An Important News

Islamic State poured more fighters into Ramadi

Islamic State poured more fighters into Ramadi as security forces and Shi’ite paramilitaries prepared to try to retake the Iraqi city, while Washington scrambled to reassure Baghdad after a U.S. official’s sharp criticism of Iraqi forces. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned Iraqi troops’ will to fight when ...

Sydney siege gunman inquest revealed his multiple failed attempts

A self-styled sheikh behind a deadly siege at an Australian cafe had “grandiose delusions” and was kicked out of a motorcycle gang because he was deemed too weird, an inquest heard Monday. Man Haron Monis shot and killed 34-year-old cafe manager Tori Johnson with a sawn-off shotgun following a 17-hour standoff at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in central Sydney last ...

More than 500 have died in India from heatwave

More than 500 people have died in India from a days-long heatwave that has seen temperatures nudging 50 degrees Celsius, officials say. Officials warned the toll was likely to rise, with figures still being collected in some parts of the hard-hit Telangana state in the south of the country, and with no end in sight to the searing conditions. Large ...

Merkel to meet Egyptian president amid rights criticism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel still plans to meet Egypt’s president when he visits next month, her spokesman said Wednesday, after Germany’s parliament speaker called off his talks citing rights violations. The parliament speaker, Norbert Lammert, said on Tuesday that he had written to the Egyptian ambassador in Berlin cancelling his meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi due to human rights ...

Hezbollah said Syria ‘will kill’ Hariri, STL hears

Just weeks before Rafik Hariri was assassinated, two high-ranking Hezbollah officials expressed shock that the former prime minister had refused requests made by the Syrian government, Hani Hammoud told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Wednesday. Hammoud, who served as a media adviser to Hariri, said in early January 2005 that veteran journalist Nassir al-Asaad approached him saying he wanted to ...

Damascus cedes Palmyra to ISIS

ISIS militants stormed the Syrian city of Palmyra Wednesday, seizing it from government forces in fierce fighting as Syria’s antiquities chief called on the world to save its ancient monuments. Syrian state television said late Wednesday that the jihadis were entering the famous antiquities area to the southwest of the modern city of Tadmur. The capture of Palmyra is the ...

Yemeni Houthis back U.N. peace talks

The leader of Yemen’s rebels has backed U.N.-hosted peace talks on the conflict roiling the country, hours after the world body announced they would start in Geneva next week. The talks are aimed at defusing the deepening crisis in the southern Arabian Peninsula, where Saudi-led forces killed at least 15 Houthis in the latest airstrikes of a campaign to restore ...

Aoun’s presidential initiative hits dead end

MP Michel Aoun’s latest initiative to resolve the yearlong presidential crisis appeared Wednesday to have reached a dead end, with the Future Movement, backed by its March 14 allies, opposing any constitutional amendment to allow for the president to be elected directly by the people. The development comes as MPs from Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc met Wednesday with lawmakers ...

Malaysian PM orders rescue of migrant boats

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Najib Razak said Thursday he had ordered the Malaysian navy and coastguard to conduct search and rescue operations for boats carrying stricken migrants including ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar. “I have further ordered (the) Royal Malaysian Navy and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to conduct search and rescue efforts for Rohingya boats. We have to prevent loss of ...

Syria’s Assad praises Iran’s support as ‘key pillar’

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday praised Iran’s support as a “key pillar” in his fight against rebels, as a third Iranian official visited Damascus in less than a week. The visits come after several military losses for the Syrian government and as Tehran negotiates a key nuclear deal with the United States, which backs the rebels fighting Assad. “The ...

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