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Iraq

White House Calls on 'All States and Parties to Respect Lebanon's Sovereignty'

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 14:56
The White House has called on "all states and parties to respect Lebanon's sovereignty,  independence, and constitutional processes."   A statement released Saturday said, "In this sensitive time, the United States also rejects any efforts by militias within Lebanon or by any foreign forces to threaten Lebanon's stability, undermine Lebanese government institutions, or use Lebanon as a base from which to threaten others in the region." The White...
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Equatorial Guinea Trial Casts Spotlight on Scrappy French Watchdog

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 13:41
For Sherpa, a scrappy French monitoring group that is thinly staffed, no multinational is too powerful, and no head of state untouchable as it seeks economic and social change through the courts. It accuses a major bank of complicity in Rwanda's genocide and a cement manufacturer of helping to finance terrorism in Syria. It has gone after African leaders, mining companies and even a supermarket chain for activities that allegedly impoverish communities and violate human...
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Iraqi Forces Look to Rout Last of IS Fighters From Town

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 13:33
Iraqi forces launched an offensive Saturday to capture Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic-State control, leaving the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate on the verge of complete defeat. The capture of the town would mark the end of Islamic State’s era of territorial rule over a so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swaths of Iraq and Syria. Syria’s army declared victory over the militants Thursday, after seizing the last substantial town on the border with...
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Hariri Resignation Sends Lebanon’s Economy Back Into Crisis

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 12:40
Just when things were starting to look up for Lebanon’s economy, a new political crisis threatens to send it crashing down again. Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s abrupt resignation Nov. 4 could unravel the first steps in years toward injecting some cash and confidence into Lebanon’s anemic economy. Already, the crisis is putting at risk multibillion-dollar plans to rebuild decaying road and electrical and communication networks and get the oil and gas sector moving.  Since then,...
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Trump Speaks on Putin, US Presidential Election and Joint Syrian Statement

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:07
U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday he believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin "feels that he and Russia did not meddle" in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But Trump, speaking in Hanoi at a press conference with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang, also said he also believes the conflicting information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies that indicated Russia did interfere in the presidential vote.  Trump said ". . . I believe in our intel agencies,...
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Finding a Life, Purpose and Success Through Pizza

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 09:29
Kurdish refugee Hakki Akdeniz left Turkey in 1999 and came to New York City. At times he was homeless and often wondered where his next meal would come from. But as Saleh Damiger reports, he has more than turned his life around.
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US Military: Annual Gulf Exercise at Risk Over Qatar Crisis

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 20:52
A U.S. Air Force general warned Friday that a major annual military exercise between Gulf Arab countries and America is at risk over the ongoing diplomatic crisis engulfing Qatar. Eagle Resolve, which sees countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council send forces alongside Americans to simulate working as a multinational force in battle, is being examined in light of the crisis, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian said. This year's Eagle Resolve exercise, held in Kuwait in March, involved...
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Tillerson: US Opposes Action Causing Instability in Lebanon

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 20:31
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that the U.S. opposes action that would threaten the stability of Lebanon, and he warned other countries against using Lebanon "as a venue for proxy conflicts." In a statement, Tillerson said, "There is no legitimate place or role in Lebanon for any foreign forces, militias or armed elements other than the legitimate security forces of the Lebanese state." Tillerson also called Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri a...
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After IS Collapse, Syria Government Faces US-backed Kurds

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:37
With the fall of the Islamic State group's last significant stronghold in Syria, Iranian and Russian-backed Syrian troops now turn to face off with their main rival, the U.S.-backed forces holding large oil fields and strategic territory in the country's north and east. The complicated map puts U.S. and Iranian forces at close proximity, standing just across the Euphrates River from each other, amid multiple hotspots that could turn violent, particularly in the absence of a clear...
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US Military Official: Missile Targeting Riyadh Was Iranian-made

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 17:45
The missile fired at an airport in Saudi Arabia last Saturday by Houthi rebels came from Iran and showed “Iranian markings,” according to the top U.S. Air Force commander in the Middle East. Speaking at a news conference Friday in Dubai, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian said authorities are currently investigating how the missile was smuggled into Yemen. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Iran of committing a “direct military aggression” after the rebels launched the...
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Report: IS Leader May Be in Eastern Syrian City of Boukamal

