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Iraq

UN Condemns Civilian Hostage Taking by Islamic State in Syria

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 16:40
The U.N. human rights office is condemning multiple attacks by Islamic State militants against civilians last week, which reportedly killed and injured more than 200 people in the city of Sweida in southwest Syria. The U.N. agency reports scores of Islamic State militants went on a rampage, raiding homes in at least eight villages in rural Sweida, shooting and killing civilians and abducting women and children in their homes. Human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani says her agency...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Jails Arab Poet for Online 'Incitement to Terrorism'

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 16:06
An Israeli court jailed an Israeli Arab poet for five months on Tuesday after convicting her of incitement to terrorism for a poem and remarks she posted on social media during a wave of Palestinian street attacks. Dareen Tatour, 36, posted on Facebook and YouTube a video of herself reading out her poem “Resist, My People, Resist”, as a soundtrack to footage of masked Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers. Tatour published her poem in October 2015 during...
Categories: Iraq

Tehran: Trump Wrong to Expect Saudis to Cover Loss of Iran Oil Supply

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:13
Iran said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump was mistaken to expect Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to compensate for supply losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, after OPEC production rose only modestly in July. The comments, from Iran's OPEC governor, came a day after a Reuters survey showed OPEC production rose by 70,000 barrels per day in July. Saudi production increased but was offset by a decline in Iranian supply due to the restart of U.S. sanctions, the survey...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Wary of Trump Offer for Talks, But Not Ruling Them Out

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 11:40
Iran reacted skeptically Tuesday to President Donald Trump saying that he's willing to negotiate with his Iranian counterpart "anytime," but top officials did not reject a sit-down out of hand.   Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, a senior cleric and member of the influential Expediency Council, said Trump's suggestion Monday that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani should not be categorically rejected.   "It should be discussed in the...
Categories: Iraq

Trump: Would Meet Iran's Leaders With 'No Preconditions'

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 08:53
President Donald Trump says he is willing to meet with Iran's leaders with "no preconditions" and "any time they want." But at a news conference Monday, he also said Iran's "brutal regime" must never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Last week, Trump exchanged heated rhetoric with Tehran, warning the Iranian president to "never, ever" threaten the United States again. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Categories: Iraq

Iran's Protesting Railway Workers Get Pledges of Help But No Salaries  

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 02:15
An Iranian news agency says railway workers protesting unpaid salaries in northwestern Iran have received pledges of assistance from local authorities but no apparent timeline for getting their wages.  The state-run Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) said the governor of the city of Tabriz met with the protesting railway workers at his office on Monday and promised to address their concerns. ILNA said a group of contractors for a railway development company had spent the previous night...
Categories: Iraq

Italy's PM Plans to Organize Conference on Stabilizing Libya

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 01:55
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday he was organizing a conference to look for ways to stabilize Libya, a main departure point for migrants from North Africa trying to reach Europe. "In agreement with President (Donald) Trump, I'm going to organize a conference on Libya," Conte told reporters at the White House after meeting with the U.S. president. "We would like to deal (with) and discuss all of the issues related to the Libyan people, involving...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Government Forces and Allies Close to Capturing Entire Southwest

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 01:14
Government forces are on the brink of seizing the last part of southwestern Syria still in rebel hands, having taken control of the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a war monitor and a media outlet close to Damascus said Monday. A military media unit run by Iran-backed Hezbollah, which fights alongside Damascus, said the Syrian army had secured the entire border with the Golan Heights. Advancing government forces have seized all but a few villages held by an Islamic...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Says Ready to Talk Directly with Iran’s President

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 00:50
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday made his most explicit statement yet that he is open to direct talks with Iran. Trump, in the White House East Room during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, was asked by a reporter if he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “I believe in meeting,” Trump responded. “Speaking to other people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other...
Categories: Iraq

Lawyer: US Pastor Appeals for Release, Lifting of Travel Ban

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 19:05
A Christian American pastor standing trial in Turkey on terrorism charges has appealed to a Turkish court to release him from house arrest and lift his travel ban, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday. Relations between Turkey and the United States have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over the trial of pastor Andrew Brunson, who was in custody for 21 months in a Turkish prison until he was transferred to house arrest last week. President Donald Trump last week threatened to impose...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Currency Hits New Lows Before New US Sanctions Take Effect

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 18:42
Iran's currency hit new lows with just less than a week before new U.S. economic sanctions are due to take effect on August 4, despite the appointment of a new central bank governor and a new economic team. Arab and Iranian media reported the Iranian rial hit a new low of 111,000 to the U.S. dollar on Sunday in unofficial trading, a bad omen for newly appointed Central Bank head Abdolnasser Hemmati. Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri announced the new economic team Sunday as the newly...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Forces Press Offensive Despite IS Threats to Hostages

