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  • Nearly 600 migrants get temporary shelter on Crete 

    A Red Cross volunteer carries a child who just disembarked from a crippled freighter carrying hundreds of refugees trying to migrate to Europe, at the coastal Cretan port of Ierapetra, Greece, on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. The ship, whose 750 passengers are mostly Syrians, including children, women and elderly men, suffered engine failure 70 nautical miles off Ierapetra on Tuesday. The migrants will be given temporary shelter at an Ierapetra indoor basketball stadium. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)IERAPETRA, Greece (AP) — Nearly 600 migrants, mostly refugees from Syria, have been temporarily put up in a basketball arena in the southern Cretan town of Ierapetra, where they arrived in a crippled smuggling ship after more than a week at sea.


  • Jail term of over four years sought for German Islamic State suspect 

    Accused member of Islamic State Kreshnik B., waits for start of his trial in FrankfurtBy Jonathan Gould FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A state prosecutor on Friday demanded a prison term of over four years for a 20-year-old German man accused of fighting with Islamic State insurgents in Syria, in the first trial of its kind in Germany. The defendant, identified only as Kreshnik B., who was born in Germany to parents from Kosovo, has shown no remorse about his actions, prosecutor Dieter Killmer told the court. ...


  • Austria: 13 radical Islamic suspects arrested VIENNA (AP) — Austrian police have arrested 13 people suspected of recruiting fighters for radical Islamic groups in the Middle East.
  • Oil plunge a panacea for crude-reliant Asia 

    People wait to cross a street in front of a Shell filling station with the electric indicator showing a liter of regular gas price, top, at 148 yen, or $1.25, per liter (554 yen, or $4.69 per gallon) in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. It is also a panacea as pump prices fall, giving individuals more disposable income and lowering costs for many businesses. Partly because of the shale oil boom in the U.S., the world is awash in oil but demand from major economies is weak so prices are falling. The latest slide was triggered by OPEC’s decision Thursday to leave its production target at 30 million barrels a day. Member nations of the cartel are worried they’ll lose market share if they lower production. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. It is also a panacea as pump prices fall, giving individuals more disposable income and lowering costs for many businesses.


  • Pope to urge tolerance in Turkey visit as Middle East wars rage By Nick Tattersall and Ece Toksabay ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Pope Francis begins a visit to Turkey on Friday with the delicate mission of strengthening ties with Muslim leaders while condemning violence against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. His three-day trip comes as Islamic State insurgents have captured swathes of Iraq and Syria just over Turkey's southern borders, declaring an Islamic caliphate and killing or driving out Shi'ite Muslims, Christians and others who do not share their ultra-radical brand of Sunni Islam. ...
  • For 600 migrants, harrowing sail ends in Greece 

    A local resident and a dog are silhouetted as a crippled freighter, left, carrying hundreds of refugees trying to migrate to Europe is towed by a Greek navy frigate at the coastal Cretan port of Ierapetra, Greece, on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A smuggling ship carrying more than 700 men, women and children that broke down in gale-force winds while trying to reach Europe was towed Thursday to the Greek island of Crete. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)IERAPETRA, Greece (AP) — Hour after hour, the coast guard boats shuttled from the crippled freighter to a concrete pier, discharging a steady flow of humanity: Families with small children, black-clad elderly women, battered-looking youths with backpacks.


  • Pope condemns Islamic State violence JERUSALEM (AP) — On the eve of a trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis is urging religious and political leaders to speak out against attacks on Christians by Islamic State extremists.
  • Brazen, beloved Lebanese singer Sabah dies at 87 

    In this Nov. 2011 photo, famous Lebanese singer Sabah speaks to journalists during her birthday in Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon's official news agency says beloved Lebanese singer and entertainer Sabah has died at the age of 87. (AP Photo/Ahmad Omar)BEIRUT (AP) — Beloved for her powerful voice and brazen in the conservative Arab world for her multiple marriages, Lebanese singer, actress and entertainer Sabah never seemed far from the limelight during her six-decade career.


