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Iraq

Group: Egyptian Army Intensifies Home Demolitions in Sinai

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 13:57
An international rights group says the Egyptian military has intensified home demolitions in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula as part of its campaign against a local affiliate of the Islamic State group. Tuesday's report by Human Rights Watch says the military has vastly expanded widespread destruction of homes, commercial buildings and farms in Northern Sinai province since February 9. It says "the new destruction, including hundreds of hectares of farmland and at...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinians Ask ICC for 'Immediate' Probe Against Israel

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 13:34
The Palestinian foreign minister asked the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to open an "immediate investigation" into alleged Israeli "crimes" committed against the Palestinian people. The step was sure to worsen the already troubled relations between the internationally backed Palestinian Authority and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Peace talks have been frozen for over four years, and contacts between the two sides are...
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Iranian Factory Workers Resume Blockade of Key Railway Line 

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 07:39
Iranian factory workers have resumed a blockade of the country’s main north-south railway line as part of a protest against labor conditions in a western Iranian city. Iranian social media users said the workers of the HEPCO industrial complex in Arak blocked the railway line that runs along its perimeter on Monday. The HEPCO workers had removed the barricades five days earlier while also warning they would be reinstated if authorities did not accept their demands. One Iranian social...
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Syria Denies Deal With IS to Evacuate Fighters

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 04:10
The Syrian government denied on Monday it had entered an agreement with Islamic State to evacuate the last of the militant group's fighters from one last area of resistance in southern Damascus. Syrian state media denied it had reached a deal with IS militants, and declared that its control of Al-Hajr al-Aswad and Yarmouk Camp suburbs was a "military victory." The area south of Damascus was the scene of intense airstrikes by the Syrian government to capture the area. The...
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Pompeo Vows 'Unprecedented' Sanctions Against Iran

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 04:01
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday unveiled a far-reaching list of demands for any new nuclear deal with Iran, and threatened economy-crushing sanctions if Tehran does not change its behavior. The new warning came in a speech laying out the Trump administration's strategy following the US decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement. VOA's Bill Gallo reports.
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Saudi Activists Targeted as Driving Ban Nears End

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 01:24
The Saudi Arabian activist who helped start a women's right-to-drive campaign in the kingdom said she is receiving death threats now that the driving ban is about to be lifted. Manal al-Sharif was jailed in 2011 after she uploaded a video of herself driving in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world that banned women from driving. Al-Sharif, who now lives in Australia, told the local media Monday she had planned to return to her home country and drive across the kingdom after...
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Turkey's Erdogan Says Nuclear-Armed States 'Threatening the World'

Voice of America - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 00:18
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused countries with nuclear weapons of "threatening the world," and criticized the United States' withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. "Those who have more than 15,000 nuclear warheads are currently threatening the world," he said, referring to the approximate total number of warheads worldwide, most of which are held by the United States and Russia. Apparently referring to such states as Iran, he...
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Despite Malnutrition, Egypt Wastes Food

Voice of America - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 22:37
Despite having one of the world’s highest child malnutrition rates, advocates say Egypt also is – ironically –  among the biggest wasters of food with the average Egyptian throwing away 73 kilograms each year. The pattern is especially evident during the Muslim holy season of Ramadan, when families have a large nightly feast after their daily fast - and food left over from the feast is thrown away.  While some Egyptians adhere to the old habits of throwing away unconsumed food,...
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Pompeo Vows 'Unprecedented' US Sanctions Against Iran

Voice of America - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 17:04
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has unveiled a far-reaching list of demands for any new nuclear deal with Iran, and threatened economy-crushing sanctions if Tehran does not change its behavior. The 12-point list of demands came in a Monday speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation that laid out the Trump administration's strategy after pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement earlier this month. Under any new deal, Pompeo insisted, Iran must indefinitely abandon nuclear...
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Despite Fatwa, Transgender People in Iran Face Harassment

Voice of America - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 16:44
Nahal smokes yet another cigarette on her mother's balcony overlooking Tehran, one of the few peaceful places the 19-year-old transgender woman has in Iran, where her identity can bring harassment and prying, judging eyes on the street. Nahal recalled how she had hardly started high school before being forced to leave over her classmates' insistence she dress as a man. Her manicured fingernails, painted pink, brushed away her long brown hair as she looked through old photographs...
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Syria Says Capital Is Free of Militants after Defeat of IS

