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Iraq

US: Iranian Launch a Provocative Step

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 21:30
The United States, Britain, France and Germany have called Iran's recent rocket test “inconsistent” with a U.N. Security Council resolution and asked the U.N. chief to investigate it. “This launch therefore represents a threatening and provocative step by Iran,” says the letter sent Wednesday to U.N. Secretary-General António Gutteres and the president of the Security Council by the United States on behalf of the four powers. Last Thursday, Iran announced that it had...
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Turkey to Replace Army, Navy, Air Force Commanders

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:53
Turkey's top military body will replace its heads of the army, air force, and navy, Turkish media reported Wednesday. The heads of the three military bodies will be replaced by other high-ranking members of the military in Turkey's latest shakeup of the armed forces after last year's failed coup, according to media reports. The decision followed a Wednesday meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildrim, and will go to President Recep...
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Widow Confirms Open Software Pioneer Was Executed in Syria

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:44
A Palestinian-Syrian software pioneer has been executed in prison after being arrested five years ago by Syrian authorities in Damascus, his widow and colleagues said Wednesday, in what Amnesty International said was a "grim reminder of Syrian prison horrors." Noura Ghazi Safadi wrote on Facebook late Tuesday that she has received confirmation that security services executed Bassel Khartabil in October 2015 after torturing him in prison. Khartabil, who also went by the name...
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'No More Waiting!' Syrians Stuck in Greece Protest at German Embassy

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 17:18
Syrian refugees stranded in Greece chanted "no more waiting!" and protested outside the German embassy in Athens on Wednesday against delays in reuniting with their relatives in Germany. About 100 people, among them young children, marched from parliament to the embassy holding up cardboard banners in English reading "I want my family" and shouting slogans about travel to Germany. Greek media have reported that Greece and Germany have informally agreed to slow down...
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US, Iranian Leaders See Violations to Spirit of Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:20
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal has taken focus away from other Iranian "destabilizing activities in the region," such as its ballistic missile program, support for terrorism and the roles it plays in conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. His comments Tuesday during a State Department briefing come as top officials in both the United States and Iran accuse the other side of violating the deal, formally known as the Joint...
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Egypt Reserves Reach Record High of Over $36 Billion

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 05:31
Egypt's foreign reserves reached over $36 billion in July, a record high, which the prime minister described as “good news” as it shows that the economy is recovering, the central bank said Tuesday. The bank announced the increase in a brief statement saying that the figure is 4.7 billion dollars higher compared to the previous month. In December 2010, foreign reserves reached $36 billion. Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail hailed the increase of the foreign reserves saying,...
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UN: Yemen Food Crisis Man-made, Partly as Wartime Strategy

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 04:32
The crisis in Yemen that has left millions on the brink of famine is "a man-made disaster" driven not only by decades of poverty and lack of investment but also by economic strangulation being used as a tactic of war, the U.N. development chief in the country said Tuesday. Auke Lootsma said "there is no end in sight" to Yemen's civil war. He said about 70 percent of the country's 27 million people need humanitarian aid, 60 percent don't know where their...
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Libya Constitutional Committee Pushes for Vote on Draft

Voice of America - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 01:55
The head of Libya's committee tasked with writing the constitution called upon the eastern parliament Tuesday to hold a national referendum on a final draft, setting in motion a long-awaited step that it's hoped will end the current political stalemate and terminate power struggles among the country's rival parties. More than three years overdue, the draft still leaves many of Libya's key questions unanswered. Experts warn that its lack of clarity will pave the way for...
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American Musician Preserves Syrian Religious Music

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 21:16
The war in Syria destroyed more than its cities. It destroyed its soul, says American drummer and photographer Jason Hamacher, who has recorded a large collection of Syrian religious music in an effort to preserve it. Arman Tarjimanyan reports.
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Trials Begin for Hundreds Accused in Failed Turkey Coup

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 21:01
Nearly 500 people suspected of involvement in an unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey last year went on trial Tuesday, where they face the prospect of the death penalty if found guilty. Those on trial Tuesday include top Army generals and pilots who are accused of directing the coup and bombing government buildings. They face charges that include murder and attempting to overthrow the government. The main defendant named in the case is the U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, whom has been...
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Delays, Hesitation Mark Syrians' Return From Lebanon

