• Turkey: 15 detained in connection to suicide bombing

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Thursday detained 15 people in connection with a suicide bomb attack in the northwestern city of Bursa which wounded 13 people, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said. The female attacker blew herself up near an Ottoman-era mosque in Bursa's historic district on Wednesday. None of the wounded was in serious condition. Ala did not provide details on the suspects. Earlier, the state-run Anadolu Agency said 12 suspects were detained in Bursa, Istanbul and two other cities. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and authorities have refused to disclose details on the identity and possible affiliation of the attacker until the end of the investigation.

  • UN envoy appeals to US, Russia to help Syria peace talks

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Syria appealed to the U.S. and Russia to intervene to help revive Syrian peace talks that sputtered to a pause Wednesday, saying a recent spike in fighting has overshadowed the talks and put an increasingly feeble truce in "great danger." Staffan de Mistura spoke to reporters early Thursday after briefing the U.N. Security Council via videoconference about the largely stalled indirect talks between the Western- and Saudi-backed opposition and envoys from President Bashar Assad's government, which has the backing of Moscow. After 60 days, he said, the cessation of hostilities agreed to by both sides "hangs by a thread.

  • UN to meet on May 6 on protection of Palestinian civilians

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council will hold an informal meeting on May 6 on the protection of Palestinian civilians, an issue the Palestinians have pressed for decades and say is more needed now than ever. Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said four council members — Egypt, Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia — are organizing the meeting which will hear briefings from a legal scholar, an Amnesty International representative and others. Last October, the U.N. sent the council a study on precedents in addressing the protection of civilians in conflicts around the world. Mansour told reporters Wednesday that the meeting is a first step toward action that the Security Council must take.

  • Russia asks UN to blacklist 2 powerful Syrian rebel groups

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia said Wednesday it has asked the U.N. Security Council to blacklist two powerful Syrian rebel groups that it considers "terrorist organizations," one which is playing a key role in political negotiations aimed at ending the five-year conflict. Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters the two hardline Islamic groups — Jaish al-Islam, or the Army of Islam, and Ahrar al-Sham — aren't observing the cessation of hostilities in Syria "and are engaged in terrorist activities" and therefore should be subject to sanctions. Mohammed Alloush, a leading figure in Jaish al-Islam, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, heads the High Negotiating Committee, the main opposition umbrella group, at the

  • Military buildup, fighting spells end of Syrian cease-fire

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    BEIRUT (AP) — A military buildup in northern Syria, coupled with heavy fighting and mounting civilian casualties, spells the end of a cease-fire that for two months brought some relief to a war-weary country. The renewed violence is ushering in what could be an even more ruinous chapter in the 5-year-old conflict. About 200 civilians have been killed in the past week, nearly half of them around Aleppo. There has even been shelling in Damascus, along with a car bomb — both rarities for the capital. With peace talks in Geneva completely deadlocked, Syrians are regarding the escalating bloodshed with dread, fearing a return to full war and slow destruction. "There are regime attempts to advance and preparations by (reb

  • US warns citizens over possible terror threats in Turkey

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The United States has issued a new warning to its citizens about "credible indications" of terrorist threats at tourist areas in Turkey. In a warning posted on its website late Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy said Washington continued to receive reports that terrorist groups "are seeking opportunities to attack popular tourist destinations throughout Turkey." Turkey has been hit by six deadly suicide bombings since July that were either claimed by Kurdish militants or blamed on the Islamic State group. Two Israeli-Americans, an Israeli and an Iranian were killed in an IS attack at Istanbul's main pedestrian street last Month. In January, 12 German tourists were killed in the city's historic district. T

  • Female suicide bomber hits Turkish city, wounds at least 13

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    ISTANBUL (AP) — A female suicide bomber blew herself up in a historic district of Turkey's fourth largest city on Wednesday, wounding 13 people, according to officials. The assailant was "aged about 25" and only fragments were left of her body after the attack in the city of Bursa, said Turkey's health minister, Mehmet Muezzinoglu. He said 13 individuals were wounded in the attack but none of them were in critical condition. Another seven people sought medical attention over ear pain and hearing problems as a consequence of the blast. Turkey, which is facing growing blowback from the conflict in Syria and renewed conflict with Kurdish militants, has recently witnessed an uptick of such attacks.

