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$5.3m needed to clear mines from Jesus Christ’s baptism site

  Efforts to clear thousands of landmines and other ordnance around the site where many believe Jesus was baptised have reached a milestone and officials allowed a rare glimpse Sunday of abandoned churches there. The church grounds around the site in the occupied West Bank have sat empty and decaying for around

UN’s failure to condemn Hamas shows US, Israel have work ahead

Seth J. Franztman US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that “we can’t talk about peace in the Middle East until we can agree on a basic condemnation of Hamas and its terrorism.” The failure of a United Nations resolution condemning Hamas for indiscriminately firing rockets at Israel showed the limits

Russia: Taliban, US officials held ’10 secret’ meetings in Doha

Ayaz Gul Russia said Monday the Taliban has secretly held 10 rounds of talks with the United States, other than the officially announced recent contact between the two sides in Qatar on how to end the war in Afghanistan. There have been only two publicly known meetings U.S. officials have held with

Egypt hosts Arab military exercises in what could develop into an ‘Arab NATO’

Armed forces and observers from eight Arab countries are converging on Egypt for exercises starting on Saturday, the Egyptian military said on Wednesday, in a move that could evolve into a regional pact to counter Iran’s influence. President Donald Trump’s administration has been quietly pushing for Gulf Arab countries, together with

Hope for survivors fade as Indonesia’s quake-tsunami toll hits 1,400

The death toll in Indonesia's quake-tsunami disaster passed 1,400 Wednesday, with time running out to rescue survivors and the UN warning of "vast" unmet needs that have fuelled looting. Indonesian soldiers have been ordered to fire on those raiding stores on the quake and tsunami-struck island of Sulawesi, a colonel told

Death toll in Indonesia quake-tsunami hits 800

The death toll from a powerful earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia leapt to 832 Sunday, as stunned people on the stricken island of Sulawesi struggled to find food and water and looting spread. The new toll announced by the national disaster agency was almost double the previous figure. Indonesian vice-president Jusuf

Gunmen kill over 25 Iranians, soldiers in military parade attack

•Over 20 others injured   At least 25 people including eight troops, were killed on Saturday in an attack on a military parade in the southwestern province of  Khuzestan, the province’s deputy governor Ali-Hossein Hosseinzadeh said. “Eight to nine military personnel were martyred and more than 20 wounded,” the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted  Hosseinzadeh

Syria: Putin, Netanyahu defuse tension over downing of Russian jet

•15 Russian servicemen killed GETTY IMAGES The Il-20 aircraft was returning to a Russian base on the north-western coast of Syria (file photo) The leaders of Russia and Israel have sought to defuse tension after a Russian plane was shot down by Syrian forces amid an Israeli air raid. In a call to Vladimir

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