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Rapid Fire Trials Condemn Suspected IS Militants to Hang

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:01
In a small courthouse north of Mosul, Mohammad Dawd, 27, sits on the floor in the hall facing a wall, like other prisoners. The hands of some of the prisoners are bound, but Dawd's are not. One man prays. Mosul was once the Islamic State militants' most prized stronghold in Iraq, and now more than 4,000 suspects are being tried for terrorism here. Human rights groups have criticized Iraqi courts for hastily trying masses of detainees under broad laws that often carry the death...
Categories: Iraq

UAE Says Qatari Jet Fighters Intercepted Civilian Flights

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:41
The United Arab Emirates said on Monday Qatari air force jets had twice intercepted its civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, but Qatar called the claim "completely untrue." Qatar said the allegation, reported by the UAE's state news agency WAM, was intended to divert attention from what it said were violations by Emirati military aircraft of its airspace. The UAE is one of four Arab countries, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, that imposed...
Categories: Iraq

Russia, Turkey Condemn US Plans for Syria Border Force

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:47
Turkey's president on Monday denounced U.S. plans to form a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led border security force in Syria, vowing to "drown this terror force before it is born," as Russia and Syria also rejected the idea. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also warned U.S. troops against coming between Turkish troops and Kurdish forces, which Ankara views as an extension of Turkey's own Kurdish insurgency. Turkey has been threatening to launch a new military operation against...
Categories: Iraq

Former Egyptian Lawmaker Pulls Out of Presidential Race

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:39
A former Egyptian lawmaker said Monday he will not run in the March presidential election, saying the political "climate" wasn't conducive to campaigning. Mohammed Anwar Sadat, nephew of Egypt's late leader Anwar Sadat, told reporters his decision was partially taken to protect his campaign workers from intimidation or arrest by authorities. "We don't want people in the campaign to be hurt," he said. He said he has no intention to contest a "lost...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinians to Get 3G in West Bank, After Israel Lifts Ban

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:20
Palestinians in the West Bank are finally getting high-speed mobile data services, after a yearslong Israeli ban that cost their fragile economy hundreds of millions of dollars, impeded tech start-ups and denied them simple conveniences enjoyed by the rest of the world.   Palestinian cell phone providers Wataniya and Jawwal are expected to launch 3G broadband services in the West Bank by the end of this month, Palestinian officials said, after Israel assigned frequencies and allowed...
Categories: Iraq

Russia Does Not Support Trump Push to Alter Iran Nuclear Deal

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 14:56
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that Russia does not support U.S. President Donald Trump's calls to renegotiate the international agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program. Trump said Friday he was waiving for the last time sanctions the U.S. agreed to lift under the 2015 deal, and that Congress and European partners had 120 days to come up with ways to fix what he called "disastrous flaws" in the agreement. Lavrov said Monday if Trump does go...
Categories: Iraq

Deadly Double Suicide Bomb Attack Hits Baghdad

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 09:56
A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up in Iraq's capital Monday, killing at least 31 people and wounding many others. The blasts happened in Tayran Square in central Baghdad during the morning rush hour. The area is a commercial center that is crowded with laborers looking for work. Ninety people were injured, three of them in critical condition, Dr. Saif a-Bader, Iraq's health ministry's spokesman, told VOA's Kurdish service. “There are 26 martyrs, and 90 more...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinian President Abbas to Trump: Shame on You

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 02:50
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday President Donald Trump ought to be ashamed of himself for saying the Palestinians rejected peace talks. In a two-hour rebuke of Trump's Palestinian policy, Abbas told the Palestinian Central Council — the Palestinian Liberation Organization's decision-making body — he will no longer accept the U.S. as a peace mediator. "We can say no to anyone if things are related to our fate and our people, and now we have said no to...
Categories: Iraq

French Dairy Recalls Infant Milk from 83 Countries

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 01:09
More than 12 million boxes of French baby milk products are being recalled from 83 countries for suspected salmonella contamination. The recall includes Lactalis' Picot, Milumel and Taranis brands. The head of the French dairy Lactalis on Sunday confirmed that its products are being recalled from countries across Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia after salmonella was discovered at one of its plants last month. The United States, Britain and Australia were not...
Categories: Iraq

US-Led Coalition Helps Build New Syrian Force, Angering Turkey

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 20:23
The U.S.-led coalition is working with its Syrian militia allies to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Sunday, a move that has added to Turkish anger over U.S. support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria. A senior Turkish official told Reuters the U.S. training of the new "Border Security Force" is the reason that the U.S. charge d'affaires was summoned in Ankara on Wednesday. The official did not elaborate. The force, whose inaugural...
Categories: Iraq

