Middle East News

  • Top Asian News at 12:30 p.m. GMT

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Two passenger trains jumped off slippery tracks on a bridge near a rain-swollen river in central India, killing at least 24 people as two coaches hurled through mud and rested on one side at an embankment, officials said Wednesday. The Kamayani Express was on its way to Mumbai when…

    Associated Press49 mins ago
  • Malaysia's anti-graft unit to ask Najib to explain $671 million donation

    Malaysia's anti-graft unit said in a statement on Wednesday it would ask Prime Minister Najib Razak to explain a 2.6 billion ringgit ($671 million) donation that was deposited into his private bank account. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it had verified the sum was given by a…

    Reuters
  • Standard Chartered slashes dividend on profit slump

    Asia-focused British bank Standard Chartered slashed dividends by 50 percent on Wednesday after profits plunged in the first half of the year, its first result under new leadership as it struggles to return to growth. Net profit slumped 36.7 percent in the six months to June compared to the same…

    AFP
  • Uighurs deported from Thailand to China remain in detention

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say minority Muslim Uighurs deported from Thailand to China remain in detention while authorities investigate whether some planned to join the Islamic State or other groups in the Middle East.

    Associated Press
  • Christian persecution spurs charity, calls for more asylum

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Syrian archbishop said the United States' reluctance to offer asylum to persecuted Christians is "unjust and condemnable" and appealed to the American people for help withstanding Islamic militants fighting to root out their faith.

    Associated Press
  • UN chief seeks urgent funding for Palestinian refugees

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday raised alarm over a $100 million shortfall in funding for the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees and called for urgent donations. Ban said in a statement that the UNRWA relief agency was "a pillar of stability" for five million Palestinian refugees…

    AFP
  • Latvian protesters call for brake on immigration

    Around 250 Latvian nationalists on Tuesday picketed the capital's main government building to protest against European Union plans to resettle refugees from Africa and the Middle East. "I don't feel that EU institutions are listening to our concerns about taking in refugees from very different…

    AFP
  • Syrian FM in Iran for talks with allies

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem arrived in Iran Tuesday to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss the situation in the region, the official IRNA news agency reported. IRNA said Bogdanov and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian discussed "the situation in…

    AFP
  • Far-right group's poster campaign in Stockholm stirs outrage

    LONDON (AP) — A poster campaign by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats at a subway station in central Stockholm has stirred outrage in the Nordic country.

    Associated Press
  • HRW urges probe into alleged ill-treatment of Kadhafi son

    Human Rights Watch called Tuesday on Libyan authorities to immediately investigate the alleged ill-treatment of detainees including a son of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi at a prison in Tripoli. An undated video published by Arabic news website clearnews on August 2 appears to show officials and…

    AFP
  • Syria foreign minister in Tehran for talks with Iran, Russia

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with officials from allies Iran and Russia that are expected to focus on efforts to end the civil war in his country. Iran and Russia have stood by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military and financial…

    Reuters
  • Britain begins sale of stake in Royal Bank of Scotland  

    Britain's government has begun selling its majority stake in bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), aiming to reduce state debt and kickstart the lender's full return to the private sector, the Treasury said Tuesday. The government has sold 5.4 percent of RBS for £2.1 billion ($3.3 billion, 3.0…

    AFP
  • AP Interview: Qatar's FM urges 'serious dialogue' with Iran

    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar's top diplomat on Tuesday called for a "serious dialogue" with Iran in the wake of its nuclear deal with world powers, even as he blasted Tehran for continuing to support Syria's embattled government.

    Associated Press
  • Dubai aims to beat own indoor ski slope record

    Dubai, the Gulf emirate best known for its extravagant projects and scorching temperatures, announced Tuesday it would build the world's largest indoor ski resort, with a 1.2-kilometre run. Dubai's current indoor ski resort, opened in 2005 in the Mall of the Emirates, remains the largest in the…

    AFP
  • Top Asian News at 7:30 a.m. GMT

    HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — The crumbling brick and concrete walls of the Atomic Bomb Dome, as it is known today, rise above the Motoyasu River. The bomb so devastated Hiroshima that there are few other reminders of the city that was here seven decades ago. "I didn't want to see this place for a long…

    Associated Press
  • South Korea to replace health minister after MERS outbreak

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president has decided to replace her health minister, officials said Tuesday, in the wake of criticism over the government's handling of the MERS virus outbreak that killed 36 people and infected nearly 200 others.

    Associated Press
  • South Korea replaces health minister criticized over MERS outbreak

    By Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye removed her minister of health on Tuesday after criticism over the handling of an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which killed 36 people as it spread through hospitals. Minister of Health and Welfare Moon…

    Reuters
  • French beach returns to public after Saudi royal take-over

    Workers were busily returning a beach in southern France to its previous condition after the premature departure of Saudi King Salman, whose commandeering of the coastline had caused uproar among locals. King Salman made an early exit on Sunday from the Cote d'Azur only eight days into what was…

    AFP