'Rioters' shot and killed at protests, Iran admits for first time

State TV describes killings by security forces and again denies ‘fabricated’ death toll by ‘hostile groups’. Iranian state television has acknowledged security forces shot and killed what it described as “rioters” in multiple cities amid recent protests over the spike in government-set petrol prices. It was the first time authorities offered any sort of accounting for the violence used to […]

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Jesus's manger relic back in Holy Land

The Christian community in Jerusalem this weekend celebrated the return to the Holy Land of a tiny wooden relic they believe was part of Jesus’s manger – nearly 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope. The thumb-sized relic was yesterday sent to its permanent home at the Franciscan Church of St Catherine, next […]

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More than a dozen Pakistanis killed in Jordan Valley farm fire

Fire broke out in corrugated iron sheds where two Pakistani families lived in village of al-Shuna al-Janobia. At least 13 Pakistanis have died when a fire swept through their makeshift residences on a farming estate in the Jordan Valley, officials said. The Middle Eastern country’s civil defence said in a statement that the fire broke out early on Monday in […]

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Iraqi prime minister resigns in deepening political crisis

NAJAF, IRAQ (NYTIMES) – Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi of Iraq formally submitted his resignation to Parliament on Saturday (Nov 30) and asked lawmakers in a televised national address to quickly agree on a successor. But Mr Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation may not spell the end of the turmoil that has racked the nation over the past two months. Parliament is scheduled to […]

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Iraqi MPs accept premier Abdul-Mahdi's resignation amid ongoing violence

BAGHDAD (AP, AFP) – Iraq’s Parliament approved the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Sunday (Dec 1), amid ongoing violence and anti-government demonstrations in the capital that saw one protester shot dead. Protesters also continued to close roads, including those leading to a major commodities port, in mass demonstrations in southern Iraq. Parliament enacted Mr Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation without putting […]

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Smog in Iran shuts schools, universities

TEHERAN (AFP) – Air pollution forced the closure of schools and universities on Saturday (Nov 30) in parts of Iran, including the capital Teheran, which was cloaked by a cloud of toxic smog, state media reported. The young and elderly, as well as people with respiratory illnesses, were warned to stay indoors, and sporting activities were suspended for the start […]

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Iraqi PM announces resignation after call from top Shi'ite cleric

BAGHDAD • Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi yesterday announced his resignation, after the country’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric called for lawmakers to reconsider their support for a government rocked by weeks of deadly anti-establishment unrest. “In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to Parliament a demand (to accept) […]

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Protesters shot dead as violence continues across Iraq

At least seven people reported to have been shot dead, officials said, hours after PM’s announcement to step down. Violence has continued in the capital Baghdad and southern Iraq with reports of at least seven protesters killed despite Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announcing his intention to resign. Security and hospital officials said one protester was killed and 18 wounded on […]

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Palestinian teen shot dead by Israel in southern Gaza Strip

Fahd al-Astal, 16, died after being shot in stomach east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, ministry of health said. A Palestinian teenager has been killed and five others wounded by Israeli fire in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. According to Gaza’s ministry of health, 16-year-old Fahd al-Astal died after he was shot in the stomach by the Israeli […]

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