Middle Orient

1st Kuwaiti woman minister breaks psychological barrier

KUWAIT CITY — In early March last year, women rights activist Maasuma Al Mubarak was leading a rally outside parliament to press MPs to pass a law enfranchising Kuwaiti women. Three months later, the US-educated liberal academic became Kuwait’s first woman minister, scoring the second coup in as many months …

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Iraq MPs to meet amid violence

BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iraqi President Jalal Talabani announced Saturday that parliament will soon hold its first session since December elections in a bid to form a unity government and foil extremist efforts to trigger a civil war.His comments followed a meeting with the head of regional US Central Command, General …

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Lebanese leaders meet amid sharp divisions

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s rival leaders on Thursday overcame differences relating to the consequences of the assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri as they sat together for the first time to resolve divisions that still remain following the end of Syrian domination.The leaders — Muslim and Christian, pro- and anti-Syrian …

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Kurds, Sunnis veto Jaafari

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen attacked the disabled car of Iraq’s top Sunni politician on Thursday, killing one bodyguard and wounding five after the Sunni leader sped away in another vehicle. Thirty-five other people died in a new round of violence.

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Somali fighting toll climbs to 33

MOGADISHU (AFP) — At least 15 people were killed and 23 wounded Tuesday in fighting between gunmen loyal to warlords controlling the Somali capital and Islamic court security militia, witnesses and medical sources said.This brings the death toll to 33 and dozens wounded since the clashes erupted on Saturday, pitting …

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US pushes for Sudan resolution by the end of February

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — US Ambassador John Bolton accused the United Nations and some Security Council members on Monday of moving too slowly towards setting up a UN peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.Bolton expressed frustration with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and UN officials over the pace of …

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Campaign to unseat pro-Syrian president threatens to plunge Lebanon in chaos

BEIRUT — Buoyed by recent street protests, the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority is starting a big push to try to oust President Emile Lahoud, Damascus’ top ally in Lebanon. But they have limited tools — and their drive is already splitting the country and threatening to plunge it into chaos. Although …

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Jaafari rejects US sectarian warning

Car bomb kills at least 21BAGHDAD (Reuters) — A car bomb killed at least 21 people in Baghdad on Tuesday hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari angrily dismissed US warnings to shun sectarianism in the country’s new government. The blast in the southern Dora district, the bloodiest in …

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Roadside bombs kill US soldier, at least 11 Iraqis

BAGHDAD (AP) — A spate of roadside bombings in Baghdad and north of the capital killed a US soldier and at least 11 Iraqis Saturday, officials said. Two Macedonians were kidnapped in southern Iraq, while a search is on for a private German plane missing in the north. An Iraqi …

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Sudan refutes Rice’s claim of ongoing Darfur genocide

KHARTOUM (Reuters) — Sudan’s government on Saturday rejected US accusations that genocide was ongoing in its Darfur region and said it was discussing allowing a robust UN force to take over from African peace monitors there.US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday said genocide was continuing in Darfur through …

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