in Iraq

Iraq

China, Saudi Arabia Try to Walk Together Amid Hurdles

Voice of America - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 16:06
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day visit to boost the country’s international image sullied by the recent killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and to enhance economic ties. But the path to better ties between Saudi Arabia and China is riddled with political hurdles. China has spent the last few days assuring Iran, Saudi Arabia’s political rival, that the Crown Prince’s visit would not affect its approach to the Middle East....
Categories: Iraq

Angry Basra Youth Find Outlet in Iraqi Rapper’s Music

Voice of America - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:22
A youth-led protest movement in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra, which saw riots last summer over failing services and soaring unemployment, has found an artistic outlet in the words and beats of homegrown rapper Ahmed Chayeb.  The 22-year-old rapper, also known as Mr. Guti, says his generation is fed up with the false piety of politicians and religious authorities who preach about faith and duty but have let Basra fall apart.  “We need to be critical of everything...
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France Discussing With Iran Fate of Citizen Arrested in October 

Voice of America - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 04:55
France is in touch with Iran to improve the conditions of a French woman who was arrested in October on the Gulf island of Kish for allegedly signing an illegal mining contract, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. Nelly Erin-Cambervelle, a 59-year-old businesswoman from Martinique, had been on the island as part of her import-export business and her arrest until now had not been made public. "She went to Kish island, not far from Dubai, which is considered to be...
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Trump Administration Says US-Born Jihadist Can't Return

Voice of America - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 03:00
The United States said Wednesday that it would refuse to take back a U.S.-born Islamic State propagandist who wants to return from Syria, arguing that she is no longer a citizen.    The Trump administration's refusal to admit Hoda Muthana, 24, could set precedent and face legal challenges, because it is generally extremely difficult to lose US citizenship.    "Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,"...
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US Sanctions Indian National, Declaring Him a Drug Trafficker 

Voice of America - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 01:10
The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Indian national Jasmeet Hakimzada, declaring him a major foreign drug trafficker.  Six other people and entities were also sanctioned, including Hakimzada's parents, who allegedly help him run his operation. "Jasmeet Hakimzada's global drug trafficking and money laundering network has been involved in smuggling heroin and synthetic opioids around the world," a senior Treasury...
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Morocco: Arab Spring Anniversary Brings Reflection, Beatings

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 23:42
Moroccan police fired water cannons at protesting teachers who were marching toward a royal palace and beat people with truncheons amid demonstrations around the capital Wednesday. Several demonstrations were held Wednesday, marking exactly eight years after the birth of a Moroccan Arab Spring protest movement that awakened a spirit of activism in this North African kingdom. Participants in the movement recalled to The Associated Press how it changed them, even as Wednesday's...
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Netanyahu Strikes Election Deal With Far-Right Parties

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 22:31
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday reached a preliminary election deal with two fringe religious-nationalist parties in a bid to unify his hardline bloc ahead of April elections. Netanyahu's Likud party announced it would reserve the 28th spot on its parliamentary list for the Jewish Home party and grant it two Cabinet ministries in a future government if it merges with the Jewish Power party. Jewish Power is comprised of hardline religious nationalists who have...
Categories: Iraq

More Civilians Escape Baghuz, but 'Most Hardened' IS Fighters Remain

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 21:04
U.S.-backed Syrian forces have transferred a group of Islamic State fighters to authorities in Iraq as they await the start of an operation to clear the last area in Syria still under the militant group’s control. An Iraqi security official told the Associated Press on Thursday the transfer involved more than 150 Iraqi members of Islamic State, while Reuters quoted a local Iraqi mayor saying 10 trucks carried Iraqi and foreign fighters into Iraq. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic...
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Israeli Official: Netanyahu-Putin Meeting in Moscow Delayed

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:47
An Israeli government official says a planned meeting in Moscow between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been postponed. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday because of the sensitivity of the matter, says the meeting was delayed in mutual agreement. The two will have a telephone call Thursday and schedule a new meeting soon. Netanyahu and Putin have been recently holding regular consultations to coordinate operations in...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Arabia to Cooperate with India on Terrorism

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:20
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in New Delhi that terrorism is a common concern and his country would cooperate with India in combating terrorism and extremism.   On a visit to New Delhi, Prince Salman said Wednesday that there were potential opportunities for investment of $ 100 billion in India.   His trip to New Delhi has coincided with spiraling tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of a terror attack that killed 40 paramilitaries in Indian...
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Egypt Executes 9 Over 2015 Killing of Top Prosecutor

