U2 Singer Bono seeks U.S. Senate Backing for Mideast “Marshall Plan”

WASHINGTON, April 13 – U2 lead singer Bono joined diplomats and aid experts on Tuesday to appeal for U.S. Senate support for a “Marshall Plan” to provide aid to the Middle East much like the massive relief the United States provided for Europe after World War Two. “Aid in 2016 is not charity; it is national security,”… Continue reading U2 Singer Bono seeks U.S. Senate Backing for Mideast “Marshall Plan”

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Morocco’s Celluloid Dreams

Art will always be a more powerful instrument of change than weapons, renowned Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola told Newsweek Middle East on the sidelines of Marrakech’s 15th Annual Film Festival last week. Speaking at La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech days after Rock The Kasbah’s screening, Coppola deplored violence and war, saying that they have… Continue reading Morocco’s Celluloid Dreams

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Iraq ‘n’ Roll: How Ramadi Was Won

Almost a month after Iraqi special forces reclaimed Ramadi from Daesh, Iraqi troops are still patrolling the streets and clearing booby-trapped buildings. “Real estate office” reads a hand-lettered metal sign featuring the now-familiar logo of Daesh, an organization in retreat in Iraq but far from defeated. The Iraqi special forces officers with whom I’m on… Continue reading Iraq ‘n’ Roll: How Ramadi Was Won

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Yemen: War-Zone Babies

One Thursday in February, Rasha Al Shwafi began to feel sick. Heavily pregnant with twins, she initially passed it off as a mild indigestion. But as the day wore on, she found that she could no longer endure the pain. Still some weeks away from her due date, the pain steadily intensified; and along with… Continue reading Yemen: War-Zone Babies

Turkey Bombs Militants in Iraq, Declares Curfew in Southeast as Clashes Erupt

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, April 5 – Turkey bombed Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq on Tuesday and declared a curfew in a southeastern town after a rocket attack, as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed Ankara would not step back in its crackdown on the rebels. Gunfire rang out through the night in Silopi, near the Iraqi… Continue reading Turkey Bombs Militants in Iraq, Declares Curfew in Southeast as Clashes Erupt

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UAE Jails 2 Lebanese, 1 Lebanese-Canadian For 6 Months for Hezbollah Links

DUBAI, April 5 – A United Arab Emirates court sentenced two Lebanese nationals and a Lebanese-Canadian citizen to six months in jail followed by expulsion for setting up a group affiliated to the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, local media said on Monday. The state news agency WAM did not identify the three but said they… Continue reading UAE Jails 2 Lebanese, 1 Lebanese-Canadian For 6 Months for Hezbollah Links

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Lebanese Army Gets U.S., British Aid for Defending Border With Syria

BEIRUT, April 1 – Lebanon‘s armed forces acquired three U.S. helicopters worth $26 million on Thursday to help in efforts to stop Syria’s civil war spilling over its border, along with almost $29 million of British aid as EU countries also step up their support. The Lebanese armed forces have now received a total of nine Huey… Continue reading Lebanese Army Gets U.S., British Aid for Defending Border With Syria

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Low Oil Prices: A New Opportunity for Gulf Cooperation

When the founders of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), convened in Baghdad in 1960, they made life difficult for themselves by violating virtually all of the ideal conditions for operating a cartel. That is why, 55 years later, Saudi Arabia has made the right decision by maintaining its production, and why the… Continue reading Low Oil Prices: A New Opportunity for Gulf Cooperation

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FBI Trick for Breaking into iPhone Likely to Leak, Limiting its Use

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 – The FBI’s method for breaking into a locked iPhone 5c is unlikely to stay secret for long, according to senior Apple Inc engineers and outside experts. Once it is exposed, Apple should be able to plug the encryption hole, comforting iPhone users worried that losing physical possession of their devices… Continue reading FBI Trick for Breaking into iPhone Likely to Leak, Limiting its Use

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Syrian Opposition Rejects Any Election-Related Delay to Peace Talks

GENEVA, March 21 – The Syrian opposition said on Sunday it rejected any attempt by the government to delay the next round of peace talks until after a parliamentary election on April 13 and urged Russia to press its ally into serious talks on a political transition. Syrian President Bashar Al Assad called the election… Continue reading Syrian Opposition Rejects Any Election-Related Delay to Peace Talks

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Dubai International Gov’t Exhibition Announces Themes

DUBAI March 30: This year the Dubai International Government Achievements Exhibition will examine three themes of happiness, smart transformation and achievement, according to its release. The Dubai Government Excellence Program, under the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai and under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and… Continue reading Dubai International Gov’t Exhibition Announces Themes

