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Iranian Leaders Divided Over Protests

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 22:55
Iran’s leaders appear to be divided about the reasons behind the anti-government protests roiling the country, who the demonstrators are and how to curtail the unrest - the most significant challenge to Iran’s clerical leadership since 2009, when authorities resorted to a nationwide crackdown to crush the pro-democracy "green movement." Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused foreign enemies Tuesday of fomenting the demonstrations, which have seen police stations and the...
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DC Demo to Support Iranian Anti-Government Protesters

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 21:33
Protesters gathered in front of the White House to show support for Iranian anti-government protesters, Dec. 31, 2017.
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Saudi-led Coalition Denies Blocking Aid to Yemen

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 20:55
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen has denied blocking aid and basic supplies from entering, following a Reuters story detailing how Yemen is struggling to cope with a new outbreak of the bacterial disease diphtheria. The December 29 report quoted the World Health Organization as saying 380 patients had been admitted to hospitals across Yemen with diphtheria since August. The spread of the disease compounds widespread hunger and one of the worst cholera outbreaks ever...
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Israel Gives African Migrants 3 Months to Leave or Face Jail

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 19:59
Israel is notifying thousands of Africans who entered the country illegally that they have three months to leave or face incarceration. The Population and Immigration Authority called this week on migrants from Sudan and Eritrea to leave “to their country or to a third country,” meaning Rwanda or Uganda. Those who leave by the end of March will be given $3,500, along with airfare and other incentives.   The Hotline for Migrant Workers, an advocacy group, condemned the move Tuesday,...
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Egypt Hangs 4 Convicted Militants, Renews State of Emergency

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 19:44
Egypt on Tuesday executed four alleged Islamic militants following their conviction by a military tribunal in the killing of three military academy students in a 2015 bomb attack. Authorities also renewed a nationwide state of emergency first imposed after deadly bombings targeted two churches in April. A decree issued by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Egypt's general-turned-president, extended the state of emergency for three months. Egypt has struggled to combat an Islamic State-led...
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Worldwide Support for Iranian Protesters

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 19:30
Protesters in various cities around the world demonstrated support for the anti-government protesters in Iran.
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Iran's Supreme Leader Accuses Nation's 'Enemies' of Stirring Unrest

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:50
Iran's Supreme Leader on Tuesday accused enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring the violent anti-government protests that began late last week. "In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools, including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create troubles for the Islamic Republic," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement shown on state television and in a post on his official website. Khameei said he would address the nation about the recent...
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Israeli Archeologists Unveil 2,700-Year-Old "Governor Seal" Found In Jerusalem

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 09:06
Archeologists in Israel have unveiled a 2,700-year-old seal impression that they say confirms the existence of biblical Jerusalem governors. The small clay artifact, found in the archeological excavations in the Western Wall plaza, bears an inscription that says 'Belonging to the governor of the city' in ancient Hebrew script. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
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5th Day of Protests as Iranians Continue Taking to Streets Decrying Islamic Republic

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 09:05
Anti-government protests in Iran spilled into a fifth day Monday, with protesters continuing to complain about government corruption and economic mismanagement. Iranian authorities have said they support free speech, despite blocking access to some social media sites. The government is warning of consequences for those who destroy public property.  Arash Arabasadi reports.
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US Assesses Sanctions on Iranian Protester Crackdown

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 03:54
The United States is pondering further sanctions against individuals in the Tehran regime who are responsible for cracking down on Iranian protesters, amid the largest anti-government demonstrations since the country's disputed presidential election in 2009. In an interview with VOA on Monday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Andrew Peek also outlined Washington's plan to build an international coalition to support Iranian people's legitimate rights to...
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Amid Iran Protests, Trump Faces Decision on Sanctions

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 01:57
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been quick and forceful in his support for Iranian anti-government protests, will have a chance later this month to further step up pressure on Tehran.  In mid-January, Trump faces another series of congressionally mandated deadlines to certify whether Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers.  Many Iran watchers say Trump may use the deadlines to reimpose or enact new sanctions in an...
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Iranian Protests Prompt Different Western Responses

