Killing of Iraq expert stirs fear of new violent phase

BAGHDAD (AFP) – The killing of jihadism expert Hisham al-Hashemi has stirred fears Iraq is entering a dark and violent phase, as boiling tensions between pro-Iran factions and the government reach new heights. Mr Hisham, 47, was gunned down outside his home in east Baghdad late Monday (July 6) by masked assailants on motorcycles. While the perpetrators remain on the […]

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Dubai reopens doors to tourists after long coronavirus shutdown

DUBAI (AFP) – With a “welcome” passport sticker and coronavirus tests on arrival, Dubai reopened its doors to international visitors on Tuesday (July 7) in the hope of reviving its tourism industry after a nearly four-month closure. But businesses are mainly betting on those already living in the gleaming desert city to energise its ailing economy and serve as a […]

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Factory blast near Iran's capital kills two in latest explosion

Tuesday’s blast reportedly caused by ‘human error’ and was the latest in a series of fires and explosions. Two people were killed in an explosion at a factory south of Tehran on Tuesday, the latest in a series of fires and explosions, some of which have hit sensitive sites. State news agency IRNA reported “human error” was the cause of […]

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Jordan slaps wristbands on arrivals to monitor coronavirus quarantine

AMMAN (AFP) – Jordan have begun putting electronic bracelets on travellers who recently arrived in the kingdom to ensure that they observe home-quarantine against the spread of coronavirus, an official said. People arriving in Jordan from Saturday (July 4) must isolate for 14 days at hotels designated by the authorities on the shores of the Dead Sea, west of the […]

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Fires flare at Iranian power plant, latest in series of incidents

Fire in Iran’s southwest city of Ahvaz comes after three similar incidents took place since June 26. A fire broke out at a power station in southwest Iran on Saturday, the latest of several blazes and explosions to hit sensitive sites. The blaze, which affected a transformer in the power station in the city of Ahvaz, was put out by […]

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Jamal Khashoggi murder trial told oven was lit after killing

ISTANBUL (REUTERS) – A Saudi consulate worker in Istanbul told a Turkish court on Friday (July 3) he had been asked to light a tandoor oven less than an hour after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the building where he was killed. Zeki Demir, a local technician who worked for the consulate, was giving evidence on the first day of […]

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Hatice Cengiz appears at Jamal Khashoggi's murder trial in Turkey

Turkish court opens trial of 20 Saudi nationals, including two former aides to crown prince, over killing of journalist. The fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi has told a Turkish court the Washington Post columnist was lured to his death at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul through “a great betrayal and deception”, and has asked that all people responsible for his killing […]

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Iran reports 'accident' at nuclear site, warns enemies

TEHERAN (AFP) – Teheran on Thursday (July 2) reported an “accident” at Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran, saying there were no casualties or radioactive pollution, and warned foes – especially Israel – against hostile actions. There was “no nuclear material (at the damaged warehouse) and no potential of pollution,” the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation Behrouz Kamalvandi told […]

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