in Iraq


Qatar Emir Due in Turkey for First Trip Since Gulf Crisis

Voice of America - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 17:46
Turkey said Thursday it wants Qatar and its Arab neighbors to overcome differences through dialogue and a "brotherly" manner as Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was set to arrive in Ankara on his first foreign trip since a diplomatic crisis erupted.   Al-Thani is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss ties as well as the three-month-old diplomatic rift between the Gulf neighbors.   "We support a resolution of the...
Categories: Iraq

US Military Readying a More Aggressive Approach Against Iran

Voice of America - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 09:26
The United States is looking to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East with a more aggressive approach in cyberspace. “They operate almost entirely in what we refer to as the gray zone, that space between normal international competition and armed conflict,” the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said Wednesday in Washington, calling it “an area ripe for cyberspace operations.” “We at CENTCOM are examining ways to compete in the gray zone,” he said....
Categories: Iraq

Apart for a Year, Syrian Family Shares Kisses Through Cyprus Fence

Voice of America - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 00:56
After more than a year of separation, Syrian refugee Ammar Hammasho was finally, albeit briefly, reunited with his wife and four children through a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire in Cyprus. Hammasho, who is from the war-ravaged Idlib region, fell to his knees and kissed each of his three eldest children through the three-meter-high barrier encircling a migrant reception center at Kokkinotrimithia, west of the Cypriot capital Nicosia. His youngest son, Jumah — named after...
Categories: Iraq

UN: Migrants at High Risk of Enforced Disappearances

Voice of America - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 00:00
U.N. experts says thousands of migrants are at high risk of enforced disappearance.  A special report by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances accuses states and the international community at large of turning a blind eye to the crime, which generally goes unreported and unpunished. The report, presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, finds a direct link between enforced disappearances and migration.  In some cases, it says, individuals may...
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Tunisia Parliament Approves Controversial Amnesty for Ben Ali-era Corruption

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 22:37
Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial law granting amnesty to officials accused of corruption during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, triggering angry protests from the opposition and activists outside. Opposition lawmakers sang the national anthem and shouted slogans before the session was temporarily suspended. Outside, dozens of demonstrators chanted "This law will not pass" and "Whitewash corruption." The law was approved by...
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Nuclear Weapons Experts Warn Trump Against Abandoning Iran Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 22:30
More than 80 experts on nuclear non-proliferation issues urged the Trump administration Wednesday to not abandon the global agreement reached with Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear weapons development program. The group, including numerous academics and some former U.S. State Department officials, said the pact that took effect in January 2016 “has dramatically reduced the risk posed by Iran's nuclear program and mandated unprecedented monitoring and transparency measures that make it...
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Netanyahu Says Israel Endorses Independence for Kurds

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 18:53
Israel's leader on Wednesday said his country supports Kurdish independence ahead of a key referendum on the matter.   In an announcement early Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Israel considers the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a terrorist organization. But the statement said Israel "supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own."   Netanyahu's statement appeared to be an attempt to...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Sentences Russian National to Death for IS Links

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:52
Baghdad's central criminal court sentenced a Russian national to death by hanging for his membership in the Islamic State group, the court said in a statement.   The man was arrested as Iraqi forces pushed the extremist group out of Mosul's western half, according to the statement released late Tuesday. The fight for Mosul's west was the second phase of the operation to retake Iraq's second largest city from IS that was launched in October of last year and declared...
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Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Lawmaker Resigns After Attending Gay Wedding

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:16
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmaker from Israel's Shas party has resigned from parliament after he was criticized for participating in a gay wedding. Yigal Guetta announced his resignation Wednesday. In a recent radio interview, the 51-year-old lawmaker disclosed that he had a gay nephew who invited him to his wedding. Guetta said he attended out of respect for his relative and despite his own reservations. The disclosure caused outrage in the ultra-Orthodox community, where...
Categories: Iraq

Aleppo Still Badly Scarred by War, Months After Rebel Defeat

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 05:00
"Aleppo is in my eyes," says a billboard depicting President Bashar al-Assad looking out over two men and a boy repaving the main Saadallah al-Jabiri Square — once a front line in one of the deadliest episodes of the Syrian civil war. The recapture of eastern Aleppo in December 2016 was a landmark victory for Assad's forces in the conflict, now in its seventh year, but it left the area in ruins. Eight months later, neighborhood after neighborhood in the formerly...
Categories: Iraq

