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  • Followers of Iraq's Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr storm Baghdad's Green Zone after lawmakers failed to convene for a vote on overhauling the government, in Iraq April 30, 2016. Reuters Photo

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday ordered the arrest of hundreds of supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who stormed Iraq's parliament Saturday evening and camped out, demanding reforms in the political quota system that was introduced after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

    A United Nations spokesman and western diplomats said their compounds inside the Green Zone were locked down, according to Reuters, which also said some of the demonstrators set up tents at a nearby parade ground.

    The Green Zone houses the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and many embassies, including the U.S. Embassy.


  • Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Photo: AFP

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday launched one of his verbal attacks against Israel, saying that defending “the Palestinian cause in the face of the Israeli regime” symbolizes defending Islam.

    Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with Ramadan Abdullah, the head of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, and was quoted by the state-run PressTV.

    “Since from the very beginning, the Islamic Republic of Iran considered supporting Palestine as a duty, it will continue to fulfill its obligation in the future as well,” he was quoted as having said, adding that “defending the Palestinian cause” is enshrined in the very nature of the Islamic Republic.

  • The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in 2009. (AP/U.S. Navy)

    China blocked a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier from arriving at a port in Hong Kong as tensions ratcheted up over disputed islands in the South China Sea, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed Friday.

    The USS John C. Stennis and escort ships had planned to visit the port next week, Stars & Stripes reports. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not explain why it denied the request.

    "We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, including with the current visit of the USS Blue Ridge, and we expect that will continue,” Cmdr. Bill Urban told Fox News. The USS Blue Ridge is a Navy command ship.

  • - In this March 30, 2016, file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a media availability at the State Department in Washington. (AP)

    Secretary of State John Kerry urged Syrian government forces Saturday to stop bombarding the city of Aleppo as it moves in to retake it.

    Kerry said the priority was “a durable, nationwide cessation.” The UN envoy for Syria and the lead opposition negotiator have urged the U.S. and Russia to step in and take control of peace talks as a fragile truce hangs in the balance.

    The truce between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the U.S.-backed moderate rebels was called in February with the help of the U.S. and Russia.

  • An Islamic Jihad militant attends an anti-Israel rally in Rafah.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

    An official delegation of the Islamic Jihad has been visiting Iran to discuss the ways to strengthen the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Palestinian media reported on Sunday.

    According to a statement issued by the Palestinian terror organization, the delegation, headed by the organization's Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah will visit Iran for a few days. The Palestinian delegation will meet Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and the chief of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.

    The Islamic jihad announced that "the delegation visiting Tehran has met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as other senior Iranian officials.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (photo credit:REUTERS)

    Germany is beginning to re-examine its longstanding policy of near-automatic support for Israel in light of what it perceives as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s disinclination to move toward a two-state solution to the Palestine question.

    According to a report in the prestigious magazine Der Spiegel, diplomatic officials in Berlin are taking a hard look at a decades-long policy of “unconditional support” for Israel in light of continued settlement expansion in the West Bank.

    The reassessment has been triggered by the realization among officials in Berlin that as long as Netanyahu is in power, Israel has no intention of creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank, thus ushering in an era of “apartheid” – according to Der Spiegel.

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds