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LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Bayrou decides to march with Macron

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THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 1)

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THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 2)

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THE INTERVIEW

Amnesty chief urges France to 'stay true to its values'

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ENCORE!

Film show: 'Certain Women', 'Rock’n Roll' and 'A Wedding'

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FOCUS

#BringBackOurInternet: English-speaking Cameroon hit by digital blackout

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MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Preaching coexistence: Avant-garde mosque opens in Lebanon's Druze heartland

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THE OBSERVERS

Prison guards turn guns on prisoners in Chile, and thousands of migrants stuck in smoky warehouses in Serbia

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FACE-OFF

French presidential race: Le Pen makes groundbreaking visit to Lebanon

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Middle East

Map: Sunni and Shiite influence in the Middle East

Latest update : 2016-01-07

The suspension of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the latest salvo in a battle for influence that the two rival powers have waged in the Middle East for centuries. Their mutual antagonism has its roots in the division between the two major sects of Islam, Sunni and Shiite, which dates back to the death of the Prophet Mohammed in 632 AD.

Date created : 2016-01-05

  • DIPLOMACY

    Saudi Arabia halts flights and trade with Iran

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  • DIPLOMACY

    Saudi Arabia allies suspend Iran ties over Shiite cleric row

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  • DIPLOMACY

    Saudi Arabia-Iran tensions escalate following cleric's execution

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