Latest Middle East News

Report: Foreign aid lost in Syria exchange rate distortions

Oct. 22, 2021 13:30 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad's government has diverted at least $100 million in hard currency from international aid money to state coffers over the past two years, benefiting from variations in exchange rates, according to new research. The currency...

Evacuation flights for migrants start again in Libya

Oct. 22, 2021 13:25 PM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — The United Nations said on Friday that it has resumed humanitarian evacuation flights for migrants stranded in Libya after authorities suspended them for several months. The announcement comes after a massive crackdown on migrants by Libyan security forces. ...

UN: Syria constitution drafting process 'big disappointment'

Oct. 22, 2021 12:59 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — The first round of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition to draft constitutional reforms in Geneva ended in disappointment and no new date has been set for the next meeting, the United Nations envoy for Syria said Friday. The talks...

Israel outlaws Palestinian rights groups, alleging terrorism

Oct. 22, 2021 12:38 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Friday effectively outlawed six prominent Palestinian human rights groups by declaring them terrorist organizations, in a major escalation of its decades-long crackdown on political activism in the occupied territories. The declaration...

EU to keep fighting Belarus's "weaponization" of migrants

Oct. 22, 2021 12:32 PM EDT

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders pledged on Friday to “keep up the pressure" on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to halt the flow of migrants from his country and raised the prospect of new sanctions amid calls by some bloc members to build walls and fences to thwart new...

Orthodox Church's top patriarch to visit US, meet with Biden

Oct. 22, 2021 12:31 PM EDT

The spiritual leader of the world’s 200 million Eastern Orthodox Christians brings an agenda spanning religious, political and environmental issues to a 12-day U.S. visit beginning Saturday that includes a meeting with President Joe Biden and various ceremonial and interfaith gatherings. ...

France urges Iran to curb nuclear activity, resume talks

Oct. 22, 2021 12:10 PM EDT

PARIS (AP) — France on Friday urged Iran to curb nuclear activities of “unprecedented gravity” as U.S. and European envoys met to discuss efforts aimed at reviving the troubled 2015 Iran nuclear deal. U.S. envoy Robert Malley joined counterparts from France, Britain...

Limbo in a blue tent: African asylum-seekers stuck on Cyprus

Oct. 22, 2021 12:02 PM EDT

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — It seems a strange place to pitch a tent. Plump in the middle of the United Nations-patrolled buffer zone that has divided Cyprus along ethnic lines since 1974, in the heart of the island's medieval capital, two Cameroonian asylum-seekers have...

Russia's Putin hosts Israeli PM Bennett

Oct. 22, 2021 11:41 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope on Friday that new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett would continue in the footsteps of his predecessor in maintaining close and “trusting" relations with his country. After talks at Putin's lush Black...

Hamtramck in Detroit area is latest facing lead in water

Oct. 22, 2021 10:06 AM EDT

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — Another Michigan city is giving filters to residents as a result of high lead results in some drinking water samples. Hamtramck, in the Detroit area, is a 2-square-mile (5.2-square-kilometer) city with 28,000 residents, many of them immigrants...