Latest Middle East News

Bencic upsets Halep to reach Dubai semifinals; Kvitova wins

Feb. 21, 2019 3:57 PM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Unseeded Belinda Bencic rallied to beat second-ranked Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals. Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalize on an early break in the first set...

UK acknowledges key trade deals won't be ready by Brexit day

Feb. 21, 2019 3:52 PM EST

BRUSSELS (AP) — The British government acknowledged Thursday that trade deals with major countries such as Japan and Turkey will not be in place by the planned Brexit day of March 29, while the European Union's chief said he remains downbeat about Britain avoiding a chaotic departure from the bloc....

Top rivals join forces in challenge to Israel's Netanyahu

Feb. 21, 2019 3:20 PM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — The two main challengers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined forces Thursday in a united front ahead of April elections, a dramatic move that upended the campaign and suddenly created the most serious threat to the Israeli leader's decade-long grip on power. Retired military chief...

Israel aiming to land on moon with SpaceX launch

Feb. 21, 2019 2:29 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Israel is aiming to land on the moon after hitching a ride with SpaceX. A communications satellite for Indonesia is the main cargo aboard the Falcon rocket, scheduled to blast off Thursday night. But Israel's privately funded lunar lander — a first not just for Israel but...

More than 150 IS militants handed over to Iraq from Syria

Feb. 21, 2019 2:19 PM EST

OUTSIDE BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — U.S.-backed Syrian forces fighting the Islamic State group handed over more than 150 Iraqi members of the group to Iraq, an Iraqi security official said Thursday, marking the biggest repatriation from Syria of captured militants so far. The official said the IS militants were...

The Latest: Officials try to verify French IS member's death

Feb. 21, 2019 11:55 AM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local): 6:30 p.m. Two officials say they are trying to verify reports that Fabien Clain, a Frenchman who is one of Europe's most-wanted members of Islamic State group, has died in an airstrike in Syria. A French diplomatic official and an...

Newspaper appeals decision to let Israeli boycott law stand

Feb. 21, 2019 11:47 AM EST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas newspaper is asking a federal appeals court to revive its lawsuit challenging the state's requirement that government contractors pledge to not boycott Israel. The Arkansas Times filed notice Thursday that it's appealing U.S. District Judge Brian Miller's ruling last...

The Latest: UK says trade deals won't be ready by Brexit day

Feb. 21, 2019 11:24 AM EST

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union (all times local): 3:55 p.m. The British government says trade deals with Japan, Turkey and other countries won't be in place by March 29, the day Britain is due to leave the European Union. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox...

The Latest: Over 100 migrants rescued at sea, sent to Libya

Feb. 21, 2019 11:12 AM EST

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — The Latest on migrants and asylum-seekers in Europe (all times local): 5:10 p.m. Doctors Without Borders says 116 migrants have been "forcibly returned" to Libya after a day and a half at sea. The group, known by its French acronym MSF, says in a Tweet that the people, including...

Chechen religious leaders re-open landmark mosque in Syria

Feb. 21, 2019 10:15 AM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Religious leaders of Russia's republic of Chechnya have inaugurated a re-opened landmark mosque in Syria's Homs, once the symbol of the rebellion against President Bashar Assad. In 2013, Syrian government forces captured the Khalid Ibn al-Walid mosque, which sustained heavy damage in the...