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UN peacekeepers protecting hundreds displaced by Central African Republic fighting

Peacekeepers are patrolling the city of Alindao, Basse Kotto Prefecture, after skirmishes last Thursday between the country’s armed forces and members of an armed group associated with the mainly-Muslim ex-Seleka coalition, which have fought with mainly Christian anti-Balaka elements, destabil

Trump administration casts doubt on women's rights amendment push

The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a legal opinion saying it was too late for additional states to sign on to the push started in 1972 that led to 35 states backing it, three short of the required number. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, which gained traction wit

Rights groups call for federal inquiry into Mississippi prisons

Prisoner advocates in the United States are calling for a federal investigation into the state of Mississippi's beleaguered prison system for possible civil rights violations, saying a recent spate of violence highlights deliberate violations of inmates' constitutional right to be free from cruel an

US will face ‘crushing’ response: Iranian military general

The US will face a “crushing” response for further military action, said a senior Iranian general on Wednesday, according to the state-run Fars news agency. “Any new American mischief from now on will face a stronger, more crushing and broader response,” Iranian Armed Forces

Russian clinic treated mercenaries injured in secret wars

A St. Petersburg clinic that is run and partly owned by people with ties to President Vladimir Putin has provided medical treatment to Russian mercenaries injured abroad, according to three people with knowledge of military contractors being treated, a clinic employee, a reporter’s witness acc

US warns ships in Middle East waterways of possible Iran action

The US government is warning ships across Middle East waterways crucial to global energy supplies that there’s the “possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests” in the region.The US Maritime Administration put out the warning Tuesday, citing the rising threats after

Syria: Civilians face ‘daily nightmare’ in Idlib, says top UN official

“I am alarmed at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Idlib, northwest Syria, where over three million civilians remain trapped in a war zone – the vast majority of them women and children”, Mark Cutts said in a statement. The downward spiraling situation is occurring in bi

US Air Force launches 52 f-35s in rapid succession as part of planned exercise

Ismaeel Naar The US Air Force (USAF) launched 52 F-35s on Monday in rapid succession in a show of military might as part of an exercise out of its Hill Air Force Base to test combat readiness to deploy fighter jets en mass. The exercise has been planned for months to test the capabilities in the

Nearly 300,000 Syrians displaced from Idlib since mid-December, Security Council hears

Amidst concern for the safety and protection of more than three million civilians in Syria’s last rebel-held enclave, the UN’s most senior humanitarian and political affairs officials briefed the Security Council on Syria behind closed doors on Friday. Following the recent escalation of

World Braille Day marks key communication tool for millions

It is estimated that approximately 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, according to the Worth Health Organization (WHO), a billion of whom have either not had their condition addressed, or whose impairment could have been prevented. People with vision impairment are more likel

South African Journalist Held by Islamic State Back Home

A South African photojournalist has returned home after spending three years in captivity with the Islamic State in Syria, his family said Friday in Johannesburg. Shiraaz Mohamed was taken hostage in early 2017. The charity group Gift of the Givers said Mohamed was in the country to document the pl

Who was the Iranian 'shadow commander' killed in a U.S. airstrike?

The death of Iranian military general Qassim Suleimani in a United States airstrike in Baghdad on Thursdaywill likely unite the nation and its allies in mourning the man some considered to be Iran's second most powerful leader.But little is known outside of the Middle East about a man who played suc

Will Iran respond with a limited attack or pick a high-value target and invoke the full wrath of the US?

US President Donald Trump’s decision to humiliate Iran with the assassination of a national hero on Jan. 2 is a calculated gamble and probably represents the best of a set of bad alternatives. Trump inherited a weak hand after the George W. Bush Administration destroyed the century-old balanc

Underage Marriage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

Underage marriage (called also minor marriage) may be defined as marriage under the legal age. The legal age in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) varies between 13 (in Iran) and 20 in Tunisia. Many Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have not established a legal age of marriage. In spite of

Israel/Palestine war crimes probe ‘momentous step forward

An independent UN human rights expert hailed on Tuesday, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to consider a formal criminal investigation into allegations of war crimes in Palestine as a "momentous step forward in the quest for accountability" in the five-decade-long Israeli occup

Israel is hoarding the Jordan River – it’s time to share the water

Two areas farmed by Israelis for more than 50 years have recently been returned to neighbouring Jordan. The first, al Ghamr (known in Israel as Zofar), is located south of the Dead Sea in the Naqab/Negev desert. The second, al Baqura (Naharayim) is found at the fertile point where a major tributary

Hundreds of Iraqis storm US Embassy in Baghdad following airstrikes

Hundreds of angry supporters of an Iraqi Shia militia broke down the US embassy gate door on Tuesday 31 December 2019, storming inside the compound as gunshots and sirens rang out. Security guards inside the US embassy fired stun grenades at protesters outside the gates of the compound. The protes

What Will 2020 Hold for The Middle East and world ?

As we usher in a new decade on Tuesday, one can't help but wonder what the next year will hold for the Middle East. 2019 was a year of immense tension, upheaval and change. The world sat at the edge of its seat as protesters took to the streets of countries in the Middle East, and around the world,