Voice of America - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 01:26
Should Western leaders be offering loud rhetorical support for Iran's anti-government protesters?  The five days of protests that have seen a dozen people reportedly killed since the unrest broke out last Thursday has prompted different responses from Western governments, with some restraining their comments for fear of feeding into Tehran's efforts to label protesters fifth columnists who are following the instructions of foreign powers. U.S. President Donald Trump, who...
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Crisis of Expectations: Iran Protests Mean Economic Dilemma for Government

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 23:35
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani may have to step back from some of his core economic policies in the face of nationwide protests by tens of thousands of people frustrated by high unemployment and stagnant living standards The protests, during which at least 10 people have been killed, are fuelled by disappointment that the lifting of sanctions on Iran in January 2016 has failed to deliver an economic boom. Instead, the non-oil part of the economy has continued to struggle, with...
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Gunman Kills 2 Christians at Alcohol Store South of Cairo: Security Sources

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 22:24
A masked gunman shot dead two Christian brothers at their alcohol shop south of Cairo on Monday, security sources said. The incident took place just days after attacks on a Coptic church and another Christian-owned shop also south of the Egyptian capital that killed more than 10 people, as security forces brace for attacks against the Arab world’s largest Christian minority ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations. The gunman used a rifle in the attack, shooting at the shop from...
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Army: Israel Indicts Palestinian Teenage Girl Who Punched Soldier

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 22:02
Israel indicted a 16-year-old Palestinian girl on Monday on charges including assault for punching an Israeli soldier in the face two weeks ago, an incident which made her into a hero for Palestinians and was seen as humiliating by right-wing Israelis. Israel has held Ahed Tamimi since arresting her three days after she was filmed punching the soldier at the entrance to her family home in a village in the occupied West Bank. The confrontation took place after what Israel says was a...
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State Media Says Syrian President Reshuffles Government

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 20:25
President Bashar Assad reshuffled his government Monday replacing the ministers of defense, information and industry, Syria's state news agency SANA reported. SANA did not give a reason for the government reshuffle that comes at a time when Assad's forces have been gaining ground over the past two years under the cover of Russian airstrikes and with the help of Iran-backed fighters. It said army commander Gen. Ali Ayoub has been named defense minister replacing Fahd Jassem...
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US VP Pence's Planned Visit to Israel up in the Air Again

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 18:55
Israel's Foreign Ministry on Monday said an expected visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence appears to have been postponed again.   Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the visit, which had been expected to take place the week of Jan. 14, is not on the ministry's schedule for January.   "The visit is not included in our provision of scheduled visits of high-level dignitaries in January," he said.   He gave no reason for the apparent delay and said it was...
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Suspected Saudi-led Coalition Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 23

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 18:41
Yemeni witnesses and security officials say Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have killed at least 23 people in the port city of Hodeida. They say Monday's strikes also wounded eight others. The blaze erupted in a market after a strike targeted a nearby petrol station in el-Garrahi district, they said. The witnesses and officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation or weren't authorized to brief reporters. The coalition could not immediately be...
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Israeli Archaeologists Say Found 2,700-Year-old 'Governor of Jerusalem' Seal Impression

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 17:18
Israeli archaeologists unveiled on Monday a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which they said belonged to a biblical governor of Jerusalem. The artifact, inscribed in an ancient Hebrew script as “belonging to the governor of the city”, was likely attached to a shipment or sent as a souvenir on behalf of the governor, the most prominent local position held in Jerusalem at the time, the Israel Antiquities Authority said. The impression, the size of a small coin, depicts two standing...
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Pope on 2018: Forget Life's Useless Baggage, Work for Peace

Voice of America - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 16:26
Pope Francis on Monday recommended jettisoning life's "useless baggage" in 2018, including what he called "empty chatter" and banal consumerism, and focusing instead on building a peaceful and welcoming world, particularly for refugees and migrants. Francis offered his reflections on paring down non-essentials as he celebrated New Year's Day Mass Monday in St. Peter's Basilica and later greeted some 40,000 people in St. Peter's Square. His advice...
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