News: 09-Mar-15

  1. Egypt dodges diplomatic flak over ‘Sisi tapes’
    Cairo (AFP) – Despite months of embarrassment for Egypt over a series of alleged leaks of sensitive remarks including about Gulf allies, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appears to have avoided a major diplomatic furore.
  2. Iran leader appears in public amid rumors about his health
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a public appearance Sunday amid rumors about his health, as a relative dismissed the claims as gossip meant to derail ongoing nuclear talks with world powers.
  3. Iraqi troops, militia make advances near Tikrit
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite militia fighting the Islamic State took control of the center of a town on the southern outskirts of Saddam Hussein’s home city Tikrit on Sunday, security officials said.
  4. Republicans Warn Iran — and Obama — That Deal Won’t Last
    A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran’s leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama’s administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.
  5. 40 killed as Kurds battle IS for key Syria town: monitor
    Beirut (AFP) – At least 40 Kurdish fighters and Islamic State group jihadists have been killed in clashes for control of a strategic town in north Syria, a monitor said on Sunday.
  6. Air strike on Islamic State-run refinery in Syria kills 30: monitor
    BEIRUT (Reuters) – A U.S.-led coalition air strike in Syria hit an oil refinery run by the Islamic State militant group near the border with Turkey on Sunday, killing 30 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
  7. Saudi Arabia says talks to end Yemen crisis to be held in Riyadh
    ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Monday the Gulf Cooperation Council had agreed to host talks in Riyadh to end the Yemen crisis, the state news agency SPA said, quoting a statement by the Saudi King’s office.
  8. Iran-led Shiite militias and Iraqi army make advances near Tikrit
    Sending in more troops and fighting fierce clashes, the army and militiamen were still struggling to drive out Islamic State militants entrenched in buildings in the western section of the town of al-Dour, officials said.
  9. Bahrain pays rich tribute to women
    Manama: Bahrain has paid rich tribute to its women, openly recognising their social, political and economic impact and calling for greater empowerment to elevate their status higher.
  10. What’s behind the growing rift between Iraq and US forces in the fight against ISIS?
    HARI SREENIVASAN: Iraqi forces have been making significant headway against ISIS in the last few days, pushing extremist fighters back out of some of the territory they seized last year.

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