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Turkish threats leave Syria Kurds in fear for symbolic city

In the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane, gripped by fear of a Turkish offensive, Saleh Abdo Khalil passes an open-air "museum" of buildings reduced to rubble.

"Daesh destroyed these buildings," the local baker said, using an acronym for Islamic State (IS) group jihadists who previously terrorized this region.

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Egypt announces freedom, mass pardon for 30 jailed activists

Egypt announced late Thursday the release of 30 political activists from jail, the latest in a series of mass releases from detention amid intensifying international scrutiny over the country's human rights record.

There was no immediate word on the identities of the activists and it was not immediately possible to confirm how many of them have already been freed.

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Far-right Ben-Gvir to be Israel's national security minister

Extremist politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has a long record of anti-Arab rhetoric and stunts, will become Israel's next minister of national security, according to the first of what are expected to be several coalition deals struck by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

Likud announced the agreement with Ben-Gvir's Jewish Power party on Friday.

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How could allies help Netanyahu beat charges?

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to return to office, from where he could try to make his yearslong legal troubles disappear through new legislation advanced by his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies. Critics say such a legal crusade is an assault on Israel's democracy.

Netanyahu, 73, who is on trial for corruption, will likely be buoyed by a loyal and comfortable governing majority that could grant him a lifeline from conviction.

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Empty streets, cranes: the city built for Qatar's World Cup

Less than a month before it is set to host the World Cup final, Lusail City is oddly quiet.

Wide empty streets, idle lobbies and construction cranes are everywhere in the sleek district 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Doha, built to accommodate World Cup fans and hundreds of thousands of host nation Qatar's residents.

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict catches up with Qatar World Cup

It was uncharted territory for the Israeli journalist. Wandering through the rustic outdoor marketplace in Doha before the start of the World Cup, he zeroed in on a Qatari man in his traditional headdress and white flowing robe and asked for an interview.

"Which channel?" the Qatari asked. The journalist replied he was from Kan, Israel's public broadcaster.

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Saudi storm closes schools, cuts main road to Mecca

Heavy rains in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on Thursday delayed flights, forced school suspensions and closed the road to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, state media reported. 

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Turkey strike in north Syria endangered US troops

A deadly Turkish drone strike against a base used jointly by Kurdish and American forces in northeast Syria did put U.S. troops in danger after all, Central Command said Wednesday.

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Palestinians return body of Israeli teen killed in West Bank

The body of an Israeli teenager snatched by Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank was returned to his relatives Thursday, following intense talks to avoid an escalation of violence. 

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'Our joy is one': Saudi World Cup win sparks rare Arab unity

Saudi Arabia's unexpected World Cup victory over giants Argentina triggered a rare moment of joint celebration across the fractured Arab world including among Qataris -- less than two years after a seething regional dispute.

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