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Iraq's Shi'ite militias say will launch offensive west of Mosul imminently

BAGHDAD Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary groups are about to launch an offensive on Islamic State positions west of Mosul, assisting in the military campaign to take back the city, a spokesman said on Friday.

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Confrontation looms as Pakistan's Imran Khan calls protests ahead of capital lockdown

ISLAMABAD Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan called for nationwide protests on Friday after dozens of activists from his party were arrested, adding to political deadlock ahead of his plans to shut down the capital next week.

4:17am EDT

Syrian rebels bombard Aleppo air base before offensive: monitoring group

BEIRUT Syrian rebels launched Grad rockets at Aleppo's Nairab air base on Friday, part of their preparations for a new offensive aimed at breaking the government siege of insurgent-held areas of the city, a rebel official and a monitoring group said.

4:22am EDT

Philippines' Duterte says God warned him off swearing

MANILA Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made a promise to stop swearing, saying God spoke to him during a flight from Japan on Thursday and warned him the plane would crash if he kept using bad language.

Japan 4:32am EDT

Exclusive: Rohingya women say Myanmar soldiers raped them amid crackdown on militants

U SHEY KYA/YANGON Rohingya Muslims say Myanmar soldiers raped or sexually assaulted dozens of women in a remote village in the northwest of the country during the biggest upsurge in violence against the persecuted minority in four years.

Myanmar, United Nations 3:27am EDT

World's largest marine park created in Antarctic Ocean

SYDNEY Twenty-four countries and the European Union agreed on Friday to create the world's largest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean, covering a massive 1.55 million square km (600,000 square miles) of ocean.

Environment, 1:11am EDT

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