• Istanbul police arrest man outside US Consulate

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish news agency says police have detained man who claimed to have explosives attached on his body, outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. The man was described as "mentally unstable" The Dogan news agency says police arrested the man who stood outside the consulate building on Friday, his hand placed inside his coat. It was not immediately known whether the man, who was not identified, was carrying explosives. Police in Istanbul would not immediately comment.

  • Islamic State threat boosts business for Kurdish gunsmith

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — In gunsmith Bahktiyar Sadr-Aldeen's workshop in this Kurdish city in northern Iraq, every weapon has a story. These days, there are lots of stories to tell. Sadr-Aldeen, an Iraqi Kurd, has seen his business shoot up by 50 percent since last June, when the Islamic State took over the Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Irbil. The Kurdish fighting force known as the pershmerga has been at war against the Sunni extremists ever since, keeping Aldeen busy. "Now the whole of Iraq is in war because of Daesh," said Sadr-Aldeen, using one of the Islamic State's alternative names. "Weapons naturally break during the fighting, and there's no professional company that can fix the

  • Victory for Argentine leader as judge rejects cover-up case

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday firmly dismissed allegations that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez tried to cover up the involvement of Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, easing a crisis for her government fed by the death of the prosecutor who brought the case. Judge Daniel Rafecas said the documents originally filed by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman failed to meet "the minimal conditions needed to launch a formal court investigation." "There is not a single element of evidence, even circumstantial, that points to the actual head of state," the judge said. Nisman had filed the complaint just days before he died on Jan. 18 under mysterious circumstances.

  • Lawyer for Al-Jazeera journalist blasts Canadian government

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    TORONTO (AP) — The lawyer for a Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist criticized the Canadian government Thursday for not doing enough to secure his release from Egypt. Mohamed Fahmy is out on bail awaiting retrial after more than a year behind bars in Egypt on terrorism-related charges. Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, was asked to give up his Egyptian nationality in order to qualify for deportation. He complied with the demand but Egyptian authorities are not deporting him for reasons that remain unclear. Lawyer Amal Clooney said in a statement that appeals from the Canadian public and politicians to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pick up the phone and personally intervene have "so far fallen on deaf ears.

  • 'Jihadi John' identified as London-raised college grad

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — The world knows him as "Jihadi John," the masked, knife-wielding militant in videos showing Western hostages being beheaded by the Islamic State group. On Thursday he was identified as a London-raised university graduate known to British intelligence for more than five years. The British-accented militant from the chilling videos is Mohammed Emwazi, a man in his mid-20s who was born in Kuwait and raised in a modest, mixed-income area of west London. No one answered the door at the brick row house where Emwazi's family is said to have lived. Neighbors in the area of public housing projects either declined comment or said they didn't know the family.

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. At the same time, the extremists also released a video showing the continued destruction of the heritage of the lands under their control. It depicted men using sledgehammers to smash ancient Mesopotamian statues and other artifacts in Iraq's northern city of Mosul. The video, coinciding with mounting fears over the fate of the captive Christian Assyrians in Syria, sent a fresh wave of dread across the region, particularly among minorities who feel targeted by the group.

  • Yemen Shiite rebel leader: Saudi Arabia seeks Yemen split

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's Shiite rebel leader lashed out at Saudi Arabia on Thursday, accusing it of seeking to split the country following his group's power grab, as a U.N. envoy met the embattled Yemeni president who has fled the capital, Sanaa. In a strongly worded speech, the leader of rebels known as the Houthis, Abdel-Malik al-Houthi, said Saudi Arabia and other international powers are pushing for a division of Yemen along sectarian lines. The kingdom, which shares a long border with Yemen, has cut an economic lifeline to the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country since the Houthis seized Sanaa in September. After the Shiite rebels declared they have taken over the country in January, Saudi Arabia and most We

  • New IS video shows militants smashing ancient Iraq artifacts

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group released a video on Thursday showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, describing the relics as idols that must be removed. The destructions are part of a campaign by the IS extremists who have destroyed a number of shrines — including Muslim holy sites — in order to eliminate what they view as heresy. They are also believed to have sold ancient artifacts on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region. The five-minute video shows a group of bearded men inside the Mosul Museum using hammers and drills to destroy several large statues, which are then shown chipped and in pieces.

  • Egypt detains 2 police officers over lawyer's death

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities detained two police officers on Thursday over allegations that they had tortured a lawyer to death inside a police station, the latest in a series of recent incidents that underline alleged abuses by the country's police force. The detentions came after Prosecutor Mohammed Abdel-Shafi, in the Eastern Cairo prosecution department, summoned seven policemen from the station where the incident took place for questioning. The two have not been charged and the other five were released.

  • NATO ready to advise Libya on security, eyes more drones

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    ROME (AP) — NATO's chief said Thursday the alliance was ready to advise Libya's government on defense and security issues, saying the deteriorating situation in the country is posing new security threats for Europe that require a more robust defense. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also told a news conference in Rome that the alliance plans to bolster its surveillance of the region by using drones based at the naval air station in Sigonella, Sicily, starting next year. NATO helped enforce an arms embargo and a no-fly zone over Libya during the 2011 ouster of Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

  • Germany charges 21-year-old man with joining Jabhat al-Nusra

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors say they've charged a 21-year-old man with joining an al-Qaida linked terrorist organization in Syria. Federal prosecutors said in a statement Thursday that the dual German-Turkish national, identified only as Ufuk C. in line with privacy laws, was charged Feb. 10 with membership of Jabhat al-Nusra. The suspect allegedly traveled in March 2014 to Syria through Turkey where he linked up with the group planning to "die in battle as a martyr." He is accused of undergoing weapons and tactics training with the group, serving as a guard, and appearing in an Internet propaganda video. He was arrested at Munich airport as he tried to re-enter Germany on July 25, 2014 and has been in custody si

  • Leaked spy documents reveal plot to kill African Union head

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The African Union chairwoman is "safe and sound," the organization said on Thursday, after leaked intelligence documents revealed a 2012 plot to assassinate her. South African and Ethiopian spies intercepted a plot to kill Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma soon after she was elected as head of the African Union in October 2012, according to leaked classified documents published by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper. The AU leadership was "most grateful" that countries had co-operated to save the South African's life at the time, the regional organization said in its statement.

