Jordan
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Jordan Jails 8 for Plots against U.S. Troops, Israel

Jordan handed down jail sentences Wednesday against seven of its citizens and a Syrian for planning attacks on U.S. soldiers in the country and on the Israeli embassy, a judicial source said.

The plots in question would have involved "terrorist acts" against the U.S. service personnel at a Jordan military base in Al-Moaqar in 2006 and against the Israeli embassy in Amman in 2008, the source said without elaborating.

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Jail for Jordanians Convicted of Recruiting for Hamas

Twelve Jordanians were sentenced on Tuesday to jail terms of up to 15 years for their involvement in a cell recruiting members for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Of 16 defendants, "four were acquitted and 12 convicted of terrorist offenses", a judicial source said.

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Jordan Holding Chattanooga Shooter's Uncle

The Jordanian intelligence services have been holding an uncle of the man who killed five U.S. troops in Tennessee last week, his lawyer told AFP on Wednesday.

"The intelligence services have been illegally detaining my client, university lecturer Assaad Ibrahim al-Haj Ali, since Friday," the day after the attack, Abdelkader al-Khatib said.

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U.S. Defense Chief Arrives in Jordan

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Jordan Tuesday and met American troops stationed there and colleagues of a Jordanian pilot burned alive by the Islamic State group.

Carter is on the second leg of a regional mission to try to reassure Washington's allies over the nuclear deal between major powers and Iran, but was not scheduled to hold talks with Jordanian officials on that subject.

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Pentagon Chief Tries to Assure Israel over Hizbullah after Iran Deal

On a hilltop lookout near Israel's border with Lebanon, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter offered personal assurances Monday that the U.S. will help Israel counter Iranian support for Hizbullah. He called it one example of how the U.S. can support the Jewish state in the aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal.

Carter visited Hussein Lookout, with a sweeping view of the border as well as the Golan Heights, in an effort to emphasize U.S. concern about a range of threats that face Israel. These include tens of thousands of short-, medium- and longer-range Hizbullah rockets and missiles in southern Lebanon that could hit Israeli villages and cities.

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Pentagon Chief Heads to Israel, Saudi after Iran Deal

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter heads next week to Israel and Saudi Arabia -- a diplomatic charm offensives to two countries that have expressed serious concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.

Carter, who will also visit Jordan, will be renewing US security commitments in the region, some of which serve as a buffer to Iran's "destabilizing behavior," a senior Pentagon official said Friday.

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Jordan Urged to Halt Pursuit of Journalists over Security

Human Rights Watch urged Jordan Wednesday to stop its pursuit of journalists and to revise its anti-terrorism law, saying the measures were restricting freedom of expression.

"Jordanian authorities are curtailing media freedom by detaining and bringing charges against journalists under broad and vague provisions of the country's terrorism law," a statement said.

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Jordan Says it Has Foiled Iran-Backed Bomb Attack

Jordanian authorities have foiled a "terrorist" attack and arrested an Iraqi man in possession of explosives said to have come from Iran's Revolutionary Guards, a judicial source said on Monday.

"Security services thwarted a terrorist plan at the last minute which was going to be carried out by an Iraqi on behalf of Iran's Quds Force," the source told AFP, without providing further details.

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Lion Cubs Relocated from Impoverished Gaza to Jordan

Two lions cubs were on Sunday taken from a Gaza Strip refugee camp to Jordan, their former owner said, after their maintenance became too great a financial burden.

"We're very sad. The two lions were like children to us," Saadi Jamal said of the five-month old male and female big cats named Max and Mona.

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Salam: I Won't Allow Anyone to Challenge the Cabinet

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has rejected claims that he is suppressing some parties in the government, warning them not to challenge him.

“I am practicing my constitutional authorities and neither challenging nor quelling anyone,” Salam told al-Liwaa daily published on Friday.

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