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Middle East

Turmoil confronts new Saudi king on several crucial fronts

By The Associated Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s new monarch inherits the throne at a moment when the oil-rich kingdom is being buffeted by a plunge ...

Britain, Australia join effort to rescue Japanese hostages

By The Los Angeles Times
BEIJING — As the mother of one of two Japanese men held by Islamic State terrorists begged for his release Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ...

Yemen’s Shiite rebels try to avoid overstepping amid protest

By The Associated Press
SANAA — Yemen’s Shiite rebels faced mounting pressures and signs of internal divisions Friday after the U.S.-backed president and his cabinet resigned rather than submit at gunpoint to their increasing demands for greater power. With thousands of demonstrators on ...

Saudi King Abdullah, a gradual modernizer, dead at 90

By The Associated Press
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — His changes looked minute to the outside world. But in a kingdom where ultra-conservative Muslim clerics long have held a lock ...

Aides: Rebels hold Yemen’s president ‘captive’ at his house

By The Associated Press
SANAA, Yemen — Shiite rebels in control of Yemen’s capital now hold the country’s president “captive” at his home, his aides said Wednesday, putting in ...

Houthi rebels besiege Yemen capital of Sanaa

By The Washington Post
SANAA, Yemen — Intense clashes erupted Monday in the Yemeni capital amid an apparent push by Houthi insurgents to seize more power from the country’s embattled president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, a key ally against al-Qaida. Witnesses described plumes of smoke ...

Egypt’s churches charred to shells

By Betsy Hiel
DELGA, Egypt – Two downed electrical towers, two armored personnel carriers, and stacks of old tires form an improvised gate to this impoverished Upper Egypt ...

Soured on Taliban, extremists join ISIS in Afghanistan, Pakistan

By The Associated Press
CAMP SHORABAK, Afghanistan — Afghanistan and Pakistan are confronting a new, emerging threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, officials have told The ...

U.S. force sent to train Syrian rebels could top 1,000

By The Associated Press
The U.S. program to train moderate Syrian rebels could involve as many as 1,000 trainers and support personnel, the Pentagon said Friday. If all goes well, trained rebels could be back on the battlefield in Syria by the end of ...

Captive aid workers released; Italy denies paying ransom

By The Associated Press
MILAN — Italy’s foreign minister on Friday denied media reports that the country paid $12 million in ransom to free two young aid workers held for five months in Syria, telling lawmakers ‘‘we are against paying ransom.” Greta Ramelli, 20, ...

Officials say suicide bombing kills 12 people in Iraq

By The Associated Press
BAGHDAD — Iraqi authorities say a suicide car bomb has killed 12 Shiite militiamen and soldiers north of Baghdad. Police officials say the attack happened Monday when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a gathering of soldiers and ...

No injuries reported as Jewish settlers attack U.S. consular aides investigating damage claims in West Bank

By The Associated Press
JERUSALEM — Jewish settlers attacked American consular officials Friday during a visit the officials made to the West Bank as part of an investigation into claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property, Israeli police and Palestinian witnesses said. The incident ...

U.S. troops imperiled by ISIS fight

By The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — In Iraq’s western Anbar province, more than 300 American troops are posted at a base in the thick of a pitched battle between Iraqi forces, backed by tribal fighters, and well-armed Islamic State terrorists. The terrorists, positioned at a ...

Assad visits front lines

By The Associated Press
DAMASCUS — Syrian President Bashar Assad made a rare visit to the front line of his country’s civil war, spending New Year’s Eve with his troops in a tense eastern Damascus neighborhood, state media said Thursday. State TV footage showed Assad ...

Al Jazeera journalists to get retrial

By The Washington Post
CAIRO — An appeals court in Cairo on Thursday ordered a retrial for three Al Jazeera English journalists imprisoned on charges of aiding a terrorist group — accusations they strenuously deny. Egypt’s Court of Cassation issued its ruling Thursday morning in ...

Palestinians seek to join international court to levy war crime charges against Israel

By The Associated Press
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Turning up the pressure on Israel, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they are joining the International Criminal Court to pursue war crime charges against the Jewish state — a risky, high-stakes move that brought threats of ...

In Mideast, refugee babies left stateless

By The Associated Press
BEIRUT — Nearly 30,000 Syrian children born as refugees in Lebanon are in a legal limbo, not registered with any government, exposing them to the ...

Mossad agent arrested as spy by Hezbollah in Lebanon

By The Washington Post
BEIRUT — An agent of Israel’s Mossad spy agency infiltrated the upper echelons of Hezbollah’s security apparatus and leaked information about the Lebanese Shiite group for several years before being discovered and arrested recently, according to security officials and people ...

Islamic State terrorists shoot down Iraqi military helicopter

By The Associated Press
BAGHDAD — Islamic State terrorists shot down an Iraqi military helicopter, officials said Saturday, killing the two pilots onboard and raising fresh concerns about the group’s ability to attack aircraft amid ongoing U.S.-led coalition airstrikes. The attack happened late Friday ...

American, South African hostages killed in Yemen during rescue attempt

By The Associated Press
SANAA, Yemen — An American photojournalist and a South African teacher held by al-Qaida militants in Yemen were killed Saturday during a U.S.-led rescue operation ...