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Iran targets e-commerce giant over photos of female employees without headscarves

Iranian authorities have shut down one of the offices of the country's biggest e-commerce company and launched judicial procedures after it published pictures online showing female employees not wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf, semi-official media reported.

The move appears to be part of a new campaign launched last week to impose the Islamic dress code nearly a year after the morality police largely melted away in the face of widespread protests.

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White House Condemns Deadly Outbreak of Violence in South Sudan

The White House sharply criticized Monday renewed heavy fighting in South Sudan's capital city Juba that has pushed thousands of people to flee.

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms the return to violence in South Sudan. It must stop," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement.

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Obama Welcomes China's Xi with Tough Talk on Rights, Cyber-Theft

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed China's Xi Jinping to the White House on Friday with pointed remarks about human rights, cyber espionage and Beijing's territorial ambitions.

Xi arrived at the White House to a 21-gun salute and full ceremonial military honors, underlining the importance of the state visit, but Obama did not pull any punches.

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Pope Calls for Climate, Migrant Action in Historic U.S. Congress Speech

Pope Francis appealed to U.S. lawmakers Thursday to help the poor, do more for suffering migrants around the world and fight climate change, pressing some of his trademark battles in a historic speech to Congress.

A day after meeting with President Barack Obama and enjoying a rapturous welcome from thousands of people on the streets of Washington, Francis became the first pontiff to address a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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White House Hopeful Carson Under Fire for Muslim Comments

The question has suddenly emerged as a test of U.S. White House hopefuls: can a Muslim be president of the United States?

The Republican contender Ben Carson ignited a storm of controversy at the weekend, by stating that he saw Islam as incompatible with the charge of head of state.

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Obama, Raul Castro Speak ahead of Pope's Visit to U.S., Cuba

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro had a rare phone call Friday ahead of Pope Francis' impending visit to both their nations.

The White House said Obama and Castro commended the pope's role in "advancing relations between our countries." Francis was instrumental in the secret talks that led to a thaw in relations between the Cold War foes, even offering the Vatican as a neutral location for negotiations.

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After Bitter Iran Row, Netanyahu Gets White House Invite

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit the White House in early November, a U.S. spokesman said Friday, the first time he's been invited since a fierce row over the Iranian nuclear deal.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there was an "ongoing effort" to find an exact date for the meeting, but that it would be a chance to deepen cooperation.

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U.S. Intelligence Analysts Revolt over Rosy IS Assessments

More than 50 U.S. intelligence analysts have complained that senior military officials altered reports so as to downplay the strength of Islamic State and al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Daily Beast reported Thursday.

The online news outlet said senior officials at U.S. Central Command changed the reports to bring them into line with the White House's rosier public view that the United States was winning the war against the militant groups.

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White House 'Monitoring' Reports Russian Military is in Syria

The White House on Thursday said it was closely monitoring reports that Russia is carrying out military operations in Syria, warning such actions, if confirmed, would be "destabilizing and counter-productive." 

"We are aware of reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, and we are monitoring those reports quite closely," said spokesman Josh Earnest. 

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Obama Slams 'Completely Unacceptable' Cop Killing

U.S. President Barack Obama vowed Monday to push for police officer safety after a Texas sheriff's deputy was gunned down from behind and shot multiple times at close range.

Darren Goforth, 47, was killed late Friday in the Houston area, and local officials have blamed ramped-up rhetoric against police officers in the United States in protests against perceived police brutality.

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