Latest Middle East News

Ultra-Orthodox Jews argue with Israeli border police officers during a protest over the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, in Ashdod, Israel, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. As he seeks re-election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned to a straightforward strategy: Count on the rock-solid support of his ultra-Orthodox political allies and stamp out the coronavirus pandemic with one of the world’s most aggressive vaccination campaigns. But with ultra-Orthodox communities openly flouting safety guidelines and violently clashing with police trying to enforce them, this marriage of convenience is turning into a burden. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Ultra-Orthodox unrest threatens Netanyahu re-election hopes

Jan. 28, 2021 1:07 AM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — As he seeks reelection, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned to a straightforward strategy: Count on the rock-solid support of his ultra-Orthodox political allies and stamp out the coronavirus pandemic with one of the world’s most aggressive vaccination campaigns....

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday,  Jan. 27, 2021. (Carlos Barria/Pool Photo via AP)

Biden pauses Trump policies as Blinken takes diplomatic helm

Jan. 28, 2021 12:37 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration paused or put under review a wide swath of Trump-era foreign policies as America’s new top diplomat took the helm of the State Department. The administration placed at least temporarily holds on several big-ticket arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and...

Survey suggests link between corruption, corona response

Jan. 28, 2021 12:01 AM EST

BERLIN (AP) — Countries with the least corruption have been best positioned to weather the health and economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a closely-watched annual study released Thursday by an anti-graft organization. Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption...

Today in History

Jan. 28, 2021 12:00 AM EST

Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2021. There are 337 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa...

Security patrol outside the Pullman Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, July 6, 2020. Health officials in New Zealand say Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, that genome tests indicate the country's most recent COVID-19 patient contracted the virus from another returning traveler just before leaving quarantine. (Peter Meecham/New Zealand Herald via AP)

The Latest: More rules for returning New Zealand travelers

Jan. 27, 2021 11:54 PM EST

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Travelers returning to New Zealand will face stricter rules at quarantine hotels as health authorities investigate how up to three people got infected with the coronavirus while isolating at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel. The people were released before testing positive and...

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday,  Jan. 27, 2021. (Carlos Barria/Pool Photo via AP)

Biden pauses Trump policies as Blinken takes diplomatic helm

Jan. 27, 2021 10:04 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday paused or put under review a wide swath of Trump-era foreign policies as America’s new top diplomat took the helm of the State Department. The administration placed at least temporarily holds on several big-ticket arms sales to the United Arab...

Russia envoy: US and Russia need to start strategic dialogue

Jan. 27, 2021 9:42 PM EST

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia hopes the success of extending the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control treaty will give a new boost to re-starting a strategic dialogue between Moscow and the Biden administration, Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador said Wednesday. Dmitry Polyansky told a press briefing...

United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Biden's pick for UN post calls China 'a strategic adversary'

Jan. 27, 2021 7:43 PM EST

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Linda Thomas-Greenfield called China “a strategic adversary” that threatens the world and expressed regret at a Senate hearing Wednesday on her nomination as United Nations ambassador for a speech she gave in 2019 that praised China’s initiatives in Africa and...

UN panel: Yemen's war being fueled by economic profiteering

Jan. 27, 2021 4:58 PM EST

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Economic profiteering is fueling the catastrophe in Yemen, where a six-year war has involved attacks on civilians, forced disappearances and other violations of human rights and international law, U.N. experts said in a new report. The experts estimate Houthi rebels diverted at least...

Lebanese women wear masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. Lebanon, a country of nearly 5 million and over 1 million refugees, is going through an unprecedented economic crisis that preceded the pandemic and restrictions imposed to combat it. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Protesters in Lebanon clash with police over virus lockdown

Jan. 27, 2021 3:36 PM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese security forces opened fire in violent clashes Wednesday with dozens of protesters who took to the street in the country’s north for a third consecutive day to denounce deteriorating living conditions amid a strict lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. At least...