• Egypt anti-terror bill speeds trials, tightens hand on media

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — After a series of stunning militant attacks, Egypt's government is pushing through a controversial new anti-terrorism draft bill that would set up special terrorism courts, shorten the appeals process, give police greater powers of arrest and imprison journalists who report information on attacks that differs from the official government line. The draft raised concerns that officials are taking advantage of heightened public shock at last week's audacious attacks to effectively enshrine into law the notorious special emergency laws which were in place for decades until they were lifted following the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

  • Iran now pushes for an end to arms embargo in nuclear deal

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — As negotiators braced for yet another possible extension of nuclear talks, Iran demanded on Monday that any deal should include the end to a U.N. arms embargo as well — a condition backed by Russia but opposed by the United States as it seeks to limit Tehran's Mideast influence. Late last month, Iran and six world powers gave themselves an extra week past June 30 after it became clear that that original deadline could not be met. The sides now are trying to work out a deal that would limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the easing of tens of billions of dollars in economic penalties on the Islamic Republic.

  • Iraqi fighter jet accidentally bombs Baghdad, 12 killed

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi fighter jet accidentally dropped a bomb on a Baghdad neighborhood Monday, killing at least 12 people on the ground, Iraqi officials said. The plane — one of several Russian-made Sukhois used by Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State group — was returning to base at the time. Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim told The Associated Press a technical failure caused the jet to drop the bomb, which hit houses in the Iraqi capital's eastern neighborhood of New Baghdad. Three children and two women were among the dead, a police officer at the scene and a medical official at a nearby hospital said. At least 25 were wounded, the two officials added.

  • Correction: Palestinians-Rainbow Flag story

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — In a story June 30 about Palestinian protesters whitewashing a gay pride rainbow flag, The Associated Press reported erroneously that homosexual acts are banned by law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While homosexuality is largely taboo in Palestinian society, there are no laws specifically banning homosexual acts.

  • Israel arrests 6 Bedouin for supporting Islamic State group

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Shin Bet security agency says it has arrested six Bedouin for establishing a cell supportive of the Islamic State group. The agency said Monday that four of those arrested were teachers and tried to indoctrinate students at their schools with the extremist group's ideas. It said they intended to travel to Syria and fight for the Islamic State group, which controls about a third of Iraq and Syria. The group governs its self-styled caliphate in accordance with an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, carrying out cruel and often choreographed killings. Shin Bet said the men were from Hura, a Bedouin township in the Negev desert. Bedouin make up a small group within Israel's Arab minority, numb

  • Airstrike hits market north of Yemen's Aden, over 45 killed

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A massive airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels in Yemen hit a local marketplace on Monday, killing more than 45 civilians, security officials and eyewitnesses said. More than 50 civilians were wounded in the strike in Fayoush, just north of the southern port city of Aden, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information otherwise. "I came right after the explosion and saw dozens of dead strewn about and a sea of blood," resident Abu-Ali al-Azibi said. "(There was) blood from people mixed with that of the sheep and other livestock at the market." Other witnesses said vendors' stalls were left burning after the strike

  • Israeli officer who killed teen was in 'mortal' danger: army

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli military says a senior West Bank commander who killed a Palestinian stone-thrower last week opened fire because he felt "mortal" danger after stones hit his jeep's windshield. The military said Monday that Col. Israel Shomer exhausted "all measures" before firing at 17-year-old Mohammed al-Kusbah, without elaborating on what the measures were. However, Palestinian witness Haroun Hazeen told The Associated Press that the officer got out of his jeep and opened fire immediately, shooting even as al-Kusbah fled. Hospital physician Samer Saliba says al-Kusbah was shot in the face and back. An initial army investigation backed Shomer.

  • AP Interview: Iran ambassador: Nuke deal could benefit Kabul

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — As Iran and global powers move toward a nuclear agreement, Tehran's ambassador to Afghanistan said a deal easing crippling economic sanctions would also benefit security and development in his country's war-torn neighbor. Mohammad Reza Bahrami also said Iran would be prepared to help fight the Islamic State group if its presence in Afghanistan grows into a real and regional threat. While fighting the militant group is Kabul's responsibility, Iran would consider assisting the effort if the Afghan government "feels that it needs the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said.

  • German court convicts Turkish man of terrorism charges

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — A Berlin court has convicted a 28-year-old Turkish man of supporting a terrorist organization fighting in Syria and sentenced him to two and a half years in prison. Berlin state court spokesman Tobias Kaehne said Fatih I., whose last name wasn't given in accordance with privacy laws, was found guilty Monday of two counts of supporting a terrorist organization and fraud. Prosecutors dropped charges of membership in a terrorist organization for lack of evidence. Fatih I. was found to have defrauded a bank of 25,000 euros ($27,500), of which he sent some 7,000 euros to the Syrian rebel group Junad al-Sham in 2013, as well as procuring a vehicle for them.

  • State media: Jordan arrests terror suspect with explosives

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's state media say the security forces have arrested a man with purported links to an Iranian group on suspicion he planned to carry out terror attacks in the kingdom. The government-owned al-Rai newspaper says security forces seized 45 kilograms (99 pounds) of high-grade explosives in the case and that it was the biggest haul in Jordan a decade. The daily says the suspect holds both Iraqi and Norwegian citizenship. Al-Rai and the state news agency Petra say the suspect has ties to an Iranian group called Beit al-Maqdis, but did not elaborate. A state security court held its first hearing in the case Monday and issued a gag order. Government spokesman Mohammed Momani declined comment.

