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Updated: 8 hours 46 min ago

Egypt Warns Ethiopia Nile dam Dispute 'Life or Death'

8 hours 53 min ago
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, for the second time in as many days, has delivered a stern warning to Ethiopia over a dam it is building after the two countries along with Sudan failed to approve a study on its potential effects. Ethiopia is finalizing construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile. Egypt fears that will cut into its water supply. Cairo said last week that the three countries had failed to approve an initial study by a consultancy...
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Aid Group: Saudis Blocking Help From Yemen Capital

12 hours 33 min ago
International aid group Doctors Without Borders says it has not been able to deliver live-saving medical and humanitarian assistance to the people in dire need in the Yemeni capital because of a blockade by a Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels.   The group, known by its French acronym MSF, says in a statement Saturday it hasn't received authorization from the coalition to fly from Djibouti to Sanaa.   The group welcomes the reopening of the port in the...
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US Puts Palestinians on Notice: DC Office May Be Shuttered

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:03
The Trump administration put the Palestinians on notice Friday that it will shutter their office in Washington unless they’ve entered serious peace talks with Israel, U.S. officials said, potentially giving President Donald Trump more leverage as he seeks an elusive Mideast peace deal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians ran afoul of an obscure provision in a U.S. law that says the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission must close if the Palestinians...
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Russia Again Vetoes Chemical Weapons Resolutions on Syria

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 04:20
Russia has again vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have extended an international probe into chemical weapons use in Syria, one day after it rejected a similar resolution. Japan had put forward a resolution that would have extended the investigation to identify who is behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria by 30 days to allow time for negotiations on a wider compromise. On Thursday, the United States sponsored a similar resolution with a yearlong extension that was...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Recapture Last Islamic State-held Town

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 01:45
Iraqi forces on Friday captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic State control, signaling the collapse of the group's self-proclaimed caliphate. Rawa's capture marks the end of Islamic State's era of territorial rule over a so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swaths of Iraq and Syria. Iraqi forces "liberated Rawa entirely, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings," Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed...
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Hariri Meets With Macon About Lebanese Drama

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 23:50
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri is at  the Elysee presidential palace in Paris where he is in discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron who has offered to help Hariri resolve his role in the bizarre Lebanese political drama. Earlier this month, Hariri resigned from office on Saudi TV, sparking turmoil and skepticism.   However, earlier Saturday, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said Hariri called Lebanese President Michel Aoun to tell him he will...
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IS Bomb Kills More Than 20 Displaced People in Syria

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 22:30
At least 20 internally displaced persons were killed by a car bomb Friday in Syria — an attack blamed on Islamic State. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor put the death toll at 26, adding that 12 of the victims were children. Syrian state broadcaster SANA said that 30 others were injured at a site where displaced families were relocated in eastern Syria near the city of Deir el-Zour. Both sources said Islamic State, which controls roughly one-quarter of oil-rich Deir...
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Security Council Considers 30-day Extension on Syria Experts

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 21:21
The U.N. Security Council met Friday to discuss a 30-day extension to the mandate of the expert body charged with determining responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria after rival U.S. and Russian resolutions were defeated. The defeats came during a dramatic and highly contentious three-hour council meeting Thursday that reflected the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations and they ended the mandate of the expert body, the Joint Investigative Mechanism or JIM. But all 15...
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Turkish President Slams US Policy in Syria

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 20:53
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used an address to party officials Friday in Ankara as an opportunity to launch a blistering attack on the U.S. policy in Syria. Erdogan openly asked why the U.S. is involving itself in a country 12,000 kilometers away. He then accused Washington of breaking commitments and promises, claiming the country was trying to trick him. Bilateral relations have hit a low point over Washington's arming of the Syrian Kurdish group the PYD in its fight...
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Hariri: My Stay in Saudi Arabia Was to Discuss Lebanon's Future

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:46
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Friday he has been in Saudi Arabia, from where he announced his shocking resignation, for discussions on the future of the region. "My stay in the kingdom is aimed at conducting consultations on the future of Lebanon and its relations with its Arab neighbors," he wrote on Twitter ahead of his trip to France. Hariri went on to say that any other information about his stay in Riyadh, his departure from Lebanon, or his family are...
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Red Cross: 1 Million Yemenis at Risk of Cholera Outbreak

