HEADLINES:

MIDDLE EAST

Lebanon's Hariri hopes for new government by end of year

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday (December 13) he hoped a new national unity government would be formed by the end of the year after seven months of wrangling over the


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UN chief announces ceasefire for key Yemen port at peace talks

UN chief Antonio Guterres announced Thursday (December 13) a series of breakthroughs in talks with rivals in the Yemen conflict, including a ceasefire for a vital port.


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Turkey to target financing of Gulen followers abroad, Erdogan says

Turkey will start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday (December 13).


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Coalition launched 251 strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria last week

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) conducted 251 strikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria between December 2 and December 8, the vast majority of w


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Palestinian gunman kills two, wounds two in West Bank: Israeli medics

A Palestinian man shot and killed two people and injured two others in the occupied West Bank on Thursday (December 13), the head of Israel’s ambulance service said.


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US says unilateral military action into northeastern Syria ‘unacceptable’

The United States said any unilateral action into northeastern Syria was of grave concern and “unacceptable”, after Turkey announced it would target Syrian Kurdish forces in the region.


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Militia leader's bravado shows limits of Libya reforms

For the United Nations, it was a chance to clip the wings of powerful armed groups who had held the levers of power in the Libyan capital for years.


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Turkish train crash in Ankara kills nine, injures 47

Nine people were killed and nearly 50 injured in Turkey when a high speed train collided with a locomotive and crashed into a station platform and overpass in an Ankara suburb early on Thursday (Decem


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US Senate advances measure to end support for Saudis in Yemen

In a rare break with President Donald Trump, the Senate voted on Wednesday (December 12) to move ahead with a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the war in


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US wants UN to ban nuclear ballistic missile work by Iran

Washington will push the UN Security Council to toughen its stance against Iran working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and carrying out ballistic missile launches, US Secr


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UN watchdog presses Saudi Arabia on alleged torture of activists

A UN human rights watchdog has urged Saudi authorities to free over a dozen rights activists detained in the kingdom, alleging that some had been tortured or mistreated during interrogation.


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Egypt releases prominent activist blogger Wael Abbas

Egyptian authorities have released a prominent activist and blogger who had criticized the government after more than seven months of detention.


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CNPC suspends investment in Iran's South Pars after US pressure: sources

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has suspended investment in Iran’s South Pars natural gas project in response to US pressure and to minimize tensions amid trade talks between Beijing and Washingt


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Syrian state seizes opponents' property, rights activists say

Syria’s government has been using a little-known anti-terrorism law to seize property from dissidents and their families as it takes back control of areas that were held by rebel groups, rights groups


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Pressure builds on Yemen's warring parties as peace talks tackle key port

Yemen’s warring parties are being pressed to agree thorny confidence-building measures, including the status of a strategic Red Sea port, in consultations on Wednesday (December 12) ahead of the close


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UAE, Saudi Arabia using digital currency for settlements

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have started using fintech for cross-border settlements, including a digital currency which they jointly developed for that purpose, the UAE’s central bank go


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Two missile launchers found in Yemen appear to be from Iran: UN

Two launch units for anti-tank guided missiles recovered by a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen appear to have been manufactured in Iran during 2016 and 2017, according to a confidential United Na


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Report: Iran sentences 3 rights lawyers to prison

Iran has sentenced two human rights lawyers to six years in prison and a third to 13 years, newspapers reported Tuesday (December 11).


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Report: police chief killed, 3 officers wounded in attack in Turkey

Turkish media reports say a police officer opened fire inside a police station in northern Turkey, killing the local police chief and wounding three other officers.


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Iran says it recently tested a ballistic missile

A senior Revolutionary Guards commander said on Tuesday that Iran had recently carried out a ballistic missile test but he did not specify what kind of missile had been tested, according to Fars News.


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