Main headlines

December 3, 2013

Arafat died in 2004 of a "sudden illness" while under an Israeli siege in Ramallah (File Archive)
12:15 GMT

A Palestinian investigator told reporters Tuesday that he would soon release the names of those he believed were responsible for former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death.

A Bedouin boy stands near an open pool of sewage in the garbage filled Wadi Gaza in the central Gaza Strip on November 27, 2013, as the silhouette of the Gaza Strip power plant is seen in the background. (AFP)
11:33 GMT

Human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip as there is now a "public health catastrophe" after the sole Gaza power plant shut down.

Mansour will serve as Egypt's head of state until a new president is elected. [guim]
11:24 GMT

Expectations are high for final approval by interim President Mansour on Egypt's draft constitution.

Syrians walk past cars in central Damascus on December 3, 2013 prior to a suicide attack in the Jebbeh district of the capital causing deaths and injuries, Syrian state television reported. (AFP)
10:41 GMT

A suicide bomber blew himself up in central Damascus on Tuedsay, killing at least four people. Initial reports suggest the bomber may have been targeting a government building.

Douma was also arrested earlier this year for calling then-President Mohamed Morsi a liar and a criminal. (AFP/File)
10:22 GMT

Prominent Egyptian social activist Ahmed Douma was arrested at his home in Cairo on Tuesday morning, in the latest in crackdown on public bloggers and activists by the authorities.

A Lebanese man runs in the street at the entrance of Tripoli's Bab al-Tabbaneh Sunni area during clashes with the Alawite, pro-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood in the northern Lebanese city on December 2, 2013. The clashes have wounded at least 61 people, among them 12 members of the Lebanese army, which is deployed in the city and is responding to the sources of fire, the security source said. (AFP)
09:51 GMT

The Lebanese army on Tuesday was carrying out a series of raids in the city, one day after Beirut authorized the military to take control of the violence-prone northern city for six months.

Amina, a Syrian woman who fled the fighting in Aleppo, is photographed inside an abandoned building with her five-month-old sick daughter, Asma, on the outskirts of Saraqib, southwest of Aleppo, on September 9, 2013. According to the Red Cross, more than one million Syrians are going hungry. (AFP)
05:49 GMT

Only able to supply regular aid to six million Syrians, the International Red Cross said Monday that the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria is leaving one million citizens hungry.

Jimmy Carter was the last U.S. president to visit Iran, back before the Islamic revolution in 1979 and the subsequent hostage crisis. [Reuters]
05:31 GMT

Amid rumors that US President Obama is planning a visit to Iran, the White House issued a statement denying that Obama has any plans to drop into the region in 2014.

Some 500 Palestinian security officers have descended on the West Bank to bring stability to Nablus and its surrounding areas. (AFP)
05:27 GMT

500 officers from the Palestinian national security service have descended on the northern West Bank in a bid to bring calm and stability to Nablus following a series of recent violent clashes.

Car bombs are often made using gas containers and explosives placed inside the trunk of the car.  [Ashraf Abdul-Wahab]
05:19 GMT

Security forces defused an abandoned car bomb staged to explode near a convoy in Cairo.

Activists and residents claim that 50 Syrian refugees trapped along the Jordanian-Syrian border by regime bombing and shelling starved to death earlier this month. [eaworldview[
04:29 GMT

Over 1,000 Syrian refugees fleeing their war torn country have entered the Hashemite Kingdom over the last three days.

Maaloula's cathedral and churches empty of Christians as Syria's latest fight ensues. [Reuters]
04:19 GMT

Syrian rebels retake historical Christian town of Maaloula. Several nuns are believed to have been taken hostage - sources are still unclear whether they were taken as an act of violence or taken to be protected.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani [Getty Images]
04:00 GMT

Britain’s new envoy to Tehran will visit Iran Tuesday for the first time since a thaw in relations between the two countries who severed ties two years ago, reported Agence France-Presse.

December 2, 2013

Yemen is the home base of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which the United States views as the global militant network’s most dangerous franchise. [AFP]
18:50 GMT

Clashes on Monday between al-Qaeda suspects and Yemeni troops in the southeastern province of Hadramawt left nine people dead, three of them soldiers, the Defense Ministry reported.

Lebanese army soldiers evacuate civilians caught in sniper fire in the Lebanese northern coastal city of Tripoli on November 30, 2013.  [AFP]
17:16 GMT

Lebanon decided Monday to give the Army the right to administer the northern city of Tripoli as a military zone for a six-month period in a bid to end deadly clashes there linked to the Syria conflict.