Middle East


Turkey charges 20 Saudis over Khashoggi murder Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

ISTANBUL, (AFP): Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday charged 20 suspects including two former top aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal 2018 murder of Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi. Prosecutors accuse Saudi Arabia's deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and the royal..

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Pompeo slashes aid, meets Taliban on surprise Afghan mission Monday, March 23rd, 2020

KABUL, (AFP): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slashed aid to Afghanistan's government after a mission to Kabul failed to bridge a divide between feuding leaders as he moved forward with the Taliban on a deal to pull troops. Pompeo made the surprise trip in hopes of reviving a landmark..

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Iran frees French researcher in apparent prisoner swap Saturday, March 21st, 2020

TEHRAN, (AFP): French researcher Roland Marchal returned to Paris on Saturday after being imprisoned in Iran for over nine months, after France released an Iranian threatened with extradition to the US. "Roland hs returned," his support group announced in a short message. A supporter told AFP..

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Iraq names new PM as rockets hit base hosting foreign troops Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

BAGHDAD, (AFP): Iraq's president on Tuesday named pro-Western lawmaker Adnan Zurfi, a former Najaf city governor, as the next prime minister, tasked with ruling a country hit by military unrest, street protests and the coronavirus outbreak. The nomination came hours after two rockets hit an Iraqi..

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Netanyahu rival Gantz chosen to form new Israeli government Sunday, March 15th, 2020

By ARON HELLER, JERUSALEM (AP): Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz will be given the first opportunity to form a new government, the country’s president said Sunday, raising questions about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future following an inconclusive national election..

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Taliban reject Afghan offer to free 1,500 prisoners before talks Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

DOHA, (AFP): The Taliban rejected the Afghan government's attempt to resolve a spiralling crisis over the release of insurgent prisoners Wednesday, as Kabul warned it was ready to resume offensive battlefield operations. The decree issued earlier by President Ashraf Ghani had raised hopes that..

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Saudis’ arrest of 2 princes called a warning to royal family Sunday, March 8th, 2020

By AYA BATRAWY, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP): Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was shown in state media Sunday in apparent good health and working, just days after the arrest of two senior princes triggered speculation about a possible coup attempt or a sudden deterioration in the king’s..

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Indicted Netanyahu claims victory in Israel vote Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Jerusalem, (AFP): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel's general election on Monday, with exit polls putting the indicted premier in a strong position to form the next government. The election, Israel's third in less than a year, was called after inconclusive votes in April..

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US, Taliban sign deal aimed at ending war in Afghanistan Saturday, February 29th, 2020

By MATTHEW LEE and KATHY GANNON, DOHA, Qatar (AP): The United States signed a peace agreement with Taliban militants on Saturday aimed at bringing an end to 18 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan and allowing U.S. troops to return home from America’s longest war. Under the agreement, the U.S...

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Afghanistan’s future in the balance as US, Taliban sign deal Friday, February 28th, 2020

DOHA, (AFP): Washington and the Taliban are set to sign a long-sought deal in Doha on Saturday that would see the two foes agree to the withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan in return for insurgent guarantees. The agreement, which could herald the start of a new era for Afghanistan..

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Netanyahu corruption trial to begin weeks after March 2 vote Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

By TIA GOLDENBERG, JERUSALEM (AP): The corruption trial for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin March 17, just two weeks after national elections are held, a court said Tuesday. The surprise announcement immediately shook up the final stretch of the contentious election campaign,..

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Syrian chopper downed over rebel area, killing crew Friday, February 14th, 2020

DAMASCUS, (AFP): A Syrian military helicopter was shot down over the last major rebel bastion in northwest Syria on Friday, the second such incident in a week of high tensions with Turkey. The attack in a region where Turkish troops and Russian-backed government forces have engaged in multiple..

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Iran says counting down to launch new satellite Sunday, February 9th, 2020

TEHRAN, (AFP): Iran started counting down Sunday to the launch within hours of a scientific observation satellite that is part of a programme the United States has previously described as a "provocation". The arch foes have appeared to be on the brink of an all-out confrontation twice in the past..

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Al-Qaida in Yemen claims deadly Florida naval base shooting Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

By SAMY MAGDY, CAIRO (AP): Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen claimed responsibility Sunday for last year’s deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola by an aviation student from Saudi Arabia. The shooter, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was a member of the Saudi Air Force in training at..

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Brain injuries in Iraq put attention on invisible war wounds Thursday, January 30th, 2020

By ROBERT BURNS, WASHINGTON (AP): The spotlight on brain injuries suffered by American troops in Iraq this month is an example of America’s episodic attention to this invisible war wound, which has affected hundreds of thousands over the past two decades but is not yet fully understood. Unlike..

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Palestinians protest against Trump’s Mideast peace plan Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

RAMALLAH, West Bank, (AFP): The Israeli army announced an increased presence in the West Bank and near Gaza Wednesday evening, as US President Donald Trump's controversial peace plan sparked outrage among Palestinians. The plan, seen as overwhelmingly supportive of Israeli goals and drafted with..

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Three rockets hit US embassy in protest-hit Iraqi capital Sunday, January 26th, 2020

BAGHDAD, (AFP): Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq's capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country. The attack marked a dangerous escalation in the spree of rocket attacks in recent..

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What Trump Needs To Say Friday, April 3rd, 2020

Recently, a reporter at the daily White House coronavirus briefing asked US President Donald Trump what he would say to his fearful fellow citizens. Here is what..