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Russia defers one crisis in Syria, but is embroiled in another

A RUSSIAN-BACKED offensive to retake Idlib, the last big rebel-held stronghold in Syria, seemed imminent only a few days ago. Russia had expanded its fleet of warships off the Syrian coast. Regime troops were massing at the perimeter of the province. Russian jets had begun to bomb rebel targets and destroy hospitals. UN officials were warning of the biggest humanitarian ...

‘Sexist, unsafe’ world experienced by young girls

An “alarmingly high” number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK. The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone. More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said. But ...

Iran Sanctions Are Damaging The Dollar

Painful sanctions on Iran have demonstrated the long reach of the U.S. Treasury, forcing much of the globe to fall in line and cut oil imports from Iran despite widespread disagreement over the policy. Yet, we are only in the first few chapters of what may ultimately be a long story that ends with the erosion of the power of ...

Iran Hawks Could Make a Bad Situation Worse

ne of U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief foreign-policy objectives is to persuade or force the Iranian government to abandon policies that pose a threat to U.S. interests—namely, the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs as well as its support for terrorists in the region. To this end, the administration has pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal achieved ...

Trump’s tough line on Iran risks backlash at U.N.

Donald Trump sees the U.N. General Assembly as a chance to condemn Iran — but U.S. allies plan to tell the president he’s the problem. Donald Trump sees next week’s main session of the United Nations General Assembly as a chance to condemn Iran for spreading what he’s called “chaos and terror” through the Middle East. But many key U.S. allies ...

Hundreds of Syrians ‘Voluntarily’ Return Home from Lebanon

Hundreds of Syrian refugees started their return journey from Lebanon “voluntarily” on Tuesday morning, following previous rounds of these controversial returns.  The returns are being organised by Lebanon’s General Security agency in cooperation with the Syrian regime. The refugees gathered at pick up points across Lebanon on Tuesday morning to return to their home country, the state-run National News Agency reported. Around ...

Protests grow as Aoun, Hariri seek end to Lebanon impasse

BEIRUT: A Lebanese man demonstrating outside the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs in Beirut inflicted cuts on his body in protest against his “bad living situation.” The man, in his 60s, sat in front of security forces guarding the ministry offices as he made his protest. An employee at the ministry told Arab News that “it is not the first incident ...

Israeli Jets Fly over Lebanon in Rare Daytime Raid on Syria

DAMASCUS, SYRIA —  Israeli jets flying high over Lebanon struck at targets inside Syria on Tuesday, Syrian state media reported, in a rare daytime raid that killed at least one person. Syria’s SANA state news agency said the country’s air defenses shot down five missiles, adding that one person was killed and 12 others were wounded. It reported strikes on ...

Louvre Abu Dhabi postpones display of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has indefinitely postponed the unveiling of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the world’s most expensive painting, which has been the subject of intense speculation over its acquisition and authenticity. The United Arab Emirates capital’s department of culture and tourism, which was revealed as the owner of the work after an extraordinarily tense auction at Christie’s New York in November, ...

World Court weighs Britain’s claim to Chagos Islands

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Mauritius tried to persuade judges at the World Court on Monday to find that it was illegally stripped by Britain of another Indian Ocean archipelago, the Chagos Islands, now home to a major U.S. air base. The case at the International Court of Justice in the Hague is a test of whether colonial-era deals struck by ...