  • Russia vows support for Syria's Assad to combat 'terrorism' By Denis Dyomkin and Gabriela Baczynska SOCHI, Russia/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Wednesday it would support President Bashar al-Assad to combat "terrorism" in the Middle East, indicating there was no new room for compromise on one of the key contentious issues in the Syrian conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with Assad's foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, on the Black Sea as part of Moscow's renewed diplomatic push to restart peace talks on Syria. ...
  • Europeans debate common stand on Palestine BRUSSELS (AP) — Frustrated by deadlock in the Middle East peace process, a growing number of European leaders and lawmakers are calling for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
  • British brothers jailed for attending militant training camp in Syria 

    Mohommod Hassin Nawaz is seen in this undated police custody image made available by the Metropolitan Police in LondonLONDON (Reuters) - Two brothers from London on Wednesday became the first Britons to be convicted for attending a militant training camp in Syria as Western governments increasingly warn of the threat posed by fighters returning from conflicts in the Middle East. Finding them guilty of conspiracy to attend a terrorist training camp, the judge at London's Old Bailey sentenced Mohommod Hassin Nawaz, 31, and his 23-year-old brother Hamza Nawaz, to four and three-and-a-half years in jail respectively. ...


  • Syria 'no-fly zone' not being considered: NATO general 

    Smoke rises after what activists said were airstrikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Assad in Raqqa, which is controlled by the Islamic StateBy Jonny Hogg IZMIR, Turkey (Reuters) - NATO is not considering establishing a "no-fly zone" in northern Syria, something Turkey has been calling for to alleviate security and humanitarian pressures on its southeastern borders, one of the alliance's top generals has told Reuters. Turkey has NATO's second largest military and is host for Land Command (LANDCOM), which is charged with improving the effectiveness and response time of the alliance's land forces. ...


  • Obama to hold talks with Jordan's King Abdullah WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will hold talks at the White House next week with Jordan's King Abdullah, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.
  • Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point 

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, center, listens to the translator as his Cyprus counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides speaks during a press conference at the foreign ministry house in Capital Nicosia, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Bassil is in Cyprus for an official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Lebanon's foreign minister says more attention should be paid to the possibility of Cyprus becoming a gateway for aspiring foreign jihadis to transit in and out of the Middle East.


  • Palestinian president against Jewish state bill PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that he supports Israeli members of parliament who oppose the plan to formalize Israel's status as a Jewish state.
  • Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group 

    In this Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 photo, Lebanese men reconstruct their shop that was damaged due to clashes between the Lebanese army and Islamic militants in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon. Last month’s clashes were considered the most serious because heavily-armed militants led the clashes; some were loyal to the Islamic State group and others to Syria's al-Qaida affiliate, the Nusra Front. Previous bouts were dominated by local Sunni Muslim tough men in the Tripoli slum of Bab Tabbaneh, fighting rivals in the nearby Jabal Mohsen, loyalists of the Syrian President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — Jamal Hayak is finally fixing up his restaurant, damaged a month ago in clashes between the army and militants in this northern Lebanese city. But he has little doubt violence will erupt again, and he says he fears next time it will be Islamic State group fighters battling in Tripoli's streets.


  • Once maligned, Iran's Jews find greater acceptance 

    In this Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 photo, an Iranian Jewish man prays at the Molla Agha Baba Synagogue, in the city of Yazd 420 miles (676 kilometers) south of capital Tehran, Iran. More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimages like many others in the Islamic Republic until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)YAZD, Iran (AP) — More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic — until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes.


  • Saudi Arabia: Deaths from MERS virus reach 348 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry says that a total of 348 people have died in the kingdom after contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS.
  • As OPEC faces tough test, lower oil prices loom 

    FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2009, file photo, oil personnel work at the Rumaila oil refinery, near the city of Basra, Iraq. OPEC's purpose is to coordinate oil output to keep prices high and stable, to maximize member countries’ revenue but make sure global demand for oil stays strong. A steep, coordinated cut in output could stop and possibly reverse what has been a 30 percent decline in price over five months. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)NEW YORK (AP) — These are the moments OPEC exists for: A sharp drop in global oil prices has reduced the amount of money OPEC countries take in by nearly $1 billion a day.


