• Official: 10 civilians killed in 3 car bombs in Libya

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan official says at least ten civilians were killed when three separate car bombs exploded simultaneously in the eastern coastal city of Darna. Hamid Albandag, the city's representative to the internationally-recognized government, says the bombings, which went off Friday evening, set off clashes between militants belonging to the Islamic State's local affiliate and al-Qaida-linked militias that continued into Saturday afternoon. The Libyan army has surrounded the city from all directions for months and appears to be restraining from fighting the al-Qaida-linked militias. Last month, the al-Qaida-linked militias pushed the Islamic State militants out of the center of the city, which they h

  • Egypt president: situation 'stable' following Sinai attack

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, wearing battle dress for the first time in over a year, declared Saturday that the country's security situation was "completely stable" following a coordinated assault on the military in the troubled northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. Wearing his old uniform, which he said he had hung up for good when he ran for president, the general-turned-politician met members of the army and delivered a televised speech to troops in Sinai, his first public comments on Wednesday's attack. "We want all Egyptians to rest assured that the situation ... it's not enough to say it's just under control. We are saying the situation is completely stable," said el-Sissi, standing before a

  • APNewsBreak: Tentative agreement on Iran sanctions relief

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — World powers and Iran have reached tentative agreement on sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, among the most contentious issues in a long-term nuclear agreement that negotiators hope to clinch over the next several days, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday. The annex hammered out by experts, one of five meant to accompany the agreement, outlines which U.S. and international sanctions will be lifted and how quickly. Diplomats said senior officials of the seven-nation talks, which include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, still had to sign off on the package.

  • Egypt marks 2nd anniversary of Islamist ouster with mourning

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Two years to the day after the army overthrew Egypt's Islamist president, the sounds coming from the mosque at Cairo's Tahrir Square were sadly telling. At the focal point of Egypt's upheavals, where authorities had hoped to stage celebrations, there was instead a prayer for the week's dead, including soldiers cut down by militants in Sinai and the country's chief prosecutor, assassinated by car bomb in the capital. A sense of foreboding fills the air, with officials and media speaking of a state of war and urging national unity. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has promised swift justice, which critics fear will mean a further step away from democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood, banned but unbowed, has upped the ante by

  • Syrian troops and Hezbollah attack border mountain resort

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian troops backed by members of Lebanon's Hezbollah group began a major offensive Saturday under the cover of intense airstrikes to retake a rebel-held mountain resort while opposition fighters retaliated by shelling the capital Damascus. Taking the rebel-held town of Zabadani would tighten Hezbollah's grip on Syrian territories bordering Lebanon and would strengthen the Syrian government's control over of the Beirut-Damascus highway. Zabadani has been held by rebels since shortly after Syria's crisis began in March 2011. The conflict has killed more than 220,000 people and wounded at least a million, according to the United Nations.

  • Iran to US: Nuke deal could result in joint cooperation

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — In a message to Washington, Iran's foreign minister on Friday called for an end to "coercion and pressure" at the nuclear talks, suggesting a deal acceptable to his country will open the door to cooperation on fighting the upsurge of Middle East extremism threatening both nations' interests. Mohammad Javad Zarif did not mention the United States by name in his video message. But with the Iran six-power talks having devolved essentially into bilateral U.S.-Iran negotiations over the past year, his comments were clearly directed at the Americans, who have been the primary drivers of the crippling economic sanctions imposed on his country over its nuclear program. Any deal would result in an end to the sanctions.

