• Explosion shuts down Iran-Turkey natural gas pipeline

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's energy minister says an explosion on a natural gas pipeline between Iran and Turkey caused a large fire and shut down the flow of gas. Taner Yildiz said Tuesday the explosion was in Agri province, some 15 kilometers from the Iranian border, and he suggested Kurdish rebels were to blame. He said the fire was quickly brought under control. The attack late Monday comes amid a spike in violence in recent weeks. Turkey last week launched raids against Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq — at the same time that it began cracking down on the Islamic State group — ending a fragile cease-fire with the Kurds. The Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, has attacked pipelines in the past as part of i

  • North Korea official says not interested in Iran-style deal

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — The North Korean ambassador to China says that his country has no interest in an Iran-style nuclear disarmament deal because North Korea is a "nuclear weapons state." Ji Jae Ryong told a news conference Tuesday that the Iranian nuclear deal reached earlier this month was an achievement made through protracted efforts, but that North Korea was different to Iran because it is "a nuclear weapons state both in name and in reality." He said: "We are not interested at all in dialogue to discuss the issue of freezing or dismantling our nukes unilaterally first." North Korea's nuclear program is a major regional concern. International talks over North Korea's nuclear disarmament have been stalled since early 20

  • US, Turkey plan for 'safe zone' free of IS in northern Syria

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a plan to rout the Islamic State group from a strip of Syrian territory along the Turkish border — a plan that opens the possibility of a safe haven for tens of thousands of displaced Syrians but one that also sets up a potential conflict with U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces in the area. The move further embroils Turkey, a key NATO ally, in Syria's civil war, and also catapults it into a front-line position in the global war against IS. A senior Obama administration official said Monday that U.S. discussions with Turkey about an IS-free zone focused on a 68-mile stretch still under IS control. The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes there, which

  • South Korea says MERS threat is over

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Tuesday it is now virtually free of the deadly MERS virus that killed 36 people and sickened nearly 200 since an outbreak was declared in May. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn in a government meeting urged people to return to normal as the country hasn't seen a new MERS case in more than three weeks. More than 16,000 people had been isolated at hospitals and homes as the government attempted to stymie the disease, and the last person was lifted from quarantine on Monday. "It is the judgment of medical experts and the government that people can now feel safe," Hwang said in the meeting, according to the prime minister's office.

  • Obama calls GOP criticism of Iran deal 'ridiculous,' 'sad'

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — President Barack Obama unleashed a blistering and belittling rebuke of Republican White House hopefuls Monday, calling their attack on his landmark nuclear deal with Iran "ridiculous if it weren't so sad." Standing before television cameras during a trip to Africa, Obama suggested the bellicose rhetoric from some GOP candidates was an attempt to divert attention from Donald Trump, the wealthy businessman-turned presidential contender whose popularity is confounding the Republican field. "Maybe it gets attention and maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it's not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now," Obama said during a news conference in

  • Australian charged after police say he planned to fight IS

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian man has appeared in court on terror charges after police say he tried to join Kurdish-aligned forces in their fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq. Police say Jamie Williams was stopped by customs agents at Melbourne airport in December en route to Qatar after military-style equipment and clothing were found in his luggage. He was charged with making preparations for incursions into a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities. Williams appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday. He did not apply for bail and was remanded to custody until his next court appearance in October. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.

  • Turkish bombing of Kurds carries risk of instability

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's unexpected move to launch raids against Kurdish rebels at the same time it is cracking down on the Islamic State group risks ending a period of relative calm and stability for the country that has been a boon for the economy. The peace process launched in 2012 with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has been one of the signature achievements of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ending decades of violence that has left thousands dead. But that came to a sudden end in recent days as the Kurdish rebel group claimed responsibility for the killing of two Turkish policemen, and Turkish jets slammed a Kurdish stronghold in northern Iraq.

