in Iraq


Mass Food Poisoning in Camp Outside Mosul Sickens Hundreds

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 15:03
The International Organization for Migration reported 752 Iraqis were sickened, 312 hospitalized and at least two people, a child and a woman, died from a massive case of food poisoning in a camp for Internally Displaced People outside the beleaguered city of Mosul.   “We understand that this was a contractor that had brought food to the camp around 4:00 p.m. to break the daily Ramadan fast, which was to be served at 7:30," Monday, said Joel Millman, a spokesman for the...
Categories: Iraq

Seeds of Change Offer Hope in Lebanon

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 07:29
Just south of Aleppo there was once a research center where Syria’s agricultural heritage was preserved with a view to helping feed the world. The seed bank may have been abandoned due to the country's civil war, but efforts of scientists and farmers now continue in neighboring Lebanon. With harvesting just begun for the year, the vital work taking place there could prove crucial. John Owens reports.
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Mattis Describes Qatar Situation as 'Difficult'

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 07:19
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described the diplomatic spat between Qatar and several other American allies in the Middle East as a “complex situation” that the United States needed to help solve. “I believe that (Qatar’s) Prince Thani inherited a difficult, very tough situation, and he’s trying to turn the society in the right direction,” Mattis told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing late Monday. “But we all agree that funding of any kind of terrorist group is...
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Israel Reduces Power Supply to Gaza, as Abbas Pressures Hamas

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 03:22
Israel will reduce electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip after the Palestinian Authority limited how much it pays for power to the enclave run by Hamas, Israeli officials said Monday. The decision by Israel's security cabinet is expected to shorten by 45 minutes the daily average of four hours of power that Gaza's 2 million residents receive from an electricity grid dependent on Israeli supplies, the officials said. The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) blamed...
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UN: Israel, Palestinians Fail to Prosecute War Crimes

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 02:01
Both Israel and the Palestinians have failed to bring perpetrators of alleged war crimes — including killings — to justice, the United Nations said in a report published on Monday. Compiled by the office of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, it evaluates compliance with 64 reports and 929 recommendations from the Council, the U.N. Secretary General and U.N. rights investigators from 2009-2016. “The High Commissioner notes the repeated failure to comply...
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Seeds of Change Offer Hope in Lebanon

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 01:45
In the farm fields of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, the start of a harvest that not even war could stop offers hope for farmers facing a time of crisis. Driven from their headquarters in Syria's Aleppo province, the work continues of a group of scientists and farmers who store and grow crops with a view to helping feed nations. The work of experts at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is global, but many harbor the personal hope their efforts...
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ISIS Calls on Followers to Attack During Ramadan

Voice of America - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 00:45
Islamic State is calling on its followers around the world to carry out attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. A purported spokesman for the terror group made his grisly appeal on an audio tape on the ISIS channel on an encrypted messaging website called Telegram. Countries targeted for attack in the message include the United States, Russia, Australia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Philippines as well as across Europe. Islamic State claimed it was behind last week's twin...
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From 'Caliph' to Fugitive: IS Leader Baghdadi's New Life on the Run

Voice of America - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:13
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is on the brink of losing the two main centers of his "caliphate" but even though he is on the run, it may take years to capture or kill him, officials and experts said. Islamic State fighters are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, and officials say Baghdadi is steering clear of both, hiding in thousands of square miles of desert between the two. "In the end, he...
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Lawyer Calls Egyptian President a 'Traitor' Over Islands

Voice of America - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 19:51
A leading Egyptian rights lawyer widely expected to run in next year's presidential election has called President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi a "traitor" over his government's decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Khaled Ali made his comment during a meeting of opposition parties called Sunday to denounce an ongoing review by lawmakers of the April 2016 agreement that surrendered the islands to the Saudis. A video of his address before the meeting was...
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Dispatch from Disaster Zone in Mosul

Voice of America - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:54
As Iraqi and coalition forces battle for the last remaining Islamic State strongholds in western Mosul, soldiers say the toughest battles are still ahead. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from western Mosul.
Categories: Iraq