  • Rights group says Egypt arrested nearly 400 over protests

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    CAIRO (AP) — An international rights group says Egyptian police arrested at least 382 people in the days leading up to and during April 25 protests in Cairo against a government decision to hand over control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Human Rights Watch, citing witnesses and media reports, said Wednesday that Egyptian police arrested lawyers and activists. It cited the Front for the Defense of Egyptian Protesters, an independent rights group, as saying that police arrested at least 286 people on Monday, the day of the protests. HRW said six foreign journalists were among those detained, but were later released. Thousands of police were deployed across Cairo on Monday. Hundreds of protesters gathered

  • Several Egyptians killed in clashes with smugglers in Libya

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    CAIRO (AP) — At least a dozen Egyptians have been killed in clashes with smugglers in central Libya, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Spokesman Ahmed Abu-Zeid said in a statement that 12 to 16 Egyptian illegal migrants were killed in clashes in the town of Beni Walid. He said Egyptian officials are communicating with Libyan authorities in the area to identify those who were killed and repatriate their bodies. The statement did not provide further details. Egyptian state-run newspaper el-Ahram el-Arabi quoted eyewitnesses as saying a dispute broke out between the Egyptian migrants and the Libyan smugglers, leading to the killing of three smugglers. The witnesses said relatives of the slain smugglers opened fire on th

  • Qatar's largest bank investigating alleged data breach

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar's largest bank is investigating a security breach that appears to have exposed sensitive personal data for what could be hundreds of customers, including employees of international broadcaster Al-Jazeera and potentially senior government officials. Qatar National Bank acknowledged in an emailed statement Wednesday that it was looking into "an alleged data breach" after a file containing the purported account information began circulating online. The bank did not say whether information in the files was legitimate or if its network had been breached, citing a policy of not commenting on reports shared on social media.

  • Jordan bans Lebanese band, says songs contradict religion

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. The band Mashrou' Leila ("Leila's Project") is known internationally for violin-laced pop music with catchy Arabic lyrics. Songs often tackle controversial subjects such as corruption, censorship, state violence and sexual freedom. Jordan's Antiquities Department initially said it would not permit a show at the Roman Theater in the capital Amman later this week because it would contradict the "authenticity" of the ancient venue.

  • Hamas wins student election at top Palestinian university

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian's leading university in the West Bank says the Islamic militant group Hamas has won student council elections. A Birzeit University spokesman on Wednesday announced the election results, saying Hamas won 25 seats, followed by the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which won 21. The left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine won five seats. Election results at Birzeit are seen as a barometer of the political mood in the Palestinian territories. Ahmad al-Ahmad, head of the students department at the university, says the election went smoothly.

  • UK Labour lawmaker suspended over anti-Israel comments

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    LONDON (AP) — Britain's main opposition Labour Party, which has faced growing criticism over perceived anti-Semitism in its ranks, suspended a lawmaker on Wednesday for making anti-Israel posts on social media before she was elected to Parliament. The party said Naz Shah had been barred from taking part in the party's activities or in participating in the grouping of Labour lawmakers in Parliament. Shah was under pressure over comments including a 2014 Facebook post in which she shared a graphic that showed the outline of Israel superimposed on a map of the U.S. under the headline "Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict - Relocate Israel into United States.

