‘It’s not rosy’: Kenya’s flowers rot amid virus slowdown | AFP

As the coronavirus pandemic has brought the world’s biggest economies to a halt, stopping flights, gatherings and much of daily life, Kenya’s flower industry has wilted. Instead of being flown to Europe or the Middle East for weddings, funerals and romantic gestures, tens of thousands of roses now lie rotting in an improvised dumpsite.

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Paratroopers always prepared for sudden deployment

Amid rising tensions with Iran, 2,800 members of the 82nd Airborne Division remain on standby in the Middle East. The Associated Press was given rare access to see how “American’s Guard of Honor” prepares to deploy at a moment’s notice. (March 16)

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Paratroopers always prepared for sudden deployments

Amid rising tensions with Iran, 2,800 members of the 82nd Airborne Division remain on standby in the Middle East. The Associated Press was given rare access to see how “American’s Guard of Honor” prepares to deploy at a moment’s notice. (March 13)

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Palestinian leader warns UN of Trump’s “Swiss cheese” peace deal | AFP

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas urges the UN Security Council to reject President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, brandishing a large map of a future Palestine as laid out by Trump, and denouncing it as a “Swiss cheese” deal.

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Dozens in Lebanon protest Trump’s Middle East plan | AFP

Dozens protest near the US embassy in Lebanon against US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan. The demonstrators, both Palestinian refugees and Lebanese, chanted slogans and flew flags as security forces blocked off a road to the diplomatic compound.

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Arab Israelis protest against Trump’s peace plan | AFP

Arab Israelis protest against the US-brokered proposal for a settlement of the Middle East conflict, in the town of Baqa al-Gharbiya in nothern Israel. President Donald Trump’s long delayed Middle East peace plan won support in Israel but was bitterly rejected by Palestinians facing possible Israeli annexation of key parts of the West Bank.

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US support for Ukraine ‘will not waver’: Pompeo | AFP

Visiting Kiev, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that US support for Ukraine “will not waver” during a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mike Pompeo is on his first trip to the country that is at the heart of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The visit, which was scheduled for early January but then delayed because of Middle East tensions, was expected to highlight US support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia-backed separatists. SOUNDBITE

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Trump Mideast plan calls for Palestinian state

President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in portions of east Jerusalem. A plan which strongly favors Israel, the Palestinians have already say no to. (Jan. 28)

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Trump proposes 4-year development freeze in area for Palestinian state | AFP

US President Donald Trump proposes that Israeli development in an area that would become the Palestinian state under his Middle East peace plan be frozen for four years. “During this time, Palestinians can use all appropriate deliberation to study the deal, negotiate with Israel, achieve the criteria for statehood, and become a truly independent and wonderful state,” Trump says at the White House in Washington. SOUNDBITE

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Trump says Mideast plan proposes ‘realistic two-state solution’ | AFP

US President Donald Trump says his Middle East peace plan offers “a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.” SOUNDBITE

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Greta Thunberg joins climate protest in Switzerland | AFP

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg joins protesters at a march in Lausanne ahead of global decision-makers gathering in Davos for their annual meeting, with challenges facing the planet — from climate change to conflict in the Middle East.

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French President Macron hosts Jordan’s King Abdulllah II | AFP

French President Macron hosts Jordan’s King Abdulllah II for a meeting followed by a dinner. The Jordan monarch arrived in Paris after having met his partners in Brussels and Strasbourg in order to seek the best way “to lower the tensions” between Tehran and Washington in the Middle East. IMAGES

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For Syrians in Idlib, killing of Soleimani a ‘victory’ | AFP

In parts of the Middle East, Qasem Soleimani is revered as a hero. But in opposition-held Syria, the slain Iranian commander was seen as the man to kill and many see his death as “victory”.

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Trump administration imposes new sanctions on Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new sanctions against Iran will target eight senior officials involved in “destabilizing” activities in the Middle East as well as Tuesday’s missile strike. (Jan. 10)

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Ohio Trump supporters back president amid rising tensions with Iran | AFP

Supporters in Toledo eagerly await the arrival of Donald Trump, just hours before the president makes his first official campaign stop in 2020. Voters here back President Trump’s decisions amid rising tensions in the Middle East. saying, “we need to defend ourselves and fight back.”

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Trump proposes ‘NATOME’: NATO expanded to Mideast

President Donald Trump says he thinks NATO should be expanded to include nations in the Middle East. He even is suggesting a new name for the 70-year-old alliance: “NATOME” – short for NATO-Middle East. (Jan. 9)

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