Politics

Iran Threatens Response to New U.S. Visa Restrictions

By Sam Wilkin DUBAI, Dec 28 – Iran will take reciprocal measures in response to any breach of this year’s nuclear deal, the Foreign Ministry warned on Monday, after Tehran said new U.S. visa restrictions contravened the historic agreement. Iran has started to restrict its nuclear program under the terms of the July 14 deal

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U.S. Sees Bearable Costs, Key Goals Met for Russia in Syria So Far

By Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel WASHINGTON, Dec 28 – Three months into his military intervention in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved his central goal of stabilizing the Assad government and, with the costs relatively low, could sustain military operations at this level for years, U.S. officials and military analysts say. That assessment

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Turkish Police Round Up Syrian Refugees

By Melih Aslan ISTANBUL, Dec 27 – Ghada’s five children cried out in terror when police broke into their run-down Istanbul flat at dawn and ordered the 36-year-old Syrian’s family onto a bus, without saying why. The family of seven from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo was among a group of refugees rounded up

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How Pakistan’s Military Helped Revive Talks with India

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 – The quiet involvement of Pakistan’s powerful military in its foreign policy this year paved the way for reviving a stalled dialogue with India, officials said, a thaw leading to the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in almost 12 years. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise

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Daesh “Gets Tougher” in Face of Air Strikes

BAGHDAD, Dec 27 – A new message purporting to come from the leader of Daesh said air strikes by Russia and a U.S.-led coalition had failed to weaken the group. “Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more

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U.N. Mulls ‘Light’ Options to Monitor Possible Syria Truce

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS, Dec 22 – The United Nations is mulling “light touch” options for monitoring a possible ceasefire in Syria that would keep its risks to a minimum by relying largely on Syrians already on the ground, diplomatic sources said. The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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In Favoring Middle East Ally, U.S. Glosses Over Human Rights Record

By Jason Szep, Matt Spetalnick and Yara Bayoumy WASHINGTON/MUSCAT, Dec 21 – As the United States negotiated this year’s nuclear pact with Iran, the State Department quietly agreed to spare the Gulf sultanate of Oman from an embarrassing public rebuke over its human rights record, rewarding a close Arab ally that helped broker the historic

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No Sign of Peace for Turkey’s Kurds After Erdogan Victory

By Ayla Jean Yackley SILVAN, Turkey, Dec 20 – The shepherd’s widow no longer asks God for peace. Like many Kurds in Turkey’s southeast, Sevgi Gezici, 22, believed President Tayyip Erdogan might relent in a clampdown against Kurdish militants after his party won back its majority in an election in November. Three days after the

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Clinton Backs Obama’s Strategy on Daesh in Democratic Debate

By John Whitesides and Luciana Lopez MANCHESTER, N.H., Dec 19 – U.S. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton backed elements of President Barack Obama’s strategy to fight Daesh militants in a debate on Saturday in which she clashed with top rival Bernie Sanders over national security and the economy. Clinton came under fire from Republicans even before

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