Cleric tries to ease tensions with Kurds

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr visited the president of the autonomous northern Kurdistan region yesterday seeking to ease tensions between Baghdad and the Kurds that have threatened the coalition government.

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Two US hikers left behind in Iran will face trial for spying

Two American hikers who have been held in a Tehran prison for more than a year will face trial at the Revolutionary Court early next month charged with espionage and illegally entering the country, their lawyer in Iran confirmed yesterday.