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Dozens of people were killed in an intense day-long battle between Syrian rebels and government forces in western Aleppo that continued intermittently on Wednesday, with rebels saying they were forced to retreat by heavy aerial bombing. An insurgent assault in and around the Jamiyat al-Zahraa area of Aleppo had threatened the army's defensive lines around government-held districts of a city at the epicenter of a recent escalation in the five-year-old civil war. The surge in bloodshed in Aleppo, Syria's largest city and biggest strategic prize, wrecked the first major "cessation of hostilities" agreement of the war, sponsored by Washington and Moscow, which had held since February.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged support for the city of Fort McMurray Wednesday after tens of thousands of residents were forced to flee a monster wildfire sweeping through Alberta's oil sands region. "Obviously, Fort McMurray being evacuated has been extremely difficult, not just for the province and officials, but for the folks who live there," Trudeau said.