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U.S. close to suspending Syria talks with Russia as Aleppo battle rages

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT The United States is close to suspending talks with Russia on a ceasefire in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday, as the Kremlin vowed to press on with an assault on the city of Aleppo.

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Activists cry foul as U.N. decides against Yemen rights probe

GENEVA The U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday declined to set up an independent inquiry into abuses in Yemen, instead calling on a national inquiry to investigate violations by all sides, including the killing of civilians and attacks on hospitals.

United Nations, Yemen 4:22pm EDT

Air strikes kill 18 Islamic State 'leaders' in last month: U.S.

WASHINGTON Air strikes by the United States and its allies have killed 18 Islamic State "leaders" in the last 30 days, 13 of them in Mosul, the group's de facto Iraqi capital, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday.

Iraq 12:33pm EDT

Venezuela urged at U.N. to seek national dialogue, free inmates

GENEVA Paraguay led nearly 30 countries on Thursday in calling at the United Nations for Venezuela to engage in a national dialogue with the opposition to preserve peace and security, and to release political prisoners.

United Nations 2:24pm EDT

Millionaires, evangelicals benefit from Brazil campaign funds ban

BRASILIA A ban on companies funding election campaigns in Brazil that was meant to clean up politics amid the worst graft scandal in decades is instead helping wealthy businessmen and candidates backed by evangelical churches to dominate major races at Sunday's city elections.

Brazil 2:37pm EDT

Car bomb wounds two in Cairo suburb: security sources

CAIRO A car bomb exploded in an eastern suburb of Cairo on Thursday evening, wounding two people, security sources said.

3:09pm EDT

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