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:01
One million people across three Yemeni cities are at risk of a renewed cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases following the closing of airports and sea ports by a Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels, an international aid group said on Friday. The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that the cities of Hodeida, Saada and Taiz were not able to provide clean water in recent days due to a lack of fuel. "Close to one million people...
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China's Xi Offers Support for Saudi Arabia Amid Regional Uncertainty

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 05:11
China supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and achieve greater development, President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, at a time of regional tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite its reliance on the region for oil. But it has been trying to raise its profile, with Salman visiting China in March. Speaking by telephone, Xi told Salman that...
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Russia, US Reject Rival Chemical Weapons Resolutions on Syria

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 04:30
Russia on Thursday vetoed a U.S.-sponsored Security Council resolution that would have extended the international probe into chemical weapons use in Syria. Hours later, the council rejected a Russian-sponsored resolution after it failed to get the required nine-vote minimum for passage. The Russian proposal included changes to the mandate that the U.S. opposed. This was the 10th time Russia vetoed a resolution on Syria. Without passage, the mandate of the Joint Investigative...
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Lebanon's Hariri Finds Himself Caught in Regional Feuds

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:11
Saad Hariri has seen a lot in his 47 years. His father, Lebanon’s charismatic leader and influential businessman Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in a 2005 bombing that rocked the country and thrust the young man into a political career before he was ready.   He led an uprising that ended decades of Syrian military presence in Lebanon, and was later wanted by the government in Damascus for arming rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad. He was ousted as prime minister...
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Africa Politics Creep Into French PM's Visit to Morocco

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 00:07
France's prime minister launched a mission Wednesday to reinvigorate trade and cooperation with Morocco, which has steadily positioned itself as a regional economic powerhouse focused on Africa instead of its former colonial ruler. French government ministers, state secretaries and a large group of business leaders accompanied Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to the Moroccan capital for a two-day visit. It was Philippe's first visit to the North African kingdom since his...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Kurds to End Parliament Boycott

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 23:45
Iraq's Kurdish lawmakers are returning to Baghdad this week in an apparent end to their boycott of the national parliament, a senior Kurdish official said Thursday. The move is a concession to Baghdad after a military and political standoff that followed the controversial Kurdish independence vote in September. Kurdish lawmakers had announced they would return to parliament, but an Iraqi lawmaker, Josef Slewa, told The Associated Press that Kurdish legislators from Masoud...
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Save the Children Says 130 Children Die Every Day in Yemen

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:56
An international aid group says an estimated 130 children or more die every day in war-torn Yemen from extreme hunger and disease. Save the Children said late on Wednesday a continuing blockade by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels is likely to further increase the death rate. It says over 50,000 children are believed to have died in 2017. Saudi Arabia blocked Yemen's ports after a rebel missile attack near Riyadh earlier in November. It said Monday the...
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Iranian-Turkish Relations Deepen with Shared Regional Goals

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:47
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to attend a summit with Iranian and Russian leaders to discuss Syria. It will be Erdogan's second meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a month. Bilateral relations have warmed significantly in recent months between the regional rivals, since the Turkish president criticized Tehran in June, accusing it of Persian expansion in the region, a threat he said needed to be challenged. "This is part of Ankara's...
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Saudi Foreign Minister: Message to Iran is: 'Enough is Enough'

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 21:05
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said on Thursday the kingdom's actions in the Middle East were a response to what he called the "aggression" of Iran. Long-standing arch-rivals, Riyadh and Tehran are waging a contest for power on several fronts across the region, notably in Yemen and Lebanon. "Any way you look at it, they [the Iranians] are the ones who are acting in an aggressive manner. We are reacting to that aggression and saying, 'Enough is...
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Israeli Army Chief says Ready to Share Information with Saudi Arabia

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 20:27
The Israeli army's chief of staff told an Arabic anguage online newspaper that Israel was ready to share "intelligence information" with Saudi Arabia, saying their countries had a common interest in standing up to Iran. Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot told the privately Saudi-owned Elaph in what it said was his first interview with an Arabic newspaper that Israel had no plans to attack Lebanon's Hezbollah group. Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up pressure on arch-foe...
Categories: Iraq