former top police officers have so far been detained since early morning raids were launched on Tuesday in Istanbul and other cities, including the capital Ankara as well as Izmir and Diyarbakir.

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Turkey Arrests 100 Top Police in Wire-Tapping Probe

Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested scores of senior police officers on suspicion of illegally eavesdropping on top officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A total of 100 serving and former top police officers were arrested as part of two probes, prosecutors said in a statement.

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Two Turkish Soldiers, Six Kurdish Rebels Killed in Syria Border Clash

Two Turkish soldiers and at least six Kurdish rebels were killed in clashes in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border, the Turkish military said Tuesday.

The clashes erupted on Monday after Kurdish rebels attempting to cross from Turkey into Syria started firing at a patrol team in Turkey's Sanliurfa province, the army said in a statement.

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Erdogan Chooses Anti-Israel Diatribes over Gaza Mediation

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sacrificed any possibility of Turkey playing a mediation role in Gaza in favor of seeking to impress voters ahead of presidential polls with the toughest ever anti-Israeli rhetoric from a Turkish leader.

Before the rise to power of Erdogan's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) over a decade ago, NATO member Turkey was Israel's key ally in the Islamic world, a policy enthusiastically cheered by the United States.

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Erdogan: 'I No Longer Talk to Obama'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has stopped talking to U.S. President Barack Obama on the phone, amid growing strains between Ankara and Washington over Syria and the Gaza conflict.

Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar Assad and an open supporter of armed rebel fighters, felt betrayed when the United States backed away from military action against Damascus in September.

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Turkey Arrests over 50 Senior Police Officers in New Swoop

Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested 55 senior police officers in a criminal probe over alleged corruption and abuse of office, the latest apparent crackdown on opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of presidential polls.

Forty serving and former top police officers were arrested in Istanbul, including the former head of the anti-terrorism unit of Istanbul police, Omer Kose, television reports said.

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Malaysia Airlines Plane Diverts from Ukraine to Syria

Malaysia Airlines has defended itself after confirming that it diverted a London to Kuala Lumpur flight over Syrian airspace when its usual route over Ukraine was closed in the wake of Thursday's MH17 crash.

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Reports: Turkey Stops Airing Spy Drama after Threat by IS

Turkey's state television channel stopped broadcasting an ambitious TV drama series about the country's spy agency following warnings from police about a possible jihadist threat, local media reported on Monday. 

TRT stopped airing the "Kizilelma" ("The Red Apple") just three weeks after Turkish national police urged the company to take measures against the threats the drama could pose by drawing the wrath of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, the Milliyet daily reported on its website. 

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