Marshall Islands
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Unseasonal Storm Wreaks Havoc in Marshalls

Residents in the Marshall Islands capital Majuro attempted a clean up Saturday after a powerful storm damaged houses and smashed boats while another unseasonal typhoon brewed nearby.

Majuro Atoll's normally calm lagoon was turned into a cauldron of high waves on Friday, ripping fishing vessels and yachts from their moorings and smashing them on to reefs.

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Iran Releases Seized Maersk Cargo Ship

Iran has released the Maersk Tigris cargo vessel seized by its patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz last week over a business dispute, Iranian authorities said Thursday.

They said the ship was given permission to leave after Denmark's Maersk group, which chartered the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, promised to abide by an Iranian court decision.

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Maersk Urges Iran to Release Crew Held over Cargo Spat

Danish shipping group A.P. Moeller-Maersk on Thursday urged Iran to release the crew of a chartered cargo vessel seized by Iran over a 10-year cargo dispute with an Iranian company.

"We must insist that the crew and vessel are released as soon as possible. The crew is not employed by Maersk Line, nor is the vessel owned by Maersk Line," the company said in a statement.

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Iran Says Cargo Ship Seized Under Court Order

Iranian maritime authorities said Wednesday that Iran seized a ship carrying cargo for Denmark's giant Maersk group under a legal ruling over a longstanding commercial dispute.

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards intercepted the Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel Maersk Tigris on Tuesday in the strategic Strait of Hormuz leading into the Gulf.

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Tehran Cites 'Commercial Dispute' as U.S. Says Iran Forced Cargo Ship to Iranian Port

Iran said a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship was ordered to dock in its Gulf port of Bandar Abbas on Tuesday because of a commercial dispute.

U.S. defence officials said at least five Iranian ships demanded that the Maersk Tigris head towards Iran's Larak Island while it was in the Straight of Hormuz.

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Nine Missing after Fishing Boat Sinks near Marshalls

A search was under way Tuesday for nine crewmen missing after monstrous waves, whipped up by Cyclone Bavi, sank a fully-laden fishing vessel near the Marshall Islands, officials said.

Wreckage from the Clear Water 02 was sighted south of Ailinglaplap Atoll on Monday, four days after the last contact with the vessel.

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Tiny Marshall Islands to Sue U.S., Others over Nuclear Arms

The tiny Marshall Islands is dragging the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries to the U.N.'s highest court for failing to halt the nuclear arms race and rid the world of atomic weapons.

Representatives of the Marshall Islands, site of devastating nuclear tests in the mid-20th century, "yesterday filed... separate applications against nine states," the Hague-based International Court of Justice said in a statement on Friday.

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Marshalls Government Wins Confidence Vote over al-Sayyed

The government of the Marshall Islands on Tuesday defeated a motion of no confidence brought after it nominated Lebanon's former General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil al-Sayyed as its ambassador to UNESCO.

The motion from opposition leaders in the Pacific nation's parliament was defeated by 17 votes to 13 after more than four hours of acrimonious debate.

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Marshall Islands withdraw Jamil Sayyed's UNESCO Nomination

The Marshall Islands have withdrawn their nomination of a former General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed to the UNESCO, a well-placed diplomatic source told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.

Sayyed, spent four years in prison on suspicion of involvement in the 2005 murder of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri. He denies any involvement and claims to have been subjected to arbitrary detention.

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Marshall Islands Nominate Jamil Sayyed as Their Paris-Based Envoy to UNESCO

The Marshall Islands have nominated former Lebanese General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, who was detained in connection with ex-premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, as their envoy to UNESCO, the U.N. agency said Monday.

The move could see Sayyed given immunity from prosecution as the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon looks into the Hariri case.

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