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From Dishwasher to Heart Doctor, Atlanta Refugee Embodies American Story

Voice of America - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:49
A cardiologist at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, is an example of the classic American rags to riches story, with a twist. Dr. Heval Mohamed Kelli started his American experience as a young refugee from Syria, and Saleh Damiger has his story.
Categories: Iraq

Four Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Gaza Border Explosion

Voice of America - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 05:02
Four Israeli soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously, when an improvised explosive device blew up near the Israeli-Gaza border fence Saturday. Israel responded with airstrikes. The military said it hit 18 targets in the Gaza Strip later in the day and overnight, including what the military said were a weapons manufacturing site and an underground tunnel being built in the direction of Israel. There were no reports of casualties in Gaza from the attacks. And there was no...
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Israel Builds Case for Europeans to Accept Iran Nuclear Deal 'Fix'

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 21:42
U.S. officials will have another opportunity to persuade their European counterparts to accept changes to the Iran nuclear deal when they meet at the Munich Security Conference this weekend. The deal, aimed at preventing Tehran from building a nuclear bomb, is considered dangerously flawed by the Trump administration. With Israel backing Trump's goal of fixing the deal, VOA's Michael Lipin asked former Israeli officials whether they think those efforts will succeed.
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Iran and India Agree to Lease Part of Chabahar Port to New Delhi

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 18:56
India and Iran sealed nine agreements during a visit by the Iranian President to New Delhi including a key accord that leases operational control of part of the Iranian port of Chabahar to New Delhi for 18 months. India is helping develop the port to create a strategic trade route to landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics, bypassing rival Pakistan.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also agreed to step up efforts to bring...
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Israel Builds Case for Europeans to Accept Iran Nuclear Deal 'Fix'

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 14:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to use the West's pre-eminent annual security conference to argue for tougher Western action against Israel's regional rival, Iran. Netanyahu is scheduled to make that case in a speech to global leaders and security officials at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday. As he left for Germany on Thursday, Netanyahu said he would present proof of Iran's involvement in a cross-border confrontation between Israel and...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Builds Case for Europeans to Accept Iran Nuclear Deal 'Fix'

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 13:50
U.S. officials will have another opportunity to persuade their European counterparts to accept changes to the Iran nuclear deal when they meet at the Munich Security Conference this weekend. The deal, aimed at preventing Tehran from building a nuclear bomb, is considered dangerously flawed by the Trump administration. With Israel backing Trump's goal of fixing the deal, VOA's Michael Lipin asked former Israeli officials whether they think those efforts will succeed.
Categories: Iraq

Kurdish Doctors Report Suspected Turkish Gas Attack in Syria

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 13:30
Six civilians suffered breathing difficulties and other symptoms indicative of poison gas inhalation after an attack launched by Turkey on the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, Syrian Kurdish news outlets and Syria’s state-run news agency reported Saturday. The news outlets quoted local doctors in Afrin as saying the hospital treated six cases of people who suffered shortness of breath, vomiting and skin rashes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group also quoted local...
Categories: Iraq

Former British Diplomat Appointed UN Envoy to Yemen

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 12:54
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed a former British diplomat as special envoy to war-torn Yemen. A U.N. spokesman announced the appointment of Martin Griffiths on Friday, saying he will replace Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Ahmed had been in the post for three years. His contract expires at the end of the month. Griffiths is the executive director of the European Institute of Peace and has served in multiple U.N. roles. The U.N. spokesman says Griffiths brings...
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Turkish Court Seeks to Indict Syrian Woman Accused of Being IS Recruit, Bomb-Maker

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 07:16
Turkish prosecutors are seeking the indictment of the widow of an Islamic State (IS) fighter, whom they accuse of making bombs with her late husband for the terror group in Syria, local authorities told VOA.  Prosecutors are asking the court for a 15-year prison sentence for Afra Shaar, a Syrian national and widow of Faysal Selimoglu, a deceased Turkish IS fighter. No trial has been held yet. According to Turkish law enforcement authorities, Shaar was arrested in December 2017...
Categories: Iraq

Israel's UN Ambassador Talks to VOA About Jerusalem, the Holocaust, Syria

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 03:04
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to address the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday during a routine meeting on the Middle East, and reports say he is expected to focus on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Last December, Trump broke with long-standing U.S. policy to say Washington would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and start preparations for a new mission there. In response to Trump’s...
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Israel's UN Ambassador Talks to VOA About Jerusalem, the Holocaust, Syria

