Main headlines

May 25, 2014

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis denied in an online statement on Sunday that Shadi El-Menei had been killed along with five other fighters in a Thursday shootout. (The Cairo Post/File)
10:15 GMT

An Egyptian militant group has dismissed claims that its top leader was killed days earlier in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, near the Israeli border.

This is the first time that the Pope has visited the Holy Land (Jack Guez/AFP)
09:44 GMT

Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for peace on a pilgrimage on Sunday to Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, urging an intensified effort to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Haftar spent nearly 20 years in exile in the United States, and is often accused of working with the CIA (File Archive/AFP)
08:46 GMT

Libya's rogue general Khalifa Haftar released a statement this weekend saying that the people of Libya have given him a "mandate" to "crush jihadist militants in the country."

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman reviews the honor guard as he leaves the presidential palace in Baabda on the last day of his presidential mandate on May 24, 2014. Suleiman called on parliamentarians to elect a successor without delay, as his mandate comes to a end amid huge divide between the country's two main camps. (AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO)
07:52 GMT

With President Michel Suleiman’s term in office coming to an end on Sunday, Lebanon is officially entering a “presidential vacuum,” with rival March 14 Alliance and March 8 Alliance lawmakers so far unable to choose the next head of state.

An emergency response worker checks the bodies of two victims of a shooting at a Jewish Museum in Brussels, on May 24, 2014. Three people were killed and one badly injured in a shoot-out today near the Jewish Museum in Brussels city centre, Belga news agency said, quoting firefighters' emergency services. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)
07:38 GMT

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the shooting and killing of four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday, saying "This act of murder is the result of constant incitement against Jews and their state. Slander and lies against the State of Israel continue to be heard on European soil even as the crimes against humanity and acts of murder being perpetrated in our region are systematically ignored".

Pope Francis prays as he takes part in a visit of Bethany, a site on the eastern bank of the River Jordan where some Christians believe Jesus was baptised, on May 24, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / SAMI KHAHMAN)
07:05 GMT

The Palestinians hope to use this weekend’s papal visit to highlight their suffering and rally worldwide support for their rights and demands, Palestinian officials say.

Shadows of Libyan protesters is seen on the national flag during a rally in support of a rogue former general whose forces have launched a "dignity" campaign to crush jihadist militias on May 23, 2014 in Benghazi, eastern Libya. (AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA)
06:55 GMT

At least two people were killed on Saturday after missiles fired at a Libyan special forces army base missed their target and hit family homes in the city of Benghazi, residents and offcials reported.

Police forensic experts search for evidence on the scene of a shooting near the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24, 2014. Three people were killed and one badly injured when a gunman attacked the Jewish Museum in the centre of Brussels on Saturday, authorities said, expressing "shock" at an apparent anti-Semitic act. (AFP PHOTO / BELGA PHOTO / NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
06:27 GMT

Israeli media reported on Sunday morning that a Tel Aviv couple in their 50's, who were on vacation in Brussels, were among the victims.

Assad said Russia has defended global stability and the Syrian nation against "terrorism" (File/AFP)
05:00 GMT

Bashar al-Assad thanked Russia for help "against terrorism" during a meeting with the Russian deputy premier Dmitry Rogozin.

May 24, 2014

The Pope pictured with King Abdullah in the Vatican last month (File/AFP)
19:08 GMT

Pope Francis was greeted by King Abdullah and Queen Rania upon his arrival to Jordan for a three-day visit to the Middle East.

Protesters have been gathering since Seyed Mahmood Seyed Mohsen was shot on Wednesday (File/AFP)
18:38 GMT

Angry protesters are preparing for the funeral of a 14-year-old teen, shot by Bahraini security forces near the capital Manama.

Weekly protests in Egypt are commonplace since Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July last year (File/AFP)
14:25 GMT

Three protesters were killed across Egypt and 58 injured in clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and police, the country's health ministry said.

Human rights group Amnesty International has criticized Iran for use of the death penalty in recent years (File/AFP)
13:57 GMT

A businessman convicted of embezzling $2.6 billion was hanged early on Saturday in Iran's biggest fraud case in the country's banking history.

Lebanon failed to nominate a president for the fifth time on Thursday (File/AFP)
13:09 GMT

Saad Hariri on Saturday said Lebanon's democratic system will be jeopardized if a president isn't elected soon during a farewell bid to outgoing President Michel Sleiman.

Security sources say around 20 militants were among the dead (File/AFP)
12:02 GMT

Nearly 30 people were killed in overnight militant attacks on government buildings in the city of Seiyun.