in Iraq


Rights Group: Egypt Exerts Growing Control Over Local Media

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 16:46
Egypt's privately-owned media are increasingly dominated by businessmen linked to the government and its intelligence agencies, a rights group said this week. Reporters Without Borders, known by the French acronym RSF, said in a Tuesday report that "the regime's domination of the media continues to grow and is even affecting pro-government media."   Virtually all Egyptian media outlets are openly supportive of the government, which in recent months has blocked...
Categories: Iraq

A Decade Later, Still No Contract to Build Guggenheim in UAE

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 16:40
A planned Middle East outpost of the Guggenheim remains unbuilt as the Louvre Abu Dhabi readies for its opening, with the New York-based museum acknowledging that “no contract has been awarded” to build the $200-million project over a decade after its launch. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, envisioned in 2006 as a deconstructive jumble of Arabic features and modern design by architect Frank Gehry, was to sit near the Louvre outpost on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island. But the Guggenheim told The...
Categories: Iraq

Rights Group Finds 'Assembly Line' of Torture in Egypt

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 16:08
An international rights group says Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has given a "green light" to systematic torture inside detention facilities, allowing officers to act with "almost total impunity." In a 63-page report released Wednesday, Human Rights Watch says el-Sissi, a U.S. ally who was warmly received at the White House earlier this year, is pursuing stability "at any cost," and has allowed the widespread torture of detainees despite it being...
Categories: Iraq

Berlin Warns German Tourists About Vacationing in Turkey

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:54
Germany's Foreign Ministry has warned its citizens thinking of traveling to Turkey that they risk arbitrary detention even in Turkish resort areas. The hardening of the travel advisory follows detentions of Germans by Turkish authorities that are considered by Berlin to have been politically motivated. A dozen Germans are being held as political prisoners in Turkey, according to the German government — the latest flashpoint in deteriorating relations. Those arrested...
Categories: Iraq

UN Panel: Syrian Government Used Chemical Weapons in 20 Attacks

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 14:59
U.N. human rights investigators said in a report Wednesday that Syrian government forces were responsible for 20 chemical weapons attacks primarily against civilians during the past four years. The Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria said some of those attacks happened between March and July of this year in Khan Sheikhoun, Al-Latamneh and eastern Ghouta. The panel based its findings on interviews with witnesses, victims and medical workers, as well as satellite images, photos of...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Referendum Isn’t Just About Independence

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 13:11
Kurdish leaders hope the referendum will draw the outside world’s attention to the Kurds’ dysfunctional relationship with the Iraqi government.
Categories: Iraq

Haley: If Trump Does Not Certify Iran Deal, Doesn't Mean US Withdrawal

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 08:52
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation's Nikki Haley said Tuesday that if President Donald Trump decides not to certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal next month, it does not mean that the United States will withdraw from the agreement. VOA's Margaret Besheer reports
Categories: Iraq

Egypt to Host War Games with US After 8-year Hiatus

Voice of America - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 00:27
Egypt will host war games with U.S. troops this month for the first time in eight years, but the American contingent will be much smaller than in previous exercises, officials said Tuesday. Army Spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifai said the 10-day military exercises, known as Bright Star, would begin Sept. 10 and include anti-terrorism training. "Operation Bright Star is among the most important joint American-Egyptian exercises as they reflect the depth of relations," el-Rifai said...
Categories: Iraq

Syria Fest Hits Washington Streets

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 22:01
Syria Fest debuted in Washington on Sept. 3, bringing to the nation's capital an immersive outdoor cultural experience promoting Syrian food, music, art, dance, history and culture.
Categories: Iraq

Trump's Decision on Iran Deal Does Not Mean US Withdrawing

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 19:36
A senior U.S. official said Tuesday that if President Donald Trump decides not to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, it does not mean that the United States will withdraw from the multilateral agreement.   “This is critically important, and almost completely overlooked,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said. WATCH: Trump Not So Sure About Iran Trump is expected to report to Congress every 90 days whether Iran is still in compliance...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Troops Breach 3-Year IS Siege on Eastern City

