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THE MAGOG INVASION

 

 

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The Magog Invasion

 

 Introduction:

 

The ancient people called Magog are commonly believed to have been the ancestors of the Russian nation. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of an invasion of Israel by Russia, which has not yet been fulfilled. What could cause Russia to come against the tiny nation of Israel -- which has no oil and no real strategic value? This question has puzzled Bible scholars for centuries. However, recent developments in the Middle East have for the first time in history lent credence to this long-awaited prophecy.


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Hal Lindsey Report: 9/5/2014
9/5/2014 | 27.30

9/11... Again.

The Welcome Mat

Invasion

Don't mess with Magog

 

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Iran nuclear talks extended seven months after failing to meet deadline

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:09:52 AMGo to full article
Officials pose for a family picture during their meeting in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six powers failed on Monday for a second time this year to resolve their 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and gave themselves seven more months to clinch an historic deal. Western officials said they were aiming to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the all-important technical details. ...
 
 

Academics vote to be forum on Israel boycotts

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:44:53 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — A key U.S. organization of Middle East scholars voted Monday to protect the rights of members who support a longstanding Palestinian call for academic boycotts of Israeli institutions but stopped short of taking a stand for or against such activities.
 

Egyptian leader meets pope, Italian premier

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:43:28 PMGo to full article
Pope Francis shakes hand with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a meeting at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, Pool)VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis and the Egyptian president exchanged warm greetings during a private meeting Monday in which the pontiff emphasized Egypt's role in establishing peace in the Middle East.
 
 

Survey concludes Internet access should be a human right

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:36:44 PMGo to full article
An estimated one third of the world's population (or 2.3 billion people) is onlineAffordable access to the Internet should be a human right, as it represents hope for political freedom and economic prosperity to many around the world, according to a survey Monday. Most people also do not want any one nation or organization to manage this global network of computers, in order to prevent crackdowns on free speech and political expression. The CIGI-Ipsos survey of 23,376 people in 24 countries was unveiled at the start of a two-day meeting in Ottawa on Internet governance. According to the Global Commission on Internet Governance, which is hosting the Ottawa conference, the world is at a crossroads, with competition for power and influence of all aspects of the Internet heating up.
 
 

Islamic State group recruits, exploits children

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:16:50 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this file photo taken Thursday, June 19, 2014, Islamic State group militants stand by a captured Iraqi army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji refinery, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group's radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. (AP Photo, File)BEIRUT (AP) — Teenagers carrying weapons stand at checkpoints and busy intersections in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Patched onto the left arms of their black uniforms are the logos of the Islamic Police.
 
 

Iran takes action to comply with interim nuclear deal: U.N. agency

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:37:26 PMGo to full article
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has taken the necessary steps to continue to comply with an interim nuclear agreement, according to a U.N agency report seen by Reuters on Monday, as Tehran and six world powers gave themselves an extra seven months to clinch a final deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency issued its monthly update on the preliminary accord's implementation on the same day that Iran and the major powers agreed to extend that deal until June, after failing to meet Monday's deadline for a comprehensive settlement. ...
 

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:18:51 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, a Palestinian protester using a sling shot throws a stone towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a protest against Israeli restrictions on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)Tensions soared in Jerusalem this week after a grisly attack on a synagogue, an Egyptian doctor was acquitted in the country's first female genital mutilation trial, and Lebanese demanded the release of family members captured by militants.
 
 

Report claims Jordan deporting Syrian refugees

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:08:39 PMGo to full article
BEIRUT (AP) — Jordanian authorities have deported "vulnerable Syrian refugees," including wounded men and unaccompanied children, an international human rights group said Monday, adding that a Jordanian government spokesman denied the claim.
 

Iran nuclear talks set to resume next month after missing deadline

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:28:18 PMGo to full article
Officials sit around the negotiations table during their meeting in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers are expected to break off negotiations on Monday and meet again next month after missing a deadline to clinch a final deal to resolve their 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, diplomatic sources said. Details about the resumption of negotiations were still being worked out, though one source said on condition of anonymity that Iran could not expect any new sanctions relief for the time being. Possible venues could include Vienna and Oman, one of the sources said, though nothing had been decided. ...
 
 

Hundreds attend memorial for US aid worker

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:05:22 AMGo to full article
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An American aid worker behead by Islamic State militants in Syria was praised for his humanitarian work Sunday during a memorial service attended by hundreds that included readings from the Bible and the Quran.
 

US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:45:15 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, prior to a bilateral meeting of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The U.S. and five other nations trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran are turning away from attempting to reach an agreement by deadline and have started internal discussions on extending the talks, diplomats said Sunday. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, pool)VIENNA (AP) — The U.S. told Iran Sunday that it's time to consider extending nuclear talks, in the first formal recognition by Washington that frenzied last-minute diplomacy may not be enough to seal a deal by a rapidly approaching deadline.
 
 

Iran and powers set to extend nuclear talks if final push fails

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:40:55 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers looked set to miss Monday's deadline for resolving a 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and are already looking at a possible extension of the negotiations. The talks in Vienna aim for a deal that could transform the Middle East, open the door to ending economic sanctions on Iran and start to bring a nation of 76 million people in from the cold after decades of hostility with the West. The cost of failure to reach a deal could be high. ...
 
 

Islamic State group recruits, exploits children

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:30:02 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Monday, June 23, 2014 file photo, an Islamic militant group fighter stands with two children posing with weapons as they watch other members of the group parade in commandeered Iraqi security forces vehicles down a main road at the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, more than two weeks after IS took over the country's second largest city. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group's radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. (AP Photo, File)BEIRUT (AP) — Teenagers carrying weapons stand at checkpoints and busy intersections in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Patched onto the left arms of their black uniforms are the logos of the Islamic Police.
 
 

Migrants rescued off Cyprus' north coast

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:55:02 PMGo to full article
Migrants settle into a sports hall, after being rescued, in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway northern coastal city of Kerynia or Girne, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Over 200 migrants, apparently refugees from Syria, have been rescued after their damaged ship drifted for hours in rough seas off Cyprus' northern coast, an official said. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — About 228 migrants, apparently refugees from Syria, have been rescued after their damaged ship drifted for hours in rough seas off Cyprus' northern coast, an official said Sunday.
 
 

Kerry to 'update' Saudi foreign minister on Iran nuclear talks

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:37:58 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Sunday to "update" him on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers in Vienna, a U.S. official said. The official did not give details about the meeting. Iran and Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally which is worried about the implications of any rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, are regional rivals vying for influence in the Middle East. (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Alison Williams)
 

Hitler watercolor sold for $162,000 at auction

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:37:21 PMGo to full article
BERLIN (AP) — A watercolor of Munich's old city hall believed to have been painted by Adolf Hitler a century ago was sold for 130,000 euros ($162,000) at an auction in Germany on Saturday.
 

Iran nuclear talks may be extended as U.S. sees 'big gaps'

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:15:42 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy John Irish and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - World powers and Iran struggled on Saturday to overcome crucial differences that are preventing them from ending a 12-year standoff over Tehran's atomic ambitions, raising the prospect of another extension to the high-stake talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "big gaps" remained with two days to go before a self-imposed Nov. 24 deadline for an accord, despite signs of some headway. A European source said the likelihood of a final deal by Monday was "very small". ...
 
 

Islamic State kills 25 Iraqi tribesmen near Ramadi: officials

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:13:44 PMGo to full article
By Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have killed 25 members of a Sunni Muslim tribe during their assault on a provincial capital west of Baghdad, local officials said on Saturday, in apparent revenge for tribal opposition to the radical Islamists. They said the bodies of the men from the Albu Fahd tribe were discovered after the army launched a counter-offensive on Saturday against the Islamic State in a village on the eastern edge of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province. ...

 

 

Western leaders step away from nuclear talks with Iran as deadline nears

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:49:57 PMGo to full article
French Foreign Minister Fabius, EU envoy Ashton, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Britain's Foreign Secretary Hammond sit a a table during talks in ViennaBy Jonathan Allen and John Irish VIENNA (Reuters) - With three days to go to the deadline for a deal to defuse stand-off with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, Western power foreign ministers stepped away for consultations on Friday while Tehran's chief envoy canceled plans to leave the negotiations. ...
 
 

Islamic State attacks Iraq provincial capital: officials

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:56:51 PMGo to full article
Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along streets of Syria's northern Raqqa provinceBy Raheem Salman and Dominic Evans BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters attacked a government complex in the heart of an Iraqi provincial capital on Friday, local officials said, in an apparently coordinated effort to seize full control of the city. Gunmen fired from rooftops at buildings in Ramadi housing the Anbar governorate offices and police headquarters, while security forces and tribal fighters tried to prevent the militants from advancing. "Mosques are asking anyone who can carry weapons to confront the attackers," provincial council member Hathal Fahdawi told Reuters. ...
 
 

Tunisia heats up ahead of presidential election

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:52:48 PMGo to full article
A supporter of presidential candidate and Tunisian President, Moncef Marzouki, waves her national flag during a campaign meeting in Bizerte, northern Tunisia, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. The presidential campaign, featuring 25 competitors, kicked off in early November and it's the first time since Tunisians overthrew dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 that they will choose their head of state through universal suffrage. If no candidate wins a majority Nov. 23, there will be a runoff between the top two vote-getters on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/Aimen Zine)TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's first free presidential election is boiling down to two candidates with divergent views of the revolution that transformed this former dictatorship.
 
 

France tempers Iran nuclear stance in nod to wider diplomatic needs

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:33:39 AMGo to full article
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius escorts US Secretary of State John Kerry after their talks and statement at the Quai d'Orsay Foreign Affairs ministry in ParisBy John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - A year after France scuppered a deal on Iran's nuclear program it is taking a softer stance in current talks, encouraged by a more inclusive U.S. approach and the knowledge that failure this year could have grim repercussions across the broader region. France, a U.N. Security Council veto-holder, has long held out for strict terms trading a loosening of international sanctions on Iran's oil-based economy in return for commitments by Tehran to show its nuclear work is as peaceful as it insists. The discovery last year that the U.S. was holding secret talks with the Iranians was an opportunity for France, by saying 'no' to a deal, to assert itself internationally and rebuke Washington for backing down on bombing Syria as punishment for using chemical arms. It also helped Paris to cement new commercial ties with Gulf Arab states.
 
 

Powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby holds fire as Iran deadline looms

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:02:45 AMGo to full article
By Matt Spetalnick and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the United States and other powers negotiate down to the wire on a nuclear deal with Iran, one voice has been unusually quiet - the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Israel deeply distrusts the attempt to reach a deal at talks in Vienna that would lift harsh international sanctions on Iran in return for limits to its nuclear program, aimed at preventing it from developing an atomic bomb. But its staunchest U.S. ...
 

Iran still stalling as nuclear deadline looms: U.N. agency

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:54:22 AMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry faces Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif during a meeting in ViennaBy Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Tehran has yet to explain away allegations it conducted atomic bomb research, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Thursday, four days before a deadline for Iran and six world powers to reach a deal on the Iranian nuclear program. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flies to Vienna for what are meant to be final talks to clinch a deal with Iran, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said he was still unable to provide "credible assurance" Iran had no undeclared nuclear material and activities. ...
 
 

U.S. to send new troops to Iraq even before Congress OKs funds

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:02:50 AMGo to full article
By David Alexander and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the 1,500 new U.S. troops authorized to advise and train Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State militants will deploy to the country in the next few weeks without waiting for Congress to fund the mission, the Pentagon said on Thursday. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said leading elements of the U.S. force would begin moving to Iraq in the coming weeks, even if Congress has not yet acted on a $5. ...
 

Israeli mayor's ban on Arab workers ignites uproar

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:30:44 AMGo to full article
Itamar Shimoni, Israeli mayor of the costal city of Ashkelon, visits a kindergarten in Ashkelen, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Shimoni has suspended Israeli Arab laborers from work, renovating bomb shelters at local day-care centers. The move drew widespread criticism on Thursday, including from Netanyahu who said "there is no place for discrimination against Israeli Arabs." (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)JERUSALEM (AP) — The mayor of a southern Israeli city sparked a national uproar Thursday by barring Israeli Arab construction workers from jobs in local preschools, citing security concerns after a rash of attacks by Palestinian assailants elsewhere in the country.
 
 

U.S. to send new troops to Iraq even before Congress OKs funds

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:41:33 PMGo to full article
By David Alexander and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the 1,500 new U.S. troops authorized to advise and train Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State militants will deploy to the country in the next few weeks without waiting for Congress to fund the mission, the Pentagon said on Thursday. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said leading elements of the U.S. force would begin moving to Iraq in the coming weeks, even if Congress has not yet acted on a $5. ...
 

Ford: Lower oil prices unlikely to slow green cars

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:30:08 PMGo to full article
William Clay Ford, Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. and vice chairman of the Detroit Lions, left, receives a "Dubai Chamber of Commerce" emblem during the "Future of Mobility" talk at a hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The executive chairman of Ford Motor Company said he doesn't think that a drop in oil prices will dissuade people from buying fuel-efficient vehicles.
 
 

US promotes entrepreneurship to counter extremism

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:59:43 PMGo to full article
US Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Morocco's King Mohammed VI, at the royal palace in Fez, Morocco, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Biden is attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morocco, taking place for the first time on the African continent. (AP Photo/Fadel Senna, Pool)MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — The U.S. is promoting entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa as a way to create jobs and counter extremism in the region, senior American officials said Thursday at a conference in Morocco.
 
 

Iraq: Ballet school speaks to city's resilience

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:31:06 PMGo to full article
In this Nov. 12, 2014, photo, students practice at the dancing studio at the Baghdad School of Music and Ballet in Monsur district in Baghdad. The school has managed to survive decades of turmoil, a feat that speaks to the resilience of Baghdad's residents through war after war. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)BAGHDAD (AP) — Ann Khalid did not feel well but she insisted on dancing a brief scene from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake with her classmates. The 12-year-old is determined to one day have a career dancing and teaching ballet, not an easy path in a country torn for years by conflict.
 
 

Putin says Russia must prevent 'color revolution'

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:43:03 PMGo to full article
Putin attends ceremony to receive credentials from foreign ambassadors at the Kremlin in MoscowBy Darya Korsunskaya MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Moscow must prevent a "color revolution" in Russia and stop extremism, warning of the threat posed by illegal immigration and "radical" Internet sites that recruit youths. Putin's comments at a meeting of his advisory Security Council on combating extremism, underlined his wariness about Russia being hit by a popular uprising like those in other former Soviet republics known as the color revolutions. "In the modern world extremism is being used as a geopolitical instrument and for remaking spheres of influence. ...
 
 

Putin: Extremist groups could threaten Russia

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:04:28 PMGo to full article
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to ambassadors in the Alexander Hall after a ceremony of presentation of credentials by foreign ambassadors in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Russia's foreign policy chief on Wednesday claimed that Ukraine's decision to freeze budget payments to the eastern rebel-held territories could be a precursor to a military onslaught. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin is warning that extremist groups being manipulated from abroad could try to destabilize Russia, a statement that comes amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.
 
 

Kasparov likens Putin to Hitler, urges West to act

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:45:58 PMGo to full article
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov has compared President Vladimir Putin's "one-man dictatorship" to the rule of Adolf Hitler, warning that if the West fails to stop him now the price for doing so could grow higher.
 

Gaza conflict sparked sharp rise in German anti-semitism, survey shows

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:09:20 PMGo to full article
BERLIN (Reuters) - German anti-semitism and resentment towards Israel has risen sharply in recent months, with more than one in four respondents in a new poll equating the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians to Nazi persecution of Jews during World War Two. The bi-annual survey on xenophobia in Germany by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation showed broad measures of anti-semitism on the decline over the past decade. But it also showed a spike in negative views towards Israel and Jews in general between June and September, coinciding with the conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. ...
 

Whistleblower: FIFA report discredited my account

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:01:59 AMGo to full article
LONDON (AP) — A World Cup bidding whistleblower fears her treatment by FIFA will prevent people from coming forward with evidence as world football's governing body grapples with allegations of corruption.
 

Prince Charles to speak out as king

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:45:58 AMGo to full article
Britain's Prince Charles (C) and his sons Prince William (L) and Prince Harry applaud during a medal ceremony at the Invictus Games in London on September 11, 2014London (AFP) - Britain's Prince Charles plans to make "heartfelt interventions" in national life when he becomes king, the Guardian newspaper reported Thursday, citing sources close to the outspoken heir to the throne.
 
 

France identifies second national in IS execution video

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:34:04 AMGo to full article
Members of the Islamic State jihadist group, among them a jihadist believed to be French citizen Maxime Hauchard (R), also known as Abu Abdallah al-Faransi, are shown in this video still released November 16, 2014 by Al-Furqan MediaFrance on Wednesday identified a second national who appeared unmasked in a grisly Islamic State execution video and announced it was sending more jets to the region to step up air strikes. He said French aircraft in Iraq had pummelled trenches used by IS fighters around the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday night. Currently France is using nine Rafale jets based in the more distant United Arab Emirates as part of a US-led international campaign to provide air support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting the group. Meanwhile, Nozad Hadi, the governor of Arbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region, blamed IS jihadists for a suicide car bombing which left four dead on Wednesday.
 
 

Britain says not optimistic about Iran nuclear deal by deadline

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:34:33 PMGo to full article
A security official stands in front of the Bushehr nuclear reactorRIGA (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday he was not optimistic that world powers and Iran would clinch a full nuclear deal by Nov. 24 but that there may be a way of extending the self-imposed deadline. "I’m not optimistic that we can get everything done by Monday," Hammond told reporters in the Latvian capital. "But I think if we make some significant movement we may be able to find a way of extending the deadline to allow us to get to the final deal if we’re making a good progress in the right direction. ...
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Survivors of female genital mutilation

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:08 PMGo to full article
In this Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 photo, Ihsan Abdel Waly, 75, who worked as a midwife and has been subjected to female genital mutilation herself, poses for a photograph in Sidfa, 340 kilometers (210 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Waly started practicing in her early twenties. She learned from her mother who performed the procedure on her. "During my mother's generation there were hardly any midwives. It was a mothers duty to perform the procedure to her own daughter. My generation was full of mid-wives. It became a job." Abdel Waly is mother to four boys and one girl. She operated on her only daughter. "I regret working as a midwife and operating on all these girls," she said. She feels it's her responsibility now to speak out against FGM. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)SIDFA, Egypt (AP) — In this ancient village in southern Egypt on the banks of the Nile, some women are now speaking out about a long-standing tradition once never discussed.
 
