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War and Conflict

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Lawmakers Aqsa Visits Spark Palestinians, Jordan Anger

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Lawmakers Aqsa Visits Spark Palestinians, Jordan Anger

Another Israeli legislator, Ahmad Tibi, also accused the right-wing Israeli lawmakers of seeking to change the status quo of the site.

“The Arab MKs come to their home, to their mosque. But the right-wing extremist MKs storm the mosque with the protection of … police, and they are the same ones who want to change the status quo to allow them to pray in the courtyard of the mosque,” he added.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: United Nations Condemns North Korea Missile Launch, Pyongyang Remains Defiant

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: United Nations Condemns North Korea Missile Launch, Pyongyang Remains Defiant

China’s and Russia’s ambassadors to the United Nations said they opposed any unilateral sanctions on North Korea and reiterated calls to halt deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

“I certainly hope that we’ll be able to have a strong resolution following up this … statement,” Japan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Koro Bessho, told reporters after the meeting.

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: ‘Saudi War on Yemen Absolute Policy Failure’

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: ‘Saudi War on Yemen Absolute Policy Failure’

“Most people in the United States and in the West believe that as Yemen becomes more and more destabilized, if the Houthi rebels are successful in taking over more and more of the country, once they have consolidated their gains, consolidated their power, then they would turn their power northward towards Saudi Arabia in terms of destabilizing that country. That is something that the United States and most of the West view as completely unacceptable,” the analyst said.

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UK POLITICS: UK Secretly Selling Used Military Aircraft to Bahrain: Report

UK POLITICS: UK Secretly Selling Used Military Aircraft to Bahrain: Report

“Bahrain has sent F-16 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia to support Yemen operations, so I think that’s how these C-130s will be used, as well as hunting safaris for the King,” an aviation source with knowledge of the sale told the British news outlet.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘Overwhelming Force’: South Korea Conducts Bombing Drill in Response to North Korea Missile Test

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘Overwhelming Force’: South Korea Conducts Bombing Drill in Response to North Korea Missile Test

South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, said the bombing drill was ordered immediately after the National Security Council meeting convened to discuss possible counter measures Seoul could take against Pyongyang’s ballistic missile provocation.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Israel Plans to Change Jerusalem al-Quds Demographic Make-Up

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israel Plans to Change Jerusalem al-Quds Demographic Make-Up

According to the report, the first part of the plan involves the deployment of 1,250 new policemen to Jerusalem al-Quds and the installation of thousands of cameras there, including in the Old City.

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INDIA POLITICS: Indian Military Withdrawal From Himalayas Border Region Pleases China

INDIA POLITICS: Indian Military Withdrawal From Himalayas Border Region Pleases China

“I am pleased to confirm that trespassing Indian personnel have all pulled back to the Indian side … [and] Chinese troops continue to patrol on the Chinese side of the border,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

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LEBANON POLITICS: Changes to Proposed US Anti-Hezbollah Sanctions Allay Lebanon’s Fears

LEBANON POLITICS: Changes to Proposed US Anti-Hezbollah Sanctions Allay Lebanon’s Fears

Lebanon’s government, central bank and private banks have lobbied U.S. politicians and banks hard this year – and continue to do so – to persuade Washington to balance its tough anti-Hezbollah stance with the need to preserve stability.

Their main message has been that the last thing needed by the United States, which backs the Lebanese army in its fight against Islamic State and other militants spilling over from Syria, is another failed state in the Middle East.

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VENEZUELA POLTICS: Maduro Launches War Games in Face of Trump Military Intervention Threat

VENEZUELA POLTICS: Maduro Launches War Games in Face of Trump Military Intervention Threat

Trump warned earlier this month that the United States was mulling a range of options against Venezuela, “including a possible military option if necessary.” War planes, tanks and 200,000 troops of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) deployed along with 700,000 reservists and civilians as socialist President Nicolas Maduro launched two days of military exercises on Saturday.

“Yankees out!” 60-year-old Erica Avendano yelled as she bashed a rag dummy with her rifle on an assault course. “I hope nothing will happen, but we are ready for anything,” she told AFP.

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YEMEN POLITICS: Air Raid Kills at Least 12, Including Six Children

YEMEN POLITICS: Air Raid Kills at Least 12, Including Six Children

“Such loss of civilian life is outrageous and runs counter to the basic tenets of the law of armed conflict,” the deputy head of ICRC’s delegation in Yemen, Carlos Morazzani, said after visiting the site. “From what we saw on the ground, there was no apparent military target.”

