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May 24, 2017

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World > Middle East
Evacuations from Damascus rebel district begin
Syrian rebels and their families began evacuating from a district of Damascus for the first time on Monday, bringing the government closer to recapturing all of the capital.
 
Palestinian designer breathes new life into tradition
Palestinian fashion designer Natalie Tahhan is hard at work in her Jerusalem studio, replacing the painstaking processes of cross-stitching and embroidery with a laptop computer and printed fabric.
 
Israel says Palestinian hunger strike leader Mawan Barghouti secretly ate cookies
Israel's Prison Service released footage on Sunday that it says shows the leader of a mass Palestinian hunger strike breaking his fast, a claim dismissed by the Palestinians as an attempt to undermine the open-ended strike, now in its 21st day.
 
Israeli ministers approved a controversial bill on Sunday that would define the country as the "national home of the Jewish people" while downgrading Arabic as an official language, officials and reports said.
 
Syria fighting eases as safe zones plan begins
Fighting subsided in Syria on Saturday after a deal signed by government backers Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey to create four "de-escalation zones" began to take effect.
 
Iran's Rouhani faces protests after mine collapse
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani faced angry protests from victims' families on Sunday when he visited the site of a mine accident that claimed dozens of lives, two weeks ahead of an election.
 
Iran TV censors Rouhani documentary ahead of elections
Iran's state TV Saturday censored a documentary released by President Hassan Rouhani's campaign, ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
 
Ex-Gaza chief Haniya elected leader of Hamas
Hamas said its former chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, was elected overall head of the Palestinian Islamist group on Saturday, succeeding Khaled Meshaal.
 
'World's heaviest woman' admitted to hospital after shedding 323 kg
An Egyptian believed to have been the world's heaviest woman before her surgery was hospitalized in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to continue treatment after a drastic weight-loss operation in India.
 
Trump talks positive, says Palestine leader
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his first meeting with President Donald Trump left him hopeful, but he did not appear to have come away with any achievements that move the needle on Israeli-Palestinian peace.
 
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