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Israel Hits Targets Across Gaza After Rocket Attack

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 22:51
Israeli forces on Monday struck targets across the Gaza Strip in response to a surprise rocket attack from the Palestinian territory, as the military bolstered its troops and rocket-defense systems in anticipation of a new round of heavy fighting with the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel opened public bomb shelters in most major cities and civil defense authorities canceled sports events and public transportation in southern Israel. As Israeli aircraft pounded Gaza, Hamas’ leadership...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinians Report Cease-Fire in Gaza After Day of Violence

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 21:55
Palestinian officials say Israel and Hamas have agreed to an Egyptian-mediated cease-fire, after a day of fighting in which Palestinians fired a rocket into Israel and Israel retaliated with airstrikes on Gaza. Hamas TV also reported on the cease-fire development, but Israeli officials have not yet commented on the claim. Israeli airstrikes Monday evening hit dozens of targets across the Gaza Strip, including the office of Hamas' leader. Ahead of the airstrikes, Hamas'...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Sisters Hiding in Hong Kong Granted Asylum in 3rd Country

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:48
After six months hiding in Hong Kong, two sisters from Saudi Arabia have been granted asylum in an unknown third country, bringing their tumultuous time in legal limbo to an end. Known to the media as "Reem and Rawan," the sisters left Hong Kong last week for new lives elsewhere, their lawyer Michael Vidler said Monday.He did not disclose the location of their asylum to protect their safety. The sisters, aged 18 and 20, said they were elated at their "happy ending"...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Candidate Gantz Says Willing to Use Force on Iran

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:22
Benny Gantz, who is posing a stiff challenge to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in upcoming elections, said Monday he would not hesitate to use force on Iran to contain the regional rival. In a speech to the US pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, Gantz also spelled out further his views on peace prospects with the Palestinians, insisting that Israel's military will always control security in the West Bank. The centrist former military chief showed no daylight with Netanyahu on peace...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon PM Undergoes Heart Procedure in France

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 17:12
Lebanon's prime minister has had a heart procedure in a Paris hospital and is expected to be discharged the same day. Saad Hariri's office says the 48-year-old underwent an hour-long angioplasty procedure, used to treat blocked arteries, on Monday. Hariri's personal physician, Essam Yassin, says the prime minister is well and describes the procedure as a "preventive" measure. He says Hariri will return to his home in Paris later Monday. Hariri is the youngest...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Group Wants International Tribunal for IS Detainees

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 16:45
  The U.S-backed Syrian fighters who drove the Islamic State group from its last strongholds are calling for an international tribunal to prosecute hundreds of foreigners rounded up in the nearly five-year campaign against the extremists. The administration affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Monday such a tribunal is needed "for justice to take its course," particularly after countries have refused to bring home their detained nationals. The...
Categories: Iraq

Jordan King Cancels Romania Trip Over Jerusalem Declaration

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 15:46
Jordan's King Abdullah II has canceled a visit to Romania to protest its prime minister's support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Royal Hashemite Court said Monday that the decision came "in solidarity with Jerusalem." Abdullah was scheduled to visit Romania later in the day.| On Sunday, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila told a conference in Washington that her country was moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. However, Romanian...
Categories: Iraq

UN Warns Of Spike in Cholera, Displacement in Yemen

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 15:43
A United Nations humanitarian agency said on Monday that Yemen has witnessed a sharp spike in the number of suspected cholera cases this year, as well as increased displacement in a northern province. The report from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says 100,000 suspected cholera cases were found across Yemen from the beginning of the year until March, and over 190 people have died. In the capital, Sanaa, the physician Saddam al-Azizi said last week's...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Refers 28 to Court on Charges of Joining IS, Al-Qaida

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 15:42
Egyptian prosecutors have referred 28 terror suspects in two separate cases to court on charges of joining local affiliates of the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. They said Monday the suspects were plotting attacks against security forces and the headquarters of the high state prosecution in Cairo. They say only 17 of the 28 suspects are in custody. No date has been set for their trials. It was not clear when or where they were arrested. An IS affiliate based in northern Sinai has...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Floods Kill 20, Iranians Fault Government’s Disaster Management

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 15:32
Iranian state media say flash floods killed 20 people in several regions on Monday, as Iranian social media users criticized the nation’s president and local authorities for their handling of the disaster. A spokesman for Iran's Crisis Management Organization told state news channel IRINN that 25 of the nation’s 31 provinces were hit by Monday’s floods. Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted another emergency official as saying 18 people were killed in a flash flood that...
Categories: Iraq

