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Assad declares victory as Western-backed push to topple him seems increasingly elusive

In a lavish ceremony, a smiling and confident President Bashar Assad was sworn in for a third seven-year term on Wednesday, praising his supporters for “defeating the dirty war” and denouncing insurgents who have “failed in trying to brainwash you or break your will.” READ

Suicide blast kills 89 at market in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives near a busy market and a mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 89 people in the deadliest insurgent attack on civilians since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. READ

On-duty California police officer delivers his own son

Every now and then a police officer has to deliver a baby. The first time Officer Bryan Anderson did it, the baby was his own son. READ

18 dead after Filipino rebels attack armed tribesmen in south Philippines, military says

Dozens of communist rebels attacked armed tribesmen, who were later reinforced by army troops, in a southern Philippine province Tuesday, igniting pockets of fighting that killed 18 combatants, military officials said. READ

Subway derails in Moscow’s rush hour, killing 21

A subway train derailed Tuesday deep below Moscow’s streets, twisting and mangling crowded rail cars at the height of the morning rush hour. At least 21 people were killed, Russian officials said, and 136 more were hospitalized, many with serious injuries. READ

Egyptian truce plan unravels after Gaza militants fire rockets and Israel resumes air strikes

An Egyptian truce proposal for the conflict in Gaza unraveled Tuesday after the Islamic militant Hamas rejected the plan. READ

Airstrike demolishes apartment block in Ukraine, killing 11

An airstrike in eastern Ukraine sent an apartment building crumpling to the ground Tuesday, killing at least 11 people and adding to the steadily mounting civilian death toll from the fighting between government forces and pro-Russian insurgents. READ

Hamas not interested in peace as ceasefire rejected: Foreign Minister Baird

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the refusal by Hamas to honour an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire in Gaza proves the terrorist group has no interest in peace. READ

Suspected extremists bomb 4th bridge in northeast Nigeria

Suspected Islamic extremists bombed a major bridge on a northeast Nigerian highway, further limiting access to base camps in the Sambisa Forest where scores of kidnapped girls are believed to be held captive, witnesses and the leader of a group fighting Boko Haram said Monday. READ

Ukraine says military transport plane shot down in the east

A Ukrainian military transport plane was shot down Monday along the country’s eastern border with Russia but all eight people aboard managed to bail out safely, the defence ministry said. READ

Egypt proposes temporary cease-fire in Mideast conflict

Egypt is proposing a temporary cease-fire as a first step in ending the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has left more than 175 people dead. READ

Suspect in fatal shooting of Texas family collapses twice in court

A man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife’s family, including four children, after forcing his way into their suburban Houston home collapsed in court twice Friday as a prosecutor read out details of the crime. READ

Israel leader: World pressure won’t stop offensive

Israel’s prime minister vowed Friday to press forward with a broad military offensive in the Gaza Strip, insisting international pressure will not halt what he said was a determined effort to halt rocket fire by Palestinian militants as the death toll from the 4-day-old conflict rose above 100. READ

Big powers join Iran nuclear talks

VIENNA, Austria — Big-power foreign ministers are joining Iran nuclear talks on a diplomatic rescue mission. READ

Some pro-Russian rebels quit the fight in Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine — Deep strains emerged Thursday in the ranks of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow insurgents as dozens turned in their weapons in disgust at Russian inaction and bickering broke out between rebel factions. READ

Gunman dressed as delivery man pushes into Houston-area home, kills 4 children, parents

A gunman dressed as a delivery man forced his way into his sister-in-law’s suburban Houston home where he held her children at gunpoint until their parents arrived. READ

Israel escalates Gaza offensive and casualties mount

Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault targeting hundreds of Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip Thursday as Palestinians reported the strikes also hit a home and a beachside cafe, raising the total number of people killed in this week’s offensive to at least 85. READ

Germany kicks out top US spy in anger over espionage allegations

Germany on Thursday demanded Washington’s top spy in Berlin leave the country as a new round of allegations of U.S. espionage worsened the friction between the two allies. READ

Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza Strip in second day of offensive

Israel stepped up its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Wednesday, pummeling scores of targets and killing at least 14 people as Israeli leaders signalled a weeks-long ground invasion could be quickly approaching. READ

Ebola outbreak not right for testing experimental vaccines, drugs: experts

The largest Ebola outbreak in history is defying the containment efforts of affected countries and international response teams, leading to calls from some quarters to use experimental drugs or vaccines to try to stop the deadly virus. READ

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