HEADLINES:

MIDDLE EAST

Rouhani says Iran budget set to resist US sanctions by curbing oil dependence

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented a draft state budget of about $39 billion to parliament on Sunday (December 8), saying it was designed to resist US sanctions by limiting dependence on oil e


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Air strikes kill at least 20 in Syria's Idlib, say Observatory, activists

Air strikes by Syrian government and Russian forces killed at least 20 people in rebel-held northwestern Syria on Saturday, activists and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.


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Iran's Zarif says jailed Iranian and Chinese-American will be swapped soon

A Chinese-American detained in Iran in 2016 and later charged for spying was freed and an imprisoned Iranian was released by Washington in return, and both were flown to their countries, an Iranian of


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Saudi's Jubeir says possible to calm Yemen situation ahead of settlement

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said there is a possibility of calming the situation in Yemen as a prelude to reaching a settlement in the four-year conflict, Saudi


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Turkey's Halkbank will use all rights to halt US Federal Court ruling

Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank said on Friday (December 6) that it will use all its legal rights to challenge a US Federal Court ruling that it must enter a formal plea to charges that it help


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Turkey says left alone to fight terrorism after no agreement at NATO: NTV

NATO allies did not reach agreement at a summit in London this week and Ankara was left alone in the fight against terrorism, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying on Friday (December 6).


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UN denounces Iran for using 'severe violence' against protesters

Iranian security forces have shot at protesters from helicopters and a rooftop and have aimed at peoples’ heads in using “severe violence” to quell anti-government unrest last month, UN human rights c


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Russia, Turkey working on new S-400 missile contract: Interfax citing official

Russia and Turkey are working on a contract for the delivery of a new batch of Russian S-400 missile systems, the Interfax news agency cited a senior official at a Russian military cooperation agency


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OPEC, allies agree to deepen oil output cuts

Oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on Thursday (December 5) to cut output by an extra 500,000 barrels a day in the first quarter of 2020 but stopped short of pledging action beyond Ma


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US says Iran may have killed more than 1,000 in recent protests

Iranian security forces may have killed more than 1,000 people since protests over gasoline price hikes began in mid-November, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday (December


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Iran says it will continue ballistic missile program: tweet

Iran said in a letter to the United Nations on Thursday (December 5)that it is determined to go ahead with its disputed ballistic missile program, according to a copy of the letter tweeted by Foreign


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Esper says US military completes pullback from northeast Syria

The United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria, settling into a more stable posture of about 600 troops in the rest of the country after repositioning and reducing forces,


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US warship in Gulf seizes missile parts of suspected Iran origin

A US Navy warship seized advanced missile parts believed to be linked to Iran from a boat it had stopped in the Arabian Sea, US officials said on Wednesday (December 4), as Trump’s administration pres


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Pentagon official says there are indications Iranian 'aggression' could occur

A senior Pentagon official said on Wednesday (December 4) there were indications that Iran could potentially carry out aggressive actions in the future, amid simmering tensions between Tehran and Wash


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US peace envoy in Kabul for revival of talks

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Wednesday (December 4) in a bid to breath new life into efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, discussing with President Ashraf Ghani steps that


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Ex-Lebanese PMs seen dealing blow to chances of government led by Khatib

Any candidate for the post of Lebanese prime minister who engages in talks over the make-up of the cabinet before being formally designated premier is violating the constitution, three former prime mi


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Erdogan, Trump have 'very productive' meeting at NATO summit: Turkish official

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump had a “very productive” meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Britain on Wednesday (December 4), Turkey’s communications directo


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Iran's Rouhani calls for release of innocent, unarmed protesters

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on Wednesday (December 4) for the release of any unarmed and innocent people who were detained during protests against gasoline price hikes, after two weeks of v


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Turkish army, rebel allies killed 68 civilians since Oct. ceasefire deal: SDF

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have accused the Turkish army and its Syrian rebel allies of killing 68 civilians since a ceasefire deal between Turkey and the United States was reached in October.


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Iran acknowledges security forces killed protesters in nationwide unrest

Iranian authorities confirmed for the first time that security forces had shot dead demonstrators during what rights groups have said was the deadliest anti-government unrest since the 1979 Islamic Re


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