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Voice of America – Middle East

  • Hezbollah Rattled by Beirut Port Blast Probe
    A judicial probe into the August 2020 Beirut port blast that killed more than 200 people has rattled Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah — the country's power broker, and other political players. Observers say its followers brought weapons to a demonstration aimed at protesting the investigation and its lead judge last Thursday with the aim of intimidating others. The protest in the capital
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    Published on 10-18-21
    4 hours ago
  • Officials in Yemen: Houthi Blockade Restricts Aid, Movement
    Yemen's rebels continued their weekslong blockade of a district in the central province of Marib, cutting off humanitarian aid and halting movement of its 37,000 people, officials and U.N. aid workers said Sunday. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have advanced in the district of Abdiya south of the city of Marib in recent weeks, forcing troops of the internationally recognized government
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    Published on 10-17-21
    14 hours ago
  • Syrian Opposition Parties Agree to Begin Drafting New Constitution
    After a nearly nine-month break, Syrian government and opposition representatives are set to begin a new round of U.N.-mediated talks aimed at drafting a new constitution for battle-weary Syria. Ahead of Monday's start of the talks, a U.N. official met informally on Sunday with members of the committee tasked with drafting the measure. The U.N. special envoy for Syria, Geir
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    Published on 10-17-21
    17 hours ago
  • Electoral Commission: Turnout in Iraq’s Election Reached 43%
    Turnout in Iraq’s parliamentary election earlier this month reached 43%, the electoral commission said late on Saturday, a small increase from preliminary results but lower than that in the last election in 2018. More than 9.6 million people cast their ballots in the Oct. 10 vote, the commission said. Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said his movement secured the biggest
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    Published on 10-16-21
    1 day ago
  • Iran Sentences Ex-Central Bank Chief to 10 Years in Prison
    A court sentenced the former governor of Iran's central bank to 10 years in prison for violating the country's currency system, a judiciary spokesperson said Saturday. Besides violating the currency system, Valliollah Seif also had a role in smuggling foreign currency, judiciary spokesman Zabihollah Khodaeian told state TV.  Ahmad Araghchi, a then-deputy to Seif, was sentenced to eight years on
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    Published on 10-16-21
    2 days ago
  • UN Chief Calls for Stronger Steps to Combat World Hunger
    Marking World Food Day, the United Nations is warning the fight against world hunger is being lost and calling for action to improve food security for the world’s most vulnerable people. In his message marking World Food Day (Oct. 16), United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for vigorous action and investments in strengthening local food systems. His message comes
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    Published on 10-16-21
    2 days ago
  • Tension Simmers in Lebanon After Deadly Gun Battles
    Schools, banks and government offices across Lebanon shut down Friday after hours of gun battles between heavily armed militias killed six people and terrorized the residents of Beirut. The government called for a day of mourning following the armed clashes, in which gunmen used automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades on the streets of the capital, echoing the nation's darkest era
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    Published on 10-15-21
    3 days ago
  • Will US Drawdown in Iraq Reboot Islamic State Militants?
    In Mosul's Old City, the rule of the Islamic State group is not a distant memory of horrors long past. On every block are reminders: bombed out houses, piles of rubble and families toiling daily, just to survive.  "An IS family lived over there," says Sahara Mahmoud, a mother of 11, pointing to a sparse pile of rocks that was
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    Published on 10-14-21
    4 days ago
  • At Least 6 Killed as Deadly Gunfire Shatters Beirut Protest
    At least six people were killed and 20 others were wounded Thursday as gunfire erupted in Lebanon’s capital amid protests against a judge investigating last year’s deadly port blast. Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm to be restored and urged people “not to be dragged into civil strife.” The army warned it would open fire against anyone shooting live
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    Published on 10-14-21
    4 days ago
  • Deadly Shooting Hits Beirut Protest
    At least four people were killed and 20 others wounded Thursday as gunfire erupted in Lebanon’s capital amid protests against a judge investigating last year’s deadly port blast. Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm to be restored and urged people “not to be dragged into civil strife.”  The army warned it would open fire against anyone shooting live rounds.
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    Published on 10-14-21
    4 days ago