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 17:03
A media outlet linked to the Syrian military said Friday that the Islamic State group's leader may be holed up in an IS pocket in the eastern town of Boukamal, which government forces and their allies recaptured this week before losing parts of it later. The claim was denied by Syrian opposition activists who said the government is trying to make up for losses it suffered in Boukamal when large parts were retaken by the extremists again on Friday. The whereabouts of al-Baghdadi are...
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Tillerson: ‘No Indication’ Resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Detained in Riyadh

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 12:41
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday there is “no indication” that resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has been detained by the Saudis against his will. Hariri announced he would step down as Lebanese prime minister while in Saudi Arabia last Saturday. While en route from Beijing to Danang Friday, Tillerson told the traveling press that he was assured by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir that Hariri’s decision to step down was solely “on his own.” The two top...
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Syrian Refugee Uses Art Therapy to Help Others in Egypt

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 12:11
Egypt remains a destination and transit point for refugees and asylum seekers.  While most of them have come from Syria, the numbers fleeing conflict and persecution in sub-Saharan Africa have also grown in recent years.  A Somali woman uses art therapy to help herself and other refugees move on.
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UN Elects Judges to International Court of Justice

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:26
The United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council elected four judges Thursday to the International Court of Justice, the main judicial organization of the world body. In separate, but simultaneous voting, the Assembly and the Council re-elected Ronny Abraham of France and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia. Two new justices, Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade of Brazil and Nawaf Salam of Lebanon, were also elected. All were elected to nine-year terms, starting in February next...
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Growing Fears Over Spillover From Saudi Corruption Crackdown

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:59
The crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has extended to several members of the Royal Family and engulfed some of the richest and most powerful men in the Middle East. Many of them are big investors, leading to global concerns over the economic fallout. The purge comes at a tumultuous time for the region, and there are also fears it could worsen long-standing tensions. Henry Ridgwell reports.
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US Urges De-escalation of Tensions Between Saudi Arabia, Lebanon

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 05:55
The United States is calling for a de-escalation of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, following the resignation of Saad al-Hariri as Lebanon's prime minister while in Saudi Arabia. On Thursday, Saudi Arabia asked its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country as soon as possible. The U.S. State Department said it was "monitoring the situation very closely." State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday: "We would call for no kind of escalation...
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VP Pence: ‘Deep Concern' About Americans Held in Turkey

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 05:00
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday expressed "deep concern" to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim about the arrest of U.S. citizens and Turkish staff members at U.S. consulates in Turkey.   But Pence and Yildirim also expressed hope that their meeting would help usher in a new chapter in U.S.-Turkey relations and agreed on the need for constructive dialogue, as friends and allies, on bilateral challenges.   The Turkish prime minister arrived in Washington...
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Fears Grow About Fallout From Saudi Corruption Crackdown

Voice of America - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 04:20
The crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has expanded to several members of the royal family, engulfing some of the richest and most powerful men in the Middle East. Many of them are major global investors and the economic fallout could extend well beyond the shifting political sands of Saudi Arabia. Diplomats and global investors flocked to Riyadh's Ritz Carlton hotel a fortnight ago to hear the crown prince sell his dream of a new...
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UN, Aid Groups Warn of 'Starvation and Death' in Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 23:40
The United Nations and more than 20 aid groups said Thursday that the Saudi-led coalition's tightening of a blockade on war-torn Yemen could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death." The U.N.'s humanitarian chief warned a day earlier that unless the coalition lifts its blockade, Yemen will face "the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims." The coalition closed all ports and halted aid shipments after...
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Syrian Government Forces Recapture Key Border Crossing

Voice of America - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 20:57
Syrian government forces say they have recaptured the border town of Albu Kamal, the last major Islamic State stronghold in eastern Syria. Iraqi government forces recaptured the town of al Qaim, their side of the border crossing with Syria, several days ago. A Syrian military spokesman said the army and its allies, including Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia, were involved in the effort to drive IS out of Albu Kamal. He said Islamic State militants fled the town after bitter...
Categories: Iraq