  • UN rights body backs call for accountability in Gaza war

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — The U.N.'s top human rights body backed calls Friday for accountability in last year's conflict in Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians were killed. The decision by the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council has no binding effect, but adds to pressure for war crimes prosecutions before the International Criminal Court. Israel condemned the move, saying it was one-sided and ignored the fact that Israel is conducting its own investigations into possible wrongdoing. Forty-one of the council's 47 members voted in favor of the resolution, which cited a recent U.N. report concluding that both Israel and Palestinian militant groups may have committed grave crimes during the

  • IS says it destroyed archaeological pieces from Palmyra

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group militants have destroyed six archaeological pieces from the historic town of Palmyra that were confiscated from a smuggler, the group said. An IS statement, released late Thursday, said the six busts were found when the smuggler was stopped at a checkpoint. The issue was referred to an Islamic court in the IS-held northern Syrian town of Manbij, which ordered that they be destroyed and the man be whipped. Photographs released by the group show IS militants destroying the busts with large hammers. Another photo shows the smuggler being whipped.

  • Lion cubs en route to Jordan sanctuary check into Gaza hotel

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza's militant Hamas rulers on Friday allowed a pair of lion cubs en route to a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan back into the Palestinian coastal strip after the animals and their entourage had been stuck for several hours on no-man's land at a Gaza-Israel border crossing. Earlier in the day, the cubs were taken from Gaza resident Saed Eldin al-Jamal, who had kept them over a year as pets at his family's home in the border town of Rafah, and transported to the Erez crossing with Israel. By the time they arrived at the border, the Israeli side had closed and the cubs remained on no-man's land after Hamas guards refused to let them back into the Palestinian territory.

  • Militants, rebels in Syria announce new push for Aleppo

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic militants and rebels in Syria launched fresh attacks on government-held neighborhoods in Aleppo on Friday, setting off some of the heaviest fighting in months in the contested northern city, activists and state media said. The fighting is part of a new coordinated offensive in Aleppo by a newly-formed coalition between al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and the ultra-conservative Ahrar al-Sham group, and other rebels. The groups said they seek to "liberate" Aleppo under their coalition called Ansar al-Sharia. A former industrial and commercial hub, Aleppo has been carved up between government and rebel-held neighborhoods since 2012. With the city devastated by three years of fighting, many of

  • Rocket fired from Sinai hits southern Israel, no one hurt

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military says a rocket fired from neighboring Sinai, where Egyptian troops are battling Islamic State militants, has struck southern Israel. There was no damage and no one was hurt. The military says the rocket hit open field in southern Israel Friday afternoon. Sirens were heard in parts of southern Israel, warning of incoming fire. Egyptian military and security officials in Sinai denied any rockets were fired from the restive peninsula. The officals spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Sinai borders both Israel and the Gaza Strip. The fighting there started on Tuesday, when militants unleashed a coordinated wave of attacks on Egyptian troop

  • Poland advises its citizens against travel to Egypt

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish Foreign Ministry has advised its citizens against traveling to Egypt, and at least one major travel agency has responded by canceling package holidays to the country for the rest of the summer season. The ministry advised Poles on Thursday against booking trips to Egypt, including to popular Red Sea resorts. It cited the deteriorating security situation and the possible increase in terror activity. The travel agency TUI responded Friday by canceling all trips to Egypt for the summer and rebooking its customers to resorts in other countries. Another major agency, Itaka, said customers with prepaid vacations in Egypt can reschedule to other destinations without any extra charge.

  • China expresses displeasure with Turkey accepting Uighurs


    BEIJING (AP) — Beijing expressed displeasure with Turkey on Friday for accepting 173 ethnic Uighurs who fled China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the Uighurs had left China illegally, and that Beijing opposes "any actions that aid and abet, or even support illegal migration." "We believe that the international community should share common responsibility for combating and preventing illegal migration," she told a regular news briefing. The group of Uighurs, mostly women and children, arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday and are being settled in the central city of Kayseri, which has a strong Uighur community. Turkey has ethnic and linguistic ties to the Uighurs, members of a Muslim ethnic mino

  • Bombings in Baghdad, town south of Iraqi capital kill 8


    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say bombings in Baghdad and in a town south of the Iraqi capital have killed eight people. Police officials say a bombing Friday near shops in the town of Madain, just south of Baghdad, left three people dead and wounded eight. Also in Madain, a bomb struck a checkpoint manned by pro-government Sunni militiamen, killing two fighters and wounding five. The officials say a bomb blast in a commercial street in eastern Baghdad killed three people. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters. Police said two bodies with gunshot wounds to the head and chest were found in eastern Baghdad.

