Latest Middle East News

Egypt's top court upholds 15-year-sentence for activist

Jul. 4, 2020 12:36 PM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s highest criminal court Saturday upheld a 15-year sentence for one of the leading activists behind the country’s 2011 uprising who was convicted of taking part in clashes between protesters and security forces. The Court of Cassation also confirmed a fine of 6 million...

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file, photo, Lasheen Ibrahim, head of the National Electoral Commission, which is in charge of supervising the 2018 Egyptian presidential election, and members of the commission prepare to give a press conference at the commission headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt will hold Senate elections over two days in August, the chief of the country’s election commission said Saturday, July 4, 2020, more than a year after the restoration of Parliament’s lower chamber, which was dissolved in 2014. Ibrahim, chairman of the National Election Authority, told a televised news conference that Senate elections will be held Aug. 11-12, with runoff elections to take place Sept. 8-9 if necessary. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Egypt sets August election dates for restored Senate

Jul. 4, 2020 12:18 PM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt will hold Senate elections over two days in August, the chief of the country’s election commission said Saturday, more than a year after the restoration of Parliament’s lower chamber, which was dissolved in 2014. The body was reconstituted as part of constitutional...

A view of destroyed buildings at a fireworks factory following a fire after an explosion outside the town of Hendek, Sakarya province, northwestern Turkey, Friday, July 3, 2020. There were an estimated 150 workers at the factory, Gov. Cetin Oktay Kaldirim told state-run Anadolu Agency. Several firefighters and ambulances were sent to the factory, which is away from residential areas. However, explosions were continuing, hampering efforts to bring the fire under control.The cause of the blast wasn't immediately known. (DHA via AP)

Turkey: Fireworks factory employees detained after explosion

Jul. 4, 2020 11:52 AM EDT

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s official news agency says three people have been detained in connection to a massive explosion at a fireworks factory that left at least four people dead. Anadolu news agency reported Saturday that a manager and two supervisors were detained following Friday’s...

FILE - In this April 9, 2019, file photo, Afghans watch a civilian vehicle burnt after being shot by U.S. forces following an attack near the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Three American service members and a U.S. contractor were killed when their convoy hit a roadside bomb on Monday near the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, the U.S. forces said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Intelligence alleging that Afghan militants might have accepted Russian bounties for killing American troops didn’t scuttle the U.S.-Taliban agreement or President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw thousands more troops from the war. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Critics of US-Taliban deal say militants can't be trusted

Jul. 4, 2020 10:00 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Intelligence that Afghan militants might have accepted Russian bounties for killing American troops did not scuttle the U.S.-Taliban agreement or President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw thousands more troops from the war. It did give critics of the deal another reason to say the...

FILE - In this March 9, 2020 file photo, Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, attends Ashraf Ghani's inauguration ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to a statement released Thursday, July 2, 2020, by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Khalilzad told Pakistani officials that Afghanistan’s Taliban and Kabul’s political leaders were close to starting negotiations to decide the face of a post-war Afghanistan, a crucial next step in a U.S. deal signed with the Taliban in February. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

US envoy forges ahead with troubled Taliban peace deal

Jul. 4, 2020 9:20 AM EDT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Washington's envoy to Afghanistan on Saturday emphasized the economic benefits of the peace deal with the Taliban, forging ahead with an agreement that has run into new political obstacles in the U.S. and the region. Zalmay Khalilzad was wrapping up a week-long trip that included stops in...

President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing at the White House, on July 2, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's empty assurance on controlling virus

Jul. 4, 2020 9:05 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — “We have it totally under control,” President Donald Trump said in late January. A month later: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA." April and May brought the deadliest stretch of COVID-19 to date. And this past week, the number of new coronavirus...

Laure Ghosn, whose husband Charbel Zogheib has been missing for the past 37 years, speaks as she holds their wedding portrait during an interview at her home in Sarba, north of Beirut, Lebanon. Ghosn said her husband is held in Syria and hopes that a new wave of sanctions imposed by the U.S. against the Syrian government will force Damascus to reveal the fate of hundreds of Lebanese citizens held in Syria, including that of her husband. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Families of Syria detainees hope for news amid US sanctions

Jul. 4, 2020 8:42 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Alaa Arnous and his family found the photo of his father Mohammed online last week, the first proof of his fate since he was seized by Syrian government forces seven years ago. The image showed his corpse, his face battered and bruised, his mouth hanging open. The elder Arnous was among...

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks volunteer Alejandro Ortiz closes the gate after allowing an overnight camper access to the parking lot at Francis Beach at Half Moon Bay State Park in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Friday, July 3, 2020. California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the parking lots of state beaches to close for the Fourth of July weekend to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Half Moon Bay added to the closure by restricting visitors access to the beach. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

The Latest: Calif gov warns local officials on enforcement

Jul. 3, 2020 11:29 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning local elected officials that they risk losing state funding if they don’t enforce health orders as the coronavirus pandemic worsens. Newsom has rolled back or limited some businesses reopening in Los Angeles and 20 other counties, now including...

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during a media conference after a meeting, Supporting the future of Syria and the Region, in videoconference format at the European Council building in Brussels, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

EU says Iran has triggered nuclear deal dispute mechanism

Jul. 3, 2020 6:34 PM EDT

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top diplomat said Friday that he has received a letter from Iran that triggers a dispute mechanism in the international agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, citing concerns that Britain, France and Germany are not living up to their side of the...

Palestinian demonstrators hurl stones at Israeli troops during a protest Israel's plan to annex parts Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank and Trump's mideast initiative, in the West Bank village of Kufr Qaddumm near Nablus, Friday, July 3, 2020.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Former world leaders warn against Israel annexation plan

Jul. 3, 2020 6:27 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A group of former world leaders urged European leaders on Friday to keep pressuring Israel against annexation of parts of the West Bank, warning against complacency after Israel made no move to take over the territory on July 1. The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, said in...