in Iraq


Health Crisis Feared as Lebanon's Trash Woes Pile Up

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 20:05
An acrid smoke, colored deep ash black, hangs over his village in south Lebanon, and Moussa Hassan Hamede is fed up. He is fed up that a huge pile of rubbish burns daily outside his house, fed up that his three young daughters are inhaling the potentially carcinogenic air, and fed up no one is doing anything about it. "The smell of plastic always hangs over this valley, the people here are never comfortable in their homes and the children are always coughing," said the...
Categories: Iraq

Egyptian Billionaire Denounces Saudi Corruption Crackdown

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 18:42
Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris condemned on Friday a crackdown on graft in Saudi Arabia, saying the purge had undermined the rule of law in the Kingdom and would deter investment. In unusually outspoken comments, Sawiris, a well-known business figure in North Africa and the Middle East, also accused Qatar of destabilizing the region, and said there were only a handful of Arab nations that were safe to invest in. Saudi security forces rounded up dozens of members of the...
Categories: Iraq

Russia Negotiating Deal for Its Warplanes to Use Egyptian Bases

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 15:41
Russia has approved a draft agreement with Egypt for Russian warplanes to use Egyptian military bases, in a move allowing Moscow to increase its military presence in the Middle East. The draft deal was published on November 30 after being signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on November 28. It requires the Russian Defense Ministry to negotiate details of the agreement with Egyptian officials. As outlined in the draft plan, the deal would allow each country's military to...
Categories: Iraq

Strong Quake Shakes Iran; No Immediate Reports of Deaths

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 13:13
A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck southeastern Iran on Friday, injuring at least 42 people and destroying several homes in an area where most people live in villages of mud-walled homes. State media said no deaths had been reported. Rescue workers, special teams with sniffer dogs and units of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia forces were sent to the quake-hit areas in Kerman province, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said. State TV said many residents...
Categories: Iraq

Huge Decline in ISIS Propaganda Mirrors Losses on Battlefield

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:32
As Islamic State stands on the brink of defeat in its previous heartlands in Syria and Iraq, analysts say the group’s effort to win the information war is also failing. As its propagandists can no longer maintain a pretense of military victory, they are switching attention to trying to inspire attacks overseas. A recent video produced by the media arm of Islamic State demonstrates the dramatic change in the group’s multimedia efforts. Gone are the scenes of hundreds of victorious...
Categories: Iraq

Huge Decline in ISIS Propaganda Mirrors Losses on Battlefield

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:30
As Islamic State stands on the brink of defeat in its previous heartlands in Syria and Iraq, the group's effort to win the information war is also failing. Analysts say ISIS propaganda has seen a huge decline in recent months. As its propagandists can no longer maintain a pretense of military victory, they are switching attention to inspiring attacks overseas. VOA's Henry Ridgwell spoke to a terror expert who has been following the changes in Islamic State's media war.
Categories: Iraq

Mortar Fire From Gaza Met With Israeli Strikes

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 07:34
Israeli aircraft and tanks struck a number of militant targets in the Gaza Strip on Thursday in response to a volley of mortar fire emanating from the Palestinian territory. The spike of violence comes a month after Israel demolished a militant tunnel dug from Gaza. Later Thursday, a 20-year-old Israeli was stabbed to death in what police said they suspected was a “terror attack.” In an unrelated incident earlier, a Jewish West Bank settler fatally shot a 47-year-old Palestinian villager...
Categories: Iraq

Officials: Trump Mulls Calling Jerusalem Israel’s Capital

Voice of America - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 05:07
President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a highly charged declaration that risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East, officials said Thursday. The announcement would be a way to offset a likely decision delaying his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv. Trump’s announcement is expected next week and follows months of internal deliberations that grew particularly intense in recent days, according to officials...
Categories: Iraq

More Than 400 US Marines Leaving Syria

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 22:53
More than 400 U.S. Marines who helped recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State are leaving the country, according to the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting the militant group. “We’re drawing down combat forces where it makes sense, but still continuing our efforts to help Syrian and Iraqi partners maintain security,” U.S. Brigadier General Jonathan Braga said in a coalition statement. Working with 'partner forces' “Our remaining forces will continue to work by,...
Categories: Iraq

Tensions Rise in Turkey Over Syrian Refugees

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:39
Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, and three million of them are Syrians. Most live in towns and cities across the country. But this year, a series of clashes between Turks and Syrians could be a sign that for some Turks, patience is running out.   Earlier this year, Istanbul witnessed unprecedented violence against Syrian refugees after they were blamed for the death of a Turkish youth.   In Istanbul’s Esenler district, which is home to about a half...
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UN: Hundreds in Syria's Ghouta Could Die for Lack of Medical Aid