 

Mideast video games, e-commerce booming: study

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:40:40 PMGo to full article
Video game and e-commerce markets are growing 'exponentially' across the Middle East and North Africa, study showsVideo game and e-commerce markets are growing exponentially across the Middle East and North Africa, driven by the mobile revolution and new youth-produced content, according to a study. The gaming market is expected to nearly triple in size, from $1.6 billion (1.3 billion euros) in 2014 to $4.4 billion (3.5 billion euros) in 2022, said the study conducted by consulting firm Strategy& and the Abu Dhabi media regulatory body twofour54. "Gaming in the region is growing faster than the global average, exceeding even other fast-growing emerging markets such as Russia, China and South Korea," Strategy& partner Jayant Bhargava said. So far global games from international developers have captured about 90 percent of the regional market.
 
 

Israel approves 78 new settler homes in East Jerusalem

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:21:02 PMGo to full article
Fiie photo of crane next to homes in a Jewish settlement near JerusalemJERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Wednesday approved the construction of 78 new homes in two settlements on West Bank land annexed to Jerusalem, likely to aggravate Palestinian anger at a time when violence has flared, including a deadly attack on a synagogue. Jerusalem's municipal planning committee authorized 50 new housing units in Har Homa and 28 in Ramot, a municipal spokeswoman said. Israel describes those two urban settlements as Jerusalem neighborhoods. ...
 
 

Muslim, Christian, Jewish leaders unite to condemn jihadi violence

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:22:49 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Senior Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders condemned violence by jihadi militants such as Islamic State (IS) at a Saudi-backed conference on Wednesday in a rare display of inter-faith unity aimed at promoting tolerance and diversity. Islamic State has caused international alarm by capturing large expanses of Iraq and Syria, declaring a Sunni "caliphate" straddling their borders and massacring those they deem apostates and infidel, like Shi'ite Muslims and Christians. "Some organizations that are affiliated with Islam are perpetrating some actions in the name of jihad. ...
 

East Jerusalem home of Palestinian car attacker demolished

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:11:53 AMGo to full article
A Palestinian youth wearing a Hamas headband uses a sling-shot to throw back a tear gas canister towards Israeli forces during clashes outside the Israeli-run Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on November 18, 2014Israeli forces Wednesday razed the east Jerusalem home of a Palestinian who killed two Israelis with his car last month as it speeded up the application of a controversial demolition policy. "The home of the terrorist, who killed an Israeli baby and a young woman on October 22 in a tram station in Jerusalem, was destroyed in Silwan," an army statement said. The demolition came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a harsh response to a deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, the city's bloodiest in year. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers ran amok among worshippers, killing four of them and a policeman.
 
 

Saudi Arabia leans on Gulf states to close ranks as region boils

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:07:23 AMGo to full article
Saudi King Abdullah sits before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry at the Royal Palace in JeddahBy William Maclean and Amena Bakr DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) - Gulf Arab states have shelved a bitter row among themselves, hoping to repair an alliance that has been sorely tested by chaos in the Middle East and the prospect of an Iranian nuclear deal that could tilt the regional balance of power toward their old foe Tehran. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain agreed at a meeting on Sunday to return their ambassadors to Qatar, signaling an end to an eight-month dispute over Doha's backing of Islamist militants in Syria and elsewhere and its promotion of Arab Spring revolts. ...
 
 

Australia tightens asylum seekers access, leaves refugees in Indonesia

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:46:15 AMGo to full article
By Jane Wardell and Kanupriya Kapoor SYDNEY/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Australia's conservative government on Wednesday defended its decision to stop asylum seekers passing through Indonesia from settling in Australia, a move that could leave Indonesia with thousands of refugees from the Middle East. The government announced late on Tuesday that asylum seekers who registered with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Indonesia after July 1 would no longer be eligible for resettlement in Australia. ...
 

Syria economy 'set back decades' by war

 
‎19 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:48:20 AMGo to full article
A boy rides his bike past a destroyed building in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on November 5, 2014Syria's once-promising economy has been set back more than 30 years by its brutal civil war, economists say, and it may never recover. Squeezed by sanctions and the fallout of the more than three-year-old conflict, the government faces dwindling revenues and is increasingly dependent on aid from key allies Iran and Russia. "We've lost a decade in terms of human development indicators, and in terms of the economy today, it's back to the size it was in the 1980s," said Bassel Kaghadou, a UN official working on ways to rebuild Syria's society and economy. "Syria as it was will never exist again.
 
 

Jordan queen says anti-IS fight key to saving Islam

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:33:38 PMGo to full article
Jordan's Queen Rania arrives to attend the second regular session of the parliament in Amman on November 2, 2014Jordan's Queen Rania on Tuesday urged support for US-led air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group, saying the future of the Middle East and Islam was at stake. "Our silence is the greatest gift" for IS, which has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, she told participants at a media summit in Abu Dhabi. She is married to King Abdullah II, whose Hashemite kingdom has joined the US-led air campaign against IS in Syria along with Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Queen Rania stressed the need for education reform, insisting that the followers of extremist groups are "from classrooms in which they were never challenged to think for themselves, and where they learned an outdated curriculum".
 
 

Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox stunned by synagogue carnage

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:34:50 PMGo to full article
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshipper prays at the scene of an attack -- by two Palestinians on Israeli worshippers -- at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighbourhood of Jerusalem, on November 18, 2014Tuesday morning began as normal in the leafy west Jerusalem suburb of Har Nof, with residents gathering to pray in their local synagogue. "Maybe it's our own fault," Eliezer added mournfully of anti-Jewish violence.
 
 

Families in shock as Islamic State lures sons into 'barbaric madness'

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:03:37 PMGo to full article
A fighter of the ISIL holds a flag and a weapon on a street in MosulBy Ahmed Aboulenein CARDIFF (Reuters) - “Do you know how much it hurts to raise someone and watch them grow and suddenly they’re just gone?” says Ahmed Muthana, 57, a retired electronics engineer in Wales whose two sons Nasser, 20, and Aseel, 17, have gone to fight for Islamic State. Like any father of faraway children, he can easily slip into a reverie, talking about the studious older son who was accepted into medical school and his more rambunctious and athletic younger brother. “The little one (Aseel) wanted to be an Olympic swimmer and an English teacher. ...
 
 

Iran to resist 'excessive demands' over nuclear program

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:24:10 PMGo to full article
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif arrives at the Iranian embassy for lunch with former European Union foreign policy chief Ashton in ViennaBy Fredrik Dahl and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday it would resist Western pressure to make what it considered to be excessive concessions over its nuclear program, highlighting obstacles that could prevent a historic deal being reached by a Nov. 24 deadline. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declined to make any predictions for what he called a "critical week", during which negotiators from Iran and six world powers will push to end a 12-year dispute over Iran's nuclear activities and dispel fears of a new Middle East war. ...
 
 

Spanish parliament to call for recognizing Palestine state

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:43:25 PMGo to full article
By Julien Toyer MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish lawmakers were set to vote on Tuesday in favor of their government recognizing Palestine as a state in a symbolic move intended to promote peace between the Palestinians and Israel but which has angered the Jewish state. The debate in Madrid comes on a day when two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Jews at prayer before being shot dead. ...
 

Iran, West eye chances of historic deal as final talks start

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:18:51 PMGo to full article
Iran and Russia recently signed a contract to build two more reactors at the Bushehr facility with Tehran insisting it has a "right" to a peaceful nuclear energy programmeIran and the West put the onus for reaching a historic deal over Tehran's nuclear programme on each other Tuesday, as a final round of talks geared up in Vienna despite big gaps remaining ahead of a November 24 deadline. Speaking as he arrived in Vienna for the negotiations, Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that an accord would only happen if the other side -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- make no "excessive demands". US Secretary of State John Kerry, in London but expected in Vienna in the coming days, said it was "imperative that Iran works with us with all possible effort to prove to the world that the programme is peaceful".
 
 

Militant attack deaths soar to all-time high: report

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:15:19 PMGo to full article
A man inspects the site of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad's eastern Mashtal neighborhood, Iraq, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Officials in Iraq say two car bombs in busy commercial areas in the capital Baghdad have killed and wounded dozens of people. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)By Peter Apps WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of people killed in militant attacks worldwide jumped more than 60 percent last year to a record high of nearly 18,000 and the figure could rise further in 2014 due to an escalation of conflict in the Middle East and Nigeria, a report showed on Tuesday. ...
 
 

Iran nuclear talks enter slippery final straight

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:37:57 AMGo to full article
File picture shows US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (L) shake hands alongside Oman's Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi (2R) and former EU top diplomat Catherine Ashton in Muscat on November 9, 2014Iran and six world powers begin a final round of nuclear talks in Vienna Tuesday, six days before a deadline for a deal with differences still considerable despite months of negotiations. If the sides do strike an accord, it would consign to history a 12-year standoff between the West and the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme by making any Iranian drive to make atomic weapons virtually impossible. It would also help normalise Iran's relations with the West, improve the lives of ordinary Iranians and give US President Barack Obama a rare foreign policy success. The United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany (the P5+1) want Iran to scale down and put limits on its nuclear programme.
 
 

Deal with Iran could end isolation but would it stop an arms race?

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:12:57 AMGo to full article
Police stand outside the Palais Coburg palace in Vienna, where negotiators from Iran and six world powers will meet from November 18, 2014 for a final round of talks on securing a deal over Tehran's nuclear programme by a November 24 deadlineA deal on Iran's nuclear programme this week would be a historic step towards ending the country's international isolation, but analysts remain divided on whether it would help stabilise the Middle East or even prevent a regional arms race. Having spent years pushing for an agreement -- whereby economic sanctions on Iran are relaxed in exchange for concrete guarantees that it will not pursue nuclear weapons –- the West hopes the last-ditch talks in Vienna set an example to the world. "It would... demonstrate that the global non-proliferation system works," said Mark Fitzpatrick, a former US State Department official now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. The hawks warn any rapprochement between the West and Shiite Iran will be viewed with deep concern by Sunni-led countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates –- America's traditional allies in the region –- who will not trust Tehran to keep its promises.
 
 

UN experts recommend new sanctions on terrorists

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:13 AMGo to full article
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. panel of experts monitoring al-Qaida is recommending new sanctions that would authorize the seizure of tanker trucks carrying oil from areas in Syria and Iraq controlled by the Islamic State group or the Nusra Front.
 

Kerry arrives in Britain as Iran nuclear talks loom

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:00:01 AMGo to full article
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference after talks over Tehran's nuclear program in Vienna, Austria, on July 15, 2014London (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Britain on Tuesday for meetings focused on the Middle East ahead of crunch talks in Vienna this week over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
 
 

Kerry: US 'not intimidated' by Islamic militants

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:39:27 AMGo to full article
In this Sunday, July 13, 2014, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attend a press conference, after their talks between the foreign ministers of the six powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program, in Vienna, Austria. Iran and six world powers are closer than ever to a deal that would crimp Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms _ a status that would lead to a progressive end to sanctions on the Islamic Republic and ease tensions that could boil over into a new Middle East war. The bad news? Substantial differences remain. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool, File)LONDON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a warning Monday to Islamic State militants that "we are not intimidated" after another American hostage was killed.
 
 

Kerry: US 'not intimidated' by Islamic militants

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:21:27 AMGo to full article
In this Sunday, July 13, 2014, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attend a press conference, after their talks between the foreign ministers of the six powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program, in Vienna, Austria. Iran and six world powers are closer than ever to a deal that would crimp Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms _ a status that would lead to a progressive end to sanctions on the Islamic Republic and ease tensions that could boil over into a new Middle East war. The bad news? Substantial differences remain. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool, File)LONDON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry issued a warning Monday to Islamic State militants that "we are not intimidated" after another American hostage was killed.
 
 

Europeans have prominent role in beheading video

 
‎18 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:02:50 AMGo to full article
This still image taken from an undated video published on the Internet by the Islamic State group militants and made available, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, purports to show extremists marching Syrian soldiers before beheading them. The high-definition video later shows the beheadings of about a dozen men identified as Syrian military officers and pilots, all dressed in blue jumpsuits. The Associated Press could not independently verify the footage, though it appeared on websites used in the past by the Islamic State group, which now controls a third of Syria and Iraq. (AP Photo)PARIS (AP) — The cold-eyed militants lined up behind their victims in the latest Islamic State video appear to come from outside the Middle East, including one from France and possibly two from Britain, as the extremist group tries to show a global reach.
 
 

EU says it has no plans for sanctions on Israel

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:10:32 PMGo to full article
EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini holds a news conference at the European Parliament in BrusselsBRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has no intention of imposing sanctions on Israel if it takes steps to block a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the EU's new foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday. European diplomats have said the EU is looking at new ways to press Israel to halt its building of settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state, as frustration over the construction program reaches a new high. ...
 
 

Modern slavery 'traps 35.8 million people'

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:34:18 PMGo to full article
Three freed women slaves hug their children after being rescued by authorities as they arrive in the town of Matli, northeast of Karachi, Pakistan, on September 13, 1998Or that it only exists in countries ravaged by war and poverty," said Andrew Forrest, chairman of the Australian-based Walk Free Foundation which produced the report. The foundation's definition of modern slavery includes slavery-like practices such as debt bondage, forced marriage and the sale or exploitation of children, as well as human trafficking and forced labour. The report, which covers 167 countries, said modern slavery contributed to the production of at least 122 goods from 58 countries. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates profits from this forced labour are $150 billion (120 billion euros) a year.
 
 

Egypt refers 5 students to military court over protest

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:48:11 PMGo to full article
A police vehicle burns outside Al-Azhar university after it was torched by students on January 4, 2014An Egyptian court referred five university students Monday to military trial over a violent protest, judicial sources said, under a controversial new law expanding the army's powers to try civilians. The students from Cairo's Islamic Al-Azhar University were sent for trial after a protest in January during which part of a campus building was torched. Hundreds of students have been tried in civilian courts after violence on campuses, bastions of pro-Islamist activists following the army's overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year. Under a law passed last month, state-owned institutions are now regarded as military facilities and attacking them as a crime against the armed forces.
 
 

Aviation to drive 37% of Dubai economy by 2020: study

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:06:50 PMGo to full article
An Emirates Airline's Airbus A380-800 at the Dubai Airshow, where a report commissioned by the carrier showed that aviation contributed 27 percent -- or $26.7 billion (21.4 billion euros) -- to Dubai's gross domestic product in 2013Aviation will account for more than a third of Dubai's economy by 2020, a study said on Monday of the Gulf emirate which has become a major international travel hub. Oil-poor Dubai has spent years trying to diversify its economy with core sectors now including trade, transport and tourism. Aviation contributed 27 percent -- or $26.7 billion (21.4 billion euros) -- to Dubai's gross domestic product in 2013, Oxford Economics said in a report for Emirates Airline and Dubai Airports. "Between now and 2020 the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai's economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the economy as a whole," the global research firm said.
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:38:26 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 file photo, Egyptian policewomen chat during a graduation ceremony for a training course on security that included participants from several African and Commonwealth countries in the Police Academy, in Cairo, Egypt. The course was organized jointly by the Egyptian Agency for Development Partnership and the Police Academy with the goal of developing capacity-building in the participating countries. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)Across the Middle East this past week, mourners marked the 10th anniversary of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death. The anniversary came amid heightened tensions surrounding Jerusalem's hilltop complex that is revered by Muslims and Jews.
 
 

Iran talks: taking stock a week before deadline

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:40:04 PMGo to full article
In this Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, file photo, from left, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are photographed as they participate in a trilateral meeting in Vienna, Austria. Iran and six world powers are closer than ever to a deal that would crimp Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms - a status that would lead to a progressive end to sanctions on the Islamic Republic and ease tensions that could boil over into a new Middle East war. The bad news? Substantial differences remain. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool, File)VIENNA (AP) — Iran and six world powers are closer than ever to a deal that would crimp Tehran's ability to make nuclear arms — a status that would lead to an end to sanctions on the Islamic republic and ease tensions that could boil over into a new Middle East war.
 
 

UK PM warns of bleak prospects in global economy

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:39:43 AMGo to full article
British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)LONDON (AP) — Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has offered a bleak assessment of global economic prospects, comparing potential troubles to red warning lights on a car's dashboard.
 
 

Islamist group rejects UAE terrorism designation

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:36:11 AMGo to full article
DUBAI (Reuters) - A group of Islamist scholars led by an influential Qatar-based cleric expressed "astonishment" on Monday that their organization had being designated a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The International Union of Muslim Scholars urged the UAE to remove it from a list of 85 banned groups that the country, one of several Gulf Arab states that view political Islam as a security threat, had named on Saturday. ...
 

Cameron warns Britain's recovery faces 'real risk'

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:19:29 AMGo to full article
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a press conference on the final day of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia on November 16, 2014London (AFP) - Prime Minister David Cameron has warned Britain's economic recovery faces a "real risk" from instability in the world economy fuelled by Middle East unrest, Ebola, Ukraine and stalled trade talks.
 
 

Obama calls IS beheadings "pure evil"

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:15:13 AMGo to full article
BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group has beheaded Peter Kassig, releasing a video Sunday showing a masked militant standing over the severed head of a man it said was the former U.S. Army Ranger-turned-aid worker, who was seized while delivering relief supplies in Syria last year.
 

Parents of slain US aid worker 'heartbroken'

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:47:55 AMGo to full article
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Kassig Family shows Peter Kassig standing in front of a truck filled with supplies for Syrian refugees. A new graphic video purportedly produced by Islamic State militants in Syria released Sunday Nov. 16, 2014 claims U.S. aid worker Kassig was beheaded. (AP Photo/Courtesy Kassig Family, File)INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of an American aid worker captured last year while delivering relief supplies to refugees in Syria said Sunday they are "heartbroken" by his death at the hands of Islamic State militants but "incredibly proud" of his compassion and humanitarian work.
 
 

Beheaded U.S. hostage remembered for fearless dedication to refugees

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:19:09 AMGo to full article
By Colleen Jenkins (Reuters) - Peter Kassig, the U.S. aid worker beheaded by Islamic State militants who captured him in Syria last year, was remembered on Sunday for his courageous devotion to helping people whose lives were upended by civil war. The parents of the 26-year-old medic and former U.S. Army Ranger, who pleaded in a video message to his captors last month to spare their son's life, said they were heartbroken. "We know he found his home amongst the Syrian people, and he hurt when they were hurting," said Ed and Paula Kassig of Indianapolis. ...
 

Beheading of U.S. hostage 'an act of pure evil': Obama

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:18:57 AMGo to full article
By Colleen Jenkins (Reuters) - U.S. aid worker and Indiana native Peter Kassig, beheaded by Islamic State militants who captured him in Syria last year, was remembered on Sunday for his courageous devotion to helping people whose lives were upended by civil war. President Barack Obama confirmed Kassig's death after U.S. government agencies authenticated a video posted online of a masked man standing over the decapitated head of the 26-year-old medic and former U.S. Army Ranger. ...
 