  • Turkey reappoints former defense minister to post


    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reappointed a 75-year-old former defense minister to the same post, to replace Ismet Yilmaz who was elected Turkey's new parliament speaker this week. Davutoglu said Friday Vecdi Gonul, who was defense minister between 2002 and 2011, will again head the defense portfolio until a new coalition government is formed. The appointment of an experienced minister comes at a time when Turkey has increased security at parts of its border with Syria, deploying tanks and armored vehicles. Davutoglu has denied reports that claimed Turkey planned a military intervention in Syria soon.

  • Turkey's Erdogan dedicates new mosque to the people


    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday inaugurated a mosque on the grounds of his gigantic palace complex and opened it to the public in an apparent effort to stave off more criticism over his spending. Erdogan, who has been accused of squandering state resources by building the grandiose 1,150-room presidential palace, dedicated the mosque to the people at the opening ceremony, naming it the "Bestepe People's Mosque." The new mosque, with four 60 meter-high (200 feet) minarets, can accommodate up to 3,000 worshippers and is one of Ankara's largest. Erdogan described its design as a fusion of architectures from the Ottoman and Seljuk eras.

  • Syrian boy clinging underneath truck at Romanian border


    BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Border police say they have found a 12-year-old Syrian boy and two men hidden under a truck transporting apricots who tried to illegally enter Romania. Police said in a statement the three Syrians were clinging underneath the truck near the fuel tank early Friday at the Calafat border crossing with Bulgaria. Police said the Turkish driver was bringing apricots to Germany. The stowaways told police they were trying to reach Western Europe. They said they illegally entered Bulgaria from Turkey and the driver did not know he was transporting them. Police also stopped two Afghan men Friday at the Giurgiu border post with Bulgaria who were trying to cross the border on foot.

  • UN, Libyan groups pressure rivals to accept peace deal


    SKHIRAT, Morocco (AP) — U.N. mediators and Libya's internationally recognized parliament have presented a tentative peace deal to rival Tripoli leadership, hoping for approval within days. A U.N. statement says they initialed the agreement at talks in Morocco that ended early Friday. The fifth draft of the peace deal is the latest of increasingly desperate efforts to restore stability to a country split by rival governments in the east and west and warring militias. Delegates of the Tripoli government participated in earlier discussions on the deal. A representative said they would vote Sunday on the draft. The U.N. statement said it hopes the response will be positive and that they will "shoulder their responsibility

  • Palestinian Authority arrests 100 Hamas members in West Bank


    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian Authority forces arrested over 100 Hamas members in the West Bank who were planning on carrying out attacks, a Palestinian official said, in the biggest raid of its kind in years. Spokesman for Palestinian security, Adnan Dameri said "We will not let Hamas undermine our security and draw our country to bloodshed, we will not let Hamas carry out attacks in the West Bank." It was the biggest mass arrest in one night since 2007 when Palestinians split after the Islamic militant group Hamas violently ousted forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas from Gaza, leaving him governing just parts of the West Bank.

  • A year after Gaza war, southern Israel slowly recovers


    NIRIM, Israel (AP) — On the last day of last summer's Israel-Hamas war, Gadi Yarkoni and two of his closest friends were fixing an electricity line next to the cowshed in their kibbutz in southern Israel that had been damaged by rocket fire from neighboring Gaza. On that Aug. 26, a final cease-fire was about to go into effect and they thought they had weathered the worst of the 50-day war that had driven away most families from their small agricultural community. Just as it was all about to end, a mortar shell landed by Yarkoni, killing both his friends and blowing off both his legs.