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Tuesday, Dec 06th

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Iraq PM declares offensive to retake Mosul from ISIL

Battle for Mosul

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Mosul is Iraq's second largest city and the last urban centre still under ISIL control in Iraq after a series of government offensives to reverse the armed group's lightning-quick seizure of territory in 2014.

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At least nine dead, dozens injured in suspension bridge collapse near Indonesia's Bali island

Suspension bridge collapse near BaliAt least nine people died and dozens were injured after a suspension bridge collapsed near the resort island of Bali, officials said.

The "Yellow Bridge" — linking the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan — collapsed Sunday evening, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

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Kuwait's emir dissolves parliament, cabinet resigns over oil price dispute

Kuwait dissolves parliamentDisputes over fuel price increases in oil-rich Kuwait have prompted the country's emir to dissolve its parliament. Every member of Kuwait's cabinet had already resigned.

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued an emergency government decree Sunday afternoon "given the circumstances in the region," BBC reported.

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Suicide bomber strikes Shia Muslim gathering in Baghdad

Suicide bobmer hits baghdadA suicide bombing targeting Shia Muslims killed at least four people in Baghdad on Sunday, officials said, a day after the deadliest attack to hit the Iraqi capital in months.

The bombing in central Baghdad, which targeted a tent where Shias distribute food as part of annual religious commemorations, also wounded at least 12 people, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group frequently carries out suicide bombings targeting Shias, whom it considers heretics.

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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels seize Dabiq from ISIL

ISIS loses townSyrian opposition fighters backed by Turkey have taken control of the northern Syrian town of Dabiq from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The fighters said they seized the town on Sunday following heavy shelling and months of air strikes.

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Last Tiananmen Square prisoner to be released after 27 years in prison

Tiananmen SquareMiao Deshun, the last known prisoner jailed following the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising in Beijing, is set to be released from prison on Saturday.

Miao was 25-years-old when he took part in the student-led demonstration which turned bloody after military involvement in the Square, and was one of the 1,602 people sent to prison for taking part.

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U.S. removes limits on bringing in Cuban rum, cigars

Obama raises limits on Cuban productsThe Obama administration says it is eliminating a $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and cigars that American travelers can bring back from the island.

Cuban rum and cigars will now be subject to the same duties as alcohol and tobacco from other countries, meaning most people will be able to bring back as many as 100 cigars and several bottles of rum. High-end Cuban cigars can sell for more than $100 apiece outside Cuba, meaning every U.S. traveler can now legally bring back many thousands of dollars in Cuban products. The previous limit restricted travelers to a combined value of $100 in rum and cigars.

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