• Lebanon: Shiny on the outside, rotting from the inside

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — To the casual visitor, Lebanon may seem like a tiny slice of Mediterranean modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism. But for many Lebanese, it's a rotting state eaten away by a political class that has long used the country's sectarian power-sharing system to perpetuate corruption and nepotism. And while recent protests over uncollected trash have challenged an arrangement almost universally denounced by Lebanese, they also can't seem to shake it. Many argue that system is what has allowed the country of 4.5 million people from 18 recognized and often rival sects to survive. "You Stink," the main activist group behind the protest movement, has called for a massive

  • Explosion in Bahrain kills police officer, wounds 7 others

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — An explosion in Bahrain has killed one police officer and wounded seven other people, among them a child, the country's Interior Ministry said late Friday. The explosion took place west of the capital, Manama, in a predominantly Shiite village called Karanah. The explosion, described by the ministry as a "terrorist blast," wounded four policemen as well as a married couple and their child. The statement did not disclose further details on the location or target of the explosion. Last month, a bombing killed two police officers in Sitra, south of Manama. Police investigators say five suspects arrested for that attack are connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, as well as the Iranian-backed Leban

  • Europe's migrant crisis brings new death by land and sea

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — Death and desperation mounted in Europe's migrant crisis Friday as Austrian police said 71 people appeared to have suffocated in the back of an abandoned truck, while an estimated 200 people were feared drowned off Libya when two overloaded boats capsized. More than 300,000 people have sought to cross the Mediterranean Sea so far in 2015, up from 219,000 in all of last year, as European authorities grapple with the largest influx since World War II. The death of 71 people locked in the truck on a highway south of Vienna shows "the desperation of people seeking protection or a new life in Europe," said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency in Geneva.

  • The Latest: UN chief 'horrified' by latest refugee deaths

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    GENEVA (AP) — Here are the latest developments Friday regarding the tens of thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe. ___ 10 p.m. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is "horrified and heartbroken" by the latest deaths in Austria and at sea. In a rare statement issued under his name and not a spokesman, he stresses that a "large majority" of people undertaking such dangerous journeys are refugees who have the right to protection and asylum. He calls on all governments to act with compassion and humanity. Ban also says the conflicts and repression that force people to flee must be resolved. "The Syrian war, for example, has just been manifested on a roadside in the heart of Europe," he says.

  • Turkish President Erdogan approves interim government

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday approved an interim government that will lead Turkey into a new election in November, paving the way for two legislators from Turkey's pro-Kurdish party to take up ministerial posts for the first time. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was tasked with forming a caretaker government until an election scheduled for Nov. 1, after he failed to form a coalition government following an inconclusive vote on June 7. Two opposition parties refused to participate in the 26-member power-sharing Cabinet, forcing Davutoglu to fill ministries allocated to the opposition with independent figures.

  • Bodies of 71 migrants who died in truck taken to morgue

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    NICKELSDORF, Austria (AP) — An overpowering stench of death came from the truck on Austria's border with Hungary as workers unloaded the bodies of some of the 71 migrants who perished trapped inside the vehicle they hoped would take them to a better life. Found Thursday on the main Austrian highway leading to Hungary, the truck containing the victims' corpses was towed to a cooled border warehouse before police and forensic experts began the grisly work of unloading the partially decomposed bodies before shipping them to a Vienna morgue for autopsies. On Friday, workers continued the work, wearing gloves and respirators as they hefted plastic body bags into coffins neatly lined up on the warehouse ramp. One after another, f

  • Lebanon interior minister worried about protest

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's interior minister said Friday he is "worried" about a mass protest against Lebanon's government planned for this weekend but said he will strive to guarantee the safety of demonstrators. Two rallies in the capital, Beirut, last weekend drew up to 20,000 people, and dozens were hurt in clashes between protesters and security forces at the time. Another huge protest is planned for Saturday. The protests have been driven by anger over garbage piling up on the streets of Beirut, following the closure of a main landfill. The government's failure to resolve the crisis has evolved into wider protests against a political class that has dominated Lebanon since the end of the country's civil war in 1990 and is

  • Al-Jazeera English defendants await verdict in Egypt trial

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Three journalists on trial in an Egyptian court on terrorism-related charges were awaiting its verdict on Friday, hopeful that they will be acquitted after lengthy proceedings criticized worldwide by press freedom and human rights advocates. Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, who was Al-Jazeera's acting Cairo bureau chief, said he was particularly hopeful because senior Egyptian officials had agreed to meet his lawyer Amal Clooney, arriving to represent him in Cairo for the first time in Saturday's proceedings. "I'm cautiously optimistic. The fact that the government has been responsive to Amal's requests is a very positive sign," he said. "The presidency has approved a meeting with her and so has the foreign mi

  • Correction: Iran-Nuclear story

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — In a story Aug. 19 about an arrangement over alleged past nuclear weapons work between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, The Associated Press erroneously referred to Parchin as a "nuclear site. In fact, it's a military site where some believe nuclear work occurred. A corrected version of the story is below: An unusual secret agreement with a U.N. agency will allow Iran to use its own experts to inspect a site allegedly used to develop nuclear arms, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. The revelation is sure to roil critics who argue the deal is built on trust of the Iranians. The investigation of the Parchin military site by the U.N.

