Tunisias national assembly on Thursday approved a new electoral law, to take one of the last steps in the countrys move to full democracy after the 2011 uprising that inspired the "Arab Spring" revolts.Passing the law allows electoral authorities to set a date for the first election since the North African state adopted a new constitution that has been praised as a model of democratic transition
AFPNine illegal immigrants have died among some 300 abandoned by smugglers in the scorching Sudanese-Libyan desert, with the others in poor condition, Khartoum's army said Wednesday."They were on their way to Libya as illegal immigrants," spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the Security Council on Wednesday only 12 percent of Syrians in "hard to reach areas" have received aid, despite a UN resolution, diplomats said.Instead of alleviating the misery of more than nine million Syrians who need urgent assistance, the humanitarian crisis has worsened since Resolution 2139 was adopted in February.Amos said all parties to the
AFPThousands of people are expected to defy a government ban to gather on Istanbul's highly symbolic Taksim Square Thursday, a year after May Day clashes helped launch a nationwide protest movement.Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned protesters to "give up hopes" of meeting on Taksim, a traditional and symbolic rallying point, but activists have vowed to ignore the ban and a massive
AFPUS Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday praised the millions of Iraqis who "courageously voted" in general elections, saying many had acted "heroically" in standing up to militant threats."With ink-stained thumbs, Iraqi voters sent a powerful rebuke to the violent extremists who have tried to thwart democratic progress and sow discord in Iraq and throughout the region," Kerry said in a
Iraqis have voted in their country's first parliamentary elections since the withdrawal of US forces in 2011.Heavy security was in place, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police deployed to protect polling stations and a vehicle ban in Baghdad.Dozens of attacks targeting the election across Iraq left 10 people dead, officials say.Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is seeking a third term, amid
The UK has called on the global chemical weapons watchdog to carry out "with urgency" its investigation into the alleged use of chlorine in Syria.The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Tuesday that a mission would depart "soon".However, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "Time is of the essence in establishing the full facts."Claims by both sides that
AFPTwo Kuwaiti opposition MPs resigned Wednesday to protest parliament's decision to deny their request to question the prime minister over allegations he gave cash handouts to lawmakers.Riyadh al-Adasani and Abdulkarim al-Kundari had filed a request last week to question Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah, in a move that could have lead to his dismissal.They also blamed the premier --
AFPMore than 1,000 people gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday for the funerals of two Hamas militants Israel killed in 1998, whose remains had just been returned.Israel transferred the remains of Imad Awadallah, 48, and his 46-year-old brother Adel, to Palestinian officials at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank overnight, Palestinian activists said.They also handed over the
Ma'an News AgencyThree senior Islamic Jihad leaders traveled from Gaza to Egypt via Rafah crossing on Wednesday, sources within the faction told Ma'an.Islamic Jihad sources said that Muhammad al-Hindi, Nafith Azzama, and Khaled al-Batsh traveled through Egypt to convene with other faction leaders for meetings on the recent Hamas-PLO reconciliation deal.The leaders will consider the ways Islamic
AFPTwo roadside bombs in northern Iraq killed two employees of the country's Independent High Electoral Commission as the public voted in national elections on Wednesday, an army general said.The bombs targeted the same area of a village northwest of the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk, and also wounded two security officers, according to army Major General Mohammed Khalaf
Dutch NewsThe president of Yemen says there are Dutch nationals active for al-Quaida in his country, but did not say how many.President Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi was speaking at a police academy in the capital Sanaa, Nos television reports.He said that 70% of al-Quaida members in Yemen are foreign fighters. 'They come from Brazil, the Netherlands, Australia, France and other countries.'Last week,
AFPIraqis on Wednesday defied a rash of militant attacks to vote in the country's first elections since US troops withdrew, with premier Nuri al-Maliki proclaiming "certain" victory as he cast his ballot.Queues formed from early morning at tightly-guarded election centres despite a surge of violence targeting polling stations and campaign gatherings in the days leading up to the vote.The stream
To both critics and supporters, it was "classic" John Kerry.
A day before the formal end of Kerrys quixotic, nine-month effort to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the Secretary of State was surreptitiously taped making a comment that provoked a political firestorm in Washington.
In a closed meeting with foreign policy experts, Kerry said that if there is no two-state
Saudi Arabia confirmed 26 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has killed nearly a third of sufferers, and said 10 more people have died from the disease.
The confirmations follow Egypts announcement on Saturday that it had confirmed its first case of MERS in a man who had recently returned to the country from Riyadh, where he was working.
