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Islamic State makes closest advance to Aleppo, Iranian killed

BEIRUT/ANKARA - Islamic State fighters have seized Syrian villages on the outskirts of Aleppo from rival insurgent fighters, a monitoring group said on Friday, despite Russian air strikes that Moscow says have targeted the militant group.

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Syria extends major offensive to retake territory in west

BEIRUT - Syrian troops and allied militia backed by a fresh wave of Russian air strikes and cruise missiles fired from warships attacked rebel forces on Thursday as the government extended an offensive to recapture territory in the west of the country. | Video

China says U.S. human rights report biased

BEIJING - A U.S. congressional commission's criticism of China's human rights record did not "accord with the facts", the Chinese government said on Friday, the latest friction over a long-running thorn in relations.

China 7:09am EDT

Fire sweeps through Philippine prison killing 10 inmates

MANILA - Fire swept through a maximum-security Philippine prison killing 10 inmates, most of them in their cells, authorities said on Friday, in a disaster likely to highlight woeful conditions in one of the world's most over-crowded prison systems. | Video

6:41am EDT

Exclusive: EU set to suspend Belarus sanctions for four months after vote

BRUSSELS - The European Union will lift its sanctions on Belarus, including those on authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, for four months after Sunday's vote, barring any last-minute crackdown, diplomatic sources said.

7:59am EDT

Son-in-law of Burundian activist shot dead in capital

NAIROBI - Unknown gunmen on Friday killed the son-in-law of a prominent Burundian human rights activist who openly opposed President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid for a third term in office, a relative said.

Africa 8:06am EDT

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