  • Guessing game: What are OPEC nations thinking? 

    FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2011, file photo, an employee works at a refinery inside the Brega oil complex, in Brega, eastern Libya. OPEC produces one-third of the world’s oil and, in theory, at least, can affect global oil prices depending on how much oil it decides to sell. In reality, OPEC member countries have different, often conflicting priorities and don’t adhere to the cartel’s official targets for production. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Does Saudi Arabia have it out for frackers in the U.S.? Or Iran? Or Russia? Will low oil prices make it easier to fight the Islamic State? Or harder?


  • A look at US military action across the Mideast 

    FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2009 file photo taken with a night vision scope, Afghan women and their children wait as U.S. Special Operations forces and Afghan National Army soldiers search their home during a joint operation targeting insurgents operating in Afghanistan's Farah province. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the practices of the country’s defense forces, including discussing a possible resumption of controversial night raids banned by his predecessor, The Associated Press has learned. The move appears aimed at revamping the military for the fight against the Taliban amid new indications that U.S. and international forces will play a greater role than initially envisaged. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — Here's a look at U.S. military action across the Middle East:


  • Emirates jails man over social media posts DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The son of a jailed activist in the United Arab Emirates was himself sentenced to prison and fined Tuesday after being convicted over messages sent on social media and of joining an illegal group.
  • Iran nuclear talks extended seven months after failing to meet deadline 

    Officials pose for a family picture during their meeting in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six powers failed on Monday for a second time this year to resolve their 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and gave themselves seven more months to clinch an historic deal. Western officials said they were aiming to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the all-important technical details. ...


  • Academics vote to be forum on Israel boycotts WASHINGTON (AP) — A key U.S. organization of Middle East scholars voted Monday to protect the rights of members who support a longstanding Palestinian call for academic boycotts of Israeli institutions but stopped short of taking a stand for or against such activities.
  • Egyptian leader meets pope, Italian premier 

    Pope Francis shakes hand with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a meeting at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, Pool)VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis and the Egyptian president exchanged warm greetings during a private meeting Monday in which the pontiff emphasized Egypt's role in establishing peace in the Middle East.


  • Survey concludes Internet access should be a human right 

    An estimated one third of the world's population (or 2.3 billion people) is onlineAffordable access to the Internet should be a human right, as it represents hope for political freedom and economic prosperity to many around the world, according to a survey Monday. Most people also do not want any one nation or organization to manage this global network of computers, in order to prevent crackdowns on free speech and political expression. The CIGI-Ipsos survey of 23,376 people in 24 countries was unveiled at the start of a two-day meeting in Ottawa on Internet governance. According to the Global Commission on Internet Governance, which is hosting the Ottawa conference, the world is at a crossroads, with competition for power and influence of all aspects of the Internet heating up.


  • Islamic State group recruits, exploits children 

    FILE - In this file photo taken Thursday, June 19, 2014, Islamic State group militants stand by a captured Iraqi army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji refinery, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group's radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. (AP Photo, File)BEIRUT (AP) — Teenagers carrying weapons stand at checkpoints and busy intersections in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Patched onto the left arms of their black uniforms are the logos of the Islamic Police.


  • Francis meets Egyptian president on European trip 

    Pope Francis shakes hand with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a meeting at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, Pool)VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis emphasized Egypt's role in establishing Middle East peace during a meeting with the country's president.


  • AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East 

    FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, a Palestinian protester using a sling shot throws a stone towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a protest against Israeli restrictions on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)Tensions soared in Jerusalem this week after a grisly attack on a synagogue, an Egyptian doctor was acquitted in the country's first female genital mutilation trial, and Lebanese demanded the release of family members captured by militants.


  • Report claims Jordan deporting Syrian refugees BEIRUT (AP) — Jordanian authorities have deported "vulnerable Syrian refugees," including wounded men and unaccompanied children, an international human rights group said Monday, adding that a Jordanian government spokesman denied the claim.
  • Iran nuclear talks set to resume next month after missing deadline 

    Officials sit around the negotiations table during their meeting in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers are expected to break off negotiations on Monday and meet again next month after missing a deadline to clinch a final deal to resolve their 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, diplomatic sources said. Details about the resumption of negotiations were still being worked out, though one source said on condition of anonymity that Iran could not expect any new sanctions relief for the time being. Possible venues could include Vienna and Oman, one of the sources said, though nothing had been decided. ...


