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Iran’s seizure of UK tanker in Gulf seen as escalation Friday, July 19th, 2019

By AMIR VAHDAT, GREGORY KATZ and ROBERT BURNS, LONDON (AP) — Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker Friday and briefly detained a second vessel in the Strait of Hormuz, intensifying tensions in the strategic waterway that has become a flashpoint between Tehran and the West. The seizing of the..

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Tehran dismisses US claim of destroying Iranian drone

TEHRAN, (AFP): Iran on Friday categorically denied US President Donald Trump's claims that Washington brought down an Iranian drone, saying all its craft are accounted for and jesting that American forces may have destroyed their own machine by mistake. The latest incident in the strategic Strait..

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Gulf tensions rise as US shoots down Iranian drone Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Jerome Cartillier, Amir Havasi, TEHRAN, (AFP): Tensions in the Gulf region mounted Thursday as US President Donald Trump said an American naval vessel shot down an Iranian drone that threatened the ship as it was entering the Strait of Hormuz. It was the first US military engagement with Iran..

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Taiwanese ‘graffiti village’ eases elderly loneliness Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

RUAN CHIAO, TAIWAN, (AFP): Nestled in the mist-covered foothills of Taiwan's central mountain range, Ruan Chiao village is virtually devoid of young people, but artist Wu Tsun-hsien is coaxing the Instagram generation back by transforming local homes into a canvas of colour. Dipping his brush into..

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Pakistan arrests alleged Mumbai attacks mastermind again

LAHORE, (AFP): Pakistani authorities Wednesday detained the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a security official said, as the country faces increased pressure to crack down on militants operating on its soil. Firebrand cleric Hafiz Saeed -- declared a global terrorist by the US and..

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US bans Myanmar army chief over Rohingya ‘ethnic cleansing’ Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

WASHINGTON, (AFP): The United States on Tuesday banned visits by Myanmar's army chief and three other top officers due to their role in the "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya minority, urging accountability for their brutal campaign. The State Department said it took action against army chief Min..

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India assesses technical snag that aborted moon mission Monday, July 15th, 2019

NEW DELHI (AP): India’s space organization is examining the technical snag behind Monday’s aborted launch of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon and expects to set a new launch date within days. The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off less than an hour before liftoff by..

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China’s economy growth cools further amid US tariff war

By JOE McDONALD, BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth sank to its lowest level in at least 26 years in the quarter ending in June, adding to pressure on Chinese leaders as they fight a tariff war with Washington. The world’s second-largest economy grew 6.2% over a year ago, down from the..

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From crafts to Kalashnikovs: arms souk thrives in Yemen’s Taez Sunday, July 14th, 2019

Taez (Yemen) (AFP): Once overflowing with handicrafts, the old Al-Shinayni market in Yemen's third city of Taez is now bursting with Kalashnikovs and bullets as traders scramble to scratch out a living in the war-wracked country. Yemen has been plunged into a devastating war since the Iran-aligned..

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Agony of Yazidi women torn between IS kids, or return home Saturday, July 13th, 2019

BAGHDAD, (AFP): Freed after years in jihadist captivity, Jihan faced an agonising ultimatum: abandon her three small children fathered by an Islamic State fighter or risk being shunned by her community. "Of course I couldn't bring them home. They're Daesh (IS) children," said Jihan Qassem..

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26 killed in deadly Somalia hotel siege

MOGADISHU, (AFP): Twenty-six people were killed and 56 injured in a 12-hour attack by Al-Shabaab jihadists on a popular hotel that ended early Saturday in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo. A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the Medina hotel on Friday before..

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China to impose sanctions on US firms in Taiwan arms sale

BEIJING, (AFP): China on Friday said it would impose sanctions on US companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to self-ruled Taiwan -- a move that has infuriated Beijing. "The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international..

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Trump escalates war on social media at White House ‘summit’ Thursday, July 11th, 2019

WASHINGTON, (AFP): Escalating his attacks on Silicon Valley, President Donald Trump hinted Thursday at new regulations on social media as he gathered critics of major online platforms at a White House "summit." Trump invited conservative activists who have been curbed or banned on social media to..

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Britain’s US ambassador resigns after Trump spat Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

LONDON, (AFP): Britain's ambassador to Washington resigned Wednesday after being targeted by US President Donald Trump following the leak of highly critical diplomatic cables. Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May had offered her full support to Kim Darroch after he was revealed to have described..

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China’s largesse in Tonga threatens future of Pacific nation Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

By NICK PERRY, NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (AP) — The days unfold at a leisurely pace in Tonga, a South Pacific archipelago with no traffic lights or fast-food chains. Snuffling pigs roam dusty roads that wind through villages dotted with churches. Yet even in this far-flung island kingdom there are..

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Is Trump Right About Middle-East Peace? Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

By withdrawing American troops from northern Syria, US President Donald Trump has once again signaled that his administration recognizes only two national interests in..

The Battle of the Fading Hegemons Monday, October 21st, 2019

Locking China Out of the Dollar System Monday, October 21st, 2019

Will Trump Be Removed from Office? Sunday, October 20th, 2019

Trump’s Perfidious America Saturday, October 19th, 2019