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8-Year-Old Boy with Disability Trains to Become Professional Swimmer

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 22:47
An Egyptian boy born with a disability is making waves in the swimming pool. His arms are short from a rare disease, but that’s not stopping him from chasing his dream. Arash Arabasadi reports.
Categories: Iraq

News Agency: Saudis to Issue Visas to Iran Interests Section

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 19:20
Iran's state-run IRNA news agency is reporting that Saudi Arabia has agreed to issue visas to the head of Iran's Saudi Arabian Interests Section and its staff.   Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked its embassy and consulate in Tehran over the execution of top Saudi opposition cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr   The Sunday report quotes an unnamed source as saying that Saudi Arabia agreed to issue the...
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UN: Attacks on Yemen's Port of Hodeidah Would Be Catastrophic

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 16:18
United Nations aid agencies are renewing appeals to Yemen's warring parties to spare the Port of Hodeidah, warning attacks against the vital lifeline would be catastrophic. The United Nations warns that Yemen, where the world's worst humanitarian crisis is unfolding, would suffer even more if the vital Port of Hodeidah were attacked and ceased to operate. More than three years of civil war have destroyed the country's economy, forced more than two million people to flee...
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Egypt Says Troops Have Killed 52 Militants in Sinai

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 15:34
Egypt says its security forces have killed at least 52 suspected militants in recent days in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula. The military said in a statement Sunday that another 49 suspected militants have been arrested. It says it destroyed 26 hideouts and weapons depots, and dismantled 64 explosive devices. The military says airstrikes destroyed 32 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition in the Western Desert and in the south. It wasn't possible to independently...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Gets Airplanes Ahead of Renewed US Sanctions

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 14:49
Iran acquired five new commercial aircraft on Sunday, a day before the U.S. begins restoring sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.   The arrival of the ATR72-600 airplanes at Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport represented perhaps the last benefits Iran will see under the nuclear deal after President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May. Economic woes are sparking sporadic, leaderless protests across the country.   The rhetoric...
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Israeli PM Defends Jewish Nation-State Law after Protest

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 14:44
Israel's prime minister is defending a divisive new law enshrining the country's Jewish character after tens of thousands of people demonstrated against it in Tel Aviv. Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting that the law doesn't harm any citizens, and is needed to "ensure the future of Israel as the state of the Jewish people for generations to come."   Members of Israel's Arabic-speaking Druze minority, which is known for...
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Reports: IS Executes Hostage From Syria’s Sweida 

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 12:20
The Islamic State group has executed one of a number of hostages it took last month in multiple attacks on Syria’s southern province of Sweida, according to a Syrian watchdog and local media. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and news outlets report IS has circulated images showing that the group executed a young man. The French news agency (AFP) reports that the victim’s relatives say he was abducted from his village, along with his mother. On July 25, scores of IS militants...
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Palestinian Girls Will Pitch Their App to Silicon Valley 

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 11:02
Four Palestinian high school friends are heading to California this week to pitch their mobile app about fire prevention to Silicon Valley’s tech leaders, after winning a slot in the finals of a worldwide competition among more than 19,000 teenage girls. For the 11th graders from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the ticket of admission to the World Pitch Summit signals a particularly dramatic leap. They come from middle class families that value education, but opportunities have been...
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Reflecting the Perfection of Allah Through Calligraphy

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 09:30
Places of worship are built by design to reflect religiosity. They strive to depict beauty through paintings, colored glass or by the images that portray deities and stories from their holy books. But beautifying mosques presents a different challenge. In Islam, beauty is often depicted in the ornate calligraphy used to display passages from the Quran. VOA’s Rebaz Majeed spent a day with a Kurdish calligrapher who designs mosque interiors in Sulaymaniyah in Iraq. Bezhan Hamdard narrates.
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Drought Raises Questions About Israel’s Water Strategy

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 03:31
For years, public service announcements warned Israelis to save water: Take shorter showers. Plant resilient gardens. Conserve. Then Israel invested heavily in desalination technology and professed to have solved the problem by tapping into the abundant waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The once-ubiquitous conservation warnings vanished. Now, a five-year drought is challenging that strategy, as farmers struggle and the country’s most important bodies of water shrink. It’s a confounding...
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Israel Seizes Swedish Activist Ship Bound for Gaza Strip

