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Raqqa, Kirkuk, Marawi: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Raqqa, Kirkuk, Marawi: Your Wednesday Briefing
Analysts will be watching the people Mr. Xi, 64, surrounds himself with, looking for signs
that his ambitions run even higher than the role that he already claimed over the nation’s future, and, as one said, of how far he "can and will go in reshaping the norms of Chinese politics to get his way." _____ • Cheering and celebratory gunfire erupted in the streets of the Syrian city of Raqqa, above, after U.S.-backed forces said they had seized it.
[The New York Times] • Dire warnings of damage to democracy rippled across Europe over the car-bomb assassination of a journalist,
Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had exposed Malta’s links to offshore tax havens using the leaked Panama Papers.
[The New York Times] • Ophelia’s destructive power is partly explained by the storm’s unusual route across the Atlantic.
Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee — which wanted to avoid the politicization
of the Games — the U.S. team dropped the two runners, who received death threats.
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