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Iraq cafe marks 100 years as intellectual hub

BAGHDAD: Seated at tables with glasses of tea in the heart of Baghdad's bookshop district, the customers of Shabandar cafe have watched 100 years of Iraq's tumultuous history pass by. Since opening its doors a century ago, the establishment has become a hub of Baghdad's intellectual life, drawing poets and politicians to its wooden benches and photo-lined walls. "I've been coming here for the past 60 years," Abdel Fattah Al Noeimi, 77, says, dapper in his spotless brown suit and matching tie. "At nine in the…

Turkey marks failed coup that changed country

ISTANBUL: Turkey marks one year on July 15 since a coup attempt aiming to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that failed within hours but etched far-reaching consequences into its society and politics. The country is in the throes of the biggest purge in its history against alleged coup supporters while Erdogan has seen his grip on power tightened rather than weakened. But Turkey is also facing some isolation on the diplomatic stage, experiencing tense relations with the European Union and the United States, and now…