in Iraq


Rights Organization: UAE on Track to Improve Conditions for Migrant Domestic Workers

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 23:24
Criticized globally for its treatment of migrant workers, the United Arab Emirates is on track to improve conditions for domestic staff with a proposed new law praised by human rights organizations on Thursday. A new bill, passed by the Federal National Council on May 31 and now awaiting presidential approval, will give domestic workers 30 days paid vacation a year, one day off a week, medical insurance, and a contract before starting work. The UAE relies heavily on migrant labor with...
Categories: Iraq

Al Jazeera Reports Repeated Cyberattacks

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 22:30
Qatar-based Al Jazeera News Network reported repeated cyberattacks on all of their media platforms Thursday. "Al Jazeera media platforms under cyberattack. Entire Doha-based network undergoing 'continual hacking attempts'," the network tweeted. Sources at the network also confirmed the attacks to reporters, and viewers in the region said they could no longer view Al Jazeera television. The alleged cyberattacks come at a time of heightened diplomatic...
Categories: Iraq

Research: Video Games Deliver Hope to Syrian Refugees

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 22:25
Computer games such as Minecraft teach Syrian children new language and coding skills and boost morale in refugee camps, according to new research. "Play is a universal way of learning," said Bruce Homer, an associate professor of educational psychology at the City University of New York. "In taking a game-based and playful approach to learning, we created an intervention that was not only effective, but also one in which the children were engaged and wanted [to]...
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Israel: Arab Citizens Arrested in Hamas Assassination Plot

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 17:05
Israel says seven Arabs were arrested over a plot to kill army officers for Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers to avenge the killing of one its members. The Shin Bet security service said Thursday one of the suspects was asked to avenge Mazen Faqha, a senior Hamas figure, killed in March. Hamas blamed Israel for his killing and last month put to death three Palestinians it said were involved after a weeklong trial.    Israel sentenced Faqha to nine terms of life...
Categories: Iraq

ISIS Has Killed Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, U.N. Says

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 16:53
The jihadists are said to have responded in brutal fashion to the advance of Iraqi forces backed by airstrikes from the American-led coalition.
Categories: Iraq

Qatar Crisis Poses Test for China's Belt & Road Project

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 16:06
The diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors is putting China’s political clout in the Middle East to the test as Beijing strives to flex its economic muscle there with its trillion-dollar Belt and Road trade Initiative (BRI). But analysts say many of China’s belt and road projects are often more aspirational than reality, including those involving Gulf nations, which gives the world’s second-largest economy less-than-expected leverage to play a bigger role in a region...
Categories: Iraq

UN: Islamic State Killed 231 Civilians Trying to Flee Mosul

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 12:11
The United Nations Human Rights Office said Thursday it has “credible reports” indicating Islamic State fighters in Iraq killed at least 231 civilians who were trying to flee western Mosul. The reported killings happened between May 26 and June 3, all in the al-Shifa neighborhood, and involved people trying to get from Islamic State-held areas to locations held by Iraqi troops. The United Nations also said it is still investigating reports of other civilian casualties from an airstrike...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Approves Thousands of West Bank Homes

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 11:15
Israel has served up plans for thousands of homes across the West Bank in the first announcement of settlement construction since President Donald Trump urged a building freeze in February.    An Israeli Defense Ministry committee responsible for West Bank construction gave the green light to plans for around 3,000 homes at various stages of the approval process.   Construction is far from finalized, but it’s the first major approval of plans since Trump told Prime...
Categories: Iraq

Israel's in Love With Its Homegrown Wonder Woman Gal Gadot

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 05:15
For a country that takes pride in even the smallest successes of its international celebrities, the debut of Wonder Woman has sparked an Israeli lovefest for homegrown hero Gal Gadot.   A huge billboard overlooking Tel Aviv's main highway is tagged with a provincial "we love you'' greeting, her Hebrew-accented appearances in the international media are reported upon daily and throngs of fans cheer wildly upon seeing her on the big screen. Even Lebanon's ban of the...
Categories: Iraq

Islamic State Threatens More Terror Against Iran

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 04:45
Iran's Intelligence Ministry said Thursday that five of the men involved in attacks on the country's parliament and the tomb of former leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were Iranians who had joined the Islamic State group. The ministry said the men had fought for Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, and in Raqqa, Syria, before returning to Iran in August of last year. Iranian officials also raised the death toll in Wednesday's attack, saying at least 17 people were killed and 40...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Kurds to Vote on Independence in September