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 18:44
Syrian troops and allied forces reached the eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Tuesday, breaching a three-year-old Islamic State siege on parts of the contested city near the Iraqi border, the army command and a war monitoring group said. Lifting the siege on Deir el-Zour, parts of which have been ruled by the extremist group since January 2015, marks another victory for President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been advancing on several fronts against IS and other insurgents over the past...
Categories: Iraq

UN: Yemen Catastrophe Man-made

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 18:28
The United Nations calls suffering endured by millions of people in Yemen after more than two years of civil war an entirely man-made catastrophe. The world body reports there have been more than 11,700 civilians killed or injured in Yemen since the Saudi Arabian coalition began airstrikes against Houthi rebels in support of the government in March 2015.  It blames more than 8,000 of the casualties on the coalition and more than 3,700 on the Houthis.   The report says...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Blocks Website of Leading Rights Group

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 16:48
A leading Egyptian rights group says authorities have blocked its website in a "new attack" on free speech. The government in May began blocking hundreds of websites, including leading news sites, as part of a wider crackdown on dissent. It has also shut down the sites of VPN blockers, which allowed users to circumvent such measures. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms says its website has been blocked since Tuesday morning, but that it will continue publishing...
Categories: Iraq

Abbas Government Slammed for Detaining Palestinian Activist

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 15:18
Leading rights groups called Tuesday for the release of a prominent Palestinian activist who was detained after criticizing the autonomy government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.   Issa Amro's detention signals a growing crackdown on free expression in the autonomous Palestinian enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said the London-based group Amnesty International and the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.   Amro, 35, was detained Monday by...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Forces Break Islamic State Siege of Deir el-Zour

Voice of America - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 14:08
Syrian activists and state media said Tuesday government troops broke a nearly three-year siege by Islamic State militants on the eastern city of Deir el-Zour. The reports said the troops reached a key government air base on the western edge of the city. After Syria's 2011 uprising, rebel groups and jihadists seized Deir el-Zour and the province by the same name. Islamic State fighters took command of the region by 2014. Estimates of the number of people living in the city...
Categories: Iraq

Amid War, Syria Hopes to Reach World Cup for First Time

Voice of America - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 23:14
In the midst of a long-running and ruinous war, millions of Syrians may finally have something to be joyful about. Syria's national soccer team has a chance to qualify for next year's World Cup — what would be the Arab nation's first-ever appearance in the sport's most prestigious event. The team, referred to by many Syrians as the "Qasioun Eagles" after a mountain overlooking the capital Damascus, has been on an impressive run despite being forced to play all...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Finalizes Deal With Russia for First Nuclear Plant

Voice of America - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 19:45
Russian media say Egypt has finalized a deal to build a nuclear power plant with funding from Moscow after nearly two years of negotiations.   The reports Monday came after Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China, where they were attending a summit.   The nuclear plant will be built in Dabaa, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast.   Egypt's presidency says el-Sissi has...
Categories: Iraq

Rights Group Urges Saudis Not to Expel Ethiopians

Voice of America - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 18:35
Human Rights Watch is urging the Saudi government to halt its plan to expel hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian immigrants who missed a late August deadline to register or face deportation. Felix Horne, HRW’s senior researcher for the Horn of Africa, says the immigrants have a legitimate concern of being imprisoned or worse if they return to their home country. “They say that they will be killed, arrested and tortured by the government they fled from," Horne told VOA's Horn of...
Categories: Iraq

France FM Visits Libya to Boost Reconciliation Deal

Voice of America - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 18:34
France's foreign minister is visiting Libya to encourage the implementation of a reconciliation agreement reached by the main Libyan rivals in Paris in July.   Jean-Yves Le Drian met on Monday with Fayez Serraj, the prime minister-designate of the U.N.-backed government, in the capital, Tripoli. He is also visiting Misrata and Benghazi, where he will meet with factions opposed to Serraj.   In July, Serraj and Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the commander of Libya's self-styled...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Forces Close to Seizing Oil-Rich Deir el-Zour from Islamic State

Voice of America - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 17:02
Syria said Monday its military forces and their allies are closing in on Deir el-Zour, battling to end the three-year Islamic State control of the oil-rich eastern city near the Iraqi border. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported advancing Syrian forces are less than 10 kilometers from a besieged government air base, a key outpost.  State television reported Damascus's forces were within three kilometers of meeting up with their comrades. After...
Categories: Iraq