Middle East

  • Egypt presidential candidate blasts Islamist MP
    Egyptian-presidential-deb-005 2012-05-14 20:43:29 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — A leading Egyptian presidential candidate lashed out Monday at an Islamist lawmaker who accused him of graft, treating voters to a new spectacle in an already unprecedentedly heated campaign. These are the first competitive presidential elections in the country's modern history, a...

  • Palestinian prisoners agree to end hunger strike
    6a00d8341c630a53ef0167667d2804970b-600wi 2012-05-14 20:23:18 UTC
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners agreed to halt a weekslong hunger strike on Monday in exchange for promises of better conditions, ending a standoff that left several participants clinging to life and drew thousands of Palestinians to the streets in shows of solidarity. The P...

  • Gulf states delay decisions on closer ties
    Un_panel_accuses_saudi_arabia_of_'repression'_of_activists 2012-05-14 19:41:36 UTC
    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Gulf Arab states said Monday they would delay any decisions on proposals for closer political and security ties, showing possible signs of internal discord over measures portrayed as potential shields against regional rival Iran and pro-reform challenges inspired by th...

  • Syrian unrest spills into Lebanon for 3rd day
    Untitled 2012-05-14 19:38:13 UTC
    TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — Firing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Lebanese gunmen clashed in street battles Monday as sectarian tensions linked to the 14-month-old uprising in Syria bled across the border for a third day. At least five people have been killed and 100 wounded in Leba...

  • AP Exclusive: Drawing focuses on Iran's nuke work
    Protesters_in_iran_shouted_%e2%80%9ckhamenei__shame_on_you__leave_the_country_alone%22 2012-05-13 19:13:53 UTC
    VIENNA (AP) — A drawing based on information from inside an Iranian military site shows an explosives containment chamber of the type needed for nuclear arms-related tests that U.N. inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted there. Iran denies such testing and has neither confirmed nor denied the ex...

  • Israel envoy meets with Palestinian president
    Abbas 2012-05-12 23:48:54 UTC
    JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli envoy met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday and delivered a letter from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayahu detailing his government's stance on stalled peace negotiations. Yitzhak Molcho held talks with Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the...

  • Syrian opposition chief: Peace plan in 'crisis'
    Syria_04 2012-05-11 17:55:56 UTC
    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian opposition leader said Friday that President Bashar Assad's regime is trying to destroy a U.N.-brokered peace plan for the country. The accusations came as security forces fanned out following twin suicide car bombings that killed 55 people in Damascus. The bomb...

  • Attacker in Afghan uniform kills US service member
    Afghanistan_gree_20120423072750_320_240 2012-05-11 16:54:44 UTC
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A man wearing an Afghan army uniform shot dead a U.S. service member in the east of the country, one of two NATO troops killed on Friday, military officials said. The Taliban took credit for the attack. It was the 15th incident this year in which Afghan soldiers or in...

  • Israeli president hospitalized for hernia
    Untitled 2012-05-11 16:46:22 UTC
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli President Shimon Peres' office says the 88-year-old is "feeling well" after undergoing surgery Friday for a hernia discovered during his state visit to Canada earlier in the week Peres spokesman Ayelet Frisch says that the hernia was discovered halfway through the pres...

  • Iran: Top Ayatollah Issues Death Fatwa On “Apostate” Rapper…
    376658-shahinnajafi-1336617913-697-640x480 2012-05-10 17:54:55 UTC
    (Al Arabiya) — Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, a Shi’ite cleric based in the holy Iranian city of Qom, has issued a death sentence against rap artist Shahin Najafi for apostasy, the Persian-language Al Arabiya website reported on Wednesday. The sentence was issued after Najafi released a controver...

  • Suicide bombers strike Syrian capital, killing 55
    4fabbee5c525f.image 2012-05-10 15:29:48 UTC
    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Two suicide car bombs ripped through the Syrian capital Thursday, killing 55 people and tearing the facade off a military intelligence building in the deadliest explosions since the country's uprising began 14 months ago, the Interior Ministry said. Residents told an Ass...

  • Blast near UN car shows fragility of Syria truce
    628x471 2012-05-09 18:00:01 UTC
    DARAA, Syria (AP) — A roadside bomb hit a Syrian military truck Wednesday just seconds after the head of the U.N. observer team drove by, demonstrating the fragility of the international plan to end the country's bloodshed. In Washington, meanwhile, President Barack Obama took steps to extend ...