Italy's immigration crisis moves from sea to streets

 
‎16 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:10:15 PMGo to full article
Italian police stand guard near a building in Rome's Tor Sapienza neighborhood where a refugee facility has been at the centre of violence, on November 15, 2014Rome (AFP) - "Why do they have to be taken care of? Like many of Italy's poor, 51-year-old Elvio has had enough. Born and raised in a rundown suburb of Rome where residents last week laid violent siege to a holding centre for asylum seekers, Elvio belongs to a strata of Italian society whose frustration is beginning to boil over after years of falling incomes, employment and hope. "Even God has abandoned us," said Elvio, leaning on a bar in Tor Sapienza, a district on the eastern edge of Rome.
 
 

Obama: 'Strong week for American leadership'

 
‎16 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:10:27 AMGo to full article
U.S. President Barak Obama gestures as he answers a question from the media during a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Eager to deflect the lame-duck label, President Barack Obama touted his unexpectedly productive swing through the Asia Pacific as a "strong week for American leadership" that produced deals with China and other regional powers on issues like climate change, trade and economic growth.
 
 

Fearing backlash, Jordan asserts Al-Aqsa custodianship

 
‎16 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:21:10 AMGo to full article
Palestinian worshippers take part in Friday prayers outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on November 14, 2014Jordan's tough stance towards Israel over Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque reflects a determination to preserve its custodianship of the flashpoint site as well as its own stability, analysts say. By recalling its ambassador to Israel, the Hashemite kingdom sent a message that deploying police inside the mosque compound had crossed a red line and put their diplomatic ties in jeopardy. In parallel, Jordan's King Abdullah II hosted a diplomatic push which brought together US Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Amman on Thursday.
 
 

US, Japan, Australia agree to deepen security ties

 
‎16 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:52 AMGo to full article
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, center, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shake hands at the start of their meeting at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Eyeing Chinese assertiveness, President Barack Obama and the prime ministers of Japan and Australia committed Sunday to deepen their military cooperation and work together on strengthening maritime security in the Asia Pacific.
 
 

Countries wrestle with how to de-radicalise returning jihadists

 
‎16 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:28:23 AMGo to full article
An image grab uploaded on June 19, 2014 by Al-Hayat Media Centre shows Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni (C), believed to be Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old man from Cardiff, Wales, speaking from an undisclosed locationCountries around the globe are experimenting with de-radicalisation programmes to deal with the threat of jihadists returning from the wars of the Middle East, but experts remain sceptical about their prospects. With thousands of mostly young Muslim men flooding into Syria and Iraq to take part in the jihad, governments across the world are struggling with how best to deal with those who come home battle-hardened and indoctrinated. Other countries – from Indonesia to India to Britain – have set up similar de-radicalisation programmes in recent years, hoping a soft approach will yield better long-term results in tackling violent extremism. "Let's be clear, for the moment de-radicalisation does not work," a senior French counterterrorism official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
 
 

Canadian charged over 1980 Paris synagogue bombing

 
‎15 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:31:38 PMGo to full article
A picture taken on October 3, 1980 shows fire fighters standing by the wreckage of a car and motocycle after a bomb attack at a Paris synagogue that killed four peopleA Canadian academic was charged on Saturday over the deadly 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue after losing his six-year legal battle against extradition over the notorious attack. Hassan Diab, a Canadian of Lebanese descent, appeared before a French anti-terror judge just hours after arriving in Paris from Montreal. He was charged for suspected involvement in "murders", "attempted murders" and the "destruction of property with an explosive or incendiary substance, committed by an organised gang", Diab's French lawyer Stephane Bonifassi told AFP. The October 3, 1980, bombing of a synagogue on rue Copernic in Paris killed four people and left around 40 others injured.
 
 

Canadian accused of 1980 Paris synagogue bombing lands in France

 
‎15 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:27:09 PMGo to full article
File picture taken on October 3, 1980 shows fire fighters standing by the wreckage of a car and motocycle after a bomb attack at a Paris synagogue which killed four peopleA Canadian academic accused of the deadly 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue arrived in France on Saturday after losing his six-year legal battle against extradition to face charges for the notorious attack. University professor Hassan Diab, a Canadian of Lebanese descent, was due to face an anti-terror judge later on Saturday in Paris after arriving in the French capital from Montreal. The October 3, 1980, bombing of a synagogue on rue Copernic in Paris killed four people and marked the first fatal attack against the French Jewish community since the Nazi occupation in World War II. The 60-year-old sociologist had been fighting his extradition to avoid what he said would be an unfair prosecution in France for a crime he insists he did not commit.
 
 

Tense G20 vows action on Ebola as climate returns to fore

 
‎15 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:42:58 PMGo to full article
US President Barack Obama (C) and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (front R) walk off stage with other world leaders after the G20 Summit "family photo" in Brisbane on November 15, 2014Feuding G20 leaders found common ground on Saturday in vowing to "extinguish" the Ebola outbreak as they worked to revamp the global economy at a summit marked by discord over Ukraine and climate change. Along with the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, a surprise Sino-US pact on global warming has upset Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's desire to emerge from the Brisbane summit with a singular focus on reviving economic growth around the world.
 
 

House votes in favor of Keystone oil pipeline

 
‎15 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:42:41 PMGo to full article
Map shows the proposed Keystone pipeline route.; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress inched closer to a possible showdown with President Barack Obama over the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the Republican-controlled House approved the project. Supporters in the Democratic-run Senate predicted they will get the 60 votes needed to pass it next week.
 
 

Shiites in fear as deadly bigotry spreads to new shores

 
‎15 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:57:15 AMGo to full article
Iraqi children look at debris after a car bomb explosion that targeted the mostly Shiite Sadr City district of northeast Baghdad, on November 9, 2014A flood of anti-Shiite propaganda online and on satellite television is spreading bigotry and violence to countries which have so far had little experience of the sectarian hatred that has set the Middle East alight. Shiite Muslims from Australia to Nigeria, from Britain to Indonesia, are increasingly the victims of intimidation and even violent attacks from fellow Muslims as hardline Sunni ideologies gain an ever more global reach. "The rise of anti-Shiism or Shia-phobia, is quite concerning to Shiite communities living in the West, and the Internet, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook play a big role in promoting these hate messages," said Yousif al-Khoei, a prominent Shiite community leader in London. Khoei, a director of the Al-Khoei Foundation, a charitable and educational organisation, said there had been an increase in threats in Britain including against himself and has called for greater police vigilance.
 
 

Australia's Abbott wants economic reform to be focus at G20

 
‎15 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:40:58 AMGo to full article
BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the host of the G20 Leaders Summit, said on Saturday he wanted an informal retreat of leaders to discuss economic reform but was open to other issues. With global security concerns on the rise in Ukraine and the Middle East, and high profile moves on battling climate change garnering headlines, Abbott has been working to keep the focus on growth and jobs. "Obviously I would like this discussion to focus on the politics of economic reform," Abbott said as he opened the session. ...
 

Latrines, sewers show varied ancient Roman diet

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:21:00 PMGo to full article
In this undated photo provided by Mark Robinson, environmental archeologist at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, a scallop shell with makeup found in a sewer of Herculaneum. Archaeologists picking through latrines, sewers, cesspits and trash dumps at Pompeii and Herculaneum have flushed out tantalizing clues to what appears to be a varied diet in those ancient Roman cities destroyed in 79 A.D. by the eruption of Vesuvius. Much of what the inhabitants of those doomed towns didn't digest or left on their plates became traces lining toilet pipes, remnants in centuries-long buildup in cesspits, or throwaway in dumps. At a three-day conference ending Friday in Rome, archaeologists discussed their discoveries, including gnawed-on fish bones, goose eggshells from meals of the elite and carbonized nibbles baked perhaps as offerings for deities. (AP Photo/Mark Robinson/Oxford University Museum of Natural History)ROME (AP) — Archaeologists picking through latrines, sewers, cesspits and trash dumps at Pompeii and Herculaneum have found tantalizing clues to an apparently varied diet there before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed those Roman cities in 79 A.D.
 
 

Kenyan school note to parents: don't mutilate your daughter

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:37:26 PMGo to full article
Kenyan Maasai women gather for a meeting dedicated to the practice of female genital mutilationKenyan school children have ended school for December holidays accompanied with a stern warning to parents: carry out female genital mutilation and be prosecuted. The often deadly practice, which ranges from slicing off the clitoris to the mutilation and removal of the entire female genitalia, is banned in Kenya but still regularly carried out. Kenya outlawed FGM in 2011, with practitioners punishable by a minimum three-year jail term or fine, and life imprisonment if the procedure causes death. Earlier this month UN chief Ban Ki-moon launched a global campaign in Kenya to end FGM within a generation.
 
 

OECD sees plans by G20 nations topping global growth target

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:03:15 AMGo to full article
By Lincoln Feast and Jane Wardell BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) - The OECD said on Friday the plans of G20 nations to boost the world economy could beat their target of adding 2 percentage points to global growth by 2018, though geopolitical risks such as Ukraine and Ebola were mounting. Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said that the more than 1,000 measures proposed since February would exceed the target, over the next five years, if implemented. ...
 

Incoming G20 leader Turkey says group must be more inclusive

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:52:57 AMGo to full article
By Jane Wardell BRISBANE (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday called for a more inclusive Group of 20 forum, saying it would give low income nations a stronger voice when it takes over the presidency for 2015. Davutoglu also indicated that Turkey would expand the G20's role beyond economic cooperation and decision-making to issues such as the refugee crisis in eastern Europe, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and terrorism in the Middle East. ...
 

Obama seeks human rights waiver on war funds

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:18:58 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this March 11, 2014 file photo, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Obama administration has repeatedly asked Congress to exempt its military effort against the Islamic State from a longstanding ban on U.S. assistance to torturers and war criminals, highlighting doubts about finding “clean” American allies in a region wracked by ethnic animosity and religious extremism. The 1997 Leahy Law, named after Leahy, bars the U.S. from funding military units suspected of “gross human rights violations,” which include murder, torture and extrajudicial imprisonment. Top military officers have long complained that the law slows their work with local forces, while human rights activists call it an important safeguard against U.S. complicity in abuses by unsavory allies. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has repeatedly asked Congress to exempt its military effort against the Islamic State from a longstanding ban on U.S. assistance to torturers and war criminals, highlighting doubts about finding "clean" American allies in a region wracked by ethnic animosity and religious extremism.
 
 

Ukraine crisis taking center stage at G20 summit

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:20:01 AMGo to full article
Police guard cleared streets near the venue of the annual G20 leaders summit in BrisbaneBy Matt Siegel BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) - The G20 leaders summit in Australia starting on Saturday is setting up as a showdown between Western leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin, following fresh reports of Russian troops pouring into eastern Ukraine. Ukraine accused Russia on Thursday of sending soldiers and weapons to help separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine launch a new offensive in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people. The United States has warned Russia the West might punish it further for its "military escalation" of the crisis. ...
 
 

US aids nations in legal fight against extremists

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:24:41 AMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Justice Department lawyers are coordinating with foreign governments in North Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East to deal with the problems posed by foreign fighters flowing to the conflict in Syria, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday following meetings with European Union ministers.
 

Message from Islamic State group leader emerges

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:26:16 PMGo to full article
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, right, accompanied by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, before the House Armed Services committee hearing on the Islamic State Group. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)BEIRUT (AP) — In a recording released days after he was reported to be wounded in an airstrike, the leader of the Islamic State group said the U.S.-led coalition's campaign had failed and it would eventually have to send ground troops into battle.
 
 

Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:54:15 PMGo to full article
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia in a speech purported to be in his name on Thursday, saying his self-declared caliphate was expanding there and in four other Arab countries. Baghdadi also said a U.S.-led military campaign against his group in Syria and Iraq was failing and he called for "volcanoes of jihad" the world over. Reuters could not independently confirm the authenticity of the speech - an audio recording carried on Islamic State-run social media. ...
 

Hagel sees progress, setbacks against militants

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:02:11 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and coalition forces are making progress in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, but the American people must prepare for a long and difficult struggle, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress on Thursday.
 

Dutch mayor urges action on returning jihadis after arrests

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:26:50 PMGo to full article
By Thomas Escritt AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch cities need more powers to tackle battle-hardened jihadis returning home from the Middle East, a mayor said on Thursday, a day after authorities announced the arrest of 12 people with suspected links to militant Islamists. Thousands of Western volunteers have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join militant groups such as Islamic State, triggering fears among European governments and security forces that returning fighters may carry out attacks on their home turf. ...
 

Germany warns anti-semitism rising on back of Middle East violence

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:02:34 PMGo to full article
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Steinmeier addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New YorkBy Stephen Brown BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's foreign minister said at an international conference on anti-semitism on Thursday that "hatred of Jews" was on the rise once more in his country and across Europe, fueled by spiraling violence in the Middle East. Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany's Jews were subjected to threats and attacks at pro-Palestinian demonstrations, and the conflict between Israel in Gaza must not be used as justification for an anti-semitic behavior. ...
 
 

Emirates restarts flights to Iraqi city of Irbil

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:09:48 PMGo to full article
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Mideast's biggest airline, Emirates, says it will resume flights from Dubai to the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital of Irbil after halting them following advances by the Islamic State group.
 

Kerry to meet Abbas as new Israeli settlements fan tensions

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:43:34 AMGo to full article
Israeli security forces deploy near a Palestinian demonstration against new concrete blockades at the entrance of the flashpoint Arab village of Issawiya in annexed east Jerusalem on November 12, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry is set for talks Thursday with the Palestinian leader on easing regional tensions, after Israel approved new settler homes in east Jerusalem despite mounting unrest. The new settlement construction was announced on Wednesday just hours after suspected Jewish extremists torched a West Bank mosque, in another development likely to inflame tempers in an already heated atmosphere. Months of unrest have escalated in recent days, spreading from annexed east Jerusalem to the West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising.
 
 

Syrians have 'no escape' from war

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:15:17 AMGo to full article
Syrian Civil Defence workers and pedestrians clear debris after an alleged air strike by Syrian government forces in the Bab al-Nairab neighboured of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on November 12, 2014Syrians are increasingly unable to escape their country's war as tougher policies in potential host nations are preventing them from taking refuge in the region and beyond, a report said Thursday. The report by the Norwegian Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee noted the "substantial and generous hospitality" of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey to accept three million Syrians. "In the context of increasing humanitarian needs within Syria and in neighbouring countries, legitimate national security concerns and insufficient international support, the formal and informal border crossings out of Syria are now effectively closed to men, women and children seeking safety," said the report. In recent weeks, Lebanon has all but shut its frontiers to new refugees, allowing only humanitarian exceptions across, while Jordan and Turkey frequently place restrictions on their entry, it added.
 
 

Clashes in Jerusalem ahead of Kerry talks with Abbas

 
‎13 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:00:52 AMGo to full article
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Amman, on November 13, 2014, to discuss the upsurge in violence in east Jerusalem and the West BankClashes erupted in east Jerusalem Thursday ahead of talks between Washington's top diplomat and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on easing a surge of violence across Israel and the occupied territories. As Abbas prepared to meet Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman for talks focused on rising tensions in annexed east Jerusalem, particularly at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, police clashed with Palestinian demonstrators in the city's Issawiya neighbourhood, an AFP correspondent reported. Months of unrest have escalated in recent days, spreading from annexed east Jerusalem to the occupied West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, and raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising.
 
 

Israel approves new settlements as Kerry looks to ease tensions

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:15:35 PMGo to full article
Palestinian men stand outside a mosque which was set ablaze by Israeli settlers in al-Mughayir, in the occupied West Bank near the Jewish settlement of Shilo, on November 12, 2014Israel approved new settler homes in east Jerusalem on Wednesday despite mounting unrest, as US Secretary of State John Kerry was set for talks with the Palestinian leader on easing tensions. The new settlement construction was announced just hours after suspected Jewish extremists torched a West Bank mosque, in another development likely to inflame tempers in an already heated atmosphere. Months of unrest have escalated in recent days, spreading from annexed east Jerusalem to the West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising.
 
 

In rural Kenya, traditions run deeper than law on cutting girls

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:38:14 PMGo to full article
By Siegfried Modola BARINGO COUNTY Kenya (Reuters) - Draped in animal skin and covered in white paint, four teenage girls squat over large stones in a remote western Kenyan village after being circumcised - a life-threatening custom banned in the country three years ago. Like the four neighbors, over a quarter of Kenyan women have undergone the ordeal, seen as a rite of passage for girls despite government efforts to end it in the East African country. ...
 

Saudi oil minister denies crude price war

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:09:19 PMGo to full article
Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi attends the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) oil ministers meeting in Kuwait city on September 11, 2014Saudi Arabia's oil minister on Wednesday rejected talk that the country was leading a price war in global oil markets as crude prices continue to sink. "Talk of a price war is a sign of misunderstanding -- deliberate or otherwise -- and has no basis in reality," Ali Al-Naimi told a conference in Acapulco, according to the text of his speech. "Saudi oil policy has remained constant for the past few decades, and it has not changed today," he said. Last week Riyadh sent global oil prices tumbling when it cut its prices for crude for the US market while raising them for Asia, the country's major outlet.
 
 

Turkish nationalists assault U.S. sailors in Istanbul

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:56:07 PMGo to full article
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A group of Turkish ultra-nationalists attacked three U.S. sailors on a crowded street in Istanbul on Wednesday, shouting "Yankee go home" and trying to pull hoods over their heads in an assault condemned by the United States. Video footage posted on the website of the ultra-nationalist Turkish Youth Union showed the attackers surrounding the sailors, calling them "murderers" and throwing orange paint at the men. The attackers' actions were an apparent reference to an incident in Iraq in July 2003, when U.S. ...
 

Turkish protesters rough up US sailors in Istanbul

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:44:52 PMGo to full article
ISTANBUL (AP) — Anti-American protesters shouting "Yankee, go home!" roughed up three U.S. Navy sailors Wednesday in Istanbul near where their warship was docked on an inlet of the Bosphorus Strait in the Black Sea.
 

Egypt pulls team from Qatar-hosted swimming worlds

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:47:32 PMGo to full article
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Egypt has withdrawn its team from the world short-course swimming championships being held in Qatar.
 

Iran denies nuclear scientist killed in Syria: IRNA

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:20:48 PMGo to full article
ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran denied on Wednesday a monitoring group's report that an Iranian nuclear scientist had been killed in Syria last week, according to the official IRNA news agency. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday five nuclear engineers, four of them Syrian and one Iranian, were shot dead on the outskirts of Damascus on Sunday while traveling in a small convoy to a research center near the northeastern district of Barzeh. "No Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in Syria," Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Ghashqavi was quoted as saying by IRNA. ...
 

Sinai buffer zone no solution to militancy in Egypt: Amnesty

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:29:08 PMGo to full article
Smoke rises as a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with the southern Gaza StripBy Maha El Dahan and Stanley Carvalho ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Egypt's plan to create a security buffer zone along its border with Gaza is not a solution to growing militancy in the Sinai region as it does not address the roots of the problem, the head of Amnesty International said on Wednesday. "These are all shortcuts, you are not able to address the underlying issue which is what is happening in the Gaza Strip and how the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition are being treated," Salil Shetty, the rights group's Secretary General, told Reuters. ...
 
