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Jordan and Israel’s 25-year peace deal under more strain than ever

Unpopular but enduring treaty faces new test in form of Donald Trumps plan for Middle East This month, without a shot being fired, Israel gave up land to an Arab neighbour. The flag of Jordan was raised above Baqoura and al-Ghamr, two tracts along the kingdoms border with Israel, recognised as Jordanian land but leased to the Jewish state as part of a landmark 1994 peace deal between the two countries. The bloodless handover of the territories, as well as Jordans staunch refusal to renew Israeli leases on them, was…

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Mummified lion and dozens of cats among rare finds in Egypt

Discoveries near Saqqara necropolis shed light on ancient use of animals in worship A rare discovery of mummified big cats, cobras and crocodiles has been unveiled by Egyptian authorities. Egyptologists are thrilled at the cache, which includes dozens of mummified cats, 75 wooden and bronze cat statues, mummified birds, and an enormous mummified beetle three to four times the normal size. Egyptian officials hoped that the announcement would help to boost the countrys image abroad, and encourage more tourists to return. Its wonderful promotion for Egypt, said Khaled El-Enany, Egypts…

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Nowhere left to run: how the US finally caught up with Isis leader Baghdadi

The hunt for the Islamic State leader had lasted years until Iraqi officials got a break last month Cornered in a dead-end tunnel, with a robot creeping towards him, Islamic State leader in a remote hamlet of northwestern Syria, but not before he detonated a suicide vest strapped to his body as special forces troops disgorged from helicopters and crouched near the frugal stone house in which he was hiding. Forensic specialists stood by, carrying samples of Baghdadis DNA and the means to compare it with remains at the scene.…

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Saudi Arabia wont attack Iran. But it may pay someone else to | Nesrine Malik

The US is being fooled that it needs to rescue its ally in the Middle East, says the Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik There is a longstanding joke told in the Middle East about Saudi Arabias reluctance to fight its own wars. Saudi Arabia will fight until the last Pakistani, the punchline goes, in reference to the fact that Pakistani troops have long supported Saudis military endeavours. The punchline has expanded lately to include the child soldiers, whose deaths are handsomely compensated for with cash paid to their families back home.…

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Israel election: Netanyahu and Gantz both vow to form next government

Prime minister cancels trip to UN general assembly to deal with political crisis the second in five months, would provide clarity and pull the nation out of a political crisis. But the muddy results that trickled in on Wednesday appeared to deadlock the country instead. With Israeli media reporting more than 90% of the vote counted, Gantzs Blue and White party had 32 seats while its rival Likud had 31. Both leaders have vowed to lead Israels next government, but would need to form unlikely alliances with smaller parties to…

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Netanyahu accuses Iran of hiding evidence of nuclear facility

Israels opposition says prime ministers claims are an election campaign stunt Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled what he claims was a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear weapons facility and accused Tehran of destroying the site to hide the evidence. This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran, Netanyahu said. Israel knows what youre doing, Israel knows when youre doing it, and Israel knows where youre doing it. Without providing details, he accused Iran of using the facility near the city of Abadeh to conductexperiments to develop nuclear weapons.…

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Officials at UN agency for Palestinians face ethical abuse claims

Investigation launched into UNRWA over alleged nepotism and discrimination Senior figures at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees have been accused of serious ethical abuses, including nepotism, according to an internal review. Credible and corroborated allegations were made last year in a confidential internal ethics report by and about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), according to the Agence France-Presse news agency, facing a crisis after the US cut hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. UNRWA said Krhenbhl had instructed all staff to fully cooperate with the…

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How war-shattered Aleppo is preserving its culture

Thousands of Aleppians are using a Facebook group to share their way of life before the Syrian war Going to the hammam was once a beloved ritual for Aleppo resident Atef Shikhouni and his friends. Recalling the boisterous, joyful experience, the 55-year-old wrote: Here is a man shouting, Where is the soap? while another one is asking for the shampoo and a third wants someone to rub his back. It becomes very noisy. After spending some time in the sauna, it is time for the rubbing man. He uses a…

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Family of Loujain al-Hathloul fight to free imprisoned Saudi activist

Relatives hope raising awareness in the US can help end detention of Hathloul who battled the ban on women driving When Lina al-Hathloul learned her sister, the Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul, had been whisked away by Saudi Arabian police in the middle of the night, she thought it was a joke. They came in with so many people, there were so many cars waiting outside, said Lina al-Hathloul, Loujains youngest sister who lives in Brussels, describing what her family told her at the time. It was so spectacular that we…

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US to send 1,000 more troops to Middle East, citing ‘hostile behavior’ by Iran

Tensions between countries on the rise after Washington blamed Tehran for attacks on oil tankers The US is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups, Patrick Shanahan, the acting defence secretary, announced on Monday. The move further heightens tensions between the two nations. Last week Washington blamed Iran for Shanahan said in a statement. The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups…

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US ambassador: Israel has right to annex parts of West Bank

David Friedman gives interview to New York Times and says: Israel has right to some, but unlikely all of disputed territory The US ambassador to Israel did not rule out an Israeli move to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, land the Palestinians seek for a state, in working on a proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, dubbed by Donald Trump the deal of the century. It has not disclosed any of its details. In an interview with Axios last week White House adviser Jared Kushner cast…

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Mediterranean will be ‘sea of blood’ without rescue boats, UN warns

Refugee agency says risk of people dying attempting crossing is at its highest The risk of migrants and refugees becoming shipwrecked in the Mediterranean and dying at sea is the highest it has ever been due to a lack of NGO rescue ships and the conflict in Libya hastening departures at an alarming rate, the UN has warned. If we do not intervene soon, there will be a sea of blood, said Carlotta Sami, the spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Italy. With favourable sea conditions, thousands of…

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Trump provokes global anger by recognising Israel’s claim to Golan Heights

Russia, Iran and Turkey condemn US president while Syria vows to recapture territory lost in 1967 war Syria has vowed to retake the Golan Heights as Donald Trumps call for the US to recognise the occupied territory as part of Israel elicited strong responses from Russia, Turkey and Iran. The president ended half a century of US foreign policy and broke from post-second world war international consensus that forbids territorial conquest during war said on Friday that the country was now more determined to liberate it by all possible means…

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Saudi-led forces renew push to take key Yemen port from Houthi rebels

Dozens of fighters believed killed in clashes in Hodeidah after breakdown of UN-led peace talks Saudi Arabia has responded to the entry point for 80% of the aid into the country. Aid agencies said local UN staff were reporting that the bombardment is the worst, by far, of any since the [Red Sea] campaign started in early June, and involves not only airstrikes and shelling but also bombardment from naval ships. Humanitarian staff on the ground reported an almost continuous presence of Saudi/UAE coalition aircraft over Hodeidah since Friday night.…

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Millions of us are trapped in Idlib, facing death. The world must save us | Anonymous

While we bleed, world leaders respond with meek platitudes, says a worker with Islamic Relief in Idlib Civilians like me fresh reports that an attack on the region surrounding Idlib city by government forces is imminent. Just a few weeks ago, a woman I knew was killed along with her husband and five children in an airstrike. More than 116 other people also died that weekend and 70 others were injured in what was the worst period of bombing and shelling we have seen for some time. It left the…

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