• Turkish President Erdogan in Beijing amid ethnic tensions

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with top Chinese officials Wednesday amid tensions over China's treatment of its Uighur minority and sensitive negotiations surrounding the possible purchase of a Chinese missile system. It wasn't clear whether progress was made on either issue, although both Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the strength of relations. "The future of China-Turkey relations is very bright and has great potential," Xi said in remarks before the media at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing. Erdogan responded that ties were advancing and becoming ever-more substantial. "We believe this will help strengthen mutual political trust and the friendship

  • Israel pushing for Pollard to come to Israel after release

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's deputy foreign minister says Israel is making "very great efforts" to lobby for spy Jonathan Pollard to be granted permission to travel to Israel after his upcoming release in November. Tsipi Hotovely told Israeli Army Radio on Wednesday that Israel has a moral responsibility to push for Pollard to come to Israel. Pollard received Israeli citizenship in prison. Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment for passing classified documents to Israel. The U.S. granted him parole from his life sentence and set his release for Nov. 21. It is unclear whether the conditions of Pollard's parole will restrict him from traveling abroad.

  • Saudi police officer shot dead in the east of the kingdom

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Authorities in Saudi Arabia say a police officer has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the east of the kingdom. Police said in comments carried by the official Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday that the officer was killed late the previous night in the village of al-Jish. The community is located in the eastern Qatif region, which is the heartland of Saudi Arabia's Shiite Muslim minority and was the site of deadly bombing at a Shiite mosque in May that was claimed by an Islamic State group affiliate. Saudi Shiites have long complained of discrimination in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

  • Bahrain makes multiple arrests in wake of deadly bombing

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahraini authorities have arrested several suspects in the wake of a deadly bombing targeting police in the strategically important island kingdom. The official Bahrain News Agency quoted the public security chief, Maj. Gen. Tariq al-Hassan, announcing the arrests Wednesday. He did not provide further details. Police say the remotely detonated blast early Tuesday in Sitra, south of the capital Manama, targeted a bus carrying policemen near a primary school for girls. Two police officers were killed and six were wounded. Bahrain is a Sunni-ruled kingdom that is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

  • Iraqi government declares 4-day holiday over severe heatwave

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Council of Ministers has declared a four-day mandatory holiday beginning Thursday as temperatures are set to soar above 50 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit). The statement, delivered on state-run Iraqiyya TV, is the second heat advisory issued by the Iraqi government this month. High summer temperatures are standard in Iraq, but widespread power and water cuts complicate everyday life when the temperatures soar. Residents are typically advised to limit any outdoor activities for the duration of the heat wave.

  • Overnight shooting at Niger Embassy in Egypt kills 1

    Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities say gunmen opened fire overnight on security forces out the Niger Embassy, killing a conscript and wounding three. The Interior Ministry statement, released Wednesday, said the shooting happened about 1 a.m. when the embassy in Cairo's Giza district was closed. It described the attack as a drive-by shooting. The ministry said an investigation was underway. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though Egypt faces attacks from militant groups, including an affiliate of the Islamic State group. Wednesday's attack comes after a car bombing at Italian Consulate in Cairo on July 11 killed one person. That attack was claimed by a group calling itself The Islamic S

  • UN says it could help 3 million in Yemen if a pause holds

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The latest attempt at a humanitarian pause in Yemen "has not been respected by any party to the conflict," the U.N. humanitarian chief said Tuesday, adding that a plan to reach 3 million Yemenis with aid is ready to go if only the fighting would stop. Stephen O'Brien briefed the Security Council and repeated the call for an "unconditional freeze" in the months-long fighting between a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite Houthi rebels in the Arab world's poorest country. A five-day humanitarian pause announced by the Saudi-led coalition quickly fell apart early Monday. An earlier pause announced this month by the U.N. also failed.

  • Obama delivers frank words about Africa's problems

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — President Barack Obama arrived in East Africa with no big American aid packages, no ramped up U.S. military resources for fighting terror groups and no new initiatives with billions in government backing. Instead, he brought a frank message on democracy, corruption and security that could perhaps be delivered only by a Western leader viewed in Africa as a local son. "The future of Africa is up to Africans," Obama said during a trip to Kenya and Ethiopia that concluded Tuesday. "For too long, I think that many looked to the outside for salvation and focused on somebody else being at fault for the problems of the continent.

  • Shooting in Lebanon refugee camp leaves 2 dead, 3 wounded

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    BEIRUT (AP) — Palestinian officials say a shooting in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon has killed two people and wounded three. Tuesday's shooting in the Ein el-Hilweh camp comes two days after an official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party — Talal Baladneh, who was also known as Talal the Jordanian — was ambushed and killed in a hail of gunfire near the camp. The Palestinian officials say one of killed men was a member of the extremist Jund al-Sham group while the other belonged to Fatah. The wounded included two civilians and a Jund al-Sham member. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

  • The Latest: UN official voices concern about Syria safe zone

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest from NATO meeting on Islamic State group and related developments (all times local): 9:50 p.m. The U.N. humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, has warned against calling a proposed buffer along the Turkey-Syrian border a "safe zone," saying it could risk attracting vulnerable people to an area without "sufficient protection." Turkish and U.S. officials are discussing the creation of a safe zone near Turkey's border, which would be cleared of Islamic State group presence. O'Brien did not yet have details on just where the zone would be or how it would affect the delivery of humanitarian aid into Syria. He spoke to reporters Tuesday after briefing the Security Council.

