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January, 21, 2017

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World > Middle East
Afghans struggle to supplant poppies with growing fruit
Frosty relations between Kabul and Islamabad have put a brake on Afghanistan's ambitious plans to boost fruit exports, seen as vital to providing farmers an alternative to poppy cultivation which fuels the Taliban insurgency.
 
Israeli media is reporting that police are expected to question Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a pair of corruption allegations.
 
France's Hollande in Iraq to review war on IS
French President Francois Hollande arrived in Baghdad Monday to meet the French forces helping Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State group and to hold talks with top officials.
 
Islamic State claims Baghdad blasts that killed at least 28, wounded 54
A pair of bomb blasts targeting a market in central Baghdad Saturday killed at least 28 people and wounded at least 54, according to police and medical officials.
 
Russia is pushing for a U.N. Security Council vote Saturday to support the cease-fire it helped broker in Syria, where the truce remained largely intact on its second day despite sporadic clashes.
 
Activists say besieged opposition pockets around the Syrian capital of Damascus have seen no reprieve in fighting despite a nationwide cease-fire agreement that went into effect over 36 hours ago.
 
Romanian border guards have discovered 48 Iraqi citizens hidden away in a truck that officially was transporting boxes of chocolate.
 
UN Security Council to vote on Syria cease-fire agreement
The U.N. Security Council will vote Saturday on a resolution that would endorse the cease-fire agreement in Syria brokered by Russia and Turkey, and reiterate support for a roadmap to peace that starts with a transitional government.
 
EU stands by 2-state solution for Palestinian-Israel peace
The European Union has joined the outgoing U.S. administration in defending the two-state solution as the best way to achieve lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
 
Syria's army said Thursday it would halt all military operations from midnight, under a deal brokered by Russia and Turkey, with the opposition National Coalition announcing support for the agreement.
 
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