US meets Sudanese leaders to reaffirm support for democracy

CAIRO (REUTERS) – A US envoy underlined Washington’s support for a democratic transition to civilian rule in Sudan on Saturday (Oct 23) during talks with the head of its ruling council and the Prime Minister, the US embassy in Khartoum said. It tweeted that Mr Jeffrey Feltman, special envoy for the Horn of Africa, had also urged all sides to […]

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Gunfire in Beirut as Hizbollah supporters protest against blast investigator

BEIRUT (REUTERS) – Heavy gunfire was heard in Beirut on Thursday (Oct 14) near an area where supporters of the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hizbollah and its allies were gathering to protest against the judge investigating last year’s catastrophic port explosion. People ran for cover as shots and ambulance sirens could be heard in a live broadcast by Lebanon’s al-Jadeed TV. […]

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EU envoy to visit Iran amid push to revive nuclear talks

TEHERAN (AFP) – The European Union envoy charged with coordinating talks on reviving a troubled nuclear deal between Iran and major powers is to visit Teheran on Thursday (Oct 14), the Iranian foreign ministry said. Mr Enrique Mora’s visit “is a follow-up to consultations between the two sides on matters of shared interest, particularly Iran-EU relations, Afghanistan and the nuclear […]

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Iraqi forces capture deputy of ISIS slain leader Baghdadi

DUBAI (REUTERS) – Iraq has captured Sami Jasim, a high-ranking member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said on Twitter on Monday (Oct 11). Jasim was in charge of the group’s finance and a deputy of slain leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “While our (Iraqi security forces) heroes focused on securing the elections, […]

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Turning trauma into a tune: Egyptian band helps women tackle taboos

CAIRO (THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION) – Misogyny, child marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM): not the usual topics one may expect to inspire a band in Egypt. But a feminist duo – ElBouma, or The Owl in Arabic – is blending old melodies, new rhythms, and bold lyrics to critique abuses faced by women and girls in their broadly conservative north African […]

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Iran says it asked US to unfreeze US$10 billion to show good will

DUBAI (REUTERS) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday (Oct 2) that US officials tried to discuss restarting nuclear talks last month, but he insisted Washington must first release US$10 billion (S$13 billion) of Teheran’s frozen funds as a sign of good will. Iran has rejected direct talks with the United States, and indirect talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear […]

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Qatar holds first legislative elections

DOHA (REUTERS) – Qataris go to the polls on Saturday (Oct 2) in the Gulf Arab state’s first legislative elections, to choose two-thirds of the advisory Shura Council in a vote that has stirred domestic debate about electoral inclusion and citizenship. Thirty members of the 45-seat body will be elected, while the ruling emir will continue to appoint the remaining […]

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