  • Iraq's top cleric says government must genuinely seek change

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's top Shiite cleric said on Friday the government must show it was seeking genuine change to combat corruption and improve services and not just introduce temporary measures to placate the embattled nation. In a message delivered by a representative in a Friday sermon, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also cautioned protesters who have staged weekly rallies to press demands for reform that they must guard against groups seeking to hijack their movement to further other interests. Hours later, tens of thousands of Iraqis rallied in Baghdad and a string of cities south of the capital in support of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reform drive and to press demands for the dissolution of parliament and an end

  • Correction: Iran-Nuclear story

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — In a story Aug. 19 about an arrangement over alleged past nuclear weapons work between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, The Associated Press reported erroneously referred to Parchin as a "nuclear site." In fact, it is a military site where some believe nuclear weapons work may have occurred. A corrected version of the story is below: AP Exclusive: UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site AP Exclusive: UN-Iran deal will let Tehran inspect site where it allegedly worked on nukes By GEORGE JAHN Associated Press VIENNA (AP) — Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a sec

  • Exhausted migrants scuffle at Greek-Macedonian border

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    IDOMENI, Greece (AP) — Scuffles and limited fights broke out Friday among more than 1,000 people at Greece's northern border with Macedonia as exhausted, thirsty migrants jostled to get into position to cross. Macedonian authorities were allowing up to 50 people across at a time Friday from the Greek village of Idomeni, but more were arriving by the busload all day. Once across, the migrants board trains or buses north to Serbia in their quest to reach more prosperous European countries such as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands and ask for asylum. A Greek policeman on the border estimated about 1,000 people were crossing in an eight-hour period each day. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not

  • British journalists detained in Turkey

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AP) — Two British journalists were detained along with their fixer while reporting from the main city in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast, where renewed fighting between the security forces and Kurdish rebels has killed scores of people, officials and reports said Friday. Vice News spokesman confirmed that two of its journalists and their fixer were detained in Diyarbakir city late on Thursday. He said Vice News was working with authorities to secure their immediate release. Turkish media identified the journalists as correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury.

  • Fahmy hopes to get life back with Al-Jazeera English verdict

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    TORONTO (AP) — Former Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who remains in Egypt awaiting a verdict in his terror trial, is hoping his ordeal will be over this weekend. The Canadian journalist said in a telephone interview from Cairo that he hopes to get his life back when he hears a verdict in the long-running case Saturday. The case against Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed embroiled the journalists in the political turbulence engulfing Egypt since the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Authorities arrested the journalists and charged them with allegedly being part of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and airing falsified footage intended to damage natio

  • UN envoy says Libya talks must end in 2 weeks

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    SKHIRAT, Morocco (AP) — Talks to form a national unity government in Libya moved forward Friday without one of the main negotiating partners as the U.N. envoy said an agreement must be reached in the next two weeks. Bernardino Leon said the parties would reconvene next Thursday in Geneva and present their candidates for the prime minister and two deputies to lead the national unity government and get the war-torn country out of its crisis. The Tripoli-based government — one of two running the country — did not attend the talks because high-profile resignations required a new negotiating team. Participants described major splits in the Tripoli camp between hardliners and those seeking a more conciliatory approach.

  • 200 feared dead in latest migrant disaster off Libya's coast

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    ZUWARA, Libya (AP) — Libyan authorities were collecting the bodies of migrants who drowned off the western coastal city of Zuwara, with some 200 feared dead on Friday in the latest disaster involving desperate people trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean. An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw workers removing bodies from the water, and pulling a flooded boat into the harbor that contained several drowned victims floating face down. At least one victim, a man, was wearing a life vest. They were put into body bags and lined up on the waterfront. Hussein Asheini, the head of Libya's Red Crescent in Zuwara, said at least 105 people were killed, some while trapped inside the boat after it capsized.

  • Refugees or migrants? Debate over words to describe crisis

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Day after day, images of soaked and exhausted parents clutching their glassy-eyed children as they arrive on Europe's shores make their way around the world. That they are desperate and vulnerable after a harrowing journey across the Mediterranean on rickety rafts or packed ships is beyond doubt.

  • PLO parliament meeting set for mid-September in West Bank

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A top official says the parliament of the Palestine Liberation Organization will meet in the West Bank next month to elect a new leadership. The upcoming shakeup at the PLO's Palestinian National Council is seen as one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' recent efforts to sideline critics and potential rivals. PNC chairman Salim Zanoun told The Associated Press on Friday that the two-day session is to begin Sept. 15. He says he has begun sending invitations to more than 700 members, including those outside the Palestinian territories. Zanoun says the council will choose a new 18-member PLO Executive Committee. The PLO has atrophied since the 1990s, as power shifted to the Palestinian sel

  • US sanctions chief visits Israel amid Iran jitters


    JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury's sanctions chief is visiting Israel amid concerns in Jerusalem over the nuclear deal with Iran. It said in a statement that Adam Szubin, the Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, will be meet senior Israeli officials during his four-day visit that begins Friday. It said he will discuss details of the deal signed by the U.S. and five world powers over Iran's contentious nuclear program. The agreement seeks to keep Iran from building a nuclear bomb in exchange for international sanctions relief. Israel adamantly opposes the deal and its objection has put it at odds with the U.S, its closest ally.

  • Dead migrants found in abandoned truck near Austrian capital

    Updated: Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    VIENNA (AP) — As regional leaders met Thursday to tackle Europe's refugee crisis, a gruesome discovery unfolded a short drive from the Austrian capital: An abandoned truck was found with at least 20 — and possibly up to 50 — decomposing bodies of migrants piled inside. It was the latest tragedy in a year that has seen tens of thousands of people risking all to seek a better life or refuge in wealthy European countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the Vienna conference she was "shaken by the awful news," and summit participants held a minute of silence. "This reminds us that we in Europe need to tackle the problem quickly and find solutions in the spirit of solidarity," Merkel said.