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Study: Iran Carrying Out More Cyberattacks for Profit

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:17
A U.S.-based cybersecurity intelligence group says Iranian state institutions have perpetrated a growing number of international cyberattacks for profit in recent months. In a VOA Persian interview, Accenture Security growth and strategy leader Tom Parker said most cyberattacks attributed by his research team to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and similar state bodies were financially motivated. The Arlington, Virginia-based company published a report Tuesday saying...
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US Pressure Builds on Iran, With Gulf States' Backing

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 22:32
New U.S economic sanctions took effect against Iran this week, targeting the Islamic Republic's automotive industry as well as its ability to purchase U.S. dollars and trade in gold. The European Union, Russia, China and Iraq broadly criticized the new sanctions, while Iranian neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which have backed the Trump administration's more confrontational approach with Tehran, remained largely silent. Yousef...
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Trump Doubles Tariffs on Turkish Steel, Aluminum Imports

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:34
U.S. President Donald Trump further escalated tensions with Turkey Friday by announcing a sharp increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in an early morning post on Twitter. In announcing 20 percent tariffs on aluminum and 50 percent tariffs on steel, Trump said "the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!" Trump's announcement came two days after a Turkish diplomatic delegation visited Washington in a bid to to ease tensions...
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Recount Shows Al-Sadr Alliance Winner in Iraqi Poll

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 16:54
A recount of votes cast in Iraq's May parliamentary election shows nationalist Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's alliance was the winner, the country's election commission said Friday. Sadr's win positions him to play a key role in the formation of the country's next government. Three months after the election, the winning parties are still negotiating the formation of the next governing coalition. Parliament ordered a recount in June after allegations of fraud...
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Saudi-led Coalition to Investigate Airstrike in Yemen

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 15:35
A Saudi-led Arab military coalition said Friday that it would investigate an airstrike in Yemen that killed at least 50 people, many of them children, after earlier defending the attack and calling it a "legitimate military action." The shift came as the attack drew wide international criticism, including a U.N. Security Council call for an independent investigation of the airstrike. Yemen's Houthi rebels said at least 40 children were killed in Thursday's strike in...
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Saudi-led Coalition Airstrike in Yemen Kills Dozens, Many of Them Children

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 08:34
Yemen's Shiite rebels say the death toll from Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on a crowded market and bus carrying school-aged children in the country's north has risen to 50. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports. WARNING: Graphic images.
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Palestinians Say Hamas, Israel Reach Truce in Gaza

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 02:51
Palestinian officials said Thursday that Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, had reached a truce with Israel as both sides appeared to be on the edge of another war. The Palestinians and Hamas TV said a deal was reached after mediation by Egypt and other regional players. "Palestinian factions will respect calm as long as Israel does," an official told Reuters. Israel has not confirmed that it reached a truce with Hamas, but one official who asked to...
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Report: Montenegro Seeks ex-CIA Agent in Failed Coup

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:38
Montenegro on Thursday issued an international arrest warrant for a former CIA agent for alleged involvement in what the government said was a failed pro-Russia coup designed to prevent the Balkan country’s NATO membership. Montenegro’s state TV said that prosecutors want the extradition of Joseph Assad, a U.S. citizen born and raised in Egypt, on charges of participating in a criminal enterprise led by two Russian military spy agency officers. The Russians and 12 others, mostly Serbs,...
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Canada Asks for Help in Saudi Dispute

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:37
Canada is quietly working back channels to prod allies including Germany and Sweden to help resolve its row with Saudi Arabia, a government source confirmed Thursday. The senior official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with her counterparts in the two European nations. Germany and Sweden previously were targets of Saudi backlashes for calling out the kingdom for human rights abuses. Freeland...
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Dissent in IS Ranks; Al-Baghdadi Still in Charge?

