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World and Middle East Politics

IRIN TEDx Talk: Stop eating junk news

Over the last decade, we’ve awoken to the fact that junk food hurts us. It’s time for a similar revolution in our news consumption.  In this new TEDx Talk, IRIN Director Heba Aly takes on the role of ‘chief news nutritionist’. Fake news is one thing but Hebad explains why …

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Russia has finished off the UN’s Syria chemical attack probe. What now?

 Russia recently used a series of Security Council vetoes – the final one last week – to kill an international body investigating a gruesome series of chemical attacks in Syria. The move came not long after the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), a body launched in 2015 by the UN and …

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1111 for the road

A twelve-year-old student has bought a car number plate for the equivalent of £300,000 ($400,000) in an auction held by Abu Dhabi police. The boy paid 1.5m dirhams for the plate – numbered 1111 – in the auction of special registration plates intended to raise money for local police, The …

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Are Israel, Saudi Arabia about to upgrade relations?

The surprising interview that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot gave to the Saudi news site Elaph was published on Nov. 16, just a few days before the 40th anniversary of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem. While it is hard to compare these two …

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Last IS-held Iraqi town retaken amid car bombs, IEDs

RUMANA, Iraq — After a week of long hauls through threatening desert terrain and villages to take up positions, Iraqi troops and local fighters on Nov. 17 captured Rawa, the last urban bastion held by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. The operation to retake the city and the surrounding …

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Turkey, Iran, Russia: Trilateral distrust in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be hosting his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani, at a trilateral summit Nov. 22 in Sochi, to discuss Syria and regional developments. Prior to the summit, the three countries held a preparatory meeting with experts in Tehran, followed by another meeting …

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Russia's winning the war for Turkish public's trust

The United States and Europe are on the verge of losing the Turkish public to Russia. Since November 2016, when reports appeared of Turkey’s decision to purchase S-400 Triumph air defense systems from Russia, Moscow has been trying hard to win the hearts and minds of the Turkish people. Russia has never deviated from …

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Palestinians point finger at Israel for crisis with US

The Palestinians were shocked to receive US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s message about the intentions of the United States to close the PLO’s office in Washington unless progress was made in the diplomatic negotiations on Nov. 18. Tillerson’s threat came on the heels of a Palestinian attempt to bring high-ranking Israeli …

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Yemenis 'trapped in hell' as war escalates

“We are trapped in hell!” Those are the words of a Yemeni friend this week in the midst of the Saudi aerial bombardment of Sanaa. The war is escalating with Houthi missile attacks and the tightening of the blockade. How long will the international community — especially America and the …

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Children's book brings Lebanese proverbs to life

Caroline Torbey has the perfect example of a multicultural and multilingual background. Her father is Lebanese and her mother Vietnamese-German. When Torbey was a child they lived in Cameroon, where the official languages are French and English, but 250 other languages are spoken. She grew up speaking French with her parents as well as …

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