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Iraq

Efforts to Negotiate Syria Cease-Fire Continue at UN Security Council

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 22:56
The U.N. Security Council failed to reach consensus Friday on a draft resolution implementing a 30-day cease-fire across Syria and lift sieges on towns, and said they would reconvene Saturday to vote. Council diplomats had planned to vote Friday morning, but twice postponed as negotiations to incorporate Russian concerns and amendments into the text dragged on without agreement. “We have been close, but not able to close the gap completely,” said Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog, who is...
Categories: Iraq

African Migrants in Israel Protest Deportation Plans

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 21:16
Thousands of African migrants in Israel are facing growing uncertainty as a looming deadline for deportation approaches. "We are refugees, we are not criminals!" chanted dozens of protesting migrants, some of them symbolically wrapped in chains. The slogan goes to the heart of the tug of war between some 40,000 Africans who entered Israel illegally over the past 12 years and the Israeli government, which describes them as economic migrants and...
Categories: Iraq

Amnesty Says Politics of Fear, Hate Being Normalized by Some Leaders

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 20:22
Rights group Amnesty International's annual report documents human rights violations in nearly 160 countries and claims 2017 saw the politics of hate and fear normalized by some of the most powerful leaders in the world. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo has this report.
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Sources: Republican Megadonor Offers to Help Pay for Jerusalem Embassy

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 17:23
The Trump administration is considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, four U.S. officials told The Associated Press. Lawyers at the State Department are looking into the legality of accepting private donations to cover some or all of the embassy costs, the administration officials said. The discussions are occurring as the new embassy clears its final bureaucratic hurdles. On Thursday, Secretary of State...
Categories: Iraq

Iran’s Rights Record Still Poor, Group Says, But Some Positive Signs

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 13:15
Amnesty International says its new global report on human rights shows Iran’s record reflected some positive developments, but mostly remained poor, and in some areas worsened in the past year. The London-based group’s annual State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017-2018, released Thursday, accused Iranian authorities of “heavily suppressing” people’s rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and religious belief. It also said those authorities arrested...
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American Oncologist Asks Help to Stop Turkey's Attacks on Afrin

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 10:04
While oncologist Edress Othman works to save cancer patients here in the U.S., his own family faces death back in Afrin, Syria. The doctor, who has lived in the United States for nearly two decades, says his family feels betrayed by Washington for not asking Turkey to stop its attacks on their city. Saleh Damiger of VOA's Kurdish service spoke with the doctor and filed this report.
Categories: Iraq

Saudis Promised Double the Fun in Drive to Lure Back Tourist Dollars

Voice of America - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 00:40
Saudi Arabia will stage more than 5,000 shows, festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, as it tries to shake off its conservative image in a drive to keep tourist dollars at home and lure in visitors. The state wants to capture up to a quarter of the $20 billion currently spent overseas every year by Saudis seeking entertainment, lifting a ban on cinemas and putting on shows by Western artists. U.S. rapper Nelly performed in Jeddah in December, albeit to a...
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Amnesty: Politics of Fear, Hate Being Normalized by Some Leaders

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 23:09
Rights group Amnesty International's annual report documents human rights violations in nearly 160 countries and claims 2017 saw the politics of hate and fear normalized by some of the most powerful leaders in the world. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo has this report.
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UN Atomic Agency: Iran Complying With Nuclear Accord

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:50
The United Nations atomic agency has concluded that Iran is continuing to restrict its nuclear program in compliance with the 2015 international accord aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear weapons development. A quarterly International Atomic Energy Agency report Thursday said Iran is honoring key aspects of the deal that the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and the European Union reached with Iran in exchange for the lifting of sanctions that hobbled the Islamic...
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Egypt's Twice-Annual Sun Phenomenon Wows Crowds

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:43
Visitors from across the world gathered Thursday in Aswan, Egypt, for a rare glimpse of a unique event that still amazes the world - when the sun rays go inside the corridor of the Abu Simbel temples and perpendicular on the faces of Ramses II, his wife, Queen Nefertari and the god Amun on the back wall. It happens twice a year on the same two dates: October 22, Ramses II's birthday, and on his coronation day, February 22.
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Egypt Military's Anti-Terror Campaign Raises Doubts