 

Spokesman: IS group visits Pakistan militants

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:14:13 PMGo to full article
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — A spokesman for a small Pakistani militant group claims that a delegation from the Islamic State group has visited Jundallah's leaders in southwestern Pakistan.
 

Emirates airline H1 profit up 8 percent to $514M

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:17:24 AMGo to full article
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Middle East's biggest airline, Emirates, says it earned $514 million in the first six months of its fiscal year as it grew its fleet and more passengers and fuller planes pushed its sales higher.
 

Kerry to visit Jordan for talks on Jerusalem tensions: State Department

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:24:15 AMGo to full article
DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Jordan on Wednesday for discussions with King Abdullah about tensions in Jerusalem and the fight against the Islamic State militant group in the region, the State Department said. Kerry will go on to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday to participate in the Sir Bani Yas Forum, an annual private gathering of world leaders focused on international security, a department statement said. Kerry returns to the Middle East after he attended an Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing on Tuesday. ...
 

Pope urges G20 leaders not to forget the poor

 
‎12 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:05:43 AMGo to full article
An Indonesian youth begs for money from passing motorists near a mosque in Jakarta, on August 19, 2012Pope Francis has called on G20 leaders not to forget the poor, saying to do so would be "regrettable" as the heads of the world's most powerful economies prepare to meet in Australia. The Group of 20 leaders are expected to sign off in Brisbane this weekend on a pledge to boost the level of their combined economic output by at least two percent above the currently projected level in the next five years, creating millions of jobs. In a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who holds the G20's rotating presidency, the pope said world powers "must not forget that many lives are at stake behind these political and technical discussions".
 
 

Truce deal one of few ideas left for Syria peace

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:35:18 PMGo to full article
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, speaks during a press conference in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. The United Nation’s envoy to Syria is calling for a truce in the northern city of Aleppo as a building block to a wider resolution of the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/SANA)BEIRUT (AP) — Traction is growing for one of the few ideas left for peace in Syria's civil war: Work out a series of local cease-fires to try to quiet the bloodiest fronts around the country, without tackling the core issues of the conflict between President Bashar Assad's government and the rebels.
 
 

U.N. says 13.6 million displaced by wars in Iraq and Syria

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:30:17 PMGo to full article
Kurdish refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani sit in front of their tents in a camp in the southeastern town of SurucGENEVA (Reuters) - About 13.6 million people, equivalent to the population of London, have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and many are without food or shelter as winter starts, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday. Amin Awad, UNHCR's director for the Middle East and North Africa, said the world was becoming numb to the refugees' needs. "Now when we talk about a million people displaced over two months, or 500,000 overnight, the world is just not responding," he told reporters in Geneva. The 13.6 million include 7. ...
 
 

Largest US business delegation ever visits Egypt

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:40:44 PMGo to full article
Gregori Lebedev, a senior member of the Board of the Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and co-leader of a delegation of U.S. businessmen, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Representatives from over 60 U.S. companies wrapped up Tuesday a two-day visit to Egypt described as the largest such delegation in history that aimed to explore potential businesses to boost the country's ailing economy. But critics say the visit strikes the wrong tone amid a government crackdown on freedoms. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)CAIRO (AP) — Representatives from over 60 U.S. companies wrapped up Tuesday a two-day visit to Egypt described as the largest such delegation in history that aimed to explore potential businesses to boost the country's ailing economy. But critics say the visit strikes the wrong tone amid a government crackdown on freedoms.
 
 

Qatar to World Cup critics: We're no vampires

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:55:36 PMGo to full article
The sports minister for 2022 World Cup host Qatar, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, speaks in an Associated Press interview in Doha, Qatar, on Monday Nov. 10, 2014. He claimed Qatar’s World Cup will set a benchmark of excellence that will be “almost impossible to beat" and said the Gulf nation will implement labor reforms in the "next few months," responding to widely documented abuses of its migrant workforce. (AP Photo/John Leicester).DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar's sports minister says the 2022 World Cup will set a benchmark of excellence that will be "almost impossible to beat" and promised in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press that the Gulf nation will implement labor reforms in the next few months.
 
 

2022 head: No risk of Qatar losing World Cup

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:36:19 PMGo to full article
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — With FIFA taking a 2022 summer World Cup off the table, Qatar's tournament head now agrees that a winter tournament would be ideal.
 

Qatar to World Cup critics: We're no vampires

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:56:20 PMGo to full article
The sports minister for 2022 World Cup host Qatar, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, speaks in an Associated Press interview in Doha, Qatar, on Monday Nov. 10, 2014. He claimed Qatar’s World Cup will set a benchmark of excellence that will be “almost impossible to beat" and said the Gulf nation will implement labor reforms in the "next few months," responding to widely documented abuses of its migrant workforce. (AP Photo/John Leicester).DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar's sports minister says the 2022 World Cup will set a benchmark of excellence that will be "almost impossible to beat" and promised in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press that the Gulf nation will implement labor reforms in the next few months.
 
 

UN slashes winter aid in Iraq, Syria amid funding gap

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:18:05 PMGo to full article
Displaced Iraqi children play at the Bahrka camp 10 km west of Arbil on August 27, 2014The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it had been forced to slash the number of people it can help prepare for winter in conflict-ravaged Syria and Iraq for lack of funds. People are becoming numb," said Amin Awad, who heads UNHCR's Middle East and North Africa bureau, lamenting that his agency was having to make "tough choices". The agency said it was facing a shortfall of $58 million (47 million euros) for its efforts to prepare millions of displaced people in Syria and Iraq for winter. He noted that around 13.6 million people had been displaced from their homes in Syria and Iraq, including 3.3 million Syrians and 190,000 Iraqis who had fled their countries to become refugees.
 
 

Mountain to climb for new UK spy chief

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:23:16 AMGo to full article
Alex Younger was appointed as successor to Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) earlier this monthLondon (AFP) - A keen mountaineer with a military background, the new spy chief faces the daunting mission of rescuing the dented reputation of MI6 while combating jihadist threats and facing down a new confrontation with Russia.
 
 

Houthi advance raises alert for Saudi border guards

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:04:20 AMGo to full article
Member of the Saudi security forces gestures as he stands guard in Jizan on the border with YemenBy Angus McDowall JIZAN Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Gains by the Shi'ite Houthi rebel movement in Yemen are ringing alarm bells in Saudi Arabia, concerned for what it means for its vulnerable southern border, already the conduit for a constant flow of illicit activity. The Houthis control much of the territory along the 1,700-km (1,060-mile) frontier, which traverses high mountains and vast expanses of dune desert, and five years ago fought a brief border war with the world's top oil exporter. ...
 
 

Top Asian News at 11:30 p.m. GMT

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:32:26 AMGo to full article
BEIJING (AP) — An uneasy handshake Monday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked the first meeting between the two men since either took power, and an awkward first gesture toward easing two years of high tensions. As the two men approached each other, stern-faced, to shake hands in front of cameras, Abe briefly tried to say something to Xi, who gave no response and turned away, appearing distinctly uncomfortable, to fix his gaze toward the cameras for the rest of the handshake.
 

UN chief sets up Gaza inquiry

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:25:58 AMGo to full article
Palestinian girls play inside their school which was destroyed during the 50 days of conflict between Israel and Hamas last summer, in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, on November 5, 2014UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday appointed a five-member panel to investigate Israeli attacks on UN shelters during the Gaza war and the discovery of Hamas weapons at UN sites. Ban announced plans to set up a probe during his visit to Gaza last month after describing Israeli shelling of UN-run schools as a "moral outrage". Israel maintained that Hamas militants were using the schools to store weapons and denied it had deliberately targeted the facilities, which were being used as shelters by Palestinian civilians during the 50-day war. The inquiry led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert will "review and investigate a number of specific incidents in which death or injuries occurred at, and/or damage was done to United Nations premises," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.
 
 

Egypt jihadists seek reinforcements with IS allegiance

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:50:34 PMGo to full article
Islamic State (IS) militants stand near their flag on Tilsehir hill in Syria near the Turkish border on October 23, 2014Under increasing pressure from the military, Egypt's deadliest jihadist group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State organisation in a bid to boost recruitment and bolster its fight against the army, analysts say. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) has waged an insurgency from its Sinai Peninsula stronghold that has killed scores of Egyptian police and soldiers since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year. "(Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) seems to be looking to internationalise their position, perhaps in response to increasing pressure on the ground from the Egyptian security forces," said H.A. Hellyer, senior fellow in International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. "They (Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) are suffering from lack of resources as Egyptian security forces besiege Sinai," said Eman Ragab, an expert on regional security at the Cairo-based Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.
 
 

US faces last best chance on Iran nuke deal

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:12:40 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, shake hands during a meeting in Muscat, Oman, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton stand at background. (AP Photo/Nicholas Kamm, Pool)MUSCAT, Oman (AP) — The Obama administration is facing its last best chance to curb Iran's nuclear program — not just to meet an end-of-the-month deadline for a deal, but also to seal one before skeptical Republicans who will control Congress next year are able to scuttle it.
 
 

Israel faces tough months as pressure builds on Netanyahu

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:01:23 PMGo to full article
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivers a statement to media at parliament in JerusalemBy Luke Baker JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to keep his fractious coalition together as talk of early elections grows, but in trying to bolster himself domestically he runs the risk of further alienating international partners. To satisfy restive far-right parties in his government, Netanyahu has promised more settlement on land the Palestinians seek for an independent state, greatly aggravating the United States and the European Union. ...
 
 

McDonald's key sales figure declines in October

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:16:41 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Thursday, July 31, 2014 file photo, a customer walks past a statue of Ronald McDonald on display outside a McDonald's restaurant in Beijing. McDonald's Corp. on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 said that a key global sales figure slipped 0.5 percent in October, with weakness in the U.S. and ongoing difficulties from a food-safety scandal in China weighing down its business. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — McDonald's Corp. says that a key global sales figure slipped 0.5 percent in October, with weakness in the U.S. and ongoing difficulties from a food-safety scandal in China weighing down its business.
 
 

Top Asian News at 1:30 p.m. GMT

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:32:27 PMGo to full article
BEIJING (AP) — An uneasy handshake Monday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked the first meeting between the two men since either took power, and an awkward first gesture toward easing two years of high tensions. As the two men approached each other, stern-faced, to shake hands in front of cameras, Abe briefly tried to say something to Xi, who gave no response and turned away, appearing distinctly uncomfortable, to fix his gaze toward the cameras for the rest of the handshake.
 

Food agency has funds to stay in N. Korea, for now

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:59:38 AMGo to full article
FILE - this June 26, 1997 file photo shows bags of cereal provided by the UN world food program at a corner of an almost empty warehouse used as a food storage in Hui Chon County, 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Pyongyang. The U.N. agency that has provided food aid to North Korea for nearly two decades says it has enough donations to stay open for the rest of this year but is uncertain whether it will be able to operate there beyond next March. (AP Photo/UN, James Bu)TOKYO (AP) — The U.N. agency that has provided food aid to North Korea for nearly two decades says it has enough donations to stay open for the rest of this year but is uncertain whether it will be able to operate there beyond next March.
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:42:18 AMGo to full article
In this Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 photo, Druze women mourn during the funeral of Israeli Chief Inspector Border Police officer Jaddan Assad in the Druse village of Beit Jann on Mt. Meron in the Galilee, northern Israel. The officer was killed by a Hamas militant who slammed a minivan into a crowd waiting for a train in Jerusalem, killing one person and wounding at least a dozen before being shot dead by police. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)Across the Middle East this past week, Shiite Muslims commemorated Ashoura, recalling how a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad was killed in a seventh-century battle along with his extended family in Karbala in present day Iraq.
 
 

In China, Obama tests global clout post-election

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:36:20 AMGo to full article
Members of a Chinese guard of honor prepare for the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit at the airport in Beijing, China, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING (AP) — His influence at home quickly fading, President Barack Obama is looking east to China, the opening stop of a three-country tour that will test his ability to play a commanding role on the world stage during his final two years in office.
 
 

US faces last best chance on Iran nuke deal

 
‎10 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:19:17 AMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, shake hands during a meeting in Muscat, Oman, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton stand at background. (AP Photo/Nicholas Kamm, Pool)MUSCAT, Oman (AP) — The Obama administration is facing its last best chance to curb Iran's nuclear program — not just to meet an end-of-the-month deadline for a deal, but also to seal one before skeptical Republicans who will control Congress next year are able to scuttle it.
 
 

A decade after dying, Arafat still divides Israelis

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:46:14 PMGo to full article
A picture taken on November 3, 2014, shows a giant portrait of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat displayed on a street in the Arab east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit HaninaFor most Israelis, the late Yasser Arafat with his trademark black-and-white keffiyeh represents the embodiment of the "arch-terrorist". For decades, any Israeli making contact with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) that Arafat led could be thrown in prison. "A large majority of Israelis think of Yasser Arafat as the main culprit behind the violence and he undermined the confidence they had in the Palestinians' desire for peace," said Anat Kurz, research director at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. Uzi Dayan, a former national security advisor during the Arafat era, is more forthright, calling the Palestinian icon a "terrorist" and a "crook".
 
 

Obama says US troop increase in Iraq a 'new phase'

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:27:35 PMGo to full article
US President Barack Obama has pushed Iran for a nuclear dealUS President Barack Obama said Sunday sending more troops to Iraq signals a "new phase" in the fight against the Islamic State group, amid unconfirmed reports its leader has been wounded. After earlier unveiling plans to send up to 1,500 more American troops to Iraq to advise and train its forces, Obama told CBS News the US-led effort to defeat IS was moving to a new stage. "Phase one was getting an Iraqi government that was inclusive and credible -- and we now have done that," Obama told the broadcaster. "We will provide them close air support once they are prepared to start going on the offence against (IS)," Obama said.
 
 

Jerusalem unrest 'wounds' Jordan-Israel peace: Amman

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:36:38 PMGo to full article
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur speaks during a press conference in the capital of Amman on November 9, 2014, after the government's decision to recall its ambassador to IsraelThe ongoing tension over Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound is inflicting a "stab wound" on the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said on Sunday. "Israel and Jordan are committed to peace and to respect the peace treaty, but this commitment is not just applicable to one side, it is a commitment by both," Nsur told reporters in Amman. Last week, heavy clashes raged at the mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City as Israeli police faced off with Palestinian stone-throwers, prompting Jordan to recall its ambassador in protest.
 
 

Iran, U.S., EU nuclear talks in Oman seen going to second day

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:56:51 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi in MuscatBy Warren Strobel MUSCAT (Reuters) - Iran, the United States and European Union will hold an unscheduled second day of talks on Monday on disagreements blocking resolution of a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, a U.S. official and Iranian state media said. With two weeks to a deadline for a comprehensive accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU envoy Catherine Ashton met in Oman's capital Muscat on Sunday to address a decade-long confrontation that has raised the risk of a wider war in the Middle East. ...
 
 

Obama says still 'big gap' in Iran nuclear talks: CBS

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:03:56 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said there was still a big gap between Iran and Western powers on an agreement to ensure Tehran cannot produce a nuclear weapon and he said a deal could be out of reach. Economic sanctions led by the United States have pushed Iran to the table for an agreement on its nuclear weapons program, Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS "Face the Nation" program. A final step would involve Iran providing "verifiable, lock tight assurances that they can't develop a nuclear weapon," Obama said. "There's still a big gap," he told CBS. ...
 

Iraq investigating IS chief's fate after air strikes

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:24:55 PMGo to full article
This July 5, 2014 video grab taken from a propaganda video by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Mosul, IraqIraq was on Sunday investigating whether Islamic State jihadist group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in air strikes by US-led coalition warplanes targeting the group's leaders. The death of the elusive Baghdadi would be a major victory for the coalition of countries carrying out air strikes against IS and providing assistance to Iraqi forces fighting to regain large areas of Iraq that the jihadists have overrun. The announcement of the strikes came after President Barack Obama unveiled plans to send up to 1,500 more US troops to Iraq to advise and train the country's forces, deepening Washington's commitment to the open-ended war against IS.
 
 

Lebanon's Druze community fearful as Syria's war moves closer

 
‎09 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:06:33 AMGo to full article
By Laila Bassam and Sylvia Westall RASHAYA Lebanon (Reuters) - On mountains close to the Syrian border, members of Lebanon's minority Druze sect say they are ready to defend their towns and villages with arms if the civil war next raging door gets much nearer. "Here in the east, the danger has become very close to us, it is right in our faces and in our lives," said Ali Fayik, a regional official speaking in the predominantly Druze town of Rashaya, set in steep mountains with a panorama over the region. ...
 

Iran says nuclear deal within reach by November 24, no alternatives

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:41:13 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, EU Foreign Policy Chief Ashton, and Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif participate in a trilateral meeting in ViennaDUBAI (Reuters) - Iran sees no alternative to a diplomatic settlement with six world powers on its nuclear program and believes both sides are resolved to reach a deal by a self-imposed Nov. 24 deadline, its deputy foreign minister said on Saturday. Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and senior European Union envoy Catherine Ashton in Oman on Sunday to try to narrow big gaps before full negotiations formally resume in Vienna on Nov. 18. ...
 
 

Gorbachev warns world 'on brink of new Cold War'

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:33:17 PMGo to full article
Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas greet each others at the symposium "New Policy Forum" against the cold war in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. The symposium was organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. (AP Photo/dpa, Jens Kalaene)BERLIN (AP) — Tensions between the major powers have pushed the world closer to a new Cold War, former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said Saturday.
 
 

Kerry denies US linked Iran atom talks to militant efforts

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:51:43 PMGo to full article
US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses a reception of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AMCHAM China) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing on November 8, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday vehemently denied that Washington offered to discuss cooperation with Iran in the fight against Islamic militancy if a nuclear deal was reached with Tehran. "There is no linkage whatsoever of the nuclear discussions with any other issue," Kerry told reporters in Beijing, where he was attending annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meetings. Kerry spoke after the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that US President Barack Obama has secretly written to the supreme leader of Iran, which is overwhelmingly Shiite, to discuss possible cooperation against Sunni Islamic militants provided there is a nuclear deal.
 
 

Iran's uranium stockpile grows before deadline for nuclear deal

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:03:29 PMGo to full article
A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactorBy Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium gas has grown by 8 percent to nearly 8.4 tonnes in about two months, U.N. atomic inspectors say, an amount world powers probably will want to see cut under any nuclear deal with Tehran. The International Atomic Energy Agency issued a confidential report on Iran to IAEA member states on Friday, less than three weeks before a Nov. 24 deadline for Iran and six world powers to resolve their stand-off over Tehran's atomic activities. ...
 
