Syria’s Assad Says War Still Not Won But West’s Plots Foiled

AMMAN, Aug 20 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that while his country had foiled Western designs to topple him, his army had not won Syria’s war and the fight was continuing to crush a six-year old insurgency. In an televised address, Assad said that even though there were signs of victory after

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Stifled in Middle East, Lebanese Band Finds Audience in West

By Sarah Dadouch BEIRUT, Aug 20 – Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila’s blend of indie rock and lyrics about social and political injustice has won a passionate following among fans seeking an alternative to Arab pop with its romantic themes. But securing a firm footing in the Middle East has been difficult for the band. Jordanian

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Israel’s Netanyahu to Discuss Middle East with Putin

JERUSALEM, Aug 20 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will discuss the Middle East with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet in the Russian resort of Sochi next week, his office said on Saturday. Israel is concerned Iran is trying to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria. Netanyahu said in a speech last

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Iran Parliament Clears Oil, Foreign Ministers for Rouhani’s New Cabinet

By Babak Dehghanpisheh BEIRUT, Aug 20 – The Iranian parliament voted on Sunday to keep the oil and foreign ministers, two of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani’s key members of cabinet, in their posts. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has been credited with the boost in Iran’s crude output since many global sanctions were lifted last year

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Iraq Starts Offensive to Take Back Tal Afar from Daesh

By Maher Chmaytelli ERBIL, Iraq, Aug 20 – Iraqi security forces launched on Sunday an offensive to take back the city of Tal Afar, their next objective in the U.S.-backed campaign to defeat Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said. “You either surrender, or die,” Abadi said in a televised speech announcing the offensive,

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Palestinian Foreign Minister Welcomes Egypt’s Warmer Ties with Hamas

CAIRO, Aug 20 – Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki on Saturday welcomed Egypt’s closer ties with Hamas, calling on the Islamist group to bring an end to the rift between the Palestinian factions. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts in Cairo, Al-Maliki said Egypt was fulfilling its role as

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Fighters, Refugees, Leave Lebanon Enclave for Syria

BEIRUT, Aug 14 – A group of Syrian rebels and refugees began to leave a border enclave in Lebanon for Syrian territory on Monday under a deal worked out with Lebanese and Syrian authorities, a TV station affiliated to Hezbollah said. The departure of rebels from a group called Saraya Ahl al-Sham will leave a

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India Says to Deport all Rohingya Regardless of U.N. Registration

By Krishna N. Das and Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI, Aug 14 – All of an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims living in India are illegal immigrants, even those registered with the U.N. refugee agency, and the government aims to deport them, a senior government official told Reuters. Junior interior minister Kiren Rijiju told parliament last week

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Yemen Records 500,000 Cholera Cases, Nearly 2,000 Deaths

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, Aug 14 – More than half a million people in Yemen have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and 1,975 people have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. Each day there are more than 5,000 new cases of the waterborne disease, which causes

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More Than Half a Million Children in Libya Need Help: UNICEF

By Riham Alkousaa UNITED NATIONS, Aug 11 – United Nations children agency UNICEF warned on Wednesday that more than half a million children in Libya need help and called on warring parties to end the violence and negotiate a political solution to the crisis. Libya has spiraled into turmoil after a civil war ousted longtime

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