Middle East News

  • Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid

    By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas's unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group. The United States had been struggling to extend the talks beyond an original…

    Reuters
  • Palestinian unity deal faces reality check

    Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - This week's Palestinian reconciliation deal faces a swift reality check, with president Mahmud Abbas the focus of both Israeli fury and US concern and Hamas seeking to salvage relations with Egypt. "Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) had no option…

    AFP
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  • UN names 21 countries with rape in conflict

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report names 21 countries where rape and other sexual violence has been committed in current and recent conflicts, from Afghanistan and Central African Republic to Myanmar and Syria.

    Associated Press
  • Activists say Syrian airstrikes in north kill 30

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government airstrikes struck a vegetable market in a northern rebel-held town Thursday, killing at least 30 people and wounding scores of others, an activist group said.

    Associated Press
  • UN names 21 countries where rape in conflict

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report names 21 countries where rape and other sexual violence has been committed in current and recent conflicts — from Afghanistan and Central African Republic to Myanmar and Syria.

    Associated Press
  • Algeria seizes 8 tonnes of cannabis smuggled from Morocco

    Algerian security forces have seized more than eight tonnes of cannabis in the port city of Oran, smuggled from neighbouring Morocco, and arrested six traffickers, the police said Thursday. Those arrested were all Algerian, between 30 and 45 years old, with one of them considered the "baron,"…

    AFP
  • Activists say Syrian airstrikes in north kill 27

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government airstrikes struck a vegetable market in a northern rebel-held town Thursday, killing at least 27 people and wounding scores of others, an activist group said.

    Associated Press
  • Qatar to downsize stadium plans

    Qatar may build fewer grounds than the scheduled 12 for the 2022 World Cup to reflect the "size of the country", organisers said Thursday after consulting with world governing body FIFA. "FIFA decided with the Qatar organising committee to examine a reduction in the number of stadiums that had…

    AFP
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  • King bids to reassure Saudis as MERS deaths hit 85

    King Abdullah was in the Saudi commercial hub of Jeddah on Thursday in a bid to reassure a worried public as the death toll from the MERS virus hit 85. The Red Sea city has seen a spate of cases among health staff in recent weeks that have sparked fears that the virus has mutated to make it more…

    AFP
  • Saudi Arabia reports pilgrim infected with MERS

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — In the past 24 hours, Saudi Arabia has reported four new deaths from a Middle East virus related to SARS and 36 more cases of infection, including a Turkish pilgrim in Mecca.

    Associated Press
  • Activists: Syrian airstrikes in north kill 25

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government airstrikes struck a vegetable market in a northern rebel-held town Thursday, killing at least 25 people and wounding scores of others, opposition activists said.

    Associated Press
  • China welcomes Palestinian unity deal, hopes will help peace

    China's foreign ministry welcomed on Thursday a unity pact agreed between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organisation, saying Beijing hoped this would help peace talks with Israel. While the United States said it was disappointed by the deal,…

    Reuters
  • Saudi Arabia reports 2 more deaths from MERS virus

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's health ministry says two more patients who became infected with a Middle East virus related to SARS have died, and that 13 others have contracted the virus.

    Associated Press
  • Man United's brand strength softens blow of slump

    LONDON (AP) — Manchester United's owners will be relying on the strength of the club's brand to soften the impact of a sudden downturn in its fortunes over the past six months.

    Associated Press
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  • Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections

    Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed about the coronavirus. The new cases bring to 272 the total number of MERS infections, including 81 deaths, registered across the kingdom…

    AFP
  • 3 charged with sending chemical equipment to Syria

    HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — U.S. prosecutors have charged a Pennsylvania man and two foreign citizens with conspiring to illegally export chemical warfare detection devices and laboratory equipment to Syria, authorities said in a case that was under seal for 17 months until Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Saudi prince says Gulf states must balance threat from Iran

    A senior member of Saudi Arabia's royal family said on Wednesday that Gulf states should work on acquiring nuclear know-how to balance any threat from Iran. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief, also told a security conference in the Bahraini capital Manama, that the Gulf states…

    Reuters
  • Obama opens Japan trip at famous sushi restaurant

    TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday opened a four-country Asia tour aimed at reassuring allies in the region that the U.S. remains a committed economic, military and political partner that can serve as a counterweight to China's growing influence.

    Associated Press
  • West should work with Russia against radical Islam: Blair

    Western leaders should set aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the growing threat of Islamic extremism, former British prime minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday. In a speech in London, the Middle East envoy said the spread of extremist ideology in that region as well as…

    AFP
  • Obama opens 4-country, Asia-Pacific trip in Tokyo

    TOKYO (AP) — Opening a four-country swing through the Asia-Pacific region, President Barack Obama is aiming to promote the U.S. as a committed economic, military and political partner, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine threatens to cast a shadow over the president's sales mission.

    Associated Press
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