 

Houthi expansion puts Yemen on edge of civil war

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:42:23 AMGo to full article
Shi'ite Houthi followers shout slogans as they attend a celebration marking Ashoura in SanaaBy Mohammed Ghobari and Sami Aboudi SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) - An advance into Yemen's Sunni Muslim heartland by Shi'ite Houthi fighters has galvanised support for al Qaeda among some Sunnis, deepening the religious hue of the country's many conflicts, with potential consequences well beyond its borders. Yemen's tribal, regional and political divisions were widened by the rapid fall of the capital Sanaa to Houthi fighters on Sept. 21 after weeks of protests against the government and its decision to cut fuel subsidies. "The Houthi expansion has created a sectarian problem," said Bassam al-Barq, a Sunni Muslim resident of the religiously mixed Sanaa, attending a protest by local activists held every week to demand the Houthis quit the capital. "It has created sympathy with al Qaeda, as we see in Ibb and al-Baydah," Barq said, referring to two provinces in central Yemen where some local tribes have allied themselves with al Qaeda's local wing, Ansar al-Sharia.
 
 

Pakistan army says 17 bodies found after clash

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:53:50 AMGo to full article
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Soldiers fighting in Pakistan's tribal region who battled militants overnight found 17 bodies Saturday dumped in the countryside, identifying them all as insurgents, a government administrator and the army said.
 

Kerry says no link between Iran talks, other Middle East issues

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:33:07 AMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks to the media during a news conference on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in BeijingBEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday that there was no link between talks on Iran's nuclear program and other issues in the Middle East. The United States has already rejected a proposal floated by Iranian officials in which Tehran would cooperate in the fight against Islamic State forces in exchange for flexibility on its nuclear program. "No conversation, no agreement, no exchange, nothing, has created any kind of deal or agreement with respect to any of the events that are at stake in the Middle East," Kerry told reporters in Beijing. ...
 
 

U.S. urges Europe, Asia to do more for U.N. peacekeeping

 
‎08 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:58:12 AMGo to full article
U.N. peacekeepers hold position at the MONUSCO base after dispersing demonstrators in Mavivi near Beni in North Kivu provinceBy Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States is urging countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia to commit more to U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world as Washington considers where it might be able to do the same, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Friday. The United Nations has more than 110,000 soldiers and police in 16 peacekeeping operations around the world in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and in Haiti. While Western countries used to routinely offer peackeepers for blue-helmeted U.N. ...
 
 

Train kills 2 immigrants near Greek-Turkish border

 
‎07 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:55:13 PMGo to full article
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police say two men, believed to have been Syrian refugees who entered the country illegally, have been hit by a train and killed close to Greece's eastern border with Turkey.
 
 

UN chief launches campaign to end female genital mutilation

 
‎30 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎08:55:35 PMGo to full article
Kenyan Maasai women gather during a meeting dedicated to the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), on June 12, 2014, in EnkorikaNairobi (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon launched Thursday a global campaign to end the often deadly practice of female genital mutilation within a generation, as survivors said it had "shattered" their lives.
 

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Israel president cancels pop star appearance

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:54 PMGo to full article
Yehuda Glick, center, a rabbi and activist, who has pushed for greater Jewish access to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, is escorted by his family prior to a press conference as he is released from a hospital after he survived an assassination attempt, in Jerusalem, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Israeli police killed the suspected gunman, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, in a shootout after the attack. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's president on Tuesday canceled the appearance of a local pop star at a high-profile public event following the star's release of a new song focusing on a fictional Arab who gets his kicks by stabbing Jews.
 
 

Iran leader says West will not defeat Iran

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:56:41 PMGo to full article
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's Supreme Leader said Tuesday that western powers will not be able to bring the country to its knees in nuclear talks, however he gave his indirect approval for a continuation of those negotiations.
 

Twitter account associated with Iran leader hits out at 'arrogant' powers

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:15:50 AMGo to full article
DUBAI (Reuters) - A Twitter account Iran experts believe is run by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday "arrogant" powers had tried hard to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees but had failed. In a comment apparently referring to the failure of Iran and six world powers to end a dispute about Iran's nuclear goals, a message on the English-language account said: "In the nuclear issue, arrogants have made their best to bring Iran to its knees but they were not able and will not be able to do so. ...
 

France says Iran talks progressed on key issues including enrichment

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:53:38 AMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - France's foreign minister said on Tuesday that talks between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear program had been "pretty positive" and that progress had been made on key issues including Iran's capacity to enrich uranium. "On limiting Iran's capacity to enrich, I found that there had been a certain movement," Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio. ...
 

Iran nuclear talks stumble, extended until July

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:00:06 AMGo to full article
Delegations of US Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, , left side from left, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, center right, and former EU foreign pilicy chief Catherine Ashton, center,sit around the negotiations table during their talks on Iran, in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Joe Klamar, Pool)VIENNA (AP) — A yearlong effort to seal a nuclear deal with Iran fizzled Monday, leaving the U.S. and its allies little choice but to declare a seven-month extension in hopes that a new deadline will be enough to achieve what a decade of negotiations have failed to do — limit Tehran's ability to make a nuclear weapon.
 
 

As Vienna focus turns to OPEC, silent thanks on Iran deal delay

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:47:02 AMGo to full article
By Christopher Johnson and Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Many OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna Thursday may be giving quiet thanks that world powers who just met in that city failed to reach a nuclear accord with Tehran, pushing back for another six months any potential revival in Iran's oil exports. On Monday, the deadline for concluding nuclear talks aimed at resolving a 12-year-old dispute over the country's nuclear program, Iran and six major powers agreed to another extension in the talks until June 30, 2015. ...
 

Iran nuclear talks extended seven months after failing to meet deadline

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:09:52 AMGo to full article
Officials pose for a family picture during their meeting in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six powers failed on Monday for a second time this year to resolve their 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and gave themselves seven more months to clinch an historic deal. Western officials said they were aiming to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the all-important technical details. ...
 
 

Iran nuclear talks: EU diplomacy finds a stronger voice

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:48:25 PMGo to full article
High-stakes talks on Iran’s nuclear program ended today without a deal. But for the European Union, the agreement to extend talks and set new deadline may mark a turning point for its young foreign policy arm – an entity that many had dismissed as ineffective.
 

Russia's Putin, Iran's Rouhani say substantial progress in nuclear talks: Kremlin

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:45:44 PMGo to full article
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed Iran's nuclear program on the phone on Monday, with the Kremlin saying "substantial progress" was made at talks in Vienna. The Kremlin said the importance of further "constructive cooperation" with the aim of reaching a final agreement on Iran's nuclear program was underlined during the talks. ...
 

Kerry says progress in Iran talks with major powers, tough road ahead

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:08:39 PMGo to full article
By Louis Charbonneau and Jonathan Allen VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday Iran and the six world powers had made substantial progress toward a final deal over its nuclear program, but the talks would remain difficult in coming months despite new ideas being presented. "If we can do it (get a deal) sooner, we want to do it sooner," Kerry told reporters. "These talks are not going to get easier just because we extend them. They're tough. They've been tough. And they're going to stay tough. ...
 

Further sanctions on Iran could be counterproductive, White House says

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:08:18 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday Iran should be given more time to answer concerns about its nuclear program and that imposing fresh sanctions on the Iranians could be counterproductive. White House spokesman Josh Earnest made the comments after Iran and six powers including the United States gave themselves seven more months to overcome a deadlock over the Iranian program. "The president has also been clear that no deal is better than a bad deal. ...
 

Iran president: 'Negotiations will lead to a deal'

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:29:02 PMGo to full article
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — As talks over Iran's contested nuclear program wrap up, President Hassan Rouhani has told his nation that it "has achieved a significant victory" and "negotiations will lead to a deal, sooner or later."
 

The US-Iran differences that blocked a nuke deal

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:08:42 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, prior to a bilateral meeting of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The U.S. and five other nations trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran are turning away from attempting to reach an agreement by deadline and have started internal discussions on extending the talks, diplomats said Sunday. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, pool)VIENNA (AP) — Renewed failure by Iran and the U.S. to reach a nuclear agreement by a Monday deadline reflects the difficulties each side has with crossing red lines they brought with them to the negotiating table.
 
 

Iran's Rouhani says 'many gaps narrowed, positions got closer' in Vienna: state tv

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:54:04 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Iran's negotiations with major powers had narrowed gaps and made positions closer, Iranian state television reported. "During the talks in Vienna many gaps were narrowed and our positions with the other side got closer," Rouhani was quoted as saying. Iran and six major powers decided on Monday to extend nuclear talks until June 30, 2015 aimed at resolving a 12-year-old dispute over the country's nuclear program. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by John Irish)
 

Will extension of Iran nuclear talks give opening to hardliners?

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:54:00 PMGo to full article
Iran and six world powers today pushed back by seven months their own deadline for reaching a nuclear accord, increasing the risk that anti-deal hardliners in Washington or Tehran could jeopardize a final agreement.
 

Kerry says progress in Iran talks with major powers, tough road ahead

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:37:26 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday Iran and the six world powers had made substantial progress to reach a final deal over its nuclear program, but despite new ideas being presented the talks would remain tough in the coming months. "If we can do it (get a deal) sooner, we want to do it sooner," Kerry told reporters. "These talks are not going to get easier just because we extend them. They're tough. They've been tough. And they're going to stay tough. ...
 

Iran takes action to comply with interim nuclear deal: U.N. agency

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:37:26 PMGo to full article
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has taken the necessary steps to continue to comply with an interim nuclear agreement, according to a U.N agency report seen by Reuters on Monday, as Tehran and six world powers gave themselves an extra seven months to clinch a final deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency issued its monthly update on the preliminary accord's implementation on the same day that Iran and the major powers agreed to extend that deal until June, after failing to meet Monday's deadline for a comprehensive settlement. ...
 

Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:27:15 PMGo to full article
U.S. VP Biden shakes hands with Turkey's President Erdogan in IstanbulBy Nick Tattersall and Dasha Afanasieva ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey and the United States smoothed over some differences in the fight against Islamic State during a weekend visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, but the talks heralded little in the way of deeper military cooperation between the NATO allies. Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, refusing to take a frontline military role despite its 1,200 km (750-mile) border with Iraq and Syria and thereby intensifying Western concern that it is a weak link in the struggle against the insurgents. ...
 
 

In Iran, Muslim clerics vow to combat extremists

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:39:43 PMGo to full article
QOM, Iran (AP) — Muslim clerics meeting in Iran have vowed to counter extremists like the Islamic State group through mosques and Islamic teaching centers.
 

US stocks inch further into record territory

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:12:48 PMGo to full article
Specialist Ronnie Howard, right, works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. U.S. stocks rose in early trading in line with gains from Asian markets and thanks to improvement in German business confidence. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market moved slightly higher in late-morning trading Monday, keeping major indexes at record levels. Renewed confidence that stimulus measures from global central banks will help spur economic growth is supporting demand for stocks.
 
 

Russia says 'substantial progress' made in Iran talks

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:45:24 PMGo to full article
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday substantial progress had been made in talks on Iran's nuclear program though they failed to produce a final deal before a self-imposed deadline. "Substantial progress was made," Lavrov said in Vienna, in comments broadcast by Rossiya 24 television. He said he expected that in three or four months the parties would agree on the "basic principles" of a final document. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Elizabeth Piper)
 

Iran nuclear talks extended through end of June: Britain

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:29:20 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers will extend through the end of June 2015 talks on Tehran's nuclear program after failing to clinch a final agreement that could end a 12-year atomic dispute, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday. He told reporters that Iran and the powers "made some significant progress" in the latest round of talks, which began last Tuesday in the Austrian capital. Hammond added that there was a clear target to reach a "headline agreement" of substance within the next three months and talks would resume next month. ...
 

Iran nuclear talks set to resume next month after missing deadline

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:28:18 PMGo to full article
Officials sit around the negotiations table during their meeting in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers are expected to break off negotiations on Monday and meet again next month after missing a deadline to clinch a final deal to resolve their 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, diplomatic sources said. Details about the resumption of negotiations were still being worked out, though one source said on condition of anonymity that Iran could not expect any new sanctions relief for the time being. Possible venues could include Vienna and Oman, one of the sources said, though nothing had been decided. ...
 
 

Iran nuclear talks likely to be extended to July: Western diplomat

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:28:18 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and major world powers are likely to extend their talks over the Tehran's disputed nuclear program until July 2015, and aim to reach agreement on the "political pieces" by March, a Western diplomat close to the talks told Reuters on Monday. The talks are aimed at securing a deal under which sanctions against Iran would be gradually lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Writing by Parisa Hafezi)
 

Netanyahu sees positive side to missing Iran nuclear deadline

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:25:30 PMGo to full article
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the likelihood that Iran and six world powers would fail to meet a deadline on Monday for a nuclear agreement. "No deal is better than a bad deal. The deal that Iran was pushing for was terrible. A deal would have left Iran with the ability to enrich uranium for an atom bomb while removing the sanctions," Netanyahu told the BBC, according to a video excerpt of the interview provided by the prime minister's office. ...
 

China says parties to Iran deal will 'eventually reach' agreement

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:49:47 AMGo to full article
BEIJING (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers will "eventually reach" a pact to resolve a 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, even if talks may have to be postponed over many complex issues, China's foreign minister said on Monday. Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States began the final round of talks with Iran on Tuesday to clinch a pact by which Tehran would curb its nuclear work in exchange for a lifting of economically crippling sanctions. ...
 

US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:45:15 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, prior to a bilateral meeting of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The U.S. and five other nations trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran are turning away from attempting to reach an agreement by deadline and have started internal discussions on extending the talks, diplomats said Sunday. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, pool)VIENNA (AP) — The U.S. told Iran Sunday that it's time to consider extending nuclear talks, in the first formal recognition by Washington that frenzied last-minute diplomacy may not be enough to seal a deal by a rapidly approaching deadline.
 
 

Iran and powers set to extend nuclear talks if final push fails

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:40:55 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers looked set to miss Monday's deadline for resolving a 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and are already looking at a possible extension of the negotiations. The talks in Vienna aim for a deal that could transform the Middle East, open the door to ending economic sanctions on Iran and start to bring a nation of 76 million people in from the cold after decades of hostility with the West. The cost of failure to reach a deal could be high. ...
 
 

British-Iranian volleyball woman released on bail: brother

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:48:27 PMGo to full article
An Iranian woman walks past an Iranian flag in downtown Tehran on February 2, 2009London (AFP) - A British-Iranian woman controversially jailed months ago in Tehran after trying to attend a men's volleyball match was released on bail Sunday pending an appeal court verdict, her family said.
 
 

U.S., Iran discussed possible extension of nuclear talks: official

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:32:43 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - With a deadline for a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers fast approaching, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed on Sunday a possible extension of the negotiations, a U.S. official said. "Our focus remains on taking steps forward toward an agreement, but it is only natural that just over 24 hours from the deadline we are discussing a range of options both internally and with our P5+1 partners (six powers)," a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity. ...
 

Hezbollah claims 'pinpoint' Iranian missiles added to its arsenal

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:14:16 PMGo to full article
On the eve of a deadline in nuclear talks between six world powers and Iran, Lebanon’s militant Shiite Hezbollah organization has revealed that it has acquired advanced Iranian missiles with “pinpoint accuracy” that it could use against Israel in any future war.
 

No easy 'plan B' for Iran if nuclear talks with major powers collapse

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:01:01 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian officials say they can turn to Beijing and Moscow if talks in Vienna fail to end Western sanctions, but with oil prices falling, China's economy slowing and Russia in its own sanctions-induced slump, Tehran's "plan B" hardly looks ideal. Talks between Iran and six powers, which include China and Russia as well as the United States and three big EU countries, are expected to fail to reach a deal to lift U.S. and EU sanctions by a deadline on Monday. ...
 
 

Iran, powers 'still far apart': Germany's Steinmeier

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:57:45 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers are "still far apart on many issues" in negotiations on a deal over Tehran's nuclear program, Germany's foreign minister said on Sunday, hinting an extension of the talks may be needed. Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to Germany's ARD television a day before a Nov. 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement to end a 12-year dispute over Iran's atomic ambitions. "We are negotiating here with the ambition to reach an agreement," he said. ...
 

Iranian-British woman jailed over sport protest released on bail

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:54:24 PMGo to full article
LONDON (Reuters) - Ghoncheh Ghavami, an Iranian-British woman jailed in Tehran earlier this month for taking part in a protest against a ban on women attending some men's sporting events, has been released on bail, Britain's Foreign's Office said on Sunday. Ghavami was arrested on June 20 outside Tehran's Azadi Stadium, where she and others were demanding that women be allowed in to watch a volleyball match between Iran and Italy. A Tehran court sentenced her to a year in jail earlier this month for spreading anti-state propaganda, Iranian media said. ...
 

Iran releases British-Iranian woman on bail

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:48:23 PMGo to full article
Undated photo made available Sunday Nov. 23, 2014, showing Iranian-British woman Ghoncheh Ghavami, who was jailed for attending a men's volleyball game in Iran, has been released on bail, according to reports from her family, on Sunday Nov. 23, 2014. Law graduate Ghavami was detained for attending a men's volleyball match on June 20, 2014, and held in solitary confinement. (AP Photo / PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVESTEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities released a British-Iranian woman on bail on Sunday, the semi-official ISNA news agency said.
 
 

Muslim clerics meet in Iran to counter extremists

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:39:12 PMGo to full article
Participants sit in an anti-extremism conference in the city of Qom, 78 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Shiite and Sunni clerics from about 80 countries gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom to develop a strategy to combat extremists including the Islamic State group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Zoheir Seidanloo)QOM, Iran (AP) — Shiite and Sunni clerics from about 80 countries gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom on Sunday to develop a strategy to combat extremists, including the Islamic State group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria.
 
 

Iraqi forces say retake two towns from Islamic State

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:32:06 PMGo to full article
By Saif Hameed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces said on Sunday they retook two towns north of Baghdad from Islamic State fighters, driving them from strongholds they had held for months and clearing a main road from the capital to Iran. There was no independent confirmation that the army, Shi'ite militia and Kurdish peshmerga forces had completely retaken Jalawla and Saadiya, about 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad. Many residents fled the violence long ago. At least 23 peshmerga and militia fighters were killed and dozens were wounded in Sunday's fighting, medical and army sources said. ...
 

Kerry to 'update' Saudi foreign minister on Iran nuclear talks

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:37:58 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Sunday to "update" him on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers in Vienna, a U.S. official said. The official did not give details about the meeting. Iran and Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally which is worried about the implications of any rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, are regional rivals vying for influence in the Middle East. (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Alison Williams)
 

Iran says nuclear deal 'impossible' by November 24 deadline: ISNA

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:58:02 AMGo to full article
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif arrives at the Iranian embassy for lunch with former European Union foreign policy chief Ashton in ViennaVIENNA (Reuters) - Iran says it will not be possible by a November 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive deal with world powers aimed at resolving the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, the Iranian Students News Agency ISNA reported on Sunday. "Considering the short time left until the deadline and number of issues that needed to be discussed and resolved, it is impossible to reach a final and comprehensive deal by Nov. 24," ISNA quoted an unnamed member of Iran's negotiating team in Vienna as saying. ...
 
