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FILE - In this July 25, 2006, file photo, Lebanese refugees at the Syrian-Lebanese border crossing at Jdaidet Yabous talk with their relatives in Lebanon through mobile phones provided free by Syrian telecommunication company Syriatel. The unprecedented public crackdown on Syria's wealthiest businessman Rami Makhlouf, a close cousin of Bashar Assad, comes as the embattled president seeks to consolidate power and rein in war profiteers. Syria is preparing for a new phase of economic hardship and U.S.-led sanctions that some say might be more difficult to weather than war. (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi, File)

Syria's Assad seeks to control economy, goes after cousin

Jun. 4, 2020 3:39 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — On a summer day last year, presidential guards drove out of the charity organization founded by Syria’s wealthiest businessman and a close cousin of President Bashar Assad, carting away boxes of documents and computers. At the same time, the charity’s director was being...

FILE - In this May 12, 2020 file, photo, Yemeni medical workers wearing masks and protective gear stand at the entrance of a hospital in Aden, Yemen. The international aid group Doctors Without Borders has reported a spike of deaths and infections from coronavirus, including health workers at a facility it runs in Aden. Residents of Aden had previously said several hospitals shut their doors as medical staffers feared contracting the virus while lacking protective equipment. (AP Photo/Wail al-Qubaty, File)

UN: Yemen programs fighting virus might stop by end of June

Jun. 3, 2020 10:47 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — The United Nations warned Wednesday its programs to fight the coronavirus and stave off starvation for hundreds of thousands of children in war-torn Yemen will be severely cut or stopped altogether by the end of the month unless donor countries provide an immediate injection of cash. The U.N....

In this May 21, 2020, photo, grave diggers bury a body at Radwan Cemetery in Aden, Yemen. At a cemetery in Yemen’s largest southern city, dozens of fresh graves are a testament to a spike in deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic. The cemetery workers who bury them don’t know what killed the newly deceased. But there’s no denying that there's been an increasing number of people getting sick in the port city of Aden — likely from the coronavirus. (AP Photo)

UN appeal for urgent Yemen aid falls $1B short amid virus

Jun. 2, 2020 2:48 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A United Nations appeal Tuesday for countries to fund emergency aid in Yemen, where more than five years of war have collapsed the country's health care system, raised $1.35 billion — a billion dollars short of what aid agencies needed. The amount raised is also...

225 VIPs urge world powers to adopt $2.5 trillion COVID plan

Jun. 1, 2020 11:14 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — More than 225 current and former global VIPs urged the world’s 20 major economic powers on Monday to hold an urgent meeting to agree to a $2.5 trillion plan to tackle COVID-19 and launch an economic recovery from the pandemic, especially for hard-hit developing and...

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters for the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen. Aid organizations are making an urgent plea for donations to shore up their operations in war-torn Yemen, saying they’ve already been forced to stop some of their work even as the coronavirus rips through the country. The calls for funds come ahead of a UN donor conference, hosted virtually by Saudi Arabia, scheduled to take place Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

UN forced to cut aid to Yemen, even as virus increases need

Jun. 1, 2020 2:05 PM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — Aid organizations are making an urgent plea for funding to shore up their operations in war-torn Yemen, saying they have already been forced to stop some of their work even as the coronavirus rips through the country. Some 75% of U.N. programs in Yemen have had to shut their doors or reduce...

People enjoy the fresh air on benches along Juarez Avenue in central Mexico City, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Mexico's capital plans to reopen certain sectors of the economy and public life beginning Monday, despite the city still being in the most serious

The Latest: S. Korea pushes QR registration for risky venues

May. 31, 2020 10:48 PM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — Cases steadily rising around South Korean capital....

A man, wearing a mask to protect against coronavirus, attends a rally to support for potential presidential candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, May 31, 2020. A human rights group in Belarus says more than 30 people have been detained amid demonstrations against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko running for another term. The presidential campaign is underway in Belarus despite the coronavirus outbreak after the parliament and government refused to postpone the election scheduled for August 9. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

DC mayor: We have to be concerned about virus rebound

May. 31, 2020 6:05 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — In hindsight, Rosa Jimenez Cano realizes that attending a protest against police brutality was risky — and not just for the usual reasons. “This can be kind of a tinderbox for COVID," the 39-year-old venture capitalist said after attending a demonstration in Florida, one of many...

A muslim man pray next to the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city, Sunday, May 31, 2020.The Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, reopened early Sunday, following weeks of closure aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Mosques reopen in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem amid virus woes

May. 31, 2020 12:52 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Tens of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia reopened Sunday for the first time in more than two months, with worshipers ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as Islam's holiest site in Mecca remained closed to the public. The...

FILE - In this March 7, 2020, file photo, workers disinfect the ground around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which emptied Islam's holiest site for what they say sterilization over fears of the new coronavirus. The Islamic State group in an audio message released late Thursday, May 28, 2020, blasted Iraq’s new prime minister, calling him an “American agent” and criticizing the closure of Islam’s holiest shrine in the Saudi holy city of Mecca to limit the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

IS blasts Iraq PM as American agent, calls for more attacks

May. 29, 2020 8:54 AM EDT

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group in an audio message blasted Iraq’s new prime minister, calling him an “American agent,” and criticized the closure of Islam’s holiest shrine in the Saudi holy city of Mecca to limit the spread of coronavirus. In the message allegedly read...

In this May 21, 2020, photo, grave diggers bury a body at Radwan Cemetery in Aden, Yemen. At a cemetery in Yemen’s largest southern city, dozens of fresh graves are a testament to a spike in deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic. The cemetery workers who bury them don’t know what killed the newly deceased. But there’s no denying that there's been an increasing number of people getting sick in the port city of Aden — likely from the coronavirus. (AP Photo)

The Latest: UN urges $2.4 billion in aid for war-torn Yemen

May. 29, 2020 1:31 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — UN urgently appeals for $2.4 billion to help Yemen cope...