HEADLINES:

MIDDLE EAST

France sends top diplomat to Iran for talks to reduce tensions

French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser traveled to Iran on Wednesday to hold talks with local officials as part of European efforts to reduce tensions in the Gulf region, a preside


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Algeria presses corruption case against ex-PM and other senior figures

A prosecutor has referred Algeria’s former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia, along with a minister and two ex-ministers, to the Supreme Court over graft accusations in an ongoing crackdown on the former r


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Sudan military council head says it's ready to negotiate with opposition

The head of Sudan’s ruling military council said on Wednesday it was ready to meet an opposition alliance to negotiate the country’s transition toward democracy, after talks collapsed following the de


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Erdogan says opposition candidate's alleged insult could bar him from Istanbul mayoralty

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan intensified pressure on the opposition candidate in a re-run election for mayor of Istanbul by saying he would be barred from taking office if found guilty of insultin


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Saudi crown prince linked to Khashoggi murder in UN report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior officials should be investigated over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi given credible evidence against them, a UN rights investigator s


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US Navy says mine fragments, magnet point to Iran in Gulf tanker attack

The United States Navy on Wednesday (June 19) displayed limpet mine fragments and a magnet it said it had removed from one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman last week, saying the mines b


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Rouhani says scaling back nuclear commitments is a 'minimum' measure

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday (June 19) pulling out of some commitments under the nuclear deal was a “minimum” measure that Tehran could adopt a year after the United States withdr


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Iran will not wage war against any nation: Iranian president

Iran will not wage war against any nation, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, a day after the United States announced the deployment of more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions betwe


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Syria says it does not want to fight with Turkey

Syria does not want to see fighting with Turkey, its foreign minister said on Tuesday (June 18), after Turkey said one of its observation posts in Syria’s Idlib region was attacked from an area contro


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US says to send more troops to the Middle East, cites Iran threats

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.


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EU to await IAEA report before deciding on any Iran breach

The European Union will only react to any Iranian breach of the 2015 nuclear deal if the International Atomic Energy Agency formally identifies one, the top diplomats of Germany and the bloc said on M


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Iran accuses Saudis of militaristic approach in Middle East

Iran accused its main regional rival Saudi Arabia on Monday of adopting a “militaristic, crisis-based approach” for accusing Tehran of carrying out last week’s attack on two oil tankers at the entranc


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US says could sanction Turkish defense firms beyond F-35 suppliers

Washington is looking at imposing financial sanctions on Turkish firms beyond those that build parts for the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet, over Ankara’s plans to buy a Russian air defense system,


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Ousted ex-Egyptian president Mursi dies after court hearing: state TV

Ousted former Egyptian Islamist president Mohamed Mursi died on Monday after he fainted in court following a hearing, state television reported.


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Aleppo's scattered business owners have yet to return home

In the old khan, a stone courtyard off Aleppo’s medieval souk, most of the 41 cloth shops are deserted. Many of the owners moved elsewhere or went abroad to escape fighting in the historic Syrian city


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Kremlin says unaware of Iran statement on breaching uranium curbs

The Kremlin said on Monday that Iran had so far faithfully stuck to internationally-agreed curbs on uranium enrichment and that Moscow was unaware of any statement suggesting that Tehran intended to s


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Israel launches 'Trump Heights' on Golan, but construction may lag

Israel approved in principle on Sunday a new community named after US President Donald Trump on a contested frontier zone with Syria - but construction looked likely to lag given Prime Minister Benja


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Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days

Iran will break the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days, the spokesman for the country’s atomic agency said Monday (June 17) while also warning t


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Twelve killed as migrant boat sinks off western Turkey: coast guard

Twelve people were killed on Monday after a dinghy carrying migrants sank off Turkey’s western coast, the Turkish coast guard said, adding that 31 others had been rescued.


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Iran to scale back nuclear deal commitments: Tasnim

Iran will announce further moves on Monday (June 17) to scale back compliance with an international nuclear pact that the United States abandoned last year, the semi-official Tasnim news agency report


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