Middle East News

  • Obama says Mideast countries must 'lift up their citizens'

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. President Barack Obama says governments across the Middle East that make a "commitment to justice and human rights" will continue to have a friend in America.

    Associated Press14 mins ago
  • Controversial minister to become Australia's rights envoy

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The former Australian immigration minister who began the widely condemned policy of sending asylum seekers to Pacific island detention camps will become Australia's first special envoy for human rights, the government said Monday.

    Associated Press
  • Rise in number of suspected jihadists blocked from leaving Australia

    The rate at which suspected jihadists are being blocked from departing Australia has doubled in the past year, a report said Sunday, amid a government crackdown of its nationals travelling to Iraq or Syria to fight. The immigration department confirmed the figures to AFP but it was not clear how…

    AFP
  • Aniseh Makhlouf, mother of Syria's Assad, dies

    BEIRUT (AP) — Aniseh Makhlouf, Syria's former first lady and the mother of current President Bashar Assad, died Saturday, the presidency announced. She was 86.

    Associated Press
  • The Latest: Attackers torch refugee center in Prague

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Latest on the flow of thousands of would-be refugees from the Middle East and elsewhere to Europe (all times local):

    Associated Press
  • Anti-Islam groups rally across Europe; clashes in Amsterdam

    DRESDEN, Germany (AP) — Protesters rallied against Islam and immigration in several European cities Saturday, sometimes clashing with police or counter-demonstrators amid growing tensions over the massive influx of asylum-seekers to the continent.

    Associated Press
  • Turkey must cut migrant flows to Europe, top EU official says

    By Robin Emmott AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Europe needs Turkey to dramatically cut the number of migrants reaching Greece within weeks or the pressure for more border closures and fences will grow, the EU's top official in charge of ties with Ankara warned on Saturday. Frustrated that refugees…

    Reuters
  • Rough seas, harsh winter, border limits add to migrant woes

    PRESEVO, Serbia (AP) — Rasul Orwani thought he had faced the worst after braving cold, rough seas in a rickety wooden boat to travel from Turkey to Greece, then came the Balkans.

    Associated Press
  • Syria rebels risk collapse after Russia-backed regime gains

    Syria's mainstream rebels risk total collapse after a Russian-backed regime advance that severed their main supply line to Aleppo city and threatens to leave them completely besieged there. Analysts said rebels and their international backers were left with few options to prevent fresh government…

    AFP
  • UN chief: 34 groups now allied to Islamic State extremists

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Thirty-four militant groups from around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group as of mid-December — and that number will only grow in 2016, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report Friday.

    Associated Press
  • Thousands more Syrians rush toward Turkey to flee fighting

    BEIRUT (AP) — Thousands of Syrians rushed toward the Turkish border Friday, fleeing a fierce government offensive and intense Russian airstrikes near Syria's largest city of Aleppo.

    Associated Press
  • Pope, Russian Orthodox patriarch to hold historic meeting in Cuba

    By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in what could be a landmark step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity. The Vatican and the Moscow…

    Reuters
  • France, Germany pile pressure on Turkey to stem migrant tide

    The massive flow of migrants into Europe must be slowed with the help of Turkey and better screening of asylum applicants on arrival on the continent, the interior ministers of France and Germany said Friday. Speaking in Athens, the ministers warned again of a real "danger" of Europe's Schengen…

    AFP
  • Anti-terrorism chiefs ready for 'worst' at Rio Olympics

    Brazil may have so far escaped the radar of radical Islamist groups, but the Rio Olympics is taking no chances on terrorism when the Games start in six months. Rodrigues' department already has solid experience from keeping order at events including the 2014 World Cup and Pope Francis' visit in…

    AFP
  • Pope and Patriarch to bridge 1,000-year split in Cuba

    Pope Francis will meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba next week in a historic first meeting between the heads of the two largest Christian churches, the Vatican announced Friday. The two wings have been estranged ever since with each maintaining for centuries that they are the true…

    AFP
  • Travel agency in isolated Gaza recalls the 'golden' 1950s

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Nabil Shurafa's travel agency in Gaza was once packed with clients booking flights to London, Paris, New York or cities across the Arab world. The posters of the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and a map of the world look out of place on the walls, given…

    Reuters
  • Fall of Syria's Aleppo would hand Russia's Putin elusive prize

    By Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin thinks Russian air strikes in Syria have helped turn the war's tide but the pace of the Syrian army's advance has frustrated him, some sources say. If Aleppo falls, he could get the military and symbolic prize he has been craving. More than four…

    Reuters