Latest stories
Nepal Devastation a 'Wake-up Call' for Vulnerable Region

Nepal's earthquake should act as a wake-up call to neighboring countries which have failed to learn lessons from their own disasters and where shoddy construction and rapid urbanization could lead to death on an even greater scale next time round, experts say.

Given its location on a seismic faultline, another major earthquake had long been feared in the Himalayan nation following a disaster in 1934 that flattened much of the capital Kathmandu.

W140 Full Story
Shadow of Saddam Lives On in Iraq

Dozens of Iraqis crowding a Baghdad street fought to glimpse the red-haired man in a glass coffin, hoping to witness the end of a long-feared member of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The furore over the dead man -- who might be Saddam's deputy Izzat al-Duri, though his identity has still not been determined -- is yet another sign of the influence the dictator exercises in Iraq more than 12 years after his overthrow.

W140 Full Story
Islamic State or Al-Qaida? Somalia's Shebab Mulls Future

Somalia's Shebab militants are divided over whether to maintain their allegiance to Al-Qaida or shift to Islamic State, according to militant and security sources, analysts and clan elders.

The division comes at a time when Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has become the jihadist franchise of choice, attracting fighters from abroad and other militant groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, while Al-Qaida too has recently expanded its territory in Yemen.

W140 Full Story
AP Analysis: Tough Iran Talk _ but Chances for Nuke Deal

As Iran nuclear talks go into the home stretch, top officials in Tehran are digging in on positions that appear set to doom the negotiations to failure. But Iran seems ready to blink when it serves its negotiating strategy, which may bode well for a deal.

The sides on Wednesday began negotiating the last phases of a deal that would lift sanctions on Iran if it agrees to long-term curbs on its nuclear program. They wouldn't have gotten there without compromises by both Washington and Tehran.

W140 Full Story
Saudi-Iran Rivalry over Yemen Deepens Mideast Sectarianism

Saudi Arabia's government insists it is not at war with Iran despite its three-week air campaign against Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen, but the kingdom's powerful clerics, and its regional rival's theocratic government, are increasingly presenting the conflict as part of a region-wide battle for the soul of Islam.

The toxic rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran is playing out on the battlefields of Yemen and Syria, and in the dysfunctional politics of Iraq and Lebanon, with each side resorting to sectarian rhetoric. Iran and its allies refer to all of their opponents as terrorists and extremists, while Saudi Arabian clerics speak of a regional Persian menace.

W140 Full Story
Saudi Policy after Decisive Storm Compels Recalculations by Regional Players

The Saudi-led coalition's air strikes and a possible ground invasion of Yemen to defend President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi from Huthi rebels transcend the achievements that the conflicting parties would make in the battlefield. Their importance lies in the recalculations that the region's players would make after the operation that was launched by Riyadh last month.

The move of Saudi Arabia and its allies against the Shiite rebels was a form of “revolution” in the policies of Riyadh and Gulf countries amid the turmoil in the region and against the expansion of Iranian influence in more than one state.

W140 Full Story
Middle East Political Rivalries Stoke Dangerous Sectarianism

Across the Middle East, fierce rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran is heightening sectarian tensions, even in conflicts that analysts say are primarily political.

Riyadh and Tehran adhere to different branches of Islam and have often backed members of their own sect in regional conflicts.

W140 Full Story
With No Space to Grow, West Bank Refugees Look Upwards

Nael al-Sharif is working on an extension to his property in the Jalazon refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But he is not building outwards -- instead he's expanding upwards.

In many of the Palestinian camps, which have evolved down the decades into densely populated areas teeming with narrow alleyways, families that cannot afford to buy new land simply add floors to existing property.

W140 Full Story
Unlike Arab Neighbours, Oman Sees Friend in Tehran

Iran's ties with its Arab neighbors across the Gulf have long been strained but one nation -- Oman -- has carved out a unique and potentially crucial relationship with Tehran.

From Syria and Iraq and now the conflict in Yemen, Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia have vied with Shiite Iran for influence in the Gulf and the greater Middle East.

W140 Full Story
Iran Deal Leaves Major Questions Unresolved

The framework nuclear deal sealed by world powers and Iran leaves major questions: Could Iran cheat? Possibly. Would the U.S or anyone else be able to respond in time? In theory, yes. Are they prepared to use military force? Questionable.

Would a final deal settle global fears about Iran's intentions? Almost surely, no.

W140 Full Story