The head of the Arab League said Wednesday that Arabs were angry and frustrated and "the name of the game is reform" — a call lent urgency by turmoil of recent days, when a corrupt regime was overthrown in Tunisia and several people died in anti-government riots in Egypt.
Arab League's Secretary-General Amr Moussa, who is Egyptian, spoke to reporters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where a panel of Mideast economic experts convened separately to tackle the same question — and generally agreed the region needs better education, more transparent regimes, and cleverer business strategies.Full Story
At least 1,000 people have been detained in Egypt since Tuesday, in the most serious protests against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-rule, a security official said on Thursday, as activists vowed to continue rallying.
"At least 1,000 people have been detained around the country since the demonstrations started," on Tuesday, the official told Agence France Presse.Full Story
An explosion likely caused by a methane gas buildup ripped through an underground coal mine in Colombia during a shift change Wednesday, killing 21 workers, officials said. A similar fatal blast occurred at the same mine four years ago.
Five of the victims died at the mine's entrance and by afternoon two bodies had been removed from the mine with another 14 left to recover, said the provincial Colombian Red Cross director, Johel Enrique Rodriguez.Full Story
Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati on Wednesday said that forming a technocrat government is "one of the options, but it's not the only one."
In an interview on OTV, Miqati noted that he will not bind himself to a deadline in forming Lebanon's new Cabinet.Full Story
Jo Shapcott has been named as the surprise winner of Britain's Costa Book of the Year award for her slim volume of poetry in part inspired by a battle against breast cancer.
It is the second year in a row that poetry has picked up the 30,000-pound (47,000-dollar, 35,000-euro) honor and commentators said the result was evidence of a "renaissance" in the genre's fortunes.Full Story
Oil prices hovered near $86 a barrel Wednesday in Asia, consolidating losses after falling more than 4 percent in less than a week on mixed economic news and the possibility of increased OPEC production.
Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 26 cents at $86.45 a barrel at early afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.68 to settle at $86.19 on Tuesday.Full Story
Pleading for unity in a newly divided government, President Barack Obama implored Democratic and Republican lawmakers to rally behind his vision of economic revival for an anxious nation, declaring in his State of the Union address Tuesday night: "We will move forward together or not at all."
The president unveiled an agenda of carefully balanced political goals: a burst of spending on education, research, technology and transportation to make the nation more competitive, alongside pledges, in the strongest terms of his presidency, to cut the deficit and smack down spending deemed wasteful to America. Yet he never explained how he'd pull that off or what specifically would be cut.Full Story
Protests turned violent on Tuesday in Lebanon's Sunni bastion of Tripoli as frenzied demonstrators torched an Al-Jazeera van while protesting the likely appointment of a Hizbullah-backed premier.
Angry demonstrators set upon the vehicle, smashing the windshield and tearing down the satellite dish before setting it on fire.Full Story
The invites haven't been sent yet — but some European royals seem to have been given a quiet tap on the shoulder.
The crown prince of Serbia and ex-King Michael of Romania say they're among the hundreds of privileged guests expected at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London on April 29.Full Story
Verizon Communications Inc. on Tuesday said it attracted more than half a million smart-phone subscribers in the latest quarter, showing strength even before it starts selling the iPhone in February.
Verizon Wireless added 872,000 subscribers on contract-based plans, well above analyst expectations of about 650,000. Contract-based subscribers are the most lucrative, and Verizon said three-quarters of the new subscribers bought smart phones, which come with added data fees.Full Story