Latest Middle East News

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2010, file photo, the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is seen with U.S., RFE/RL and the Czech Republic flags in the foreground in Prague. The heads of three federally-funded international broadcasters were abruptly fired late Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, as the Biden administration completed a house-cleaning of Donald Trump appointees at the U.S. Agency for Global Media. Two officials familiar with the changes said the acting chief of the USAGM summarily dismissed the directors of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks just a month after they had been named to the posts. (Michal Kamaryt/CTK via AP, File)

More heads roll at US-funded international broadcasters

Jan. 23, 2021 1:42 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The heads of three federally funded international broadcasters were abruptly fired late Friday as the Biden administration completed a house-cleaning of Donald Trump-appointees at the U.S. Agency for Global Media. Two officials familiar with the changes said the acting chief of the USAGM...

A medical staffer takes care of COVID-19 patients at the intensive care unit of the Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Hospitals in Lebanon are reaching full capacity amid a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases across the crisis-hit Mediterranean nation even amid strict lockdown. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Top Lebanese hospitals fight exhausting battle against virus

Jan. 23, 2021 12:28 AM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — Death stalks the corridors of Beirut's Rafik Hariri University Hospital, where losing multiple patients in one day to COVID-19 has become the new normal. On Friday, the mood among the staff was even more solemn as a young woman lost the battle with the virus. There was silence as the woman,...

Today in History

Jan. 23, 2021 12:00 AM EST

Today in History Today is Saturday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2021. There are 342 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 23, 2020, Chinese state media said the city of Wuhan would be shutting down outbound flights and trains, trying to halt the spread of a new virus that had...

Tourists party on a yacht in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Since becoming one of the world's first destinations to open up for tourism, Dubai has promoted itself as the ideal pandemic vacation spot. With peak tourism season in full swing, coronavirus infections are surging to unprecedented heights, with daily case counts nearly tripling in the past month, but in the face of a growing economic crisis, the city won't lock down and can't afford to stand still. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Denmark suspends Dubai flights amid doubts over virus tests

Jan. 22, 2021 11:17 PM EST

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable, authorities announced Friday. The development, which comes amid a surge of...

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, greets Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist as he arrives at the Pentagon, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Austin wins Senate confirmation as 1st Black Pentagon chief

Jan. 22, 2021 5:07 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate who rose to the Army's elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, won Senate confirmation Friday to become the nation's first Black secretary of defense. The 93-2 vote gave President Joe Biden his second Cabinet member;...

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Maduro sent letter to Iran's leader accrediting US fugitive

Jan. 22, 2021 4:48 PM EST

MIAMI (AP) — A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran's supreme leader when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant last year, according to a new court filing in a politically charged corruption case ratcheting up tensions with the South...

FILE - In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation in a televised speech in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. in Tehran, Iran.  Twitter says on Friday, Jan. 22, it has permanently banned an account connected to the office of Iran’s supreme leader.   Other accounts thought to be tied to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office remained active.  (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Twitter bans suspect Iran account after post threatens Trump

Jan. 22, 2021 3:44 PM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Twitter said Friday it has permanently banned an account that some in Iran believe is linked to the office of the country’s supreme leader after a posting that seemed to threaten former President Donald Trump. In the image posted by the suspect account late...

Israeli businessman and diamond-magnate, Beny Steinmetz, arrives to Geneva's courthouse for the reading of his verdict for alleged corruption of Guinean public officials and forgery documents, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

Israeli diamond tycoon convicted in Swiss corruption trial

Jan. 22, 2021 3:14 PM EST

GENEVA (AP) — A Geneva court on Friday convicted Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz on charges of corrupting foreign public officials and forging documents, in a trial over his successful bid to reap lavish iron ore resources in the Guinea. The man considered by some to be Israeli's richest man was...

Syrian state media: Israeli warplanes strike Syria, kill 4

Jan. 22, 2021 1:42 PM EST

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian state media said Israeli warplanes fired several missiles toward central Syria early on Friday, killing a family of four — including two children — and wounding four other people. There was no immediate comment from Israel on the claim. Separately, the Israeli...

Migrants, most of them from Eritrea, react as they wait to be assisted by aid workers of the Spanish NGO Open Arms, after fleeing Libya on board a precarious wooden boat in the Mediterranean sea, about 110 miles north of Libya, on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)

UN agency: Libyan navy intercepts over 80 EU-bound migrants

Jan. 22, 2021 8:12 AM EST

CAIRO (AP) — Libya’s coast guard intercepted on Friday more than 80 Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants were returned to Libyan soil, said the International Organization for Migration. They will most...