Voice of America - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 01:49
Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, discusses the Trump administration's Jerusalem decision as part of a recent wide-ranging interview in Washington with VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren.
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Pakistan Under Scrutiny for Planned Troop Deployment in Saudi Arabia

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 22:45
Pakistan's decision to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia has sparked domestic criticism the country is taking sides in the Yemeni conflict in violation of a parliamentary resolution, and it's a move some say likely will upset neighboring Iran. The Pakistani military announced Thursday it was sending a "contingent" of troops "on a training and advice mission" to Saudi Arabia "in a continuation of ongoing … bilateral security cooperation." The statement,...
Categories: Iraq

Trump to Host Netanyahu at White House Next Month

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 21:13
President Donald Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next month.   White House spokesman Raj Shah confirms that Netanyahu will meet with the president on March 5.   The pair met last month in Davos, Switzerland weeks after the Trump administration rejected international criticism of its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and its announcement to begin preparations for moving the U.S. embassy there.   Word of...
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France Insists French Jihadists Should Face Justice Wherever They Are

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:43
French officials remain adamant they won’t accept the repatriation of French jihadists after their capture on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq for prosecution in France. After almost a week of intense discussions between Western governments on the fate of foreign fighters detained in the Levant, U.S. appeals for their countries of origin to accept responsibility for them are still being rejected by the French and British governments. “We are no nearer an overall agreement on this,” a...
Categories: Iraq

Tillerson in Turkey in Bid to Mend Relations

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:38
Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has met with senior Turkish officials amid rising tensions between the two NATO allies. The countries remain at loggerheads in part over Washington’s support of a Kurdish militia in Syria, which Ankara accuses of being a terrorist organization. While Tillerson was meeting his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, a crowd outside the venue chanted, "Murdering Americans," in a stark illustration of how low bilateral relations have...
Categories: Iraq

As Turkey’s Afrin Offensive Drags on, Civilians Have no Place to Run

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:33
One-month-old Heyim Hassan was receiving treatment for a chest infection in the Afrin general hospital in northern Syria when a shell landed a few meters (feet) away. His panicked father whisked him out of the building and spent hours looking for nebulizers to aid the infant’s breathing. No one was killed in the attack, but 30 children had to be evacuated to safety. It was the third time Heyim’s father, Serbest, had to seek shelter for his family in the last month. Four days after the...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq's PM Declares Country Open for Business

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:04
Iraq's prime minister was in Kuwait this week, selling his country as a promising investment opportunity. After years of war and sectarian violence, Iraq is moving toward stability and wants to attract the private sector to help fund its $88 billion reconstruction and recovery effort. From the Kuwaiti capital, VOA's Margaret Besheer reports investors are interested.
Categories: Iraq

Key Senator to Stop Blocking US Arms Sales to Persian Gulf Nations

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 03:45
The United States is poised to let Persian Gulf nations resume buying American-made lethal weapons after a key U.S. senator said he would stop blocking the sales, even though the Qatar diplomatic crisis that prompted the freeze is no closer to being resolved. Last year, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said he was putting a "blanket hold" on sales to Gulf Cooperation Council countries, aiming to put pressure on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates...
Categories: Iraq

Pakistan Wants US to Help Pay for Border Wall With Afghanistan

Voice of America - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 02:47
Pakistan is building a wall along its border with Afghanistan and wants U.S. President Donald Trump to help pay for it "It won't cost them [the U.S.] much," Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told the Bloomberg news agency. "The war is costing them much more." Only a fraction of the wall is completed because of money problems. But Asif said he still expects it to be finished by next year. 'Free-for-all' Asif described the 2,300-kilometer...
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Israeli Attorney General Lauds Police Probe into Netanyahu

Voice of America - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 23:38
Israel's attorney general on Thursday praised a police investigation into the prime minister over corruption allegations, saying it was conducted "thoroughly" and "by the book" even as the Israeli leader has shrugged off its conclusions. In a speech at Tel Aviv University, Avihai Mandelblit lauded the more-than-yearlong probe into a pair of corruption scandals that have engulfed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, culminating this week when police recommended that...
Categories: Iraq