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Syria's powerful Nusra Front says ending link to al Qaeda

BEIRUT Al Qaeda's powerful Syrian branch announced on Thursday it was ending its relationship with the global jihadist network founded by Osama bin Laden and changing its name, to remove what it called a pretext used by world powers to attack Syrians.

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In a country wary of migrants, Pope tells Poles to welcome refugees

KRAKOW, Poland Pope Francis urged young people on Thursday to welcome migrants and refugees, putting himself in direct contrast with the government of Poland on the second day of his visit there. | Video

Pope 2:43pm EDT

Venezuela's opposition-run congress defies government over ban

CARACAS Venezuela's opposition-run National Assembly defied President Nicolas Maduro's government and ratcheted up a conflict of powers on Thursday by reinstating three lawmakers banned over fraud accusations in the December parliamentary vote.

2:41pm EDT

Five U.S. military members injured in Afghanistan: commander

WASHINGTON Five U.S. special operations members were wounded while working with Afghan special forces in an operation to clear areas controlled by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said on Thursday.

Afghanistan 2:49pm EDT

Houthi-led bloc says to set up body to run Yemen with peace talks stalled

DUBAI Yemen's dominant Houthi group and its allies in ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh's party said on Thursday they would establish a governing council to run the country, in a move the United Nations said threatens peace talks in Kuwait.

Yemen, United Nations 2:09pm EDT

Spain's Rajoy accepts mandate to form government, warns he may fail

MADRID Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday he had accepted a mandate from the King to form a government although he warned he might fail and left open the date for a potential confidence vote in parliament.

Spain 2:57pm EDT

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