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US releases military aid to Egypt, cites national security

March 31st, 2015 No comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday released military aid to Egypt that was suspended after the 2013 overthrow of the government, in an effort to boost Cairo’s ability to combat the extremist threat in the region.
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Mideast powers trade blame as Yemen teeters

March 31st, 2015 No comments

A Yemeni man looks at the ruins of his house in Sanaa after it was destroyed in an air strike by Saudi-led coalition warplanes, on March 31, 2015Regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran traded accusations Tuesday over the escalating conflict in Yemen, which the UN rights chief warned was on the brink of "total collapse". The Huthi rebels and their ally, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, "decided with the support of Iran to destabilise Yemen," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said. Tehran hit back, accusing Riyadh of putting the entire Middle East in jeopardy. Iranian state media rejected as "utter lies" claims Tehran had sent arms to Yemen, but said it had dispatched non-military aid, including food and medicine.

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Statement ‘expected from Iran talks’

March 31st, 2015 No comments

Nuclear talks between world powers and Iran could go on past a midnight deadline, US officials say, as delegates prepare to issue a general statement.
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Al-Arabiyya TV: Saudi channel publishes photo ‘from Yemen’… but really from first Gulf war

March 31st, 2015 No comments
“The Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya has come under fire for publishing a fake photo online. On Monday, it posted the following photo to its official Twitter account. The description, in Arabic, reads: “Al Arabiya exclusive: Saudi Arabia’s Operation Decisive Storm destroys a Houthi military convoy in Saada [Yemen].”  There’s just one problem: that photo is an iconic photo from the first Gulf War. According to information provided by the US Department of Defense, which put the image in the public domain, it was taken by a military photographer on March 4, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. The photo shows Iraqi military vehicles that were destroyed by coalition forces.”

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University event questioning Israel’s right to exist is cancelled

March 31st, 2015 No comments
“A conference at the University of Southampton discussing the right of Israel to exist has been cancelled, say the organisers, who have accused the institution of bowing to pressure at the expense of free speech.

The conference, due to take place next month, described itself as “unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish state of Israel”, but critics denounced it as one-sided.

Among those who condemned the conference were the Jewish Board of Deputies, and MPs including Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, and Caroline Noakes, MP for Romsey and Southampton.

The Zionist Federation UK arranged a petition opposing its staging that attracted more than 6,400 signatures. A counter-petition signed by more than 800 academics, including from Oxbridge, Russell Group and US Ivy League universities, urged Southampton to resist the pressure.”

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Sisi, previously

March 31st, 2015 No comments
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APNewsBreak: France seizes moment to push for Mideast talks

March 31st, 2015 No comments

FILE - This Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015 file photo shows from left : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU President Donald Tusk and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas marching during a rally in Paris, France. France sees a window of opportunity after Israel’s elections to get the United States on board with a new push for Mideast peace, and is preparing to present a draft U.N Security Council resolution in about 12 days, according to French diplomatic officials. The draft would define the pre-1967 frontier as a reference point for border talks but allow room for exchanges of territory, designate Jerusalem as a capital of two states and call for a fair solution for Palestinian refugees, one official told The Associated Press on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool, File)PARIS (AP) — France sees a window of opportunity after Israel's elections to get the United States on board with a new push for Mideast peace, and is preparing a draft U.N Security Council resolution in about 12 days, according to French diplomatic officials.

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Iraqi forces in ‘major Tikrit push’

March 31st, 2015 No comments

Iraqi forces have made major advances against Islamic State (IS) in Tikrit – retaking the government headquarters, officials say.
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‘Good chance’ of Iran nuclear deal

March 31st, 2015 No comments

Russia’s foreign minister says prospects of a preliminary agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme are “very good” on the final day of intense talks.
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Experts caution reality check on joint Arab force

March 31st, 2015 No comments

Smoke and flames rise from an alleged weapons storage depot at a Shiite Huthi rebel camp after an airstrike by the Saudi-led alliance on March 30, 2015 in the Yemeni capital SanaaDespite an agreement at a weekend Arab summit to establish a joint military force, serious doubts remain that it will become a reality on the ground, experts say. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the accord on Sunday at the end of the summit he hosted in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, setting a four-month timeframe for the 22-member Arab League to decide on the composition and rules of engagement of the joint force. "The notion of a truly joint Arab military force still remains an aspiration rather than a reality," said Frederic Wehrey, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Despite the statements of unity, there are vast differences between the Arab states and that was evident with the situation in Yemen," he said.

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