Qatar, Neighbors Trade Barbs at Arab League Over Boycott

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 00:45
Diplomats from Qatar and the four states boycotting it exchanged heated words at an Arab League meeting on Tuesday. Tensions flared after Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi discussed the boycott in his opening speech despite the Gulf dispute not being on the agenda. He called the Gulf monarchy's critics "rabid dogs." "Even the animals were not spared, you sent them out savagely," Muraikhi said, referring to the...
Categories: Iraq

UN: Millions of Refugee Children Missing Out on Education

Voice of America - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 00:00
The U.N. refugee agency reports more than 3.5 million refugee children aged five to 17 did not attend school last year to the detriment of their future and the future well-being of society. The UNHCR is calling an education crisis for refugee children. Children make up half of the 17.2 million refugees around the world and many of them are missing out on a productive future because they do not go to school. The UNHCR warns neglecting the education of millions of refugee children...
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Netanyahu in Argentina, Lauds Effort to Solve 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 23:44
Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday used the first Latin America visit of a sitting Israeli prime minister to praise President Mauricio Macri's effort to solve the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center in 1994 that killed 85 people. Argentine courts have blamed the attack on Iran. But no one has been brought to trial in either that case or the deadly 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Iran denies playing a role in either attack. “We know without a doubt that Iran and...
Categories: Iraq

Syria Signs Aleppo Power Plant Contract With Iran

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 22:44
Syria's government signed a contract with an Iranian company on Tuesday to import five gas-fired power plants to the war-battered city of Aleppo, in an early sign of the major role Tehran is expected to play in Syria's reconstruction. The deal, reported by Syria's state news agency SANA, is part of a broader understanding reached by Damascus and Tehran promising Iranian companies contracts to restore electrical infrastructure in Syria, Electricity Minister Zuhair Kharboutli...
Categories: Iraq

Report: Egypt Cuts Military Ties With North Korea

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 22:28
Egypt's defense minister, on a visit to Seoul, announced that his country has cut military ties with North Korea, according to a report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency. There was no immediate confirmation from the Egyptian government of the agency's report, but Cairo has come under mounting pressure in recent weeks to sever ties with North Korea as the United States seek to curb Pyongyang's efforts to develop long-range nuclear weapons. Last month Washington cut or...
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Gulf Real Estate Expo Highlights Affordable Housing Shortage

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 22:06
Tens of thousands of luxury projects were on display at a premier global property show in Dubai on Monday, but missing from the glittering mock-ups and pipeline of home dreams being rolled out were more affordable housing projects for the Middle East's large and burgeoning population of young and aspiring home owners.   Property analysts say oil-exporting countries in the Gulf are facing an immediate need to create more affordable housing, especially as the price of living...
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'Made in Britain, Dropped on Children' - Film Seeks End to UK Arms Sales to Yemen War

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 22:05
A film highlighting British arms sales to Saudi Arabia that activists say are used in the conflict in Yemen has been released by charity Save the Children in time for one of the world's largest arms fairs taking place in London on Tuesday. The provocative film "Made in Britain" calls on the British government to suspend arms sales to states in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen. The Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition, which runs...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Lawmakers Reject Pending Kurdish Independence Vote

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 19:40
The Iraqi parliament on Tuesday condemned a referendum vote slated for later this month that would possibly grant independence to Iraqi Kurds. Kurds in the three counties that make up their self-ruled region of Iraq plan to hold their vote September 25, although the parliament called the vote “unconstitutional.” The parliament, on its website, called the referendum a “threat to Iraq's integrity” and said in its ruling that the central government should “take all necessary measures...
Categories: Iraq

In Persian Gulf, Computer Hacking Now a Cross-Border Fear

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 16:52
State-sponsored hacks have become an increasing worry among countries across the Persian Gulf. They include suspected Iranian cyberattacks on Saudi Arabia to leaked emails causing consternation among nominally allied Arab nations. Defending against such attacks have become a major industry in Dubai, as the city-state home to the world's tallest building and the long-haul airline Emirates increasingly bills itself as an interconnected "smart city" where robots now deliver...
Categories: Iraq

Rights Group: Saudi-led Airstrikes Kill Yemeni Children

Voice of America - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 15:55
The Saudi-led coalition waging an air campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels in the north is killing children in what amounts to war crimes, an international rights group said Tuesday. Human Rights Watch released a detailed report documenting the deaths of 26 children killed in five airstrikes since June. The group said that despite coalition promises to abide by international law, the airstrikes have failed to do that and it urged the United Nations to place the coalition on its...
Categories: Iraq