  • Women accuse Egyptian military of sexual assault
    Untitled 2012-05-09 14:43:48 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Women detainees and rights groups have accused Egyptian troops and prison authorities of sexual assault in the latest crackdown on demonstrations. More than a dozen women were detained among some 300 protesters following a demonstration outside the Defense Ministry in Cairo last w...

  • Annan warns Syria at risk of civil war
    Former_un_secretary-general_kofi_annan_dies_aged_80 2012-05-08 18:21:11 UTC
    GENEVA (AP) — World powers share a "profound concern" that Syria is descending into civil war, international envoy Kofi Annan said Tuesday, but nations remain committed to his six-point peace plan and have pledged to deploy 300 cease-fire monitors there by the end of the month. He warned, howe...

  • Syria tallies ballots from parliament elections
    Syria 2012-05-08 09:30:06 UTC
    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria said counting was under way Tuesday after parliamentary elections that the opposition boycotted and the U.S. described as bordering on ludicrous. Monday's election for the 250-member parliament is unlikely to change the trajectory of the revolt in Syria, which has ...

  • Bahrain opens review of activist convictions
    Bahrain-peace 2012-05-08 09:25:08 UTC
    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A defense lawyer says a civilian court in Bahrain has begun proceedings to re-examine convictions against a jailed hunger striker and 20 other activists. Lawyer Hasan Radhi says 11 defendants appeared in court Tuesday, but hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and another ...

  • In surprise deal, Israeli leader cancels electio
    628x471 2012-05-08 09:13:02 UTC
    JERUSALEM (AP) — In a stunning reversal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called off early elections Tuesday after reaching an agreement to bring Israel's main opposition party into the government, a move that puts a more moderate face on his hawkish coalition. The deal to include the centris...

  • Syrians vote in election dismissed as a sham
    134-frv7c.aust.55 2012-05-07 20:09:58 UTC
    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrians voted in parliamentary elections Monday that the government praised as a milestone in promised political reforms, but the opposition boycotted the polls and said they were designed to strengthen President Bashar Assad's grip on power. The fact the regime and the ...

  • US, EU urge Iran to ease world nuclear concerns
    Iran_urges_west_to_dismantle_its_nuclear_weapons_before_any_missile_talks 2012-05-07 19:07:27 UTC
    VIENNA (AP) — The United States and Europe urged Iran on Monday to use upcoming talks with world powers to ease international worry that it may be aiming to develop nuclear arms, but Tehran said such concerns were based on "fake evidence" concocted to cause it political and economic harm. The ...

  • UAE squeezes Islamist group on Arab Spring fringe
    Sap-co-ceo-meets-ruler-of-ras-al-khaimah 2012-05-07 18:52:21 UTC
    RAS AL-KHAIMAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Morning prayers had just ended. Worshippers streamed out, squinting into the rising sun and paying no attention to the knot of men wearing the traditional white robes of the Gulf standing nearby. "Can we talk?" one of the men said as they surrounded ...

  • Palestinian prisoners on mass hunger strike
    20124179828637734_20 2012-05-07 16:04:37 UTC
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A bearded Islamist who lived on liquids and minerals for 66 days to protest his open-ended incarceration in Israel, winning his freedom, has inspired more than 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners to follow him, putting pressure on Israel. The prisoners who have joined ...

  • New video of US aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan
    Us_film_studio_'the_weinstein_company'_to_file_for_bankruptcy 2012-05-07 18:30:13 UTC
    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A 70-year-old American aid worker kidnapped nine months ago in Pakistan said in a video released by al-Qaida that he will be killed unless President Barack Obama agrees to the militant group's demands. The White House called for his immediate release. The video posted on milit...

  • 5 killed in Syria's increasingly restive Aleppo
    628x471-1 2012-05-05 20:32:42 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — A bomb struck a car wash Saturday in Aleppo, killing at least five people, a day after government troops opened fire to break up large protests against a violent university raid in Syria's largest city. Aleppo, an important economic hub, has largely stayed out of the revolt again...

  • Rights group urges Libya to revoke speech law
    Pb-110912-libya-rs-1.photoblog900 2012-05-05 16:20:32 UTC
    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The New-York based Human Rights Watch has urged the new government in Libya to revoke a law that criminalizes those glorifying the former dictator Moammar Gadhafi or spreading "propaganda" that insults or endangers the state. The group said Saturday that the law passed ea...

  • Hundreds held after Egypt Defense Ministry clash
    628x471 2012-05-05 15:54:07 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Military prosecutors ordered the detention of 300 protesters on accusations of attacking troops and disrupting public order during violent clashes outside Egypt's Defense Ministry, a prosecution official said Saturday. The Friday clashes were some of the worst near the headquarter...