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March 28, 2017

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Does Taiwan want more 'checkbook diplomacy'?
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World > Middle East
Iraqi forces enter Mosul University in IS fight
Iraqi special forces entered the Mosul University on Friday, a tactical achievement and an incremental step in in battling Islamic State militants for control of the city, according to senior Iraqi officers.
 
Airstrikes escalate despite Syria cease-fire
The U.N. envoy for Syria said Thursday that a cease-fire was "largely holding with some exceptions," as opposition activists reported a mounting number of government airstrikes, including a raid in the northern Aleppo province that killed at least six civilians.
 
An Israeli defense official on Wednesday confirmed that the country has developed a new policy in recent years to allow Egypt to quickly beef up its forces in the volatile Sinai Peninsula as part of a shared struggle against Islamic militants.
 
The U.S. military in Afghanistan said on Thursday that its investigation into a November firefight with the Taliban in northern Kunduz province has shown that 33 civilians died in the raid during which U.S. troops fired on Afghan homes.
 
A senior intelligence official of the Israeli military on Wednesday said it had uncovered a plot by the Hamas militant group to spy on soldiers by hacking their mobile phones after posing as women and befriending them on social media.
 
Five UAE officials among 56 killed in Afghanistan bombings
Five UAE officials were among 56 people killed in a string of bombings across Afghan cities, authorities said Wednesday, as Taliban militants step up a deadly winter campaign of violence.
 
Syria's Assad vows to retake key area near Damascus
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to retake an area that supplies Damascus with water and rejected any negotiations on his departure at upcoming talks in Kazakhstan.
 
Anwar al-Ades hasn't bathed properly in two weeks because of water shortages in Syria's capital Damascus, but all that is about to change at the city's oldest bathhouse.
 
Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, diplomats say, in a move approved by the outgoing U.S. administration and other governments seeking to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact.
 
Mourners pay respects to ex-Iranian leader
Mourners are paying respect to former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as Iran observes three days of mourning following his death.
 
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