Latest Middle East News

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov, right, fights with Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, La., during a lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 242 in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Nurmagomedov will risk his unbeaten record and his UFC lightweight title against interim champion Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled, File)

Champion Khabib returns to cage, faces Gaethje at UFC 254

Oct. 23, 2020 2:14 AM EDT

Although Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn't been inside the UFC octagon in 13 months, the life and mind of the unbeaten lightweight champion have been fully occupied. He was scheduled to take on Tony Ferguson in April in the culmination of their epic fighting feud, but he couldn't get out of Russia due to the coronavirus...

People shop for clothing at the used-clothes market in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.  Iraq is in the throes of an unprecedented liquidity crisis, as the cash-strapped state wrestles to pay public sector salaries and import essential goods while oil prices remain dangerously low. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Bloated public salaries at heart of Iraq's economic woes

Oct. 23, 2020 2:04 AM EDT

BAGHDAD (AP) — Long-time Iraqi civil servant Qusay Abdul-Amma panicked when his monthly salary was delayed. Days of waiting turned to weeks. He defaulted on rent and other bills. A graphic designer for the Health Ministry, he uses about half his salary to pay his rent of nearly 450,000 Iraqi dinars a...

Israel strikes Gaza after Palestinian militants fire rockets

Oct. 23, 2020 1:28 AM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Friday it launched overnight airstrikes in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants fired two rockets, with no reports of casualties or major damage on either side. The military said fighter jets and other aircraft struck a weapons manufacturing site and...

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2020, file photo an election worker pulls a stack of returned ballots from a sorting machine at the King County Elections office Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Renton, Wash. U.S. officials said Thursday, Oct. 22, that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

US: Russian hackers targeting state, local networks

Oct. 23, 2020 1:23 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. The warning, less than two weeks before the election, amplified fears of the potential for tampering...

Members of the festival organizing team at the Kali Bari Hindu temple pray via live transmission on the first day of Durga Puja celebrations in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Most of the festival festivities are being scaled down following the health officials warning about the potential for the coronavirus to spread during the religious festival season, which is marked by huge gatherings in temples and shopping districts. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The Latest: UN chief urges G20 to unite on coronavirus fight

Oct. 22, 2020 10:24 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. chief says it’s “very frustrating” that leaders of the 20 major industrialized nations didn’t come together in March and establish a coordinated response to grapple with the coronavirus in all countries as he proposed. The result, he says, is every...

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2020, file photo an election worker pulls a stack of returned ballots from a sorting machine at the King County Elections office Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Renton, Wash. U.S. officials said Thursday, Oct. 22, that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

US: Russian hackers targeting state, local networks

Oct. 22, 2020 8:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said Thursday that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. The warning, less than two weeks before the election, amplified fears of the potential for...

Israeli military: Gaza militants fire 2 rockets into Israel

Oct. 22, 2020 4:37 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a pair of rockets into southern Israel on Thursday night, the Israeli military announced, saying that its air-defense system intercepted one of the projectiles while the second fell in an open area. It was the second rocket attack this week...

In this photo released on May, 20, 2019 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, listens to Damascus Mufti Adnan Afiouni, right, at an Islamic center, in Damascus, Syria. Mufti Afiouni who played a key role in government deals with rebel fighters, was killed on Thursday Oct. 22, 2020 by an explosion in the town of Qudsaya, west of Damascus, Syria, when a roadside bomb exploded near him, according to state media and a government site. (SANA via AP)

Report: Bombing kills Syrian cleric key to deals with rebels

Oct. 22, 2020 4:24 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A roadside bombing on Thursday killed a senior Syrian cleric who played a key role in government deals with rebel fighters, according to Syrian state media and a government website. The explosion that killed Damascus Mufti Mohammed Adnan Afiouni took place in the town of Qudsaya,...

Ethnic Armenian soldiers fire an artillery piece at a fighting position on the front line, during a military conflict against Azerbaijan's armed forces in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Armenia's prime minister has urged citizens to sign up as military volunteers to help defend the country amid the conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh as intense fighting has raged for a fourth week with no sign of abating. (Sipan Gyulumyan, Armenian Defense Ministry Press office/ PAN Photo via AP)

Nagorno-Karabakh fighting raises threat of escalation

Oct. 22, 2020 3:56 PM EDT

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. Speaking in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that according to the...

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2020 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stands with Sudanese Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the ruling sovereign council, in Khartoum, Sudan. Officials in Sudan confirmed that a senior U.S.-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan on a private jet Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, and met with Burhan and others to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel this year. (Sudanese Cabinet via AP, File)

Sudanese officials: Diplomatic deal with Israel is near

Oct. 22, 2020 3:33 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Sudanese officials confirmed on Thursday that a senior U.S.-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan on a private jet this week to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel this year. Such a deal would deepen Sudan’s engagement with the West...