Amnesty International urged incoming Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi on Friday to break the cycle of abuse under Hosni Mubarak and put the country on the path to the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Since the 2011 uprising that ousted the former president, "Egyptians have heard many promises that their demands would be listened to and that things would change, but so far their hopes have largely been frustrated," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary general.Full Story
The chief U.S. and Russian diplomats scrambled on Friday to save a peace plan for Syria in the face of 11th-hour objections but encouraging noises from Moscow on an international conference on the conflict.
Ahead of a key meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the foreign ministry in Moscow gave a cautious but positive assessment of the conference.Full Story
A criminal court on Thursday jailed for 15 years each a former Mubarak-era cabinet minister and a businessman for selling Israel natural gas below market value, a judicial source said.
"The Cairo criminal court sentenced former oil minister Sameh Fahmi and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem to 15 years in prison each over the (Israel) gas deal," the source told AFP.Full Story
Russia on Friday called the upcoming Geneva talks on Syria a "positive step" despite fears that the meeting might not go ahead because of disagreements and Moscow's anger at the absence of Iran.
"On the whole, we view the upcoming meeting in Geneva as a positive step in a search for a way to broaden and strengthen the basis of an international consensus," the Russian foreign ministry said in reference to Saturday's meeting.Full Story
Jordanian pro-reform demonstrators marched on Friday to salute Islamist Mohamed Morsi, "son of the Brothers," on the eve of his swearing-in as Egypt's first democratically elected civilian president.
"Congratulations to Egypt. The revolt has won," read one banner carried by more than 1,000 opposition Islamists and other members of political parties who marched in central Amman.Full Story
One person was killed and three wounded in a dawn attack Friday against the regional headquarters of the paramilitary police in the center of the Algerian town of Ouargla, the police said.
According to initial reports cited by the APS news agency, the attack was carried out "by a terrorist who sought to break into the headquarters building in his vehicle, after an exchange of fire with gendarmes."Full Story
The head of the supreme military council of the rebel Free Syrian Army said on Friday that Syrian troops were massing near the Turkish border amid tensions since Syria's downing of a Turkish jet last week.
"There are military units massing 15 kilometers or slightly more (10 miles), from the Turkish border, in the northern region" of Syria, Mustafa al-Sheikh told Agence France Presse by telephone.Full Story
Islamist Mohammed Morsi paid tribute on Friday to Egypt's Muslims and Christians alike and symbolically swore himself in as the country's first elected civilian president before a huge crowd at Tahrir Square.
Crowds had thronged the square from early in the day ahead of the president-elect's appearance on the eve of his official swearing-in.Full Story
Gunmen shot dead four anti-Qaida militiamen in central Iraq on Friday, while a roadside bomb killed an Iraqi soldier, security and medical officials said.
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Khan Bani Saad, south of the city of Baquba, killing four Sahwa militiamen and wounding four others, a militia commander said on condition of anonymity, adding that the attackers were able to escape.Full Story
Israel has finished evacuating some 30 settler families from an illegal West Bank outpost, encountering little resistance, police and the military said Friday.
The Ulpana outpost was evacuated in two phases, with the second set of families leaving Thursday night. Police say residents left peacefully, but 15 settlers from outside Ulpana barricaded themselves inside one apartment to protest the eviction.Full Story