• Head of Egypt's journalists union to stand trial

    Head of Egypt\'s journalists union to stand trial

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Prosecutors on Monday referred the head of Egypt's journalists union and two board members to trial after they were formally charged with spreading false news and harboring journalists wanted by authorities. A statement by the Cairo prosecution office said their trial would begin on Saturday. The three were questioned for hours by prosecutors Sunday night. On Monday, they refused to post bail of 10,000 pounds ($1,000) each and were detained at a police station in central Cairo, Khaled el-Balshy, one of the board members facing prosecution, and defense lawyer Sayed Abu Zeid told The Associated Press. "We refused to pay because the accusations are related to publishing news and that should not involve impri

  • Yemen rebels launch missile into Saudi Arabia

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's Houthi rebels have launched a missile over the border into Saudi Arabia for the first time in weeks in the latest violation of a shaky truce between the insurgents and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. Pro-Houthi television channel al-Masirah said Monday that the rebels had launched a long-range missile into Saudi territory. Saudi Arabia's military said in a statement that several missiles had hit the Jizan border region, the first such strike in over a month, without wounding anyone. A truce between the warring parties that began April 10 has been deteriorating in recent days, with violations by both sides.

  • Saudi human rights activist sentenced to 8 years in prison

    Saudi human rights activist sentenced to 8...

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced a member of an independent human rights organization to eight years in prison in the latest guilty verdict to be issued against the group's members, rights group Amnesty International said. Abdulaziz al-Shubaily, 31, was the only founding member of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, known by its Arabic acronym HASEM, not yet sentenced to a prison term. He acted as a legal representative for nine other founding HASEM members. In total, 11 HASEM members have been sentenced to a combined 92 years in prison. Seven of the 11 are in jail and four are awaiting their prison terms to be implemented.

  • The Latest: Italy breaks up unofficial migrants' tent camp

    The Latest: Italy breaks up unofficial...

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    POZZALLO, Sicily (AP) — The Latest on Europe's migration crisis (all times local): 9:20 p.m. Italian authorities have broken up unofficial migrants' tent camp in the town of Ventimiglia near the French border. The migrants, from Eritrea and other African countries as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh, had been camping out for weeks or months in hopes of managing to slip into France while eluding document controls. After Ventimiglia's mayor ordered the camp dismantled, police Monday rounded up migrants for identification. Minors were taken to local social services centers. Only adults who had international protection documents were allowed to stay in Ventimiglia.

  • Israel's new defense minister backs two-state solution

    Israel\'s new defense minister backs two-state...

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman said he supports a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians after he was sworn in as defense minister on Monday. Lieberman is a West Bank settler and one of Israel's most polarizing politicians. He has stoked controversy in the past with incendiary remarks about the Palestinians and Israel's Arab minority. But in a statement to reporters after parliament approved his appointment, Lieberman said he supports "two states for two peoples." The defense portfolio was previously held by former military chief Moshe Yaalon, who resigned last week following talks to expand the government by adding Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party.

  • Elite Iraqi forces push into Fallujah, expect fierce battle

    Elite Iraqi forces push into Fallujah, expect...

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CAMP TARIQ, Iraq (AP) — Elite Iraqi special forces began their push Monday into Fallujah, expecting to encounter the stiffest resistance yet in the campaign to free territory from the Islamic State group. The city 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad has been under militant control longer than any other part of Iraq, and IS fighters have had more than two years to dig in. Networks of tunnels like those found in other IS-held territory have already been discovered in its northeastern outskirts. The Iraqi troops, also known as the counterterrorism forces, are leading the assault on Fallujah, slowly moving up from the southern edge in a column of armored Humvees.