Voice of America - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 14:32
A Syrian military spokesman says that government forces have recaptured the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, outside Damascus, along with two adjoining neighborhoods that were under the control of the Islamic State group.  With the victory, the Syrian government now controls all of the capital and its surrounding regions.   Syrian government soldiers fired their rifles into the air to celebrate the recapture of the Yarmouk camp Monday, after a long and bitter battle with IS...
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Paraguay Opens Embassy in Jerusalem

Voice of America - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 13:53
Paraguay opened a new embassy Monday in Jerusalem, becoming the third country to make the politically sensitive move in the past week. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes said at a dedication ceremony that the move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is "historic" and strengthens the ties between Paraguay and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Paraguay's decision. Last week, the United States was the first to officially open its embassy in Jerusalem,...
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Doctor: Palestinian President Hospitalized, Condition 'Reassuring'

Voice of America - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 01:21
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was hospitalized in the West Bank on Sunday, doctors and Palestinian officials said, giving conflicting accounts of the leader's condition. It is the third time Abbas, 82, has been hospitalized in less than a week. He is expected to stay at least overnight. Abbas underwent minor ear surgery on Tuesday but went back into al-Istishari Hospital in Ramallah briefly overnight on Saturday/Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said. He was...
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Once Hated by U.S. and Tied to Iran, Is Sadr Now ‘Face of Reform’ in Iraq?

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 00:22
Moktada al-Sadr, the upset winner of Iraq’s election, has undergone a reinvention, from a militant Shiite to an anticorruption champion whose “Iraq First” message appeals across religious divides.
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Iran: EU Not Doing Enough to Support Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 22:58
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Sunday that Europe's political support to save the 2015 international nuclear accord after the U.S. withdrawal was not sufficient if too many European companies end their investments in Iran. "The cascade of decisions by EU companies to end their activities in Iran makes things much more complicated," Zarif said after meeting with European Union energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete. Iranian state broadcaster IRIB quoted Zarif...
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Saudi Women Thrilled that Ban on Driving Is Nearing Its End

Voice of America - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 22:43
Weeks before they will officially be allowed to drive for the first time, women in Saudi Arabia are gearing up for the big day. While some are taking driving lessons, others have already picked out their cars and can’t wait to take them for a spin. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo reports.
Categories: Iraq

Iraq's Al-Sadr: Next Government to Be 'Inclusive'

Voice of America - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 17:18
Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's parliamentary elections, has sought to reassure Iraqis about their next government, saying it will be "inclusive" and mindful of their needs.   No single bloc won a majority in the May 12 vote, raising the prospect of weeks or even months of negotiations to agree on a government. Major political players began talks soon after the election's partial results were announced...
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Monitor: IS Fighters Leave Damascus Enclave

Voice of America - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 14:48
A Syrian monitor says Islamic State fighters are being evacuated from the last insurgent enclave near Damascus, a move that will restore state control over the area. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the evacuation of the fighters and their families from Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp began Sunday. Buses were carrying the fighters and their families to the Syrian Desert, east of the capital. Reuters reports the enclave is the last besieged insurgent area in...
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Report: Europe, China, Russia Discussing New Iran Deal

Voice of America - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 05:40
Diplomats from Europe, China and Russia are discussing a new accord to offer Iran financial aid to curb its ballistic missile development and meddling in the region, in the hope of salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal, a German newspaper reported Sunday. The officials will meet in Vienna in the coming week under the leadership of senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid to discuss next steps after the May 8 decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of a 2015 nuclear accord with...
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Iraq Election Body Feared Effects of Recount, Member Says

Voice of America - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 04:47
As demands for a manual voter recount surge amid claims of election fraud in the Iraqi general elections, the country's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) is concerned a ballot-by-ballot recount could portray the newly introduced electronic system as a failure, one member says. During a telephone interview with Voice of America, Saeed Kakei, a member of the IHEC, said his request for a manual recount was rejected by other members of the election commission who...
Categories: Iraq