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February, 23, 2017

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World > Middle East
Lack of customers final nail for Lebanon wooden coffin maker
In a tiny workshop in Lebanon's Tripoli, coffin maker Michel Homsi takes a drag on a cigarette, surrounded by his carefully crafted handiwork, waiting for customers that never seem to arrive.
 
Oman accepts 10 inmates from Guantanamo Bay at US request
Oman said Monday it accepted 10 inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay ahead of President Barack Obama leaving office, part of his efforts to shrink the facility he promised to close.
 
Bahrain executions over bombing stoke violence
Bahrain on Sunday executed three men found guilty of killing three policemen, sparking violent protests and stoking tensions between the country's Shiite majority and its Sunni rulers.
 
Peace summit opens amid Israel protests
Diplomats from 70 countries gathered in Paris on Sunday to try to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts amid fears of a new escalation if Donald Trump implements a pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
 
The Islamic State group on Saturday launched one of its fiercest assaults yet on the besieged Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, leaving more than 30 regime fighters and jihadists dead.
 
Washington will be invited to fresh Syria peace talks being organized by Moscow and Ankara this month, Turkey's foreign minister said, but Russia declined to confirm the invitation on Friday.
 
US concerned over missing Pakistani activists
The United States has expressed concern over the disappearance of five Pakistani anti-Taliban activists and bloggers who mysteriously went missing last week, incidents that have triggered an outcry from human right groups.
 
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.
 
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