Middle East


Iran again breaks its single-day record for virus deaths Monday, October 19th, 2020

By AMIR VAHDAT, TEHRAN, Iran (AP):- Iran recorded its worst day of new deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with 337 confirmed dead on Monday. The grim milestone represents a significant spike from the previous single-day death toll record of 279. The Health Ministry also announced..

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Israel says formal diplomatic ties with Bahrain to begin Sunday Sunday, October 18th, 2020

JERUSALEM, (AFP):- Israel and Bahrain will officially establish diplomatic relations on Sunday at a ceremony in Manama, an Israeli official said, after the two states reached a US-brokered normalisation deal last month. A visiting delegation from Israel and officials in Bahrain will sign a "joint..

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Israeli police arrest saboteurs amid protests against premier Saturday, October 17th, 2020

JERUSALEM, (AFP):- Israeli police said they arrested several people who attacked protesters with tear gas during demonstrations in major cities on Saturday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Protests against the premier have taken place every Saturday since July, including outside his..

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Two Americans, 240 Yemen rebel backers freed in apparent swap Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

WASHINGTON, (AFP):- Two captive Americans were freed Wednesday in Yemen as more than 200 supporters of the country's Huthi rebels were allowed to return home, in an apparent swap involving Saudi Arabia and Oman. The White House announced the release of US citizens Sandra Loli and Mikael Gidada,..

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Top Israeli, UAE diplomats meet in Berlin for talks Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

By DAVID RISING, BERLIN (AP):- The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Israel met in Berlin on Tuesday for talks that Germany hopes will strengthen nascent ties between the two nations and bolster broader Middle East peace efforts. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it was a..

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Mecca reopens for limited ‘umrah’ pilgrimage Sunday, October 4th, 2020

MECCA, Saudi Arabia, (AFP):- Mask-clad Muslims circled Islam's holiest site along socially distanced paths on Sunday, as Saudi authorities partially resumed the year-round umrah pilgrimage with extensive health precautions adopted after a seven-month coronavirus hiatus. Thousands of worshippers..

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US push for Arab-Israel ties divides Sudanese leaders Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

By SAMY MAGDY, CAIRO (AP):- Sudan’s fragile interim government is sharply divided over normalizing relations with Israel, as it finds itself under intense pressure from the Trump administration to become the third Arab country to do so in short order — after the United Arab Emirates and..

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Israeli navy prepares for arrival of new upgraded warships

By ARIEL SCHALIT, ABOARD THE INS LAHAV (AP):- After a coronavirus-related delay, Israel’s navy is preparing for the long-awaited arrival of its next generation of missile boats — giving it a powerful new tool to defend its strategic natural gas industry from the threat of the Lebanese militant..

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Lebanon, Israel announce talks on disputed borders Thursday, October 1st, 2020

BEIRUT, (AFP):- Lebanon and Israel said Thursday they will hold US-brokered negotiations on their disputed land and maritime borders, the first talks in decades between two countries technically still at war. The United States will act as a facilitator during the talks to be held in the southern..

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Gazans left stranded abroad by Israeli-Palestinian standoff Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

By JOSEPH KRAUSS, JERUSALEM (AP):- For the last four months, Ahmed al-Kurdi, his wife and three children have been stranded in Jordan, where they traveled from their home in the Gaza Strip for life-saving medical treatment for his 2-year-old daughter. At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has..

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Saudi Arabia: G-20 gathering of world leaders to be virtual Monday, September 28th, 2020

By AYA BATRAWY, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP):- Saudi Arabia, which is presiding over the Group of 20 countries this year, said Monday that the upcoming November gathering of world leaders will be held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic. The kingdom had originally planned to host world..

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Thousands of Israelis protest in Jerusalem, despite lockdown Saturday, September 26th, 2020

By MAYA ALLERUZZO, JERUSALEM (AP):- Thousands of Israelis gathered outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night to demand his resignation, pressing ahead with weeks of protests against the embattled Israeli leader despite a strict new lockdown order. With..

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Lebanese prime minister-designate resigns amid impasse

BEIRUT (AP):- Lebanon’s prime minister-designate resigned Saturday amid a political impasse over government formation, nearly a month after he was appointed to the job. The announced by Moustapha Adib deals a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to break a dangerous stalemate in..

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Probe of gang rape case that shocked Egypt ensnares many Thursday, September 24th, 2020

By SAMY MAGDY, CAIRO (AP):- An announcement last month that Egypt’s top prosecutor would investigate an alleged 2014 gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at a luxury Cairo hotel marked a rare moment of triumph for human rights activists. Those hopes were quickly dispelled after authorities detained..

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Arab leaders voice alarm at UN over Iran tensions Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

UNITED NATIONS, (AFP):- Arab leaders voiced fears Wednesday before the United Nations of new conflict in the region as tensions soar between Iran and the United States. The annual extravaganza of international diplomacy at the UN General Assembly has been turned into a virtual affair this year,..

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Road to Saudi ties with Israel being paved, cautiously Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

By AYA BATRAWY, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP):- Saudi Arabia, the most powerful Arab nation and home to Islam’s holiest sites, has made its official position on the region’s longest-running conflict clear: Full ties between the kingdom and Israel can only happen when peace is reached with..

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Israel court says woman can be extradited in child sex case Monday, September 21st, 2020

By ILAN BEN ZION, JERUSALEM (AP):- An Israeli court on Monday approved the extradition of a former teacher wanted in Australia on charges of child sex abuse, potentially paving the way for her to stand trial after a six-year legal battle. Malka Leifer, a former educator who is accused of sexually..

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Egypt discovers 14 ancient sarcophagi at Saqqara Sunday, September 20th, 2020

CAIRO, (AFP):- Egypt's antiquities ministry announced Sunday the discovery of 14 sarcophagi in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo that had lain buried for 2,500 years. The coffins were found two days ago during an archaeological dig at the burial spot where another 13 wooden sarcophagi had been..

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US says all UN sanctions on Iran restored, but world yawns Saturday, September 19th, 2020

By MATTHEW LEE, WASHINGTON (AP):- The Trump administration declared Saturday that all U.N. sanctions against Iran have been restored, a move most of the rest of the world rejects as illegal and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body ahead of its annual General Assembly. The..

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