in Iraq


Syrian Civilian Rescue Force Urges More Action From US, Europe in Securing Cease-fire

Voice of America - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 04:00
A top member of a Syrian civilian rescue group called Tuesday for more action from the United States and other Western governments to stop what appears to be intensifying violence in Syria.   Abdulrahman Almawwas described dire conditions in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta where roughly 400,000 civilians are under siege. Speaking to reporters in Paris, the vice president of the Syrian White Helmets rescue force warned of a humanitarian crisis similar to that in...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt's Prisons Can't Confine Love on Valentine’s Day

Voice of America - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 00:00
Despite pressure from Islamists, Valentine's Day continues to be a big day for many Egyptians to express their feelings of love.  In Egypt's prisons, where human rights groups estimate as many as 60,000 political prisoners are languishing, love remains alive as detainees and their lovers find creative ways to open their hearts on this day.  VOA correspondent Hamada Elrasam interviewed and photographed loved ones of several prisoners for this photo...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey's Erdogan Issues Warning Over Eastern Mediterranean Energy Exploration

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:45
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking a hard line against nations and foreign energy companies exploring for gas in the eastern Mediterranean, warning them not to "step out of line" and encroach on his country's territorial rights. “Let them not think that the search for natural gas in Cypriot waters and opportunistic initiatives relating to islets in the Aegean have slipped our attention,” Erdogan said Tuesday as he addressed his ruling AK Party...
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Israeli Police Recommend Netanyahu Be Indicted on Corruption Charges

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:25
Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges in two separate cases. The recommendation of criminal charges came Tuesday after a monthslong investigation into allegations that Netanyahu had accepted expensive gifts from billionaires. He also allegedly promised to do favors for a newspaper publisher in exchange for positive news coverage. The prime minister appeared on Israeli television Tuesday minutes after police made their...
Categories: Iraq

UN Calls for Syria Cease-Fire, Says It Is 'Very Possible'

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 20:45
The United Nations is pursuing diplomacy at the highest level to get a ceasefire in Syria, where the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta is at "breaking point" and Idlib governorate is a  catastrophe," a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. Eastern Ghouta is particularly vulnerable, said Ramesh Rajasingham, U.N. deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, with 400,000 people besieged in an area that is increasingly sealed off from any outside...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Wants $88 Billion for Rebuilding. Allies Offer a Fraction of That.

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 20:20
A lukewarm response by potential donors, including the United States, at a fund-raising conference threatens efforts to stabilize the war-torn country.
Categories: Iraq

Thomas Cook Flies Britons to Tunisia Three Years After Beach Attack

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:30
Thomas Cook flew British tourists to Tunisia on Tuesday for the first time since an Islamist militant killed 30 Britons on one of the North African country’s beaches in 2015. Tourism provides much needed jobs and foreign currency in Tunisia, but it has struggled since the attack in the resort of Sousse killed 39 holidaymakers and an earlier one at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis left 21 dead. The sector accounts for about 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product and the attacks...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Arrests Former Anti-graft Chief in Latest pre-Presidential Vote Turmoil

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 16:15
Egypt's former anti-graft chief was arrested on Tuesday, his lawyer said, the latest development in an upheaval that has roiled the country ahead of next month's presidential election. The lawyer, Ali Taha, told The Associated Press that Hesham Genena was arrested by police at his home in a Cairo suburb and was later handed over to military prosecutors for questioning. The arrest came a day after the military said it would take action to safeguard its "honor and...
Categories: Iraq

Israeli Judge Orders Closed-Door Proceedings in Trial of Palestinian Teen

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:11
The trial of a teenaged Palestinian girl whose assault on two Israeli soldiers gained global attention opened before an Israeli military court Tuesday, but the judge ordered the proceedings to be held behind closed doors. Ahed Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, appeared fresh and confident as she was led into a courtroom packed with journalists and foreign diplomats.  She briefly acknowledged relatives attending the hearing before the judge ordered everyone except her family...
Categories: Iraq

Young Kurds Gather for Religious Tolerance Conference

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:54
Young activists across various religious groups of the Kurdsitan Region have gathered this week to discuss religious tolerance and coexistence in Iraq after the Islamic State. VOA’s Rebaz Majid reports.
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Iranian Academics Demand Answers Over Jailed Activist's Death

