Tuesday, 16 Jul 2019

American Woman Loses Custody Battle for Daughter in Saudi Arabia

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Bethany Vierra didn’t think she was asking for much. First, she wanted a divorce from a husband she described as abusive. Then she wanted to secure custody of her 4-year-old daughter, Zeina. Then she wanted a court order to receive child support from her ex-husband, a businessman. But as an American woman […]

Agony of Yazidi women torn between kids fathered by ISIS fighters or return home

BAADRE, IRAQ (AFP) – Freed after years in captivity, Ms Jihan Qassem faced an agonising ultimatum: abandon her three small children fathered by an ISIS fighter or risk being shunned by her community. “Of course I couldn’t bring them home. They’re Daesh (ISIS) children,” said Ms Qassem, 18, matter-of-factly, sitting in a sparse concrete structure […]

Israel minister defends ‘gay conversion therapy’

Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz has said he believes so-called “gay conversion therapy” can work, triggering widespread condemnation. “I think it’s possible,” Mr Peretz, an Orthodox rabbi, told Israel’s Channel 12 TV channel. He added that he had “a very deep familiarity with the issue”. PM Benjamin Netanyahu said such remarks were “unacceptable”. Other politicians […]

Pentagon says US plans naval escorts for Gulf tankers

The incoming US army chief says the US is trying to put together a coalition to provide escort to commercial shipping. The Pentagon said on Thursday it was discussing military escorts for vessels in the Gulf a day after Iranian vessels allegedly tried to block a United Kingdom oil tanker near the strategic Strait of […]

Gibraltar arrests captain, chief officer of seized Iranian tanker

Gibraltar had seized an Iranian oil tanker suspected by the UK of carrying two million barrels of crude oil to Syria. Police in Gibraltar said officers have arrested the captain and chief officer of the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, which was seized off the British-controlled territory last week for suspected breach of EU sanctions […]

Clashes kill 71 fighters in north-west Syria

BEIRUT (AFP) – Regime and Islamist-led forces were locked in clashes on Thursday (July 11) on the edge of an opposition bastion in north-west Syria after an extremist-led advance that killed 71 fighters overnight, a monitor said. Russian and regime aircraft have ramped up their deadly bombardment of the Idlib region – administered by Syria’s […]

US wants Senate-approved deal with Iran: US envoy Brian Hook

Senate-approved agreement with Iran should replace 2015 nuclear deal that Trump abandoned last year, US envoy says. The Trump administration wants a Senate-approved agreement with Iran to replace the 2015 nuclear deal that the US president withdrew from last year, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.  According to the Trump […]

New Kurdish PM says priority is stronger Baghdad ties, rather than independence

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Two years after a failed independence bid plunged Iraq’s Kurdistan Region into months of instability, the new regional prime minister said his priority was strengthening ties with Baghdad, signalling dreams of self-rule should be put on hold. Masrour Barzani, sworn in as regional prime minister on Wednesday (July 10), told Reuters […]

US silence on Khashoggi ‘not an option’

The US must act on a report into Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, a UN expert has warned. “Silence is not an option. Speaking up is required but not enough. We have to act,” Agnes Callamard, a human rights expert, said. Her investigation concluded that Khashoggi’s death at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in October […]

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration imposed sanctions on three senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon on Tuesday, accusing them of having a “malign agenda” to support the Iranian government. The sanctions were the first to directly target members of Lebanon’s Parliament and underscored the White House’s intention to ratchet up pressure on Iran by punishing groups […]