Top Stories


  • Jordan shoots down 'aerial target' near Syria

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's air force shot down an "aerial target" near the Syrian border on Friday, a Jordanian military official said. Eyewitnesses said the object was a drone. It was not immediately clear where the object came from, but there have been reports of intense fighting in the southern Syrian province of Daraa that borders Jordan. Syria's civil war, now in its fourth year, has often spilled across the country's borders. Also, extremists from the Islamic State group last month seized a huge chunk of territory straddling the Iraq-Syria border, declared a self-styled caliphate and imposed their harsh interpretation of Islam on the civilian population in the area.

  • Hezbollah leader vows to support Gazans

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group vowed on Friday to support Palestinian militants battling Israeli troops in Gaza, even as his own fighters are bogged down in the war in neighboring Syria. In his first remarks on the latest Israeli-Palestinian fighting that erupted on July 8, Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that it would be "suicide" to continue waging war in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah, a Shiite group, has long been one of the closest allies of Hamas, the main Palestinian Sunni faction which controls Gaza. Both militant groups are backed by Iran.

  • Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the downing of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, U.S. and European sanctions had mainly targeted a handful of individuals, sparing economic ties. Then last week the U.S. imposed penalties on some of Russia's largest corporations. And when the airliner was shot down just a day later in Ukraine, allegedly by separatists with Moscow's support, concern grew in Russia that the sanctions would only get worse as President Vladimir Putin shows little sign of cooperation.

  • Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli ground forces that's left 800 Palestinians dead — including hundreds of civilians. Thirty seven Israelis have been killed, 35 of them soldiers. The officials accuse Israel of war crimes, which, they say, under the ICC statutes includes "crime of apartheid," ''attacks against civilians," ''excessive loss of human life" and "crime of colonization.

  • Prominent Libyan activist abducted amid clashes

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Armed men abducted a well-known Libyan political activist in the country's capital, his father said Friday, the latest in rampant attacks that have targeted officials, activists and foreigners in the strife-torn nation. The abduction of Abdel-Moaz Banoun came as Tripoli is embroiled in weeks-long clashes between rival militias. The fighting has killed and wounded dozens on both sides. Banoun's father, Abdullah Banoun, told The Associated Press that his son was taken by two armed men who attacked his car on Thursday. No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction, but the father blamed the militias. Abdel-Moaz Banoun has been an outspoken critic of the militias and has urged that they be disbanded.

  • Turkish high-speed rail opens between main cities

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey inaugurated a high-speed rail service Friday linking Ankara to Istanbul which will cut travel time between the country's main two cities by half. The launch suffered a mishap however, with a technical fault causing the train to stop for 15 minutes until it was repaired. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other dignitaries opened the service, making the first high-speed journey with stops at two stations along the way where the Turkish leader delivered campaign speeches for presidential elections on Aug. 10. Private NTV television and other reports said a wire failure caused the train to stop about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Istanbul, but the problem was quickly repaired.

  • Top German court rejects bid for Eichmann files

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Germany's highest court has rejected a newspaper's bid to gain unrestricted access to all the foreign intelligence service's files on Adolf Eichmann, known as the architect of the Holocaust. The Federal Constitutional Court said Friday that the complaint was dismissed last month. No reasons were given for the decision. The Bild newspaper had sought to overturn a lower court's ruling last year that the BND intelligence agency was within its rights to black out passages from the files sought by a journalist attempting to shed light on whether West German authorities knew in the 1950s where Eichmann fled after World War II.

  • Lufthansa, Air France to resume Tel Aviv flights

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Air France and Germany's two biggest airlines decided Friday to resume flights to Tel Aviv after canceling operations for several days over safety concerns. Germany's Lufthansa said it would resume flights in stages starting Saturday morning. The decision also applies to its subsidiaries Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines. Air France said its first flight to Tel Aviv would leave Paris on Friday night. Germany's second-biggest carrier, Air Berlin, said that it would start flying midday Saturday. Lufthansa said its decision was taken "on the basis of the most up-to-date information we have available and our own assessment of the local security situation.

  • Oil company worker from Malta is abducted in Libya

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Malta's foreign ministry says a Maltese man who works for an oil company in Libya has been kidnapped by rebels on the outskirts of Tripoli. The ministry on Friday said Martin Galea, 42, is a retired Maltese armed forces captain. It said he was abducted on July 17 as he was being driven to work and was taken to an undisclosed location. Maltese officials were informed of the abduction last week. They said efforts by Malta's embassy in Tripoli to make contact with the man, a health-and-safety professional, so far have been unsuccessful.

