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Middle East News

  • Christian schools in Israel say budget cuts hurt community

    RAMLE, Israel (AP) — It was an unlikely display of protesters: nuns cloaked in white, a black-clad priest clutching a golden scepter and dozens of Arab schoolchildren picketing outside the hulking headquarters of Israel's Education Ministry. Their message, raised high on large banners: "Take your…

    Associated Press
  • Cyprus police hold suspect after large ammonium nitrate haul

    Cypriot authorities detained a Lebanese national on Thursday after finding in his possession a large quantity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer which, police said could case widespread damage if used in an explosive mixture. A public prosecutor, asking for court proceedings to be held in camera,…

    Reuters
  • Carter seeks ways to improve Iraq training, equipping

    ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — U.S. military leaders are looking for ways to improve and speed up the program to train and equip Iraqi forces, including options to better prepare Sunni tribes to join the fight, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday.

    Associated Press
  • S. Korea reports seven MERS cases, one suspect flies to China

    South Korea said Thursday it had confirmed two more MERS virus infections, bringing the total number of cases to seven, as one suspected victim ignored warnings and flew to China on a business trip. The infections, all traced to the original case of a 68-year-old man diagnosed on May 20 after…

    AFP
  • Analysis: Against IS, airstrikes may not suffice

    BAGHDAD (AP) — It's the modern era's military strategy of choice: overwhelming air power delivering precision-guided punishment backed by intelligence on the ground, with minimal exposure for soldiers of the striking side.

    Associated Press
  • Former British PM Blair quits as Middle East envoy

    Tony Blair resigned Wednesday as the Quartet diplomatic group's envoy, his office said, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict he worked to end as troubled as ever. There was some praise for the former British prime minister's work over eight years as delegate of the Quartet -- the United Nations,…

    AFP
  • Blair to leave Middle East envoy post after years of struggling diplomacy

    By Luke Baker JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair is standing down as the Quartet representative in the Middle East, the organization said on Wednesday, after eight years struggling to break ground in peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians. Officials close to…

    Reuters
  • Saudi designates two Hezbollah officials as terrorists

    Saudi Arabia has designated two senior officials of the Lebanese Hezbollah group as terrorists, accusing them of involvement in spreading "chaos and instability", state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday. The agency identified one as Khalil Youssef Harb and said he was a military commander in…

    Reuters
  • Temperatures soar across Mideast countries amid sandstorms

    CAIRO (AP) — Temperatures soared across the Middle East on Wednesday, with winds and sandstorms driving people indoors as unlucky pedestrians tried to shield themselves from the sun with books, newspapers or anything they could find.

    Associated Press
  • Letter to Obama discussed at Post reporter's trial in Iran

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A letter a detained Washington Post journalist wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama and a trip he made to the U.S. Consulate in Dubai have become major topics of his espionage trial in Iran.

    Associated Press
  • Saudi Arabia sanctions 2 senior Hezbollah members

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it is sanctioning two senior members of Hezbollah, accusing them of leading terrorist operations in the Middle East.

    Associated Press
  • U.S. praises Saudis for imposing sanctions on Hezbollah officials

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday commended Saudi Arabia for imposing sanctions on two senior officials of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon and designating them as terrorists. The United States designated the two officials, Khalil Youssef Harb and Mohammed Qabalan,…

    Reuters
  • Erdogan's war on critical media heats up ahead of Turkish election

    By Ayla Jean Yackley and Nick Tattersall ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A veteran U.S. journalist and author said on Wednesday President Tayyip Erdogan had blocked his honorary citizenship and declared him an enemy of the state, as the Turkish leader's war on critical media intensifies ahead of a June…

    Reuters
  • Top Asian News at 1:30 p.m. GMT

    UKHIYA, Bangladesh (AP) — The traffickers spun stories that were unimaginable to their listeners, many who hailed from tiny Bangladeshi villages where almost no one earns more than a few dollars a day. First, there would be the boat: A huge boat where people could spread out comfortably, where the…

    Associated Press
  • Yemen war will end up harming Riyadh, Iran minister says

    Iran's foreign minister urged rival Saudi Arabia to end its military campaign in Yemen, saying the war would "bring harm" to the kingdom, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday. Iran has repeatedly condemned a Saudi-led air offensive against Yemen's Houthi movement, launched in…

    Reuters
  • Australian boy in Syria creates quandary for government

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A 7-year-old Australian boy who horrified the world a year ago when he was photographed holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier by the hair has created a quandary for the government, which wants to make scores of Australian fighters in the Middle East someone else's…

    Associated Press
  • Hamas executed Palestinians during Israel war: Amnesty

    Amnesty International accused the Islamist movement Hamas Wednesday of committing war crimes against fellow Palestinians to "settle scores" during last year's Gaza war with Israel, executing at least 23 people. A report by the London-based rights group detailed the "brutal campaign of abductions,…

    AFP
  • Australia warns children of foreign fighters risk charges

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian boy who was photographed holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier could reportedly return to Australia with his mother and siblings, prompting the prime minister to warn Wednesday that children as well as adults who break terrorism laws face prosecution.

    Associated Press