  • Greece returns 12 Syrians to Turkey; will build 4 more camps

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece on Wednesday returned 12 Syrians, including a woman and her four children, to Turkey as part of a European Union-Turkey agreement aiming to stop the flow of refugees and migrants across the Aegean to Europe's more prosperous heartland. The 12 were flown from the Greek island of Lesbos to Adana in Turkey by a plane chartered by the European border agency Frontex, Greece's citizens' protection ministry said, noting all had expressed the wish to return and none had applied for asylum in Greece. Under last month's EU-Turkey deal, people arriving clandestinely on Greek islands from Turkey from March 20 onward face being returned unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece. So far, 386 people

  • The Latest: Officials: Turkish city blast was suicide attack

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on the explosion that rocked the Turkish city of Bursa (all times local): 6:55 p.m. Turkish officials say a suicide attack has hit the northwestern city of Bursa, a popular tourist destination. An official told The Associated Press the attack Wednesday was carried out by suicide bomber. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press. The office of the governor of Bursa said in a statement carried by the state-owned Anadolu Agency that a woman believed to be a suicide bomber blew herself up. The statement said seven people were wounded in the attack. The explosion ripped through an area that is home to an Ottoman-era mosque an

  • UN chief urges nuclear test ban treaty ratification

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    VIENNA (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the U.S. and seven other nations to ratify the treaty banning nuclear weapons testing so that the agreement can take effect. Ban was speaking Wednesday at 20th-anniversary commemorations of the Vienna-based CTBTO, the U.N. organization created to monitor adherence to the treaty. But all 44 nations that participated in treaty negotiations and possess nuclear reactors must ratify the agreement before it enters into force. Besides the U.S., China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, which has actively resumed testing, still need to do so. Ban called on those countries "to sign and ratify the treaty without further delay.

  • Israel police shoot and kill 2 Palestinians with knives

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Security forces shot and killed two Palestinians on Wednesday, including a woman who brandished a knife near an Israeli checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israeli police said. A Palestinian security official identified those killed as a 24-year-old mother of two and her 16-year-old brother, residents of the al-Ram neighborhood near the Qalandia checkpoint, the West Bank's busiest. The incident was the latest in a wave of violence that broke out last September. Since then, 28 Israelis and two Americans have been killed in stabbings and other attacks by Palestinian assailants. Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Israel says most had attempted or carried out attacks.

  • AP PHOTOS: Clinic makes artificial limbs for wounded Syrians

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    REYHANLI, Turkey (AP) — Every month, dozens of wounded Syrians stream into a small clinic in a dusty border town in Turkey to be fitted with prosthetic limbs that give them their best shot at restoring some semblance of their normal lives. The National Syrian Project for Prosthetic Limbs, a Syrian-run venture, provides free treatment for Syrian civilians and fighters. It produces about 100 artificial limbs per month. Raed al-Masri, who has been running the clinic since it opened in February 2013, says the number of people who need its help is growing. The technicians working at the clinic are all Syrian refugees.

  • Undercover squad may mean more covering up for Tehran women

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Tehran resident Sousan Heidari has stopped letting her headscarf slip casually down over her neck and shoulders while driving in the Iranian capital. These days, the 22-year-old with a taste for bold makeup makes sure to pull it tightly over her dark hair, fearful of running afoul of a newly established undercover division of the morality police. "Every single man or woman could be a member of the unit," she cautioned. "I don't know. Maybe some plainclothes have already reported me because of heavy makeup." Tehran police chief Gen. Hossein Sajedinia recently announced his department had deployed 7,000 male and female officers for a new plainclothes division — the largest such undercover assignment in m

  • Poll: Wide differences in Muslim views on political Islam

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A survey conducted in 10 Muslim-majority countries found "striking" differences in the extent to which people believe the Quran should influence a nation's laws. Wednesday's poll by the Pew Research Center found that in four countries, a majority of people say laws should strictly follow the Muslim holy book. Pakistan, an Islamic republic, scored highest, with 78 percent supporting the statement. In Turkey, founded as a secular country, only 13 percent agreed. In some countries, younger or more educated respondents were less likely to say the Quran should be the source of laws. The poll was conducted a year ago among 10,194 Muslims and non-Muslims.




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