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Russia backs Syrian forces in major assault on insurgents

BEIRUT - Syrian troops and militia backed by Russian warplanes mounted what appeared to be their first major coordinated assault on Syrian insurgents on Wednesday and Moscow said its warships fired a barrage of missiles at them from the Caspian Sea, a sign of its new military reach. | Video

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Argentina says fugitive spy chief flew to U.S. after prosecutor's death

BUENOS AIRES - A fugitive former spy chief accused by the Argentine government of involvement in the murky death of a federal prosecutor in January flew from Brazil to the United States a month later, Argentina's security ministry said on Tuesday.

Argentina, Brazil 3:40pm EDT

Merkel, Hollande plead for unity in face of EU crises

STRASBOURG - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, in a rare joint address to the EU parliament, called for unity in Europe on Wednesday to tackle a series of crises that have shaken the bloc to its core.

2:45pm EDT

Brazil's Rousseff struggles to squash impeachment threat

BRASILIA - Brazil's Supreme Court dealt President Dilma Rousseff a blow on Wednesday in her fight to avert impeachment proceedings by refusing to delay a ruling by auditors on alleged doctoring of government accounts.

Brazil 4:51pm EDT

Kurds say blood tests show Islamic State used mustard gas in Iraq

ERBIL - Islamic State fighters fired mortar rounds containing mustard agent at Kurdish peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq during clashes in August, the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, which oversees Kurdish armed forces there, said on Wednesday.

Iraq 11:59am EDT

Portugal's Communists would back government led by Socialists

LISBON - Portugal's Communists would support a Socialist-led government, the party's leader said on Wednesday, marking a shift that further complicates efforts by the outgoing center-right coalition to form a minority administration.

4:41pm EDT

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