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 03:55
Iraqi Kurdish officials announced Wednesday that Kurds in Iraq's autonomous northern region will hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25.   Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdish regional government, announced the vote on Twitter. Hamin Hawrami, a senior presidential adviser, said on his own Twitter account that the decision follows a meeting of the major Kurdish political parties in Irbil, the region's capital.   The referendum on whether to secede...
Categories: Iraq

IS Attacks Show Iran's Vulnerability to Terror

Voice of America - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 00:15
Tehran has bragged for years that Islamic State could not deeply penetrate inside Iran, saying it kept a chokehold on any IS roots by arresting possible suspects and monitoring movements along its borders. But Wednesday's attacks, claimed by IS, on Iran's parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that left at least 12 people dead, exposed Iran's vulnerability, analysts say. It shows, too, that IS will follow through on its threats to terrorize Iran, which it...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Offers to Mediate Qatar's Diplomatic Crisis

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 23:15
In a call with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, U.S. President Donald Trump offered to mediate the country's diplomatic crisis with its neighbors. "The president reiterated that a united Gulf Cooperation Council and a strong United States-Gulf Cooperation Council partnership are critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability," a readout of the call said. "The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including...
Categories: Iraq

Battle for Raqqa Pits US-backed Kurds Against Syrian Government-backed Militias

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 23:15
U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG militia forces chanted as they advanced toward the northern outskirts of the Islamic State-held town of Raqqa in northern Syria, attempting to set foot inside the city and dislodge the militant group from its so-called capital. The U.S. envoy to the anti-IS coalition, Brett McGurk, said Wednesday in Baghdad that the battle for Raqqa would "only escalate," as the group loses control of its northern Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. He added that the fight for...
Categories: Iraq

US Lawmakers Condemn Turkish Embassy Attack

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 23:00
U.S. Representative Adam Schiff of California was one of many American lawmakers to condemn an attack on protesters outside the Turkish embassy last month. "The message from Turkey is clear as day: We can do as we please, whether at home to our citizens or on your own American soil," he told the House floor Wednesday. "Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to affirm that we will not allow Turkey to beat innocent protesters on the streets of our nation's capital. We will...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Blames Saudi Arabia for Tehran Attacks

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 19:50
Iran's Revolutionary Guards are blaming Saudi Arabia for a pair of terror attacks Wednesday at symbolic locations in Tehran. "This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. president and the [Saudi] backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack,” the statement read. Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia was quoted in Iranian media as saying five...
Categories: Iraq

Life Under IS: A Soldier’s Story of Poison Bomb

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 18:09
For months, soldiers, civilians and aid workers in Iraq have been reporting Islamic State attacks using homemade chemical weapons. On June 4 in Mosul, militants fired a poisoned mortar at Iraqi forces in a failed attempted to rescue other IS fighters trapped in battle. Thirty-year-old Private Hussien Hamza of the Iraqi Army's 73rd Brigade told VOA about his experience in the battle. He spoke in Arabic.   The operation began at 3:30 a.m. We moved quickly on foot, keeping low and...
Categories: Iraq

Jordan Soldier Hears Murder Charges in Deaths of 3 US Troops

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 15:37
The murder trial of a Jordanian soldier accused of killing three U.S. soldiers has begun in a military court. Judge Mohammed al-Afif said the case against 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha is criminal and not related to terrorism.   The judge read the indictment in court Wednesday. Al-Tuwayha, 39, was charged in the November killings of three U.S. military trainers whose convoy came under fire at the entrance to Jordanian air base.   The defense attorney didn't show and the...
Categories: Iraq

Germany to Pull Troops From Turkish Base in Spat With Ankara

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 12:48
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has decided to pull German troops and reconnaissance aircraft out of Turkey's Incirlik air base after Turkish officials refused to let members of parliament visit those stationed there. The decision Wednesday announced by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen comes after a lengthy impasse over the visits and ongoing friction between Berlin and Ankara. They've involved a multitude of other issues, including the arrest of German journalists in...
Categories: Iraq

Russia Denies Reports of Hacking Qatar's State News Agency

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 12:27
Russian officials on Wednesday angrily rejected allegations that Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news story that led to a split between Qatar and the other Arab nations.   Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday dismissed Tuesday's CNN report containing the claim as "yet another fake, another lie.''   Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen cut diplomatic ties with the...
Categories: Iraq