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Turkish Officials in Washington as Tensions Escalate

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 18:52
A Turkish diplomatic delegation is visiting Washington for discussions about the ongoing detention in Turkey of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson. The trip comes at a time of escalating U.S.-Turkish tensions, which are threatening to trigger a financial crisis in Turkey. VOA Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from the State Department.
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Oral Cholera Vaccination Campaign in Yemen Falls Short

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 18:33
More than one-quarter million people in Yemen have been immunized against cholera. But, the three-day oral cholera vaccination campaign, held by the World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund between August 4 and 6, has fallen short of its mark by half. The World Health Organization reports more than 3,000 local health workers have reached 266,000 people above the age of one with oral cholera vaccine. This is about half of the one-half million people WHO and partners had hoped...
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Damascus: Syria's First Lady Starts Breast Cancer Treatment

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 17:47
Syria's presidency says first lady Asma Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer. The presidency posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday a photo of President Bashar Assad sitting next to his wife in what appeared to be a hospital room with an IV in her left arm.   The statement posted with the photo says the "malignant tumor" was discovered in its early stages and wished her a speedy recovery.   Such public announcements are uncommon in the Arab world,...
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Saudi Arabia Crucifies Myanmar Man Convicted of Murder

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:48
Saudi Arabia says it executed and crucified a man from Myanmar convicted of killing a woman and carrying out other crimes. The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on the execution Wednesday, saying it was carried out in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.   It said Elias Abulkalaam Jamaleddeen entered a Myanmar woman's home firing a gun and then stabbed her to death. He was convicted of robbing her home and another home, attempted rape, and stealing firearms and...
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IOM Appeals for $45M Aid for Horn of Africa Migrants

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:46
The International Organization for Migration and partners are appealing for $45 million to provide humanitarian and developmental aid over a three year period for 81,000 vulnerable migrants moving to and from the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Yemen may be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. But that has not deterred thousands of impoverished, conflict-ridden migrants and refugees mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia from crossing the Gulf of Aden into Yemen with the support of...
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US Braces for Possible Cyberattacks After Iran Sanctions

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:34
The U.S. is bracing for cyberattacks Iran could launch in retaliation for the re-imposition of sanctions this week by President Donald Trump, cybersecurity and intelligence experts say. Concern over that cyber threat has been rising since May, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, under which the U.S. and other world powers eased economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program. The experts say the threat would intensify following Washington's move...
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Iran Weighs Response as US Sanctions Bite

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 00:49
As Iranians awoke Tuesday to renewed U.S. sanctions that had been lifted by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, the question on everyone's mind remained: What happens now?  From deciphering President Donald Trump's tweets on Iran — including one demanding “WORLD PEACE” — to trying to figure out how much their cratering currency is worth, Iranians appear divided on how to respond. The same goes for their theocratic government, which for now is abiding by the atomic...
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Egyptian Politician Calls for Referendum on Government

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 22:50
An Egyptian politician has called for a referendum on President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government. Masoum Marzouk, a former diplomat, announced a road map this week that would include the suspension of the constitution and the dissolution of parliament if Egyptians were to vote against the government. He said that if the government did not respond positively to his initiative, a popular conference'' would be held in Cairo's Tahrir Square — epicenter of the 2011...
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US Declines to Intervene in Saudi-Canada Diplomatic Dispute

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 21:13
The United States on Tuesday declined to get involved in a diplomatic dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia, two of its closest allies. Both countries have recalled each other's ambassadors after Canada criticized the Saudis for arresting human rights activists. "Regarding Canada, we have raised that with the government of Saudi Arabia. They are friends. They are partners. Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can't do it for them," State...
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UN Agencies Help More Somali Refugees Return From Yemen

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 20:29
The U.N. refugee and migration agencies have helped 116 Somali refugees return home from war-torn Yemen, although conditions in parts of Somalia remain unsafe. The boat, which sailed from Aden, Yemen on Saturday arrived in the port of Berbera in Somalia the day after. Among its passengers were female heads of households, several students hoping to resume their educations, and a critically ill patient traveling with his family. Since the so-called assisted spontaneous return program...
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Chinese Car Makers Poised to Fill Gap in Iranian Market as US Sanctions Bite