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:57
Egypt on Wednesday executed nine suspected Muslim Brotherhood members convicted of involvement in the 2015 assassination of the country’s top prosecutor, security officials said. The nine were found guilty of taking part in the bombing that killed Hisham Barakat, the first assassination of a senior official in Egypt in a quarter century. Barakat was also the most senior official killed since the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The officials, who...
Categories: Iraq

Trucks Carry Civilians From Last Islamic State Enclave in Syria

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 15:37
A convoy of trucks Wednesday carried civilians away from the last area of Syria still under the control of Islamic State militants. The group of at least eight trucks carried people from the town of Baghouz, continuing an evacuation of civilians that has taken place in recent weeks as a U.S.-backed militia closed in. It is not clear exactly how many people were able to leave Wednesday, or how many civilians remain in Baghouz. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have given...
Categories: Iraq

US-Backed Forces Warn Last Islamic State Fighters in Syria to Give Up or Die

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:22
A U.S.-backed militia in Syria is warning the last remaining Islamic State fighters there to surrender or die. Dozens of trucks appeared on the outskirts of the village of Baghouz on Tuesday to evacuate any Islamic State fighters who decide to give up, along with their families. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said they will attack after evacuating civilians. But U.N. human rights officials said they are concerned about the estimated 200 families holed up in Baghouz. They...
Categories: Iraq

For Yazidi Survivors of Islamic State Killings, the Nightmares Go On

Voice of America - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 03:25
Ever since Islamic State visited death and destruction on their villages in northern Iraq nearly five years ago, Yazidis Daoud Ibrahim and Kocher Hassan have had trouble sleeping. For Hassan, 39, who was captured, it is her three missing children, and three years of imprisonment at the hands of the jihadist group. For Ibrahim, 42, who escaped, it is the mass grave that he returned to find on his ravaged land. "They burnt one house down, blew up the other, they torched the olive...
Categories: Iraq

Suicide Bombing Kills 3 Policemen Near Cairo's Famed Bazaar

Voice of America - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 22:41
The death toll from a late-night suicide blast near Cairo's famed tourist market rose to three on Tuesday after a police officer died of his wounds, Egypt's Interior Ministry said. The fatalities in the attack near the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in the heart of Cairo were all policemen. The explosion late Monday also wounded two other policemen and a woman, officials said.  The attack was a rarity for the central area of Egypt's capital amid a years-long security crackdown...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon Nominates Challenger to Trump's Choice to Lead World Bank

Voice of America - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 22:37
Lebanon has nominated investment banker Ziad Hayek as a candidate for president of the World Bank, mounting the first challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump's choice to lead the development lender, Hayek said in a Twitter post on Tuesday. Hayek, who has served as secretary general of Lebanon's High Council for Privatization since 2006, also posted a nomination letter from Lebanon's finance ministry. He is challenging Trump's nomination of David Malpass, U.S. Treasury...
Categories: Iraq

Report: Egypt Denies New York Times Journalist Entry

Voice of America - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 22:26
Egyptian authorities have denied entry to a veteran New York Times journalist, the US-based newspaper reported on Tuesday. David Kirkpatrick arrived at Cairo airport on Monday but was barred from entering the country, the newspaper said. Security officials held him "incommunicado for hours before forcing him onto a flight back to London without explanation," the New York Times reported. Egypt's interior ministry could not immediately be reached for...
Categories: Iraq

Efforts Resume to Evacuate Civilians From IS Area in Syria

Voice of America - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 21:06
Dozens of trucks arrived Tuesday at the outskirts of a besieged enclave held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, signaling renewed efforts to evacuate hundreds of civilians trapped in the militants' last patch of territory along the Euphrates River. A spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian militia that is spearheading the fight against IS said a military operation aimed at ousting the extremists from the enclave will begin if they don't surrender. Such an operation would...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinians' Lawsuit in US vs Adelson, Others Revived

Voice of America - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 20:36
A U.S. appeals court has revived a $1 billion lawsuit by Palestinians seeking to hold billionaire Sheldon Adelson and more than 30 other pro-Israel defendants liable for alleged war crimes and support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. In a 3-0 decision on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said a federal district judge wrongly concluded in August 2017 that all of the plaintiffs' claims raised political questions that could...
Categories: Iraq

Redeployment of Fighters From Yemeni Seaports Imminent

Voice of America - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 20:21
Redeployment of opposing forces in Yemen’s civil war away from crucial seaports could begin within days, but that development is being tempered by a warning that humanitarian operations are at risk of running out of money in a matter of weeks. “Things are very bad, and unfortunately, aid agencies are running out of money,” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. “Among the many challenges the aid operation faces, funding is quickly...
Categories: Iraq