• UN laments absence of G-7 from key humanitarian summit

    UN laments absence of G-7 from key humanitarian...


    ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday criticized the leaders of the world's wealthiest countries for failing to attend a pivotal humanitarian summit in Turkey which culminated with a long list of commitments and question marks over their implementation. At the closing of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the first of its kind, Ban said it was "disappointing that some world leaders" couldn't attend, singling out the Group of 7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Only German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the summit. In an apparent reference to Russia, Ban also criticized members of the U.N.

  • Turkey's president approves new government led by ally

    Turkey\'s president approves new government led...


    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president on Tuesday approved a new government formed by one of his most trusted allies, who immediately asserted the intention to institute constitutional reforms that would expand the powers of the presidency. The new prime minister, Binali Yildirim, replaced Ahmet Davutoglu, who stepped down on Sunday. Davutoglu had a range of differences with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including seemingly lukewarm support for a constitutional overhaul to give executive powers to the largely ceremonial presidency. "We will immediately start work to achieve a new constitution, including a presidential system," the 60-year-old Yildirim told lawmakers of his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in his

  • Rights group: South Sudan army violated civilians in Wau


    JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudanese government soldiers killed, raped, tortured, and detained dozens of civilians in and around Wau town in the country's western Bahr el Ghazal state in recent months, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday. The report described abuses by mostly ethnic Dinka government soldiers against civilians of the local Fertit ethnic groups. Soldiers tortured young men with electric shocks, shot elderly people in their homes and raped women while making their relatives watch, it said. The atrocities took place before the government and rebels formed a transitional coalition government last month, said the report.

  • AP Interview: Qatar energy minister wants 'fair' oil price

    AP Interview: Qatar energy minister wants...


    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The oil market is slowly recovering from its steep drop over the past two years but crude is still not trading at a "fair price" to encourage necessary investment, Qatar's energy and industry minister said Tuesday, ahead of next week's meeting of OPEC producers. Speaking to The Associated Press from his high-rise office in the capital, Doha, Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said a minimum price of $65 a barrel is "badly needed at the moment." He cautioned that the security of future supplies is as risk because of the price slump that has squeezed oil producers since 2014. "The oil market is recovering slowly but steadily. Luckily, the fundamentals show it is heading in the right direction," al-Sada said. "I don

  • French premier pushes Mideast initiative with Palestinians

    French premier pushes Mideast initiative with...


    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — France's prime minister said Tuesday that peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is also important for security in Europe. Manuel Valls made the comments following a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart in Ramallah. "We know we, as French and Europeans, we know that our own security, our own stability depends on peace, the region's peace, peace between Israelis and Palestinians," he said. France is hosting a peace conference in Paris in June in hopes of reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The country has suffered from a series of attacks by Islamist radicals. Valls has been visiting the region in a bid to raise support for the initiative.

  • Senior Taliban figure says death of leader could unify group

    Senior Taliban figure says death of leader...


    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The death of the leader of the Afghan Taliban in a U.S. drone strike last week could make the insurgent movement stronger by bringing back dissident commanders and unifying the movement's ranks, a senior Afghan Taliban figure said on Tuesday. Mullah Mohammad Ghous, a foreign minister during the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule of Afghanistan, told The Associated Press that Mullah Akhtar Mansour's death cleared the way for those who left after he became leader to return to the insurgency. Mansour was killed on Saturday in the strike in southwestern Pakistan, just over the border from Afghanistan. His death has been confirmed by some senior Taliban members, as well as Washington and Kabul. The Taliban

  • The Latest: Russia denies losing helicopters at Syrian base

    The Latest: Russia denies losing helicopters at...


    BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the violence in Syria a day after deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State group targeted government strongholds (all times local): 5 p.m. The Russian military has denied a claim by the Islamic State group that it has destroyed several Russian helicopter gunships and other equipment at a base in Syria. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said Tuesday that all Russian helicopters deployed to Syria "are performing their planned missions to destroy terrorists." He rejected the IS claim of destroying four Russian helicopters and 20 trucks at the Diyas air base near the ancient town of Palmyra as "propaganda.

  • Upset Cyprus president calls off peace talks meet

    Upset Cyprus president calls off peace talks meet


    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Talks aimed at reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus stumbled Tuesday when the Greek Cypriot president called off a meeting with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader after he attended a dinner of heads of state at the invitation of Turkey. Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said in a brief statement that President Nicos Anastasiades "regretfully" called off the meeting with Mustafa Akinci scheduled for later this week in light of Monday's "unacceptable actions." He said the invitation to Akinci aimed to diplomatically upgrade the breakaway north of the island, which only Turkey recognizes as an independent state and maintains more than 35,000 troops there.

  • Tony Blair says defeating IS requires 'proper ground war'

    Tony Blair says defeating IS requires \'proper...


    LONDON (AP) — The Islamic State group will be defeated only with a ground war involving Western troops, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday. Blair said airstrikes alone wouldn't defeat the militants. Instead, "you are going to have to go and wage a proper ground war against them," with British, American and other Western troops playing a supporting role. "The armed forces of America, the U.K., France, other major countries have both experience and capability so even if we are using them in support of local forces, you have just got to decide what our objective is," Blair said at discussion on foreign affairs in London. "Is our objective to defeat this enemy? My answer to that is yes." Blair's decisio

  • Hard-line cleric voted leader of Iran's Assembly of Experts

    Hard-line cleric voted leader of Iran\'s...


    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A hard-line Iranian cleric who has been in the country's power structure since its 1979 Islamic Revolution was chosen on Tuesday to lead the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body that picks the country's next supreme leader. The selection of 89-year-old Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, an ultraconservative who called for the execution of opposition activists after Iran's disputed 2009 election and asked Iraqis to be suicide bombers against U.S. forces in Iraq in 2003, signals the power hard-liners still wield in Iran despite a recent nuclear deal with world powers.

