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November 18, 2017

Syria chemical attacks: Haley calls Russia ‘shameful’ after it vetoes UN inquiry

US ambassador Nikki Haley describes Moscow’s use of veto that will let existing inquiry lapse as a ‘shameful’ move

Russia cast a second veto in as many days at the United Nations security council on Friday to block the renewal of an investigation to identify those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

A draft resolution put forward by Japan would have extended the UN-led joint investigative mechanism (JIM) for 30 days to allow time for negotiations on a wider compromise.

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November 11, 2017

Trump believes Putin on Russia meddling, says Mueller may cost lives

  • President: ‘Democratic hit job’ distracts from aims in Syria, Ukraine, Korea
  • CIA statement says agency stands by conclusion on 2016 election

Donald Trump said on Saturday he believes Vladmir Putin’s denials of Russian involvement in the manipulation of the 2016 presidential election.

Related: Democrats salute week that saw emergence of an anti-Trump coalition

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November 10, 2017

Saudi Arabia orders citizens to leave Lebanon as tensions rise

Order raises fears that regional power battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran may be building towards military confrontation

Saudi Arabia has ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, escalating a regional standoff with Iran centred on the fragile state, which it claims is being run by Tehran’s proxy, Hezbollah.

The move follows a week of bellicose rhetoric from the Sunni Arab powerhouse about its Shia rival, drawing strong support from Donald Trump and Israel, all three of whom insist Iran is forging strongholds across the region.

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November 4, 2017

Lebanon’s PM quits over Iran tensions and concern for his safety

Saad Hariri quits in speech televised from Saudi Arabia, citing Iranian influence in region and saying he fears assassination

Saad Hariri has unexpectedly resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister, citing Iranian influence across the region and claiming he feared the same fate as his assassinated father if he remained leader.

In a speech delivered from the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday, Hariri blindsided both his government and staff in Beirut, bringing a dramatic end to an 11-month government that had largely failed to impose authority on a parliament split along regional lines, or on an economy weighed down by debt and corruption.

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