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Why Mexico's 'drug war' is not about drugs

TIERRA COLORADA — Major events these days in Mexico's seven-year-long criminal conflict have precious little to do with a war on drugs.

Hermel: The Lebanese town where visitors are potential killers

HERMEL, Lebanon — Snow-covered fields and welcoming smiles give the town of Hermel a pleasant vibe. Archeological caves and rafting adventures once attracted tourists to this remote northern corner of Lebanon. But these days only suicide bombers and missiles seek out the town.

The Taliban claims it's holding this military dog hostage (VIDEO)

This could be a first. The Taliban claims to have captured a military dog, and is holding it hostage in Afghanistan.

Mexico's vigilantes and cartels battle it out on social media

MEXICO CITY — Photos, videos and text feeds from the 'war' in Michoacan's Tierra Caliente, or Hot Country, have multiplied exponentially in recent months as the so-called self-defense militias in recent months have wrested control of town after town from the Knights Templar gang.

Why Al Jazeera's journalists are being targeted in Egypt

CAIRO — In Egypt, journalists are being accused of terrorism.

Morsi trial adjourned until Feb. 4

CAIRO — A Cairo court on Saturday adjourned the trial which sees Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi accused of inciting the killing of protesters, while dozens of supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood were jailed for other crimes.

A day after Syria peace talks, barrel bombs kill 85 in Aleppo

The deaths came as a suicide car bombing in a Hezbollah stronghold across the border in Lebanon killed four people on Saturday, in the latest regional spillover of the conflict.

Syria won't talk unless Kerry says he's sorry

DAMASCUS — Syria's foreign minister said Saturday his delegation had rejected a US request for direct talks unless Secretary of State John Kerry apologized for his remarks at the Geneva II talks. "The Americans asked us to negotiate directly with them in Montreux," Walid Muallem told Syrian state media on the plane home from 10 days of peace talks in the Swiss cities of Montreux and Geneva.

Syria peace talks do little to stem violence, with 1,900 killed as leaders talk

Syrian peace talks have done nothing to stem the violence that’s ravaged the country for nearly three years, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday. By the group’s calculations, 1,867 people died between the time peace talks began on Jan. 22 and their conclusion on Friday. Included in the estimate are 498 civilians.

The Syrian government is razing entire neighborhoods — and that's not the half of it

BEIRUT — It’s not news that the Syrian civil war has led to appalling property destruction as well as a tragic loss of life. But a report released by Human Rights Watch Thursday says that in addition to the homes hit incidentally during strikes on military targets, the Syrian government has systematically destroyed vast swaths of the Damascus suburbs — not with missiles, but bulldozers. 
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