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May16

US pulls some staff from Iraq as Iran tensions rise

By: Michael Bowman Source: VOA News CAPITOL HILL — The United States on Wednesday ordered its non-emergency employees to leave Iraq, as American lawmakers worried openly about a potential march to war with Iran. The drawdown of personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and America’s consulate in Irbil came as the Trump administration warned of potential threats against American forces in the Middle East from Iran or Iranian-backed proxies. “This threat stream, let me tell you, is real,” said a senior State Department official on Wednesday. “This is an imminent threat to our personnel.” “I’ve seen all the intelligence because I have people on the ground. I...

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Apr25

Sri Lanka President requests resignation of security officials after Easter attacks

By: Anjana Pasricha Source: VOA NEW DELHI —  Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has asked two top security officials to resign in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday blasts, as officials revealed new details about the suicide bombers who carried out the attacks that killed more than 350 people. The president’s call to the police chief, Pujith Jayasundara, and defense secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, to step down came a day after he promised in a televised address to take stern action against officials who did not share with him the intelligence alerts that came from India days prior to the bombing of churches and luxury hotels. The president also holds the defense...

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Apr10

Libya: Peace talks not possible amid fighting, UN envoy

UN special envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame By: RFE/RL Source: RFE/R The United Nations’ special envoy to Libya has hinted that next week’s planned peace conference could be postponed amid ongoing fighting between rival militias for control of the capital, Tripoli. In a statement on April 9, Ghassan Salame expressed hope that the meeting will be convened as soon as conditions permit, saying: “We cannot ask people to take part in the conference during gunfire and air strikes.” The UN had planned to hold a conference in the southwestern town of Ghadames from April 14 to April 16 to discuss a way out of the country’s eight-year conflict. Last week, militia commander...

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