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Alistair Lyon

Iran may be set for prolonged internal struggle

Iran's rulers are tensing for a new trial of strength with protesters on Sunday.

Obama’s Middle East drive loses steam

United States President Barack Obama's high-priority Middle East peace drive has run into predictable quicksand.

Iranian hardliners poised for revenge on dissenters

Iran's hardline rulers are set to punish reformists linked to the boldest anti-government protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Festival spirit defies instability in Lebanon

Grappling with instability is nothing new to organisers, audiences and performers at cultural events in Lebanon.

Hezbollah chief welcomes prisoners, Israel mourns

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a rare public appearance, welcomed five Lebanese freed from captivity in Israel on Wednesday.

Israeli threats to Iran seen as bluff … for now

Israel seems content to keep Iran and the rest of the world guessing uneasily about whether and when it might attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Lebanon’s Hariri vows no surrender to Hezbollah

Lebanon's Sunni Muslim leader Saad al-Hariri pledged on Tuesday there would be no political surrender to what he called a bid by Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian backers to impose their will on the nation by force. The Shi'ite Hezbollah group and its opposition allies have routed supporters of the Sunni-led government in Beirut.

Lebanese army begins drive to restore order

Lebanon's army stepped up patrols on Tuesday as part of a drive to restore order after a week of fighting between Hezbollah fighters and pro-government gunmen. Hezbollah, the Shi'ite Muslim movement backed by Iran and Syria, and its opposition allies have routed supporters of the Sunni-led government in Beirut and hills to the east.

Yemen’s tourist sector hit by al-Qaeda attacks

Foreigners wander freely among the handsome stone and baked-brick houses of Sanaa's Old City, but elsewhere in Yemen al-Qaeda attacks have damaged a fledgling tourism industry already hurt by tribal kidnappings. The government, which hopes tourism earnings can help offset flagging oil revenues, is struggling to shore up security by providing armed police escorts for travel to certain areas.

Global warming to multiply world’s refugee burden

If rising sea levels force the people of the Maldive Islands to seek new homes, who will look after them in a world already turning warier of refugees? The daunting prospect of mass population movements set off by climate change and environmental disasters poses an imminent new challenge.

Protests paralyse Lebanon, three killed, 133 hurt

Protesters bent on toppling Lebanon's Cabinet blocked roads with blazing tyres on Tuesday, sparking clashes with government loyalists in which police said three people were killed and 133 people hurt. The violence raised the stakes in a campaign by Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah and its Shi'ite and Christian allies to oust Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's Western-supported government.

Israel cluster-bomb use in Lebanon ‘outrageous’

Israel dropped at least 350 000 cluster bomblets on south Lebanon in its war with Hezbollah guerrillas, mostly when the conflict was all but over, leaving a deadly legacy for civilians. ''The outrageous fact is that nearly all of these munitions were fired in the last three to four days of the war,'' said David Shearer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon.

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