Middle East
Latest stories
Former Journalist Elected Israel's Labor Leader

Former TV journalist Shelly Yacimovitch who was elected as head of Israel's Labor, beating former union boss Amir Peretz, on Thursday urged Israelis to join her in rebuilding the country.

The 51-year-old secured 56 percent of the vote in a run-off contest on Wednesday, compared with 46 percent for Peretz, leaving her to take the helm of the ailing party, according to official results published early on Thursday.

W140 Full Story
Palestinians Say Security Council Has Time to Mull U.N. Bid

The Palestinians are prepared to give the U.N. Security Council time to consider their bid for U.N. membership for a Palestinian state, a top Palestinian official said Wednesday.

President Mahmoud Abbas will give "some time to the Security Council to consider first our full membership request before heading to the General Assembly," Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath told reporters.

W140 Full Story
U.S. Bahrain Nominee Urges Kingdom against 'Repression'

U.S. President Barack Obama's pick to be ambassador to Bahrain said Wednesday that the kingdom should respond to unrest there "not through repression, but through genuine reform and reconciliation."

"Political reform and respect for human rights are vital to Bahrain's stability and to the protection of U.S. interests in the region," Thomas Krajeski told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a confirmation hearing.

W140 Full Story
Gadhafi Forces Shell Oasis, Casualties

Dozens of people were killed and wounded when pro-Gadhafi forces shelled the al-Jufra oasis town of Hun, southwest of Tripoli, witnesses told Agence France Presse in the Libyan capital on Wednesday.

"There are dozens of people killed and wounded in the town and we cannot reach them because of the fierce bombardment," one witness told AFP by telephone.

W140 Full Story
Tunisia Army Destroys Anti-Aircraft Unit Near Algeria Border

The Tunisian army on Wednesday destroyed a convoy that included vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns in a remote southern region near the Algerian border, the defense ministry said.

"A helicopter destroyed seven out of the nine vehicles spotted by an aerial patrol on Wednesday at 05:00 GMT," ministry spokesman Haykel Bouzouita said.

W140 Full Story
EU to Slap New Sanctions on Syria as Death Toll Rises

Snipers and security forces killed 14 civilians Wednesday across Syria, the Syrian Revolution General Commission said, as the EU announced plans to slap new sanctions on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The latest bloodletting came as U.S. President Barack Obama called on the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria in a speech at the General Assembly in New York.

W140 Full Story
Sarkozy Urges U.N. to Admit Palestine as Non-Member State

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Wednesday on the United Nations to admit Palestine as a non-member state, upgrading its status as simple observer but opposing a Palestinian bid for full membership.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Sarkozy also called for "one year to reach a definitive agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians, saying the usual U.S.-led peace process should not bypass European, Arab or other countries.

W140 Full Story
Gulf Mediator Leaves Yemen Empty-handed

The Gulf Cooperation Council chief left Yemen empty-handed Wednesday, saying political rivals there are not yet ready to reach an agreement, state news agency Saba said, as fighting raged in Sanaa.

"GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayani and his accompanying convoy left Sanaa today," reported Saba.

W140 Full Story
Obama Says No 'Short Cut' to Middle East Peace

U.S. President Barack Obama stressed Wednesday there is no "short cut" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians as he sought to head off a showdown over a Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Obama made the Middle East conflict the center point of his speech before he was due to hold crucial meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the diplomatic conflict.

W140 Full Story
Obama Calls for U.N. Sanctions on Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for U.N. Security Council sanctions on Syria, saying there was no excuse for inaction when people were being “tortured and murdered” by their government.

"For the sake of Syria -- and the peace and security of the world -- we must speak with one voice. Now is the time for the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime, and to stand with the Syrian people," Obama told the United Nations General Assembly.

W140 Full Story