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 04:45
Leading Iranian academics are demanding answers after officials said a renowned environmentalist had killed himself in prison. Officials told the family of Kavous Seyed Emami, 63, founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, that he had killed himself two weeks after he was arrested. Emami, a Canadian-Iranian citizen, was also a respected professor at Imam Sadegh University in Tehran. A group of four academic societies, representing some of Iran's top universities, wrote an...
Categories: Iraq

Hundreds, Including Children, Killed by Unexploded IS Ordnance in Raqqa

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 01:55
Explosive remnants of war have killed hundreds of civilians returning to Raqqa after the Syrian city was captured from Islamic State in October 2017, and the number of casualties will rise if international support to demine the city does not step up, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned Monday. "The defeat of ISIS in Raqqa was heralded as a global international victory, but international support for dealing with the aftermath of the battle, and notably the deadly legacy of mines, has not...
Categories: Iraq

Putin Meets Palestinian Leader, Conveys Greetings From Trump

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 01:35
President Vladimir Putin on Monday passed greetings from U.S. President Donald Trump to the visiting Palestinian leader, who responded that he doesn't want to  cooperate with Washington following its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Speaking at the start of their meeting in the Kremlin, Putin told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he was just off the phone with Trump.  “Naturally, we spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli settlement,” he said “I...
Categories: Iraq

UN Refugee Chief Urges US, Others to Take in More Refugees

Voice of America - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 00:38
The head of the U.N. refugee agency on Monday appealed to the United States and other nations to take in more displaced people, speaking from a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, one of the main host countries. Filippo Grandi also said that the number of Syrians being deported from Jordan to their war-ravaged homeland "decreased dramatically" in recent months, in part because of his agency's appeal for more careful reviews of cases.   Jordan is believed to have...
Categories: Iraq

US, Israel Differ on Whether They Have Discussed Israel Settlement Annexation   

Voice of America - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 23:55
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he has had talks with the United States about the possibility of annexing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, but in a rare note of discord between the staunch allies, the White House said his claim was false. “On the subject of applying sovereignty, I can say that I have been talking to the Americans about it for some time,” Netanyahu told a closed-door meeting of lawmakers from his right-wing Likud party. Settlements...
Categories: Iraq

$88.2B Price Tag for Rebuilding Iraq After Islamic State War

Voice of America - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 23:27
Kuwait on Monday opened a week of conferences seeking aid for rebuilding Iraq after the onslaught of the Islamic State group, seeking tens of billions of dollars for a nation only a generation ago that invaded it. Authorities estimate Iraq needs $88.2 billion to restore a country smashed after the Sunni extremists seized the country's second-largest city of Mosul and a mass of territory in June 2014. While the U.S. will not make any new direct aid pledges at the conference,...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Seeks $100 Billion for Post-IS Reconstruction

Voice of America - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 22:55
The Iraqi government's hope of raising close to $100 billion to reconstruct areas devastated by the Islamic State group appeared dim Monday, as an international reconstruction conference kicked off in Kuwait. "The government has faced major and dangerous challenges," Mahdi al-Alak, the head of Iraq's Cabinet of Ministers, said of the country's more than three-year struggle to defeat the terrorist group. At one point, IS controlled as much as a third of Iraq's...
Categories: Iraq

New Wave of International Conflict Complicates Syria War

Voice of America - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:20
“We are always afraid of being bombed,” says 12-year-old Habib, perching on the edge of a park bench bearing the Turkish border town’s name, Reyhanli. “But our parents are even more scared.”   His tone is joking, but his friends don’t laugh. “One rocket dropped next to my house two days ago,” adds another 10-year-old boy. Like many of the other children playing in the town square, these boys are Syrians who fled airstrikes and Islamic State militants before traveling to Turkey last...
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UN: Human Rights Declaration Still Relevant

Voice of America - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 20:50
The United Nations is embarked on a year-long campaign to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Campaigners say the declaration is as relevant today as it was when drafted seven decades ago. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted in Paris in 1948 by a diverse group of countries under the leadership of former first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt. The...
Categories: Iraq

Activists Worldwide Press Environmental Demands

Voice of America - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 19:55
Industrial pollution is making life difficult in Iran, adding to a long list of economic and political grievances, according to Hamid Arabzadeh, an Iranian-born environmental health expert who teaches at UCLA. Pollution is among the reasons for the protests in Iran in December and January, Arabzadeh said. The pollution “started with water resources,” he noted. “It led to air pollution, and now in some of the very large cities in Iran, people literally don’t have the air to...
Categories: Iraq