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Iraqi premier offers plan to trim criticized government

Iraq’s prime minister unveiled a bold plan Sunday to abolish three vice presidential posts and the offices of three deputy premiers, hoping to cut spending amid mass protests against his government as ISIS still holds a third of his nation. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Cabinet backed the plan, which still needs parliamentary approval, but it’s unclear whether it could end ...

Egyptians reject Qatar offer to mediate with Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptians “People & Government” have rejected an offer by Qatar to mediate with the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, focus of a government crackdown since the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president in 2013. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu-Zeid said on Sunday that Egypt does not accept any external interference in its internal affairs, underlining that authorities have declared the Brotherhood a ...

South Australia’s unemployment rate could reach 9 per cent in the next six months

South Australia’s unemployment rate could reach 9 per cent in the next six months, an economist has warned, after BHP Billiton announced it would axe about 380 jobs in the state. The mining giant has announced it will cut almost one tenth of its workforce at its Olympic Dam mine in outback South Australia, in what it calls “operational changes”. ...

Tony Smith has called for “a better parliament”

New Speaker Tony Smith has called for “a better parliament” in a break with the “rude” and “loud” politics that have reigned over the House of Representatives. Mr Smith, addressing parliament after he was elected unopposed this morning, said there was “a mutual obligation” between the Speaker and his fellow MPs. “I want to say at the outset I will ...

The deal between the United States and Turkey over the IS dilemma

As Turkey recently ‘joined’ the US assault on the IS militant group in Syria, their renewed attacks on PKK separatists have resulted in an end to a two-year peace treaty with the Kurdish Workers’ Party t looked like good news in the beginning, but the reality on the ground turned out to be different. The recent security arrangements between the ...

Egypt celebrates new Suez Canal and the Army is ready

Egypt will open an expansion to the Suez Canal to great fanfare on Thursday, the first of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s plans to revitalise the country’s economy after years of damaging political turmoil. World leaders, including dignitaries from neighbouring Arab nations such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Western countries such as French President Francois Hollande, are expected to ...

Pentagon: a “comprehensive battle” against ISIS would be soon

The United States has conducted its first drone strike into northern Syria from a base in Turkey, the Pentagon said Wednesday, ahead of what Ankara said would soon be a “comprehensive battle” against ISIS militants there. Also Wednesday, Syria’s foreign minister said Damascus would support efforts against ISIS, as long as the fight is coordinated with the Syrian government. Ending ...

Obama defends Iran nuclear deal against a furious lobbying effort

President Barack Obama defended the Iran nuclear deal Wednesday against a furious lobbying effort by political opponents and Israel, and said abandoning the agreement would open up the prospect of war. Invoking the Cold War peacemaking initiatives of former Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Obama said that if the U.S. Congress blocked the deal it would accelerate Tehran’s path ...

The defense minister extends terms of Army commander

The defense minister Wednesday night extended the terms of the Army commander, chief of staff and Intelligence head for more than one year each, political sources said, in a move likely to draw the ire of MP Michel Aoun, who has been pressing the government to appoint new military and security chiefs.

Tony Smith early front runner to replace Bronwyn Bishop

The Liberal Party has no intention of allowing the Nationals Bruce Scott become Speaker while Philip Ruddock lacks support as the jostling begins in earnest to replace Bronwyn Bishop. Sources have told The Australian Financial Review that the position will be filled by a Liberal and that the party room, not the Prime Minster, will decide. Early frontrunners include Victorian MPs Tony ...

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