  • Saudi FM says Iran is still showing 'hostility' in region

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's top diplomat has told visiting EU foreign policy chief that Iran is still showing "hostility" toward countries in the region, following a landmark deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program earlier this month. Adel al-Jubeir spoke Monday after talks with EU's Federica Mogherini who was in the kingdom to assuage its concerns over the nuclear deal she helped broker. Al-Jubeir says Saudi Arabia rejects Iran's words and actions — a veiled reference to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's statement that the deal won't sway his country's support for the Lebanese Hezbollah group, Syria's government and Shiites in Bahrain and Yemen.

  • Obama pushes for end to crippling crisis in South Sudan

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — President Barack Obama launched a personal push for peace in South Sudan on Monday, convening African leaders for urgent talks in neighboring Ethiopia aimed at keeping the world's newest nation from collapsing amid civil war. "The possibilities of renewed conflict in a region that has been torn by conflict for so long, and has resulted in so many deaths, is something that requires urgent attention from all of us," Obama said. "We don't have a lot of time to wait." The talks on South Sudan came on the sidelines of Obama's visit to Ethiopia, his second stop on a trip to East Africa.

  • Yemen airstrikes resume; 15 allied fighters killed

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition launched new airstrikes in at least two Yemeni provinces on Monday, piercing a humanitarian pause that started at midnight the previous day, security officials said. The U.S.-backed coalition of mainly Gulf Arab countries has been waging an air campaign since March against the Iran-supported Shiite rebels, who control most of northern Yemen and the capital, Sanaa. Two of Monday's airstrikes killed 15 fighters allied with the coalition in the province of Lahj, security officials and field commanders said. More than 40 fighters were wounded in the apparently accidental strikes, they said, adding that the death toll was expected to rise.

  • NATO holding rare emergency meeting at Turkey's request

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — For just the fifth time in its 66-year history, NATO ambassadors will meet in emergency session Tuesday to gauge the threat the Islamic State extremist group poses to Turkey, and the debated actions Turkish authorities are taking in response. The extraordinary meeting at NATO headquarters was requested by Turkey under Article 4 of the treaty that founded the U.S.-led alliance, which empowers its 28 member states to seek such consultations when they consider their "territorial integrity, political independence or security" to be in jeopardy. It comes as Turkey's security situation "has deteriorated dramatically," Bruno Lete, senior officer for foreign and security policy at the German Marshall Fund, a Brussel

  • Putin, Xi, Rouhani to address annual UN high-level meeting

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The presidents of China, Russia, Iran and the United States are scheduled to speak at the 70th annual U.N. General Assembly of world leaders in September — a rare appearance for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the first for Chinese President Xi Jinping. The United Nations issued its first draft list of speakers Monday for what could be its largest ever gathering of world leaders. Pope Francis is also set to address the General Assembly a few days before President Barack Obama, Putin, Xi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speak at the gathering. Two years ago, a historic phone call between Obama and Rouhani during the U.N.

  • Q&A: Kurds fight Islamic State and endure Turkish attacks

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. and Turkish plans to create an "Islamic State-free zone" in Syria along the Turkish border could escalate the conflict between Turkey and Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq. With the help of U.S. airstrikes, the Kurds have proven to be among the most effective ground forces against the IS group. But their advance across northeastern Syria in recent months has alarmed Ankara, which fears they could revive a decades-long insurgency in pursuit of statehood. Syria's main Kurdish fighting force is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and maintains bases in remote parts of northern Iraq. Since Friday, Turkey has struck the IS group in Syria

  • Israel's Teva buys Allergan generic drug company for $40.5B

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Monday it is purchasing Dublin-based Allergan PLC's generic pharmaceuticals business for $40.5 billion, in what Israeli analysts called the largest-ever acquisition by an Israeli company. Statements from both companies say the deal will see Allergan receive $33.75 billion in cash and shares of Teva valued Monday at $6.75 billion. In light of the acquisition, Teva said it was withdrawing its $40 billion-plus takeover offer for pharmaceuticals company Mylan N.V. Word of the acquisition saw Teva shares shoot up 13 percent in pre-opening trading on the Nasdaq. Trading in Teva shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange halted over the news of the sale.