  • Egypt: 3 arrested over grisly dog killing

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities on Thursday arrested three men over a grisly online video showing a group of men stabbing and bludgeoning a dog to death on a busy Cairo street. The video, which surfaced earlier in the day, triggered an avalanche of angry comments on social media that expressed horror at the killing and berating onlookers who in the video stood by and watched. The dog, a cross between a pure Rhodesian Ridgeback and a mutt, was tied while the men set upon it with knives, machetes and clubs. The dog's owner, Mohammed Sayed, told a TV talk show Wednesday night that he had handed over the dog to the men to settle a long-running dispute.

  • Helicopter crash north of Iran's capital, Tehran, kills 3

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian news agency says a helicopter belonging to the country's air force has crashed north of Tehran, killing all three crew members on board. Thursday's report by the semi-official Fars news agency quotes a district governor, Ezzatollah Khammohammadi, as saying that rescue teams have rushed to the crash site in the mountains north of the Iranian capital. He says the cause of the crash is not immediately known and that an investigation is underway. The report did not identify the victims or give the type of helicopter involved. Iran's military has both American and Russian-made helicopters in service. Iran has a history of frequent air accidents blamed on its aging aircraft and poor main

  • Israeli opposition leader to PM: Cancel Congress speech

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's opposition leader on Thursday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his upcoming speech to the U.S. Congress, saying it will cause "strategic damage" to ties with Washington. Isaac Herzog, head of the opposition Labor Party, has led a chorus of voices in Israel urging Netanyahu to renege and not deliver the speech, which was engineered with congressional Republicans without the knowledge of the White House. The move has driven a wedge between Israel and its most important ally, the United States. "I call on Netanyahu again: Stop. Enough, Bibi, enough. You aren't going. Don't go.

  • Lebanese army seizes 2 border outposts from militants

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese army says it has seized two hilltop positions along the border from Syria-based Islamic militants. In a statement Thursday, it says the operation is in line with efforts to secure villages near the eastern border with neighboring Syria. Three soldiers were wounded in the operation, during which militant positions were shelled with artillery and heavy weaponry, it added. The statement did not name the militants, but most are believed to be from the Islamic State group. They and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front have been holding around 20 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage since August. The army frequently clashes with the militants in their hideouts near the Syria border.

  • West Bank settlers vote although outside of sovereign Israel

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    JERUSALEM (AP) — When Israelis go to the polls next month, tens of thousands of Jewish settlers in the West Bank will also be casting votes, even though they do not live on what is sovereign Israeli territory. This exception in a country that doesn't allow absentee voting for citizens living abroad is a telling reflection of Israel's somewhat ambiguous and highly contentious claim to the territory, which has been under military occupation for almost a half century. Over the years, Israel has cultivated a separate legal system there. The Palestinians are ultimately governed by Israeli military rule — while Israel's own criminal and civilian laws apply to more than 350,000 Jewish settlers in a way they cannot apply to Isra

  • Syrian ex-rebel sentenced for war crimes

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish court has handed a five-year prison sentence to a Syrian refugee who was found guilty of abusing a captured member of President Bashar Assad's forces. Mouhannad Droub admitted being part of a group under the Free Syrian Army that kicked and beat a prisoner, whose hands and feet were tied, in late May or June 2012. Droub then posted a video of the abuse on Facebook — the clip was used as evidence against him in the Stockholm court. The 28-year-old Syrian, who received asylum in Sweden in December 2013, claimed he was acting under coercion. It was the first time that such charges in connection with the Syrian conflict were brought to a Swedish court.

  • Egypt: Series of blasts in Cairo kill 1, wound at least 7

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — A series of blasts in Cairo on Thursday killed one person and wounded at least seven, Egyptian security officials said, the latest in a wave of attacks using homemade explosives that authorities blame on Islamist militants. The officials said four bombs exploded in the residential districts of Imbabah and Mohandiseen in the Egyptian capital, which is home to some 18 million people. Later, a blast outside a police station in the nearby Warraq district wounded four people, including a police conscript. Associated Press video footage from the site of the Imbabah bomb blast showed a large pool of blood on the ground and a badly damaged car with debris covering a large area. The blast took place outside a fast food

  • Ex-Turkish police chief detained over journalist's killing

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's state-run news agency says a former police intelligence chief has been detained as part of an investigation into negligence by officials in the 2007 murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist. Anadolu Agency says Ramazan Akyurek was detained Thursday in Ankara for the death of Hrant Dink. Dink was gunned down outside his Agos newspaper by a nationalist teenage gunman who was convicted in 2011. The trial, however, failed to shed light on alleged official negligence or even collusion. Akyurek's detention follows a court ruling in June that reopened a negligence probe. Akyurek was among hundreds of police removed from their posts amid a purge of officers believed to be linked to a moveme




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