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US military aims to withdraw from Syria by April
Reuters, Ankara
The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw American forces from Syria by the end of April and a significant portion of them will be out by the middle of March, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing current and former U.S. officials.
A U.S. official confirmed the April target to Reuters, saying the withdrawal included a pull-out from the U.S. military base at Tanf, near the Syrian border with Iraq and Jordan.

Europe not to be trusted: Khamenei
AFP, Tehran
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that Europe "cannot be trusted", a week after the EU launched a trade mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Tehran.
"These days there's talk of the Europeans and their proposals. My advice is that they shouldn't be trusted, just like the Americans," he said at a meeting with air force officials, his website reported."I'm not saying we shouldn't have relations with them. This is about trust," he added.

Avalanches, landslides kill 3 in Kashmir
AP, Srinagar
Heavy snow has caused avalanches and landslides in the Himalayan region of Kashmir that have trapped 11 people and killed three, officials said Friday.
Rescue operations were being hampered for people trapped at a fire brigade station at southern Banihal area overnight, said top police officer S.P. Pani. The victims include six policemen, two firefighters and two prisoners.

Senegal's ex-President calls for election
boycott
AP, Dakar
Senegal's former President Abdoulaye Wade has called for a boycott of the West African nation's Feb. 24 elections, accusing the current president of locking down the vote.Wade returned to Dakar Thursday as hundreds greeted him at the airport, cheering and wearing T-shirts bearing his son's image.

Teen rescued from collapsed Istanbul building
AP, Istanbul
Turkish rescue workers on Friday pulled out a 16-year-old boy from the rubble of an eight-story apartment building in Istanbul two days after it collapsed, Turkey's interior minister said.
The teenager was immediately hospitalized, Suleyman Soylu told reporters at the scene. There was no information on his condition.

New Zealander freed after arrest in Kenya
AP, Garissa
A New Zealander held in police custody for several days on suspicion of links to extremist rebels has been freed by a Kenyan court. Sulub Warfaa, 36, said he was pleased to be released, speaking to journalists outside the court in Garissa, in western Kenya.
Warfaa was arrested for allegedly possessing two passports with different names.
He was detained earlier this week with 10 other people in a sweep on suspected extremists near the Dadaab refugee camp, which houses at least 200,000 Somali refugees.

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N Korea fires more projectiles, rules out talks with South

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