Middle Orient

‘Wild west’ a constant thorn for US troops

BAGHDAD — When it comes to peace and stability in Iraq, there may be no greater obstacle to success than Anbar province, a vast region of desert and scrubland stretching west from Baghdad. A huge sandy expanse dissected by a major highway, an oil pipeline and the Euphrates River, Anbar …

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Thousands risk starvation in south despite peace deal

KHARTOUM — Food supplies are critically low in many parts of southern Sudan, exposing thousands of people to starvation, the region’s leaders and humanitarian agencies have warned. They blame the looming crisis on a poor harvest, the return of thousands of refugees and the inability of humanitarian agencies to provide …

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Candidates challenge taboos

TEHRAN (AFP) — Two high-profile candidates for Iran’s presidency raised the stakes in their campaigns Wednesday, both evoking the taboo topic of relations with the United States and one challenging the status of the Islamic republic’s supreme leader. “We have to democratise the political system,” said Mohammad Reza Khatami, the …

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Dutch reject European constitution

THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch voters fired a second shot to the heart of the European project Wednesday, rejecting the first-ever EU constitution after a campaign that exposed deep divisions over the direction of Europe. Projections based on more than half the ballots cast in the referendum showed 62.6 per …

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3 Baghdad children die; toll grows

BAGHDAD (AP) — A mortar barrage killed three children and their uncle as they played together outside their south Baghdad home, the latest deaths in an insurgency that claimed a total of six lives Wednesday and showed no signs of slowing down. Twelve-year-old Sabaa Haitham, her younger brother Sajjad, 10, …

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Haddad-Adel: Majlis carefully supervising nuclear talks

The Majlis, on behalf of Iranian people, is exercising close supervision over the nuclear talks, said Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel here on Wednesday. Haddad Adel told reporters, “We stress peaceful use of nuclear energy as a right of the Iranian nation and consider confidence-building as being in line with …

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27 Dead in Afghan Mosque Blast

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Jun 1–A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 27 people including the police chief of the capital Kabul, witnesses and officials told AFP. The blast occurred as prayers were offered for an Islamic cleric who was shot dead …

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Second aid worker arrested over rape report

KHARTOUM (Reuters) — Sudan arrested a second aid worker from the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) aid agency on Tuesday over a report on hundreds of rapes in the troubled Darfur region, the agency said. Vince Hoedt, Darfur coordinator for MSF Holland, said he was under arrest and police were escorting …

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Zarqawi thumbs nose at US

DUBAI (AFP) — Iraq’s most wanted man Abu Musab Al Zarqawi has thumbed his nose at the Americans, in a message attributed to him on the Internet, and played up the threat of his alliance with Osama Ben Laden. Zarqawi said he was “lightly” wounded but still battling alongside his …

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Court delays ruling in death sentence AIDS case

TRIPOLI (AFP) — Libya’s high court on Tuesday delayed a ruling on an appeal by six foreign medics sentenced to death for infecting hundreds of children with the AIDS virus in a case that has raised international concern. Judge Ali Al Allush said the case involving five Bulgarian nurses and …

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