  • 4 killed in bomb attack targeting police in southeast Turkey

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Kurdish rebels on Monday detonated a bomb in southeast Turkey as a police armored vehicle was passing by, killing at least four people, the state-run news agency reported. The attack on a street in the mainly-Kurdish town of Silopi also injured 19 other people, five of them police officers, the Anadolu Agency said. Some of the injured were in serious condition. Anadolu said the attack was carried out with an improvised explosive device hidden inside a manhole. The police vehicle was patrolling the streets a month after Turkey's security forces ended military operations in Silopi to flush out Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and partially lifted a curfew imposed on th

  • Libyan forces advance in push on Islamic State strongholds

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Libyan forces loyal to the U.N.-brokered government advanced on Monday against two key Islamic State strongholds, with several officials saying the troops had taken a town from the extremists. The forces entered Bin Jawad, 160 kilometers (99 miles) from the central city of Sirte, the main IS bastion in Libya. Salem Jedran, mayor of the nearby town of Ajdabiya, said troops with the so-called Petroleum Facilities Guards had advanced on Bin Jawad, which fell to IS in January. The unit's spokesman, Ali Alhassi, later said the troops had liberated the town after five were killed and 16 wounded. Saad Abu-Sharada, a representative from the area, confirmed the area was liberated Monday afternoon.

  • EU official: Turkey makes progress in visa-free travel talks

    EU official: Turkey makes progress in visa-free...

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Turkey is making progress on measures that need to be passed before visa-free travel to the European Union can be instituted, a senior EU official said Monday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, is standing by the overall deal with Turkey amid Europe's refugee crisis. Turkey must meet 72 conditions to get the visa waiver, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters that "so far, 69 or 70 are fulfilled." The visa offer is part of a deal to persuade Turkey to stop migrants coming to Europe. Erdogan has said the deal could collapse if the Europeans renege on visas. Despite the increasing animosity between both sides since the deal was clinched in March, the refugee infl

  • Palestinian arrested after stabbing soldier in Tel Aviv

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say a 17-year-old Palestinian stabbed a soldier in central Tel Aviv, lightly wounding him before being arrested after a short chase. Video footage broadcast by Israeli TV shows the Palestinian holding what appears to be a knife and yelling at officers who arrested him on the stairwell of an apartment building in Tel Aviv. Monday's assault appeared to be the latest in a series of Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians and security personnel over the last eight months. The stabbings, shootings and vehicular assaults have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. About 200 Palestinians were killed during that time, mostly attackers, Israel says. The assaults have been less frequent in recent

  • Libyan American father and son acquitted in UAE trial

    Libyan American father and son acquitted in UAE...

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two Libyan Americans detained in the United Arab Emirates for nearly two years were acquitted on Monday of charges they illegally raised funds for a foreign entity and took hostile actions against a foreign country. The family of Kamal Eldarat, 59, and his son Mohammed, 34, said after the verdict that the cast was "tainted with due process and human rights violations." The Eldarats, who are successful businessmen and longtime residents of the UAE, were arrested in August 2014. The older Eldarat fled Libya with his family years before the country's 2011 uprising and moved to the U.S., where they were granted political asylum. They moved to the UAE in 1997.

  • Mediterranean shipwreck survivors haunted by cries of kids

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    POZZALLO, Sicily (AP) — It was the cries of children — and the moment they decided they must save themselves — that haunt the survivors of a shipwreck that claimed hundreds of lives. Two Eritreans who arrived safely in Sicily told The Associated Press on Sunday how the sea kept seeping into their rickety fishing boat despite all efforts to bail the water out. Eventually, the sea prevailed. Between 400 and 550 on their smugglers' boat didn't make it, part of the estimated 700 migrants who perished in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days last week in the deadliest known tally in over a year, as calm weather and sunny skies increased smuggling crossings from Libya.

  • Bahrain court more than doubles opposition leader's sentence

    Bahrain court more than doubles opposition...

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Bahraini appeals court on Monday more than doubled the prison term for the country's top Shiite opposition figure in a ruling that his political bloc blasted as "unacceptable and provocative." Sheikh Ali Salman now faces nine years behind bars, up from an earlier four, following his conviction last year on charges that included incitement and insulting the Interior Ministry. Salman is the secretary-general of Al-Wefaq, the country's largest Shiite political group. He was a key figure in Bahrain's 2011 Arab Spring-inspired uprising, which was dominated by the island nation's Shiite majority and sought greater political rights from the Sunni monarchy.