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 20:08
China appears poised to fill the gap in Iran left by French automakers who closed their Iranian operations before the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Tehran. The Chinese move could open yet another dispute between Washington and Beijing, adding to the acrimony between the two, which are locked in an escalating trade dispute. European automakers French automaker Renault, which had an eight percent share of the Iranian automotive market, the 12th largest in the World, announced...
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Trump Reimposes Iranian Economic Sanctions

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:47
The United States has re-imposed economic sanctions against Iran, targeting a wide range of sectors including automobiles, its trade in gold and other precious metals, and its currency. Top Trump administration officials said the measure is designed to put significant financial pressure to "counter the blatant and ongoing malign activities” of the Iranian regime and ultimately seek a new agreement that would address the Iranian threat. White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has more.
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Trump Reimposes Iranian Economic Sanctions

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 08:17
The United States has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran that were originally put in place to pressure the country to limit its nuclear program and later lifted under a 2015 international agreement. President Donald Trump has been a frequent critic of that deal and withdrew the United States from the agreement three months ago, setting in motion the reimposition of the sanctions effective at midnight Monday. Earlier in the day he assailed Iran as "a murderous dictatorship that...
Categories: Iraq

Some Arabs Eager to See New US Sanctions Hit Iran

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 21:59
With new U.S. sanctions on Iran due to go into effect Tuesday, Iranians are bracing for the repercussions, while neighboring Arab states are eager to see the sanctions place pressure on their regional nemesis. Various proxy wars between Shi'ite Iran and the Sunni-Arab Gulf States in places such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq have created a bitter rivalry that has left each side rejoicing at the misfortunes of the other. Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Reimposes Economic Sanctions on Iran

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 20:06
U.S. President Donald Trump has reimposed economic sanctions against Iran, effective at midnight Monday, assailing Tehran as "a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos." Trump, acting three months after he withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 international accord restraining Iran's nuclear development program, said the new sanctions target the Islamic Republic's automotive sector, its trade in gold and other precious metals, along...
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Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador Over Criticism

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 16:27
Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador on Monday and froze “all new business” with Ottawa over its criticism of the ultraconservative kingdom’s arrest of women’s rights activists — yet another warning to the West reflecting Riyadh’s new assertive foreign policy. The sudden and unexpected dispute bore the hallmarks of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old future leader whose recent foreign policy exploits include the war in Yemen and Lebanese Prime Minister...
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Iraq Completes Recount of Ballots from May Election

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 16:17
Iraq's election commission has completed its recount of ballots from May's parliamentary elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud and irregularities. The commission said Monday it didn't recount votes from eastern Baghdad because of a fire at a warehouse where ballot boxes and electronic counting equipment were stored.   It did not say whether the recount had altered the results or when the new count would be made public. Shi'ite cleric Muqtada...
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US to Resume Iran Sanctions

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 05:28
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran has to start behaving like what he calls a "normal country," as the United States prepares to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. "This is just about the Iranians' dissatisfaction with their own government and the president's (Trump) been pretty clear. We want the Iranian people to have a strong voice in who their leadership will be," Pompeo told reporters Sunday. He said the White House would give details Monday about...
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Saudi Expels Canadian Envoy, Recalls Its Envoy Over 'Interference'

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 02:21
Saudi Arabia announced Monday it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and had recalled its envoy while freezing business ties with Ottawa, over what it called "interference" in its internal affairs. The move follows vigorous calls by Canada for the immediate release of human rights activists swept up in a new wave of detentions. "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia... will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country," the foreign...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Eases Currency Rules, Hoping to Buoy Rial Ahead of Sanctions

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 00:33
Iran will ease foreign exchange rules, state TV reported on Sunday, in a bid to halt a collapse of the rial currency that has lost half its value since April due to fears about U.S. sanctions likely to be imposed this week. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an agreement to lift sanctions in return for Iran limiting its nuclear program caused a run on the rial as companies and savers bought hard currency to protect themselves from the economic sanctions that could be...
Categories: Iraq