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Civilian deaths probed in Mosul
MOSUL: Investigators are in the Iraqi city of Mosul to determine whether a US-led coalition strike or Daesh-rigged explosives caused a huge blast that destroyed buildings and killed more than 200 people, a US military commander said. Conflicting accounts have emerged since the March 17 explosion in Al Jadida district in west Mosul, where Iraqi forces backed by US-led coalition air strikes are fighting to clear Daesh militants from
 
 
Iraqi farmers desperate to go home as cattle perish
MOSUL: In a field off a main road south of Mosul, a stray dog picked at the body of a dead buffalo calf, part of an exhausted herd brought 20 miles on foot by farmers forced to abandon their land in the fight against Daesh. The men and their families fled Badush, to the northwest of Mosul, some two weeks ago as the Iraqi army and Shiite paramilitary forces fought Daesh militants — part of a US-backed offensive to end the militants
   
ME conflicts leave millions unsure of next meal: FAO
CAIRO: The devastating conflicts gripping the Middle East and North Africa have left 30 million people unsure of their next meal, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said. “Food security and nutrition levels in the Near East and North Africa have sharply deteriorated over the last five years,” the agency said in a report released Monday. “The prevalence of severe food insecurity in the adult population was close to 9.
 
 
Hama fighting displaces 40,000: UN
HAMA: About 40,000 people, mainly women and children, have been displaced by fighting northwest of Hama city in Syria, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Since a rebel offensive began in the area a week ago, people have fled south and west to Hama city and to other towns nearby and in neighbouring districts including Homs, Latakia and Tartous, the United Nations said. Clashes raged around a key northern Syrian town on Tuesday a
   
EU states slam ‘blackmail’ by Brussels on migrants
WARSAW: Leaders from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland rejected on Tuesday what they called Brussels’ use of “blackmail and diktat” over planned resettlements of migrants across the EU. Long opposed to sharing the burden of hosting mainly Syrian refugees, the four eastern EU states ruled out any links between accepting them and future disbursements of EU funds. Eastern EU states “will never accept blackmail and
 
 
Hungary law on refugee detentions come into force
BUDAPEST: Hungary’s new legislation allowing for the detention of asylum-seekers in shipping containers at border camps took effect on Tuesday, with the European Union’s (EU) commissioner for migration saying that it needs to comply with the bloc’s rules. Dimitris Avramopoulos said that EU and Hungarian experts will meet to discuss the new law, which has been sharply criticised by UN agencies and human rights advocates.
   
Rouhani meets Putin, says Syria talks will continue
MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday was hosting his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani for talks that are being closely watched for signs of their next moves in Syria. Rouhani said that Syrian peace talks sponsored by Tehran, Russia and Turkey would continue in Kazakhstan without specifying a date for the next round of negotiations. Rouhani, who was speaking after wrapping up two days of talks in Moscow, said he
 
 
Worst humanitarian crisis hits as Trump slashes aid
NAIROBI: The world’s largest humanitarian crisis in 70 years has been declared in three African countries on the brink of famine, just as President Donald Trump’s proposed foreign aid cuts threaten to pull the United States from its historic role as the world’s top emergency donor. If the deep cuts are approved by Congress and the US does not contribute to Africa’s current crisis, experts warn that the continent’s growing drought
   
Tunisian with knife held near parliament
TUNIS: A young man trying to enter the Tunisian parliament was arrested on Tuesday when a scanner at the entrance detected that he had a knife, officials said. A parliamentary official said it was not immediately clear why the man was attempting to enter the building. A member of parliament told local media he was among a group of students who had come to watch a parliamentary session. Security at the parliament building in
 
 
No peace deal without US role, says HNC
GENEVA: A political deal to end the Syrian conflict is not possible without a strong US role, the opposition’s chief negotiator told AFP, warning that Washington’s absence was threatening ongoing peace talks. Lead negotiator for the main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Mohamad Sabra, said in an interview late Monday that the UN-backed talks in Geneva remained “stalled.” “There can be no real and viable political
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