Iranian media praises OPEC deal as victory over Saudi Arabia

Iranian media welcomes OPEC's agreement to exempt Iran from cutting output, characterizing it as a victory over Saudi Arabia.
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 Changiz M. Varzi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 1

How the Turkish lira entered free fall

The European Parliament’s vote to suspend Turkey’s membership talks is the latest move to worsen the rapid decline of the Turkish lira's foreign exchange rates.
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 Mustafa Sonmez for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 30

Gaza organization recruits men to fight for women's rights

In an interview with Al-Monitor, the Women's Affairs Center director Amal Siyam talked about the political, social and economic obstacles women face in the Gaza Strip and the novel approach the center is taking to help them.
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 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 1

Will Total deal pave way for other oil majors' return to Iran?

After six years, French oil giant Total has become the first major Western energy company to return to Iran in what Tehran hopes is only the first step in the reopening of the Iranian market.
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 Maysam Bizaer for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 30

As food prices soar, Egyptians asked to go hungry in protest

The head of Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency has called on citizens to refrain from buying basic commodities for one day in an effort to drive prices down in a boycott that analysts say will be far too short to work.
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 Sarah El Shalakany for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 30

Quarrying leaves West Bank villagers on shaky ground

Residents of the West Bank village of Kur have been complaining for a decade that a nearby stone-crushing operation is harming the environment and threatening their historic landmarks and homes.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 1

Turkish companies flout law for cheap Syrian labor

Unemployment in Turkey has reached 11.3%, and Syrian refugees have become a convenient scapegoat.
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 Jasper Mortimer for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 30

Iraq wrangling with $26.6 billion budget deficit

The parliament is studying Iraq’s controversial 2017 budget this week, with the main challenges coming from a significant deficit and disagreements over allocations.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 30

Qatar steps up its involvement in Tunisia with investment conference

The Arab Spring’s nascent democracy is the latest theater where Gulf state rivalries are playing out.
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 Sarah Souli for Al-Monitor on November 28

Why Russia isn’t rushing to lift sanctions on Turkey

Russia appears to be in no hurry to remove all of its sanctions against Turkey, even though it’s been a year since they were imposed.
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Chulkovskaya for Al-Monitor on November 28

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