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Iraq

UN Syria Envoy to Assess Progress as Peace Talks Hang in Balance

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 19:35
U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura says he will assess progress in the Syrian peace talks next week and decide whether it is worth continuing the political process or whether it has run its course for now.  De Mistura says he has been informed by the Syrian government delegation that it will rejoin the peace negotiations on Sunday.  The delegation quit the talks Friday to, as it said, “consult and refresh” with Damascus. But before leaving, the head of the Syrian...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinian-Israeli Clashes Erupt After Trump's Jerusalem Shift

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:32
Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops and street protests erupted Thursday in the West Bank and Gaza on the day after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.   In the West Bank, crowds of demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli forces and set tires afire in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government, where a thick plume of black smoke hovered over the city. Dozens sustained minor injuries in the skirmishes. In the...
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Newly Recognized by US as Israel's Capital, Jerusalem Seen as Unique

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:10
It is rare and perhaps unique for the world to interfere with a country's choice of its own capital. But that is far from the only unusual thing about Jerusalem.   Here is a look at some of the extraordinary facts about the city that Israel claims as its capital, even though nearly 40 percent of its population are not Israeli citizens:   Holy Hallelujah   Jerusalem is home to key holy sites for the world's three monotheistic religions - concentrated in the Old...
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Prominent Egyptian Lawyer Wins European Human Rights Prize

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:02
A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer has won a European prize for her work representing political prisoners and torture victims as well as advocating for women's rights. Ragia Omran was chosen from among 15 rights defenders from around the world to receive the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. The German and French embassies in Cairo announced the award earlier this week, and will present it to Omran on Dec. 10. Several Egyptian rights activists have...
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UAE 'Surprised and Disappointed' Over EU Blacklisting

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:33
The United Arab Emirates says it is "surprised and disappointed" about being blacklisted by the European Union along with 16 other countries the EU deems guilty of unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. The UAE said in a statement on Thursday that it's "committed to a reform process which will be finalized by October 2018" and that it's "absolutely confident this will ensure the UAE is swiftly removed from the list." The EU announced the list on...
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Indonesia Slams American Jerusalem Plan

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 16:41
Indonesia strongly criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a symbolic and controversial move that is seen as showing partisan bias for Israel since both Israel and the Palestinians claim the holy city as their capital.  Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi showed up at a democracy conference in Jakarta Thursday morning in a black-and-white keffiyeh scarf, a symbol of solidarity with Palestine, and did not mince words. “We condemn...
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Indonesia Slams American Embassy Move to Jerusalem

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 16:41
Indonesia strongly criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a symbolic and controversial move that is seen as showing partisan bias for Israel since both Israel and the Palestinians claim the holy city as their capital.  Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi showed up at a democracy conference in Jakarta Thursday morning in a black-and-white keffiyeh scarf, a symbol of solidarity with Palestine, and did not mince...
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Netanyahu Confident Countries Will Follow US Move to Recognize Jerusalem

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 16:04
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he has no doubt other countries will follow the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and that once the U.S. Embassy moves to the city others will relocate there as well. Netanyahu said his government is in contact with other countries, but did not name them as he delivered a speech at Israel's Foreign Ministry. Israel's military announced the deployment of extra troops in the occupied West Bank...
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Unmasked: Anonymous Historian Leaked Islamic State Secrets

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 15:54
He would wander the streets of occupied Mosul by day, chatting with shopkeepers and Islamic State fighters, visiting friends who worked at the hospital, swapping scraps of information. He grew out his hair and his beard and wore the shortened trousers required by the extremists. He forced himself to witness the beheadings and stonings, so he could hear killers call out the names of the condemned and their supposed crimes. By night, anonymously from his darkened room, Mosul Eye told the...
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China State Media: Sweeping Backlash to Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 15:47
Chinese state media predict a sweeping backlash to President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in what is being characterized in Beijing as a risky and unwise decision. Some editorials even warn the decision could lead to more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, hurt the American economy and fray relations between Washington and its allies in the Middle...
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Mideast Braces as Fallout Begins From Trump Shift on Jerusalem

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 13:18
Palestinians shuttered schools and shops and called for protests in West Bank towns Thursday, in a show of anger at President Donald Trump’s recognition of bitterly contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump’s dramatic break Wednesday with decades of U.S. policy on Jerusalem counters long-standing international assurances to the Palestinians that the fate of the city will be determined in negotiations. The Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967,...
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After Trump’s Shift on Jerusalem, What’s Next for Palestinians?

