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US considering slowing exit from Afghanistan

Slower exit from AfghanistanThe United States is considering slowing its military exit from Afghanistan by keeping a larger-than-planned troop presence this year and next because the new Afghan government is proving to be a more reliable partner, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday.

Carter, on his first overseas trip since starting the Pentagon job Tuesday, also said the Obama administration is "rethinking" the counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, although he did not elaborate.


Waterless, the first planned Palestinian city sits empty

RawabiA year ago the construction of the first 700 housing units of the first planned Palestinian city, Rawabi, north of Ramallah, was completed. But none of the apartment owners have moved into their purchased homes since the newly built city has no access to water.

Why? It seems that the Israeli government is delaying the connection of the city to a water pipeline. Why? That’s difficult to explain.


Boko Haram crisis: Some Nigerian abductees reunited with families

Nigerian girls homeA group of 158 women and children abducted by Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria in December have been reunited with their families.

They were kidnapped during a raid on Katarko village in Yobe state and spent about a month in captivity. The circumstances of their release are unclear but they were eventually handed over to the state authorities for counselling and rehabilitation.


Islamic State Group Claims Responsibility for Libya Bombings

Libya bombingThe Islamic State group's offshoot in Libya has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 45 and rocked an eastern town under the control of the country's elected government.

The group said the attacks were in retaliation for the killing of Muslims in the Islamic militant stronghold of Darna. Egyptian warplanes conducted multiple airstrikes in Darna after militants linked to the Islamic State group beheaded 21 Egyptian Christian hostages.


Suicide bombings at Somalia hotel kill at least 10 people

Somalia hotel bombingGovernment officials were meeting at the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital when an Islamic extremist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the hotel gate, and another went in and blew himself up, killing at least 10 people on Friday, officials said.

Mogadishu's deputy mayor and a legislator were killed in the attack, a lawmaker said, and the country's deputy prime minister was among the wounded, said a police official.


Muslims Offer to Protect Oslo Synagogue

Muslims offer to protect Oslo synagoguesA group of young Norwegian Muslims plans to create a human ring around Oslo’s synagogue following the Shabat celebration this Saturday, in a gesture they are calling a ’Peace Ring’.

Hajrad Arshad, the event’s 17-year-old organiser, told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK that the group aimed to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims”.


Fighting rages in east Ukraine despite bid to revive truce

Ukraine fighting continuesFighting raged in parts of east Ukraine on Thursday despite European efforts to resurrect a stillborn ceasefire, a day after pro-Russian separatists spurned the truce by forcing thousands of government troops out of a strategic town.

Western nations are refusing to give up on a peace deal brokered by France and Germany last week even though the rebels disavowed it to seize the important railway hub of Debaltseve.


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