  • Dutch Safety Board: 1st 'factual findings' soon

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch Safety Board leading the international investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 says it expects to publish "initial factual findings" soon. A spokeswoman said Friday that such findings could be published as early as the end of next week, and will likely provide a picture of how the investigation will proceed. Sara Vernooij says the board will likely say "what can we rule out? What are we going to focus on?" The board added in a statement that investigators will be visiting the wreckage site in eastern Ukraine in the coming days.

  • Israel says missing soldier whom Hamas claimed to have abducted was killed in battle

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says missing soldier whom Hamas claimed to have abducted was killed in battle.

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri to try to nail down a deal to bring a week-long pause in the fighting and begin as soon as this weekend. It's part of a plan to phase in a lasting cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas militant group in the three-week war. Two diplomats close to the negotiations said a deal had not yet been reached but spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be named. Kerry, Ban and Shukri were expected

  • Son of S.Korea sunken ferry owner detained

    Yesterday

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean news agency says the eldest son of the sunken ferry owner has been detained by police after two months on the run. Yonhap News Agency said Friday that Yoo Dae-gyun was picked up from an office south of Seoul, just three days after his billionaire father was found dead. Authorities have sought Yoo, a major shareholder in the operator of the ferry that sank in April, along with his 73-year-old father who had founded the original ferry operator. Prosecutors say the Yoo family's alleged corruption may have contributed to the April 16 disaster that left more than 300 people dead.

  • Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

    Yesterday

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — For the developers of the world's sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn't have come at a more inopportune time. Plans for the super-high tower first surfaced in 1995 and it took another 15 years to get a green light after the Air Force objected to it as a risk to a nearby military airport used for VIP flights. Now it faces new doubts as South Korea reels from the Sewol ferry sinking in April that killed hundreds of teenagers. The disaster provoked a scathing reassessment of an ethos of economic progress first, safety last that was largely unquestioned over several decades as the country rapidly indu

  • Australia readies 90 police for Ukraine crash site

    Yesterday

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's prime minister says his country is close to finalizing a deal with Ukraine to send police and a small number of troops to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a multinational team. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday that Australia has 90 federal police officers in Europe ready to be deployed to the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed last week. Abbott says some of the officers could be armed and would be accompanied by members of Australia's defense force. Pro-Russian separatists control the area and have hampered investigators' attempts to access the site.

  • Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel

    Yesterday

    JERUSALEM (AP) — A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel — dubbed "lower Gaza" by the Israeli military — is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel. Gaza's Hamas rulers view them as a military game changer in its conflict with Israel. The Israeli military says the tunnels pose a serious threat and that destroying the sophisticated underground network is a key objective of its invasion of Gaza. Israel has known about the tunnels for several years, but has been hard-pressed to find an effective way to block them. Now it is counting on its ground war to at least reduce the threat.

  • Australian reporter imprisoned in Egypt to appeal

    Updated: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian Al-Jazeera journalist will appeal his conviction on charges that he aided Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, his brother said Friday. Journalist Peter Greste's brother Mike Greste said a Cairo legal firm had been appointed and was in the process of lodging the Al-Jazeera-funded appeal. Family spokeswoman Heidi Ross said she could not say whether the journalist's two Al-Jazeera colleagues would also appeal their convictions. "We have to have faith in the Egyptian system," Mike Greste told reporters in the family hometown of Brisbane, Australia. "We have to exhaust all legal channels prior to ... taking other strategies," he added, referring to options including appealing to Pr

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    Updated: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children's clothing scattered in the courtyard. Palestinian officials blamed Israel for the shelling, which wounded dozens and came on the deadliest day so far of the current round of fighting. However, the Israeli military said the school "was not a target in any way" and raised the possibility the compound was hit by Hamas rockets.

  • UN: 9 aid trucks enter Syria without government OK

    Updated: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Nine trucks carrying food and other supplies crossed into Syria through a Turkish checkpoint Thursday — the first to do so under a U.N. resolution authorizing cross-border aid deliveries without Syrian government approval. Amanda Pitt, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the trucks contained desperately needed food, water purification tablets, and sanitation and shelter materials. The convoy went through the Bab al-Salam crossing toward rebel-held areas but its destination was not known, she said. "It is, I believe, the first convoy going into Syria through one of the four border crossings under the U.N. Security Council resolution," Pitt said.

  • Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

    Updated: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country's new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of people and Islamic militants destroyed a Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, underscoring the overwhelming challenges facing the divided nation. The 76-year-old Fouad Massoum, one of the founders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party led by the previous president, Talabani, accepted the position after winning two-thirds of the votes in parliament, noting the "huge security, political and economic tasks" facing the next government.