 

Russia's Lavrov to join Iran talks in Vienna: TASS

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:56:53 AMGo to full article
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Vienna on Sunday evening to take part in international talks on Iran's nuclear program, TASS news agency quoted a source with Russian delegation as saying. Lavrov earlier canceled his meetings planned for Monday in Moscow as world powers and Iran hold the final round of talks in Vienna before a self-imposed deadline on Nov.24. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alison Williams)
 

Bahrain holds elections, Shi'ite opposition boycotts vote

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:35:52 AMGo to full article
Voters cast their votes during parliamentary elections, at a polling station set up at the Seef Mall shopping centre in ManamaBy Farishta Saeed MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahrainis voted on Saturday in the first parliamentary elections since 2011 when mostly Shi'ite protesters took to the streets demanding more democracy. The elections were boycotted by the Shi'ite Muslim opposition over accusations that constituency changes would still favor the Sunni Muslim majority represented by the ruling family. Bahrain has been shaken by low-level unrest since the February 2011 demonstrations. The country's Shi'ites have long complained of political and economic marginalization, an accusation the government denies. ...
 
 

West not expected to demand Iran atom bomb "mea culpa" in deal

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:40:29 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and German Foreign Minister Steinmeier pose for photographers before a meeting in ViennaBy Fredrik Dahl and Louis Charbonneau VIENNA (Reuters) - World powers are pressing Iran to stop stonewalling a U.N. atomic bomb investigation as part of a wider nuclear accord, but look likely to stop short of demanding full disclosure of any secret weapon work by Tehran to avoid killing an historic deal. Officially, the United States and its Western allies say it is vital that Iran fully cooperate with a U.N. nuclear agency investigation if it wants a diplomatic settlement that would end the sanctions severely hurting its oil-based economy. ...
 
 

Iran nuclear talks may be extended as U.S. sees 'big gaps'

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:15:42 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy John Irish and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - World powers and Iran struggled on Saturday to overcome crucial differences that are preventing them from ending a 12-year standoff over Tehran's atomic ambitions, raising the prospect of another extension to the high-stake talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "big gaps" remained with two days to go before a self-imposed Nov. 24 deadline for an accord, despite signs of some headway. A European source said the likelihood of a final deal by Monday was "very small". ...
 
 

Kerry says gaps remain in talks about Iran's nukes

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:47:55 PMGo to full article
From left: US Secretary of State John Kerry, former EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meet for talks on the sidelines of nuclear talks with Iran aimed at settling a dispute over Iran's nuclear program at the Palais Coburg in Vienna on Saturday Nov. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Joe Klamar, Pool)VIENNA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning of "serious gaps" in the talks about a nuclear deal with Iran, and if major differences persist the possibility of extending past Monday's deadline is seeming more likely.
 
 

Bahrain holds elections as Shi'ite opposition boycotts vote

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:31:33 PMGo to full article
By Farishta Saeed MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahrainis voted on Saturday in the first parliamentary elections since 2011 when mostly Shi'ite protesters took to the streets demanding more democracy. The elections were boycotted by the Shi'ite Muslim opposition over accusations that constituency changes would still favor the Sunni Muslim majority represented by the ruling family. Bahrain has been shaken by low-level unrest since the February 2011 demonstrations. The country's Shi'ites have long complained of political and economic marginalization, an accusation the government denies. ...
 

Iran supreme leader moves to break impasse over key cabinet post

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:42:25 PMGo to full article
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader moved on Saturday to break a factional deadlock over the sensitive Ministry of Higher Education by reinstating President Hassan Rouhani's moderate pick as interim minister, Iranian media reported. On Tuesday, the conservative-dominated parliament rejected his fourth nominee to lead universities, which have been centers of ideological battles between pro-democracy reformers and Islamist hardliners. ...
 

Chance of final Iran nuclear deal by deadline small: European source

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:32:41 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - The likelihood of Iran and six world powers reaching an agreement over Tehran's nuclear program by a Nov. 24 deadline is "very small", a European source close to the talks in Vienna said on Saturday. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said discussions about the possibility of extending the negotiations beyond Monday's self-imposed deadline might begin on Sunday. "The chances of reaching a deal in the next 48 hours are very small," the source said. "Our feeling is that they (Iran's negotiators) don't have a lot of flexibility. ...
 

Lavrov accuses West of seeking 'regime change' in Russia

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:36:33 PMGo to full article
By Polina Devitt MOSCOW (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West on Saturday of trying to use sanctions imposed on Moscow in the Ukraine crisis to seek "regime change" in Russia. His comments stepped up Moscow's war of words with the United States and the European Union in their worst diplomatic standoff since the Cold War ended. ...
 

U.S., Iran discussing new ideas to break nuclear impasse: sources

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:08:57 AMGo to full article
French Foreign Minister Fabius, EU envoy Ashton, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Britain's Foreign Secretary Hammond sit a a table during talks in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Jonathan Allen VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are discussing new ideas aimed at breaking the deadlock in nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, sources close to the talks said on Friday. The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the top Iranian and U.S. diplomats were preparing ideas that could be shown to both countries' capitals. "Discussions are continuing," said a senior U.S. official, who declined to discuss details about the negotiations in Vienna. ...
 
 

U.S., Iran discussing new proposals to break nuclear impasse: sources

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:24:13 AMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are working on new proposals aimed at breaking the deadlock in nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, sources close to the talks said on Friday. The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the top Iranian and U.S. diplomats were preparing ideas that could be shown to both countries' capitals. No details on the ideas were immediately available. "Discussions are continuing," said a senior U.S. official, who declined to discuss details about the negotiations. ...
 

Iran nuke talks stalled, despite Kerry efforts

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:52:46 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Kerry decided to pull back from nuclear talks in Vienna, leaving Iran's foreign minister to ponder an apparent new proposal from Washington meant to bridge differences standing in the way of a deal with less than four days to deadline. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)VIENNA (AP) — Contentious nuclear talks between world powers and Tehran hit a new snag Friday after Iran apparently again turned down U.S. demands for concessions, leaving negotiations in limbo just three days before a deadline for a deal.
 
 

Islamic State group's drive for Kobani is blunted

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:55:15 PMGo to full article
FILE - This undated file photo posted on Monday, Nov. 4, 2014 by the Raqqa Media Office of the Islamic State group, a militant extremist group, shows an Islamic state group fighter in Kobani, Syria. For a force that has built its reputation on projecting an aura of momentum and invincibility, the prolonged stalemate in Kobani is a setback for Islamic State militants with potential implications in terms of recruitment and support. Nearly two months after it launched its lightning assault on the small Kurdish town, the group is bogged down with an increasingly entrenched and costly battle in which hundreds of its fighters have been killed and a good deal of its military apparatus destroyed. More than two months into its assault on Kobani, the Islamic State group still pours fighters and resources into trying to take the besieged Kurdish town, but the drive has been blunted. Aided by 270 U.S. airstrikes, the town’s determined Kurdish defenders appear to be gaining momentum, a potentially bruising reversal for the militants who only few weeks ago seemed unstoppable in their march to victory. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Office, File)BEIRUT (AP) — More than two months into its assault on Kobani, the Islamic State group is still pouring fighters and resources into trying to capture the besieged Syrian Kurdish town, but the drive has been blunted.
 
 

Iran nuclear talks, in home stretch, still face obstacles

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:32:49 PMGo to full article
More than 30 months of Iran nuclear talks are coming to a frenetic diplomatic climax before a Monday deadline.
 

Kerry, Zarif to meet again in push to reach nuclear deal

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:56:42 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday evening, a U.S. official said, hours after his spokeswoman said he would leave the nuclear talks for meetings in Paris. The U.S. official did not elaborate or say when the meeting would start. European Union envoy Catherine Ashton would also take part in the meeting. Iran and six world powers aim to reach a deal to end a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program by a Nov. 24 deadline. (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
 

French investigate HSBC over possible tax dodging

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:13:27 PMGo to full article
PARIS (AP) — HSBC bank was placed under formal investigation in France over services it offered to clients required to pay taxes in France, just days after the private banking branch was charged in Belgium with organized fiscal fraud.
 

Iran has 'huge' amount to gain from any nuclear deal: Britain

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:26:27 PMGo to full article
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrives for nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna on November 21, 2014Vienna (AFP) - Iran has a "huge" amount to gain if it can show sufficient flexibilty and agree a nuclear accord with world powers, Britain's foreign secretary said Friday as a deadline loomed.
 
 

U.N. nuclear agency says to discuss site access offer with Iran

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:10:04 PMGo to full article
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday it would discuss an Iranian offer for access to a region where explosives experiments may have taken place, but that it was not as straightforward as suggested by Tehran. Iran told a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday it would let the IAEA visit the western Marivan region to prove that allegations about its suspected atomic bomb research were wrong and baseless. ...
 

Iran minister cancels plan to leave nuclear talks for Tehran

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:48:43 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday canceled plans to depart from nuclear talks with six world powers in Vienna and return to Tehran for consultations with top officials in Iran four days ahead of a deadline for a final agreement. "The talks have not reached a stage that necessitates Zarif to go to Tehran," an unnamed senior member of the Iranian delegation told Iranian news agencies ISNA and IRNA. "Therefore he is not going to Tehran and the talks will continue." (Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; writing by Louis Charbonneau)
 

Kerry leaving Iran talks to meet with European partners in Paris

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:17:54 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will leave the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna on Friday to meet with European partners on the issue in Paris four days ahead of a deadline for a deal between Tehran and six world powers, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "He will also stay in close touch with his inter-agency colleagues in Washington," Psaki said. "His future travel schedule is still being finalized, and we have not yet determined when he will return to Vienna." (Reporting by Louis Charbonneau and Jonathan Allen)
 

Britain says 'long way to go' for Iran nuclear deal

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:17:54 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Six world powers and Iran have a "long way to go" if they are to succeed in reaching a nuclear agreement by a deadline of next Monday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said. Hammond, speaking after arriving in Vienna where the talks are taking place, said Iran must show more flexibility in the negotiations on the country's disputed nuclear program. "In return we are prepared to show some flexibility," he told reporters. "We are all determined to make some progress but these are very difficult, technically complex, matters. ...
 

France tempers Iran nuclear stance in nod to wider diplomatic needs

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:33:39 AMGo to full article
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius escorts US Secretary of State John Kerry after their talks and statement at the Quai d'Orsay Foreign Affairs ministry in ParisBy John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - A year after France scuppered a deal on Iran's nuclear program it is taking a softer stance in current talks, encouraged by a more inclusive U.S. approach and the knowledge that failure this year could have grim repercussions across the broader region. France, a U.N. Security Council veto-holder, has long held out for strict terms trading a loosening of international sanctions on Iran's oil-based economy in return for commitments by Tehran to show its nuclear work is as peaceful as it insists. The discovery last year that the U.S. was holding secret talks with the Iranians was an opportunity for France, by saying 'no' to a deal, to assert itself internationally and rebuke Washington for backing down on bombing Syria as punishment for using chemical arms. It also helped Paris to cement new commercial ties with Gulf Arab states.
 
 

Powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby holds fire as Iran deadline looms

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:02:45 AMGo to full article
By Matt Spetalnick and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the United States and other powers negotiate down to the wire on a nuclear deal with Iran, one voice has been unusually quiet - the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Israel deeply distrusts the attempt to reach a deal at talks in Vienna that would lift harsh international sanctions on Iran in return for limits to its nuclear program, aimed at preventing it from developing an atomic bomb. But its staunchest U.S. ...
 

Iran still stalling as nuclear deadline looms: U.N. agency

 
‎21 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:54:22 AMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry faces Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif during a meeting in ViennaBy Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Tehran has yet to explain away allegations it conducted atomic bomb research, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Thursday, four days before a deadline for Iran and six world powers to reach a deal on the Iranian nuclear program. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flies to Vienna for what are meant to be final talks to clinch a deal with Iran, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said he was still unable to provide "credible assurance" Iran had no undeclared nuclear material and activities. ...
 
 

Iran nuclear talks stuck, deadline may be extended: officials

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:58:08 PMGo to full article
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and US Secretary of State John Kerry speak during a joint statement at the Quai d'Orsay Foreign Affairs ministry in ParisBy Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - A deadline for resolving a 12-year-old dispute over Iran's nuclear program may be extended from Monday until March because of sharp disagreements between Tehran and world powers, officials close to the talks said on Thursday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was due to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with European Union envoy Catherine Ashton to try to break the stalemate, but talk of an extension prompted calls for tougher sanctions in Washington. ...
 
 

Kerry to join Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:16:37 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by French foreign minister Laurent Fabius prior to their meeting at the foreign ministry in Paris Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris for talks with the French and Saudi foreign ministers as part of a last-minute push to secure a nuclear deal with Iran. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, Pool)VIENNA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held out hope of a last-minute nuclear deal with Iran Thursday, as he added his diplomatic muscle to talks aimed at overcoming deep differences with Tehran over the size and scope of its future atomic activities.
 
 

Iran rejects West's pressure on nuclear probe, offers site access

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:43:50 PMGo to full article
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran dismissed Western suspicions of atomic bomb research as "wrong and fabricated" on Thursday and said it would be ready to prove this by giving the U.N. nuclear agency access to a site where explosives experiments allegedly had taken place. However, the main priority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been to go to another location, the Parchin military facility southeast of Tehran, and not the western region of Marivan now offered by Iran. Tehran has so far refused access to Parchin. ...
 

Iran's top leader pardons controversial blogger

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:42:00 PMGo to full article
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's top leader has pardoned a controversial Iranian-Canadian blogger more than 11 years before the end of his prison term, the semi-official ISNA news reported on Thursday.
 

Kasparov likens Putin to Hitler, urges West to act

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:12:04 PMGo to full article
Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov speaks at the Warsaw Security Forum, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Kasparov warned that if the west fails to stop Russia's President Vladimir Putin now, the price for doing so could get much higher. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov compared President Vladimir Putin's "one-man dictatorship" to the rule of Adolf Hitler on Thursday, warning that if the West fails to stop him now the price to do so could rise.
 
 

Iran firm displays US-made helicopters

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:42:14 PMGo to full article
A visitor takes a picture of his company in an R-44 U.S.-made helicopter in an air exhibition in the Iranian Kish Island in the Persian Gulf, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. An Iranian company displayed four brand new R-44 U.S.-made helicopters during the air exhibition it says were purchased through third parties, offering them as proof that the country could evade international sanctions over its disputed nuclear program. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Zohreh Saberi)TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian company on Thursday displayed four brand new U.S.-made helicopters it purchased through third parties, offering them as proof that the country could evade international sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.
 
 

Iran's Supreme Leader frees pioneering Iranian 'Blogfather': media

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:04 PMGo to full article
Hossein DerakhshanDUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday pardoned Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan after six years in prison for spreading propaganda, insulting Islam and cooperating with hostile countries, Iranian media said. Iranian bloggers credit Derakhshan - a journalist in Tehran before moving to Toronto in 2000 - with launching a blogging revolution in the Islamic Republic by publishing instructions on the subject in Farsi. No reason was given for Derakhshan's release. A U.N. ...

 

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Iraq to overhaul Baghdad security to stop bombings

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:26:39 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this file photo taken on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, civilians inspect the site of Friday's car bomb in Baghdad Gorayaat neighborhood, Iraq, The government is now trying to revamp security measures, moving away from reliance on ubiquitous concrete blast walls and police checkpoints. Instead, the plan is to beef up police intelligence units that have gone understaffed and underfunded since the fall of Saddam Hussein. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — Baghdad's neighborhood of Gorayaat, a small Shiite enclave on a bend in the Tigris River, exemplifies the failures of Iraq's security agencies trying to protect the capital from attacks by the Islamic State. The district has been a target for years, hit by so many bombings, suicide attacks, rockets and mortars that residents have lost count.
 
 

Greece acts to rescue ship carrying hundreds of migrants

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:08:47 PMGo to full article
Handout photo shows migrants climbing aboard the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station ship Phoenix as a group of 104 sub-Saharan Africans on board a rubber dinghy is rescued some 25 miles off the Libyan coastATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has sent a frigate to rescue a container ship believed to carrying hundreds of undocumented migrants and in distress off its southern island of Crete, the Greek coastguard said on Tuesday. The Kiribati-flagged vessel, with about 700 people aboard, was sailing 30 nautical miles (55 km) southeast of Crete. The ship reported an engine problem in an area with strong winds. Four container ships sailing nearby could be called on to help if needed, a coastguard spokesman said. "There is no immediate danger, our priority is to save them if needed," he said. ...
 
 

10 Things to Know for Today

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:59:18 PMGo to full article
Dante Kaleo holds a protest sign while marching on Interstate 580 in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. Several thousand protesters marched through Oakland with some shutting down freeways multiple times, burning refuse and breaking windows on a news van. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
 
 

The Real Reason Hagel Resigned As Defense Secretary

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:15:00 PMGo to full article
In the end, Chuck Hagel’s tenure as Secretary of Defense was a success.  After Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, the Obama Administration chose Hagel to bring the Pentagon back into the fold.  No more leaks; ...
 

Twitter account associated with Iran leader hits out at 'arrogant' powers

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:15:50 AMGo to full article
DUBAI (Reuters) - A Twitter account Iran experts believe is run by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday "arrogant" powers had tried hard to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees but had failed. In a comment apparently referring to the failure of Iran and six world powers to end a dispute about Iran's nuclear goals, a message on the English-language account said: "In the nuclear issue, arrogants have made their best to bring Iran to its knees but they were not able and will not be able to do so. ...
 

Egypt coach Gharib not offered new contract

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:01:45 AMGo to full article
Egypt's coach Shawky Gharib is pictured during their African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match against Senegal in CairoCairo (Reuters) - Egypt coach Shawky Gharib has left his post having not been offered a new contract after failing to steer the country to the 2015 African Nations Cup, the Egyptian FA (EFA) said on Monday. Egypt's fate was sealed after a 2-1 defeat in Tunisia last week left the seven-times champions with six points from six games in Group G from which Tunisia and Senegal qualified. ...
 
 

VA fires troubled Phoenix hospital director

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:26:02 AMGo to full article
This undated handout photo provided by The Veterans Affairs Department, shows Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System. Helman was fired Monday, nearly seven months after she and two high-ranking officials were placed on administrative leave amid allegations that 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment at the hospital. Helman had led the Phoenix facility since February 2012. Best quality available. (AP Photo/Veterans Affairs Department)PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly seven months after the Department of Veterans Affairs became embroiled in a nationwide scandal, the agency fired the head of its troubled Phoenix hospital amid allegations of misconduct and cover-ups.
 
