- Al Jazeera
Iran's supreme leader publicly chastised the country's president and foreign minister on Wednesday, saying he disagreed with the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal they negotiated with world powers. The extraordinary comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the first time he's criticised both politicians by name, came amid tensions with the United States a year after Washington's withdrawal from the accord. Khamenei has the final say on all matters of state, and his blaming the deal's unravelling limits the influence of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif - relative moderates within Iran's theocracy who had struck the deal. It also shows the growing power of Iran's hardliners.Al Jazeera
Washington, DC - US Democratic politicians expressed scepticism and alarm after receiving closed-door briefings from key Trump administration officials on Tuesday about escalating tensions with Iran. The briefings were given by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford and an official from the US Defense Intelligence Agency. "Secretary Pompeo made a very lengthy political argument and he argued, 'Here are all the terrible things that Iran has done', and he spent about 10 minutes until I cut him off," Representative Adam Smith, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters after theEgypt Independent
PARIS (AP) - France is taking in a new group of Yazidis including women victimized by the Islamic State group and their children. The families, a total of 130, were arriving Wednesday night in Toulouse, from Irbil, Iraq for resettlement around France. A group of 16 Yazidi women and their children arrived in December, helped by the International Organization for Migration. During a rampage through Iraq's Sinjar region in 2014, the Islamic State group captured thousands of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority and forced them into sexual slavery, while massacring men. Many remain missing to this day. Last month, the spiritual council for Iraq's Yazidi community said it won't embraceArab News
LONDON: A notorious hate preacher has been pictured at the top table at a Ramadan banquet thrown by Qatar's emir, pictures on state TV show. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi - who is known for his extreme views, including justifying suicide bombings and attacks on Jews - was pictured at the iftar reception hosted by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the current emir of Qatar. In lengthy footage of the reception, Qatar Television shows Al-Qaradawi as apparent guest of honor, sitting next to Sheikh Tamim and chatting cordially with him. Sheikh Tamim apparently kissed Al-Qaradawi, who was sitting in a wheelchair, on the forehead. Al-Qaradawi's appearance at the iftar came in the same 24 hours in which he publishedenglish.alarabiya.net
India said the world's fastest cruise missile passed another key test Wednesday when it successfully hit a land target after being fired from a fighter jet. India is developing the supersonic BrahMos missile - which has a top speed of 3,450 kilometers per hour - with Russia, and according to media reports wants to soon start selling it abroad. The missile is one-and-a-half times faster than the old Concorde supersonic jet.Arab News
NAYABANS, India: Muslims in Nayabans, an unremarkable village in northern India, say they remember a time when their children played with Hindu youths, and people from either faith chatted when they frequented each other's shops and went to festivals together. Such interactions no longer happen, many say, because of how polarized the two communities have become in the past two years, and some are frightened and thinking of moving away - if they can afford it. Muslim residents who spoke to Reuters said they thought tensions would only worsen if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins a second term in the current general election, as exit polls releasedenglish.alarabiya.net
Britain's wealthiest people -- are considering a bid for India's grounded Jet Airways, a spokesperson said Wednesday, sending shares in the firm soaring almost seven percent. Saddled with debts of more than $1 billion, Mumbai-based Jet has been in a tailspin for months, defaulting on loans and failing to pay many staff and aircraft leases, forcing it to suspend operations last month. The firm's main lender, State Bank of India (SBI), is seeking to sell a majority stake and has received two unsolicited bids and a conditional offer from Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi. Etihad already owns a 24 percent share and says it will inject funds to maintain its stake if a majority shareholder can be found.