As Tensions Remain High, No End in Sight Seen for Qatari Crisis

Voice of America - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 16:24
Gulf nation sanctions against Qatar are wreaking havoc to its economy. Kuwait's Emir Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, who is mediating between both sides, insists that Qatar is "ready to act on the concerns of its neighbors," but there appears to be no quick end to the crisis in sight.  Behind-the-scenes efforts to mediate between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors continued Monday as liquid natural gas shipments, Qatar's chief export, were disrupted by the sea-blockade imposed by a...
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The Long, Lonely Road of Chelsea Manning

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 13:00
Her disclosure of classified documents in 2010 ushered in the age of leaks. Now, freed from prison, she talks about why she did it — and the isolation that followed.
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Experts Skeptical About Reports of Death of al-Baghdadi

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 18:51
U.S. military officials say they have no information to confirm or deny a report Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi has been killed in an airstrike. Independent experts are expressing skepticism about the fast-spreading claims of the terrorist leader’s death, which reportedly was broadcast late Saturday  on Syrian state television.  However the British Broadcasting Corporation's monitoring service said Sunday it had detected no such report on either state television or...
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US-Backed Syrian Fighters Seize Parts of IS 'Capital' Raqqa

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 17:33
A U.S.-backed Syrian opposition force said Sunday it has captured a northwestern neighborhood of the Islamic State group's de-facto capital of Raqqa the second district to fall in their hands in days after the group launched a wide offensive to gain control of the extremists' de facto capital.   The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters captured the neighborhood of Romaniah after two days of fighting that left 12 IS gunmen dead, including a commander known as...
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Kuwait Says Qatar Willing to Listen to Gulf Concerns

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 17:28
Qatar is ready to listen to the concerns of Gulf Arab states that have cut diplomatic and economic ties, Kuwait said on Sunday as it tried to mediate solution to the worst regional crisis in years. Saudi Arabia and allies Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and arch-foe Iran - charges Doha denies. The rift has disrupted travel, separated families, severed commercial links and sown confusion...
Categories: Iraq

Jordan Shoots Dead 5 Approaching Its Borders From Syria

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 17:01
Jordan's army said on Sunday its border guards killed five people who were approaching its frontier from Tanf, a Syrian desert town where U.S. special forces training rebels are based. The town has been a flashpoint in recent weeks as militias backed by Iran have tried to get near the U.S. garrison, prompting U.S. coalition jets to strike back. Tanf lies near the strategic Damascus-Baghdad highway that was once a major weapons supply route for Iranian weapons into...
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Qatar, in Regional Crisis, Hires Former US Attorney General

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 16:21
Qatar has paid $2.5 million to the law firm of a former attorney general under U.S. President George W. Bush to audit its efforts at stopping terrorism funding, a matter at the heart of the Gulf diplomatic crisis that erupted last week. John Ashcroft personally will lead his Washington-based firm's efforts "to evaluate, verify and as necessary, strengthen the client's anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing" compliance, according to documents filed to the...
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Iran, Turkey Send Food to Qatar Amid Fears of Shortages

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 15:08
Iran has sent at least four cargo planes of food and will continue to send more to Qatar after its biggest suppliers cut ties with the import-dependent country, according to Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi. Turkey has also said it would contribute food to Qatar amid fears of a food shortage after Saudi Arabia sealed Qatar's only land border, through which it imported most of its food. Qatar hires former US Attorney General Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE),...
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Gadhafi’s Son Released after 5 Years in Captivity

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 10:48
Seif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has been released after more than five years in detention, his captors said on Saturday.   A statement by his captors, the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion, said Seif al-Islam was released on Friday, but gave no details on his whereabouts. Battalion officials reached by The Associated Press at Zintan, a town south of the capital Tripoli where it is based, confirmed his release. They declined to...
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Gulf Nations, Qatar Ease Diplomatic Rift Slightly

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 09:51
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates signaled Sunday they may allow some Qataris to stay in their countries amid a diplomatic rift with the Gulf nation.   Qatar meanwhile pledged those nations’ citizens will have “complete freedom” to stay in the energy-rich country.    The three Gulf nations cut ties to Qatar June 5 over its alleged support of militants and ties to Iran, and ordered all Qataris out within 14 days, while calling their own citizens back....
Categories: Iraq