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  Tuesday, February 09, 2016  Home > Latest News > World > Middle East
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  • Australia drops charge against suspected Kurdish militant 9 Feb 2016 | 7:06 pm

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The government has dropped a charge against an Australian man accused of preparing to fight with Kurdish militants against the Islamic State movement.

  • Australia drops charge against suspected Kurdish militant 9 Feb 2016 | 7:06 pm

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The government has dropped a charge against an Australian man accused of preparing to fight with Kurdish militants against the Islamic State movement.

  • U.N. to discuss Syria humanitarian situation ahead of Munich talks 9 Feb 2016 | 6:36 pm

    Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, SyriaThe U.N. Security Council will discuss the alarming humanitarian situation in Syria and the recent displacement of tens of thousands of people fleeing a Russian-backed assault around Aleppo, New Zealand's U.N. envoy said on Tuesday. The closed-door consultations are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET (1630 GMT) on Wednesday and were jointly requested by New Zealand and Spain, backed by other Western powers. "There are reports of at least 30,000 people displaced from Aleppo and it's the middle of winter," New Zealand Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen said in a statement to Reuters.


  • Pentagon seeks $583 billion budget for 2017; Republicans say not enough 9 Feb 2016 | 6:07 pm

    By David Alexander and Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Tuesday proposed a $582.7 billion defense budget that emphasizes emerging threats from Russia, China and Islamic State rebels, but the plan is already under fire from Republican lawmakers who charge it short-changes the U.S. military. President Barack Obama's last budget would boost spending on the war against Islamic State militants to $7.5 billion during the 2017 fiscal year, a 50 percent jump over the $5 billion approved this year. The budget heralds a strategic shift as Washington looks beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and enters a new period of great power competition from Russia and China as well as threats from smaller rivals like Iran and North Korea, officials said.

  • UN experts: North Korea continues to evade UN sanctions 9 Feb 2016 | 5:57 pm

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say North Korea is continuing to evade U.N. sanctions, using airlines, ships, and the international financial system to trade in prohibited items for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs raising important questions about the sanctions regime.

  • A look at Obama's final budget proposal 9 Feb 2016 | 5:29 pm

    President Barack Obama proposed a record $4.1 trillion budget on Tuesday. Here's a look at each agency and department: AGRICULTURE Up or down? Down 5.3 percent Highlight: —Obama's budget for the Agriculture ...

  • The Latest: FBI chief says encryption blocks investigations 9 Feb 2016 | 4:52 pm

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, while testifying before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the worldwide threat assessment from U.S. intelligence agencies (all times local):


  • The Latest: FBI chief says encryption blocks investigations 9 Feb 2016 | 4:52 pm

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, while testifying before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the worldwide threat assessment from U.S. intelligence agencies (all times local):


  • Iraq PM says to bring in technocrats in cabinet reshuffle 9 Feb 2016 | 4:47 pm

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during the Iraqi Police Day at a police academy in BaghdadBy Ahmed Rasheed and Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday he would reshuffle his cabinet to appoint technocrats to replace ministers appointed on the basis of political affiliations. "Out of my responsibility ... to lead the country to safety, I call for a radical cabinet reshuffle to include professionals, technocrats and academics," Abadi said in a televised speech which focused largely on economic challenges facing Iraq, a major OPEC oil exporter. By replacing ministers chosen on the basis of party affiliation or ethnic or sectarian identity, Abadi risks disturbing the delicate balance of Iraq's governing system in place since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 which toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.


  • Turkey summons US ambassador over Syria Kurds row 9 Feb 2016 | 4:38 pm

    State Department Spokesman John Kirby, pictured on January 6, 2015, angered Ankara by saying that Washington did not consider the main Syrian Kurdish party to be a terrorist organisationTurkey's foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador on Tuesday after a senior American official angered Ankara by saying that Washington did not consider the main Syrian Kurdish party to be a terrorist organisation. The Hurriyet newspaper reported that the Turkish government, which views the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist group, expressed its "unease" to US ambassador John Bass over the remarks by State Department spokesman John Kirby. Kirby had told his daily press briefing in Washington on Monday: "We don't, as you know, recognise the PYD as a terrorist organisation.


  • Iraq's troubled finances slow efforts to rebuild Ramadi 9 Feb 2016 | 4:36 pm

    Iraqi security forces gesture from the top of a tank as they gather in Jweba on the eastern fringes of RamadiBy Stephen Kalin and Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Strain on Iraq's budget from falling oil prices is delaying the removal of Islamic State explosives in Ramadi and the restoration of basic services needed for displaced civilians to return to the western city. The army declared victory in December over Islamic State (IS) after elite counter-terrorism forces seized the Anbar provincial capital's main government building. The recapture of Ramadi was the first major gain for the U.S.-trained army since it collapsed in the face of an assault by the ultra-hardline Sunni militants in 2014.


  • U.S. intelligence chief warns of 'homegrown' security threat 9 Feb 2016 | 4:35 pm

    Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New YorkBy Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attacks by "homegrown" Islamist extremists are among the most imminent security threats facing the United States in 2016, along with dangers posed overseas by Islamic State and cyber security concerns, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday. In his annual assessment of threats to the United States, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that fast-moving cyber and technological advances "could lead to widespread vulnerabilities in civilian infrastructures and U.S. government systems." In prepared testimony before the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Clapper outlined an array of other threats from Russia and North Korean nuclear ambitions to instability caused by the Syrian migrant crisis.


  • 'No shortcuts' in Africa's war against jihadists: US special forces chief 9 Feb 2016 | 4:08 pm

    Soldiers participate in a three-week joint military exercise between African, US and European troops, known as Flintlock on February 8, 2016African states must brace for a long-term fight against jihadist organisations, which are developing new tactics, recruiting more fighters and learning from each other, the US special forces chief in the continent said. You can't underestimate their ability to resurge," General Donald Bolduc told reporters in Dakar. Bolduc's comments late Monday came as the United States launched an annual military exercise dubbed Flintlock, which will see 1,700 special forces personnel from some 30 countries take part.


  • U.S. looks to shore up allies' support to battle Islamic State 9 Feb 2016 | 4:07 pm

    File photo of a fighter of ISIL holding a flag and a weapon on a street in MosulBy Phil Stewart BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it hoped allies demonstrate a willingness to ramp up their contributions to the fight against Islamic State and to deterring Russia in eastern Europe during high-level defense talks in Brussels this week. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he plans to outline America's plan to accelerate the campaign against Islamic State to defense chiefs from more than two dozen allies at talks on Thursday. The United States has long-standing concerns that many allies are not contributing nearly enough to combat the jihadist group that has spread beyond its self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.


  • U.S. looks to shore up allies' support to battle Islamic State 9 Feb 2016 | 4:07 pm

    File photo of a fighter of ISIL holding a flag and a weapon on a street in MosulBy Phil Stewart BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it hoped allies demonstrate a willingness to ramp up their contributions to the fight against Islamic State and to deterring Russia in eastern Europe during high-level defense talks in Brussels this week. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he plans to outline America's plan to accelerate the campaign against Islamic State to defense chiefs from more than two dozen allies at talks on Thursday. The United States has long-standing concerns that many allies are not contributing nearly enough to combat the jihadist group that has spread beyond its self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.


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