Main headlines

November 20, 2013

Syrian government representatives will not attend any proposed Geneva II conference if they are expected to relinquish their power, President Assad shared with Lebanese reporters Wednesday (File Archive/AFP)
11:44 GMT

In the latest act that has undermined the proposed Geneva II peace talks to end the war in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad told a Lebanese daily Wednesday that "there is no need [for us] to go [to Geneva]" if the Syrian opposition National Coalition expects us to relinquish power."

Trucks cross into Rafah town through the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip. [Said Khatib/AFP]
10:37 GMT

An aid convoy delivering medical equipment and food crossed entered Gaza via Rafah crossing for the first time since the June 30 coup which overthrew Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

Students form a human chain around the Fordo nuclear plant in Qom, to show their support for Iran's nuclear programme. [CHAVOSH HOMAVANDI/Getty Images]
10:08 GMT

Ayatollah Khamenei says he will not intervene in diplomatic discussions but there are red lines that the Iranian negotiators will have to observe.

Iraqi security forces stand at the site of a bomb attack. []
09:26 GMT

At least 24 people have been killed and 65 others wounded in a wave of bombings in mostly Shia areas of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, officials say.

US Senator Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, talks with reporters at the White House after a meeting on Iran with President Obama in Washington, DC, November 19, 2013. [JIM WATSON/Getty Images]
08:18 GMT

US President Barack Obama Tuesday appealed to senators to delay voting for tougher sanctions on Iran while international negotiations aimed at curbing the country's nuclear program continue.

The UN report is "careful not to assign blame" for atrocities in Syria, but does seem to fully blame the government for the August chemical weapon attacks (File Archive/AFP)
08:08 GMT

UN General Assembly's vote Tuesday that demands immediate humanitarian access to Syrians trapped in the country as part of siege tactics blames both sides for the acts of violence, but comes close to blaming the regime for the use of chemical weapons in August.

The 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud street clashes left 47 dead and at least 3,000 injured (Reuters)
07:44 GMT

Ten soldiers were reported dead Wednesday from a bomb blast targeting a military vehicle in Sinai. Wednesday's blast follows Tuesday's memorial of the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud street clashes that has left

UNRWA runs many of the schools in the Palestinian territories as well as in bordering countries such as Jordan (Courtesy of Nuqudy)
07:32 GMT

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main entity responsible for providing services to Palestinian refugees, announced Tuesday that it would be cutting 30,000 workers from its payroll due to a $36 million deficit. Refugees and UNRWA workers have responded to the announcement in protest, shutting down all UNRWA offices and programs except clinics and schools Wednesday and Thursday.

People gather near the site of the bombing Tuesday (Ahmad Omar/AP)
07:01 GMT

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is working to ensure that Tuesday's bombings in the capital do not pull the country further into regional turmoil, but the politicization surrounding the blasts has the potential to divide factions in the government and on the street.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron telephoned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Tuesday, representing the first call between the two countries in over a decade (Courtesy of Press TV)
06:49 GMT

British Prime Minister David Cameron telephoned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Tuesday, representing the first official communication between UK and Iranian leadership in over ten years.

Netanyahu will meet with the Kremlin to discuss Iran, but Russian President Putin has already expressed hope that a deal between Tehran and world powers can be reached in this renewed round of talks in Geneva (Courtesy of Haaretz)
06:00 GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian leadership in Moscow today to discuss and advocate against the emerging nuclear agreement between Iran, the US and other world powers.The PM's visit coincides with the commencement of nuclear talks in Geneva.

Private Gulf money has been a major source of funding for extremist rebel groups like the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (File Archive/AFP)
05:41 GMT

Kuwaiti officials are denying that money from the Gulf country is flowing to the war-torn country of Syria to fund extremist rebel groups. However, a New York Times report issued earlier this week suggests otherwise.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech attended by French President Francois Hollande and Israel's President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on November 19, 2013. [Getty Images]
05:00 GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday invited President Mahmoud Abbas to address the Israeli parliament and publicly recognize Jewish links to the land of Israel.

Rebel Free Syrian Army fighters drag a man suspected of being a shabiha or pro-regime militiamen on 31 July in Aleppo. [Emin Ozmen AFP/Getty Images]
04:00 GMT

Syrian rebels executed civilian prisoners in their custody during a battle in the Christian village of Sadad from October 21 to 28, 2013, reports Human Rights Watch.

November 19, 2013

attend a demonstration alongside Libyan civilians in Tripoli against the presence of militia in the capital and in support of the army and police on November 19, 2013. [MAHMUD TURKIA/Getty Images]
17:36 GMT

Libya's government announces plans to remove militias operating outside its control from the capital