Middle East

  • UN demands evacuation of Syrian civilians in Homs
    Untitled 2012-06-18 00:07:45 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — The head of the U.N. observers' mission in Syria demanded Sunday that warring parties allow the evacuation of women, children, elderly and sick people endangered by fighting in the besieged city of Homs and other combat zones. Maj. Gen. Robert Mood said the observers had been try...

  • As Egypt votes on president, military shows power
    Untitled 2012-06-18 00:02:49 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — As Egyptians voted in a second day of elections for a successor to Hosni Mubarak, the ruling military issued an interim constitution Sunday defining the new president's authorities, a move that sharpened the confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood and showed how the generals will m...

  • UN observers in Syria suspend operations
    690dd121-26c4-4ec1-9c9b-bec791504ede_cx0_cy6_cw0_w800_r1 2012-06-16 18:55:01 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. observers in Syria suspended their activities and patrols Saturday because of escalating violence in the country, the head of the mission said, the strongest sign yet that an international peace plan for Syria is disintegrating. Maj. Gen. Robert Mood said rising bloodshed ov...

  • Saudi heir's death opens door to younger voices
    Saudi_heir's_death_opens_door_to_younger_voices_ 2012-06-16 18:45:25 UTC
    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — For the second time in less than a year, Saudi Arabia was thrown into the process of naming a new heir to the country's 88-year-old king following the death Saturday of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz. That forces a potentially pivotal decision: Whether to bring a...

  • Egypt votes to choose successor to Hosni Mubarak
    Xpm104_1498018e 2012-06-16 08:57:57 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Faced with a choice between Hosni Mubarak's ex-prime minister and an Islamist candidate, Egyptians voted Saturday in a presidential runoff the outcome of which will mean the difference between installing a remnant of the old regime and bringing Islam into government. The race betw...

  • Egypt's Brotherhood pins hopes on presidency
    Image 2012-06-15 18:19:42 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — On the eve of Egypt's presidential run-off election, the Muslim Brotherhood tried Friday to salvage its hopes for leadership, urging voters to back its candidate after it lost its political stronghold with the dissolving of parliament. Instead of calling for mass protests, the Bro...

  • Syria observer chief says violence derails mission
    Maj._gen._robert_mood_told_reporters_in_damascus__the_syrian_capital 2012-06-15 18:14:49 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — The head of the U.N. observers in Syria said Friday a spike in bloodshed is derailing the mission to monitor and defuse more than a year of violence, raising questions about how effective the unarmed force can be in a conflict that every day looks more like a civil war. The troub...

  • Egypt court dissolves Islamist-led parliament
    6ecdbe53-97a4-401c-8201-bbe73341b5c5 2012-06-15 07:09:19 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Judges appointed by Hosni Mubarak dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament Thursday and ruled his former prime minister eligible for the presidential runoff election this weekend — setting the stage for the military and remnants of the old regime to stay in power. The political...

  • Smell of death greets UN monitors in Syrian town
    Image 2012-06-15 07:00:37 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Smoldering buildings, looted shops, smashed cars and a strong stench of death greeted U.N. observers who entered the nearly deserted Syrian town of Haffa on Thursday, a day after President Bashar Assad's forces overran it as part of a major offensive to recover rebel-controlled terr...

  • UN observers enter mountainous enclave in Syria
    Un_observers_enter_mountainous_enclave_in_syria_ 2012-06-14 16:46:01 UTC
    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A team of United Nations observers entered the Syrian town of Haffa Thursday after government troops overran the area near the Mediterranean coast, seizing the territory back from rebels after battles that raged for eight days. The visit came hours after a suicide bomber...

  • Syria: Car bomb explodes in Damascus suburb
    Syria-bomb-800 2012-06-14 07:58:21 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — A car bomb exploded Thursday in a Damascus suburb that is home to a popular Shiite Muslim shrine, wounding at least two people, Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported, while activists said regime troops continued shelling rebellious areas in central Homs province. It was not...

  • 50 aid groups demand Israel lift Gaza blockade
    50_aid_groups_demand_israel_lift_gaza_blockade_ 2012-06-14 07:16:44 UTC
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Fifty international aid groups and U.N. agencies have called on Israel to lift its Gaza border blockade, saying it violates international law. Israel began restricting access to Gaza after Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier in 2006. It tightened the blocka...

