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Kazakh Capital Dims Many Traffic Lights

The shutdown of dozens of traffic lights has turned intersections in this Central Asian capital into a motorist’s nightmare.

Almaty turned off about 100 of its 270 traffic signals early last week. The city cited the failure of the private company SMEU, which is responsible for their upkeep, to pay its electric bill.

A spokesman for SMEU, Sergei Bezabotin, said the city is to blame for not paying the equivalent of $944,000 it owes the firm for its services. As a result, he said, the company can’t pay its taxes and owes the government $700,000.

About 200,000 cars are registered in Almaty, a city of 1.2 million people.

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Syria says capital is free of militants after defeat of IS

new  Syria’s military said Monday it has retaken the last neighborhoods in southern Damascus held by the Islamic State group and declared the Syrian capital and its surroundings “completely safe” from militants for the first time in nearly seven years.