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Over 8,000 migrants rescued in 48 hours
ROME: More than 8,000 migrants have been rescued in waters off Libya during the past 48 hours in difficult weather conditions, Italy’s coastguard said on Tuesday. “On Monday, we rescued about 5,000 people from four large boats, one smaller one and 18 rubber dinghies,” a spokesman told reporters. People were pulled to safety by coastguard vessels, military ships operating under the EU’s border agency Frontex and aid boats run by
 
 
US, Russia spar over ‘chemical attack’ threat
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON: Russia denounced a US warning that the Syrian leadership will pay a heavy price for any chemical weapons attack, and dismissed White House assertions that a strike was being prepared as “unacceptable.” The White House said late on Monday the preparations in Syria were similar to actions before an April 4 chemical attack which killed dozens of civilians and prompted US President Donald Trump to order a missile
   
Forces seize more ground in Mosul, PM sees victory soon
MOSUL: Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul’s Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture Daesh’s de-facto capital, and Iraq’s prime minister predicted victory very soon. Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 militants dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged IS insurgents from the Ziwani mosque and were only a few days away from ousting militants complete
 
 
Yemen cholera outbreak seen slowing: WHO
GENEVA: A cholera outbreak in Yemen, which has claimed 1,400 lives in two months, shows tentative signs of slowing as fatality rates drop by half, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday. Nearly 219,000 suspected cases have been registered since April 27 and more than 1,400 people have died, the UN agency said. The collapse of Yemen’s infrastructure after more than two years of war between the government forces and
   
Boy travels from Morocco to Spain under bus
MADRID: A boy travelled at least 230 kilometres from Morocco to Spain hanging underneath a bus, officials said on Monday, in another example of desperate measures taken by migrants to get to Europe. Emergency services in the southern Spanish city of Seville tweeted a video of the boy being led away from a bus they said came from Tangier, some 230 kilometres away, wearing a dirtied white t-shirt. They said he had been taken to
 
 
PA, Israel refusing travel documents for sick Gazans: Hamas
GAZA CITY: Hamas on Tuesday accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel of refusing to grant documents to Gazans in need of permission to seek medical treatment outside the blockaded coastal enclave. The accusation came with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas allegedly seeking to pressure his rivals Hamas, the hardliner movement that runs the Gaza Strip, through a series of measures. A spokesman for the health ministry at
   
Explosion heard from ship off the coast of Somalia
BOSASSO: A huge explosion was heard from a ship off the coast of Somalia’s Puntland region late on Monday and flames were seen rising from what might be a foreign vessel, an official in a nearby port said. “We heard (a) huge explosion and (saw) flame rising from the ship. I believe that the ship is foreign,” Ali Shire, mayor of Puntland’s port town of Alula, a pirate haven, told Reuters on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear
 
 
Iran warns US against ‘dangerous’ Syrian escalation
TEHRAN: Iran warned the United States on Tuesday against a “dangerous” escalation in Syria after Washington accused President Bashar Al Assad of possibly preparing another chemical attack for which he would pay a “heavy price.” “Another dangerous US escalation in Syria on fake pretext will only serve Daesh, precisely when it’s being wiped out by Iraqi and Syrian people,” tweeted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Iran is the
   
Egyptian warplanes hit arms convoy from Libya: Army
CAIRO: Egyptian warplanes struck a convoy of 12 vehicles about to be driven across the border from Libya carrying weapons and ammunition, the military said on Tuesday. The military said in a statement that it had acted on “intelligence indicating a number of criminal elements had gathered to cross the border into Egypt using a number of four-wheel-drive vehicles.” An official in the armed forces told reportersthe vehicles had be
 
 
US eyes arms for YPG even after Raqa’s fall
MUNICH: US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday left open the possibility of longer-term assistance to Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, saying the US may need to supply them weapons and equipment even after the capture of Raqa from Daesh. Nato ally Turkey, which views the YPG as a threat, has said Mattis assured it in a letter that the United States would eventually take back the weapons it was giving them once Daesh was defeated.
   
Crowd-funding campaign saves Jordan bookstore
AMMAN: For years, Hamzeh AlMaaytah nurtured a community of book lovers in Jordan, keeping his bookstore in Amman’s old centre open around the clock, encouraging customers to linger over rare treasures and often allowing them to set the price for a purchase. His supporters recently had a chance to repay him when the local landmark was threatened with closure, following a sudden illness that sidelined him for several months as bills
 
 
Iran regrets US travel ban; Sudan hopes it won’t hit sanctions lifting; Iraqis’ deportation halted
BERLIN: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned on Tuesday the US Supreme Court’s decision to partially reinstate President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries. “It’s regrettable that the citizens of the countries on the list have never participated in any act of terrorism against the US and yet they are being punished for acts of terrorism by citizens
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