  • Israeli police officer in rabbi bribery case kills himself

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say a senior officer whom a celebrity rabbi with a following in the United States tried to bribe has taken his own life amid what police denounced as a witch hunt. The body of Assistant Commissioner Efraim Bracha was found Sunday. Bracha, Israel's top police investigator, reported Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto's attempt to bribe him in exchange for classified information about his charitable organizations. Pinto subsequently accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced in May to a year in prison. Bracha was cleared of any wrongdoing but Pinto's associates continued making accusations against him. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld accused Pinto of carrying out a "witch-hunt" against Bracha tha

  • Hard-hit Gaza neighborhood still trying to recover from war

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    SHIJAIYAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — After weeks of sharing cramped quarters with relatives during last year's war between Hamas and Israel, 39-year-old Mohammed al-Selek thought nothing of it when he heard the incoming roar of two mortar shells. But once a suffocating cloud of acrid smoke filled the stairwell, his heart sank — the family's home had been struck by Israeli fire. Moments before, he had been enjoying a rare break, relaxing with a cup of tea and cookies as he marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The house was filled with his children, nieces and nephews, and al-Selek's father had taken the restless kids to play up on the rooftop, where the family kept rabbits and chickens.

  • 15 farm workers killed in truck accident in Turkey

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An official says a truck transporting milk has slammed into a pickup truck carrying farm workers to a plantation in western Turkey, killing 15 people, most of them women. Erdogan Bektas, governor for Manisa province, said two other people were injured in the accident, which occurred Monday on a road near the town of Golmarmara. Manisa is some 530 kilometers (330 miles) south of Istanbul. The cause of the accident was under investigation but Bektas said authorities believe the milk truck driver might have fallen asleep while driving. The governor said the victims included 13 women from the same village who were being transported to pick grape vine leaves used in Turkish cuisine.

  • Foreigner in Philippines tests positive for MERS virus

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A 36-year-old foreigner who arrived in the Philippines from the Middle East is under quarantine after testing positive for the MERS virus, health officials said Monday. Philippine Health Secretary Janette Garin said several people the foreigner had come in close contact with have been traced. She said one of them, a Filipino woman exhibiting mild symptoms, had been isolated and that her test results were being awaited. At least seven other people who had close contact with the patient were under home quarantine. The patient's home country was not immediately disclosed. It's the second confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome in the Philippines.

  • S. Korean violinist wants border concert with North Korea

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Violinist Won Hyung Joon wants to bring North and South Korean musicians together next month to perform on each side of the world's most heavily armed border. Standing in the way is the rivals' long, frustrating inability to move past their painful shared history. Won says North Korean diplomats in Berlin have tentatively signed off on a plan for a renowned German conductor to lead a 70-member South Korean orchestra through Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the Korean folk tune "Arirang" while accompanied by a choir of 70 North Koreans just across the border on Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of the 1945 liberation of a single Korea from Japan's 35-year colonial rule.

  • On 9th day, Kerry says Iran nuke talks could go either way


    VIENNA (AP) — Nine days into marathon nuclear talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said the diplomatic efforts "could go either way," cutting off all potential pathways for an Iranian atomic bomb or ending without an agreement that American officials have sometimes described as the only alternative to war. The EU's top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, said agreement was "very close." But Kerry said there was still a ways to go. "We are not yet where we need to be on several of the most critical issues," Kerry told reporters outside the 19th-century Viennese palace that has hosted the negotiations.

  • Pair of lions kept as pets by Gaza family arrive in Jordan


    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Two young lions that had been kept as pets in a Gaza refugee camp traveled Sunday to Jordan where their final destination will be a wildlife sanctuary. A Gaza family had bought the lions as cubs from a local zoo that was damaged in last year's war between Israel and Gaza's rulers from the Islamic militant Hamas group. The family kept Mona and Max in their small home in the crowded Rafah refugee camp. The lions and their handlers arrived in Jordan on Sunday evening after leaving Gaza earlier in the day, said Dr. Amir Khalil of the British charity Four Paws. The journey hit an unexpected delay on Friday when Four Paws made its first attempt to take the lions out of Gaza, via the Erez crossin

  • World heritage status for The Alamo, Japan industrial sites


    BONN, Germany (AP) — The United States has succeeded in its bid to "Remember the Alamo," after the U.N. cultural body approved its status as a world heritage site Sunday. The Alamo was one of five Spanish Roman Catholic sites, known as the San Antonio Missions, to receive the coveted label likely to boost tourism. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee approved the Missions' status along with more than a dozen others from around the globe, including the Gunkanjima industrial site off Japan that South Korea had long objected to. Susan Snow, an archaeologist for San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, said the site in Texas represents "the very essence of the great melting pot of the United States.

  • Bomb attacks on Shiite districts kill 15 people in Iraq


    BAGHDAD (AP) — Authorities in Iraq say bombings targeting Shiite districts have killed 15 people in and around Baghdad. Police officials say a bomb exploded Sunday night near a cafe in the Shiite district of al-Obeidi on the eastern edge of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 14 others. Another evening bomb blast near a small restaurant killed four people and wounded 11 others in the southeastern suburb of Jisr Diyala. Earlier, a bomb went off at a bus stop in the northeastern suburbs of the capital, killing four people and wounding nine. Another bombing near a bus stop killed three people in Baghdad's northwestern district of Shulla. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

  • Indian coast guard seizes Iranian boat, arrests 12 crew


    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's coast guard seized an Iranian fishing boat off the country's southern coast early Sunday and arrested 12 crew members, officials said. Top Kerala state police officer T.P. Senakumar said the Iranian crew members were being questioned for possible smuggling and breach of India's national security, but he declined to give details. Sitanshu Kar, India's defense ministry spokesman, said the boat was intercepted and seized early Sunday by the coast guard. The Press Trust of India news agency said coast guard officials found one satellite phone and a Pakistani identity card on the boat which was intercepted 100 kilometers (60 miles) off the Kerala state coast.