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Amazon Hires Former White House Spokesman Carney

Former White House spokesman Jay Carney has taken a new public relations job with online retail giant Amazon, the company said on Thursday.

A company official told Agence France-Presse that Carney, 49, has been hired as a senior vice president to head Amazon's newly-created Global Corporate Affairs department, which will include the company's existing public relations and public policy teams.

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Pakistani Minister: Afghan-Pakistan Ties 'Never Better'

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have never been better, a top Pakistani minister said Thursday, adding there had also been "a quantum leap in trust" between Islamabad and Washington.

"I think Afghanistan and Pakistan, working in close hands and in close cooperation, it will do wonders for the cooperation in the field of counterterrorism," Pakistani Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said as he met with top U.S. diplomat John Kerry.

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Obama: Notion West is at War with Islam an 'Ugly Lie'

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday called on Middle Eastern leaders to stand up to "violent extremism" and stop proxy wars that fuel the rise of terror groups.

"The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie," he told the final day of a conference on combating extremism. "And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it."

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Pentagon Chief Opts for Civilian as Press Secretary

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, in one of his first decisions since taking office, plans to replace the military officer who serves as the Pentagon press spokesman with a civilian, officials said Wednesday.

Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters he would be stepping down and defense officials said he would be succeeded by a civilian, amid concerns that a member of the military should not be embroiled in potentially politically charged questions.

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Obama Names New U.S. Secret Service Head after Scandals

President Barack Obama on Wednesday named acting director Joseph Clancy as the permanent head of the U.S. Secret Service, ignoring calls for an outsider to be appointed following a string of White House breeches.

A 27-year veteran of the agency, Clancy is a former head of the presidential protection detail, responsible for safeguarding Obama and his predecessors.

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Fury in Egypt as IS 'Beheads 21 Christians' in Libya

Egypt's leader vowed to punish the "murderers" responsible for the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians after the Islamic State group in Libya released a video on Sunday purportedly showing the mass killing.

A visibly angry President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Egypt "reserves the right to respond in a suitable way and time" in a televised speech, and declared seven days of mourning after the video was distributed by jihadists on social media.

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Obama, Family Confirm Death of IS Hostage Kayla Mueller

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday confirmed the death of Kayla Jean Mueller, who was taken hostage in Syria by the Islamic State group, and vowed to track down her captors.

"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death," he said in a statement.

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Report: U.S. Mulling Israeli Invitation to Terror Conference after Lebanon's Boycott

The United States is reportedly reconsidering a decision to invite Israel to a conference expected to be held in Washington next week after Lebanon decided to boycott it over claims that it cannot take part in a meeting to confront terrorism with the Jewish state's participation.

According to As Safir newspaper published on Monday, Lebanon's decision created a fuss among European countries that began wondering about the matter, which caused Washington to hesitate in its invitation.

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Lebanon Boycotts Washington Terrorism Conference over Israeli Participation

Washington received an official apology from Lebanon on its participation in the “White House conference on efforts to counter violent extremism,” because it cannot be a “partner with Israel in confronting terrorism,” media reports said.

More than 60 countries, including 14 Arab nations and Israel, are expected to take part in the summit slated on February 18 at the White House and presided by U.S. President Barack Obama.

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China Opposes Dalai Lama Meeting Foreign Leaders 'in Any Form'

China said Monday it opposed foreign leaders meeting the Dalai Lama "in any form", ahead of a public appearance by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama will attend the National Prayer Breakfast with the Dalai Lama in Washington on Thursday, the White House previously said.

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