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Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds

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BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said.

At least 30 police die in clash in Egypt's Western desert: security sources

CAIRO Armed militants killed at least 30 police officers in a shootout during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt's Western desert, security sources said on Friday.

3:42am IST

Turkey to allow muftis to conduct weddings, sparking uproar on left

ANKARA Turkey's parliament approved a law to allow some state-employed religious officials to administer civil marriages, a move opposition parties view as another blow to secularism and women's rights under President Tayyip Erdogan.

20 Oct 2017

Raqqa to be part of "federal Syria", U.S.-backed militia says

BEIRUT Raqqa will be part of a decentralised federal Syria now the city has been freed from Islamic State, the U.S.-backed militias that captured it said on Friday, tying its political future to Kurdish-led autonomy plans for northern Syria.

World, Syria 20 Oct 2017

Eastern Libyan central bank launches its own coins made in Russia

BENGHAZI, Libya Authorities in eastern Libya will circulate their own coins for the first time to ease shortages of money, a central bank official said on Friday, in another sign of disunity in the country that has two rival governments in east and west.

World, Libya 20 Oct 2017

Irish student Ibrahim Halawa freed after 4 years in Egypt jail

CAIRO Egyptian authorities have released high-profile Irish detainee Ibrahim Halawa following his acquittal last month of charges including murder, in a four-year mass trial criticised by human rights groups.

20 Oct 2017

Exclusive: Qatar diplomatic crisis delays sale of Gulf shipping firm, sources say

LONDON/DUBAI Qatar's diplomatic crisis is holding up the sale of a shipping company it part owns, one of the latest signs of an emerging corporate fall-out that Doha is facing after Arab countries cut relations in June, sources familiar with the matter said.

Budget 2017, Business 20 Oct 2017

Iran's Guards flex muscle in Middle East despite Trump warning

BEIRUT A week after U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a blistering speech about Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful military and economic force in the Islamic Republic has shown it has no intention of curbing its activities in the Middle East.

World, Iraq 20 Oct 2017

Pakistan militant group finds likely replacement after U.S. drone kills leader

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Senior militant commander Asad Afridi has emerged as the favourite to become the new leader of a deadly Pakistani Taliban faction, militant sources said on Friday, days after a U.S. drone strike killed the group's chief.

Top News, World, South Asia 20 Oct 2017

Netanyahu lobbies world powers to stem Iraqi Kurd setbacks

JERUSALEM Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to prevent further setbacks to Iraqi Kurds as they lose ground to Baghdad's army, Israeli officials say.

World, Iraq, Israel 20 Oct 2017

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