• Yemen rebels beat, detain demonstrators in capital

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Rebels who control the Yemeni capital beat back dozens of people marching in protest against them on Wednesday, firing automatic rifles in the air and striking protesters with batons and knives. The violence highlighted the volatility in leaderless Yemen, after the president resigned last week under pressure by the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who had placed him under house arrest and demanded a greater share of power. Witnesses say the rebels detained several protesters and journalists on Wednesday, and that around 10 people were lightly wounded in the scuffles. Yemeni newspaper Source Online said that one of its journalists had been taken by the Houthis but was later released.

  • Libya hotel attack signals growing reach of Islamic State

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Militants loyal to the Islamic State group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a deadly and complex attack on a hotel in Libya's capital Tripoli, signaling an expansion of the jihadi group's reach in the chaotic North African state while raising questions about the extent of coordination with leaders in Syria and Iraq. The attack on the Corinthia hotel on Tuesday, in which gunmen burst into the lobby and set off a car bomb in the parking lot, left 10 people dead, including an American and four other foreigners. An affiliate of the Islamic State claimed the attack and released photos of two suicide bombers it said took part in the assault.

  • UN can't reach residents of Islamic State's de facto capital

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says it cannot deliver aid to 600,000 people in two Syrian cities controlled by the Islamic State group. Deputy humanitarian chief Kyung-wha Kang told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that residents of the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa and the city of Deir ez Zor received no food deliveries in December because the U.N. had no agreement with armed groups there. The U.N.'s monthly reports on efforts to get food and other aid to millions trapped in Syria's four-year civil war have been unrelentingly grim. Kang said 12 million people inside Syria need humanitarian aid, and 3.8 million people have fled to neighboring countries. Another 7.6 million are displaced ins

  • Egypt seeks to distance police from protester killing

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — The Egyptian government on Wednesday sought to distance the police from last weekend's shooting death of a female protester, saying a forensic examination showed she was killed by a type of projectile that is "absolutely" not used by security forces. The case of 32-year-old Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, who died after birdshot fired by police hit her during a peaceful rally on Saturday in Cairo, has stirred withering criticism of the police force and its heavy-handed implementation of a law banning demonstrations without prior government approval.

  • Amal Clooney on legal team in Armenian genocide case

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    STRASBOURG, France (AP) — Lawyer Amal Clooney went before Europe's top human rights court Wednesday to argue against a man convicted of denying the 1915 Armenian genocide. Clooney is representing Armenia as part of an appeal before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in favor of the man, Dogu Perincek, in December 2013. Perincek believes his right to free speech was violated when Swiss courts convicted him of racism for denying the genocide in 2005. He described the genocide as "an international lie." Clooney said the "most important error" of the court's 2013 ruling in favor of Perincek was that "it cast doubt on the reality of the Armenian genocide." Historians estimate up to 1.

  • Iran names new UN envoy after earlier pick blocked

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's Foreign Ministry has named a new envoy to the United Nations after the U.S. declined to issue a visa to an earlier pick last year. The ministry's official website said Wednesday that Gholam Ali Khoshroo has been chosen to serve as Iran's permanent envoy to the U.N. Khoshroo is a seasoned diplomat who previously served as deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the U.N. The United States refused to grant a visa to Iran's earlier pick, Hamid Aboutalebi, because of his alleged participation in a 1979 student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Iran at the time refused to name a new envoy. The website said Iran will continue to work through legal channels to prevent the U.S. from denying v

  • Lavrov: Syrian meeting in Moscow should help peace

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister says Moscow consultations between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition should help pave the way for a peaceful settlement. Sergey Lavrov told participants of the meeting that support for Syria as a sovereign, united and secular state could be the basis for moving toward a compromise. He said Wednesday that the parties should focus on working out confidence-building measures between the government and the opposition, negotiating local cease-fires, removing obstacles to humanitarian aid deliveries and freeing prisoners.

  • 6 Bulgarians working for UN go missing in Sudan

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — A spokeswoman for the U.N. World Food Program in Sudan says a six-person Bulgarian helicopter crew has gone missing after reports their aircraft made an unexpected landing in a conflict-torn area. Amor Almagro said Wednesday the crew was on a contract with the agency's offices in South Sudan. She said it was not immediately clear why the helicopter made an unexpected landing in a remote area in South Kordofan, on the Sudanese side of the border with South Sudan, on Monday. She said there are "strong indications" that the crew is safe, without elaborating. Rebels in South Kordofan are fighting against Sudan's government, which has carried out aerial bombardments there.

  • Iran bill would scrap nuclear deal over new sanctions

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian lawmakers have proposed a bill that would scrap a landmark 2013 interim nuclear agreement if new sanctions are imposed. The state-run IRNA news service on Wednesday quoted lawmaker Hossein Naqavi Hosseini as saying that some 80 out of 290 parliamentarians support the bill. It would still need to be put to a debate, then a vote, and then be approved by a constitutional body. U.S. senators are pushing to impose new sanctions against Iran if a final nuclear accord is not reached by July 6. But President Barack Obama has said that would "all but guarantee" the failure of delicate international negotiations. Western nations have long suspected Iran's nuclear program is secretly aimed at producin

  • Palestinians attack Gaza UN compound after aid suspended

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Dozens of Palestinians attacked a United Nations compound in Gaza City following the world body's suspension of an aid program for victims of last year's war. The Palestinians involved in the Wednesday incident were protesting the decision to halt aid because of a shortfall of funding from donor countries. The protesters jumped over the compound's walls and smashed guard cabins and windows. They burned tires and threw stones at the compound's gate. The U.N. said it was "outraged by the assault." It said the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, knew of the planned protest but did not take appropriate measures to protect the compound. The U.N.