  • Turkey: Germany should not call Armenian killings genocide

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey has criticized plans by Germany's parliament to recognize the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide. The killings of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks are widely viewed by historians as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, insists that the toll was inflated and says those killed were the victims of civil war and unrest. Germany's parliament is to hold a vote on a motion describing the deaths as genocide this week. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday that Germany — home to a large Turkish community — should "act with caution.

  • As peace talks stall, Syrian opposition negotiator resigns

    As peace talks stall, Syrian opposition...

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — The chief Syrian opposition negotiator in the Geneva peace talks has resigned amid no signs of progress in the peace process that began earlier this year. Mohammed Alloush said he took this step because the international community is not "serious" about reaching a solution for the country's five-year civil war. His statement, released late Sunday, also said that Syrian government forces continue attacking the opposition and besieging rebel-held areas, despite the three rounds of negotiations in Geneva. The "proximity" talks that began in January have failed to make any progress amid contrary demands by the opposition team and the government delegation.

  • Jordan heads into elections by fall as parliament dissolved

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan is heading into parliamentary elections by September, after King Abdullah II dissolved the current legislature. The monarch also appointed a new prime minister, Hani Mulki, who will oversee preparations for new elections. Political analyst Bassam Badareen said Monday that the appointment of Mulki, a prominent economist, signals that "the king wants to see a government that puts the economy as a first priority." Jordan's monarch dissolved parliament on Sunday, paving the way for new elections within four months, as required by the constitution. He also appointed Mulki in place of Abdullah Ensour, who resigned after more than three years as prime minister.

  • Turkey hopes it can mend ties with Russia soon

    Turkey hopes it can mend ties with Russia soon

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A top Turkish government official expressed hope that Turkey and Russia can mend relations soon, adding that neither country is in a position to "sacrifice" ties. Russian-Turkish ties have soured in November after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian warplane after it violated its airspace near the Syrian border. Russia halted package tours to Turkey and banned most agricultural imports from Turkey in retaliation. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said after a Cabinet meeting on Monday: "I am of the opinion that there is no problem that cannot be overcome. I hope that it will be possible for the countries to resolve the problem through dialogue.

  • US coach promotes wheelchair basketball in Gaza

    US coach promotes wheelchair basketball in Gaza

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — A top U.S. coach is in the Gaza Strip to help set up the territory's first female wheelchair basketball team. "I think for Gaza this is a very unique thing," said the trainer, Jess Markt. "I think there are not so many opportunities for women to play sports here, and particularly for disabled women." Markt, 40, was a track athlete until 21 years ago when he suffered a severed spinal cord in a car accident. Three years later, he began playing basketball and in recent years he has coached wheelchair teams in Afghanistan, India and Cambodia. In 2015, the International Committee of the Red Cross brought Markt to Gaza to train local referees and coaches. Now, he is back to train players and o

  • Turkey says it could seize IS stronghold with US

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's foreign minister suggested his country could carry out joint military operations with the United States to oust the Islamic State group from Syria. Speaking in Antalya late Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that operation could "easily advance to Raqqa," the main IS bastion in Syria. American special operations forces and a coalition known as the Syria Democratic Forces have begun clearing areas north of Raqqa in preparation for an eventual assault on the city. A major player in the coalition is the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey — unlike the United States — views as a terrorist organization. Turkey is part of the U.S.

  • Turkish leader Erdogan rejects family planning for Muslims

    Turkish leader Erdogan rejects family planning...

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken out against birth control and family planning, saying they go against Muslim traditions. Speaking at an educational foundation in Istanbul on Monday, Erdogan declared: "I say this openly: We will increase our descendants, we will increase out population. Family planning, birth control, no Muslim family can practice such an understanding." He adds that "whatever our Lord says, whatever our beloved Prophet says, we shall follow that path." Erdogan, a devout Muslim, often courts controversy with divisive public comments. He has previously angered women's groups by stating that women are not equal to men and by urging women to bear at least three children.