 

Hagel resignation comes at messy moment for US

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:29:58 AMGo to full article
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, listens as President Barack Obama, right, talks about Hagel's resignation during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down under pressure from Obama's Cabinet, senior administration officials said Monday, following a tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is resigning at a particularly tough time for U.S. foreign and defense policy, with one war ending, another just beginning and the Pentagon struggling with the prospect of deeper budget cuts ahead.
 
 

UN: Islamic State group got up to $45M in ransoms

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:41:39 AMGo to full article
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Islamic State group which controls a large swath of Syria and Iraq has received between $35 million and $45 million in ransom payments in the past year, a U.N. expert monitoring sanctions against al-Qaida said Monday.
 

Today in History

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:01:13 AMGo to full article
Today is Tuesday, Nov. 25, the 329th day of 2014. There are 36 days left in the year.
 

Pentagon chief Hagel out as IS war heats up

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:25:48 AMGo to full article
US President Barack Obama announces the resignation of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on November 24, 2014President Barack Obama announced the departure of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday, with the White House under fire over perceived fumbling in its response to the Islamic State threat. Rapid advances by Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq forced the Pentagon chief into managing a complex campaign, and Obama concluded Hagel was not the man for the task. The 68-year-old Vietnam war veteran joined Obama at the White House to confirm his departure. "When I asked Chuck to serve as secretary of defense we were entering a significant period of transition: the drawdown in Afghanistan, the need to prepare our forces for future missions and tough fiscal choices to keep our military strong and ready," Obama said.
 
 

UK spy agencies 'could not have prevented' Lee Rigby killing

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:21:48 AMGo to full article
Picture taken on July 12, 2013 shows Royal Fusiliers carrying the coffin of soldier Lee Rigby out of Bury Parish Church, northwest England, following his funeralLondon (AFP) - A parliamentary report into the murder by Muslim extremists of a British soldier in London last year pointed Tuesday to intelligence failures but said the security services could not have prevented the attack.
 
 

Behind Hagel's ouster, tensions over Syria and Obama's team

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎02:19:06 AMGo to full article
By Phil Stewart and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - From the moment he was appointed last year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had a troubled relationship with President Barack Obama's tight-knit White House national security team. As the bombing intensified in Iraq and Syria, so did his problems. U.S. officials with knowledge of Hagel's relationship with the Obama administration described increasingly uneasy ties between Hagel's Pentagon and the White House - although not between the two men themselves. ...
 

Frontrunners emerge for top Pentagon job

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:01:39 AMGo to full article
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy testifies at a hearing in Washington on June 23, 2011A pair of frontrunners have emerged to take charge at the Pentagon after President Barack Obama announced the departure of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. If former under-secretary Michele Flournoy gets the nod, she would be the first woman to hold the role, and neither she nor former deputy secretary Ashton Carter have served in uniform. Now working as policy academics, Flournoy and Carter have been mentioned for years as possible Pentagon leaders.
 
 

Glass shattering? Flournoy tops Pentagon shortlist

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:59:37 PMGo to full article
FILE - This Dec. 7, 2011 file photo shows former U.S. Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy, preparing for a bilateral meeting in Beijing, China. Flournoy, formerly the Pentagon's policy chief and among President Obama's more hawkish advisers, could be in line to become the first woman to lead the U.S. military after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's resignation. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)WASHINGTON (AP) — Michele Flournoy, formerly the Pentagon's policy chief and among President Barack Obama's more hawkish advisers, could be in line to become the first woman to lead the U.S. military after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's resignation.
 
 

Iran nuclear talks: EU diplomacy finds a stronger voice

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:48:25 PMGo to full article
High-stakes talks on Iran’s nuclear program ended today without a deal. But for the European Union, the agreement to extend talks and set new deadline may mark a turning point for its young foreign policy arm – an entity that many had dismissed as ineffective.
 

AP Source: Hagel resigning as Defense secretary

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:44:36 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel gestures next to Strategic Command commander Adm. Haney at a news briefing to announce reforms to the nuclear enterprise at the Pentagon in WashingtonWASHINGTON (AP) — A senior administration official says Secretary of State Chuck Hagel is resigning from President Barack Obama's Cabinet.
 
 

Hagel, under pressure, resigns as U.S. defense secretary

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:38:13 PMGo to full article
Obama Announces Resignation Of Chuck Hagel As Defense SecretaryBy Phil Stewart and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, leaving under pressure as President Barack Obama faces critical national security challenges, including fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and revising plans to exit Afghanistan. It was the first major change to Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago, and Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, are looking for a new approach from the White house. ...
 
 

Six years in, Obama gearing up to be a war president

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:17:43 PMGo to full article
Barack Obama's meteoric rise to the presidency probably wouldn't have been possible without his decision to stake out a strong position against the Iraq War while still an Illinois state senator in October 2002. In a speech in Chicago that month he warned of "a dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics."
 

Could Obama choose a woman as next Defense secretary? One name tops list

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:49:48 PMGo to full article
As speculation heats up about who will replace Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel now that he has announced his resignation, the front-runner could very well be the first woman ever to hold the job.
 

Hagel Departure Leaves Obama with Lame Duck on Defense

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:45:00 PMGo to full article
Hagel Departure Leaves Obama with Lame Duck on DefenseChuck Hagel has seemed the most unlikely of Defense secretaries almost from the days of his near-disastrous Senate confirmation hearings a year-and-a-half ago. His chief credentials were his service in ...
 
 

Baghdad car bomb kills 8 people, fighting west of capital

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:04:29 PMGo to full article
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A car bomb exploded in a market in northern Baghdad's Shaab neighborhood on Monday, killing eight people and wounding 22, police and medics said. Another bomb in the capital's southeast killed two people, sources said. They were the latest explosions to shake the mainly Shi'ite city. Many of the bombings have been claimed by radical Sunni Islamic State fighters who have seized control of large parts of north and west Iraq, as well as a belt of land around Baghdad. ...
 

Saudi Arabia says Islamic State ordered attack on Shi'ites in al-Ahsa

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:04 PMGo to full article
DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has arrested the four main suspects in an attack on Shi'ite Muslims this month and believes it was ordered by Islamic State militants from abroad, the state news agency cited an Interior Ministry security spokesman as saying on Monday. Seven members of the Sunni-ruled kingdom's Shi'ite minority were shot dead in the Eastern Province district of al-Ahsa on Nov. 3 as they marked their holy day of Ashoura. ...
 

Islamic State group recruits, exploits children

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:16:50 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this file photo taken Thursday, June 19, 2014, Islamic State group militants stand by a captured Iraqi army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji refinery, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group's radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. (AP Photo, File)BEIRUT (AP) — Teenagers carrying weapons stand at checkpoints and busy intersections in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Patched onto the left arms of their black uniforms are the logos of the Islamic Police.
 
 

Saudi Arabia: Islamic State group linked to attack

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:47:35 PMGo to full article
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Militants linked to the Islamic State group were behind a surprise attack this month that killed seven people in Saudi Arabia's eastern region, the kingdom's Interior Ministry said Monday.
 

Who Will Replace Chuck Hagel?

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:32:05 PMGo to full article
Who Will Replace Chuck Hagel?Even before Chuck Hagel's resignation from the Defense Department became official, the names of a pair of longtime Pentagon veterans had already surfaced as top contenders to replace him as secretary: Michele Flournoy and Ashton Carter.
 
 

Iraqi troops take 2 towns from Islamic State group

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:20:43 PMGo to full article
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi troops backed by Shiite militiamen and Kurdish security forces recaptured two eastern towns from Islamic State group militants after fierce clashes, officials said Monday.
 

UK: 'Severe' terror threat requires new powers

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:17:31 PMGo to full article
Britain's Home Secretary Teresa May speaks during the counter-terrorism awareness week conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London Monday Nov. 24, 2014. British authorities are outlining a new set of counterterrorism measures, including a ban on insurance companies reimbursing ransom payments. The bill to be outlined Monday by Home Secretary Theresa May reinforces Britain's long-held position that there should be no ransom payments to terrorists because payments to groups such as Islamic State merely place more people at risk. (AP Photo/John Stillwell/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUTLONDON (AP) — Britain faces its greatest-ever threat from terrorism, the interior minister said Monday, announcing measures to control suspects, strengthen online scrutiny and prevent insurance companies from paying terrorist ransoms.
 
 

Strategist Bernstein sees more equity gains, likes high-yield munis

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:02:38 PMGo to full article
Richard Bernstein Capital Management LLC.'s CEO Bernstein speaks at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New YorkNEW YORK (Reuters) - Longtime Wall Street strategist Richard Bernstein hasn't quite gotten used to investors' reactions when he tells them his favorite asset class for 2015 is the same as in 2014 - high- yield municipal bonds.
 
 

How Chuck Hagel's Resignation Might Affect ISIS Fight

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:32:00 PMGo to full article
How Chuck Hagel's Resignation Might Affect ISIS FightChuck Hagel’s departure as Defense Secretary will probably have a minimal impact on the administration’s three part strategy to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria that is expected to take years. Hagel had raised questions about the strategy’s lack of focus on the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, but not about the president’s decision that American troops sent to Iraq will not serve as combat troops.Online supporters of the Islamic terror group ISIS have taken to Twitter to cheer the resignation of Chuck Hagel, claiming it was ISIS that forced him out. ...
 
 

Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎07:27:15 PMGo to full article
U.S. VP Biden shakes hands with Turkey's President Erdogan in IstanbulBy Nick Tattersall and Dasha Afanasieva ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey and the United States smoothed over some differences in the fight against Islamic State during a weekend visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, but the talks heralded little in the way of deeper military cooperation between the NATO allies. Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, refusing to take a frontline military role despite its 1,200 km (750-mile) border with Iraq and Syria and thereby intensifying Western concern that it is a weak link in the struggle against the insurgents. ...
 
 

In Iran, Muslim clerics vow to combat extremists

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:39:43 PMGo to full article
QOM, Iran (AP) — Muslim clerics meeting in Iran have vowed to counter extremists like the Islamic State group through mosques and Islamic teaching centers.
 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Step Down

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:29:00 PMGo to full article
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Step DownDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down, senior administration officials confirmed today to ABC News.Flanked by Hagel and Vice President Biden, President Obama announced the Secretary’s departure this morning from the White House's State Dining Room.“Chuck Hagel has been no ordinary Secretary of Defense: As the first enlisted combat veteran to serve in that position, he understands our men and women like few others ,” the president said. “He’s been in the dirt and he’s been in the mud. And that’s established a special bond. He sees himself in them, and they see themselves in him. ...
 
 

Chuck Hagel out as defense secretary. Bad fit from beginning?

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:57:23 PMGo to full article
Chuck Hagel is out as secretary of Defense, according to news reports Monday morning. He’s resigning under pressure, or in other words, getting fired with a bit of dignity.
 

Defense Logistics Agency provides Thanksgiving Day meal to American military in West Africa

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:00 PMGo to full article
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American service members working to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa may be away from home during the holidays, but they will still enjoy a Thanksgiving Day meal with all the trimmings thanks to the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support's Subsistence team.More than 2,700 pounds of turkey, along with 375 pounds of cranberry sauce and 700 pies will be served to military members deployed to Liberia and Senegal, the Subsistence customer service branch chief for the Europe and Middle East regions said. ...
 

The Daily Fix: Police Are Criticized After Fatal Shootings, Marion Barry Dies, and Upstate New York Braces for Floods

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:34:46 PMGo to full article
A grand jury will reconvene today in Ferguson, Mo., to decide whether police officer Darren Wilson will be indicted for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown. For Wilson to be charged with a crime, the jury must find probable cause. This is much lower than the standard for criminal conviction, which is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Last week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in anticipation of protests if Wilson is not indicted.
 

Senator Rand Paul calls for declaration of war against Islamic State: NYT

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:27:03 PMGo to full article
Senator Rand Paul addresses the crowd at U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's midterm election night rally in LouisvilleWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, is calling for a formal declaration of war against Islamic State militants who control parts of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday. In an interview on Saturday, Paul said his proposal would limit the duration of military action to one year and significantly restrict the use of ground forces, the Times said. ...
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:18:51 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, a Palestinian protester using a sling shot throws a stone towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a protest against Israeli restrictions on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)Tensions soared in Jerusalem this week after a grisly attack on a synagogue, an Egyptian doctor was acquitted in the country's first female genital mutilation trial, and Lebanese demanded the release of family members captured by militants.
 
 

U.S., allies conduct 24 strikes on Islamic State in Iraq, Syria: CENTCOM

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:13:11 PMGo to full article
A boy looks out from a window inside the bullet-riddled facade of his home after what activists said were U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State, in RaqqaWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies have conducted two dozen strikes against Islamic State militants since Friday, launching nine strikes in Syria and 15 strikes in Iraq, according to U.S. Central Command. In a statement on Monday, the U.S. military said the strikes in Syria near the border town of Kobani and Raqqa took out three of the militant group's fighting positions, targeted several staging areas and hit one of its headquarter buildings. In Iraq, the strikes hit targets near Mosul, Asad, Baghdad, Ramadi, Tal Afar and Hit. ...
 
 

Lantern Foundation President to Join Ecumenical Patriarchate Delegation in Constantinople for Official Visit with Pope Francis

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:06:00 PMGo to full article
BOSTON, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lantern Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that provides financial support to Christian religious and community organizations globally, today announced that its Founder and President Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson is expected to join an official Orthodox Church delegation for the two day official visit of Pope Francis this coming week in Constantinople, Turkey. ...
 

UK faces biggest terrorism threat in its history: minister

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:03:05 PMGo to full article
Britain's Home Secretary May delivers a speech in central LondonLONDON (Reuters) - Britain is facing the biggest terrorism threat in its history and has foiled around 40 major plots since suicide bombers attacked London in 2005, Home Secretary Theresa May said on Monday. The government would on Wednesday set out new laws to take on the militants, May added, including legislation making it easier for security services to track attackers online, and check if radicalized fighters were flying into Britain. ...
 
 

UK faces biggest terrorism threat in its history - Theresa May

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:45:14 PMGo to full article
Britain's Home Secretary Teresa May speaks during the counter-terrorism awareness week conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London Monday Nov. 24, 2014. British authorities are outlining a new set of counterterrorism measures, including a ban on insurance companies reimbursing ransom payments. The bill to be outlined Monday by Home Secretary Theresa May reinforces Britain's long-held position that there should be no ransom payments to terrorists because payments to groups such as Islamic State merely place more people at risk. (AP Photo/John Stillwell/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUTLONDON (Reuters) - Britain is facing the biggest terrorism threat in its history and has foiled around 40 major plots since suicide bombers attacked London in 2005, Home Secretary Theresa May said on Monday. The government would on Wednesday set out new laws to take on the militants, May added, including legislation making it easier for security services to track attackers online, and check if radicalised fighters were flying into Britain. ...
 
 

Two Britons 'fighting alongside Kurds against IS group'

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:02:19 PMGo to full article
Kurdish peshmerga fighters pose for a picture during a break in fighting against Islamic State (IS) group in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobane on November 8, 2014London (AFP) - At least two Britons are among around 15 Westerners fighting in Syria alongside Kurdish guerrillas against the Islamic State group (IS), according to British media.
 
 

UK police say terror threat 'has evolved', will last for years

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:10:24 PMGo to full article
Launching Counter-Terrorism Awareness Week, police said that even if the violence in Iraq and Syria subsided, the risk of attacks in Britain would continueLondon (AFP) - British police on Monday urged the public to be alert to potential terrorist activity as they said the threat of extremist attacks would last for several years.
 
 

2nd Czech government minister targeted with poison

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:28:57 PMGo to full article
PRAGUE (AP) — An envelope mailed to the Czech Republic's finance minister contained poison, the second such case in a week, an official said Monday.
 

Egypt, the Most Important Arab Nation, Is an ISIS Target

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:00:00 PMGo to full article
Egypt, the Most Important Arab Nation, Is an ISIS TargetEgypt has historically been one of the most stable countries in the Middle East. Today, after the failed 2011 “Arab Spring” and shake-up of official power, Egypt’s economy is crippled. The tourism industry ...
 
 

Insight - For many young British Muslims tug of peace is stronger than pull of war

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:47:58 PMGo to full article
Waseem Iqbal poses for a photograph in BirminghamBy Ahmed Aboulenein BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - For some British Muslims, the path to jihad and the path to peaceful aid work can traverse much of the same terrain. From an office in Britain's second largest city, Waseem Iqbal and a friend are planning a trip to the Middle East. In Jordan, they will bring food packages for Syrian refugees. Iqbal, 27, chose charity work not violence. "How do you save innocents in Syria? By going into a war zone and getting yourself killed? Or by... bringing people water pumps, schools and food packages? This is what saves innocents," he said. ...
 
 

Police chief claims '4 or 5' terror plots foiled

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:35:12 AMGo to full article
Launching Counter-Terrorism Awareness Week, police said that even if the violence in Iraq and Syria subsided, the risk of attacks in Britain would continueLondon (AFP) - Police have foiled four or five suspected terror plots this year, the country's most senior police officer said ahead of a week-long campaign to enlist the public's help in countering the threat.
 
 

Hundred attend memorial for Indiana aid worker

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:35:53 AMGo to full article
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana aid worker beheaded by Islamic State militants in Syria was praised for his humanitarian work Sunday during a memorial service attended by hundreds that included readings from the Bible and the Quran.
 

UK police chief claims '4 or 5' terror plots foiled

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:42:36 AMGo to full article
Launching Counter-Terrorism Awareness Week, police said that even if the violence in Iraq and Syria subsided, the risk of attacks in Britain would continueLondon (AFP) - British police have foiled four or five suspected terror plots this year, the country's most senior police officer said ahead of a week-long campaign to enlist the public's help in countering the threat.
 
 

Hundreds attend memorial for US aid worker

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:05:22 AMGo to full article
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An American aid worker behead by Islamic State militants in Syria was praised for his humanitarian work Sunday during a memorial service attended by hundreds that included readings from the Bible and the Quran.
 

Iran, powers eye extension of nuclear talks with deadline hours away

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:32:42 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy Parisa Hafezi and Jonathan Allen VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran, the United States and other world powers are discussing an extension to Monday's deadline for a deal to resolve a 12-year stand-off over Tehran's atomic ambitions, Western and Iranian officials said. The talks in Vienna aim for an accord that could transform the Middle East, open the door to ending economic sanctions on Iran and start to bring a nation of 76 million people in from the cold after decades of hostility with the West. ...
 
 

No easy 'plan B' for Iran if nuclear talks with major powers collapse

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎09:01:01 PMGo to full article
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian officials say they can turn to Beijing and Moscow if talks in Vienna fail to end Western sanctions, but with oil prices falling, China's economy slowing and Russia in its own sanctions-induced slump, Tehran's "plan B" hardly looks ideal. Talks between Iran and six powers, which include China and Russia as well as the United States and three big EU countries, are expected to fail to reach a deal to lift U.S. and EU sanctions by a deadline on Monday. ...
 
