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Saturday, Jan 31st

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Israeli minister calls for removal of Palestinian President

LiebermanIsrael's foreign minister says the Palestinian president must be removed for peace talks to proceed after the International Criminal Court announced it is opening a probe into alleged Israeli war crimes.

Avigdor Lieberman said President Mahmoud Abbas must "pay the price" for initiating the ICC probe. Lieberman told Israel Radio Sunday that "We must get rid of Abu Mazen (Abbas)" for diplomacy to prevail. He said the U.S. must stop its financial assistance to the Palestinians.

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Islamic State group releases 200 captive Yazidis in Iraq

Yazidia freedThe Islamic State group released about 200 Yazidis held for five months in Iraq, mostly elderly, infirm captives who likely slowed the extremists down, Kurdish military officials said Sunday.

Almost all of the freed prisoners are in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect. Three were young children. The former captives were being questioned and receiving medical treatment on Sunday in the town of Alton Kupri.

Gen. Shirko Fatih, commander of Kurdish peshmerga forces in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said it appears the militants released the prisoners because they were too much of a burden.

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Fighting rages anew at Ukraine airport, three soldiers killed

Fighting at Ukraine airportFighting raged on Saturday at the main airport of Ukraine's city of Donetsk as separatists resumed attempts to break the tenuous grip of government forces on the complex and Kiev's military said three more Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.

With attempts to restart peace talks stalled, pro-Russian rebels have stepped up shelling attacks to break the resistance of government troops dug in at the airport, itself a wrecked hulk battered by months of war.

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Two men dead in Belgium counter-terror raids

Two dead in Belgium raidTwo suspected jihadists were shot dead and a third arrested in eastern Belgium during a major operation on Thursday to prevent “imminent terrorist attacks on a grand scale”, a Belgian federal prosecutor has said.

The targets of the operation were a network of jihadists who had recently returned from Syria, the prosecutor said, and were on the point of launching an assault in Belgium.

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Target to shutter all stores in Canada

Targe closing all Canada storesTarget is giving up on Canada.

The U.S. retail icon said Thursday that it plans to abandon operations in Canada following two disastrous years that resulted in more than $2 billion in losses.

The move follows months of internal angst over whether to pull the plug there after much-hyped but poorly managed expansion into the country.

Target (TGT) stock surged nearly 4% in premarket trading on the news, up almost $3 per share.

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US loosens embargo on Cuba, making trade and travel easier

Cuban trade easedThe Obama administration is putting a large dent in the U.S. embargo against Cuba as of Friday, significantly loosening restrictions on American trade and investment.

The new rules also open up the communist island to greater American travel and allow U.S. citizens to start bringing home small amounts of Cuban cigars after more than a half-century ban.

Thursday's announcement of new Treasury and Commerce Department regulations are the next step in President Barack Obama's plan to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. They come three days after U.S. officials confirmed the release of 53 political prisoners Cuba had promised to free.

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Iran News Agency: Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian Indicted, Will Stand Trial

US reporteer indicted in iranA Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for months has been indicted and will stand trial, Iran's state news agency reported Wednesday, without elaborating on what charges he faced.

The report by the official IRNA news agency came the same day as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif before talks with world powers resume over the Islamic Republic's contested nuclear program.

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