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Qatar Files WTO Complaint Against Boycotting Nations

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 14:39
Qatar has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against three of the four countries that cut ties with the Gulf nation in June while accusing it of supporting terrorists. The complaint calls for consultations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, a formal process that triggers a 60-day window in order for the sides to resolve their differences through negotiations or face potential penalties. The three nations, along with Egypt, cut diplomatic ties and...
Categories: Iraq

China Urges Support for New Israel-Palestinian Peace Plan

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 04:59
China's U.N. ambassador urged the international community on Monday to support President Xi Jinping's new four-point proposal to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and establish an independent Palestinian state. Liu Jieyi said at a news conference that China's future diplomatic efforts will focus on trying to move toward a negotiated solution based on the four proposals.   Xi signaled China's stepped-up engagement in the Middle East when he met about...
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Qatar Files WTO Complaint Against Trade Boycott

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 04:18
Qatar filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organization on Monday to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, the director of Qatar's WTO office, Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, told Reuters. By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60-day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade...
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Clooney Foundation to Open Schools for Syrian Refugees

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 19:27
George Clooney's foundation is planning to open seven public schools for Syrian refugee children.   The Clooney Foundation for Justice announced a new partnership Monday with Google, HP and UNICEF to provide education for more than 3,000 refugee children in Lebanon.   George and Amal Clooney said in a statement Monday that the foundation's commitment of more than $2 million toward education for Syrian refugees aims to prevent thousands of young people from becoming...
Categories: Iraq

Libya Committee Votes in Favor of Constitutional Draft

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 00:09
A committee tasked with writing a constitution for Libya voted in favor of a draft, paving the way for parliament to approve a referendum and causing uproar among opponents. Critics, including secessionists and people in favor of the country's 1951 constitution, called for a redo of Saturday's vote. Protesters broke into the committee's building in the eastern town of Bayda, according to two committee members, who said they called on the committee to reconvene Sunday. It...
Categories: Iraq

Lost Children Are Legacy of Battle for Iraq's Mosul

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 23:42
Thousands of children have been separated from their parents in the nine-month battle for Mosul and the preceding years of Islamic State rule in northern Iraq - some found wandering alone and afraid among the rubble, others joining the refugee exodus from the pulverized city. In some cases their parents have been killed. Families have been split up as they fled street fighting, air strikes or Islamic State repression. Many are traumatized from the horrors they have endured. Protecting...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Arabia Says Calls for Internationalization of Holy Sites 'A Declaration of War'

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 23:06
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called Qatar's demands for an internationalization of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage a declaration of war against the kingdom, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday, although it was unclear whether Qatar had actually made any such demand. "Qatar's demands to internationalize the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom," Adel al-Jubeir was quoted saying on Al Arabiya's website. "We...
Categories: Iraq

Thousands Rally in Istanbul Against Israel's Al-Aqsa Mosque Measures

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 22:39
Thousands of people rallied in Turkey's largest city on Sunday against security measures Israel has imposed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, shortly after Israel removed other measures that led to two weeks of violent Palestinian protests. The rally in Istanbul, called "The Big Jerusalem Meeting" and organized by Turkey's Saadet Party, drew some five thousand people to the Yenikapi parade ground on the southern edge of Istanbul. Protesters were brought in by buses...
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Egypt Officials Say Resort Knife Attacker Tasked by IS

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 22:21
Security officials said on Sunday that the Egyptian man who stabbed to death three tourists and wounded three others earlier this month in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada was tasked by the Islamic State group to carry out an attack against foreigners. The officials said that investigations revealed 29-year old Abdel-Rahman Shaaban had communicated with two IS leaders on social media after they recruited him online. One of them gave Shaaban daily lessons for a month after which he got in...
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Court Upholds Sentence for Israeli Soldier Who Killed Unarmed Palestinian

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 21:28
An Israeli military court has rejected a soldier's appeal after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for killing a Palestinian. Elor Azaria, 20, was convicted of manslaughter in January for fatally shooting an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the West Bank nearly a year ago. The landmark case polarized the nation, pitting much of the public against Israel’s most prized and respected institution, the army.  In a rare move, the military condemned a soldier’s actions...
Categories: Iraq

Britain Strips More Than 100 Islamic State Fighters of Citizenship

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 16:16
Their home countries don’t want them back. Hundreds of foreign fighters who enlisted with Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq are being stripped of their citizenship and blocked from returning by Western governments. Returning fighters are seen as a grim threat, the deadly legacy of a murderous movement being defeated and rolled back on the battlefield. Western intelligence officials say they are already over-stretched trying to monitor tens of thousands of suspected extremists who...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqis Say They Foiled IS Plan to Attack Revered Shrines

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 15:37
Iraqi intelligence officials said Sunday they foiled an attempt by the Islamic State group to attack revered Shi'ite shrines and the sect's spiritual leader. The IS plan was to launch a series of suicide attacks in Karbala and Najaf that house the shrines as well as the home of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, two officers told The Associated Press.   The simultaneous airstrikes by Iraqi and Russian air forces two weeks ago hit gatherings of suicide bombers in the Iraqi town...
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Iran Says Telegram Transfers Servers, but CEO Denies it

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 13:57
Iran's communications and information technology minister was quoted Sunday as saying the widely used Telegram messenger service has transferred some of its servers into the country, but the encrypted application's founder swiftly denied the claim.   The report from Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Mahmoud Vaezi as saying: "As a result of meetings with Telegram managers, some of its servers have been moved to the country.''   But Telegram...
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4 Arab Countries say Ready for Qatar Dialogue With Conditions

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 10:28
Four Arab countries boycotting Qatar are ready for dialogue to ease the dispute if Doha agrees to certain demands, Bahrain's foreign minister said on Sunday after a meeting with his counterparts. "The four countries are ready for dialogue with Qatar with the condition that it announces its sincere willingness to stop funding terrorism and extremism and its commitment to not interfere in other countries' foreign affairs and respond to the 13 demands," Sheikh Khalid bin...
Categories: Iraq

Will IS Losses in Iraq, Syria Boost al-Qaida?

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 01:14
As Islamic State militants continue to lose territory in their declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, officials and analysts are expressing concern that al-Qaida is making efforts to turn those losses into gains for itself. Al-Qaida had been largely eclipsed by IS in recent years, with IS militants grabbing headlines by seizing territory in Iraq and Syria and carrying out attacks in the West. But there are signs that al-Qaida may be re-emerging as a regional...
Categories: Iraq