Main headlines

December 9, 2013

Turkish police used water cannons and tear gas to break up a Kurdish protest in Yuksekova, leaving two people dead. (Mehmet Engin/AFP)
08:14 GMT

Members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) released four Turkish soldiers Monday morning after Kurdish politicians intervened into the situation.

Female mourners grieve during the funeral of 14-year-old Palestinian Waji al-Ramhi in the Jelazoun refugee camp in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 8, 2013. (AFP)
06:59 GMT

Following the death of a 14-year-old boy at the hands of an Israeli solider on Sunday, Ramallah on Monday came to a standstill as youths from nearby refugee camps forced business to close.

Media stations affiliated to Hezbollah have apologized for their biased coverage of sporadic Shiite protests in Bahrain. (AFP/File)
06:16 GMT

Media groups affiliated with Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah have apologized to Bahrain for their biased and subjective coverage of Shiite protests in the Gulf state.

Despite being happy to spend $3,000 on icecream, Netanyahu has cancelled his trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral for cost reasons. (AFP)
06:03 GMT

Despite being lambasted by the press for his outrageous spending on luxuries such as icecream, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not attend Nelson Mandela's funeral as it is "too expensive" to travel to South Africa.

OPCW said Sunday that there might be a delay in transporting Syria's deadliest chemical weapons out of the country due to technical difficulties. (AFP/File)
05:41 GMT

The international chemical weapons watchdog OPCW warned Sunday that there might be a delay of a few days in transporting Syria's chemical weapons out of the country due to unforeseen technical difficulties.

People hold up balloon lamps bearing the image of late former South African president Nelson Mandela during a commemorative ceremony outside the late leader's former home. [AFP]
05:01 GMT

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to participate in the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa next week.

A Kurdish protester falls to the ground as Turkish riot police use water cannons to disperse them during a demonstration in Diyarbakir on December 8, 2013. [AFP]
04:43 GMT

Kurdish militants abducted four Turkish soldiers on Sunday by removing them from their vehicles at a security checkpoint.

Auxiliary Bishop at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East Luqa al-Khoury declared war on the Syrian rebels. [pravoslavie]
04:20 GMT

A senior Orthodox Church official has urged Christians to take up arms to defend themselves and their holy places in the wake of the recent abduction of a group of nuns from the ancient village of Maaloula in Syria.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting on December 8, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. [Getty Images]
04:00 GMT

During a webcast video speech to the 10th annual Saban Forum on Middle East policy in Washington, Netanyahu said that Palestinians needed to "come to grips" with the idea of Israel as a Jewish nation state in order for peace negotiations to succeed.

December 8, 2013

Government forces are seeking to encircle the rebels in the Qalamoun region north of Damascus and sever opposition supply lines across the nearby border with Lebanon. [AFP]
17:41 GMT

Syrian government forces made advances on Sunday in the town of al-Nabk, one of the last rebel-held areas in Qalamoun region bordering Lebanon, a watchdog said.

Israeli President Shimon Peres says he is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rowhani. [AFP]
15:15 GMT

Israeli President Shimon Peres said Sunday he would be prepared to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rowhani, Agence France-Presse reported.

Amid fresh claims of a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Nabek on Friday, hundreds of Syrian refugees entered into Jordan this weekend. Here, refugees are seen entering Jordan via the northern border last week. (Photo courtesy of The Jordan Times/Nader Daoud)
12:49 GMT

Hundreds of Syrians fled to Jordan on Saturday as allegations of a new chemical weapons attack reportedly fuelled a fresh exodus from Damascus towards the border region.

The interim Egyptian government has cracked down on Islamists since former president Morsi's oust in July (Mahmoud Khaled/AFP)
10:32 GMT

155 people arrested during clashes in the capital in October were acquitted in Cairo's misdemeanor court Saturday.

Israel's Economy Minister wants the Jewish state to annex parts of the West Bank where many Israeli settlers live (File Archive)
09:43 GMT

Israel's Economy Minister Naftali Bennett proposed Sunday that the Jewish state annex parts of the West Bank.

The predominantly Shi'ite Amil neighborhood of Iraq's capital has been the target of many bombing attacks over the past years (File Archive)
09:08 GMT

At least five people were killed from a bomb that detonated in an outdoor market in Iraq's capital Baghdad.