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The border area in the Golan Heights on the Syrian side is a buffer zone, with some villages where fighting has flared over the past week. The 46-mile-long buffer zone is governed and policed by the Syrian authorities, and no military forces other than U.N. forces are permitted within it.

CHINA

Communist Party congress closes with new leadership

BEIJING — Months of sharp behind-the-scenes jostling reach a climax Thursday with the announcement of a new Chinese leadership that almost regardless of its makeup is likely to be much like the one it replaces: divided, deliberative and weak.

All but officially announced, Xi Jinping is expected to head the new leadership as Communist Party chief, joined by Li Keqiang, the presumptive prime minster, in a choreographed succession that began five years ago when the two were anointed as successors.

Alongside them at the apex of power, the Politburo Standing Committee, will be a handful of senior politicians drawn from top positions in the provinces and bureaucracies.

Their ascent was nudged along Wednesday, when a weeklong party congress closed by naming Mr. Xi, Mr. Li and the other leading candidates to the Central Committee, a 205-member body which appoints the new leadership.

Left off the list was Hu Jintao, who is retiring as party chief after 10 years. A top general told reporters that Mr. Hu also is relinquishing his sole remaining powerful post, as head of the military, a significant break from the past that would give Mr. Xi leeway to establish his authority.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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