 

Muslim clerics meet in Iran to counter extremists

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:39:12 PMGo to full article
Participants sit in an anti-extremism conference in the city of Qom, 78 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Shiite and Sunni clerics from about 80 countries gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom to develop a strategy to combat extremists including the Islamic State group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Zoheir Seidanloo)QOM, Iran (AP) — Shiite and Sunni clerics from about 80 countries gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom on Sunday to develop a strategy to combat extremists, including the Islamic State group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria.
 
 

Suicide blast at Afghan volleyball game kills around 50

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎08:00:41 PMGo to full article
Afghan security forces arive at the site of another suicide car bomb at the gate of Kabul's Green Village compound, a large fortified complex where many foreigners live, on November 19, 2014About 50 people were killed and 60 others wounded when a suicide blast ripped through crowds at a volleyball game in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the deadliest attack in the country since 2011.
 
 

Growing UK concern about 'lone wolf' terrorist attacks: top policeman

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎06:02:40 PMGo to full article
By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Law enforcement authorities in Britain are increasingly worried about the risk of a "lone wolf"-style militant attack and have foiled four or five plots this year, London's top police officer said on Sunday. The assertion, by Bernard Hogan-Howe, the commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police, comes on the eve of a terrorism awareness campaign and as the government prepares to introduce a law that would make it easier for the police to identify who is using a computer or a mobile phone at any given time. ...
 

Iraqi Kurds prepare Sinjar mountain offensive

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:51:39 PMGo to full article
A general view shows Sinjar town which is controlled by forces loyal to the Islamic State as seen from Mount SinjarBy Isabel Coles ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Kurdish forces in northern Iraq are drawing up plans to break Islamic State's siege of Sinjar mountain, where hundreds of minority Yazidis remain stranded months after fleeing their homes. Seeking to regain territory and repair pride in his military forces, Masoud Barzani, president of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, is overseeing efforts to retake the mountain, senior party members said. Islamic State attacked the Sinjar area in August, sending thousands of Yazidis fleeing up the mountain, a craggy strip some 40 miles (65 km) long. ...
 
 

Islamic State group recruits, exploits children

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:30:02 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Monday, June 23, 2014 file photo, an Islamic militant group fighter stands with two children posing with weapons as they watch other members of the group parade in commandeered Iraqi security forces vehicles down a main road at the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, more than two weeks after IS took over the country's second largest city. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group's radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. (AP Photo, File)BEIRUT (AP) — Teenagers carrying weapons stand at checkpoints and busy intersections in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Patched onto the left arms of their black uniforms are the logos of the Islamic Police.
 
 

Iraqi forces say retake two towns from Islamic State

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎04:32:06 PMGo to full article
By Saif Hameed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces said on Sunday they retook two towns north of Baghdad from Islamic State fighters, driving them from strongholds they had held for months and clearing a main road from the capital to Iran. There was no independent confirmation that the army, Shi'ite militia and Kurdish peshmerga forces had completely retaken Jalawla and Saadiya, about 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad. Many residents fled the violence long ago. At least 23 peshmerga and militia fighters were killed and dozens were wounded in Sunday's fighting, medical and army sources said. ...
 

Central London rail station evacuated after fire, nobody hurt

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:32:35 PMGo to full article
LONDON (Reuters) - One of London's busiest railway stations, Charing Cross, was evacuated on Sunday after a fire caused by a suspected electrical fault, the British Transport Police (BTP) said. The incident generated a lot of traffic on social media, in part because Britain raised its terrorism alert in August to the second-highest level, saying Islamist militants operating in Syria and Iraq posed the biggest security threat. Pictures from the scene showed part of a stationary passenger train on fire with a crowd looking on. ...
 

Putin says Russia not isolated over Ukraine, blames West for frosty ties

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎03:05:34 PMGo to full article
Russian President Putin chairs a meeting of the Security Council at the Kremlin in MoscowBy Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin blamed the West for worsening relations with Russia since the Ukraine crisis and said Moscow would not allow itself to become internationally isolated behind another 'Iron Curtain'. In an interview published by state news agency TASS on Sunday, Putin also said Western sanctions against Moscow, combined with the slide in the rouble and oil price falls would have no "catastrophic consequences" on Russia's economy. ...
 
 

Why UK Officials Believe Terrorism Threat in Britain Is Greater Than Ever Before

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:30:00 PMGo to full article
Why UK Officials Believe Terrorism Threat in Britain Is Greater Than Ever BeforeIn perhaps her most stark message yet, British Home Secretary Theresa May warned that Britain is facing its greatest terrorism threat in its history."When the security and intelligence agencies tell us that the threat we face is now more dangerous than at any time before or since 9/11, we should take notice," May said today during a news conference in which she was laying out plans on the government's new counter-terrorism and security bill set to be introduced this week. ...
 
 

Islamic State has lured 550 Germans into fighting: spy agency

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:17:32 PMGo to full article
A member loyal to the ISIL waves an ISIL flag in RaqqaBERLIN (Reuters) - The number of Germans fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq has increased sharply to 550 and around 180 have returned, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday. "We are concerned about the high number of departures. Especially in the last six weeks, it has risen further," Hans-Georg Maassen told Welt am Sonntag. "By now we are counting 550 people, that is how many have left Germany to go to Syria and Iraq," he added. The previous number was 450 people. ...
 
 

Iraqi premier, US look to aid Islamic State battle

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎01:03:02 PMGo to full article
An Islamic State group fighter loads a mortar shell during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Iraqi soldiers backed by Sunni fighters launched a major operation Saturday to retake a section of the city of Ramadi seized by Islamic State group militants, an official and residents said. (AP Photo)BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group focused their offensive Sunday on the city of Ramadi, backed by Sunni tribal fighters that the U.S. plans to arm.
 
 

Official: 60 extremist backers from Germany dead

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:41:54 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this June 11, 2013 file picture he head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency Hans-Georg Maassen. attends a news conference in Berlin. Maassen says authorities now know of 550 people from the country who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join extremist groups, and about 60 of them have died. The number given by Hans-Georg Maassen in an interview with Sunday’s Nov. 23, 2014 Welt am Sonntag newspaper is up from the figure of 450 authorities previously used. (AP Photo/dpa, Stephanie Pilick,file)BERLIN (AP) — The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency says authorities now know of 550 people from the country who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join extremist groups, and about 60 of them have died.
 
 

For many young British Muslims tug of peace is stronger than pull of war

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:14:00 PMGo to full article
Waseem Iqbal poses for a photograph in BirminghamFrom an office in Britain's second largest city, Waseem Iqbal and a friend are planning a trip to the Middle East. Iqbal, 27, chose charity work not violence. "How do you save innocents in Syria? Iqbal knows others who have taken a different path.
 
 

Insight: For many young British Muslims tug of peace is stronger than pull of war

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:13:27 PMGo to full article
Waseem Iqbal poses for a photograph in BirminghamBy Ahmed Aboulenein BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - For some British Muslims, the path to jihad and the path to peaceful aid work can traverse much of the same terrain. From an office in Britain's second largest city, Waseem Iqbal and a friend are planning a trip to the Middle East. In Jordan, they will bring food packages for Syrian refugees. Iqbal, 27, chose charity work not violence. "How do you save innocents in Syria? By going into a war zone and getting yourself killed? Or by... bringing people water pumps, schools and food packages? This is what saves innocents," he said. ...
 
 

Officials say car bomb kills 7 people in Iraq

 
‎23 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎11:03:04 AMGo to full article
Iraqi Shiite fighters with the Peace Brigades search a taxi before open-air Friday prayers in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)BAGHDAD (AP) — Authorities in Iraq say a car bomb explosion at an outdoor market south of Baghdad has killed seven people.
 
 

Obama approves fresh guidelines for U.S. military in Afghanistan

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:09:22 PMGo to full article
U.S. soldiers line up to meet U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel before he departs from Kabul International AirportWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has approved plans giving U.S. military commanders broader authority in helping Afghanistan forces repel Taliban fighters after U.S. and NATO combat operations formally end in December, a senior administration official said. The decision, made in recent weeks, will allow U.S. forces to carry out limited missions against the Taliban seen as necessary to protect Americans and support Afghanistan's security forces. ...
 
 

U.S. plans to arm Iraq's Sunni tribesmen with AK-47s, RPGs, mortars

 
‎22 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:03:31 PMGo to full article
Tribal fighters take part in a military training to prepare for fighting against Islamic State militants, in AnbarBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States plans to buy arms for Sunni tribesmen in Iraq including AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds to help bolster the battle against Islamic State militants in Anbar province, according to a Pentagon document prepared for Congress. The plan to spend $24.1 million represents a small fraction of the larger, $1.6 billion spending request to Congress focusing on training and arming Iraqi and Kurdish forces. ...

 

Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defence

 

 

 

 

France at the UN warns N. Korea over nuclear threat

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
United Nations, United States (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
France warned North Korea on Monday that it would likely face more UN sanctions if it follows through on threats to carry out a nuclear test. North Korea has reacted angrily to a UN resolution condemning its human rights record and calling on the Security Council to refer Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Pyongyang has said it felt no need to refr
 

Iran nuclear deal deadline extended to July 1

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Vienna (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
Iran and world powers missed a Monday deadline to clinch a landmark nuclear deal and defuse a 12-year standoff but gave themselves seven more months to reach agreement. The failure followed an intensive five-day diplomatic push in the Austrian capital Vienna involving the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. But US Secretary of State J
 

China blasts 'irresponsible' US comments on island project

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
Beijing on Monday dismissed as "irresponsible" US criticism of its construction of an artificial island reportedly large enough for an airstrip in a disputed section of the South China Sea. The statement by China's foreign ministry came after a US military spokesman urged Beijing to stop what it described as a vast land reclamation project on the Spratly Islands. The island chain, which
 

The fear and the chaos of a missile attack in east Ukraine

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Donetsk, Ukraine (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
There was a blinding flash, then complete darkness and thick clouds of dust. A missile had just hit Ivan Balabanov's house in rebel-held east Ukraine. Stunned, Ivan groped around in the pitch black to find his flashlight. His ears ringing from the explosion, he took a few seconds to regain his senses and remember what was around him. He remembered he was in one room with his daughte
 

French shipbuilder DCNS creates Australian subsidiary

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Nov 24, 2014
French shipbuilder and naval defense firm DCNS has opened a subsidiary in Australia in a bid to win a contract to replace Australia's Collins-class submarines. The creation of DCNS Australia Pty Ltd was marked with a ceremony attended by not only Herve Guillou, chief executive officer of DCNS Group but also by Australian Defense Minister David Johnston. "I am very pleased to offi
 

Frontrunners emerge for top Pentagon job

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
A pair of frontrunners have emerged to take charge at the Pentagon after President Barack Obama announced the departure of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. If former under-secretary Michele Flournoy gets the nod, she would be the first woman to hold the role, and neither she nor former deputy secretary Ashton Carter have served in uniform. Now working as policy academics, Flournoy and Cart
 

Brazil, Russia in talks on air defense system

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Brasilia, Brazil (UPI) Nov 24, 2014
Brazilian and Russian military officials have been talking medium-range air defense systems. The Brazilian Ministry of Defense reports the talks took place in Brazil last week and were conducted by delegations led by Brig. Gershon Machado, head of Logistics at the Ministry of Defense and Gen. Sergei Babakov, commander of the anti-aircraft missile troops of the Russian Air Force.
 

Lockheed Martin UK opens F-35 software simulation facility

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Ampthill, England (UPI) Nov 24, 2014
Lockheed Martin UK has opened a simulation facility for pilots and engineers of F-35 Lightning II fighters assess the aircraft's mission system and software. "By simulating battle scenarios, users are able to get a realistic understanding of how the F-35B will operate," the company said. "The virtual cockpits, networked together to emulate multi aircraft operations, allow military perso
 

Offsets may delay Korea's decision on buying aerial refulers

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Seoul (UPI) Nov 24, 2014
South Korea may delay an acquisition decision on a billion-dollar project to equip its armed forces with four aerial refueling aircraft. According to Chosun Ilbo, selection by South Korea of one of three aircraft types was scheduled for next month but may now take place next February. "It seems that the plan to choose the model in December will be delayed because offset deals off
 

Global conundrum

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (UPI) Nov 23, 2014
Global disarray coupled with the decline of superpower USA are flip sides of the same coin. The Republican victory in the mid-term elections was not a resounding triumph for internationalism coupled with U.S. defense superiority. A dysfunctional Congress, where many of the new Republicans are neo-isolationists who give priority to rebuilding America's decaying infrastructure, and an iso
 

Iran president says nuclear deal will be done

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Tehran (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that a nuclear deal with world powers would be done despite a missed deadline in Vienna that prompted a seven-month extension in talks. He also pledged that Iran would not give up its nuclear programme and insisted that seeking an accord with the West had not damaged its progress. "This path of negotiation will reach a final agreement," Rouhani
 

Cyberspying tool could have US, British origins

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
A sophisticated cybersespionage tool has been stealing information from governments and businesses since 2008, researchers said Monday, and one report linked it to US and British intelligence. The security firm Symantec identified the malware, known as Regin, and said it was used "in systematic spying campaigns against a range of international targets," including governments, businesses, r
 

Pentagon chief Hagel out as IS war heats up

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
President Barack Obama announced the departure of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday, with the White House under fire over perceived fumbling in its response to the Islamic State threat. The former Republican senator, who has been in the job for less than two years, was chosen to oversee a shift to a peacetime military with smaller defense budgets, but found the United States at war
 

Baghdad car bomb kills at least 10: officials

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
A car bomb exploded in a crowded Shiite-majority area of the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing at least 10 people and wounding at least 31, security and medical officials said. The blast in the Shaab area of northern Baghdad struck an area where minibuses gather near a market. There was no immediate claim for the blast, but the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, which frequently targets m
 

Sagem demos drone for use in civilian airspace

 
‎25 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎05:38:16 AMGo to full article
Boulogne, France (UPI) Nov 24, 2014
European technology company Sagem has conducted test flights of its Patroller to demonstrate safe use of drones in civilian airspace. About 20 flights were conducted between late October and early November near the city of Toulouse, France, with the French air navigation and safety agency, DSNA, the laboratory run by the national civil aviation school ENAC, and Rockwell Collins France t
 

Last chance saloon for Iran nuclear talks

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Vienna (AFP) Nov 24, 2014
Time runs out Monday for the biggest chance in years to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff, as Tehran and world powers make a final push for a deal but with a risky extension looking likely. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the P5+1) have been locked in talks with Iran for months, seeking to turn an interim deal that expires at midnight (2300 GMT) on Monda
 

China's Xi wraps up Pacific talks with Fiji aid boost

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Suva, Fiji (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
Chinese President Xi Jinping injected a further 70 million yuan (US$11.4 million) of aid money into Fiji as he wrapped up a round of talks in the Pacific nation Sunday aimed at strengthening ties in the region. In a stopover following the Group of 20 summit in Australia, Xi held talks with Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and seven other island nation leaders who form the nucleus of
 

Sudan rebels claim raids on Blue Nile army bases

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Khartoum (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
Sudanese rebels said Sunday they attacked two military bases in war-torn Blue Nile state, days after attending a round of peace talks with the government. The Sudan Peoples Liberation Army-North raided the bases in Blue Nile last week "in retaliation for the aerial bombardment" of two towns, SPLA-N spokesman Arnu Lodi said in a statement. Fighting flared in the state last month after the
 

China defence minister brushes off fears over military growth

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) Nov 21, 2014
China's defence minister on Friday sought to soothe concerns over the country's growing armed forces, saying its military modernisation is rooted in both past humiliations and a present need to combat threats including terrorism. "The remarkable growth of China's comprehensive national power, and the continued progress in national defence modernisation, have become a focus of international a
 

World powers discuss extending Iran deal deadline

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Vienna (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
World powers and Iran began discussing late Sunday whether more time is needed to reach a nuclear deal, a US official said, as they struggled to overcome major gaps barely 24 hours before a deadline. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the P5+1) have been locked in talks with Iran for months to turn an interim deal struck in Geneva that expires on Monday into a
 

Albania opens Hoxha's top secret Cold War nuclear bunker to public

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Tirana (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
The massive, top secret Cold War nuclear bunker of former Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha was opened to the public on Saturday, decades after it was built by the paranoid communist regime fearing an attack by the West that never came. The ex-dictator's bed, covered with a red mattress, is still in place in his bunker bedroom, with a Soviet-era radio placed on his bedside table. During Hox
 

Lockheed advancing technologies for U.S. Navy

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Moorestown, N.J. (UPI) Nov 21, 2014
A new Lockheed Martin facility - the Surface Navy Innovation Center - has been opened to support development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. Lockheed said the center in New Jersey will bring together industry, government and academia and foster the design of next-generation capabilities for surface vessels to counter evolving threats. "The SNIC establishes a community sp
 

US delivers anti-mortar radars to Ukraine: Pentagon

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Nov 21, 2014
The US military has delivered three radars to Ukraine designed to detect incoming mortar fire, the Pentagon said Friday, amid appeals from Kiev for Washington to send weapons to help fight pro-Russian rebels. The counter-mortar radar systems were flown to Ukraine in a C-17 cargo plane that accompanied US Vice President Joe Biden, who paid a visit to Kiev on the first anniversary of protests
 

UN airlifts winter aid to desperate Iraqis

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Geneva (AFP) Nov 21, 2014
The UN said Friday it had begun airlifting tent isolation kits into Iraq to help some of the around two million people displaced in the conflict-torn country get through the harsh winter. The United Nations' refugee agency said the first of seven planned flights from Pakistan had touched down in Erbil in the northern Kurdish region late Thursday. The flight was carrying 3,600 tent insula
 

N.Korea warns of 'catastrophic consequences' over UN rights ruling

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
North Korea's top military body warned Sunday of "catastrophic consequences" for supporters of a UN resolution censuring its human rights record, as state media reported its leader presiding over a fresh military exercise. A resolution urging the United Nations Security Council to refer the North's leadership to the International Criminal Court for possible charges of "crimes against humanit
 

Biden leaves Turkey without breakthrough on Syria

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Istanbul (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
US Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday wrapped up a key visit to Turkey without a breakthrough on military cooperation in the Syrian crisis but with officials confident the talks brought their positions closer. During his three-day trip to Istanbul, Biden held several hours of talks with both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the crises created by th
 

Iraq sentences Sunni ex-MP to death for murder

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎12:25:46 AMGo to full article
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
An Iraqi court sentenced former Sunni MP Ahmed al-Alwani to death on Sunday for murder, a verdict that could damage Baghdad's ties with a powerful tribe that is battling jihadists. "The central criminal court sentenced Ahmed al-Alwani to death... for his killing of two soldiers," judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar told AFP, without saying when the murders took place. He has a month