Main headlines

January 19, 2014

Four Hezbollah members went on trial in absentia at a UN-backed tribunal accused of murdering Hariri in a 2005 car bombing, with sectarian tensions running high at home. [AFP]
09:00 GMT

The U.N.-formed Special Tribunal of Lebanon (STL) trial of four men suspected of being behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri continued on Friday, where new evidence telecom identifying Hezbollah suspects was unveiled, UK-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported.

The announcement that the new Egyptian constitution was approved by  98.1 percent of voters has raised some eyebrows. (AFP)
07:43 GMT

Egypt's electoral committee on Saturday announced that the new, post-June 30 constitution was approved by 98.1 percent of voters.

Israel fired tear gas at Palestinian protestors at a demonstration near the border earlier this week (Mohammed Abed/AFP)
07:29 GMT

Israeli army officials launched two raids on the Gaza strip overnight Saturday, according to reports Sunday

Is Iraq coming close to an all-out sectarian war? (AFP/File)
07:20 GMT

A wave of violence struck Baghdad on Saturday as seven attacks - including six car bombs - killed 20 people amid the government's standoff in Anbar province with Al Qaeda-affiliates.

Syrian opposition National Coalition president Ahmad Jarba announced the group's participation in the Swiss peace talks on Saturday (AFP/Syria National Coalition Media Office/Mohammed Ziadeh)
07:17 GMT

The United States and Britain lauded the Syrian opposition's decision to attend the Swiss international peace conference scheduled for this week after heated weeks of debate on whether or not they would participate in the highly-anticipated talks.

Libyan soldiers were deployed to Libya's south to control renewed clashes (Mahmud Turkia/AFP)
06:52 GMT

Libya declared a state of emergency this weekend in response to fresh clashes in the country's southern region.

Surrendering of Palestinian bodies is one step for Israel moving toward peace. [chrisproject]
05:25 GMT

Israel to return bodies of Palestinians, some killed over a decade ago.

Syrians in Yarmouk have gone without aid for over seven months. [eintifada]
05:08 GMT

A convoy which contains 200 parcels of food items has entered Syria's Yarmouk camp after seven months of isolation from aid.

January 18, 2014

Yemeni soldiers stand guard in front of the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sanaa, on January 18, 2014. [AFP]
15:39 GMT

Commercial attaché of Iran Embassy in Yemen, Ali Asadi, who was seriously injured after being shot by unknown gunmen in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, has succumbed to his wounds.

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani says Iran is making sacrifices for Hezbollah [Press TV]
15:27 GMT

Iran is making sacrifices for Hezbollah and will support the Lebanese group in the event it is attacked, Tehran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Friday.

UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova. [unesco.org]
15:19 GMT

The cultural arm of the United Nations has cancelled the opening of a controversial exhibition at its Paris headquarters after coming under pressure from a number of Arab states, according to Israeli media.

Polling station officials count ballots in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 15, 2014. [AFP]
09:48 GMT

Egyptian authorities are expected to announce on Saturday the official results of this week's referendum on a new constitution, a day after clashes between security forces and Islamist protesters killed four people.

January 17, 2014

Iraqi soldiers monitor a checkpoint East of Baghdad on January 10, 2014. [AFP]
22:27 GMT

The United States is planning to use U.S. troops to train Iraqi counter terrorism units in a third country, a defense official said on Friday

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clash with civilians and Egyptian riot police in Alf Masskan district in the capital Cairo on January 17, 2014. [AFP]
22:21 GMT

Egyptian security forces shot dead three protester on Friday during mass nationwide rallies against the military-backed authorities and a draft constitution that was voted on this week in a popular referendum.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
14:58 GMT

Many Arab countries “see Israel not as an enemy but as a friend,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week, hitting back at those critical of the Canadian premier’s pro-Israel position.