Al-Monitor (68)

Iraq steps up efforts to stop smuggling of rare species

Smuggling rare animal species out of Iraq has become common due to lax enforcement of laws and the country's security situation, but the federal government is making renewed efforts to halt the smuggling.

Parallel legal systems pose threat to Palestinian unity

Laws and decisions issued separately in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the split will be raised in the upcoming days by the reconciliation committee.

New phone app helps Egyptian women fight sexual harassment

A group of young Egyptians has developed a mobile phone app to fight sexual harassment by helping women identify and avoid harassment as well as deal with its aftermath.

Imprudent foreign financing could jeopardize Iran's economy

Contrary to common wisdom, not all foreign financing, especially the type currently trickling into Iran, is good for state finances and the country's economy.

Israeli singer fights for peace from stage

Israeli singer Noa isn't deterred by the criticism of Israeli right-wingers and decisions by localities to boycott her as she continues her support of the two-state solution.

Manbij residents face off against SDF over conscription policy

Residents of Manbij are pushing back against the Syrian Democratic Forces after they imposed a conscription policy on the Syrian city and arrested protesters.

Children's book brings Lebanese proverbs to life

Author Caroline Torbey spent her childhood trying to understand her Lebanese father's colorful Arabic filled with proverbs, so she created a children's book to share what she learned with a new generation.

Kirkuk residents demand truth about fate of their missing

The families of people who have gone missing from Kirkuk and other disputed areas in Iraq over the past decade hope that the federal government retaking these areas will lead to more information on their fate.

Why UK-US divide on Iranian nuclear deal matters

Rather than France or Germany, it is Britain that could prove essential in determining the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Netanyahu's mixed messages to Israeli Arabs

Inaugurating two police stations in the Arab sector is a tiny step in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should have done many years ago to assist the Israeli Arab population.

Foreign investors flee Turkey

Turkey's domestic political tensions and mounting rows with Western allies have fueled the flight of foreign investors, exacerbating the country's economic woes.

Turkish lawyers join clients in prison

The arrest of a well-known Turkish lawyer has fueled concerns that judicial authorities are trying to disable the defense in politically charged cases by criminalizing attorneys.

Young Egyptian artists reflect social problems through their lens

"Cairographie," a major photo and video festival in Egypt, provides a platform for young artists to show the world what they see through the camera's lens.

IDF prepares for 'new' Syria

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is asking for an increased budget for the Israel Defense Forces to prepare itself against new threats developing along its northern border with Syria.

Egypt unable to find agreement in Renaissance Dam talks

After Egypt declared the technical negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan regarding the Renaissance Dam as failed, it is now pursuing political and other means to address the crisis instead.

Turkey's feuding with allies hits financial markets

Turkey's lira has sunk to a record low as the government lashes out at NATO and implies the United States is out to harm the Turkish economy.

NATO blunder ignites Turkish calls to leave alliance

Diplomatic and military experts say quitting NATO would not strengthen Turkey's hand but weaken it.

Assad makes last-minute trip to Russia before trilateral summit

The switchboard in Sochi was buzzing as Russian President Vladimir Putin reached out to a number of major players in the Syrian peace process in preparation for Wednesday's Russian-Iran-Turkey summit.

Iran, EU hold third round of high-level talks

The third round of comprehensive discussions between Iran and a high delegation of European Union representatives will take place in Iran.

Pentagon reports troop surge in Middle East

Newly released Pentagon figures show a surge in US troops deployed across the Middle East this summer.

Why Hezbollah wants Hariri back in Lebanon

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's surprise resignation and Saudi Arabia's involvement could set in motion events that will negatively affect Hezbollah.

The wrong way to address Iran's missile program

To address Iran's ballistic missile program, the United States and Europe need to work toward a region-wide solution.

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry struggles with smuggling

Egypt is taking new steps to protect its antiquities against theft in a battle that has been waged since tomb raiders plundered the resting places of pharaohs thousands of years ago.

Israel sets the stage for further division of the West Bank

There are signs that Israel is moving ahead with its plan to establish the E1 area aimed at breaking up the West Bank and expanding the Israeli borders of Jerusalem.

Israeli ultra-Orthodox party giving up on fight against Mizrahi discrimination

The Shas Party has abandoned the very fight for which it was created: discrimination of the Ashkenazi establishment against girls of Mizrahi origin.

What's behind Israel's sudden enthusiasm to investigate attacks on Palestinians?

