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The Levant

Israeli police detain billionaire Beny Steinmetz

Beny Steinmetz, the mining billionaire, was among five men detained by Israeli police for questioning on Monday in connection with an international probe into alleged fraud and money laundering. The four other people arrested included David Granot, the acting chairman of Bezeq, a leading Israeli telecoms and pay-TV company, and …

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Iran votes to boost military defence by $500m

Iran’s parliament has voted in favour of boosting investment in its missile defence and foreign operations programmes by more than $500m (£386m). The bill, which received overwhelming approval, is in response to the latest round of US sanctions against Tehran. The US imposed sanctions after a ballistic missile test in …

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Iran in talks to buy 48 Airbus helicopters – report

Iran is holding talks with European planemaker Airbus to buy 48 helicopters for civilian use, an Iranian official was on Saturday quoted as saying, as Iran continues its shopping spree of Western aircraft after the lifting of sanctions. “The Health Ministry is planning to order 45 HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical …

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A reckoning in Charlottesville

In the middle of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville on Saturday, two young women, one white and one black, took each other’s hands and held them tightly, and with their other hands they gripped the steel barrier in front of them. A few feet away, a young white man with a …

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Trump thanks Putin for slashing U.S. diplomatic staff

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering the United States to slash its diplomatic staff in Russia, remarks likely to rekindle criticism of Trump’s kid-gloves handling of Putin. Breaking nearly two weeks of silence on Putin’s July 30 order cutting U.S. embassy and consulate …

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Kuwait says taking measures against North Korea: KUNA

Kuwaiti authorities have begun taking measures against North Korea, including stopping direct flights to and from Pyongyang, state news agency KUNA cited an official source in Kuwait’s foreign ministry as saying on Thursday. The official source said the measures included stopping entrance visas for North Korean workers and stopping the …

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Chinese quantum satellite sends ‘unbreakable’ code

China has sent an “unbreakable” code from a satellite to the Earth, marking the first time space-to-ground quantum key distribution technology has been realized, state media said on Thursday. China launched the world’s first quantum satellite last August, to help establish “hack proof” communications, a development the Pentagon has called …

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Vehicle slams into French troops in Paris suburb

French troops were struck by a vehicle outside a barracks in suburban Paris on Wednesday in an apparent attack that left six wounded, including two seriously, according to French police. Police said in a tweet that an operation was underway and that they were trying to track down the vehicle …

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Dark Signs in the Persian Gulf

By Graham Fuller* — The political and economic assault against Qatar by a Saudi-led coalition so far shows no signs of succeeding in bending Qatar to its will. More seriously, it raises ominous signals for the future of geopolitics in the Arabian Peninsula. That future may have less to do …

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Turkey’s Erdogan claims Germany abetting terrorists

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany on Monday of assisting terrorists by not responding to thousands of files sent to Berlin or handing over suspects wanted by Turkish authorities. “Germany is abetting terrorists,” Erdogan told a conference in the Black Sea province of Rize, in comments likely to further escalate …

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Australian Navy locates missing US aircraft

The Australian Navy has located a missing US military aircraft that crashed off Australia’s east coast on Saturday, Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement Monday. Three US Marines have been missing since what the Marine Corps calls a “mishap” with an MV-22 aircraft. Twenty-three of the 26 personnel …

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Germany’s SPD rejects NATO 2 percent defense spending target

Germany’s Social Democrats on Sunday rejected NATO’s target of spending 2 percent of economic output on the military, and blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservatives for kowtowing to the demands of U.S. President Donald Trump. With just over a month to go before national elections, SPD leader Martin …

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