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By Ellen Francis and Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels including jihadists counter-attacked the army and its allies on Friday aiming to break a weeks-long siege on eastern Aleppo, insurgents said. The assault, employing heavy shelling and suicide car bombs, was mainly focused on the city's western edge by rebels based in the countryside outside Aleppo. It included Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a former affiliate of al Qaeda previously known as the Nusra Front, and groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has mocked his Democratic rival's family history of military service, saying he had forgotten the Asian-American congresswoman's "parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."
UN chief Ban Ki-moon will launch crunch Cyprus talks in Switzerland next month that could determine whether a peace deal is achievable to end decades of division on the island. United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide said Friday that Ban will open the November 7-11 talks at which rival Cypriot leaders will discuss territorial adjustments for the first time. Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akıncı decided this week to move their negotiations launched 17 months ago to Mont Pelerin, near Geneva.