Saudis, Russia Agree Oil Output Freeze, Iran Still Obstacle

DOHA, Feb 16  – Top oil exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday to freeze output levels but said the deal was contingent on other producers joining in—a major sticking point with Iran absent from the talks and determined to raise production. The Saudi, Russian, Qatari and Venezuelan oil ministers announced the proposal after… Continue reading Saudis, Russia Agree Oil Output Freeze, Iran Still Obstacle

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The Olympic Venues of Athens: A History of Refuge and Decay

Twelve years ago, Greece was triumphant; she was celebrating the return of the Olympic Games to Athens, the city where it all began. The once-gleaming Olympic venues hosted millions of spectators and thousands of athletes from all over the world, and the Greek economy was vibrant, at a peak. The freefall was yet to come.… Continue reading The Olympic Venues of Athens: A History of Refuge and Decay

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Canada: A Helping Hand

For Mohamad Fakih, everything changed after his visit to one of the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. “My heart was shattered when I saw what I saw in that camp,” the Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur tells Newsweek Middle East. “Children had no jackets; they were playing out in the cold without shoes,” he recalls. But Fakih wanted… Continue reading Canada: A Helping Hand

Turkish Police Detain Nearly 100 People Over Links to Cleric Gulen

ISTANBUL, April 18 – Turkish police detained nearly 100 people in an investigation of their alleged financial links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of President Tayyip Erdogan, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Monday. It said the police operation, focused on Istanbul, was launched across nine provinces and 88 people have so far… Continue reading Turkish Police Detain Nearly 100 People Over Links to Cleric Gulen

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Syrian Rebels Declare New Battle Against Government

BEIRUT, April 18 – Rebels launched a fierce attack against Syrian government forces in Latakia province on Monday and insurgents made separate advances nearby in Hama, a monitoring group reported, as violence escalated in the west of the country. The fighting, which has also increased around the northern city of Aleppo and seen heavy government… Continue reading Syrian Rebels Declare New Battle Against Government

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Marrakesh: Rites of Passage

In the 13th century, when the Mongols conquered Baghdad, their ruler Hulagu Khan gathered the religious scholars in the city and asked them: According to spiritual law, which option is preferable: a disbelieving, but just, ruler, or a Muslim ruler who is unjust? After some reflection, the scholars chose a disbelieving, but just, ruler. This… Continue reading Marrakesh: Rites of Passage

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Leading From The Front

For the first time in history, 39 Muslim nations have come together to establish a broad global military coalition with the sole aim of countering terrorism. From a Joint Command and Coordination Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the newly inaugurated Islamic Military Coalition to Counter Terrorism is drawing up plans to combat terrorists and terror… Continue reading Leading From The Front

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Bangladesh: Poisoned Chalice

For decades, villagers in large parts of Bangladesh have been knowingly drinking arsenic—contaminated water—and slowly killing themselves in the process. In fact, it is estimated that 43,000 people die in the country each year  from illnesses related to ingesting arsenic. While the diseases themselves are not unique—often cancers and cardiovascular disorders—the victims sometimes develop black… Continue reading Bangladesh: Poisoned Chalice

Yemen’s Warring Sides Signal Optimism for Kuwait Peace Talks

KUWAIT, April 17 – Yemen’s warring parties are sending conciliatory signals ahead of U.N.-backed talks starting on Monday, in a rare sign of mutual willingness to end a year-old conflict that has caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. A deal may help defuse tensions between regional powerhouses Iran and Saudi Arabia, who are… Continue reading Yemen’s Warring Sides Signal Optimism for Kuwait Peace Talks

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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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