Saudi Arabia, where
Press TVRepresentatives of 30 Lebanese political parties have met with Iran’s Ambassador to Beirut Ghazanfar Roknabadi to discuss the developments in Lebanon and across the Middle East.During the Saturday meeting, held at the Iranian Embassy, Roknabadi elaborated on Iran’s ongoing nuclear talks with six world powers and the latest regional developments particularly in Syria and
Israeli forces nabbed four Palestinians in two of al-Khalil villages at dawn Sunday.Local sources said that Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians in a raid on Tarqumiya village to the West of al-Khalil city.In another raid on Samu village, South of al-Khalil, two others were nabbed after ransacking their homes, locals
World BulletinIsrael on Sunday reopened the Karam Abu Salem commercial crossing with the southern Gaza Strip following a 10-day closure, a Palestinian border official has said."Israeli authorities reopened the Karam Abu Salem crossing on Sunday morning, allowing in shipments of goods and food aid that had been denied entry into the enclave for the past ten days," Raed Fatouh, head of a Gaza
AFPWhen Iraqis go to the polls in Wednesday's general election, regional strife could make neighbouring Iran, former occupier the US, Gulf nations and Syria silent voters as well, analysts believe.The election is the first since American troops withdrew in late 2011, and since then US influence has waned while Iran has acquired more clout inside its Arab neighbour.The conflict in Syria between
AFPIran's President Hassan Rouhani was elected on hopes that he could revive the country's sanctions-neutered economy, but the public's goodwill towards him is showing the first signs of fading.Having raised expectations of more moderate rule and wider engagement after eight years under the acerbic leadership of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani has established a cautious detente with the West since
ReutersPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signalled on Saturday that he remains committed to troubled U.S.-backed peace talks, saying that any unity government agreed with Hamas would recognise Israel.Abbas's comments appeared aimed at soothing U.S. concerns about the unity deal he reached on Wednesday with Hamas, an Islamist faction sworn to Israel's destruction and designated by the West as a
AFPThe mass killing of Jews in the Holocaust was "the most heinous crime" against humanity of the modern era, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Sunday in his strongest remarks yet on the Nazi genocide.The statement comes at a sensitive time for US-led peace efforts, with Israel having suspended faltering talks last week after Abbas reached an agreement with the Islamist Hamas movement to
APSaudi Arabia's Health Ministry says two more patients who contracted a potentially fatal Middle East virus related to SARS have died as the kingdom detected nine new cases of the disease.The ministry said in a statement on its website late Saturday that one Saudi man died in Riyadh and the other in Jiddah, bringing to 94 the number of people who have died of the disease since September 2012.
AFP9,039 candidates from 277 political blocs are standing for a seat in the 328-strong parliament.More than 20 million Iraqis are eligible to vote, with 48,796 polling stations nationwide.Tribal allegiances and sectarian affiliations play a key role in voting.No single party is expected to win a simple majority on its own and subsequent coalition negotiations are expected to take months.Prime
AFPIraq's dwindling Christian community faces "disaster," and if no action is taken they will number just a few thousand in a decade, the country's most senior church leader told AFP.Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said the daily migration of Christians from Iraq was "terrifying" and blamed a range of factors, including generally poor security in the country and worsening religious extremism.Iraq's
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas welcomed a Saturday speech by president Mahmud Abbas to the Palestine Liberation Organisation, with which it signed a reconciliation deal this week."The speech had mostly positive points, and we cannot but support it on topics such as Jerusalem, reconciliation and not recognising (Israel as) the Jewish state, in addition to the failure of (peace)
Saudi Arabia has confirmed 10 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which kills around a third of sufferers, and said two more people have died from the disease.
It follows Egypts announcement on Saturday that it had confirmed its first case of MERS in a man who had recently returned to the country from Riyadh, where he was working.
Saudi Arabia, where MERS was
Jewish ChronicleHamas and Fatah have signed a groundbreaking reconciliation deal, amid the breakdown of the Palestinian Authority’s peace talks with Israel.Representatives from the groups announced the deal today after a meeting in the Gaza Strip.After years of hostility between the two parties following the 2007 split, they now plan to form an interim unity government within five weeks.
ReutersIsrael on Wednesday canceled a planned session of peace negotiations with the Palestinians shortly after a unity deal was signed in Gaza between Hamas Islamists and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organisation.A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said: "Israel has cancelled a negotiations meeting that was expected to be held this evening," without