Main headlines

December 27, 2013

US soldier walks around an inert Hellfire missile as he perform a pre-flight check on an MQ-1B Predator unmanned aircraft system. [AFP]
14:39 GMT

The United States sent Iraq dozens of missiles and surveillance drones to help it combat a recent surge in al-Qaeda-backed violence, officials and media reports said on Thursday.

Egyptian riot policemen run after Muslim brotherhood members following a demonstration in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district on December 27, 2013. [AFP]
14:30 GMT

Police launch teargas at students protesting killing of a 1st year Azhar student during earlier clashes with local residents in Cairo; Brotherhood clashes with police in several cities; 2 deaths reported

Lebanese security forces inspect the scene of a huge car bomb explosion that rocked central Beirut on December 27, 2013, killing Mohamed Chatah. [AFP]
14:07 GMT

Lebanese security forces inspect the scene of a huge car bomb explosion that rocked central Beirut on December 27, 2013, killing Mohamed Chatah. [AFP]

During the phone call, Kerry and Fahmy "agreed that there can be no place for violence in Egypt and that the Egyptian people deserve peace and calm," Psaki said. [Getty Images]
11:44 GMT

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed concern on Thursday over Egypt’s intensified crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood declaring it a terrorist group.

A Palestinian girl is seen inside the destoryed home of three-year-old Hala Abu Sabakha, who was killed during an Israeli air raid the day before, in the central of Gaza Strip, on December 25, 2013. [AFP]
11:36 GMT

In fresh round of violence, Palestinians launch two rockets, prompting Israeli military to strike Hamas training camps.

More than 50 people were wounded from Friday morning's bomb explosion in central Beirut (Anwar Amro/AFP)
11:05 GMT

Explosions shook the Lebanese capital Friday after a car bomb exploded in central Beirut, killing five and wounding 50. Former Lebanese adviser to the former PM Saad Hariri, Mohammad Shattah was killed in the explosion,

Sisi is expected to run for president in Egypt's tentative elections (File Archive/AFP)
05:00 GMT

Egypt’s Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi vowed on Thursday to fight terrorism and stabilize the deeply divided country after explosions left five dead Thursday.

December 26, 2013

This photo taken on December 26, 2013, shows Turkish prosecutor Muammer Akkas as he walks out from a courthouse in Istanbul. [AFP]
21:10 GMT

Prosecutor in charge of investigation into corruption scandal claims his efforts are being blocked.

Iraq and Jordan sign an agreement to build an oil pipeline between the two nations earlier in 2013. [AFP]
20:53 GMT

After an official visit to Baghdad, Jordan's Prime Minster Abdullah Ensour and Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki express their commitment to refocus on bilateral relations.

Raif Badawi, founder of the Free Saudi Liberals site, has been sentenced to seven years in jail and 600 lashes by a Jeddah court, according to a tweet from his lawyer Waleed Abu Alkhair. [indexoncensorship]
20:24 GMT

After jailed blogger, Raif Badawi, was sentenced to 600 lashes, a Saudi judge has recommended that he be charged for apostasy which carried the death penalty if convicted.

Activists from the Muttahida Shehri Mahaz shout slogans as they protest against a US drone attack in Multan on December 26, 2103. [AFP]
18:00 GMT

Two missiles launched by US drones kill four in Pakistan.

 A member of the Egyptian security forces stands in front of the damaged police building following a powerful car bomb explosion in the Egyptian city of Mansura earlier this week. [AFP]
15:28 GMT

Just one day after being declared a "terrorist group", Egyptian government officials have arrested 16 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on terrorist charges.

Jewish media reported that Abbas and Netanyahu have been holding secret talks for years earlier this week (File Archive/AFP)
13:00 GMT

A spokesperson from the office of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has officially denied recent reports in Israeli media that suggest Abbas has been conducting secret talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for several years.

Ahmed Maher is one of three activists who started a hunger strike this week in protest of their prison conditions in Cairo (File Archive)
12:12 GMT

Egypt's prominent youth activists Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma, who were jailed by authorities last week, launched a hunger strike this week to protest their treatment in a south Cairo prison.

Unprecedented protests in Turkey earlier this year have sparked increased public outlash and criticism of Erdogan's rule over the past six months (File Archive)
11:23 GMT

Turkey's opposition spoke out Thursday against "scandal-hit" Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of trying to rule the country via a "secretive 'deep state,' or a "shadowy power structure unhindered by democratic checks and balances."