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Iraqi forces open new front in Mosul offensive, gearing up for a final showdown 

IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi forces opened a new front Thursday in their offensive to retake Mosul, advancing from the northwest in a bid to add momentum to the grueling seven-month-long battle for the city.  Troops from the army’s 9th Division and elite forces from the Interior Ministry spearheaded th
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Prince Philip will step back from royal duties, Buckingham Palace announces

LONDON — Britain’s Prince Philip responded to the news of his retirement on Thursday with one of his trademark quips.Buckingham Palace had announced earlier in the day that the 95-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II will retire from public life starting in the fall. Shortly after the announc
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Heinz Kessler, hardline East German defense minister, dies at 97

Heinz Kessler, a former East German defense minister who was later convicted of incitement to manslaughter for upholding the shoot-to-kill policy at the communist country’s border, died May 2 in Berlin. He was 97.The Eulenspiegel Verlag publishing house, which published his book “Without the Wal
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How Merkel’s efforts to save Europe may lead to its undoing

BERLIN — At a recent rally in the French city of Lille, presidential hopeful and right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen took aim at one person she has repeatedly slammed on her improbable road to Sunday’s runoff vote.Her competitor, Emmanuel Macron?  Non. German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “W
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North Korean state media lashes out at China and suggests Trump is ignorant

With tensions high over North Korean's nuclear program and the threat of conflict refusing to subside, North Korean state media lashed out Wednesday and Thursday. President Trump was one target, but China — a major ally and benefactor of North Korea — faced its own pointed critique.The comme
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‘When your granny trolls the entire world’: Brits react to Prince Philip’s retirement with trademark sarcasm

LONDON — The frenzy started after the Daily Mail ran an article late Wednesday evening saying that Buckingham Palace had called an emergency meeting of the royal household staff. The news sparked a flurry of speculation on what it could be about.Had one of the royal family’s most senior members
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Obama endorses Macron in French election, taking a side in Europe again

PARIS — Former president Barack Obama formally endorsed Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election on Thursday, in a video statement released by the Macron campaign.“The French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about,” Obama said in
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Trump plans first presidential overseas trip, to Israel, Vatican and Saudi Arabia

President Trump, on his first trip abroad, will travel later this month to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican in an effort to unite Islam, Judaism and Christianity in the common cause of fighting “intolerance” and radical extremism, White House officials said Thursday.The nine-day trip, during
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A Russian-backed deal on ‘safe zones’ for Syria leaves U.S. wary

ISTANBUL — Russia, Iran and Turkey said Thursday that they have agreed to create “de-escalation zones” across four areas in Syria, renewing diplomatic ­efforts to bring warring parties in the country to heel after six years of fighting. Meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana, the three po
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As Turkey’s Erdogan savors new powers, there are whispers of dissent among his loyalists

ISTANBUL — The scenes of Turkey’s bloody and abortive military coup last July still scar Uskudar, an old waterside district of Istanbul that was a deadly front of violence that night and remains, nearly a year later, a wellspring of the nation’s rage. Residents  nervously recall the armored
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