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Yemeni politicians say UN peace talks indefinitely postponed

Yemeni politicians say UN peace talks between exiled government, rebels indefinitely postponed
Ahmed Al-Haj, The Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen - A United Nations-sponsored Yemeni peace conference that was to start Thursday in Geneva has been indefinitely postponed, officials said, as battles raged across the country.

The talks were meant to end weeks of heavy fighting and Saudi-led airstrikes against an Iran-backed rebel group amid a humanitarian crisis that has left millions in the Arab world's poorest country short of food and fuel.

IS militants purge Syrian town of Assad loyalists

Extremists from Islamic State hunt down Syrian troops, Assad loyalists after seizing town
Sarah El Deeb And Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press

BEIRUT - Islamic State group militants hunted down Syrian government troops and loyalists in the newly captured town of Palmyra, shooting or beheading them in public as a warning, and imposing their strict interpretation of Islam, activists said Friday.

The purge, which relied mostly on informants, was aimed at solidifying the extremists' grip on the strategic town that was overrun Wednesday by IS fighters.

The Latest on Rohingya: US envoy says address root causes

The Latest on Rohingya: US envoy calls on Myanmar to address root causes, ensure basic rights
The Associated Press

5 p.m. (1030 GMT)

A senior U.S. diplomat says the root causes of the exodus of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims need to be addressed as a way to solve the humanitarian crisis facing Southeast Asia.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Myanmar's leaders in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Friday. He says the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar "are in despair and don't see a future when they are in internally displaced persons camps."

The Latest on Rohingya: UN estimates 3,000 still adrift

The Latest on Rohingya: UN estimates over 3,000 migrants - or more - could still be adrift
The Associated Press

10 a.m. (0300 GMT)

The U.N. refugee agency is estimating that over 3,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants — or even more — could still be adrift in the Andaman Sea.

The exact numbers are not known, but the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says it triangulated reports in the media and other sources and estimates the current number could be over 3,000 — or more that no one knows about.

Prince Charles to meet Sinn Fein leaders during Ireland trip

Prince Charles to meet Sinn Fein leaders Adams, McGuinness during peacemaking trip to Ireland
The Associated Press

DUBLIN - The Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party says its two senior figures will meet Prince Charles during his visit this week to Ireland in another groundbreaking event for peacemaking.

Charles and his wife, Camilla, are scheduled to arrive Tuesday in the western Irish city of Galway for a four-day visit that will take the British royal couple to Mullaghmore, a fishing village where his great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1979.

Syria's Assad makes rare appearance at rally

Syria's president makes rare public appearance at rally of his supporters
Albert Aji,Elizabeth A. Kennedy, The Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad joined thousands of his supporters Wednesday in an extremely rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.

Dressed more casually than usual in a jacket but no tie, the president told the cheering crowd that he wanted to draw strength from them. Security guards surrounded him as supporters waved his portrait and raised Syrian flags.

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