Latest Middle East News

South Korea faces potential WCup qualifier in North Korea

Jul. 18, 2019 3:49 AM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean men's national soccer team's path to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will include a crucial road match against North Korea, but it's unclear whether a rare match between the Koreas in Pyongyang will materialize considering the political tension between the rivals....

Norway holds Muslim cleric for 4 weeks after Italy trial

Jul. 18, 2019 3:34 AM EDT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Norwegian court has ordered an Iraqi-born Muslim cleric held in custody for four weeks after he was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Italy for terror offenses. The Oslo District Court said Wednesday there is a risk that Mullah Krekar could flee. Norwegian broadcaster NRK said...

Turkey calls on US to reverse decision on F-35 exclusion

Jul. 18, 2019 3:21 AM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Washington's decision to exclude Turkey from an American-led fighter jet program goes against the "spirit of alliance," the Turkish government said Thursday, and called on its NATO ally to reverse the decision. In a major break with a longtime ally, U.S. President Donald Trump's...

House votes to block sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia

Jul. 18, 2019 3:10 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is heading for a showdown with President Donald Trump after the House voted on Wednesday to block his administration from selling billions of dollars in weapons and maintenance support to Saudi Arabia. Trump, who has sought to forge closer ties with Riyadh, has pledged to veto...

Bitcoin craze hits Iran as US sanctions squeeze weak economy

Jul. 18, 2019 2:05 AM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranians feeling the squeeze from U.S. sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's ailing economy are increasingly turning to such digital currencies as Bitcoin to make money, prompting alarm in and out of the country. In Iran, some government officials worry that the energy-hungry...

L. Bruce Laingen, top US diplomat held in Iran, dies at 96

Jul. 18, 2019 12:33 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — L. Bruce Laingen, the top American diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran when it was overrun by Iranian protesters in 1979 and one of 52 Americans held hostage for more than a year, has died. He was 96. His son Chip Laingen told The Associated Press that his father died Monday of...

US sets tight travel limitations for Iran's UN diplomats

Jul. 17, 2019 8:42 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. is tightly limiting travel by Iranian officials visiting or assigned to the United Nations, sparking concern from the world body. Representatives to the U.N. from Iran and some other countries have long had some limitations on their movements. But the new rules for Iranians...

Janet, Chris Brown, 50 Cent to perform at Saudi concert

Jul. 17, 2019 5:29 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Janet Jackson, Chris Brown, 50 Cent, Future and Tyga have been added to the lineup for the Jeddah World Fest, the concert in Saudi Arabia that Nicki Minaj pulled out of because of human rights concerns. The website for the event, to take place Thursday at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium,...

US kicking NATO ally Turkey out of fighter program

Jul. 17, 2019 4:46 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major break with a longtime ally, the Trump administration on Wednesday said Turkey is being kicked out of an American-led fighter aircraft program because it is buying a Russian air defense system that would aid Russian intelligence. The decision has significant implications for the...

Editorials from around New York

Jul. 17, 2019 4:42 PM EDT

Recent editorials of statewide and national interest from New York's newspapers: Follow the Emiratis' lead, out of Yemen The New York Times, July 15 The conflict in Yemen is unwinnable, dangerous for the region and remarkably cruel. So the drawdown of troops by the United Arab Emirates, the biggest outside ground...