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Under an army watchtower and across the street from the concrete wall Israel has built in parts of the occupied West Bank, street artist Banksy has opened a guesthouse in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

Ri Jong Chol, a suspect in the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, said in Beijing that he was a victim of a conspiracy by Malaysian authorities attempting to damage the honor of North Korea.

The number of civilians escaping the fighting in Mosul has increased significantly as battles intensify between U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, and some have been exposed to chemical agents, the Red Cross said on Friday.

In his first major speech to Congress on Tuesday, President Donald Trump assured U.S. allies that he is committed to NATO, but some of his fellow Republicans have been blocking a Senate vote to expand the alliance for months.

U.S.-backed Iraqi army units on Wednesday took control of the last major road out of western Mosul that had been in Islamic State's hands, trapping the militants in a shrinking area within the city, a general and residents said.