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  Wednesday, April 01, 2015  Home > Latest News > World > Middle East
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  • Lavrov, Zarif claim breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks 31 Mar 2015 | 11:59 pm

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C) walks in the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne on March 31, 2015, during negotiations on Iran's nuclear programmeRussia and Iran's foreign ministers claimed a breakthrough early Wednesday in talks on a framework deal curtailing Tehran's nuclear programme, but the US said not all issues had been agreed yet, as discussions were suspended for the night. "One can say with relative certainty that we at the minister level have reached an agreement in principle on all key aspects of the final settlement of this issue," Russian media quoted Sergei Lavrov as saying at talks in Switzerland. This came after Russia's top diplomat and the foreign ministers of five other major powers and Iran continued working through the night as they missed a midnight (2200 GMT) deadline to agree the main outlines of what they hope will be an historic accord. The powers hope a full agreement, due to be finalised by June 30, will see Iran scale back its nuclear capability to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian programme.


  • Syria slashes imports to save dwindling foreign reserves 31 Mar 2015 | 11:53 pm

    Syrian women sit on a bench as they eat with a young boy in the city of Damascus on March 4, 2015Syria's government, presiding over an economy ravaged by war and facing dwindling foreign currency reserves, is taking new measures to slash imports and prop up exports. Importers require government licences that allow them to request a favourable exchange rate at the Syrian central bank. "A month ago, I got a text message from the economy finance ministry telling me that because of the shrinking foreign currency reserves, I would no longer get the preferential dollar rate at the central bank," one importer of consumer goods told AFP. An official at Syria's economy ministry, quoted by the Al-Watan daily, said two-thirds of import licences granted in the last quarter of 2014 went to industries considered essential, including fuel, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.


  • Asian stocks lackluster as Japan, China data shows weakness 31 Mar 2015 | 10:51 pm

    A man is reflected on an electronic board showing market indices outside a brokerage in TokyoTOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets were lackluster Wednesday as China's manufacturing remained weak in February and a Japanese central bank survey showed businesses are wary about the economic outlook


  • No nuke agreement yet: Iran talks push past deadline 31 Mar 2015 | 8:23 pm

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second left, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, left, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, center, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, second right, and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program with other officials from France, China, the European Union and Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Diplomats scrambled Tuesday to reach consensus on the outline of an Iran nuclear deal just hours ahead of a self-imposed deadline to produce an agreement. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — With stubborn disputes unresolved, nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers went past a self-imposed deadline and into overtime as negotiators renewed efforts to hammer out the outline of an agreement.


  • Report: Egypt, Nigeria led world in death sentences in 2014 31 Mar 2015 | 7:55 pm

    FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2013, file photo, an Egyptian soccer fan of Al-Ahly club displays scales to fans celebrating a court verdict that returned 21 death penalties in the previous year's soccer violence against their supporters in Port Said, inside the club premises in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt and Nigeria accounted for well over 1,000 of the death sentences announced in 2014, Amnesty International says in its latest annual report of executions and countries’ use of the death penalty, released on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ramadan, File)UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Egypt and Nigeria accounted for well over 1,000 of the death sentences announced last year, more than a third of the world's total, Amnesty International says in its latest annual report on the death penalty.


  • Iran's Zarif hopes to finalise nuclear talks Wednesday 31 Mar 2015 | 6:55 pm

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) greets Atomic Energy Organization of Iran head Ali Akbar Salehi at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel on March 31, 2015 in LausanneLausanne (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he hopes to finalise on Wednesday a framework nuclear agreement with world powers.


  • Cape Verde record historic win over Ronaldo-less Portugal 31 Mar 2015 | 5:29 pm

    Portugal's midfielder Pizzi (L) vies with Cape Verde's midfielder Babanco during the EURO 2016 friendly football match in Estoril outside Lisbon on March 31, 2015Cape Verde upset a weakened Portugal 2-0 in Estoril on Tuesday as seven days of international football friendlies involving African teams ended. Portugal lacked many stars, including the biggest one of all Cristiano Ronaldo, having won 2-1 at home against Serbia just 48 hours earlier in a Euro 2016 qualifier. The Blue Sharks scored twice within six minutes close to half-time at Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota for a rare away victory over European opposition. Former Portuguese colony Cape Verde comprises a string of islands off the coast of Senegal and has just 500,000 inhabitants.


