Middle East News

  • AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

    Across the Middle East this week, it was a somber Christmas for many in the region — especially in northern Iraq, where worshippers gathered far from home because they were displaced by the Islamic State group's summer blitz. Baghdad's Christians worshipped in the very same church that came under…

    Associated Press21 mins ago
  • Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

    They each turned a moment of violence into a call to action. For James Brady, that moment came when he was shot and wounded by a would-be presidential assassin. For Chung Eun-yong, it was the killings of his two children during the Korean War.

    Associated Press
  • Iran tests suicide drone in military drill

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's army said Saturday it has deployed a suicide drone for the first time in massive ongoing military drills near the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

    Associated Press
  • Pope condemns religious persecution in Christmas address

    Pope Francis on Thursday roundly condemned jihadist violence and the "brutal persecution" of religious minorities in a Christmas message to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and millions of others. His second traditional "urbi et orbi" message (to the city and to the world) comes at the close of a…

  • Pope wishes Christmas hope and peace for Mideast

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — A somber Pope Francis steeped his Christmas message to the world Thursday in sadness for those with little cause for joy — abused children, refugees, hostages and others suffering from violence in the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine and elsewhere.

    Associated Press
  • Israel approves 243 new settler homes in East Jerusalem

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel has given preliminary approval for the construction of 243 new homes on West Bank land that Israel annexed to Jerusalem, and advanced plans for another 270 homes in the same area, officials said on Thursday. Such moves run counter to calls by the United States and other…

  • Syria's war enters new year more fragmented than ever

    By Alexander Dziadosz BEIRUT (Reuters) - Deep into its fourth year of conflict, Syria looks less and less like a state than a patchwork of warring fiefdoms, making outside powers more reluctant to intervene even as it becomes more destabilizing for the region. The United States finally entered…

  • Pope condemns Islamic State, decries suffering of children

    By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Thursday condemned the "brutal persecution" of minorities by Islamic State insurgents and said the joy of Christmas was marred by the suffering of children in the Middle East and around the world. Tens of thousands of people flocked to St.…

  • Text of pope's Christmas Day message

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Here is the official Vatican English-language translation of Pope Francis' "Urbi et Orbi' Christmas Day message, which he delivered in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Thursday:

    Associated Press
  • Pope likely to address year of conflicts in Christmas message

    Pope Francis will celebrate Christmas on Thursday by sending the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and millions of others his traditional "urbi et orbi" message at the close of a year plagued by war and religious fundamntalism. In his second Christmas blessing, the popular Argentine pontiff is…

  • International 'tragedy' on Europe's brutal African borders

    Just across the sea from the sunny tourist beaches of southern Spain where many Europeans spend their Christmas holidays, a violent crisis is intensifying on Europe's borders with Africa. Every week, hundreds of Africans try to scramble over the high fences that encircle Ceuta and Melilla, two…

  • Faithful flock to Bethlehem for Christmas

    BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Several thousand Christian pilgrims on Wednesday flocked to the biblical town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, lifting spirits after a year of conflict and failed peace efforts.

    Associated Press
  • Christmas pilgrims gather in Bethlehem after hard year

    Millions of Christians around the world began Christmas celebrations Wednesday, with worshippers in the Middle East marking the occasion after a violence-plagued year that brought suffering to many. The not-so-little West Bank town of Bethlehem was bustling with activity ahead of the biggest night…

  • Search is on for diplomatic solution to Syria war

    BEIRUT (AP) — The search for a negotiated settlement to the Syrian civil war is gaining steam, as President Bashar Assad's forces feel increasingly squeezed on the battlefield and Islamic extremist groups proliferate across the region.

    Associated Press
  • Make the seasons bright!

    Old Navy’s Tumblr is ringing in the holiday season in a big way. Check it out now!

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  • OPEC will not cut output even at $20 a barrel: Saudi

    OPEC will not cut oil production even if the price drops to $20 a barrel and it is unfair to expect the cartel to reduce output if non-members do not, Saudi Arabia said. "Whether it goes down to $20 a barrel, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant," the kingdom's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in an…

  • France steps up patrols after spate of lone-wolf attacks

    PARIS (Reuters) - French security forces stepped up security in public places for the Christmas season on Tuesday after three acts of violence in three days left one dead and 30 wounded, reigniting fears of attacks by Islamist radicals. Late on Monday, a man rammed a van into a crowded Christmas…

  • For gay Syrians, jihadist threat adds new fear

    Since jihadists from the Islamic State group seized control of two northeastern Syrian provinces, Jad has lost all contact with friends there from the country's tight-knit gay community. The 32-year-old, part of a community that has long suffered from persecution in socially conservative Syria,…