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US Splits With G-7 Counterparts on Climate Change

May 27, 2017 by · Comments Off on US Splits With G-7 Counterparts on Climate Change 

In an unprecedented move, a Group of Seven summit communique has carved out a unique place for the United States to break with its counterparts on a major issue. In a pared-down final communique, all G-7 nations, except the United States, pledged action to mitigate climate change. “The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics,” the communique read. “Understanding this process, the heads of state and of government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom and the presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.” The United States, according to the document, needs “more time” to decide whether it will exit the landmark deal to reduce carbon emissions agreed upon by representatives of 195 countries two years ago.

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Senate Panel Backs New Sanctions on Iran

May 26, 2017 by · Comments Off on Senate Panel Backs New Sanctions on Iran 

SanctionwebVOA – A Senate panel has overwhelmingly approved new U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s support for international terrorism and its ballistic missile program, the first move to punish Tehran since a landmark nuclear accord went into effect. Thursday’s 18-3 vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came days after President Donald Trump pledged common cause with Israel and Sunni Arab states to counter Iranian influence in the region. “The bill passed overwhelmingly today [in committee] and I believe will pass overwhelmingly on the Senate floor,” said the committee’s chairman, Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.
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Iran Claims It Built Third Underground Missile Factory

May 25, 2017 by · Comments Off on Iran Claims It Built Third Underground Missile Factory 

messelswebVOA – Iran claims to have built a third underground ballistic missile production facility and says it will continue developing its missile program, a move that will surely increase tensions between the country and the United States. Speaking with the semi-official Fars news agency Thursday, General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, the head of Iran’s aerospace program, said the facility had been completed in “recent years.”

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Iran’s Rouhani Criticizes Trump, Recent Saudi Summit

May 23, 2017 by · Comments Off on Iran’s Rouhani Criticizes Trump, Recent Saudi Summit 

rohaniwebVOA – Iran’s newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran’s relationship with the U.S. is a “curvy road,” and called President Donald Trump’s summit in Saudi Arabia this past weekend “just a show.” Rouhani also said that stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without his country’s help. “The Americans do not know our religion, that’s what the catch is,” Rouhani said in response to a question from AP. Rouhani said he hopes the Trump administration will “settle down” enough for his nation to better understand it. Rouhani was re-elected in a landslide win Friday, after his first term saw a major nuclear arms deal with world powers in 2015. Trump has threatened to try to renegotiate the deal.

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Iran Continues Deporting Undocumented Afghan Refugees

May 22, 2017 by · Comments Off on Iran Continues Deporting Undocumented Afghan Refugees 

Trump Calls for Muslim Unity in Fight Against Terrorism

May 21, 2017 by · Comments Off on Trump Calls for Muslim Unity in Fight Against Terrorism 

U.S. President Donald Trump called Sunday for Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism, telling dozens of Arab and Muslim leaders at a regional summit in Riyadh it was “a battle between good and evil.” Trump, in his first overseas trip as president, said the U.S. wants a coalition of nations “who share the aim of stamping out extremism. “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” Trump said. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.” Trump, who is seeking to ban Muslims from six majority-Muslim countries where terrorist attacks have occurred from entering the U.S., did not use the contentious phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” as he frequently has in U.S. speeches. Instead, he called on the Muslim leaders to honestly confront “the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. “Will we be indifferent in the face of evil?” he asked.

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Iranians Head to Polls in First Vote Since Nuclear Deal

May 19, 2017 by · Comments Off on Iranians Head to Polls in First Vote Since Nuclear Deal 

Iranians voted Friday in the country’s first presidential election since its nuclear deal with world powers, as incumbent Hassan Rouhani faced a staunch challenge from a hard-line opponent over his outreach to the West. The election is largely viewed as a referendum on the 68-year-old cleric’s more moderate policies, which paved the way for the nuclear accord despite opposition from hard-liners. Economic issues also will be on the minds of Iran’s over 56 million eligible voters as they head to more than 63,000 polling places across the country. The average Iranian has yet to see the benefits of the deal, which saw Iran limit its contested nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

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UNICEF: One in Four Children in Arab World Lives in Poverty

May 17, 2017 by · Comments Off on UNICEF: One in Four Children in Arab World Lives in Poverty 

ArabwebVOA – A study by the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF shows that one in four children in the Middle East and North Africa lives in poverty and deprivation, lacking even the most basic necessities, such as proper housing and safe water. The study, released this week, covered 11 Arab countries and found that 29 million children live in poverty, deprived of two or more life necessities, including basic education, nutritious food, safe water, sanitation and access to information. The study, the first to collect data on child poverty across the region, found that lack of education is a key driver of poverty among the young. It says that “children who live in households that are headed by an uneducated family member are twice as likely to live in poverty. One-quarter of children aged 5 to 17 are not enrolled in school or have fallen two grades behind.”

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Trump Cites ‘Absolute Right’ as President to Share ‘Facts’ with Russians

May 16, 2017 by · Comments Off on Trump Cites ‘Absolute Right’ as President to Share ‘Facts’ with Russians 

TrumpRussianwebVOA – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his “absolute right” to share information with Russian officials at a White House meeting last week, pushing back against media accounts that he disclosed highly classified intelligence related to Islamic State. In early morning Twitter comments, Trump said he wanted to pass on “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” as he met in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s U.S. ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and urge Russia to “greatly step up up their fight” against Islamic State and terrorists.

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Will Proposed Wall Along Turkish-Iranian Border Keep Out Kurdish Separatists?

May 15, 2017 by · Comments Off on Will Proposed Wall Along Turkish-Iranian Border Keep Out Kurdish Separatists? 

turkishwebVOA – Ankara’s apparent intention to build a wall along its border with Iran is being met with skepticism by some regional experts who question its practicality and whether it will curb cross-border terrorism as Turkey intends. A report last week in the Hurriyet Daily News, written by a reporter close to the Turkish government, quoted unnamed Turkish authorities as saying the wall is necessary to keep out militants in Iran associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting the Turkish State for greater autonomy.

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