Libyan Oil Workers at El Sharara, Other Fields Demand Salary Increase

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 14:30
A number of workers at Libya's largest oilfield, El Sharara, and two other facilities are demanding a salary increase by two-thirds at a time when the OPEC country's oil output is surging. The comments are the first sign of dissent at the 315,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) field in southern Libya since it reopened this month. State guards and tribesmen had closed El Sharara in December in an apparently successful attempt to clinch salary payments and development funds. Workers at...
Categories: Iraq

Netanyahu Cutting Short US Trip After Rocket Attack

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:59
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump Monday, then immediately fly back home, cutting short his trip in response to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu had been scheduled to have dinner at the White House Tuesday and also give an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major U.S. lobbying group for the Jewish state. He pledged in a statement announcing the change in his trip that Israel would respond with...
Categories: Iraq

Yemeni Children Victimized by 'World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis'

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 03:33
March 26 will mark the fourth anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition campaign to oust the Houthi rebels from parts of Yemen they had occupied. The fighting has caused what the UN calls "the world's worst humanitarian crisis," displacing people from their homes, creating food shortages, a growing civilian death toll and undermining children's development. The UN estimates that about 10 children die every day in Yemen from preventable diseases caused by hunger. VOA's...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Strikes Gaza After Border Bombs

Voice of America - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 01:11
Israeli aircraft targeted Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after Palestinians there threw explosive devices at the border fence during "riots," the army said. Also Sunday, the health ministry in Gaza announced the death of a Palestinian wounded previously in clashes with Israeli forces. Palestinians in Gaza had thrown a number of explosive devices toward the border fence with Israel, one of which set off air raid sirens in the south of the country late Saturday,...
Categories: Iraq

Looking for Election Boost, Israel's Netanyahu in US to Meet with Trump

Voice of America - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 21:37
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington looking for an electoral advantage from U.S. President Donald Trump's expected formal recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights. Netanyahu, facing corruption charges and a tough re-election contest April 9, is meeting Monday with Trump at the White House and having dinner there on Tuesday, sandwiched around a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major U.S. lobbying group for...
Categories: Iraq

Fight Against IS: The Price of Victory

Voice of America - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 20:29
In October 2016, Umm Aysha and her three children huddled on the ground outside a bombed-out shopping plaza with a crowd of other women, all wearing the black veils required by Islamic State militants. They were on the outskirts of Mosul city in Iraq, fleeing a battle as Iraqi, Syrian and coalition forces pummeled IS across the region from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city and village to village. “Our house was bombed,” she told VOA, explaining why she fled. That battle...
Categories: Iraq

Israel’s PM to Meet Trump 3 Weeks Before Election

Voice of America - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 20:05
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump this week in Washington. The meeting comes as Netanyahu's Likud party is lagging in opinion polls ahead of elections next month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival, former chief of staff, Benny Gantz are speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting this week in Washington. But only Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump and attend a...
Categories: Iraq

Moroccan Teachers Stage New Demo Over Benefits

Voice of America - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 18:52
Thousands of teachers flooded the streets of the Moroccan capital on Sunday to demand better conditions after a nighttime protest dispersed by riot police left dozens wounded. Teachers on temporary contracts have been on strike since March 3 demanding permanent employment arrangements that would improve their rights and benefits, especially over retirement. On Saturday night baton-wielding riot police used water cannons to disperse a protest by several thousand young teachers who...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Parliament Sacks Governor Over Deadly Ferry Capsize

Voice of America - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 18:31
Iraq's parliament on Sunday sacked the governor of a northern province where 100 people died in a ferry disaster that sparked a wave of grief and anger. Most of those killed when the boat sank Thursday in the Tigris River in Mosul were women and children headed for a Mother's Day picnic on the Kurds' Nowruz New Year holiday. Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mehdi wrote to parliament on Saturday calling on legislators to fire Nineveh provincial governor Nawfel Akoub, citing...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Fighters Clear Explosives in Area Retaken from IS

Voice of America - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 15:18
U.S.-backed Syrian fighters cleared explosives in the last area retaken from the Islamic State group on Sunday, a day after declaring military victory over the extremists and the end of their self-styled caliphate. A spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who goes by the nom de guerre Mervan The Brave, said Baghuz village where the militants made their final stand is "full of all kinds of explosives." He said SDF forces were clearing the area and have detonated...
Categories: Iraq