  • Obama gives Medal of Freedom to Israel's Peres
    Obama_gives_medal_of_freedom_to_israel's_peres_ 2012-06-14 02:09:37 UTC
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama presented Israeli President Shimon Peres with the Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, calling him the essence of Israel itself and a man who earned his place in history long ago. Obama said Peres, who served twice as Israel's prime minister and won the Nobel...

  • Syria claims it has retaken rebellious village
    Syria_claims_it_has_retaken_rebellious_village_ 2012-06-13 17:28:27 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian forces pushed out scores of rebels holed up in a rebellious area near the Mediterranean coast Wednesday and state television said they retook control of the region following eight days of fierce shelling and clashes. The mountainous Haffa region is one of several areas whe...

  • UN team sees massacre site in Syrian village
    Article-2155668-137ebe52000005dc-399_634x419 2012-06-12 21:10:18 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. observers could smell the stench of burned corpses Friday and saw body parts scattered around a Syrian farming hamlet that was the site of a massacre this week in which nearly 80 men, women and children were reported slain. The scene held evidence of a "horrific crime," a U.N. ...

  • US accuses Syria of new tactics, fears massacre
    City_of_homs__syria 2012-06-12 06:57:15 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — The United States accused the Syrian government of using "new horrific tactics" Monday, as U.N. observers reported Syrian helicopters were firing on rebellious areas and concerns mounted that civilians were trapped in besieged cities. Violence in Syria has spiked in recent weeks,...

  • Health of Egypt's Mubarak deteriorates in prison
    Mobarak 2012-06-12 06:30:15 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Hosni Mubarak's health worsened Monday, with doctors twice having to use a defibrillator on the imprisoned former leader, adding to the tumult in Egypt before this weekend's runoff election for president. Mubarak, 84, was slipping in and out of consciousness, was suffering from hi...

  • Iran's Ahmadinejad wounded but wily in final year
    Untitled 2012-06-11 15:59:59 UTC
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's president hardly seemed like a fading political force at a security summit in Beijing last week. Leaders from China and Russia carved out time to hold private talks with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and gave him center stage to unleash his pet theories about the u...

  • Annan 'gravely concerned' about Syria amid clashes
    Untitled 2012-06-11 15:54:13 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — International envoy Kofi Annan said Monday he was "gravely concerned" about the latest violence in Syria, citing shelling of opposition areas in Homs and reports of mortar, helicopter and tank attacks near the coast. In a statement, Annan said there was an escalation of fighting ...

  • Doctors twice use defibrillator on Egypt's Mubarak
    Untitled 2012-06-11 18:40:11 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Doctors used a defibrillator twice on Hosni Mubarak when they could not find a pulse Monday, the latest health crisis for the ousted Egyptian president since he was sentenced to life and moved to a prison hospital nine days ago, security officials said. The officials said the 84-y...

  • Military: Syria chemical stocks threaten Israel
    Untitled 2012-06-11 07:01:23 UTC
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's deputy military chief has warned that Syria's large chemical weapons stocks could be trained on Israel. According to Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, Syria has the largest arsenal of chemical weapons in the world. If the Syrians had the chance, he said, they would "treat us the ...

  • Rebels battle in Assad stronghold of Damascus
    Untitled 2012-06-10 02:33:24 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Bullets and shrapnel shells smashed into homes in the Syrian capital of Damascus overnight as troops battled rebels in the streets, a show of boldness for rebels taking their fight against President Bashar Assad to the center of his power. For nearly 12 hours of fighting that las...

  • UN team gets 1st look at scene of Syria massacre
    Diaal 2012-06-08 19:26:31 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. monitors on Friday got their first direct look at a farming village where nearly 80 men, women and children were reportedly killed earlier this week in the latest massacre in Syria, saying they found body parts and damaged homes. Also Friday, explosions echoed over Damascus ...

  • Syrian troops bomb rebel-held neighborhood in Homs
    120608_syria_2 2012-06-08 19:00:04 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Explosions echoed over Damascus on Friday as Syrian troops clashed with rebels in some of the heaviest fighting yet in the capital in the 15-month uprising against President Bashar Assad. Troops also unleashed a heavy assault to retake a rebel-held neighborhood in a central flashpoi...

  • Annan wants new strategy to end Syria conflict
    Kofi_annan_jpg 2012-06-07 21:01:35 UTC
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. diplomats say international envoy Kofi Annan is urging the divided Security Council to unite and act immediately to pressure the Syrian government to implement his peace plan and keep the escalating conflict from spiraling out of control. The diplomats said Annan tol...