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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.