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Gulf may arm rebels now Syria truce is dead - U.S. officials


WASHINGTON The collapse of the latest Syria ceasefire has heightened the possibility that Gulf states might arm Syrian rebels with shoulder-fired missiles to defend themselves against Syrian and Russian warplanes, U.S. officials said on Monday.


Jordanians protest writer's assassination, demand govt resignation 26 Sep 2016

AMMAN Protesters in Jordan demanded that the government resign on Monday for its failure to protect a Christian writer shot dead outside a court where he was to stand trial after sharing on social media a cartoon image seen as insulting Islam.


EU launches programme to issue cash cards to migrants in Turkey 26 Sep 2016

ANKARA The European Union launched a programme on Monday to issue monthly electronic cash grants to benefit a million refugees in Turkey, as part of a deal under which Ankara will curb the numbers trying to enter Europe.


Saudi Arabia slashes ministers' pay, cuts public sector bonuses 26 Sep 2016

RIYADH/DUBAI Saudi Arabia will cut ministers' salaries by 20 percent and scale back financial perks for public sector employees in one of the most drastic measures yet by the energy-rich kingdom to save money at a time of low oil prices.


Kerry defends diplomacy as Russian-backed forces pound Aleppo 26 Sep 2016

CARTAGENA, Colombia/BEIRUT U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended his efforts to negotiate with Moscow over the war in Syria on Monday, despite the collapse of a ceasefire that has led to a massive Russian-backed assault on the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo.

Iran releases Canadian-Iranian academic held since June 26 Sep 2016

DUBAI Iran said on Monday it had freed a Canadian-Iranian academic detained since June, a week after the two nations began talks on a potential restoration of diplomatic relations broken in 2012.

Just 30 doctors struggle to treat wounded in eastern Aleppo 26 Sep 2016

GENEVA Only 30 doctors remain in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, where they are in dire need of medical and surgical supplies to treat hundreds of wounded people among a trapped population of 300,000, Syrian doctors said on Monday.


Air strikes pound rebel-held Aleppo districts 26 Sep 2016

BEIRUT Dozens of air strikes hit rebel-held areas of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo overnight, a monitor and defence worker said, continuing a fierce air campaign by Syrian government and allied forces since a ceasefire broke down almost a week ago.

Kerry discounts Syrian suggestion of talks on unity government 26 Sep 2016

CARTAGENA, Colombia U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday dismissed a suggestion from Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem that his government is prepared to take part in a unity government, given its continued bombing of the city of Aleppo.


Still robust, Turkey looks set to weather downgrade to 'junk' 26 Sep 2016

ISTANBUL/ANKARA On the first trading day after Moody's downgraded Turkey's sovereign rating to "junk", the reaction in Istanbul and Ankara was swift and predictable -- stocks and the lira took a beating and policymakers accused the agency of playing politics.

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