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Iraq

Seven Years After Egyptian Uprising, Democracy Seems Distant Hope

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 23:46
Seven years ago, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in protest against the government led by President Hosni Mubarak. When Mubarak was forced out of office, and democratic elections put the country’s first civilian leader in decades in office, there was hope for lasting political change. This week, however, Egypt’s current president sternly warned the opposition that he won’t tolerate their plans to organize a boycott of national elections, after independent candidates dropped out...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Starts Radar Scans for Secret Rooms Behind Tut's Tomb

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 23:24
Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says archaeologists are starting radar scans of the tomb of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun in the southern city of Luxor.   The ministry said Thursday the scans will be carried out over a week to check for the existence of any hidden chambers behind the tomb.   Egypt carried out previous scans as part of the quest but the findings were inconclusive. The tomb of King Tut, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, was discovered in 1922 in the...
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Lebanon Blasts Israel Over Oil Exploration Near Border

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 23:19
Lebanon's energy minister vowed Thursday that Beirut will go ahead with oil and gas exploration near its maritime border with Israel, despite Israeli claims to the field that provoked wide condemnation in the tiny Arab country. Cesar Abi Khalil's comments to The Associated Press came a day after Israel's defense minister described as "very provocative" Lebanon's offshore oil and gas exploration on the countries' maritime border and suggested that Lebanon had...
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Turkish Forces Advance in Kurdish-controlled Afrin, Syria

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 22:29
As fighting in Syria's Afrin region nears the end of its second week, soldiers say the battle is moving slowly, with both sides heavily armed and civilian casualties occurring in and around the war zone. VOA's Heather Murdock is with Turkish and Syrian opposition forces in Soran, in northern Syria.
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Syria Facing Worst Humanitarian Crisis Since 2015

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 21:32
U.N. humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland  warns Syria is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since 2015. He is calling for a humanitarian pause to allow the delivery of life-saving aid to hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in besieged areas. Egeland says the last time a U.N. aid convoy reached a troubled area was November 28. That delivery, he notes, was only for 7,000 people in a country where hundreds of thousands are being denied food, medicine and other essential...
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HRW: East Libyan Groups Targeting Displaced Families, Preventing Returns

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 20:24
Armed groups, some linked with prominent Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, are preventing thousands of displaced families from returning to the eastern city of Benghazi, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published on Thursday. Groups affiliated to Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) have seized property from displaced families, and tortured, abducted or arrested people who tried to resist, HRW said it had heard from their relatives. The LNA did not immediately respond to a...
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Arab League Head Says US Aid Cut for UN Agency Puts Stability at Risk

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 20:05
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday that a cut in U.S. funding for a U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees will put the stability and security of the region at risk. The United States, by far the largest contributor to UNRWA, announced on January 16 that Washington would withhold $65 million of $125 million it had planned for the agency this year. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from U.N. member states. U.S. President Donald...
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Report: Iranian Police Arrest Women Partaking in Anti-Hijab Campaign

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 19:51
Iranian police say they have detained 29 women they described as "deceived" who removed their obligatory Islamic veils in protest. The Thursday report by the private Tasnim news agency, which is close to the government, said the detainees were taking part in an anti-hijab campaign known as "White Wednesdays." Under the campaign advocated by foreign-based Farsi language satellite TV networks, participants should take their white-colored scarves off on...
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Man Convicted of Murder Over Van Attack on Muslims in London

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 19:37
A man who drove a van into a crowd of worshippers near a north London mosque after expressing far-right and anti-Muslim opinions was convicted Thursday of murder and attempted murder. A jury at London's Woolwich Crown Court deliberated for about an hour before finding 48-year-old Darren Osborne guilty of the June 2017 attack in the city's Finsbury Park neighborhood. A 51-year-old man, Makram Ali, was killed and nine people were injured when a rented van ploughed into...
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UN Asks for Billions to Help Children in Conflict Areas

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 19:29
There are an estimated 2.2 billion children in the world. In a recent report, the United Nations says urgent action is needed to ensure that millions of them have some kind of future to look forward to. VOA's Kevin Enochs reports.
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Egypt to Rule on 'Foreign Funding' NGO Case after Election

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:47
Egypt's highest appeals court will decide on April 5 in the so-called “foreign funding” case involving international non-governmental organizations accused of stoking unrest during the country's 2011 Arab Spring uprising. The announcement by the Court of Cassation in Cairo affects 16 defendants who were detained shortly after the uprising during police raids of their organizations and given suspended prison terms in 2013 for operating without proper licensing. If the appeal is...
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China Debating Whether to Raise Sunken Iranian oil Tanker

Voice of America - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 17:18
Chinese officials say they are still debating whether to raise an Iranian oil tanker that sank last month with the loss of all 32 crew members. Chinese transport ministry officials told reporters Thursday that 1,900 tons of the Sanchi's fuel oil and some of the tanker's natural gas condensate cargo remains trapped underwater. Officials say the remaining oil could explode or pose other dangers, complicating their plans to salvage the ship. Authorities are also trying to minimize...
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