Main headlines

January 2, 2014

A hospital official in Tel Aviv said the former PM's health is deteriorating significantly. (AFP/File)
12:30 GMT

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in "critical condition" in hospital as his vital organs are failing and his health deteriorating, an official from the Tel Aviv hospital in which Sharon is saying said on Thursday.

Settlement building reached an all-time high in 2013, with thousands of new homes being built on occupied territories. Under international law, the majority of Israel's settlements are illegal. (AFP/File)
12:19 GMT

Israel will not announce any of its plans to expand settlements while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the region for a diplomatic visit, officials said Thursday.

Mohammed Morsi's previous trials have erupted in protests, forcing some judges to adjourn his trial late last year (File Archive/AFP)
11:32 GMT

The third trial of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been set for Jan. 28 in Cairo.

The Shebab claimed responsibility for the Jan. 2 twin bombing attack near Mogadishu's Jazeera hotel (Abdiwahab Mohamed/AFP)
11:12 GMT

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab claimed responsibility Thursday for executing the twin bombing in the country's capital Mogadishu that has killed at least 11.

At least 13 people have been killed over the past few days since Iraq's leadership deployed troops to Anbar to dismantle the Sunni Arab protest camp (AFP)
10:20 GMT

Half of Iraq's city of Fallujah is now controlled by Al-Qaeda linked militants, according to reports Thursday, and the country's annual 2013 death toll represents the the highest rate in the past 5 years.

Two bombs struck the Lebanese capital between November and December 2013 (File Archive/AFP)
09:49 GMT

Tehran has called on Lebanon to participate in an ongoing investigation on a Saudi man who is suspect of leading the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Iranian embassy bombings in November 2013.

Iranians often experience earthquakes due to the country's fault line location (File Archive/AFP)
09:26 GMT

Earthquakes shook Iran Thursday, killing at least one and injuring 30.

Turkish media say that approximately 47 tons of weapons have been sent to Syrian rebels via Turkey since June (File Archive/AFP)
09:13 GMT

Turkish authorities seized a truck en route to Syria that was carrying weapons Thursday and three people were arrested in the incident.

Al Qaeda bombings in Casablanca left 33 people dead in May 2003 (File Archive/AFP)
08:14 GMT

Morocco authorities told reporters that they have dismantled a "terrorist cell" responsible for sending fighters to Syria.

Egyptian police have been clashing with Islamist protestors since the oust of former president Mohammed Morsi in July (File Archive/AFP)
07:08 GMT

Violent clashes between Islamists and police authorities in Egypt's Alexandria late Wednesday left two people dead.

Lebanon hosts nearly 858,000 refugees, according to UNHCR statistics (File Archive/AFP)
06:48 GMT

A Syrian airstrike that targeted Lebanon's border town of Arsal earlier this week left one refugee killed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki  [Getty Images]
04:00 GMT

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday reversed a decision to withdraw troops from tense cities in Anbar province, hours after militants attacked police stations and freed prisoners.

January 1, 2014

Firefighters work outside the residence of the late Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Jamal on January 1, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. [Getty Images]
20:19 GMT

The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jamal al-Jamal, was killed in his apartment on Wednesday by an explosion caused by explosives detonated when the diplomat opened a safe, police said.

The WikiLeaks Party website said the meeting was aimed at showing solidarity with the Syrian people and voicing opposition to western military intervention. [Getty Images]
14:52 GMT

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has condemned as "reckless" and "counterproductive" a WikiLeaks Party delegation which met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

The head of a jihadist group behind the suicide bomb attack on the Iranian embassy in Lebanon in November is arrested, reports say. [AFP]
14:41 GMT

Lebanese troops arrested the leader of the al-Qaeda-linked group responsible for a double suicide bombing at the Iranian embassy in Lebanon in November, the defense minister told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.