Middle East News

  • U.N. urges Lebanon to pick president, end political vacuum

    A United Nations envoy urged Lebanon's feuding political leaders to pick a new president, warning on Monday that the country's year-long power vacuum had undermined its ability to deal with the impact of the Syrian crisis and a host of other problems. Lebanese politics has long been dogged by…

    Reuters
  • Islamic State faces battle in Iraq, bombs in Syria

    BAGHDAD/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State poured more fighters into Ramadi on Monday as security forces and Shi'ite paramilitaries renewed efforts to retake the western Iraqi city that fell to the Islamists a week ago in a major setback for the government. In Palmyra, the Syrian air force launched…

    Reuters
  • Only Iran is confronting Islamic State, paramilitary chief says

    The general in charge of Iran's paramilitary activities in the Middle East said the United States and other powers were failing to confront Islamic State, and only Iran was committed to the task, a news agency on Monday reported. Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force…

    Reuters
  • Defense chief: After Ramadi, Iraq's 'will to fight' at issue

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Islamic State group's takeover of the provincial capital of Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the "will to fight," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired Sunday. The harsh assessment raised new questions about the Obama administration's…

    Associated Press
  • Top Muslim body urges protection of Syria's Palmyra

    Leading Sunni Muslim body Al-Azhar said Sunday the world must unite in a "battle of all humanity" to prevent the Islamic State group from destroying Syria's ancient city of Palmyra. The appeal came a day after Syria's antiquities director said that IS fighters had entered the museum in Palmyra and…

    AFP
  • As Russia growls, EU goes cool on eastern promises

    It might have been the mantra recited by the Europeans to six ex-Soviet neighbors at the so-called Eastern Partnership Summit, who went away with EU pledges of aid and trade. For the first partnership summit since the flare-up of the Ukraine conflict last year was dominated by Russia.

    Reuters
  • Italy coast guard rescues 70 Afghan, Iraqi migrants from crowded boat

    Seventy Afghan and Iraqi migrants were rescued from a packed boat off the southeastern coast of Italy and brought to shore on Sunday, Italy's coast guard said. Italy closed down a specialized naval mission to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean last year, but continues to bear the brunt of the…

    Reuters
  • Official: Israel thanked US for blocking nuclear document

    JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked the U.S. for blocking a global document at the United Nations aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, a rare bright spot amid strained relations between the two countries.

    Associated Press
  • Thousands worldwide march against Monsanto and GM crops

    Thousands of people hit the streets in cities across the world Saturday to protest against the American biotechnology giant Monsanto and its genetically modified crops and pesticides. The third annual March Against Monsanto -- begun by the Occupy movement -- was held in upwards of 400 cities in…

    AFP
  • At Mideast forum, officials seek world's help

    SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Mideast-weary though it may be, the international community has a duty and an interest in helping the countries of the region both rebuff violent extremists and fix the refugee crisis that in part has resulted from the fight with them — that was the message coming…

    Associated Press
  • Israel thanks U.S. for stand on Mideast nuclear arms ban at U.N.

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the United States for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear weapons ban at a major United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday. It was a rare expression…

    Reuters
  • AP Interview: Leader says Mideast pays price for gender gap

    SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Bring more Arab women into the workforce, invest in "bite-sized" infrastructure projects and get the private sector more involved in training young job seekers — these are the prescriptions of a leading Gulf entrepreneur for growing Middle Eastern economies and…

    Associated Press
  • Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban torpedoes U.N. conference

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A month-long review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ended in failure on Friday after its members were unable to overcome disagreements on an atomic weapons ban for the Middle East, which the United States blamed on Egypt. After…

    Reuters
  • AP Analysis: At Mideast forum, hopes for future amid chaos

    SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Against a backdrop of Iraq and Syria in flames, Middle Eastern political and business leaders sought to focus on a future of growth and investment for a region that for long has lagged behind. But present-day reality proved rather difficult to ignore, with the Islamic…

    Associated Press
  • Morsi, secular camp in dock for 'insulting' Egypt judiciary

    Ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi went on trial Saturday alongside several secular figures behind Egypt's 2011 uprising, underlining a crackdown on all forms of dissent. The trial for "insulting the judiciary" is the fifth for Morsi, who was sentenced to death last week on charges connected…

    AFP
  • Proliferation talks fail over Mideast nuke plan

    Nuclear non-proliferation talks ended without agreement on Friday after the United States, Canada and Britain opposed a plan to set up a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. More than 150 countries took part in a month-long conference reviewing the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),…

    AFP
  • Analysis: At Mideast forum, hopes for future amid chaos

    SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Against a backdrop of Iraq and Syria in flames, Middle Eastern political and business leaders sought to focus on a future of growth and investment for a region that for long has lagged behind. But present-day reality proved rather difficult to ignore, with the Islamic…

    Associated Press
  • Hundreds march in Sudan against Mursi death sentence

    Around 800 protesters marched through Sudan's capital on Friday against a court's decision this week to seek the death penalty for Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi. Sudan's government has up to now declined to comment on the sentence in neighboring Egypt, describing it as an…

    Reuters