An Important News Mobile 2

Iraq’s Muslims celebrate Christmas in solidarity with Christians

BAGHDAD — With every year, Christmas in Baghdad is marked with more festivities than the year before. Is this merely a celebration of joy or a deep expression of solidarity with the threatened Christian minorit Commercial streets such Karada, al-Mansour, Palestine and Zaytouna are adorned with Christmas trees and Santa Claus. Zawraa park in the center of the capital is hosting ...

Iran scores victories but faces limits

TEHRAN: Iran has scored a string of victories across the Middle East, and decades of isolation mean it is well-placed to weather the uncertainties of a Trump presidency. But fears that it could dominate the region are overblown, experts say. Having rarely commented on its role in the Syrian conflict, Tehran has been suddenly full of self-congratulation at the imminent ...

Australia’s 10 most dangerous stretches of highway revealed

Three parts of Queensland’s Pacific Motorway have been ranked among the 10 most dangerous stretches of highway in Australia. The Australian Automobile Association released its Australian road assessment program report on Wednesday, pinpointing the locations of crashes that led to 15,339 casualties and more than 900 deaths on Australian highways between 2010 and 2014. Nine of the 10 most dangerous ...

Cash in hand: how big is Australia’s black economy?

The Australian government has announced a taskforce to “crack down on the black economy”, with a panel reportedly to consider measures such as removing the $100 note from circulation and limiting cash transactions above a certain limit. So what is the “black economy”, and what is it composed of? In her press release, the minister for revenue and financial services, ...

Second Sydney airport critical, says Tourism Australia boss

Sydney’s long-awaited second airport at Badgerys Creek is critical to the nation’s economy and tourism industry, Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan says. “Its hugely important because of the fact that airports are our gateways, not only for international traffic but also domestic traffic,” Mr O’Sullivan said on the sidelines of a tourism industry event in Sydney. “They create jobs, ...

Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead in Ankara art gallery

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has been shot dead by a police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” as he pulled the trigger. The chilling attack on Monday evening, which was captured on video, appeared to be a backlash against Russian military involvement in the Syrian civil war. Andrei Karlov was attacked at the opening of an art exhibition in ...

Yemen crisis: An Iranian-Saudi battleground?

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Yemen is fast descending into a violent cauldron where the competing interests of Shia Houthi rebels, Sunni tribes, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, Iran, al-Qaeda and now Islamic State are forming a toxic mix. The situation has got so bad that the US and UK have closed their embassies and evacuated their staff, while ...

IS suicide bomb kills 48 Yemen soldiers in payday queue

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG A suicide bomber has killed at least 48 soldiers and wounded another 84 in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden. The soldiers were queuing up to receive salaries near al-Sawlaban military base when the attacker struck. The bomber immersed himself in the crowd of soldiers at the base in al-Arish district, an official said. So-called ...

Indonesia air force plane crashes, killing all 13 on board

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG An Indonesian air force Hercules C-130 aeroplane has crashed in remote Papua province in the east of the country, killing everyone on board. Three pilots and 10 other military personnel died, officials say. Air force chief of staff Agus Supriatna told MetroTV that bad weather was suspected to have caused the crash. The Hercules was carrying ...

Australians roll down lawns of Parliament House to protest against fence

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Hundreds of Australians have gathered to roll on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra, in protest against plans to build a security fence there. Under new anti-terror measures, a 2.6-metre barrier could soon block public access to the much-loved grassy space. The mass tumble took place on Saturday morning, after news of the event spread ...