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:06
The dramatic U.S. policy shift on contested Jerusalem is seen by the Western-backed Palestinian leadership as a dangerous betrayal and game changer that is bound to propel them into a risky confrontation with the U.S. and Israel on the global stage. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas hasn’t decided yet whether to formally abandon U.S.-led negotiations with Israel, a troubled process that after two decades has failed to bring the Palestinians closer to statehood. However, those close to...
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Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Gets Negative Reactions

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:52
U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has met with criticism in the Arab world as well as in Europe and elsewhere. In a speech Wednesday, Trump described the move as a "long overdue step" after his predecessors failed to abide by the 22-year-old U.S. pledge to Israel. But the status of Jerusalem is a contentious issue many believe should be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
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In Controversial Announcement, Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:42
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a controversial move strongly opposed by the Palestinians and Arab states. Despite the announcement, the physical move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv is years away. VOA White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman reports
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Trump’s Jerusalem Move Welcomed by Most Major American Jewish Groups

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 08:14
President Donald Trump’s decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been welcomed by a majority of the top U.S. organizations representing American Jews, a community that overwhelmingly voted for his rival, Hillary Clinton, in last year’s presidential election. Seven of the most prominent U.S. Jewish organizations issued statements supporting Trump’s move within hours of him announcing it in a Wednesday speech at the White House. Two other organizations were...
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No End in Sight for Yemen War, Analysts Say

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 07:00
The killing Monday of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh by Iran-backed rebel Houthis, his uneasy allies-turned-foes, has plunged the war-torn country into further uncertainty and violence, prompting some of the fiercest fighting since the start of a multiparty conflict three years ago. Following Saleh's death at the hands of the Houthis, either in a gunbattle or execution, the rebels have set about consolidating their grip on Sanaa. They have seized more than 40 media...
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US Officials Warn of Islamic State’s New Caliphate: Cyberspace

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 03:38
The collapse of Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate has not diminished the militant group's ability to inspire attacks on Western targets via the internet, U.S. national security officials told senators on Wednesday. The Sunni Muslim extremist group has been building its external operations over the past two years and has claimed or been linked to at least 20 attacks against Western interests since January, said Lora Shiao, acting director of intelligence at the National...
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Trump Urges Saudis to Immediately Allow Aid Supplies Into Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 01:30
Calls comes as country grapples with bloody conflict, cholera outbreak, lack of fuel, food and medicine President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. officials to urge Saudi Arabia to completely allow fuel, food and medicine into Yemen. In a short statement Wednesday, Trump said, "This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately," saying the Yemeni people "desperately need it." A Saudi-led coalition is carrying out an air and ground campaign to drive the...
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Libya Launches Voter Registration with Election Date Unclear

Voice of America - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 23:58
Libyan electoral officials announced Wednesday the opening of a two-month voter registration period, though it is unclear when elections will next be held in the divided nation. The United Nations is supporting the voter registration process as it seeks to reconcile rival factions and relaunch a political transition that would lead to new polls. The U.N. Libya mission has previously said it hopes elections can be held by the end of next year, but has also acknowledged complex security,...
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International Community's Anxiety Rises Over US Jerusalem Decision

Voice of America - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 23:15
The international community reacted swiftly to President Donald Trump’s announcement the United States would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that could reignite Israeli-Palestinian violence.   U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres led the chorus of global voices Wednesday urging calm and restraint.   WATCH: Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Gets Negative Reactions   “From day one as...
Categories: Iraq