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:15
Early this month, the Egyptian army launched a military campaign in the North Sinai and areas of the Nile Delta, all of which have seen major terrorist attacks in the past year. But experts say it will take more than security measures to eradicate terrorism in Egypt. The military says it plans to clear the areas of militants, protect Egyptian society from the threats of terrorism and extremism, and address “other crimes affecting security and stability.” That military plan might not be...
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UN Officials Appeal for Syria Truce, Eastern Ghouta Assistance

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:15
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote Friday at 11 a.m. in New York (1600 GMT) on a draft resolution intended to implement a 30-day pause in fighting across Syria and lift the siege on the town of eastern Ghouta to allow humanitarian aid and medical evacuations. Russia expressed objections to the draft Thursday and proposed amendments to the resolution submitted by Sweden and Kuwait. It was not immediately clear how Russia, a staunch ally of the Syrian government, would...
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Turkey’s Syria Operation Showcases Domestic Weapons Industry

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 20:58
Turkey’s ongoing military offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin enclave is showcasing the growing prowess of the Turkish armaments industry. In recent years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to dramatically reduce his country’s dependency on imported arms. “Almost all of the armored carriers (operating) in Afrin are domestically produced. I thank our friends who produced them,” said Erdogan Wednesday at a meeting at his presidential palace. The Turkish...
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UN Flies Refugees from Libya to Europe, Where More Uncertainty Awaits

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 19:25
The U.N. refugee agency has evacuated more than 1,000 highly vulnerable people from Libya in a three-month operation that began last November. The agency hopes to evacuate hundreds more and is searching for more lasting solutions for people who are held in detention centers in Libya, and whose conditions have been described as inhumane. UNHCR officials say they have been working to evacuate mainly women and children, including single mothers and unaccompanied minors — people who have...
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Amnesty Says Politics of Fear, Hate Being Normalized by Some Leaders

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 17:43
Amnesty International's annual report documents human rights violations in nearly 160 countries and claims 2017 saw the politics of hate and fear normalized by some of the most powerful leaders in the world. In its newly released report, Amnesty says actions by leaders in Egypt, the Philippines, Venezuela, China, Russia and the United States have been undermining the rights of millions. “They have openly defied human rights laws or call for others to defy human rights laws. ...
Categories: Iraq

Has Russia Deployed Latest-Generation Stealth Warplanes in Syria?

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 16:02
Moscow may have deployed two of its latest-generation stealth warplanes to Syria, according to video footage of a pair of Su-57s landing at a Russian airbase in the war-torn country. The reported deployment, seen on social media, comes amid rising alarm that the Syria conflict that started out as an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad and is now split into several separate struggles could erupt into a wider regional clash between outside powers. The video allegedly shows a pair...
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African Asylum Seekers Facing Expulsion Have Embraced Israel

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:09
Even as he faces a potential deportation from Israel, 30-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker Johny Goytiom Kafl brims with satisfaction as he looks out upon thousands of fellow protesters rallying against the impending expulsions, all while peacefully secured by police. It’s such displays of civil action that he most admires about his adoptive home of the past nine years since he escaped one of the world’s most oppressive regimes, and then faced torture, kidnapping and abuse during his exodus...
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UN Chief Appeals for Truce for Syria's Besieged E. Ghouta

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:26
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres appealed Wednesday to the Security Council to approve an urgent 30-day cease-fire across Syria and to help the 400,000 besieged residents of eastern Ghouta, who he said, "live in hell on earth." VOA UN Correspondent Margaret Besheer has more.
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Israel Counters Iran's New Missile with Successful Interceptor Test

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:58
Israel and the United States say they have successfully tested an anti-missile system designed to protect the Jewish state from long-range missile attack. Monday's test of the Arrow 3 interceptor comes eight days after Iran displayed a new version of a missile with a 2,000-kilometer range that puts Israeli territory within reach. Iran has vowed to continue its missile program. As VOA's Michael Lipin reports, Israel is debating how far it should go to protect itself from Iranian missiles.
Categories: Iraq

Amnesty Says Politics of Fear and Hate Being Normalized by Some Leaders

Voice of America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 05:40
Rights group Amnesty International's annual report documents human rights violations in nearly 160 countries and claims 2017 saw the politics of hate and fear normalized by some of the most powerful leaders in the world. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo has this report.
Categories: Iraq