  • OUR NEXT PRESIDENT SHOULD BE A HOMEBODY 31 Mar 2015 | 5:00 pm

    Up north in Iraq, you need a constantly evolving program to identify the players. The intention is to degrade, destroy and demolish the heinous ISIS or Islamic State of mainly pathological killers from around the world and teenaged boys from the West who haven't found enough excitement at home. Saddam's Iraq -- he ruled roughly from 1973 to 2003 -- was one of the cruelest and most evil states in history, but it also served, in a Middle East that has been the poisoned heart of endless killing among clans, tribes and religions, as a kind of rock in the center of that upheaval, which has kept peoples and governments in the region in relative stasis. But when the U.S., expecting to be welcomed with flowers, invaded Iraq in 2003 to establish a democracy and leave in six months, something else happened.

  • Lawsuit alleges Iran directed killing of US soldiers in Iraq 31 Mar 2015 | 4:51 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The families of three American soldiers killed during a brazen attack in Iraq are suing the Iranian government for allegedly orchestrating the raid.

  • Lawsuit alleges Iran directed killing of US soldiers in Iraq 31 Mar 2015 | 4:51 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The families of three American soldiers killed during a brazen attack in Iraq are suing the Iranian government for allegedly orchestrating the raid.

  • Son of Argentine president denies news reports about account 31 Mar 2015 | 4:44 pm

    FILE - This April 27, 2012 file photo shows the son of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez, Maximo Kirchner, smiling before attending a rally in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maximo Kirchner is denying press reports alleging he had a foreign bank account that was used for Argentine dealings with Iran. Argentina's Clarin newspaper published a story in late March 2015 saying Maximo Kirchner and a former ambassador to Venezuela shared an account in the United States. The story cited anonymous sources. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The son of Argentina's president on Tuesday denied anonymously sourced press reports alleging he had foreign bank accounts, calling them false accusations designed to smear his mother's administration.


  • New appeal revives case against Argentine president 31 Mar 2015 | 4:44 pm

    Argentine President Cristina Kirchner at the Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 1, 2015Argentine prosecutors launched a new appeal Tuesday of a court's decision to dismiss their case against President Cristina Kirchner for allegedly protecting Iranian officials accused of orchestrating a deadly 1994 bombing. Prosecutors are seeking to relaunch the case that was being brought by their late colleague Alberto Nisman, who died mysteriously on January 18 after accusing Kirchner of shielding high-ranking Iranians suspected of ordering the attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish center. Prosecutor German Moldes filed an appeal to bring the case before the next highest appeals court, which would be the third court to consider the case. The accusations first came before Judge Daniel Rafecas, who found in a scathing ruling on February 26 that no crime was committed, saying the prosecution's own evidence "roundly refutes" its case.


  • Iraq hails Tikrit 'liberation' after month-long battle 31 Mar 2015 | 4:42 pm

    Iraqi government forces keep watch from a position on the southern outskirts of Tikrit, on March 30, 2015Iraq said security and allied forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft "liberated" the city of Tikrit on Tuesday, its biggest victory yet in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The operation to retake the hometown of former president Saddam Hussein began on March 2 and had looked bogged down before Iraqi forces made rapid advances in the past 48 hours. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi "announces the liberation of Tikrit and congratulates Iraqi security forces and popular volunteers on the historic milestone," his official Twitter account said. He was referring to paramilitary groups which played a major role in the fighting to retake Tikrit, a Sunni Arab city which IS had controlled since it captured swathes of Iraq in June.


  • Iraq hails Tikrit 'liberation' after month-long battle 31 Mar 2015 | 4:42 pm

    Iraqi government forces keep watch from a position on the southern outskirts of Tikrit, on March 30, 2015Iraq said security and allied forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft "liberated" the city of Tikrit on Tuesday, its biggest victory yet in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The operation to retake the hometown of former president Saddam Hussein began on March 2 and had looked bogged down before Iraqi forces made rapid advances in the past 48 hours. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi "announces the liberation of Tikrit and congratulates Iraqi security forces and popular volunteers on the historic milestone," his official Twitter account said. He was referring to paramilitary groups which played a major role in the fighting to retake Tikrit, a Sunni Arab city which IS had controlled since it captured swathes of Iraq in June.


  • Mideast powers trade blame as Yemen teeters 31 Mar 2015 | 4:33 pm

    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". In the heaviest raids yet of the six-day Saudi-led air war against Shiite Huthi rebels, explosions lit up the skies over Sanaa on Monday night and rocked other parts of the country on Tuesday. Amnesty International accused the Saudi-led coalition of "turning a blind eye to civilian deaths" as it reported four children were among six burned to death in strikes on Ibb, in central Yemen. The UN children's fund said that at least 62 children had been killed and 30 injured during the fighting in Yemen over the past week.


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