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Iraq

Kurdish Red Crescent: IS Attacks Kill at Least 50 in East Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 02:44
Islamic State suicide attackers killed at least 50 people in a triple car bomb attack on Thursday among a group of refugees in northeast Syria, a medical source in the Kurdish Red Crescent said. A large number of people were also injured by the three car bombs, the source said. The attack took place at Abu Fas, near the border of Deir el-Zour and Hasaka provinces, said a war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said earlier that at least 18 people had...
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US Calls for Evidence in Turkey's Detention of US Citizens, US-hired Staff

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 01:15
The United States is asking the Turkish government to present evidence to back up its accusations used to justify the detention of locally-employed U.S. consulate members and several American citizens, including jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson. "We would call upon the government of Turkey to please provide us that evidence, if there is evidence, that they were involved in what Turkey alleges, and that is terrorism," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on...
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Chile Welcomes More Than 60 Syrian Refugees

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 00:54
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet welcomed more than 60 Syrian refugees to the country's capital Thursday, as her country joined other Latin American nations in offering safe harbor to families fleeing Syria's civil war. At an airport ceremony in Santiago, Bachelet greeted 14 newly arrived Syrian families, who will be resettled in furnished homes with social benefits, including monthly stipends, schooling, health care and language classes. "We know you have struggled and...
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Israeli Defense Experts Warn Against Dropping Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 23:15
If President Donald Trump moves to scuttle the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Israel's nationalist government can be expected to be the loudest — and perhaps only — major player to applaud. But the true picture is more complicated than what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might portray: There is a strong sense among his own security establishment that there are few good alternatives, that the deal has benefited Israel, and that U.S. credibility could be squandered in the...
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Officials: Attack in Egypt's Sinai Kills 6 Police

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:19
Egyptian officials say an attack on a checkpoint in the northern Sinai Peninsula has killed six police.   Security and hospital officials confirmed the toll from Thursday's attack on the outskirts of the city of el-Arish and said another four people were wounded. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. Egypt has been battling an insurgency in the northern Sinai that has been led by an Islamic State affiliate since...
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Congress Bracing for Trump Decision on Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:00
Some members of president's own party say it's best to work with the agreement already in place.
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UAE to Stop Issuing Visas to North Koreans

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 21:23
The United Arab Emirates announced Thursday it would halt the issuance of visas to North Korean workers, as tensions surrounding the country's nuclear ambitions continue to build. The move by the UAE follows similar policy changes from Kuwait and Qatar, which already have blocked visas to the country, limiting North Korea's ability to evade sanctions and make money off the laborers it sends to work in Middle Eastern nations. The UAE statement said it also would block North...
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Families Fleeing Syria's Raqqa Say Airstrikes Bring Heavy Toll

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:33
Air raids by U.S. coalition warplanes have intensified in recent days as Kurdish and Arab militias seek to drive surrounded Islamic State militants from their last strongholds in Syria's Raqqa - but the toll on civilians has been severe. Hundreds of civilians fled the city on Thursday, many wounded and malnourished after being trapped for months by fighting between Islamic State and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Those who fled said the sheer intensity of the...
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Iraqi Government: Kurds Must Back Country's 'Unity' Before Talks

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:00
The Iraqi government has a series of conditions that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) must meet before agreeing to hold talks on the crisis triggered by last month's independence referendum, a government spokesman said on Thursday. The KRG must first "commit to Iraq's unity," the spokesman told Reuters, reacting to an offer for dialogue made Wednesday overnight by the Kurdish authorities. "The local authorities in the [Kurdistan] region must accept the...
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World Cup Bribery Case Opened Against PSG President, Valcke

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 17:51
The Qatari president of one of Europe's most glamorous soccer clubs, Paris Saint-Germain, is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors for suspected bribery of a top FIFA executive to get World Cup broadcasting rights.   Criminal proceedings against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO of Qatar-owned BeIN Media Group, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, and an unnamed “businessman in the sports rights sector” was announced by the office of Switzerland's attorney...
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Syrian Child Refugees Turn Film Producers to Remind World Leaders of Education Pledge