  • Report: Iran says Washington Post writer to face trial soon

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for months will stand trial "soon," the Islamic Republic's official news agency reported Wednesday. The report by the IRNA news agency quoted Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, a senior judicial official. The report did not offer a specific time for the trial to start. "Jason Rezaian will be tried soon," Esmaeili was quoted as saying. Rezaian, his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists initially were detained July 22 in Iran's capital, Tehran. All later were released except Rezaian, who is a dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship. Iran does not recognize dual citizenships Iranian officials have not announced the charges Rezaian faces.

  • Bahrain opposition leader denies charges as trial opens

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A lawyer for the head of Bahrain's leading Shiite opposition group says the cleric has denied all charges against him at the start of a closely watched trial in the strategic Gulf island nation. Defense attorney Jalila al-Sayed said Ali Salman was allowed to briefly meet his wife and appeared in court wearing his clerical robe and turban. She says Salman will continue to be held behind bars at least until his next court hearing on Feb. 25. Salman is secretary-general of the al-Wefaq opposition group and has been detained since late December. His charges include incitement to forcibly topple the Sunni-dominated government. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

  • Israel military says its airstrikes target Syrian army posts

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has struck Syrian army artillery posts in response to rockets that landed the previous day in the Israeli-held Golan Heights. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon says the Israeli air force attacked Syrian government positions in territory controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad early Wednesday. He said the Israeli strike was a "clear message that we will not tolerate any fire toward Israeli territory." At least two rockets landed in the Israeli-held Golan Heights on Tuesday and Israel initially responded with artillery fire. Lt. Col.

  • Human smugglers turn to cargo ships to ferry fleeing Syrians

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    ABOARD THE COAST GUARD CUTTER TYR (AP) — The crew was about to dig into dinner when word of the "ghost ship" came through: a freighter hurtling out of control toward Italy with no crew — and hundreds of Syrians as cargo. The cattle freighter — its animal pens crammed with families — was on a collision course with the Italian coast, and the refugee who had phoned authorities from on board said the cabin's controls were jammed. The Tyr changed course and set off on a race against time. The rescue operation by the Icelandic cutter Tyr was one of the most perilous in a string of high-seas dramas that point to a new modus operandi among smugglers who send migrants across the Mediterranean.

  • Tourists give hope to residents of battered Lebanese city

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — As the tour group made its way through the narrow alleys of the seaside city of Tripoli, marveling at its medieval architecture, residents stared back at a sight that for them was just as exotic — visitors in their poor, restive corner of Lebanon. "Foreigners!" residents called out to each other as the group of around 30 Lebanese and foreign tourists made their way through the Old City's labyrinth of cobblestone alleys, snapping pictures of centuries-old archways and graceful minarets. "We put you on our heads!" coffee seller Abu Mohammed, 65, said, using a traditional Arabic greeting for honored guests.

  • Palestinian girl, 14, in Israel prison for throwing rocks

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    BETIN, West Bank (AP) — The fate of a 14-year-old Palestinian girl, tried before an Israeli military court for hurling rocks at passing cars in the West Bank and sentenced to two months in prison, has gripped Palestinians who say her treatment demonstrates Israel's excessive measures against stone-throwing youth. Malak al-Khatib, arrested last month, is one of only a rare few female Palestinian minors who have ever faced arrest and sentencing by Israeli authorities. "A 14-year-old girl won't pose any threat to soldiers' lives," said her father, Ali al-Khatib.

  • Fiery Islamic State group cleric gives voice to radicals

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    BEIRUT (AP) — Turki al-Binali has crisscrossed the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq with a pistol holstered at his side, delivering fiery sermons in which the 30-year-old provides religious justification for its bloody rampage across the region. The young Bahraini preacher, who has emerged as one of the extremists' leading ideologues, promotes a version of Islam that has been rejected, not only by mainstream religious authorities, but even by veteran jihadi clerics now increasingly out of touch with the new generation of radicals.

  • Group: Israel violated rules of war in strikes on Gaza homes

    Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    JERUSALEM (AP) — A majority of Palestinians killed in dozens of Israeli attacks on Gaza homes in the 2014 war with Hamas were women, minors or the elderly, and some of the strikes violated the rules of war, an Israeli rights group said Wednesday. The B'Tselem group called strikes on homes "one of the appalling hallmarks of the fighting" and said they were approved at the top levels of Israeli power. "There is no question in our minds that this is not the outcome of a low-level decision, but rather a matter of policy, a policy that in some cases has violated international humanitarian law," said the group's director, Hagai El-Ad. The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday it only attacked residential buildings that "beca

  • Egyptian police criticized over death of female protester

    Updated: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's police are coming under withering criticism as signs mount that officers not only fired birdshot at a young mother during a peaceful protest last weekend but then also hampered efforts to save her life by ignoring pleas to let an ambulance take her away. According to witnesses and rights lawyers who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday, police prevented anyone from trying to help 32-year-old Shaimaa el-Sabbagh after she was shot. El-Sabbagh, a mother of a small boy, died Saturday after birdshot fired by police hit her in the head during a rally she took part in — a small gathering of some 40 protesters from a leftist political party — at a downtown Cairo square, witnesses said.

  • Gunmen storm luxury Libyan hotel, killing American, 9 others

    Updated: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — In the latest sign of Libya's descent into chaos, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel used by diplomats and businessmen in the capital Tuesday, killing 10 people, including an American, a French citizen and three people from Asia. Two attackers were killed following an hourslong standoff that included a car bomb that exploded in the parking lot of the seaside Corinthia Hotel. It was unclear if other gunmen were involved in the attack, which also killed five Libyan guards. Twitter posts and a statement on social media purported to say a Tripoli affiliate of the Islamic State group was behind the attack. However, there was little evidence outside of that to back up the claims in a country awash in armed extrem




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