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinian Officials to Britain: Recognize Independent Palestinian State

PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinian Officials to Britain: Recognize Independent Palestinian State

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said:

“Britain … and the rest of the world have to obligate the Israeli government to accept the principle of [the so-called] two states based on the June 4, 1967 borders, that is an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital … and a halt to all Israeli colonial activities.”

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MYANMAR POLITICS: Rohingya Villagers Blockaded Amid Tensions in Myanmar’s Rakhine: Residents

MYANMAR POLITICS: Rohingya Villagers Blockaded Amid Tensions in Myanmar’s Rakhine: Residents

Police said Rakhine Buddhist villagers were restricting the amount of food the Rohingya could buy, but denied their movement around the village and access to work had been blocked.

“I think they are just afraid and aren’t going out,” said Myanmar police headquarters spokesman Colonel Myo Thu Soe.

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IRAQ POLTICS: UN Aid Workers Urge Safe Passage for Civilians Fleeing Northern Iraq Ahead of Battle

IRAQ POLTICS: UN Aid Workers Urge Safe Passage for Civilians Fleeing Northern Iraq Ahead of Battle

Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told journalists in Geneva about the ongoing operations to retake the city. “We fear that Iraqi civilians are likely to be held as human shields again and that attempts to flee could result in executions/shootings. Many talk of seeing dead bodies along the way, and there are reports that some were killed by extremist groups. Others appear to have died due to dehydration or illnesses.

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WORLD POLITICS: North Korea, US Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Weapons

WORLD POLITICS: North Korea, US Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Weapons

North Korea’s envoy told the same forum the North’s nuclear deterrent would never be up for negotiation, echoing Pyongyang’s regular denunciation of U.S. “aggression”.

“The measures taken by the DPRK to strengthen its nuclear deterrence and develop inter-continental rockets is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of such apparent and real threats,” diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the forum, referring to “constant nuclear threats” by the United States.

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LIBYA POLITICS: Armed Group Stopping Migrant Boats Leaving Libya

LIBYA POLITICS: Armed Group Stopping Migrant Boats Leaving Libya

The power of the smuggling networks would not be broken until there was a “legitimate source of order” in Libya, said a senior diplomat, speaking of the change in Tripoli airport and comparing the situation to broken vase.

“In one corner we stuck it together, but everything else is in pieces.”

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IRAN POLITICS: Political Geography Change in Iraq Creates Regional Insecurity: Major General Mohammad Baqeri

IRAN POLITICS: Political Geography Change in Iraq Creates Regional Insecurity: Major General Mohammad Baqeri

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said, “Any geographical change in the region, given the differences between the Kurds and the central Iraqi government about [the country’s northern province of] Kirkuk and other areas, can start tensions and conflicts inside Iraq and this issue will never be confined to Iraq’s geographical expanse.”

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USA POLITICS: Trump to Present Vision for US Strategy in Afghanistan War

USA POLITICS: Trump to Present Vision for US Strategy in Afghanistan War

“I took over a mess, and we’re going to make it a lot less messy,” President Donald Trump said when asked about Afghanistan earlier this month.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: US, South Korea Begin Computer-Simulated Drills Which North Korea Says Aimed at Nuclear War

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: US, South Korea Begin Computer-Simulated Drills Which North Korea Says Aimed at Nuclear War

North Korea views such exercises as preparations for invasion and has fired missiles and taken other actions to show its anger over military drills in the past. North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

“This is aimed to ignite a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula at any cost. The situation on the Korean peninsula has plunged into a critical phase due to the reckless north-targeted war racket of the war maniacs.,” the North’s KCNA news agency said.

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IRAQ POLITICS: Kurds Might Put Off Independence Referendum in Return for Concessions From Baghdad: Official

IRAQ POLITICS: Kurds Might Put Off Independence Referendum in Return for Concessions From Baghdad: Official

The Kurds have been seeking an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East and left Kurdish-populated territory split between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Turkey, Iran and Syria, which together with Iraq have sizeable Kurdish communities, all oppose an independent Kurdistan. Prime Minister Abadi’s government has rejected the planned referendum as “unilateral” and unconstitutional.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Army Crushing Terrorists: Assad

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Army Crushing Terrorists: Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says, “We have managed to foil the Western project. West is like a chameleon due to its behavior to fit different situations. The psychological war against the Damascus government has failed to discourage us from fighting terrorism or even frighten us… We have fought terror since day one, and we will continue to fight it until there is no terrorist in Syria…”

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