Main headlines

April 24, 2014

Bashar al-Assad is yet to announce his candidacy (File/AFP)
20:02 GMT

As Syria's presidential campaign kicks off, U.S. educated minister, Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri, has announced his bid to become the second candidate in the elections.

Ehud Olmert was accused of taking bribes and lying in court during his trial in March (File/AFP)
18:44 GMT

Israel's State Attorney's Office is seeking a five-year sentence for disgraced ex prime minster Ehud Olmert, the country's Channel 2 reports.

The UN coordinator's comments came a day after the Lebanese parliament failed to elect a candidate (File/AFP)
18:27 GMT

Lawmakers were urged by UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly on Thursday to complete the presidential process and avoid further complications.

Qatar, Turkey and Tunisia have all given their support to Palestine's move towards unity. (AFP/File)
13:46 GMT

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday urged Qatar and Turkey to provide political and financial support to Palestinian factions in order to help reconciliation between the parties succeed.

Regime air strikes have reduced the city of Aleppo to rubble (File Archive/AFP)
13:05 GMT

At least 21 people were killed in an air strike near the Syrian city of Aleppo Thursday, including three children.

Six Israeli tanks entered the Gaza Strip on Thursday. (AFP/File)
11:51 GMT

Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses said as Israel's navy opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast.

Abbas has said that the pact does not contradict peace talks with Israel. (AFP/File)
11:41 GMT

A U.S. official said Thursday that a unity government between Hamas and the PLO may cause the U.S. to halt its aid to Palestinians.

Jordan's leadership has repeatedly expressed concern over the fact that the Kingdom may suffer from a Syrian civil war spillover effect, particularly in terms of more jihadists entering the Kingdom (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP)
11:30 GMT

Jordan has added new controversial articles to its anti-terrorism law in its effort to stop local jihadists from heading to Syria to fight in the country's ongoing war.

The U.S. says the aid will be used for Egyptian authorities for "limited purposes" such as counterterrorism, border security and nonproliferation (Mohammed Al Shahed/AFP)
10:34 GMT

Washington will release $650 million in funding as it begins to ease its partial aid suspension against Cairo that began last year.

Hillah was the center of heavy fighting during the 2003 U.S. invasion into Iraq (File Archive/AFP)
09:33 GMT

At least 8 people were killed in Iraq from a car bomb explosion at a police checkpoint south of Baghdad Thursday.

Maan is experiencing an increase in civil unrest as citizens continue to clash with police forces. (AFP/File)
08:43 GMT

One man died after riots broke out in Maan earlier this week.

Regime fighters captured Yabroud, one of the last major rebel strongholds in Qalamoun, last month (File Archive/AFP)
07:16 GMT

Over 100 former rebel fighters have returned to the Syrian regime after they turned over their weapons and promised not to go back to anti-regime activities.

Abbas said that that overcoming the division between the rival Palestinian political parties will help the Palestinian negotiators reach the two-state solution, and he stressed that the move had both Arab and international support. (AFP/File)
07:01 GMT

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that the recently announced national reconciliation agreement between the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas would contribute to negotiations with Israel and achieving a two-state solution.

There have been conflicting accounts of the alleged chlorine attack on Kafr Zeita, with the government and the opposition trading blame. (AFP/File)
06:42 GMT

Members of the U.N. Security Council called Wednesday for an investigation into new claims of a chlorine gas attack on a rebel bastion in Syria, expressing concern over the reports.

Sectarian violence has been on the rise over the past 18 months, with more than 2,750 being killed in 2014 alone. Here,  a boy walks in the wreckage of a car bomb in Baghdad. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

The attack took place in Baybukh, a small village north of Mosul, and targeted members of the Shabak minority, Agence France Presse reported.