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Europe Urges Restraint as Fears of US-Iran Conflict Escalate

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 19:07
As tensions escalate between the United States and Iran, Europe is urging both sides to avoid any further escalation. The European Union is trying to salvage a nuclear deal struck with Tehran in 2015, amid mounting pressure from Washington to abandon the agreement. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, Europe fears Iran is being pushed into a corner – and that its response could have dangerous consequences for the region.
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Europe Urges Restraint as Fears of US-Iran Conflict Escalate

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:00
As tensions escalate between the United States and Iran, Europe has urged all sides to avoid further escalation. The United States has deployed a naval strike group to the Middle East region, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier.  B-52 bombers have also arrived at the U.S. air base in Qatar, designed to counter what the Trump administration says are "clear indications" of threats from Iran to U.S. forces. Military analyst Jack Watling of the London-based Royal...
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Iran Tensions on Agenda as Pompeo Meets With Putin, Lavrov in Sochi

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 09:16
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian leaders Tuesday that President Donald Trump "is committed to improving" relations between the two superpowers "I hope this good faith effort on the part of each of our two nations as directed by President Trump and President Putin will stabilize the relationship, and put it back on a trajectory that I think would be good for not only each of our two countries and each of our peoples, but for the world as well," Pompeo...
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US Official: Explosives Blew Holes in Ships off UAE

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 05:53
A U.S. official says military experts believe explosives blew holes in four ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates Sunday, and suspects Iran may be involved but they have no proof. Two of the oil tankers belong to Saudi Arabia, which says the ships suffered "significant damage" in what it and the UAE calls sabotage.  Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said the attack was meant to undermine "the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the...
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Veteran Palestinian Negotiator Says She Was Denied US Visa for First Time

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 03:29
A veteran Palestinian negotiator said Monday she had been denied a U.S. travel visa for the first time, and viewed it as retaliation for her criticism of the Trump administration and Israel. Asked about Hanan Ashrawi's allegations, a U.S. State Department official did not comment directly, but said visas are not refused on the grounds of an applicant's politics if those political statements or views would be lawful in the United States. Since they boycotted the Trump...
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European Allies Warn US Over Tensions With Iran

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 20:28
Top officials from the European Union are calling on the United States to use "maximum restraint" and avoid military escalation with Iran. "[U.S. Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo heard very clearly from us — not only from myself but also from the other ministers of EU member states — that we are living in a crucial, delicate moment where the most relevant attitude to take — the most responsible attitude to take — is and we believe should be that of maximum restraint and...
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Ships 'Sabotaged' off UAE Coast

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 20:17
Carla Babb at the Pentagon and Edward Yeranian in Cairo contributed to this report. Saudi Arabia says two of its oil tankers suffered "significant damage" in a "sabotage attack" early Sunday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. No details, however, about the specifics of the damage were released. The kingdom's energy minister said one of the tankers had been on its way to the Saudi port of Ras Tanura to pick up oil to deliver to the United...
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Iran Sentences British Council Employee for Alleged Espionage

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 19:31
Iran has sentenced an employee of the British Council to 10 years in prison on espionage charges, the country's judiciary spokesman said Monday. The woman, an Iranian citizen, was found guilty of cooperating with British spy agencies while working for the British Council - charges she "quickly and clearly" confessed to, Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told a press conference. Esmaili did not identify the woman, but a London-based British Council...
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UN Envoy to Mideast Warns of War Between Israel, Hamas

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 18:03
The U.N. envoy to the Mideast said Monday that the recent ceasefire between Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel was the "last chance" to prevent an all-out conflict. A Qatari envoy arrived the same day in the Palestinian enclave with cash to help cement the truce, which halted the worst round of fighting between the two sides in years. After a spate of violence killed 25 Palestinians, including 15 civilians, as well as four Israeli civilians earlier this month, Nickolay Mladenov,...
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Saudi Ship Facing Arms Protests Leaves Spanish Port

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 17:27
Spanish arms control activists say a Saudi ship they suspect is carrying weapons for possible use in Yemen has left the port of Santander and is on its way to Genoa, Italy. Spanish arms control activists say a Saudi ship they suspect is carrying weapons for possible use in Yemen has left the port of Santander and is on its way to Genoa, Italy. Alberto Estevez of the Control Arms Coalition of human rights and aid groups, which is trying to stop arms reaching conflict zones, has told The...
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Iranian Students Protest Mandatory Headscarf Rule

