Middle East
Latest stories
War Leaves 16 Million Yemenis without Clean Water, Says Oxfam

Almost two-thirds of the population of war-torn Yemen have no access to clean water, two months into the Saudi-led air campaign against rebel forces, relief agency Oxfam said Tuesday.

"Ongoing air strikes, ground fighting and fuel shortages mean that an additional three million Yemenis are now without drinking water, raising the total number of Yemenis without a clean water supply and sanitation to at least 16 million," the Britain-based organization said.

W140 Full Story
Australian Mother Abandons Children to Join IS

A Sydney mother has abandoned her two children and fled to Syria for a new life under the Islamic State group, media reported Tuesday, becoming one of more than 100 Australians who have joined the jihadists.

The Australian government said it was deeply disturbed by the report and that it was monitoring the situation closely.

W140 Full Story
Morocco Jails Three for Homosexuality

Three Moroccan men accused of homosexuality have been sentenced to three years in jail each by a court in northeastern Morocco, a rights group said on Monday.

Homosexuality and sexual relations outside marriage are forbidden in the conservative North African nation. 

W140 Full Story
Biden Tries to Smooth Iraq Ties after Pentagon Outburst

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Monday sought to end an embarrassing rift between Washington and Baghdad after Pentagon boss Ash Carter blamed Iraqi forces for the fall of Ramadi.

The White House said Biden called Iraqi's prime minister Haider al-Abadi, just hours after the U.S. Defense Secretary's suggested the Islamic State group won control of the city because "Iraqi forces showed no will to fight."

W140 Full Story
Libya Tribal Chiefs Meet in Cairo Peace Initiative

A four-day meeting of Libyan tribal leaders opened Monday in Egypt which is exploring ways to unite warring parties and bring peace to its oil-rich neighbor.

Those attending the conference at a Cairo hotel were members of tribes that back the internationally recognized government based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.

W140 Full Story
Alleged UAE Killer of American 'Aware of Her Actions'

An Emirati woman on trial over two alleged jihad-inspired attacks against Americans, including killing a teacher, was aware of her actions the court said Monday, citing a medical report.

Alaa Bader al-Hashemi is on trial at the Federal Supreme Court on charges of stabbing to death mother-of-three Ibolya Ryan, 47, in a shopping mall washroom in the UAE capital.

W140 Full Story
Netanyahu Taps Diplomat Gold for Key Foreign Role

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday named Dore Gold, a seasoned diplomat seen as reluctant to make concessions to the Palestinians, as his director general of foreign affairs.

Gold was an adviser to Netanyahu after he first took office in 1996. Israel's ambassador to the UN from 1997-1999, he also advised former premier Ariel Sharon.

W140 Full Story
Mystery Blast in Syria Regime Bastion Latakia Kills 4

At least four people were killed in a blast in the Syrian government stronghold of Latakia on Monday, but there were conflicting reports about what caused the explosion.

It comes amid heightened fears of attacks in the coastal region after a rebel alliance that includes the al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Nusra Front last month seized Jisr al-Shughur in neighboring Idlib province.

W140 Full Story
5 African Migrants Drown in Egypt Boat Raid

Five African migrants drowned on Monday after jumping into the Mediterranean as Egyptian coastguards raided a boat heading towards Italy, security officials said.

Twenty-five people, including the owner and crew of the vessel, were arrested after the raid on the boat near the city of Kafr al-Sheikh.

W140 Full Story
Saudi Shiites Hold Mass Funeral for Bombing Victims

Tens of thousands of Saudi Shiites gathered Monday for a mass funeral for the victims of a mosque bombing authorities called an attempt by Sunni extremists to sow sectarian strife.

Mourners from the kingdom's minority crowded the streets in the mainly Shiite Qatif district of Eastern Province to show their respect for the 21 dead, who included two children.

W140 Full Story