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Qatari News Site Says Website Blocked, Blames State Censorship

DOHA, Dec 1 – An independent English-language news site in Qatar accused the Gulf state of censorship on Thursday, saying two internet service providers had blocked access to its website. The Doha News, which stirred a debate about the limits of tolerance in the conservative country in August with an opinion column on gay rights

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Qatar’s Al Jazeera Network Laying off 500 Employees

DOHA, March 27 – Qatar’s Al Jazeera broadcasting network is laying off about 500 employees or more than 10 percent of its staff, it announced on Sunday reflecting financial pressures on the tiny Gulf state due to low global prices for oil and natural gas. Most of those affected are based at its Doha headquarters,

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EU Leaders Meet on Libya as Migrant Flows Rise

BRUSSELS, March 18 – Europe’s major powers will discuss Libya in the margins of an EU summit on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on efforts to end the political chaos and conflict in the country and rising migrant flows. The leaders of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, along with Spain, Malta and the EU’s foreign

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Lebanon: Strained Ties

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon reflects a wider regional one By Rami G. Khouri The sudden spat between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon over Riyadh’s suspension of $4 billion in military aid to Lebanon is much more than an awkward bilateral disagreement between two Arab countries. It is the political equivalent of what Saudi Arabia has

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Syrian Rebel Fighters Withdraw from Homs Following Ceasefire

BEIRUT, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Buses carrying Syrian rebel fighters and their families safely reached the northwestern city of Idlib overnight after withdrawing from Homs under a local ceasefire agreement, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday. The United Nations presided over the deal, which the mayor of Homs said involved 300 fighters

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EU Says it Will Continue Middle East Peace Role Despite Israel’s Move

BRUSSELS, Nov. 30 (Reuters) – EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and the European Union said it would continue its role in Middle East peace diplomacy despite Israel saying it was suspending contact. Asked about Israel’s move on Sunday to suspend contact with the EU over the

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Suspect in Beirut Bombings Dead in Syria Operation

BEIRUT, Nov 26 (Reuters) – An operation in Syria launched by the Syrian army and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia killed a person involved in the logistics of a twin suicide bomb attack in southern Beirut earlier this month, the Hezbollah-run al-Manar television channel said on Thursday. The operation killed the person “responsible for transporting the two

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Russia Eyes Economic Retaliation Against Turkey

By Maria Kiselyova MOSCOW, Nov. 25 (Reuters) – Russia is to send an advanced air defence system to reinforce its air base in Syria and is considering cancelling a raft of joint business projects with Ankara after Turkey shot down of one of its warplanes, top government officials said. The incident, which resulted in the

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A Divided House

By Mohammed A. Salih Kurdistan’s future looks bleak, threatened by political rifts Hawre, 24, is struggling to make ends meet by selling sunglasses placed on a small table just a couple of yards away from Erbil’s millennia-old citadel. Hawre’s task, like others’, has become more difficult these days as Iraq’s Kurdish region is facing economic challenges

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