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:39
Four Syrian children have offered a glimpse into the hardship and heartbreak of life as a refugee, by filming their everyday lives over six months. The charity ‘Theirworld’, which commissioned the films, hopes to remind world leaders of their promise of an education for all Syrian children, as Henry Ridgwell reports.
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Young Syrian Refugees Film Lives to Remind World Leaders of Education Pledge

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:36
Four Syrian children offered a glimpse into the hardship and heartbreak of life as a refugee by making videos about their everyday lives over six months, hoping to remind world leaders of their promise to educate Syrian children. "I studied until the 8th grade, whilst I was in Palmyra, which is three hours away from our hometown of Homs," says 15-year-old Asmah in her self-narrated film titled ‘Too Young to Wed’. "At that point, my family got me engaged, which I agreed to...
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Egypt Extends Its State of Emergency for Another 3 Months

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:28
Egypt has extended its state of emergency for yet another three months, according to a decision from President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.   The president's decision - a re-declaration of the state of emergency - was published in the official gazette on Thursday and was due to go into effect the following day. The new declaration should be approved by parliament within seven days.   Egypt has been under months-long state of emergency, which has already been extended once,...
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Hamas Leader Says Reconciliation Deal Reached With Fatah

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:15
The Palestinian Hamas faction says it has reached a deal with its rival Fatah over its political reconciliation. Fatah leader Ismail Haniyeh issued a statement Thursday saying the two sides had struck an agreement after two days of talks in Cairo, under what he called Egypt's "generous" sponsorship.  Haniyeh said details of the agreement would be announced later in the day in the Egyptian capital. A Fatah spokesman confirmed the announcement in an interview with the...
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Some US Officials See Little Downside to Decertifying Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 05:40
Iran may well make good on some of its threats to lash out at American interests and targets, should U.S. President Donald Trump move forward with decertifying the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday pledged a "tougher" response if Trump decides to find Tehran is not in compliance with the nuclear deal, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. An Iranian military spokesman further promised this week that his country’s...
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Europe Scrambles to Save Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 04:27
European countries are scrambling to cobble together a package of measures they hope will keep the Iran nuclear deal on track if U.S. President Donald Trump ignores their pleas and decertifies the landmark 2015 agreement this week. The package would include a strong statement backing the deal by European powers, together with efforts to lobby the U.S. Congress and put wider pressure on Iran, officials said. But without strong U.S. support for the deal, senior officials in Berlin, Paris...
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Russian Prime Minister Strikes Energy Deals in Morocco

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 03:45
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a string of energy, military and other deals with Morocco during a North Africa tour.   Medvedev met Wednesday with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani and presided at a signing ceremony for 11 bilateral agreements.   The agreements cover cooperation in areas such as customs, agriculture, the military and culture, as well as energy efficiency and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.   The disputed Western Sahara...
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OECD: Laws Discriminating Against Women Cost Mideast, North Africa Billions of Dollars

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 02:00
Women in the Middle East and North Africa are better educated than ever before, but legal and social barriers are hampering their access to jobs and careers, costing the region billions of dollars a year, experts said Wednesday. Just under a quarter of women in the region are in the workforce — one of the lowest rates in the world, said the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The region also has the lowest proportion of female entrepreneurs, according to an...
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Arab Rivalries Exposed as Egypt Targets Qatar in UNESCO Vote

Voice of America - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 01:03
Arab states may want their turn at the helm of UNESCO, but the barbs hurled by Egypt at rival candidate Qatar during the vote highlights the fractious geopolitics paralyzing the workings of the U.N. cultural agency. The Paris-based body is known for designating World Heritage sites like the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and Grand Canyon National Park, but it has struggled for relevance as it becomes increasingly hobbled by regional rivalries and a lack of money. After two days of a...
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Hezbollah Dismisses US Rewards for Arrest of Its Operatives

Voice of America - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 23:56
Lebanon's Hezbollah group dismissed multi-million-dollar rewards offered by the United States for the arrest of two of its senior members, saying on Wednesday they would have no impact. Washington has offered up to $7 million for information leading to the detention of Talal Hamiyah, head of Hezbollah's foreign operations, and up to $5 million for Fu'ad Shukr, a top Hezbollah military operative. The move on Tuesday came as the Trump administration prepared to unveil a...
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