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First Moroccan gay Film Director Awarded First Prize in France

Casablanca- "L’Armée du salut" (the Army of salvation), a film by Moroccan director Abdellah Taia, earned the first prize in France’s Premiers Plans Angers Festival held from January 17 through to 26, beating out other French films that competed in the event. Abdellah Taia’s film stole the spotlight from other French movies that took place in the French festival. The jury praised the Moroccan director’s fil ...

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France frees frozen Syrian funds to buy food

PARIS- France has freed frozen Syrian bank assets to fund food exports to the country for humanitarian ends. France has freed frozen Syrian bank assets to fund food exports to the country for humanitarian ends. The French Trade Ministry said that the permit granted by the French authorities has been communicated to the member states of the EU and the European Commission. The US and EU had frozen the funds a ...

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Assad: Western powers are fighting an ‘imaginary enemy’

Damascus- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday denounced France, Britain and the U.S. for submitting a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control. In an interview with China's state television CCTV, Assad said that the Western powers were fighting an “imaginary enemy.” Interviewed in Damascus, Assad said he was not concerned about the dra ...

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France “secular chart”: a new chart banning the wearing of religious symbols in schools

TAROUDANT- Morocco - France’s Minister of Education, Vincent Peillon, introduced Monday the "secular chart" which will be into force in all public schools in France this week. The "secular chart", including 15 items of neutrality, will be posted in "reception areas and passages of schools” in all public educational institutions of the republic, banning the wearing of religious symbols in schools. The Articl ...

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UN seeks Syria peace talks amid military strike threat

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations is making a desperate new push for a Syria peace conference even as the United States prepares a possible military strike, according to diplomats. Talks on a conference are to be relaunched at the Group of 20 summit in Russia this week with the 30-month-old conflict at a new level of bitterness after the suspected use of banned chemical weapons, envoys said. Despite doubts ...

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Obama: I believe Congress will approve Syria action

ANKARA - US President Barack Obama said, "I believe the Congress will approve (Syria action)." US President Barack Obama said, "I believe the Congress will approve (Syria action)." Speaking at a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm, Obama said, "I did not set a deadline (on Syria), the world set a redline on chemical weapons." Clearing out that the only remaining dispu ...

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White House sends Congress resolution seeking backing for Syria strikes

WASHINGTON The White House formally asked Congress Saturday for authorization to conduct military strikes in Syria in a draft resolution framing a narrow set of operations, in a bid to ease fears of another open-ended war. The document says support from Congress, requested by President Barack Obama in a stunning development on Saturday, would "send a clear signal of American resolve." "The objective of the ...

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Arab ministers to meet Sunday on Syria: Arab League

CAIRO, Qahirah- Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo Sunday to discuss Syria, Arab League deputy chief Ahmed Ben Helli said Saturday, as the United States appeared to be readying a strike on the country. The meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday, but was advanced "in light of rapid developments in the Syria situation and based on the request of several Arab states," Ben Helli told reporters.  On Tuesd ...

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Syria expects an attack ‘at any moment’: security official

DAMASCUS Syria expects a military attack "at any moment", a security official told AFP Saturday, just hours after UN experts probing a suspected gas attack blamed on the regime left the country. "We are expecting an attack at any moment. We are ready to retaliate at any moment," said the security official, who wished to remain anonymous. US President Barack Obama on Friday gave his clearest indication yet t ...

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Assad’s downfall to be a blow to Iran, a power vacuum to Turkey, says international think tank

ANKARA Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's downfall would be a serious strategic blow to Iran and could result in a power vacuum that Turkey might fill, according to RAND researchers. "Assad's downfall could strengthen internal opposition to the Iranian regime and deepen the current divisions within the Iranian leadership," RAND Corporation reported. Iraq also has become a field of growing competition betwee ...

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Britain not to interfere in Syria, defense secretary

LONDON British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said his country would not interfere in Syria as parliament rejected govt proposal. Speaking to BBC Newsnight following the parliament's vote against Syria intervention, upon the question of "Following these events, Britain will not intervene in Syria?", Hammond replied "Yes, that is right." Hammond said he personally believed in the necessity of operation. On ...

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Russia sending warships to the Mediterranean: report

MOSCOW Russia will "over the next few days" be sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean as the West prepares for possible strikes against Syria, the Interfax news agency said on Thursday. "The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces," a source in the Russian General Staff told Interfax. "A ...

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