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Voice of America – Middle East

  • Bahrain charged 169 people on Tuesday with being part of a militant group they referred to as the "Bahraini Hezbollah,'' the latest mass prosecution in the kingdom amid a yearslong crackdown on all dissent. Prosecutors said in a statement they already had 111 people in custody after a series of raids on the island nation off the coast of Saudi
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    Published on 09-25-18
    2 hours ago
  • Jordan's cabinet on Tuesday sent to parliament an IMF-backed draft tax bill, a main plank of austerity measures to ease rising public debt, an issue that caused street protests last summer, officials said. The government hopes to push through the new legislation within two months despite opposition from many deputies, saying the law promotes social justice by targeting high earners
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    Published on 09-25-18
    3 hours ago
  • Saudi Arabia King Salman inaugurated a $6.7 billion high-speed railway Tuesday that will link the two holiest cities in Islam, as the country seeks to bolster its tourism industry in the face of declining oil revenues.  The 450-kilometer Haramain railway is one of the largest transportation projects in the Middle East, with a projected annual target of 60 million passengers.
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    Published on 09-25-18
    3 hours ago
  • A press freedoms group has called on Egyptian authorities to reverse their decision to take over a daily newspaper a day after security forces stormed its headquarters. Reporters Without Borders says Tuesday the decision to take over al-Mesryoon was taken by a government commission charged with confiscating assets held by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. It says the state-run daily
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    Published on 09-25-18
    3 hours ago
  • Lebanon's parliament has ratified the international Arms Trade Treaty, angering Hezbollah legislators, some of whom walked out in protest. The 2014 treaty seeks to regulate international trade in conventional arms and prevent illicit trade. Hezbollah legislator Ali Ammar walked out of the parliament Tuesday, saying it "infringes on the weapons of the resistance."   After Lebanon's 15-year civil war ended
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    Published on 09-25-18
    7 hours ago
  • Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a “massive” ancient building in the town of Mit Rahina, 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, south of Cairo. The Antiquities Ministry says Tuesday archaeologists also uncovered an attached building that includes a large Roman bath and a chamber likely for religious rituals. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the building
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    Published on 09-25-18
    10 hours ago
  • An international watchdog is accusing Yemen's Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, of committing "serious abuses" — including "taking hostages, torture and enforced disappearances" — against people they hold in detention.   Human Rights Watch said Tuesday it documented "16 cases in which Houthi authorities held people unlawfully, in large part to extort money from relatives or to exchange them for people held
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    Published on 09-25-18
    12 hours ago
  • The five remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal have agreed to establish a special payment system to allow companies to continue doing business with the regime, bypassing new sanctions imposed by the United States. Envoys from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran issued a statement late Monday from the United Nations announcing the creation of a "Special Purpose
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    Published on 09-24-18
    17 hours ago
  • The main jihadist group in northwest Syria will announce its position on a Turkish-Russian deal over Idlib in the next few days, it said on Monday, with its acceptance or rejection vital to the success of efforts to contain the war. Tahrir al-Sham's stance will be critical to last week's deal which has, for now, averted a full-scale Syrian government
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    Published on 09-24-18
    21 hours ago
  • A U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees said schools and health centers are at risk if it is unable to plug a $185 million funding gap needed to keep operating until the end of the year, the agency's head said on Monday. "Currently we have money in the bank ... will last I presume somewhere into ... mid October," said
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    Published on 09-24-18
    22 hours ago