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 17:10
Israel's navy Saturday seized a Swedish-flagged sailboat carrying activist passengers that was trying to breach the long-standing blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The Israeli military said the vessel, named "Freedom for Gaza," was "intercepted in accordance with international law." The 12 passengers, from Sweden, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Spain, are in custody and will be flown home, an Israeli Immigration Authority spokeswoman said. The...
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Turkey to Freeze 2 US Officials' Assets

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 15:28
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced retaliatory measures Saturday against the U.S., following the U.S. sanctioning of two senior ministers for the ongoing detention of an American pastor. Erdogan announced the measures while speaking at a women's party meeting in Ankara. "We have shown patience until yesterday evening. Today I am instructing my friends that we will freeze the assets of U.S. secretaries of justice and interior in Turkey" Erdogan said. "Those...
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Reports: Protests Continue Across Iran; Seminary Attacked

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 11:43
Sporadic protests were taking place in cities in Iran for a fourth day, with demonstrators attacking a Shiite seminary west of Tehran, according to Iranian news agencies and social media Saturday, as Iranians brace for a return of U.S. sanctions. Hundreds have rallied in cities across the country, including Tehran, Isfahan and Karaj, according to videos posted on social media, to protest against high inflation caused in part by a plunging rial over fears of the reimposition of crippling...
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Palestinian Killed at Gaza Border; Hamas Leaders Discuss Truce

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 23:42
One Palestinian was killed and dozens of others were injured Friday in protests at the border between Israel and Gaza, as Hamas leaders met to discuss a truce with Israel. The Israeli army estimated that 8,000 protesters turned out to demonstrate against Israel's 11-year blockade of Gaza, put in place after Hamas gained political control of the territory's parliament in 2007. Several exiled Hamas leaders entered Gaza on Thursday to attend a meeting of the group's...
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WHO: Yemen May Be on Verge of New Deadly Cholera Epidemic

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:52
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns Yemen may be on the verge of another cholera epidemic, which could be deadlier than previous ones because of widespread malnutrition in the war-torn country. Yemen has had two major waves of cholera epidemics in recent years. The World Health Organization reports that an increasing number of cases in several heavily populated areas over the past few weeks indicate the country may be on the cusp of a third major wave of this deadly...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Protests Spread to 10 Cities in Widest Unrest Since January

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 03:37
Anti-government protests by Iranians fed up with their nation's economic woes have spread to 10 major cities, posing the biggest challenge to Iran's Islamist rulers since January's nationwide demonstrations. Images and reports sent by citizen journalists in Iran and verified by VOA Persian confirmed that street protests took place on Thursday in the capital, Tehran, and nine other cities: Ahvaz, Hamedan, Isfahan, Karaj, Kermanshah, Mashhad, Shiraz, Urmia and Varamin. Earlier...
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Navy Chief to VOA: US Closely Watching Iran's Gulf Exercises

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 01:47
The United States is closely watching Iranian naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and will maintain freedom of navigation through a strategic waterway that Iran has threatened to block, the head of the Navy told VOA on Thursday. "They're doing this exercise. We're monitoring it closely," Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations,  said in an exclusive interview. "Certainly, we'll continue to maintain freedom of navigation through that very...
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UN to Convene Yemen Peace Talks in Geneva

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:12
The United Nations special envoy to Yemen is planning to invite the warring parties to Geneva next month to discuss a framework for peace talks. Martin Griffiths told the Security Council that "a political solution" to end the war in Yemen was "available," and urged world powers to support the new push for peace negotiations. Griffiths said the Sept. 6 talks "will provide the opportunity for the parties, among other things, to discuss the framework for...
Categories: Iraq

Aid Group: Thousands of Yemeni Children Fleeing Fighting

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 15:30
About 3,000 Yemeni children are fleeing every day from the port city of Hodeida as fighting between a Saudi-led coalition and Yemen’s Shiite rebels continues to rage along the country’s west coast, an international aid group said Thursday. Save the Children estimated that 6,238 people — half of them children — leave Hodeida on average “every single day.” But their trek to safer areas is perilous as families often find themselves “having to brave minefields, airstrikes and being forced...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Kills 7 Militants in Overnight Strike on Syrian Golan

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 14:30
Israel killed seven militants in an airstrike on the Syrian-held Golan Heights, preventing a "grave incident," Israel Radio said Thursday without citing sources. The Israeli military confirmed carrying out an airstrike overnight, saying it had targeted "several armed terror operatives in the southern Syrian Golan Heights" overnight. The military's statement did not elaborate on any casualties. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war...
Categories: Iraq