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Kurds say they have halted Islamic State advance on Syrian town

BEIRUT - Syrian Kurdish fighters have halted an advance by Islamic State fighters to the east of a predominantly Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, a spokesman for the main armed Kurdish group said.

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India's Modi to observe strict fast during maiden trip to U.S

NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will observe a strict religious fast during his maiden trip to the United States, aides said on Monday, in a test both of the 64-year-old leader's stamina and of protocol in the Obama White House.

United Nations 6:47am EDT

Taliban reject Afghan unity government pact as U.S. 'sham'

KABUL - Afghanistan's Taliban militants on Monday decried a pact by rival election candidates to form a government of national unity as a "sham" orchestrated by the United States and they vowed to press on with their war. | Video

Afghanistan 6:33am EDT

Iran foreign minister hails 'new chapter' in Saudi ties: IRNA

DUBAI - Iran and Saudi Arabia held their first foreign minister-level meeting since the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, official Iranian media reported, signaling a possible thaw in chilly ties between the rival Gulf powers.

Saudi Arabia, Davos 4:45am EDT

South Africa says death toll in Nigerian building collapse rises to 115

JOHANNESBURG - The death toll from the collapse of a church guesthouse in Lagos has risen to 115, South African minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday, urging the heavily-criticized Nigerian government to investigate the "tragedy".

Africa 7:25am EDT

Pakistan appoints ally of army chief to head intelligence agency

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan appointed a close ally of the army chief to head the country's most powerful and controversial intelligence agency on Monday, cementing the military's dominance following weeks of anti-government protests.

7:19am EDT

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