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Kuwait pledges $2b for Iraq reconstruction
Reuters, Kuwait
Kuwait's Emir said it would lend $1 billion and commit a further $1 billion of investments to Iraq, joining a group of international backers that have this week pledged funds to bolster the country's recovery.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with Islamic State militants who seized almost a third of the country.

US set to boost aid to Jordan
AP, Amman
Despite repeated threats to punish countries that don't agree with U.S. policy in the Middle East, the Trump administration is set to boost aid to Jordan by more than $1 billion over the next five years.
President Donald Trump has vowed to cut aid to nations that oppose the U.S., yet rhetoric appears to have hit reality with Jordan, a critical American partner in the volatile Middle East that has opposed the administration's Mideast approach.

Netanyahu rejects calls to resign
AFP, Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls to step down Wednesday after police recommended his indictment for corruption, the biggest challenge yet to the right-wing premier's long tenure in power.
Netanyahu again came out swinging on Wednesday morning, harshly criticising the police investigation against him while making clear he has no intention of resigning.

Militants kill 4 Pak paramilitary troops
AP, Pakistan
Militants riding on motorcycles opened fire at a vehicle carrying paramilitary forces in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing four troops before fleeing, police said.
Hours later, the Taliban-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta's Saryab neighborhood.

Dutch Foreign Minister quits
Reuters, Amsterdam
Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra resigned on Tuesday after admitting that he had lied about attending a meeting in 2006 at which he said Russian President Vladimir Putin had outlined a strategy for building a greater Russia.

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Pak Provincial Assembly Speaker arrested AP, Islamabad  Pakistan's anti-corruption body says it has arrested the speaker of a provincial assembly and member of an opposition party headed by former President

Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis: Congressional report

AP, Washington :Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

AFP, Moscow  :President Vladimir Putin promised Russians rapid improvements in their living conditions as he delivered his annual state of the nation address Wednesday under pressure from falling approval

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack

Reuters, Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in its investigation of a deadly bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last

Japan trial to treat spinal cord injuries with stem cells

Japan trial to treat spinal cord injuries with stem cells

AFP, Tokyo :The health ministry approved Monday the world's first clinical test in which artificially derived stem cells will be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries.A team

IS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

IS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

AFP, Baghouz (Syria) :Islamic State group jihadists were defending the last pocket of their "caliphate" in Syria on Monday, as EU foreign ministers meet to discuss the crisis after

Australia says 'state actor' hacked parties, parliament

Australia says 'state actor' hacked parties, parliament

AFP, Sydney :Australia on Monday said a "sophisticated state actor" had hacked the country's main political parties and parliament, just weeks before a closely fought election.Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

AFP, Moscow :As the end nears for the IS enclave in Syria and the fate of jihadists' family members becomes a prescient issue, Russia can be seen as a

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official

AP, Washington :Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a "crime may have been committed" when President Donald Trump fired the head