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BCNN1 Middle East

Reporting News from the Following Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

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Kurdish-led forces advance on ISIS-held Raqqa, say activists

Syrian Kurdish-led forces were closing in Saturday on the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group in Syria, seizing a cotton mill only a couple of miles north of the city and clashing with the militant group on a number of fronts, activists and Kurdish media reported.

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Jordanian stabber shot dead in Jerusalem

An Israeli police officer shot dead a Jordanian attacker who stabbed him in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday, police said.

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Pakistan signs nearly $500 million in China deals at Silk Road summit

Pakistan signed new deals with China on Saturday worth nearly $500 million (387.9 million pounds) ahead of Beijing’s international forum on its “Silk Road” trade and infrastructure initiative for Asia, Africa and Europe, the Pakistani government said.

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Israel releases video purportedly showing hunger-striking Palestinian leader sneaking cookies

Israel released video footage Sunday purportedly showing Marwan Barghouti, a man Palestinians compare to Nelson Mandela and the leader of an open-ended hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinians incarcerated in Israel, breaking the strike by sneaking a mouthful of cookies.

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Iranian president attacks rival’s background in judiciary

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that voters in next week’s presidential election do not want someone who is only familiar with “execution and imprisonment,” an apparent criticism of a hard-line rival who is a longtime judge.

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Qatar, Sudan hold joint military drill

Qatari army will take part in “Saqr Al Jazeera 1 drill, which is currently being held in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, Qatar News Agency, has reported.

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Syria violence kills 4, wounds child despite safe zones

Violence left at least four opposition fighters dead and a child wounded in central and southern Syria Saturday despite relative calm prevailing across the war-ravaged country after a deal to set up “de-escalation zones” in mostly opposition-held areas went into effect, opposition activists and government media outlets said.

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Film from the controversial Clarion Project spotlights Christian persecution, exodus from Middle East

On May 23, dozens of churches around the United States are expected to host a screening of a new film about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

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United Arab Emirates wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica to the Middle East to boost fresh water supply

The United Arab Emirates has a lot of things — massive skyscrapers, over-the-top opulence, oil, sand — but one thing it definitely doesn’t have a lot of is fresh water. If that seems like a problem, one UAE-based firm thinks it has the answer (No, not conserving water better, don’t be ridiculous): Tugging massive icebergs…

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