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Airstrikes on Iran-backed groups in Syria kill 18
AP, Beirut
Unknown warplanes targeted overnight an arms depot and posts of Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border, killing at least 18 fighters, Syrian opposition activists said Monday.
The strikes come amid rising tensions in the Middle East and the crisis between Iran and the U.S. in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Poles who saved Jews during Holocaust honoured
AP, Warsaw
A U.S.-based Jewish foundation honored Polish gentiles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, a number that grows smaller each year, with U.S. and Israeli diplomats also paying their respects at the event Sunday in Warsaw to the elderly Poles who put their lives in danger to save others.
Those still living today, 80 years after the start of World War II, were children or young adults during the war, and in most cases helped their parents in the dangerous job of hiding and feeding Jews. During the German occupation, those caught aiding Jews were punished with the execution of entire families.

Israeli drone shot down over South Lebanon
AP, Beirut
The Lebanese militant Hezbollah group said it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon early Monday, shortly after it crossed from Israel amid rising tensions along the border between the two countries in recent weeks.
A Hezbollah statement said the drone was downed with "suitable weapons" over the village of Ramieh and that the militants now have it. The statement did not elaborate further.

Egyptian FM in Sudan to begin 'new' ties
AFP, Khartoum
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Khartoum Monday, officials said, to begin what Cairo hailed as a "new start" in relations as Sudan embarks on a transition to civilian rule. Egypt was a steadfast ally of Sudanese military generals who seized power after the army ousted long-time leader Omar al-Bashir in April following months of nationwide protests against his autocratic rule.

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Taliban aim to sign deal with US by end of month

Taliban aim to sign deal with US by end of month

AFP, Kabul :The Taliban are aiming to reach a withdrawal agreement with the US by the end of January and are prepared to "scale down" military operations ahead of signing

Pakistan court jails dozens of Islamists over Asia Bibi protests

Pakistan court jails dozens of Islamists over Asia Bibi protests

AFP, Islamabad :A Pakistani court has sentenced more than 80 Islamists to 55 years in prison each after protests linked to the 2018 acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman

World's shortest man, who measured 67.08 cm, dies in Nepal

World's shortest man, who measured 67.08 cm, dies in Nepal

AFP, Kathmandu :The world's shortest man who could walk, as verified by Guinness World Records, died Friday at a hospital in Nepal, his family said.Khagendra Thapa Magar, who measured  67.08

UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer

UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer

AP, London :The British government has announced plans for special events on the night of Jan. 31 when the country officially leaves the European Union but the country's treasury chief

Experts warn over scale of China virus as US airports start screening

Experts warn over scale of China virus as US airports start screening

AFP, Hong Kong :The true scale of the outbreak of a mysterious SARS-like virus in China is likely far bigger than officially reported, scientists have warned, as countries ramp up

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Louisiana, Alaskan tribes file UN climate change complaintAP, Baton RougeFour coastal Louisiana tribes and one in Alaska that say the U.S. government violated their human rights by failing to take

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait less than week after election

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait less than week after election

Reuters, Taipei :A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the island's defense ministry said, less than a week after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election by

Facebook misleading people, its behaviour shameful: Pelosi

Facebook misleading people, its behaviour shameful: Pelosi

Agencies, Washington : In a rare rebuke of Facebook, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the social networking platform of misleading the American people and "schmoozing" US President

Japanese suicides decline to lowest in over 40 years

Japanese suicides decline to lowest in over 40 years

Reuters, Tokyo :Suicides in Japan in 2019 fell to their lowest number in more than 40 years, police said on Friday, marking the 10th straight year of declines.Though suicide

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New Guatemala President cuts ties with VenezuelaReuters, Guatemala City:Guatemala's new President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday his country was cutting diplomatic ties with Venezuela and closing its embassy in