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 20:41
In an extraordinary breach of the Islamic State's culture of unquestioning obedience, an IS writer calling himself Ibn Jubayr has penned a series of five scathing articles leveling direct and unprecedented criticism at the militant group's leadership, according to a respected monitoring group. The articles come amid a growing number of dissident social media posts by apparent IS members, a stark change in a group where any suggestion of disobedience or criticism normally has been...
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UN: Full-Scale War in Syria's Idlib Province Would Be Bloodbath

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 20:02
Amid reports of shelling and bombing by Syrian government forces of rebel positions in Idlib, a senior U.N. official warns of a bloodbath if a full-scale war breaks out in this northwestern province. Idlib is the last remaining rebel stronghold in Syria. President Bashar-al-Assad has announced his interest in retaking the area. The United Nations is deeply worried about the prospect of war breaking out in Idlib, which shares a border with Turkey. The province is packed with 2.5 million...
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Iran's Former Hard-line President Asks Rouhani to Resign

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 18:20
Former hard-line Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked President Hassan Rouhani to resign. In a video published on his Telegram account Thursday, Ahmadinejad said that Iranians do not trust Rouhani. He said: "Your continued presence is at the expense of the country." Uncertainty resulting from the U.S. pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers has led Iran's already anemic economy to worsen. On Wednesday, Iranian lawmakers voted to sack...
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Saudi-led Airstrikes Hit Bus in Yemen, Killing 43, Many Children

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 17:06
International relief agencies expressed outrage and disgust at a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on Houthi rebels that killed at least 43 people Thursday in Yemen, many of them children. More than 60 people were wounded. One missile struck a bus taking children back from a summer school picnic. Television pictures from a hospital showed blood-covered youngsters who seemed too stunned to even cry. Others writhed on the floor, waiting for help. "Grotesque, shameful,...
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Gaza Border Fight Intensifies in Night of Rockets, Airstrikes

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 08:15
Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel and the Israeli military carried out scores of air strikes as fighting near the Gaza-Israel border intensified overnight into Thursday. Air raid sirens sounded almost nonstop in southern Israel from sundown Wednesday, warning residents to stay in shelters as more than 80 rockets were fired in their direction. At the same time, Israeli aircraft struck 140 targets belonging to the Hamas Islamist group that controls the Gaza...
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Saudi-Canadian Dispute Doesn’t Extend to Oil

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 06:51
Saudi Arabia’s oil supplies to Canada will not be impacted by a dispute between the two countries, the kingdom’s energy minister said Thursday, reassuring customers after Riyadh froze new trade with Canada and ruled out mediation efforts. The world’s largest oil exporter has a “firm and long-standing policy” that petroleum supplies are not influenced by political considerations, Khalid al-Falih said in a statement. “The current diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Canada will...
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UN Urges Israel, Hamas to 'Step Back From Brink'

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 03:24
U.N. Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov urged Israel and Hamas to step back "from the brink" after both sides exchanged rocket fire Wednesday. "The situation can rapidly deteriorate, with devastating consequences for all people," Mladenov said. Militants fired around 70 rockets into Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel responded with airstrikes, killing at least one Palestinian and wounding five others, according to the Gaza health ministry.  The violence...
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Palestinian-American Congressional Candidate Source of West Bank Pride

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 02:27
The Michigan primary victory of Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who is expected to become the first Muslim woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, triggered an outpouring of joy in her ancestral village on Wednesday. Relatives in Beit Our al-Foqa, where Tlaib's mother was born, greeted the news with a mixture of pride and hope that she will take on a U.S. administration widely seen as hostile to the Palestinian cause. “It’s a great honor for this small town. It’s a great honor...
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Mosul Woman Raising 23 Grandkids Orphaned by IS

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 02:20
When Iraqi forces announced the recapture of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants in July 2017, the joy of victory and the hope for a return to normalcy echoed across the country. But for Sana Ibrahim, who lost all of her children during IS rule, things would never be the same again. Now, at 61, Ibrahim has to take care of 23 grandchildren left behind from her three sons and two daughters killed in the brutal conflict. "IS destroyed us and left us nothing," said Ibrahim,...
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China, Germany Defend Iran Business Ties as US Sanctions Grip

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 22:26
China and Germany defended their business ties with Iran on Wednesday in the face of President Donald Trump’s warning that any companies trading with the Islamic Republic would be barred from the United States. The comments from Beijing and Berlin signaled growing anger from partners of the United States, which reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, over its threat to penalize businesses from third countries that continue to operate there. “China has consistently opposed...
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Scattered Protests, Heavy Security Across Iran After New Sanctions

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 21:15
Scattered protests, along with a heavy police presence in many places were reported Wednesday across Iran, one day after the first round of new U.S. economic sanctions went into effect. The Iranian parliament voted to remove Labor Minister Ali Rabie during a raucous debate Wednesday on new economic policies to tackle unemployment and bolster the weak economic situation in the country, a day after new U.S. economic sanctions went into effect. Tuesday, the hardline leader of Iran's...
Categories: Iraq