in Iraq

Iraq

Diplomatic Feud Between Saudi Arabia, Canada Worsens

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 19:40
The diplomatic feud between Saudi Arabia and Canada, triggered by a tweet criticizing the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record, looks set to worsen this week with the suspension of direct Saudi flights to Canada. Neither side is showing signs of wanting to ease a quarrel that flared when Canada’s foreign minister criticized the recent arrests of 11 prominent rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia accused Canada of interfering in its internal affairs with the tweets that called on...
Categories: Iraq

Yemeni TPS Holders Have 60 Days to Re-Register

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:53
Yemeni TPS holders have 60 days to renew their Temporary Protected Status beginning Tuesday. The U.S. government had announced in early July that it would be extending TPS for Yemenis for 18 months until March 3, 2020. Without the extension, it would have expired Sept. 4. TPS allows status holders to live and work temporarily in the U.S. while their own nations recover from the effects of armed conflict or natural disasters. With the publication of a Federal Register notice expected...
Categories: Iraq

Tunisian Leader Backs Equal Inheritance Rights for Women

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:51
Tunisia's president promised Monday to submit a bill to parliament soon that aims to give women equal inheritance rights with men, as debate over the topic of inheritance reverberated around the Muslim world. In a speech marking Women's Day in Tunisia, President Beji Caid Essebsi said he wants to submit the proposal "as soon as possible," probably when parliament resumes in October.   The current system, which is based on Islamic Shariah law, generally grants...
Categories: Iraq

Musk: Saudi Fund Supports Tesla Buyout, Talks Continue

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:27
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Monday he was still in talks with potential backers of a possible buyout of the company, including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, but had not completed securing the funding. In a blog post, Musk said the Saudi fund had been pushing to take the electric carmaker private in talks dating back nearly two years and also backed the deal last week. The post fleshed out the Silicon Valley billionaire's shock announcement on Aug. 7 that he...
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China to UN Panel: No Arbitrary Detention in Uighur Region

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:47
China insisted Monday there is no “arbitrary detention” and there are no “re-education centers” in its western Xinjiang region, rejecting concerns raised by a U.N. human rights committee that more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs may be being held in camps. Beijing was responding to questions raised by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Geneva. A committee member last week cited estimates that over 1 million people in China from the country’s Uighur and other Muslim...
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Khamenei: Mismanagement More Harmful Than US Sanctions

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:07
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday government mismanagement has hurt Iran's economy more than U.S. sanctions. U.S. President Donald Trump last week reimposed a set of sanctions that had been lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers to limit the country's nuclear program in exchange for relief from measures that had badly hurt its economy. Those sanctions target Iran's automotive sector, its trade in gold and other precious...
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Turkey Announces 'Action Plan' to Ease Market Concerns

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:00
Asian and European markets were rattled by the Turkish lira's record low of 7.24 to the dollar overnight.The markets began to recover Monday, however, when Turkey's Central Bank said it was ready to take "all necessary measures" to help Turkish banks manage their liquidity. The bank's announcement followed the finance minister's disclosure that Turkey has prepared an "action plan" scheduled to roll out Monday that is intended to ease market concerns...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Government Forces Continue to Surround Rebel-Held Idlib Enclave

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:46
An explosion at a fuel depot and electrical generation plant has left dozens of casualties Monday in the Syrian rebel-held town of Maarat al-Numan.  The explosion came as rescue workers in the rebel-held town of Sarmada continued to pull bodies from the rubble after an explosion there Saturday left more than 60 people dead.  Amateur video showed frightened residents cowering behind buildings as a massive explosion and fireball rocked the skyline over the Syrian opposition...
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Erdogan Claims Lira Plunge a 'Political Plot' Against Turkey

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:07
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, embroiled in a bitter dispute with the U.S., a NATO ally, contended Sunday the plunging value of his country's lira currency amounted to a "political plot" against Turkey. Erdogan, speaking to political supporters in the Black Sea resort of Trabzon, said, "The aim of the operation is to make Turkey surrender in all areas, from finance to politics. We are once again facing a political, underhand plot. With God's permission we...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Rebel Enclave Threatens Turkish Syria Conflict

