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For Iran, Qatar Crisis Is a Welcome Distraction

TEHRAN — Iran’s leaders have been noticeably restrained in their response to the Qatar crisis, and for good reason, analysts say. Not only have they welcomed it, they would be happy to see it quietly drag on. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar last month for what they said was its financing of ...

Egypt extends state of emergency; bomb kills three

CAIRO/ISMAILIA: Egypt’s Parliament Tuesday approved an extension of a nationwide state of emergency until the end of September as a police officer and two conscripts were killed by a roadside bomb in the Sinai where Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency. Parliament unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency in April, giving the authorities greater powers to crack down on what ...

Australia census: Five takeaways from a changing country

Modern Australia has been built on immigration, and the latest census confirms this, finding that almost half (49%) of all Australians were born overseas or had at least one parent born abroad. But fewer of those arriving in Australia are coming from Europe – once the dominant source of migrants for a country that restricted immigration until the 1970s under ...

U.N. goes stealth to help rebuild ISIS-ravaged Iraq

WASHINGTON — U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are close to tearing the city of Mosul out of ISIS’ stranglehold. Once they do, the sprawling city will join dozens of other towns and villages that need to be rebuilt virtually from the ground up. A vast swath of northern Iraq is reeling from violence and destruction that has forced almost 900,000 people to flee their ...

IRAN SAYS WILL ACT ON US COURT RULING ON TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN

TEHRAN – Iran said on Wednesday it would take “reciprocal action” in response to the US Supreme Court allowing a partial implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries. Lower US courts had completely blocked Trump’s executive order issued on 6 March, which includes a blanket 90-day ban on people from countries including Iran and Libya and a 120-day ...

Iran accuses US of ‘brazen’ plan to change its government

Iran is accusing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of “a brazen interventionist plan” to change the current government that violates international law and the U.N. Charter. Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Tuesday that Tillerson’s comments are also “a flagrant violation” of the 1981 Algiers Accords in which the United States pledged “not ...

EGYPT: PRESIDENT ABDEL-FATTAH EL-SISSI IS BULLYING RIVALS SUCH AS KHALED ALI AHEAD OF HIS RE-ELECTION BID

If Khaled Ali is worried, he isn’t showing it. Sitting behind a wooden desk in his office in downtown Cairo, the prominent human rights attorney is discussing his case with the calm remove of a lawyer defending his client. Only this time, Ali is the one on trial. In May, Egyptian authorities arrested Ali, a possible presidential candidate in the ...

Saudis say elite Iranian troops seized with weapons at sea

Saudi Arabia says it has detained three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards after intercepting a boat loaded with weapons, heightening tensions between the regional powers. The vessel was one of three intercepted in the kingdom’s waters while heading towards the Marjan oilfield, the Saudi information ministry said late on Monday. The Revolutionary Guards are an elite force within Iran’s military ...

Egypt islands deal with Saudi pits government against courts

CAIRO — The past week’s tempestuous parliament approval of a deal transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia is putting Egypt’s government at odds with the judiciary and providing the country’s battered opposition with a nationalist cause to whip up at a time of growing economic distress. The surprise 2016 deal to hand over the islands of Tiran and ...

Glencore makes counterbid for Rio Tinto’s Australian coal assets

Glencore has gatecrashed a planned Chinese takeover of Rio Tinto’s Australian coal business, tabling a $2.55bn counter-offer that pitches Ivan Glasenberg, its dealmaking chief executive, into a new bid battle. The move shows the Swiss-based miner and commodity trader, which was almost brought to its knees just two years ago by the commodity downturn, has lost none of its appetite ...

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