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 18:50
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are expected to stay in Lebanon's eastern border region for the near future, as a multilateral effort to resettle several thousand of them ran into further delays on Tuesday. Some 9,000 Syrian refugees and gunmen were waiting to leave Lebanon's Arsal region to a jihadist-dominated corner of Syria in accordance with an agreement between Lebanon, Syria, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and a Syrian affiliate to al-Qaida. But tens of...
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Report: Iran Successfully Launches Satellite-carrying Rocket

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 18:13
Iran successfully launched a satellite-carrying rocket into space on Thursday, the country's state media reported without elaborating.   Iranian state television described the launch as involving a "Simorgh" rocket that is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds). The state media report did not elaborate on the rocket's payload.   "Simorgh" means "phoenix" in Farsi.   The website YJC.ir, which is affiliated...
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No Visa, No Veil? Saudi Arabia May Ease Rules for Tourists

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 17:04
Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build a "semi-autonomous" visa-free travel destination along its northwestern Red Sea coast.   The Red Sea area will include diving attractions and a nature reserve - and there are suggestions that the kingdom's strict rules on women's veils and gender segregation could be waived in the tourist haven.   The resort area will be developed with seed capital from the country's Public Investment Fund.   The fund said...
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Jordan Repeals Controversial Rape Law

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:55
Lawmakers in Jordan have voted to repeal a law that drops charges against rapists if they agree to marry their victims. Activists have been lobbying for years to repeal article 308, which states rape charges can be dropped against a man who marries his victim and does not divorce her for five years. The narrow vote Tuesday that followed an emotional debate was hailed by rights groups, who urge other countries in the Middle East with similar laws to follow suit. In the hours before...
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Syria Slams Saudi Arabia for 'Politicizing' Hajj Pilgrimage

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:16
Syria's government says Saudi authorities continue to place restrictions on Syrian citizens looking to take part in this year's hajj, accusing the kingdom of “politicizing” the annual Muslim pilgrimage. Tuesday's statement from the Ministry of Religious Endowments criticized what it described as Riyadh's “political and financial exploitation” of the pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic ties with President Bashar Assad's government and since 2012 requires...
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Qatar Files WTO Complaint Against Boycotting Nations

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 14:39
Qatar has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against three of the four countries that cut ties with the Gulf nation in June while accusing it of supporting terrorists. The complaint calls for consultations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, a formal process that triggers a 60-day window in order for the sides to resolve their differences through negotiations or face potential penalties. The three nations, along with Egypt, cut diplomatic ties and...
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China Urges Support for New Israel-Palestinian Peace Plan

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 04:59
China's U.N. ambassador urged the international community on Monday to support President Xi Jinping's new four-point proposal to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and establish an independent Palestinian state. Liu Jieyi said at a news conference that China's future diplomatic efforts will focus on trying to move toward a negotiated solution based on the four proposals.   Xi signaled China's stepped-up engagement in the Middle East when he met about...
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Qatar Files WTO Complaint Against Trade Boycott

Voice of America - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 04:18
Qatar filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organization on Monday to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, the director of Qatar's WTO office, Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, told Reuters. By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60-day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade...
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Clooney Foundation to Open Schools for Syrian Refugees

Voice of America - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 19:27
George Clooney's foundation is planning to open seven public schools for Syrian refugee children.   The Clooney Foundation for Justice announced a new partnership Monday with Google, HP and UNICEF to provide education for more than 3,000 refugee children in Lebanon.   George and Amal Clooney said in a statement Monday that the foundation's commitment of more than $2 million toward education for Syrian refugees aims to prevent thousands of young people from becoming...
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Libya Committee Votes in Favor of Constitutional Draft

Voice of America - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 00:09
A committee tasked with writing a constitution for Libya voted in favor of a draft, paving the way for parliament to approve a referendum and causing uproar among opponents. Critics, including secessionists and people in favor of the country's 1951 constitution, called for a redo of Saturday's vote. Protesters broke into the committee's building in the eastern town of Bayda, according to two committee members, who said they called on the committee to reconvene Sunday. It...
Categories: Iraq