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 16:35
 Syrian government forces pressed ahead with their offensive in the country's south on Monday despite threats by the Islamic State group to kill civilians it recently captured there.   Syrian state TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked war monitoring group, both reported government attacks on the Yarmouk basin region in southern Syria.   The area is controlled by a group linked to IS that has been in retreat in recent weeks...
Categories: Iraq

Meet Trump’s Envoy-at-Large: Benjamin Netanyahu

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 11:53
A couple of years ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was shunned by the White House. During a conversation believed to be off-record with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the 2011 G-20 summit, President Barack Obama didn't disagree when Sarkozy called Netanyahu a "liar." And on the occasions Obama and Netanyahu did meet, the strained body language paid testimony to the mutual hostility. The two clashed over the peace process, Netanyahu’s Jewish settlements...
Categories: Iraq

Witnesses: Heavy Fighting Near Yemen's Hodeida Kills Dozens

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 03:45
Heavy fighting along Yemen's west coast between pro-government forces and Shiite rebels in recent days has left dozens dead from both sides, Yemeni officials and witnesses said Sunday. Government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have been advancing in the area in recent weeks as they battle Iran-allied rebels known as Houthis. The fighting has escalated as government forces try to retake the port city of Hodeida, the main entry point for food in a country teetering on the...
Categories: Iraq

After Protests, Iraq’s Leader Suspends Electricity Minister Over Blackouts

NY Times Iraq - Sun, 07/29/2018 - 20:42
Despite billions of dollars spent since the 2003 United States-led invasion, many Iraqi cities and towns experience severe power cuts and rolling blackouts.
Categories: Iraq

Palestinian Protest Icon Released from Israeli Prison

Voice of America - Sun, 07/29/2018 - 12:15
A Palestinian teenager who was videotaped last year slapping two Israeli soldiers has been released from prison. For Israelis she's a provocateur, for Palestinians a protest icon. Seventeen-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi got a hero's welcome in the West Bank after she was released from an Israeli prison. Tamimi served eight months for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier. A video of the assault went viral on social media and turned her into a protest icon. Addressing the...
Categories: Iraq

Detained Syrian Women Face Stigma Upon Release

Voice of America - Sun, 07/29/2018 - 03:24
Sundus Filfleh, a schoolteacher and a mother from Latakia city in western Syria, struggles to support her two girls and overcome the stigma of serving time in prison for her civil activism. "After I was released from prison, the first question people asked me was whether I was raped," Filfleh told VOA. "Society looks at a released woman in a suspicious way. There is a social rejection of the women who are released from prison." Syrian government forces arrested...
Categories: Iraq

Third Palestinian Dies After Friday Border Protests

Voice of America - Sun, 07/29/2018 - 01:19
A Palestinian teenager died Saturday of wounds suffered in border protests in Gaza, according to Gaza medical authorities. Muamen Fathi al-Hams was the third fatality of Friday's border protests. The two killed Friday were Razi Abu Mustafa, 43, and Majdi al-Satri, 12. Earlier Saturday, the U.N. Middle East enjoy, Nickolay Mladenov, posted on Twitter: On Friday, Israeli police closed Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque for several hours after a number of people barricaded...
Categories: Iraq

West Bank Village Prepares for Protester's Homecoming

Voice of America - Sat, 07/28/2018 - 23:38
On the eve of Ahed Tamimi's release from prison, the father of the Palestinian protest icon said Saturday that he expected her to take a lead in the struggle against Israeli occupation but that the 17-year-old was also weighing college options. In Tamimi's village of Nabi Saleh, supporters prepared for Sunday's homecoming, planting Palestinian flags on the roof of her family home and setting up hundreds of chairs for well-wishers in the courtyard. Ahed and her mother,...
Categories: Iraq

Egyptian Court Refers 75 Death Sentences for Review to Top Islamic Leader

Voice of America - Sat, 07/28/2018 - 15:45
Arab media reports that an Egyptian court has asked the country's mufti to review death sentences handed down to 75 people involved in a 2013 Muslim Brotherhood sit-in camp outside the Rabah Adawiya mosque in northern Cairo. The sit-in was stormed by the Egyptian military, after the brotherhood refused to evacuate the camp. Official reports put the death toll at close to 700 people. It was not immediately clear why the case was remanded to the mufti, although some commentators suggest...
Categories: Iraq