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December 17, 2014
Capital of China's Xinjiang to ban burqas in public: report
Beijing (AFP) Dec 11, 2014
Authorities in the capital of the mainly Muslim Uighur homeland of Xinjiang voted to ban the wearing of burqas in public, media said Thursday, as China confronts unrest with tough measures that critics have labelled discriminatory. Hundreds have died in ethnic clashes across the restive far western region in recent months, with Beijing vowing to "strike hard" against violence. The local legislature of Urumqi on Wednesday "considered and adopted 'Regulations for the banning of wearing of burqas i ... read more

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US watchdog warns of top seven threats to Afghan reconstruction
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Students of Uighur scholar jailed for 'separatism': lawyer
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US military's job 'not over' in Afghanistan: Hagel
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Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
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US air strikes kill several IS leaders in Iraq: Pentagon

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Eight sentenced to die for attacks in China's Xinjiang: CCTV
A Chinese court condemned eight people to death Monday for two deadly attacks in Xinjiang, as Beijing cracks down hard on violence in the homeland of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority. ... more
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'Key commanders' among 30 militants killed in Pakistan
Pakistani airstrikes have killed at least 30 militants including a local warlord's "important commanders" in the country's restive northwest where the military launched a major offensive this year, officials and militant sources said Monday. ... more
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Obama, Ghani to mull Afghan troop levels in 2015 talks
US leaders will discuss whether to prolong the timetable for the withdrawal of American troops with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he visits Washington early next year, a senior US official said. ... more
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New peshmerga group enters Kobane from Turkey
A second contingent of Kurdish peshmerga fighters streamed across the Syrian border from Turkey late Monday to join the fight against jihadists for the strategic town of Kobane, state media said. ... more
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Afghan leaders look to start new chapter with Europe trip
Afghanistan's new leaders head to Europe on Monday to showcase their plans to foster peace and revive the economy, but a spate of Taliban attacks threatens to overshadow their optimistic message. ... more
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Afghanistan to face more violence but local forces 'capable': NATO
Afghanistan will face further violence next year after NATO ends its longest ever combat mission, chief Jens Stoltenberg admitted Monday, but he insisted local security forces could stem the tide. ... more
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Kurdish leader hopeful for Turkey peace deal within 5 months
The jailed leader of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said Sunday he was hopeful the peace process with the authorities would be concluded successfully within five months with enough determination. ... more
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Fifteen killed in "terrorist attack" in China's Xinjiang: state media
Fifteen people have been killed and 14 others wounded in a "terrorist attack" in China's mostly Muslim Xinjiang region, the official Chinese news agency said Saturday. ... more
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Azerbaijan boosts army spending as Armenia tensions soar
Azerbaijan's parliament on Friday approved a 2015 budget that sharply boosted military spending in apparent response to rising tensions with neighbour Armenia over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region. ... more
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Afghan senate approves foreign troops staying on
Afghanistan's upper house of parliament on Thursday approved two agreements with the US and NATO allowing about 12,500 troops to remain in the country next year as concerns grow over the worsening insurgency. ... more
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Students of Uighur scholar in secret China trial: lawyer
Seven students of a prominent scholar from China's Uighur minority have been tried in secret for separatism, a lawyer said Wednesday, after their professor lost an appeal against a life sentence for the same offence. ... more
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US drone strike kills at least eight in NW Pakistan
A US drone strike killed at least eight suspected militants in Pakistan's restive tribal belt on Wednesday, security officials said. ... more
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US may send additional troops to Afghanistan next year
The US military likely will keep a slightly larger force in Afghanistan in 2015 than first planned and American troops will have authority to come to the aid of Afghan forces if necessary, officials said Tuesday. ... more
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US condemns IS bombing in Kurdish region of Iraq
The United States on Wednesday condemned a suicide bombing by Islamic State extremists in the usually safe Kurdish region of Iraq that killed at least four people and left more than two dozen injured. ... more
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Pakistani army chief in first US visit
Pakistan's army chief is holding talks with top US generals and officials this week in the first visit to the United States by the country's powerful military commander in four years, officials said Monday. ... more
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Raytheon to help train more Afghan Air Force pilots
Additional Afghan Air Force personnel are to receive pilot training from Raytheon and its partner team, the Warrior Training Alliance. ... more
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24/7 Energy News Coverage
Belgium seeks to push back closure of two nuclear plants

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Pakistan wins China investment worth $42 billion: official
China on Saturday promised neighbouring Pakistan investment worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west. ... more
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Indian army admits 'mistake' in killing two teenagers
The Indian army has admitted it made a mistake in shooting dead two teenagers in restive Indian-administered Kashmir this week, a rare public admission of fault by the military. ... more
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US could delay troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: officials
US commanders are weighing a delay in the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan after the country's protracted election set back preparations for the transition, Washington defense officials said Wednesday. ... more
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First Afghanistan foreign fighter in US for trial
A Russian was brought before a US court Tuesday to face terrorism-related charges after being held for years in Afghanistan as a suspected foreign fighter. ... more
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International meeting on Afghanistan pledges programmes: China
China on Friday hailed an international conference on Afghanistan that it said agreed to launch dozens of programmes to boost development and help the country maintain peace as foreign forces draw down. ... more
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Chinese court upholds death sentences in Kunming attack: Xinhua
A Chinese appeals court on Friday upheld death sentences for three people convicted over a mass stabbing that killed 31 people earlier this year, state media reported. ... more
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Schools in China's Xinjiang to discourage religion at home
Schools in China's mainly Muslim Xinjiang region, where a series of attacks has left hundreds dead in recent months, said they would actively discourage religious practice at home, state-run media reported Wednesday. ... more
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Haqqani commander among dead in US drone strike in Pakistan
A US drone strike killed at least seven militants in Pakistan's restive tribal belt on Thursday, including an important commander of the feared Haqqani network, security officials said. ... more
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