Middle Orient

Hamas faces EU threat

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (Reuters) — The European Union could not fund a Hamas-run Palestinian Authority if it did not renounce violence and recognise Israel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Israel on Sunday. It was the most explicit threat to cut aid from Europe, the biggest donor to the Palestinians, since …

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Bombs kill 20 Iraqis, target churches

BAGHDAD (AFP) — At least 20 Iraqis were killed in rebel attacks and bombings on Sunday, including six coordinated car bombs set off near churches, while a roadside bombing wounded a US television news anchor and his cameraman. The latest rebel attacks came as the trial of ousted president Saddam …

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Major powers try to close ranks over Iran nuke issue

VIENNA (AFP) — The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany meet in London on Monday to try to bridge broad differences over the Iran nuclear programme, which the West fears is a covert grab for atomic weapons. The United States and three major European powers Britain, …

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US journalists seriously injured in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff and camera operator Doug Vogt were seriously injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq on Sunday, the US television network said. At the time of the blast, they were travelling with an Iraqi army unit in an Iraqi vehicle near Taji, near …

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Egypt downplays Hamas win, urges EU not to cut aid

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s foreign minister on Sunday urged the European Union to continue aid to the Palestinians, saying the situation was not as “dim” as some fear after the landslide election victory of Islamic group Hamas. In Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad met with Hamas’ political leader Khaled Mishaal …

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After years of fear, Algeria’s skiers return

TIKJDA, Algeria — Gazing at the cedar trees and snow-capped crags of this mountain ski resort, Abdenour Ouahi savours the delights of his sport. “When I’m here, I feel at peace. I have no problems,” said the 28-year old, breathless after making his favourite descent at the 1,478 metres (4,850 …

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Auditors say US-led occupation officials squandered millions meant for Iraq rebuilding

DUBAI (AP) — Iraqi money gambled away in the Philippines. Thousands spent on a swimming pool that was never used. An elevator repaired so poorly that it crashed, killing people. A US government audit found American-led occupation authorities squandered tens of millions of dollars that were supposed to be used …

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Israel braces for Hamas dominating Palestinian elections

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, huddled with top military and political officials Sunday to discuss the growing likelihood that Hamas could dominate this week’s Palestinian elections. The ascendance of Hamas has alarmed Israel, which appears to have been caught off guard by the group’s surging …

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