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 19:00
Russian and Turkish foreign ministers are set to hold talks Monday in Ankara focusing on the looming crisis over the rebel-controlled Syrian Idlib enclave, which threatens to become a military flashpoint between Turkish and Syrian forces. The crisis threatens to derail deepening Russian-Turkish ties. Damascus is steadily massing its forces around Idlib in preparation for a widely expected assault. But Ankara has vowed to protect the rebels, declaring it a “red line.” Russian Foreign...
Categories: Iraq

Activists: Blast in Northern Syria Kills 42

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 17:50
An early morning explosion at a building thought to be used by an arms dealer killed at least 42 people, including 12 children, in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on Sunday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast occurred in the town of Sarmada near the Turkish border. The group, which monitors the conflict with the help of a network of contacts in Syria, said dozens of people are still missing and the toll was expected to rise. The...
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Israel PM Defends Contentious Law in Face of Arab Protest

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 16:10
Israel's prime minister has criticized the presence of Palestinian flags at a protest against a contentious new law defining the country as a Jewish state.   Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet on Sunday that Palestinian flags "flying in the heart of Tel Aviv" was "conclusive evidence" that many protesters oppose Israel's existence, and proves the law is necessary.   Thousands rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the contentious law. Some...
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Egypt: Security Forces Kill 12 Islamic Militants in Sinai

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 14:57
Egypt's official news agency says security forces have killed at least 12 Islamic militants in a shootout in northern Sinai Peninsula. Sunday's report by MENA says the fighting erupted when forces raided a suspected militant hideout in the city of al-Arish. It says troops also dismantled two explosive devices and seized weapons during the raid. MENA didn't say when the raid took place or whether any members of the security forces were killed or wounded. Egypt heavily...
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4 Security Members, 3 Militants, Killed in Jordan Shoot-out

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 14:20
Security forces pulled the bodies of three suspected militants from the wreckage of a building in a central Jordanian city on Sunday following a shoot-out in which at least four security personnel were also killed, the government said. In a huge security operation, Jordanian forces laid siege to the building in a residential part of Salt on Saturday night in a search for those responsible for a bomb attack on Friday on a police van. The police vehicle had been maintaining security near...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Blast Collapses Building; Dozens Dead, Hurt

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 12:57
Syrian opposition activists say an explosion in the country’s north has killed at least 18 people and wounded many others. The cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known.   The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, says the blast occurred Sunday in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border and “killed and wounded dozens.” The explosion collapsed a five-story building, burying many of the victims. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human...
Categories: Iraq

The Iraqi Spy Who Infiltrated ISIS

NY Times Iraq - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 09:59
The story of the mole who posed as a jihadist in the Islamic State, and the most important antiterrorism agency that most people have never heard of.
Categories: Iraq

Iran: French Firm Out of South Pars Gas Project, China’s Is In

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 06:16
Iran’s official IRNA news agency is reporting that China’s state-owned petroleum corporation has taken a majority share of the country’s South Pars gas project after French oil and gas company Total announced it would pull out because renewed U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. The Saturday report quotes Mohammad Mostafavi, an official in Iran’s state oil company, as saying CNPC now owns 80 percent of the shares in the $5 billion project, having bought shares from Total. CNPC...
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Egypt Prosecutors Detain Ex-Monk in Abbot’s Death

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 03:46
Prosecutors on Saturday ordered a recently defrocked monk to be detained for four days pending an investigation into his alleged involvement in the death of the abbot of a prominent monastery in the desert northwest of Cairo, Egypt’s state news agency said. The defrocked monk, identified by his monastic name of Isaiah, confessed to collaborating with others to kill Bishop Epiphanius, abbot of St. Macarius Monastery, prosecutors said. Isaiah’s lawyer withdrew from the case and ceased...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Supreme Leader Calls for Action to Face 'Economic War'

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 00:48
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for "swift and just" legal action from new courts after the head of the judiciary said the country faced an "economic war," state television reported. The rial currency has lost about half of its value since April under the threat of revived U.S. sanctions, with heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings. The cost of living has...
Categories: Iraq

Eerie Calm Pervades Idlib as Government Forces Amass

Voice of America - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 00:32
Heavy airstrikes in scattered parts of the rebel-held northern enclave of Idlib, Syria, overnight gave way to a precarious calm during the day Saturday, as diplomatic talks about Idlib city's fate continued behind the scenes. Arab media reported that over two dozen people were killed airstrikes by Russian planes early Saturday. They showed amateur video of the Syrian opposition White Helmets civil defense force appearing to pull a child from out of the rubble in the town of...
Categories: Iraq