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Cuba's Raul Castro steps out of brother's shadow with U.S. deal, support surges

HAVANA - Stepping out of his legendary brother's shadow, President Raul Castro has scored a diplomatic triumph and a surge in popular support with the deal that ends decades of open hostility with the United States.

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Exclusive: Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop

AMMAN - Syrian businessmen and trade officials say they are worried the economic lifeline provided by Iran is under strain from plunging oil prices, despite public messages of support from Syria's strongest regional ally.

Syria 1:34pm EST

Iraqi Kurds claim more territory after breaking siege of Sinjar

DOHUK, Iraq - Kurdish forces claimed to have seized more territory on Friday after breaking the siege of Sinjar mountain in what they called their biggest victory yet in their war against Islamic State.

3:29pm EST

How Syria policy stalled under the 'analyst in chief'

WASHINGTON - (In Oct. 9 story, corrects paragraph 12 to clarify that size of Obama's National Security Council staff has continued to grow, rather than "has nearly doubled", after the White House clarified numbers it had provided to Reuters. )

5:45pm EST

Turkish court issues arrest warrant for U.S.-based Erdogan rival, media reports

ISTANBUL - A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant on Friday for U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whose followers are accused by President Tayyip Erdogan of leading a terrorist plot to seize power, according to media.

4:10pm EST

EU leaders prepare for long confrontation with Russia

BRUSSELS - European Union leaders warned Moscow they are ready to flex their combined muscle and "stay the course" in a long confrontation with Russia if President Vladimir Putin refuses to pull back from Ukraine. | Video

Russia 3:16pm EST

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