Main headlines

January 22, 2014

U.N. Chief entered into a heated exchange with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem during the opening statements of the Swiss peace conference (Gary Cameron/AFP)
10:45 GMT

Opening statements at the highly-anticipated Geneva II peace conference to end the Syrian crisis have heightened tensions between regime and opposition alliances.

A young Bahraini girl holds a national flag during an anti-government rally in the village of Diraz, west of Manama, on January 17, 2014. [AFP]
09:39 GMT

After much back and forth about progress, Bahrain's Crown Prince has moved in the direction of reconciliation again by organizing a meet up with opposition.

Syrian-Kurdish refugees work near tents erected by the United Arab Emirate's Red Crescent as aid is distributed at the Qushtapa refugee camp, 15 kilometers South of Arbil. [AFP]
09:14 GMT

Months after declaring self-rule, Syrian Kurds are making progress on naming municipal councils.

Israeli troops recently fired tear gas at Gazan protestors on the border last week, wounding two Palestinians (Mohammed Abed/AFP)
07:34 GMT

An Israeli airstrike on the northern area of the Gaza Strip killed two Palestinians early Wednesday.

The war in Syria has spilled over into Lebanon, heightening sectarian tension and violence particularly within the northern city of Tripoli (Ibrahim Chalhoub/AFP)
07:14 GMT

Fresh clashes between Tripoli's Bab Al Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods erupted early Wednesday leaving five wounded. Syrian rockets also hit Lebanon's border town Akkar early Wednesday.

The leader of the Syrian opposition National Coalition Ahmad Jarba arrived in Switzerland earlier this week (Salvatore Di Nolfi/AFP)
07:00 GMT

Long-anticipated peace talks on the Syrian Crisis known as "Geneva II" are set to commence Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux.

Rescue teams and local residents gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's southern suburb of Haret Hreik on January 21, 2014. [AFP]
06:30 GMT

After the fourth car bomb in four weeks, Lebanese residents are anxiously concerned that there are more to follow.

A body seen trapped under rubble after the most recent attack on Aleppo.  More than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria's nearly three-year war. [AFP]
05:42 GMT

On the eve of Geneva II, Saudi officials have called for all foreign fighters to exit Syria in efforts to promote peace.

January 21, 2014

Libyan militant groups clashed in Tripoli's western suburbs leaving at least five dead and 20 injured (AFP)
19:30 GMT

Clashes in Libya's capital left at least five people dead and 20 wounded Tuesday.

Police authorities have often used tear gas to disperse pro-Morsi protests (File Archive/AFP)
19:17 GMT

Renewed clashes erupted in Egypt's Sharqiya governorate Tuesday between pro-Morsi supporters and police authorities.

Obama called his counterpart Vladimir Putin Tuesday to discuss the Syrian peace conference set to begin Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux (File Archive/AFP)
19:07 GMT

United States President Barack Obama telephoned Russian leader Vladimir Putin Tuesday to discuss the launch of Syrian peace talks in Switzerland Wednesday.

Yemen's interim President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi will stay in his post for an additional year (Courtesy of The Guardian)
18:17 GMT

Yemen's political parties approved a new federal system Tuesday and have collectively decided to extend the president's term by one year.

Syria's opposition National Coalition will meet with regime representatives in direct talks Friday in Geneva (File Archive/AFP)
17:14 GMT

A senior Russian official told reporters Tuesday that talks between the Syrian regime and opposition in Switzerland will last seven to 10 days and will be followed by another round of talks.

The Islamist representatives' resignation is in response to what the party has described as the failure of the government under Libyan PM Ali Zeidan (File Archive/AFP)
16:43 GMT

Libya's Muslim Brotherhood party, the second largest group in the country's parliament, withdrew its five ministers from their government posts Tuesday.

An Eilat policeman picks up a piece of one of the rockets (Courtesy of Haaretz/Eilat Police)
16:35 GMT

Egypt's Al Qaeda influenced militant group Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis claimed responsibility for Monday's rocket attack on Israel's Eilat port.