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World in Brief August 18 2018

IRAQ: The Communist Party has condemned US sanctions on neighbouring Iran.
“Foreign interventions and efforts to impose hegemony” across the Middle East are exacerbating “the frenzied activity of terrorist groups, with uncontrolled spread of arms,” the ICP said.
The US decision to sanction Iran “unilaterally and without legal cover” was “supposedly a punishment against regimes” but, “in practice, a punishment against the people with grave humanitarian, social and economic consequences.”

EGYPT: Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest cheese in the tomb of a 19th dynasty mayor of Memphis called Ptahmes.
The 3,200-year-old cheese was identified as a blend of cow and sheep or goat’s milk using “unconventional scientific techniques.”
They also found signs of a bacterium that causes the potentially deadly disease brucellosis, which spreads from animals to people via unpasteurised dairy products.

AUSTRIA: An immigration official has been disciplined for “linguistic lapses” after rejecting an Afghan man’s application for asylum on grounds of homosexuality.
Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan and those who murder gay people can use the victim’s sexuality as a mitigating factor, making it an “honour killing” with reduced penalties.
The Austrian official told the applicant that “neither the way you walk, nor your behaviour, nor your clothes even slightly suggested you might be homosexual.”

SYRIA: China’s Red Cross has donated two ambulances and two mobile clinics to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
The Red Crescent is active across Syria, unlike the White Helmets group, which operates only in jihadist-held areas and has condemned the UN for supplying food and medical aid to government-held territory.


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