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Along Syria’s Frontlines

When Daesh militants took over the ancient city of Palmyra last May, they were able to establish a foothold in the heart of Syria, using it as a launching pad to gain territory towards the Mediterranean coast. The world watched in horror as the terrorist group systematically destroyed historical ruins dating back 2,000 years and… Continue reading Along Syria’s Frontlines

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Pakistanis Hunt for Militants Behind Lahore Blast That Killed At Least 70

LAHORE, Pakistan, March 28 – Pakistani authorities hunted on Monday for breakaway Taliban militants who once declared loyalty to Daesh after the group claimed responsibility for an Easter suicide bomb targeting Christians, that killed at least 70 people. The attack on Sunday evening in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore, the powerbase of… Continue reading Pakistanis Hunt for Militants Behind Lahore Blast That Killed At Least 70

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Mexicans Burn Donald Trump Effigies in Easter Ritual

Mexicans burn an effigy of U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as they celebrate an Easter ritual late on Saturday in Mexico City’s poor La Merced neighborhood March 26, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero By Henry Romero and Tomas Bravo MEXICO CITY, March 26 – Mexicans celebrating an Easter ritual late on Saturday burnt effigies of U.S.… Continue reading Mexicans Burn Donald Trump Effigies in Easter Ritual

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Belgium Charges Airport Suspect, Calls off Brussels “March Against Fear”

Belgian troops man a roadblock near Brussels’ Zaventem airport following Tuesdays’ bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau Belgian troops man a roadblock near Brussels’ Zaventem airport following Tuesdays’ bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau By Barbara Lewis and Robin Emmott BRUSSELS, March 27 – Belgian prosecutors have… Continue reading Belgium Charges Airport Suspect, Calls off Brussels “March Against Fear”

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Daesh Driven Out of Syria’s Ancient Palmyra City

BEIRUT, March 27 – Syrian government forces recaptured Palmyra on Sunday, state media and a monitoring group said, inflicting a significant defeat on the Daesh group which seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples. Syrian television quoted a military source saying the army and its militia allies took complete control of the city… Continue reading Daesh Driven Out of Syria’s Ancient Palmyra City

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Nearly 87 Million Children Under 7 Live in Conflict Zones, Brains Not Developing

LONDON, March 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Nearly 87 million children around the world under seven years of age have been growing up in conflict zones, in conditions that can hinder the development of their brains, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday. Exposure to extreme trauma may hinder the development of brain… Continue reading Nearly 87 Million Children Under 7 Live in Conflict Zones, Brains Not Developing

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Yemen: The Abandoned Animals of Taiz

THE citizens of Yemen’s Taiz city have been dealt many blows in recent months. Conflict, hunger, isolation and struggle dominate the city’s streets. But they are not the only ones affected by the conflict, which escalated in March 2015. Yemen’s animals, too, are the silent victims of airstrikes, sieges and the internecine conflict that continues… Continue reading Yemen: The Abandoned Animals of Taiz

Daesh Claims Killing of Christian in Bangladesh as “Lesson to Others”

DHAKA, March 23 – Daesh claimed responsibility for stabbing a Christian to death in Bangladesh as a “lesson to others”, an online group that monitors extremist activity said, the latest killing declared by the militant group in the Muslim-majority nation. The South Asian country has seen a surge in Islamist violence in which liberal activists, members… Continue reading Daesh Claims Killing of Christian in Bangladesh as “Lesson to Others”

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Libya’s Presidential Council Calls for Transfer of Power to Unity Government

TUNIS, March 13 – Libya’s U.N.-backed Presidential Council called on Saturday on the country’s institutions to begin a transfer of authority to a unity government, and appealed to the international community to stop dealing with any rival powers. The Presidential Council is tasked with guiding through a transition to end the political chaos and armed… Continue reading Libya’s Presidential Council Calls for Transfer of Power to Unity Government

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Italy Rescues 910 Boat Migrants, Nearly 600 Saved Off Libya

MILAN/TRIPOLI, March 20 – Italy’s coast guard said more than 900 migrants were rescued in four separate operations in the Strait of Sicily on Saturday, while Libyan authorities said they had rescued nearly 600 migrants from four boats, one of which sank. A spokesman for Libyan naval forces, Ayoub Qassem, said the bodies of four… Continue reading Italy Rescues 910 Boat Migrants, Nearly 600 Saved Off Libya

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U.N. Chief Furious With Morocco Over Western Sahara Demonstration

UNITED NATIONS, March 15 – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Morocco’s foreign minister on Monday he was angered and disappointed by a demonstration in Rabat he said was a personal attack on him over remarks he made about the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Tens of thousands of Moroccans marched though the capital on Sunday… Continue reading U.N. Chief Furious With Morocco Over Western Sahara Demonstration

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