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 17:02
Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency says university students have held a campus protest against authorities' increasing pressure on women to wear mandatory headscarves in public. The report says the students — both men and women — briefly scuffled with another group of Tehran University students who support the country's conservative dress code. The headscarf, or hijab, is required in public for all women in Iran. Those who violate the rules are usually sentenced to two...
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After Caliphate's Fall, IS Insurgents Still Spread Fear

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 14:14
It was a chilly January evening, and Khadija Abd and her family had just finished supper at their farm when the two men with guns burst into the room. One wore civilian clothes, the other an army uniform. They said they were from the Iraqi army's 20th Division, which controls the northern Iraqi town of Badoush. In fact, they were Islamic State group militants who had come down from the surrounding mountains into Badoush with one thing on their mind: Revenge.   Around 13 more...
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Center Works to Empower Yemen’s Women and Girls

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 12:40
Yemen's four years of devastating civil war have taken the hardest toll on women and girls. Many have become widowed and must support their families alone without the needed skills or education. In one remote desert village, the U.S. aid group International Rescue Committee has established a center for teaching skills and empowerment to vulnerable women and girls.  Intekab Ali Abdulwasi, a mother of five girls, fled fighting in her home in Taiz to the remote village of Raz...
Categories: Iraq

Ships 'Sabotaged' Off UAE Coast

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 08:46
Saudi Arabia says two of its oil tankers suffered "significant damage" in a "sabotage attack" early Sunday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. No details, however, about the specifics of the damage were released.  The kingdom's energy minister said one of the tankers had been on its way to the Saudi port of Ras Tanura to pick up oil to deliver to the United States. The United States issued a warning early Monday about alleged "acts of...
Categories: Iraq

Uncertain Future Awaits Displaced Syrian Yazidis in Lebanon

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 04:15
Concern is growing among hundreds of Yazidis who fled their homes due to the Turkish intrusion of northwestern Syria to neighboring Lebanon, as the religious minority faces a possible forced return by Lebanese authorities. An estimated 500 Yazidis fled the town of Afrin in early 2018 during the Turkish Operation Olive Branch against the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. They say they fear being targeted by Islamist militants if they return home. One of the refugees, Ronahi Hassan Alias, said...
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Murder Charge Dropped Against Jewish Suspect in Arson Attack on Palestinians

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 02:13
Israeli prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a Jewish suspect in a 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents. Under a plea bargain, the unnamed suspect pleaded guilty to a racially motivated conspiracy and staking out the Palestinian village with a codefendant. Prosecutors will seek a five-year prison sentence. They agreed not to pursue the more serious charge of murder, noting the suspect was a minor at the time of the attack. The other suspect,...
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UAE: Sabotage on 4 Commercial Ships in Gulf of Oman

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 02:00
The United Arab Emirates says four commercial ships were subjected to "sabotage operations" Sunday near its territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman. Authorities gave no details, however, on what kind of sabotage they suspect or to whom the ships belong, other than saying they were of different nationalities. They say no one was hurt and no chemicals or fuel were spilled from the ships. The UAE did deny Iranian and Lebanese news reports of explosions at the port of Fujairah...
Categories: Iraq

Report: Iran Commander Calls US Military in Gulf a Target, Not a Threat

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 00:29
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday the U.S. military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represented a target, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported. The U.S. military has sent forces, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East in a move U.S. officials said was to counter "clear indications" of threats from Iran to its forces in the region. The USS Abraham Lincoln is replacing another...
Categories: Iraq

Center Empowering Yemen’s Women and Girls

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 23:13
Yemen's four years of devastating civil war have taken the hardest toll on women and girls. Many have become widowed and must support their families alone without the needed skills or education. In one remote desert village, the U.S. aid group International Rescue Committee has established a center for teaching skills and empowerment to vulnerable women and girls. Reporter Neha Wadekar visited the village of Raz Amran in January and has this report.
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UN: Houthi Withdrawal From Key Yemen Ports on Track

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 21:33
The U.N. said Sunday that the redeployment of Houthi forces from key ports in Yemen "went in accordance with established plans:. "All three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security," Michael Lollesgaard, the chair of the U.N.'s Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), said in a statement. "In the following days, activities are expected to focus on...
Categories: Iraq