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-08-18 06:37Iran reform leader Karroubi ends hunger strikeIranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, under house arrest for six years, ended his hunger strike late Thursday after the government agreed to remove intelligence agents from his home.However, his demand to face trial -- he has never been charged since being placed under house arrest in 2011 -- appears no closer to being granted.
-08-18 05:56Saudi Arabia reopens border to Qatari pilgrims despite tensionsQatari hajj pilgrims began crossing into Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Saudi media reported, after Riyadh reopened the border in a move that Doha welcomed but saw as "politically motivated" as regional tensions simmer.The Salwa border crossing, a key passage for Muslims on the annual hajj pilgrimage, has been closed since June in a major diplomatic crisis that saw Riyadh and its regional allies cut relations with Doha over allegations that the emirate supported Islamist extremists.
-08-18 03:36Road to Europe gets harder for Europe-bound migrantsJouma and Abdulhameed told AFP how they fled civil war and a humanitarian crisis that has ravaged South Sudan.Their fellow boat companions Saeed and Ghanim recounted a harrowing escape from police violence and poverty in Sudan.
-08-17 13:41Criticism grows over Netanyahu's response to US neo-NazismThe issue highlighted Netanyahu's reluctance to be seen as criticising Trump, who has expressed strong support for Israel and whose rise to the presidency was welcomed by the Israeli premier, some analysts said.Netanyahu regularly speaks out against anti-Semitism in other countries, but the United States is Israel's most important ally, providing it with more than $3 billion per year in defence aid and important diplomatic backing.
-08-17 10:48Syria rebels lose heavyweight with collapse of Islamist factionThe group has been decimated by deadly fighting, with a former Al-Qaeda affiliate emerging the winner in the only Syrian province entirely beyond regime control.Clashes between the former allies broke out in mid-July when Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) attacked Ahrar positions across the northwestern province of Idlib.
-08-16 17:19Lebanon scraps reviled rape law after campaignA proposal to repeal Article 522 of the penal code -- which deals with rape, assault, kidnapping and forced marriage -- was introduced last year and approved by a parliamentary committee in February.On Wednesday, it was ratified by the full parliament, the official National News Agency and activist group ABAAD said.
-08-16 04:10Israeli firm offers 'anti-terrorism' adventure to touristsThe foreigners yell "fire, fire, fire" before shooting their automatic weapons as Israeli instructors look on -- but this is no military training.The 20 or so Jewish tourists from South America are on an "anti-terrorism" course run by former Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. Their targets are balloons nearby.
-08-15 17:33US slams foes and allies alike in religious freedom reportThe United States issued its annual religious freedom report on Tuesday, slamming allies and foes alike for their shortcomings at a time when its own record has come under fire.Launching the first report since President Donald Trump took office, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took swipes at Bahrain, China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Turkey.
-08-15 17:30Algeria's PM sacked after less than three months in office"President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Tuesday relieved Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune of his duties and appointed Ahmed Ouyahia", the president's chief of staff, in his place, the presidency said in a statement published by the official APS news agency.Bouteflika's National Liberation Front (FLN) and the Rally for National Democracy (RND) headed by Ouyahia together enjoy an absolute majority in parliament after winning re-election on May 4.
-08-15 17:07'Lot of time' needed to rebuild trust in Gulf, says Qatari foreign ministerQatar's foreign minister said Tuesday it will take a "lot of time" to rebuild any trust between sparring Gulf countries because of the region's continuing diplomatic crisis.As the impasse between Doha and four Arab states led by Saudi Arabia entered its 11th week, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said regional relations had been transformed by the dispute.