  • Iraq says clashes with IS outside Fallujah briefly subside

    Iraq says clashes with IS outside Fallujah...


    BAGHDAD (AP) — Clashes between Iraqi government forces and the Islamic State group outside the city of Fallujah briefly subsided on Tuesday, the second day of a large-scale military operation to drive militants out of their key stronghold west of Baghdad. Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops, mostly Shiite militias, Iraqi forces launched the offensive on Sunday. The push to take Fallujah is expected to be a challenge for Iraq's struggling security forces due to defenses put up by the militants and the thousands of civilians who remain there. IS has held the city for more than two years.

  • Lebanese man calls TV, says he killed to avenge son's death


    BEIRUT (AP) — The father of a Lebanese soldier abducted and slain by militants two years ago has phoned a local TV to say he killed a relative of the man he holds responsible for his son's death. The soldier, Mohammad Hamieh, and 36 other Lebanese soldiers were abducted by militants and Islamic State fighters from neighboring Syria in 2014. Hamieh and three other soldiers were later killed while 24 have since been released. The whereabouts of the remaining nine are unknown. The slain soldier's father, Maarouf Hamieh, called in to Al-Jadeed TV on Tuesday to say he killed Mohammad Hujairi in an act of revenge, vowing he would continue killing others.

  • Correction: Turkey-Humanitarian Summit story


    GAZIANTEP, Turkey (AP) — In a story May 20 about the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, The Associated Press reported erroneously the name of War Child's chief executive. He is Rob Williams, not Rob O'Daly.

  • Dubai announces $270 million canal project with homes, shops


    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Officials in Dubai have announced a new, $270-million project to build homes and shops along part of the under-construction Dubai canal. The project called Marasi Business Bay will be built by Dubai Holding, a conglomerate controlled by the emirate's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai Holding said on Tuesday the project will include a 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) promenade, five marinas, restaurants and waterfront homes. It says the promenade would be completed by September, while the total project would be built by 2023. Business Bay is a neighborhood of high-rise residential and commercial towers near downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

  • Reports: Emirati teen convicted for joining IS in Syria


    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — State media in the UAE are reporting that an Emirati teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria and fought there has been sentenced to five years in prison. The Al Etihad daily reported Tuesday that the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi heard testimony that the teen traveled to Turkey and later Syria at the age of 15. The newspaper says the boy's father reported his son's activities to authorities, who later arrested the teen at Dubai International Airport. The WAM news agency says a defendant accused of joining the Islamic State group received a five-year sentence Monday, without elaborating. The United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven city-states that hosts U.S.

  • IS attacks undermine Iraqi state in war weary capital

    IS attacks undermine Iraqi state in war weary...


    BAGHDAD (AP) — Even as Iraq slowly claws back territory from the Islamic State group, faith in the government is crumbling among many, particularly the country's Shiites, angered by political disarray and the continual pounding of the capital, Baghdad, by militants' bombings. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi triumphantly announced the beginning of operations to retake the IS-held city Fallujah, promising over the weekend that "the Iraqi flag will rise high" once more over the city. On Monday, Iraqi forces backed by U.S. warplanes battled the militants on the outskirts of Fallujah, a major prize that has been held for more than two years by the Islamic State group.

  • New report says health facilities attacked in 19 countries

    Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Deliberate or indiscriminate attacks have decimated health facilities, killed medical workers and patients, and deprived countless civilians of care in 19 countries during 2015 and the first three months of 2016, a coalition of more than 30 health and humanitarian organizations said in a new report released Monday. The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition said the attacks took place from Colombia across Africa and the Middle East to Asia, including Pakistan, Myanmar and Thailand. "The report shows both the pervasiveness and variety of attacks on health facilities, staff and patients globally," coalition co-chair Leonard Rubenstein of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a st

  • Investigators search wreckage of EgyptAir plane, test DNA

    Investigators search wreckage of EgyptAir...

    Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    CAIRO (AP) — A French ship joined the international effort to hunt for the black boxes and other wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804 Monday, searching for clues to what brought the plane down, as Greek and Egyptian authorities diverged on what happened to the plane during the crucial final minutes before it crashed into the Mediterranean, killing all 66 people on board. Five days after the air disaster, questions remain over what happened to the doomed jet before it disappeared off radar at around 2.45 a.m. local time Thursday. Egyptian authorities said they believe terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure, and some aviation experts have said the erratic flight reported by the Greek defense minister suggest

  • Iran and India sign port deal, other economic agreements

    Iran and India sign port deal, other economic...

    Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — India said Monday it will invest up to $500 million in a deal to develop a strategic port in Iran and both countries planned a number of projects they say are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The deal and plans were announced during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first such trip in more than a decade. In a ceremony marking the agreements, Modi said the bilateral agreement to develop Chabahar, in southern Iran, and the "availability of about $500 million from India for this purpose is an important milestone," in relations between the two countries. President Hassan Rouhani said working on the port can be a "great symbol" of cooperation between Iran and India.

  • Iraqi leader cites early success in push to retake Fallujah

    Iraqi leader cites early success in push to...

    Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister hailed "big successes" Monday by government troops after launching an offensive to retake Fallujah from Islamic State militants, but the operation promises to be one of the toughest challenges yet for the country's struggling security forces. Troops recaptured some agricultural areas in Garma, a district along the northeastern edge of Fallujah, under intensified Iraqi airstrikes and heavy artillery, said Col. Mahmoud al-Mardhi, who leads Shiite militia forces in the operation. The U.S.-led coalition carried out two airstrikes, the Pentagon said, part of an aerial campaign that has seen an average of two bombings a day over the past week in the city about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of