  • Hundreds attend memorial for US aid worker INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An American aid worker behead by Islamic State militants in Syria was praised for his humanitarian work Sunday during a memorial service attended by hundreds that included readings from the Bible and the Quran.
  • US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension 

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, prior to a bilateral meeting of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The U.S. and five other nations trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran are turning away from attempting to reach an agreement by deadline and have started internal discussions on extending the talks, diplomats said Sunday. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, pool)VIENNA (AP) — The U.S. told Iran Sunday that it's time to consider extending nuclear talks, in the first formal recognition by Washington that frenzied last-minute diplomacy may not be enough to seal a deal by a rapidly approaching deadline.


  • Iran and powers set to extend nuclear talks if final push fails 

    U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers looked set to miss Monday's deadline for resolving a 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and are already looking at a possible extension of the negotiations. The talks in Vienna aim for a deal that could transform the Middle East, open the door to ending economic sanctions on Iran and start to bring a nation of 76 million people in from the cold after decades of hostility with the West. The cost of failure to reach a deal could be high. ...


  • Migrants rescued off Cyprus' north coast 

    Migrants settle into a sports hall, after being rescued, in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway northern coastal city of Kerynia or Girne, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Over 200 migrants, apparently refugees from Syria, have been rescued after their damaged ship drifted for hours in rough seas off Cyprus' northern coast, an official said. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — About 228 migrants, apparently refugees from Syria, have been rescued after their damaged ship drifted for hours in rough seas off Cyprus' northern coast, an official said Sunday.


  • Kerry to 'update' Saudi foreign minister on Iran nuclear talks VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Sunday to "update" him on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers in Vienna, a U.S. official said. The official did not give details about the meeting. Iran and Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally which is worried about the implications of any rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, are regional rivals vying for influence in the Middle East. (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Alison Williams)
  • Hitler watercolor sold for $162,000 at auction BERLIN (AP) — A watercolor of Munich's old city hall believed to have been painted by Adolf Hitler a century ago was sold for 130,000 euros ($162,000) at an auction in Germany on Saturday.
  • Iran nuclear talks may be extended as U.S. sees 'big gaps' 

    U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif and EU envoy Ashton pose for photographers in ViennaBy John Irish and Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - World powers and Iran struggled on Saturday to overcome crucial differences that are preventing them from ending a 12-year standoff over Tehran's atomic ambitions, raising the prospect of another extension to the high-stake talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "big gaps" remained with two days to go before a self-imposed Nov. 24 deadline for an accord, despite signs of some headway. A European source said the likelihood of a final deal by Monday was "very small". ...


  • U.S., Iran discussing new ideas to break nuclear impasse: sources 

    French Foreign Minister Fabius, EU envoy Ashton, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Britain's Foreign Secretary Hammond sit a a table during talks in ViennaBy Louis Charbonneau and Jonathan Allen VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are discussing new ideas aimed at breaking the deadlock in nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, sources close to the talks said on Friday. The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the top Iranian and U.S. diplomats were preparing ideas that could be shown to both countries' capitals. "Discussions are continuing," said a senior U.S. official, who declined to discuss details about the negotiations in Vienna. ...


  • Islamic State attacks Iraq provincial capital: officials 

    Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along streets of Syria's northern Raqqa provinceBy Raheem Salman and Dominic Evans BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters attacked a government complex in the heart of an Iraqi provincial capital on Friday, local officials said, in an apparently coordinated effort to seize full control of the city. Gunmen fired from rooftops at buildings in Ramadi housing the Anbar governorate offices and police headquarters, while security forces and tribal fighters tried to prevent the militants from advancing. "Mosques are asking anyone who can carry weapons to confront the attackers," provincial council member Hathal Fahdawi told Reuters. ...


 

 

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