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Major powers agree to plan for 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria

MUNICH Major powers agreed on Friday to a cessation of hostilities in Syria set to begin in a week and to provide rapid humanitarian access to besieged Syrian towns, but failed to secure a complete ceasefire or an end to Russian bombing.

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Saudi warns U.N., aid workers to leave rebel-held areas in Yemen

UNITED NATIONS Saudi Arabia, which is leading air strikes against rebels in neighboring Yemen, has warned the United Nations and international aid groups to protect staff by removing them from areas held by Yemen's Houthi rebels, according to a letter that was seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Drug cartel battle kills 49 in northeastern Mexican prison

MONTERREY, Mexico A battle between the feared Zetas drug cartel and rivals at a prison left 49 people dead in the northeastern Mexican city of Monterrey, authorities said on Thursday, days ahead of a planned visit by Pope Francis to another jail in Mexico's far north. | Video

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Iran's main opposition leaderless, but insists it's not a spent force

ANKARA Hope for change is dwindling but not gone among supporters of Iran's main pro-reform opposition, although its leaders remain under house arrest and pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani looks incapable of achieving the freer society he promised.

Davos 3:43pm EST

Beijing offers support for Hong Kong after New Year violence

BEIJING China's central government firmly supports Hong Kong authorities and police in safeguarding public order and punishing those who break the law, the foreign ministry has said in Beijing's first reaction to a riot in Hong Kong earlier this week.

China 8:13pm EST

South Sudan president re-appoints rival under peace deal

JUBA South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has re-appointed his rival Riek Machar as vice president, a decree said on Thursday, the culmination of a deal to try to end months of civil war in the world's newest nation.

Africa, United Nations 5:11pm EST

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