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Egypt Central Bank: Pound slips to new low against dollar

The Egyptian pound has dipped to a new low of just over 30 for $1, as the cash-strapped North African country continues to battle surging inflation and foreign currency shortages, authorities said.

The landmark slide in Egypt's Central Bank selling rate is the latest in a series of tumbles following the country's $3 billion International Monetary Fund bail-out package ratified in mid-December. The IMF deal was agreed upon in exchange for Egypt implementing a number of economic reforms, including a shift to a flexible exchange rate. The deal allows for a further $14 billion in possible financing for Egypt.

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Three Al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strike

Three alleged Al-Qaeda militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in northeastern Yemen on Monday, local government officials said.

The attack was carried out on a car in Marib province, the scene of heavy fighting in 2021 in Yemen's long-running civil war, the officials said.

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Bomb hits bus transporting police in south Syria wounding 15

A roadside bomb targeting a bus transporting Syrian police in the country's south has wounded 15 of the officers, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said in a terse statement that the officers were returning to the capital Damascus from the southern province of Daraa. The bomb exploded on the north-south highway near the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh.

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Blinken meets Palestinian leaders in bid to restore calm

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to meet Palestinian leaders Tuesday for his final stop on a Middle East tour aimed at curbing the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years. 

After a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Blinken urged both sides to take "urgent steps" to calm tensions and said Washington would work to "restore a sense of security" craved by "Israelis and Palestinians alike".

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Blinken in Israel to calm flaring conflict with Palestinians

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Tel Aviv on Monday ahead of talks urging a deescalation in violence that has flared in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Washington's top diplomat arrived in Israel on the second leg of his Middle East tour, after meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the country's foreign minister in Cairo.

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Blinken meets al-Sisi as Israel-Palestinian violence flares

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken kicked off a Middle East trip in Cairo on Monday focused on urging calm amid an escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Washington's top diplomat met Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and was later set to travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories to urge steps "to de-escalate tensions", the State Department has said.

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Israeli troops kill Palestinian driver as car speeds off

Israeli troops killed a Palestinian driver in the occupied West Bank Monday, officials on both sides said, with the army saying the car had hit a soldier's leg before speeding off.

Nassim Naif Salman Abu Fouda, 26, died from "a bullet wound to the head fired by the occupation (Israeli) soldiers in Hebron this morning," the Palestinian health ministry said.

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Israeli-Palestinian cauldron tests US as Blinken visits

An alarming spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence and sharp responses by both sides are testing the Biden administration as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken plunges into a cauldron of deepening mistrust and anger on visits to Israel and the West Bank this week.

What had already been expected to be a trip fraught with tension over differences between the administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new far-right government has grown significantly more complicated over the past four days with a spate of deadly incidents. Blinken's high-wire diplomatic act begins on Monday after he completes a brief visit to Egypt that has been almost entirely overshadowed by the deteriorating security situation in Israel and the West Bank.

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Macron calls for restraint after Israel-Palestinian violence

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for restraint after the latest flare-up in violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

In a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron "recalled the need for all to avoid measures likely to feed the spiral of violence", said his office.

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10 dead in drone strikes on pro-Iran groups in Syria

A total of 10 people were killed in a series of drone strikes targeting pro-Iran factions in eastern Syria, including three dead in strikes on Monday, a war monitor said. 

A pro-Iranian commander was among the three killed in the drone strikes Monday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that they had been inspecting the site of strikes that had killed seven others the previous evening.

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