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BY AFP BEIRUT: Forty Syrian soldiers and pro-regime militiamen were killed in fighting with rebels on Wednesday around an army camp near the town of Nayrab in the northwestern province of Idlib, a watchdog reported. “The fighting has killed 14 from the rebel side and not less than 40 among…

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MOORE, Oklahoma: Families returned to a blasted moonscape that had been an American suburb on Tuesday after a monstrous tornado tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people. Passengers flying into Oklahoma City could see the track left by nature’s fury as it played out Monday:…

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OTTAWA: Canada’s prime minister on Tuesday renewed calls for Senate reform, following a flurry of resignations, including his own chief of staff, over an ongoing spending scandal. “The Senate status quo is not acceptable,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a room full of Conservative Party faithful. “Canadians want the Senate…

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MUSCAT: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday discussed a $2.1-billion deal with Omani leaders to supply an American-made air-defense system to the Arab state facing Iran in the Gulf. Kerry told Oman’s Defense Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi that the United States was “excited” about the deal and “very…

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WASHINGTON: A sweeping overhaul of the US immigration system took a major step toward viability on Tuesday when a Senate panel gave bipartisan approval to a landmark bill offering a path to citizenship for millions. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the contentious and potentially historic legislation by a 13-5 vote,…

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AMMAN: Backers of the Syrian uprising meet in Amman on Wednesday to discuss a US-Russian proposal for peace talks, as the brutal two-year conflict escalates close to the border with Lebanon. “This meeting . . . in Amman is to bring together all of the key players in the region…

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GENEVA: The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people. Keiji Fukuda told delegates at a WHO meeting that despite…

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BEIJING: A top official and confidante of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday met a senior Chinese official in Beijing, at a time of strained relations and ahead of a China-US summit. Choe Ryong-hae, director of the Korean People’s Army politburo, flew to Beijing with a handful of senior…

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SEOUL: The defense chiefs of South Korea, Japan and the United States will hold their first trilateral meeting for four years at the end of this month, with North Korea likely to top the agenda. The three top officials will meet on the sidelines of the annual Asia Security Summit…