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 19:52
A senior U.N. official warns many of the hundreds of critically wounded and ill people trapped in the besieged Syrian area of East Ghouta, a suburb of the capital, Damascus, could die without urgent medical treatment. U.N. Special Envoy Jan Egeland said the United Nations has been waiting for two months for the Syrian government to give the green light to an emergency medical evacuation from East Ghouta. Over that time, he said the list of serious cases requiring urgent treatment has...
Categories: Iraq

OPEC Agrees Oil Cut Extension to End of 2018

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 19:46
OPEC agreed on Thursday to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018 as it tries to finish clearing a global glut of crude while signalling it could exit the deal earlier if the market overheats. Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market doesn't flip into a deficit too soon, prices don't rally too fast and rival U.S. shale firms don't boost output...
Categories: Iraq

More Than Half the World’s Population Lacks Social Protection

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 16:58
The International Labor Organization says a majority of the world’s population, four billion people, have no social protection, leaving them mired in an endless cycle of poverty.  The report says 45 percent of the global population is covered by at least one social benefit.  But that leaves 55 percent without any social protection, a situation ILO Director General Guy Ryder calls unacceptable. "That means that they do not receive any child benefit, any maternity benefit,...
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Lebanese PM Decries Hezbollah's Involvement in Region's Wars

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 16:29
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said in remarks published Thursday that he fears Hezbollah's military role in regional conflicts will end up costing his country dearly. But Hariri also stressed he was optimistic that a way to end the political paralysis gripping Lebanon following his Nov. 4 resignation is being worked out.   It is unclear what, if any, concessions Hezbollah would offer to ensure that Hariri remain in office, though Hezbollah officials have said they are...
Categories: Iraq

US-led Coalition Says Its Airstrikes Have Killed 801 in Syria, Iraq

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 15:05
The U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq said Thursday its airstrikes have killed 801 civilians since late 2014. The figures came in the coalition's latest monthly statement about its investigations into reports of possible civilian casualties resulting from the strikes. In October, the coalition says it investigated 64 such reports, of which five were deemed credible and resulted in 15 deaths. Another 695 reports were still open. "We...
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France's Macron to Give Saudi Arabia Extremist List

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 05:32
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he would draw up a list of extremist organizations to convey to Saudi Arabia after its crown prince pledged to cut their funding. Saudi Arabia finances groups overseen by the Mecca-based Muslim World League, which for decades was charged with spreading the strict Wahhabi school of Islam around the world. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to modernize the kingdom and cleave to a more open and tolerant interpretation of...
Categories: Iraq

Turkish Businessman Describes $50M Bribe at Sanctions Trial

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 04:45
A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testified at a New York trial Wednesday that he paid over $50 million in bribes to Turkey's economy minister in 2012 to overcome a banker's fears he was too well-known in Turkey to launder Iranian money in violation of U.S. sanctions. Reza Zarrab calmly described his arrangement with one of Turkey's most important public officials as he began what will be several days on the witness stand at the trial of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who is...
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Palestinian Rivals Delay Full Gaza Handover by 10 Days

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 01:45
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed Wednesday to delay final transfer of power of the Gaza Strip from Hamas to the Western-backed Palestinian government by 10 days to Dec. 10 to allow time to "complete arrangements," officials said. The factions signed a reconciliation deal brokered by Egypt last month after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the key Rafah border crossing, a decade after seizing the enclave in a civil war. The...
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Ex-Egypt Premier Says He'll Run in 2018 Presidential Vote

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:53
A former Egyptian prime minister living in the United Arab Emirates says he will return to his country to contest the 2018 presidential elections. Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force general who briefly headed a government after longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a 2011 uprising, says in a video posted to YouTube Wednesday that he was “honored” to present himself for the next four-year term. Shafiq lost by a narrow margin to the Islamist Mohammed Morsi in Egypt's first free...
Categories: Iraq

Algeria's Independent Press Fears for Its Survival

Voice of America - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:34
Stifled by the internet and 24-hour news channels as well as political pressures, Algeria's independent press born only 25 years ago is struggling in a crisis that has already killed off dozens of titles. Algeria's "democratic spring" that followed widespread protests in October 1988 put an end to a quarter century of single party rule and a state monopoly of the media, with independent newspapers emerging on the scene. Some of them have built up large circulations...
Categories: Iraq