Taliban Denies Attending Afghan Peace Talks in Turkey

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 18:34
Afghanistan government negotiators and Taliban officials have reportedly opened “unofficial” talks in Turkey to discuss “mechanisms” that could pave the ground for initiating a formal peace dialogue. Participants of the meeting have told Afghan media the talks have been arranged in cooperation with the Turkish government. Officials from the Taliban’s Qatar-based office and other insurgent groups are said to be among the attendees. The Afghan government has not commented on the...
Categories: Iraq

Iranian Officials Confirm 25 Dead in Protests

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:45
The Iranian government acknowledged Sunday that 25 people had been killed during recent anti-government protests in cities throughout the country. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi said that none of dead were killed by security forces, as the officers were ordered not to use their weapons. A number of security officers were also among the dead, Ejehi said Sunday. He didn't provide details on how the 25 people were killed. Meanwhile, a Tehran prosecutor said that over...
Categories: Iraq

Life-Saving Diphtheria Vaccination Campaign Remains Stalled in Yemen

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:20
The World Health Organization reports a nationwide diphtheria vaccination campaign in war-torn Yemen remains stalled because the health authorities have not yet given the go-ahead for this life-saving campaign to begin. The Saudi-led coalition partially lifted its blockade of Yemen's air and sea ports on December 20. This made it possible for the U.N. children's fund to airlift nearly six million doses of essential vaccines to protect millions of children at risk of preventable...
Categories: Iraq

Legal Pathways Needed to Stem Migrant Deaths on the Mediterranean

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 16:46
The U.N. refugee agency is calling for more resettlement places and other legal pathways to stop the alarmingly high number of deaths of refugees and migrants along the perilous Central Mediterranean Sea route from Libya to Italy. This has been a particularly deadly beginning to the New Year. The International Organization for Migration reports 176 refugees and migrants have died while making the Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Italy in the first 10 days of this month. It notes only...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Approves Cabinet Reshuffle Ahead of Elections

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 16:01
Egypt's parliament approved on Sunday a Cabinet reshuffle including four new ministers, government sources said, two months ahead of a scheduled presidential election. The reshuffle included the appointment of Abu Bakr al-Gendi as minister for local development, Rania al-Mashat as tourism minister, Enas Abdeldayem as culture minister and Khaled Badawy as public enterprise minister. Two new ministry deputies were also appointed in the reshuffle. Housing Minister Mustafa Madbuly...
Categories: Iraq

Iran: 55 Still Jailed in Tehran after Protests

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:44
Iran says 55 people are still being detained in the capital after hundreds were arrested during a wave of anti-government protests. The semi-official Fars news agency quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejehi as saying there were around 400 protesters held across the country but that "some were released" Saturday and Sunday. Last week, an Iranian reformist lawmaker, Mahmoud Sadeghi, said some 3,700 people were arrested across the country. The protests, which...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey Vows to Attack Kurdish Enclave in Syria within 'Days'

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:33
Turkey's president says it will launch a military assault on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria "in the coming days." President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday the operation against the Afrin enclave will aim to "purge terror" from his country's southern border. Afrin is controlled by a Kurdish militia known as the YPG, which Turkey views as a terror group and an extension of the Kurdish insurgency raging in its southeast. Erdogan said the new operation...
Categories: Iraq

Burning Iranian Tanker Sinks off China's Coast

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:20
An Iranian oil tanker that had been burning and listing off the coast of China for more than a week, exploded into a mass of flames Sunday and sank. There was "no hope" of recovering the bodies of the crew members, Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for the Iranian rescue team, said before the vessel sank. Rescue workers had recovered the bodies of three crew members from the Sanchi, the oil tanker that collided last week in the East China Sea with the CF Crystal, a Chinese cargo...
Categories: Iraq

New Demonstrations in Tunisia as it Marks 7th Anniversary of Arab Spring Uprising

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 14:37
Hundreds of people took the streets of Tunisia's capital for a new demonstration Sunday,  and in one district police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of stone-throwing youths on the seventh anniversary of the ousting of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Fueled by rising frustrations with the country's social and economic issues, protesters have been demonstrating, at times violently, in Tunis and across the North African country this past week. A witness told...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Says It Destroyed Hamas-dug Tunnel Under Egypt, Israel

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:29
The Israeli military said Sunday it had destroyed a cross-border tunnel that ran from Gaza into Israel and Egypt, dug by the Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Palestinian enclave. Residents in Gaza said Israeli jets bombed an area east of the southern town of Rafah, by the Egyptian and Israeli borders, late Saturday night. Israel confirmed the attack immediately after, but gave no details until Sunday. “We understand this was a terror tunnel because it runs underneath...
Categories: Iraq