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's push for a fast-paced inquiry into the case of an Israeli soldier's alleged abuse of a Palestinian was not about justice, but about bringing down Breaking the Silence.

Defeating IS in Yemen

While the Islamic State has faced major defeats in Iraq and Syria, the protracted war in Yemen has provided the terrorist group's branch in that country oxygen to breathe.

Israel has good reason to fear ICC

If, as Israel claims, its actions in the West Bank are lawful, why is the US administration fighting the Palestinian effort to have the matter heard at the International Criminal Court?

Heartbreak in Turkey's Diyarbakir as development transforms ancient Sur

The Turkish government promised to rebuild Diyarbakir and its ancient heart of Sur, but its modern plans offer both insult and injury to the city's heritage.

Turkish army chief in Sochi as 'mission impossible' kicks off

In preparation for the summit for a political settlement to Syria's civil war, Turkey, Iran and Russian officials met today — while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was seen embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Turkey, Iran, Russia: Trilateral distrust in Syria

Iran and Turkey are concerned that Russia might exploit them at some point to achieve its own goals in Syria.

Yemenis 'trapped in hell' as war escalates

With help from the United States and the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia's blockade and airstrikes on Yemen have created the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia seeks to turn back clock on Iran

The debacle surrounding the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister amid growing Saudi hostility toward Iran suggests a coming showdown in the region.

Khamenei adviser apologizes for cursing Rouhani VP

A shadowy adviser to Iran's supreme leader entered the spotlight after a video of him attacking the first vice president went viral.

Russia's winning the war for Turkish public's trust

Aided by the West's growing irritation with and neglect of Ankara, Moscow is convincing the Turkish public that Russia is its most reliable defense and security ally.

Are Israel, Saudi Arabia about to upgrade relations?

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Prince Mohammed bin Zayed are dramatically changing relations with Israel.

Last IS-held Iraqi town retaken amid car bombs, IEDs

Iraqi security forces seized Rawa, the last Islamic State-held town located in Anbar province, after a circuitous and dangerous journey to their destination.

Has Kushner given Riyadh carte blanche?

Diplomats and military chiefs worry Jared Kushner's peace play could be giving Saudis and Emiratis a sense of entitlement to take overreaching, hard-line actions that could destabilize the region.

Syrian war refugees find solace in song in Cairo

Some Syrians in Egypt have formed bands to make a living and remember their homeland through music.

Palestinians point finger at Israel for crisis with US

Palestinians blame Israel's ambassador to the United States for acting to close the PLO Washington office.

Turkey probes US prosecutor in Zarrab trial twist

A top Turkish prosecutor is formally investigating the US prosecutor in the trial of Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab, demanding information about the evidence compiled for the gold trader's sanctions-busting activities.

Can Lebanon handle truth about Hariri, Saudi Arabia?

Saad Hariri faces his own court of conscience; US-Iran relations revert to axis of evil days.

How is parliament supporting Sisi candidacy in 2018 elections?

Members of Egypt's parliament took part in the "To build it" campaign and worked on postponing the discussion and approval of some draft laws that would negatively affect President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's popularity, as part of the efforts to endorse his candidacy for a second presidential term.

How Saudi regional moves impact Israel

The Saudi desire to change its role from a behind-the-scenes player to a forefront leader pushes it to engage in the US-led Mideast peace initiative.

Iraqi authorities clamp down on sectarian hate speech

During the Shiite Arbaeen pilgrimage this month, the Iraqi government took legal measures to stop extreme groups from insulting Sunni religious figures.

Fear of extinction pushes Basra's Christians to isolation

In light of the threats of extremists over recent years, Christians in Basra lack confidence in the local authorities for securing their safety.

Will this Palestinian organization weather funding storm?

The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat decided to defund a Palestinian women's organization on charges of incitement against Israel.

How Eastern Ghouta residents survive siege

The 350,000 residents of Eastern Ghouta continue to live under the siege, where aid is never enough and the semi-autonomous way to survive the blockage was halted due to water shortage and contamination.

Egypt's Coptic heritage jeopardized due to lack of funds

Cairo's Coptic Museum has 18,000 icons, carved stones, frescoes and manuscripts in its 27 halls — but few know about it.

Baghdad increases pressure on KRG with budget cut

By cutting the Kurdistan region's share of the national budget for 2018, the Iraqi central government continues to implement punitive measures in response to the Kurdish independence referendum.