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Russia said Monday it would hold talks with Washington on a total rebel withdrawal from Syria's Aleppo, where the army has made sweeping advances, but opposition factions rejected any evacuation. President Bashar al-Assad's forces have seized two-thirds of the former rebel bastion in east Aleppo since they began an operation to recapture all of the battered second city in mid-November. The rapid gains for regime forces have left opposition fighters reeling and on Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said talks would be held on a rebel evacuation.
BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — An appeals court in Gambia has ordered the release of a top opposition politician and 18 others who were arrested after they took part in a peaceful protest earlier this year calling for political reforms.