  • US, Turkey seek to establish Islamic State-free zone

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The United States and Turkey are finalizing plans for a military campaign to push the Islamic State out of a strip of land along the Turkey-Syria border, deepening efforts to halt the extremists' advances. A U.S. official says the "Islamic State-free zone" aims to ensure greater security and stability along the border. However, the official says any joint military efforts with Turkey would not include the imposition of a no-fly zone. Turkey has been pushing the U.S. to set up a no-fly zone, though Washington has long denied those requests. Turkey did agree last week to let the U.S. launch strikes against the Islamic State from one of its bases.

  • Lebanon's LBC TV says its correspondent killed in Syria


    BEIRUT (AP) — A leading Lebanese TV station says its correspondent in Syria was killed while covering fighting in the capital, Damascus. LBC TV reports that Syrian citizen Thaer Ajlani died Monday while covering the battles in the tense Damascus neighborhood of Jobar, which witnesses near-daily fighting. Syria's state news agency and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say Ajlani also worked for the Damascus-based Sham FM radio station. The Observatory says the area saw intense fighting Monday. Syria has become the world's most dangerous assignment for reporters. Before Ajlani's death, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said at least 84 journalists have been killed since the fi

  • Turkey detains IS suspects in new police sweep


    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's state-run news agency says police have raided homes in an Ankara neighborhood, detaining at least 15 people suspected of links to the Islamic State group as Turkey presses ahead with a major security sweep. Since Friday, Turkey has been carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Syria and Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq. It has also arrested hundreds of people with suspected links to violent extremists. On Sunday, it called for a meeting of its NATO allies to discuss threats to its security, as well as its airstrikes. The Anadolu Agency says at least 15 people, including a number of foreign nationals, were detained Monday in an operation in Ankara's Haci Bayram neighborhood.

  • Palestinian suspect killed during Israeli arrest raid


    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say a Palestinian suspected of plotting an attack in Israel was killed during an arrest raid in the Qalandia refugee camp in the Jerusalem area. He is the third Palestinian to be killed over the past week during a confrontation with Israeli forces. Relatives identified him as 20-year-old Mohammed Lafi Abu Latifeh. Israeli paramilitary border police entered the refugee camp early Monday to arrest two Palestinians suspected of plotting an attack in Israel. Police say one surrendered, but the second ran to the roof of a building. Police ordered him to stop, and then shot him in the lower part of his body. He tried to jump to a nearby roof but fell. A police paramedic treated him but he die

  • Australian nurse charged with supporting IS stays in custody

    Updated: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — An Australian nurse who says he was forced by Islamic State militants to work as a medic in Syria did not apply for bail when he appeared in a court in his hometown of Melbourne on Monday charged with supporting a terrorist group. Adam Brookman, 39, voluntarily returned to Australia from Turkey on Friday. Brookman has told media that he was able to escape from Syria after winning Islamic State militants' trust by working for them in a hospital controlled by the group at al-Bab in Aleppo province. He appeared briefly in the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with performing services to help someone engage in a hostile activity in a foreign country. He is also charged with supporting a terrorist o

  • Turkey calls for NATO meeting to discuss security threats

    Updated: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Sunday called for a meeting of its NATO allies to discuss threats to its security and its airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants in Syria and Kurdish rebels in Iraq. The move came as Turkey's state-run media reported that Turkish F-16 jets again took off from the country's southeastern Diyarbakir air base to hit Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK targets across the border in northern Iraq. There was no immediate confirmation of the report by TRT television, which came hours after authorities said PKK militants detonated a car-bomb near Diyarbakir, killing two soldiers and wounding four others.