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New Bout of Heavy Fighting in Yemen Kills Dozens

2 hours 5 min ago
Heavy fighting in Yemen between pro-government forces and Shi'ite rebels has killed more than 150 people in the last four days, Yemeni officials and witnesses said Sunday. Government forces have been trying to seize rebel-held areas along the western coast, while an allied Saudi-led coalition has been targeting the rebels with airstrikes in the northwestern Saada province, a rebel stronghold. The offensive is being waged by ground troops carrying sophisticated weapons, including...
Categories: Iraq

In Oman, Yemen, Cyclone Toll: 6 Dead, 30 Missing

9 hours 9 min ago
A cyclone more powerful than any previously recorded in southern Oman slammed into the Gulf country and neighboring Yemen on Saturday, deluging a major city with nearly three years’ worth of rainfall in single day. The storm killed at least six people while more than 30 remain missing, officials said. Cyclone Mekunu caused flash flooding that tore away whole roadways and submerged others in Salalah, Oman’s third-largest city, stranding drivers. Strong winds knocked over street lights and...
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OPEC, Russia Could Raise Oil Output After US Prodding

Sun, 05/27/2018 - 04:23
Saudi Arabia and Russia are discussing raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil production by about 1 million barrels a day, sources said, weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump complained about artificially high prices. Riyadh and Moscow are prepared to ease output cuts to calm consumer worries about supply adequacy, their energy ministers said Friday, with Saudi Arabia’s Khalid al-Falih adding that any such move would be gradual so as not to shock the market. Raising production would ease 17...
Categories: Iraq

Uncertain Future Awaits Syria's Children 

Sun, 05/27/2018 - 02:14
Ten-year-old Khaled lives in a refugee camp in the countryside of Idlib, Syria. He has wide gray eyes and looks serious in front of the camera, but his friends and caregivers call him the "head of mischief." Khaled lost his father five years ago when Islamic State militants abducted him in Idlib. That was the last time Khaled saw his father. "Khaled's father got out from the house heading to Friday prayers, then disappeared. We searched everywhere for him....
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US Warns Syrian Government Not to Advance on South

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 20:22
The United States warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" to protect a cease-fire in southern Syria if President Bashar Assad's forces move against rebels there. The area in southwestern Syria, between the border city of Daraa and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has emerged as a flashpoint in a wider standoff between regional archrivals Israel and Iran. The U.S., Russia, and Jordan agreed last year to include Daraa in a "de-escalation zone" to...
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Group Says Masked Attackers Killed Five Syria Rescuers

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 18:19
Five Syrian rescue workers were killed in an attack by masked assailants Saturday on one of their centers in the northern province of Aleppo, the White Helmets said. The rescue force said armed men stormed its Al-Hader center in a pre-dawn attack and fired on the first responders inside. Four volunteers were killed on the spot and a fifth died later in hospital, it wrote on Twitter. Founded in 2013, the White Helmets are a network of first responders who rescue wounded in the...
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Jailed British-Iranian Aid Worker To Face Trial On Security Charges

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 18:19
A detained British-Iranian aid worker sentenced to five years in jail in Iran is to face a second trial on new security charges, the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday quoted Tehran Revolutionary Court's head Musa Ghazanfarabadi as saying. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she was heading back to Britain with her two-year-old daughter after a family visit. She was convicted...
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Egyptian Court Temporarily Bans Youtube Over Prophet Video

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 17:07
Egypt's top administrative court ruled on Saturday that regulators must block the video file-sharing site YouTube for one month over a video that denigrates the Prophet Mohammad, a lawyer who filed the case told Reuters. A lower administrative court had ordered that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology block YouTube, owned by Google, in 2013 over the video, but the case was appealed and its ruling stayed during the appeal process. The ministry at the time said...
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5 Dead, 30 Missing After Cyclone Hits Oman, Yemen

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 10:02
A cyclone more powerful than any previously recorded in southern Oman slammed into the Gulf country and neighboring Yemen on Saturday, deluging a major city with nearly three years' worth of rainfall in single day. The storm killed at least five people while more than 30 remain missing, officials said. Cyclone Mekunu caused flash flooding that tore away whole roadways and submerged others in Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, stranding drivers. Strong winds knocked over street...
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VOA Persian Interviews Secretary Pompeo on Iran