  • Libya court sentences Gadhafi son to death for 2011 killings

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi's son and onetime heir apparent was convicted and sentenced to death on Tuesday by a court in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on charges of murder and inciting genocide during the country's 2011 uprising. But Seif al-Islam Gadhafi is unlikely to face the firing squad anytime soon. The sentence was handed down in absentia because he remains in the hands of a militia in western Libya that has refused to hand him over for the past four years — yet another sign of the country's bitter fragmentation since his father's fall from power.

  • Fighting between Turkey and Kurds escalate amid NATO unease

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Fighting between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels escalated Tuesday amid signs of unease from NATO allies attending an emergency meeting about Turkey's conflicts with the Islamic State group and the Kurds. On a violent day, Turkish fighter jets pounded rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK after soldiers were fired on with heavy weaponry in Sirnak province, according to a military statement. Turkish soldiers also came under attack in two other incidents. Meanwhile, NATO allies met in a rare emergency meeting at Turkey's request and proclaimed "strong solidarity" with the country's fight against the Islamic State group.

  • Fire at furniture factory in Egypt kills 25 people

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — A fire that erupted at a furniture factory east of Cairo on Tuesday killed 25 people and injured 22, Egypt's Health Ministry said. According to a security official, a preliminary investigation indicated that the blaze started when a gas cylinder exploded as it was transported in an elevator. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. Egyptian state-run media said the factory in the city of al-Obour had not obtained a government safety certification. Local media reported that firefighters had gained control of the blaze in the afternoon by using about 20 fire trucks.

  • In Bahrain, 2 police officers killed, 6 wounded in bombing

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two Bahraini policemen were killed and six were wounded in a bomb attack south of the island kingdom's capital on Tuesday, according to authorities. The blast was the latest in a series of bombings in recent years targeting security forces in the Gulf nation, which continues to face low-level unrest more than four years after widespread protests demanding greater political rights. The Interior Ministry described the bombing as a "terror blast," and said it took place in the largely Shiite community of Sitra, just south of the capital, Manama. One of the wounded officers sustained serious injuries, the ministry said. Bahrain is a Sunni-ruled kingdom that is home to the U.S.

  • Israeli military takes over contested West Bank complex

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops moved on Tuesday into a contested West Bank settlement housing complex ahead of its scheduled demolition, the military said. The military said troops took over the under-construction complex inside the Beit El settlement overnight to remove protesters that had holed themselves up inside. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the scene and confronted the security forces. Protesters scuffled with the security forces throughout the day. Israel's Supreme Court has given the government until Thursday to dismantle the complex, which was built illegally. The government says it will fight the ruling and is making efforts to legalize the complex. The military says it will hold its position and a

  • Iraqi militias train young teens to face the threat of IS

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — In the steamy Baghdad night, sweat poured down the faces of the Iraqi teens as they marched around a school courtyard, training for battle against the Islamic State group. This is summer camp in Iraq, set up by the country's largest paramilitary force after Iraq's top Shiite cleric issued an edict calling on students as young as middle-school age to use their summer vacations to prepare to fight the Sunni extremists. These young fighters could have serious implications for the U.S.-led coalition, which provides billions of dollars in military and economic aid to the Iraqi government.

  • Iraqi militias train young teens to face the threat of IS

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — In the steamy Baghdad night, sweat poured down the faces of the Iraqi teens as they marched around a school courtyard, training for battle against the Islamic State group. This is summer camp in Iraq, set up by the country's largest paramilitary force after Iraq's top Shiite cleric issued an edict calling on students as young as middle-school age to use their summer vacations to prepare to fight the Sunni extremists. These young fighters could have serious implications for the U.S.-led coalition, which provides billions of dollars in military and economic aid to the Iraqi government.

  • Syrian militants, rebels capture key hills, power station

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian militants and other rebels captured strategic hills and a power station in the northwest on Tuesday, a push that brings them closer to several President Bashar Assad's strongholds, activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Aleppo Media Center said the militants were advancing in the Sahl al-Ghab region north of the central province of Hama. Syria's state news agency SANA says troops repelled the attack, killing and wounding dozens. The Observatory said 11 militants were killed in Tuesday's battles. The militants launched their offensive in the northwestern Idlib province in March, when they captured the provincial capital. Tuesday's fighting was near the town of

  • Jordan court sentences 12 in alleged Hamas plot

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A government official says Jordan's state security court sentenced 12 defendants to prison terms ranging from one to 15 years in what local media described as a plot by the Islamic militant Hamas group to carry out attacks in the West Bank. The official says eight defendants received terms from one to five years Tuesday and four others were sentenced in absentia to 15 years each. He says charges included conspiring against state security, but did not provide details about the alleged plot. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss court proceedings with the media. The al-Ghad newspaper says the charge sheet alleges recruits were trained in Jordan and in Hamas-ruled Gaza

  • Iran says will hold 'high-level' talks with EU

    Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday that "high-level" talks will soon be launched with the European Union following a nuclear agreement reached with world powers earlier this month. Mohammad Javad Zarif said the talks "in the near future" would focus on energy, the environment and human rights, as well as "extremism, terrorism and sectarianism" in the Middle East. He spoke after meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Tehran. Zarif said the talks would begin at the deputy minister level and later be upgraded to foreign ministers. "Various issues are matters of interest for both sides, such as energy, transportation, trade, environment, human rights and drug (trafficking)," he sa




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