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How Iran closed the Mosul 'horseshoe' and changed Iraq war

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq In the early days of the assault on Islamic State in Mosul, Iran successfully pressed Iraq to change its battle plan and seal off the city, an intervention which has since shaped the tortuous course of the conflict, sources briefed on the plan say.

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France says pushing Netanyahu, Abbas to meet for Paris talks

PARIS France is trying to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Paris this month to try to revive moribund peace talks between the two sides, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Wednesday.

Assange releases testimony from London questioning, says he is innocent

STOCKHOLM Wikileaks founder Julian Assange released on Wednesday his testimony from last month's London questioning in a Swedish rape investigation, saying he was innocent and that it was clear the sex was consensual.

WikiLeaks 10:12am EST

Pope warns media over 'sin' of spreading fake news, smearing politicians

VATICAN CITY Media that focus on scandals and spread fake news to smear politicians risk becoming like people who have a morbid fascination with excrement, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Pope 9:18am EST

Italy passes 2017 budget, paving way for PM Renzi's resignation

ROME The Italian parliament on Wednesday gave its final approval to the government's 2017 budget, which has irked the European Union, paving the way for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to hand in his resignation.

Italy 11:20am EST

U.N. seeks record $2.7 billion aid for Boko Haram-hit Sahel

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Poverty, conflict and climate change will leave 15 million people across Africa's Sahel belt in need of life-saving aid next year, the United Nations said on Wednesday as it launched a record $2.7 billion humanitarian appeal for the region in 2017.

United Nations 11:36am EST

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