Iraqi 'Islamic State' jihadists deny ordering genital mutilation of all women

Jihadi extremists who have taken over the Iraqi city of Mosul have denied ordering families to have their daughters undergo female genital mutilation in order to prevent "immorality" or face severe punishment, as claimed by a senior UN humanitarian official on Thursday.

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Al-Jazeera offices in Gaza evacuated after direct hit by Israeli fire

Israel's army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the network's correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday.

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More than 20 members of one family killed in Gaza strike

'We don't want to see any more civilians killed' says Barack Obama as IDF attacks intensive care unit in day of bloodshed

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The terrifying rise of ISIS: $2 billion in loot, online killings and an army on the run

They're too extreme for al-Qaida, they boast of their brutality and they have forced the Iraqi government on to the defensive. How did the insurgent group rise to such terrifying power?

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Dead Sea scrolls brought to life with digital archive upgrade that includes 10,000 new images

Website includes 10,000 new images, more manuscript descriptions and translated content, and a faster search engine

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Syria hands over first batch of chemical weapons material

Cargo collected by Danish ship, which will remain at sea pending arrival of more material at port city of Latakia

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Syrian opposition dismisses Assad call for talks amid attack on 'western puppets'

Rebels say Syrian president offered no meaningful concessions in his first public speech in seven months

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Egypt opposition alleges referendum rigging as Muslim Brotherhood claims victory

Muslim Brotherhood's political wing says 56.5% voted for draft constitution but opposition warns of violations in first round poll

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Tensions rise as Egyptians vote on new constitution

Troops out in force amid opponents' claims that document favours Muslim Brotherhood

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Mars rover uncovers complex substances

The first detailed analysis of Martian soil by Nasa's car-sized rover, Curiosity, has revealed a complex mix of substances, including water, sulphur, chlorine and organic compounds. At this stage though it is not possible to say where the carbon contained in the organic material originated. It may have been carried to Mars as contamination on the rover, or aboard meteorites that rain down on the planet's dusty surface.

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Britain ready to back Palestinian bid for statehood at UN

Britain is prepared to back a key vote recognising Palestinian statehood at the United Nations if Mahmoud Abbas pledges not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks.

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Syria: leaked documents reveal Bashar al-Assad's role in crushing protests

Documents leaked by defector from Syrian regime show that Assad personally signed off on security crackdown plans.

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