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 08:30
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the Trump administration's efforts to end Iran's nuclear program in an exclusive interview with VOA's Persian service. VOA's Julie Taboh reports, Thursday's conversation also covered recent protests in Iran and the administration's efforts to free Americans detained by Iran.
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US Seeks Forfeiture of Illegally Imported Syrian Mosaic

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 03:58
The U.S. government has filed an asset forfeiture complaint involving an ancient mosaic believed to have been looted from war-torn Syria and illegally imported into the United States, where authorities say it was seized from a California man. The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles said Friday the 1-ton (0.9 metric ton) mosaic depicting Hercules is believed to have been created in the 3rd or 4th century and is consistent with mosaics found in Syria, particularly around the city of...
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Pompeo: US Will See Iran as Friend If It Accepts Demands

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 23:26
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says if Iranian leaders accept U.S. demands to behave like a normal nation, Americans will visit Iran and treat it as a friend.  In an exclusive interview with VOA's Persian service broadcast Friday, Pompeo said the goal of the new Iran strategy that he revealed earlier this week is to set conditions for Iran's Islamist rulers to behave like "normal leaders." Speaking to VOA at the State Department on Thursday, he said...
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VOA Persian Interview: Sec of State Mike Pompeo

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 22:46
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sits down with VOA's Persian service chief to discuss Iran.
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VOA Persian Interview: Secretary of State Pompeo on Iran

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 21:40
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with VOA Persian Director Setareh Derakhshesh Thursday afternoon to discuss the Trump administration's plans for a new security framework aimed at ending Iran's nuclear program. They also discussed recent protests in Iran, and the administration's efforts to free Americans being held by the government. Setareh: Secretary Pompeo, thank you very much for doing this interview with us. Pompeo: It’s wonderful to be with you. Question: As...
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Oman Braces for ‘Extremely Severe’ Cyclone Mekunu

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 08:38
Cyclone Mekunu will be “extremely severe” when it crashes into the Arabian Peninsula this weekend, meteorologists warned Friday, after earlier thrashing the Yemeni island of Socotra. At least 17 people are missing from Socotra, with one Yemeni official describing them as likely dead. The cyclone is expected to make landfall early Saturday near Salalah, Oman’s third-largest city and home to about 200,000 people near the sultanate’s border with war-ravaged Yemen. Conditions quickly...
Categories: Iraq

Six Killed in Car Bomb Explosion in Benghazi

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 04:55
At least six people were killed when a car bomb exploded in the center of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday night, residents told a Reuters reporter at the scene. The bomb exploded near the Tibesti hotel, the city's biggest. Ambulances were rushing to the scene. No more details were immediately available. Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA), the dominant force in eastern Libya led by commander Khalifa...
Categories: Iraq

Parties Meet Amid Slim Hopes of Saving Iran Nuclear Deal

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 04:07
Nations that remain in the Iran nuclear deal meet on Friday for the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump left the pact, but diplomats see limited scope to salvage it after Washington vowed to be tougher than ever on Tehran. British, Chinese, French, German and Russian officials will try to flesh out with Iran's deputy foreign minister a strategy to save the deal by keeping oil and investment flowing, while circumventing U.S. sanctions that risk hurting the economy. The 2015...
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France, Russia to Push Coordination Mechanism for Syria Process

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 23:08
France and Russia want to create a coordination mechanism between world powers to push ahead with finding a political solution in Syria, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. Macron said the idea was to coordinate efforts carried out by the Astana process that comprises Russia, Turkey and Iran and the "small group," which was initiated by France, and comprises Britain, Germany, Jordan, the United States and Saudi Arabia. "We need to be talking about the...
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Rights Group: Europeans Should Press Iran to End Media Muzzling

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 23:03
An international media rights group says European powers seeking to preserve the Iran nuclear deal should use their talks with Tehran to press for an end to its harassment of journalists. In a report published Thursday, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said the current international focus on Iran's economic ties with Europe "could represent an opening to engage on press freedom." European diplomats have held talks with Iranian officials in recent weeks...
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Lebanese PM Hariri Named to Form New Government

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:37
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has been named to form a new government following consultations by President Michel Aoun with top members of parliament at the presidential palace in Baabda. Hariri said Thursday that he would try to form the government quickly after listening to the demands of various political factions. He told journalists the main tasks of the new government would be to tackle corruption, economic reform and the Syrian refugee crisis. Hariri, whose...
Categories: Iraq