Main headlines

February 16, 2014

Regime delegate Bashar Al Jaafari told reporters that the decision to put the opposition representatives on the terrorism list had nothing to do with the Geneva talks (Phillippe Desmazes/AFP)
07:59 GMT

Syria's government has added the Geneva talk's opposition delegates to a "terrorist list" and seized their assets.

Sabbahi is the only candidate that has officially announced his bid for the presidency thus far (Courtesy of The Cairo Post)
07:17 GMT

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi invited army chief Abdel Fattah El Sisi to take part in a debate ahead of Sisi's proposed presidential run.

Morsi's trial has been postponed on several occasions (File Archive)
07:00 GMT

Morsi's trial for espionage, along with other 35 co-defendants, is set to commence Sunday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is working closely with Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu to bring about Mideast peace. (AFP/File)
06:48 GMT

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zihri criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying he has no authority or negotiate with Israel and the U.S. on behalf of the Palestinian people.

February 15, 2014

Firefighters extinguish fire from Baghdad's historic Shorjah market, which dates to the Abbassid era over 700 years ago, after it was hit by two bomb blasts on February 13, 2014 killing at least two people and wounding at least 11. [AFP]
18:32 GMT

Iraqi troops backed by helicopter gunships fought on Saturday to retake full control of a northern town from militants who overran parts of it earlier this week, Reuters reported the mayor and other local officials as saying.

 A second round of peace talks between Syria's warring sides broke off on February 15, 2014 without making any progress and without a date being set for a third round, Brahimi said. [AFP]
13:18 GMT

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Saturday apologized to the people of Syria after the first two rounds of the peace talks in Geneva have not achieved any progress.

Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers offload aid from a lorry as Syrians evacuated from rebel-controlled districts that were besieged by the army, arrive at a government-ruled area, in the central Syrian city of Homs, on February 12, 2014. [AFP]
12:10 GMT

Fighters remaining inside besieged Old Homs and human rights workers say they fear an imminent government military onslaught aimed at eliminating the rebel-stronghold after a U.N.-brokered cease-fire and evacuation deal conclude

"Nobody has authorized you (Abbas) to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, or on behalf of Hamas or any other faction," a spokesman of Hamas said. [AFP]
10:44 GMT

A spokesman for Hamas said Friday that the faction would regard any international military presence within a future Palestinian state as "occupation" forces.

Members of parliament from the ruling AK Party and the main opposition Republican People's Party scuffle during a debate on a draft law which will give the government tighter control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors, at a parliamentary session in Ankara on February 15, 2014. [AFP]
10:25 GMT

Turkey’s parliament on Saturday passed a contested bill giving the government more control over the judiciary, after violent scuffles broke out in the assembly, according to Agence France-Presse.

“There will be some intermediate steps that we can take to apply more pressure to the Assad regime.” Obama said on Friday. [AFP]
07:58 GMT

The United States is considering further steps to put pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, President Barack Obama said on Friday.

US President Barack Obama listens while King Abdullah II of Jordan makes a statement for the press before a meeting at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands February 14, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California. [AFP]
07:36 GMT

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees for Middle East ally Jordan and the renewal of a five-year aid package.

All appeared ready for prime minister-designate Tammam Salam to announce a new cabinet.  [AFP]
07:28 GMT

After talks to end a 10-month political crisis in Lebanon and appoint a new government were once again stalled on Friday, late-night talks between officials have revived hopes for the country.

February 14, 2014

 US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives to meet with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister and the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria on the Syrian peace talks at the United Nations headquarters on February 13, 2014 in Geneva. [AFP]
21:51 GMT

A senior U.S. official said Friday that Russia is being urged to push the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to participate more actively in the Geneva talks aimed at ending the country’s civil war.

The mother of Palestinian Ibrahim Suleiman Mansur, who was shot dead by Israeli troops near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, mourns during his funeral in Gaza City on February 14, 2014 . [AFP]
21:41 GMT

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian protesters in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, injuring nine people, witnesses said.

UK suicide bomber in Syria named as Abdul Waheed Majid.
16:50 GMT

British media have reacted to the story of an alleged British suicide bomber thought to be behind last week’s bombing by rebels on a prison in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, expressing shock as the man was reportedly a “normal family man.”