Middle East News

  • Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

    TOKYO (AP) — A deadline of sunset Thursday for a possible prisoner swap purportedly set by the Islamic State group holding a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian military pilot passed with no sign of whether the two men were still alive.

    Associated Press
  • Factbox: Under-reported conflicts in 2015

    By Alex Whiting LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine are getting wide coverage in Western media, but there are at least 30 other conflicts in the world that are likely to go largely unnoticed this year and keep millions of people in crisis. Here are a few of…

    Reuters
  • Nokia turns to fourth quarter profit buoyed by strong growth

    HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia made a net profit of 443 million euros ($502 million) in the fourth quarter and sales grew nearly 10 percent, but its share price fell Thursday as the results were offset by a poor performance in some regions, higher costs and a low dividend.

    Associated Press
  • Rights group blasts IS for atrocities

    BEIRUT (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Thursday blasted Islamic State militants over their atrocities, but also criticized the "sectarian and abusive" policies of the Syrian and Iraqi governments, saying they fuel extremism.

    Associated Press
  • Egyptian prosperity, not protests, could define Sisi rule

    By Maggie Fick CAIRO (Reuters) - A crackdown on protests in Egypt is not expected to provoke widespread unrest that threatens President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's rule, as most Egyptians crave an end to years of political turmoil that have hammered their hopes of prosperity. More than 25 people were…

    Reuters
  • Turkey, Lebanon restart Baghdad flights after shooting, Gulf waits

    Turkish Airlines and Lebanon's Middle East Airlines (MEA) resumed flights to Baghdad on Thursday after halting them earlier in the week when bullets hit a plane as it was landing in the Iraqi capital. Samir Kubba, the head of Iraq's civil aviation authority, told Reuters a flight from Istanbul had…

    Reuters
  • Romney, mulling 2016 run, jabs Clinton and Obama

    Mitt Romney, considering another presidential run, took swipes at potential 2016 rival Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for "cluelessly" conducting foreign policy, and said Barack Obama's brand of economics is hurting Americans. The 2012 Republican nominee, who lost to Obama, has returned to the…

    AFP
  • Iraq, UAE play for Middle East supremacy in 3rd-place match

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — After falling one game short of an Asian Cup finals appearance, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates will play for Middle Eastern supremacy in the third-place playoff in Newcastle on Friday.

    Associated Press
  • Japan analyzing purported new voice recording of IS captive: PM's spokesman

    The Japanese government is analyzing a purported new voice recording in which a Japanese journalist held captive by Islamic State says a Jordanian pilot also in their custody will be killed if a swap for a would-be suicide bomber is not carried out by sunset on Thursday, a spokesman for Prime…

    Reuters
  • Prehistoric skull a key 'piece of the puzzle' in story of humanity

    By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A partial skull retrieved from a cave in northern Israel is shedding light on a pivotal juncture in early human history when our species was trekking out of Africa to populate other parts of the world and encountered our close cousins the Neanderthals. The…

    Reuters
  • Ancient Israeli skull may document migration from Africa

    NEW YORK (AP) — Long ago, humans left their evolutionary cradle in Africa and passed through the Middle East on their way to Europe. Now scientists have found the first fossil remains that appear to document that journey, a partial skull from an Israeli cave.

    Associated Press
  • IS suffers 'devastating' blows but biggest fighting still ahead

    The Islamic State group has suffered "devastating" blows in Syria's Kobane and on several Iraqi fronts, but analysts warn such victories in the fight against the jihadists cannot be replicated everywhere. "Kobane shows that intense air strikes concentrated in a small space can succeed in…

    AFP
  • Hostage parents make anguished pleas as IS deadline nears

    The parents of a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian airman held by Islamic State militants made last-ditch pleas for their lives as a deadline for an exchange with a jihadi bomber neared Wednesday. Safi Kassasbeh begged the Jordanian government to save his pilot son's "at any price", while the…

    AFP
  • Pentagon docs: Obama to request big Pentagon budget hike

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will ask Congress for a hefty, almost 8 percent boost for the Pentagon, including $5.3 billion to equip and train Iraqi soldiers and moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

    Associated Press
  • Obama pays respects to Saudis, defends ties to kingdom

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — In a show of solidarity with Saudi Arabia, President Barack Obama led a parade of American dignitaries to the ultraconservative desert kingdom Tuesday to pay respects after King Abdullah's death and take measure of the new monarch.

    Associated Press
  • Obama to bolster crucial Saudi alliance amid Mideast unrest

    By Roberta Rampton RIYADH (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to pay his respects after the death of King Abdullah, a trip that underscores the importance of a U.S.-Saudi alliance that extends beyond oil interests to regional security. Deputy National…

    Reuters
  • Kevin Spacey skips award shows to help aspiring Arab actors

    SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kevin Spacey skipped the Screen Actors Guild awards, which handed him a win for his wildly popular role on "House of Cards", to watch 34 young actors from across the Arab world perform a play as part of his foundation's Home Grown initiative supporting local…

    Associated Press