HEADLINES:

MIDDLE EAST

Turkish court sentences former mayor of Van over 'terrorism' charges

A Turkish court on Thursday (October 18) sentenced the former mayor for Van city, Bakir Kaya, to eight years and three months in prison over “terrorism” charges, state media reported.


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US to merge Jerusalem consulate in to new embassy

The United States will merge the US Consulate General, which serves Palestinians, with its new embassy in Israel into a single diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on T


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Putin says Islamic State has seized 700 hostages in Syria

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (October 18) that Islamic State (ISIS) militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by US-backed forces and had executed some of them


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Russia and Turkey give more time for Idlib deal in Syria: UN

Russia and Turkey plan to give more time for the implementation of their de-escalation deal in the Syrian province of Idlib, a “great relief” for an area of 3 million civilians, UN humanitarian advise


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Lebanon president says government will be formed 'very soon'

Lebanon’s president said on Thursday (October 18) a government would be formed very soon as political parties intensified negotiations to break a deadlock more than five months after elections.


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Egyptian mediators race to restore calm in Gaza

A high-level Egyptian delegation on Wednesday (October 18) held urgent talks with Gaza’s Hamas rulers, seeking to restore calm after a rocket from the Palestinian area slammed into a home in southern


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Turkey's Tupras in talks with US for Iran sanctions waiver: sources

Turkey’s top refiner, Tupras, is in talks with US officials to obtain a waiver allowing it to keep buying Iranian oil after Washington reinstates sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s energy sector in N


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Khashoggi warns in last column of free rein to silence media

The Washington Post has published a new column by missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in which he warns that governments in the Middle East “have been given free rein to continue silencing the media


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Gulf Arab economies to accelerate modestly through 2020: Reuters poll

Gulf Arab economies are likely to accelerate over the next couple of years as governments boost spending, but growth will not return to the boom levels enjoyed before oil prices plunged in 2014, a qua


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US reliance on sanctions 'out of control': Iran foreign minister

The United States’ reliance on sanctions is “out of control”, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday (October 17).


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Iranian security staff unconscious when kidnapped to Pakistan: Guards chief

A group of Iranian security personnel kidnapped on the border with Pakistan this week were unconscious at the time, the commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said, following reports that they


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UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura to step down at end of November

United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council on Wednesday (October 17) that he plans to step down at the end of November for personal reasons after more than four years in t


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US Syria Rep Jeffrey denies 'broad, long-term political agenda' for NE Syria

US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey denied Wednesday (October 17) that the US has any “broad, long-term political agenda” regarding northeastern Syria.


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Syria approves UN aid delivery to remote camp on Jordan-Syria border

The Syrian government has given approval for the UN to deliver aid next week to thousands of civilians stranded on the Jordanian-Syrian border and threatened with starvation, aid workers and camp offi


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SDF calls on Syrian regime to take steps toward a political solution

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Tuesday (October 16) called on the Assad regime to take steps toward achieving a political solution in Syria, two days after the Syrian foreign minister


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Turkey to miss government growth targets; recession imminent: Reuters poll

Turkish economic growth is expected to fall short of sharply lowered government forecasts this year and next, with a recession now likely in the coming six months, a Reuters poll showed, underscoring


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Erdogan, Cavusoglu discuss Khashoggi, Manbij with Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday (October 17) following talks with Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince about the disappearance of journali


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Iran calls US efforts to cut its oil exports to zero 'political bluff'

Statements by the United States that it would reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero are a “political bluff,” the head of state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said, according to a report published


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French hostage in Yemen freed after more than 4 months

France’s president on Tuesday (October 16) announced the release of a French citizen held hostage in Yemen for more than four months.


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Iran says it has killed mastermind of deadly attack on parade

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Tuesday (October 16) they had killed the “mastermind” behind an attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz last month which left 25 people dead, nearl


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