US plans open-ended military presence in Syria

Image copyright AFP Image caption The US special forces and military advisers are deployed in northern and eastern Syria The US will maintain an open-ended military presence in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of the jihadist group Islamic State, counter Iranian influence, and help end the civil war. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said […]

Sunken tanker Sanchi: Four oil slicks seen, says China

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The toil tanker sank on Sunday An oil spill from an Iranian tanker that sank off China has spread into four separate slicks covering an area of 100 sq km (39 sq miles), say Chinese authorities. The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of ultra-light crude oil when it collided with […]

Superjumbo jet future secured by Emirates order

Image copyright PA The Emirates airline has announced an order for up to 36 Airbus A380s. The $16bn (£11.5bn) deal amounts to a reprieve for the A380 after Airbus threatened to stop making the jet if it could not come to a deal with Emirates. Emirates is the only airline to have put the A380 […]

UN alarmed as US cuts aid to Palestinian refugee agency

Image copyright AFP Image caption Palestinians symbolically locked the gates of an Unrwa office in Hebron in protest The UN has expressed serious concern at the US decision to withhold more than half of a tranche of funding for the agency supporting Palestinian refugees. Washington will hand over $60m (£43m) of a planned payment to […]

Palestinian slap video teen held until trial

Media captionAhed Tamimi was arrested after this video went viral To some she’s a modern-day Joan of Arc. Others call her “Shirley Temper”, a play on Hollywood child actor Shirley Temple, claiming she is a star of staged Palestinian propaganda. At 16, Ahed Tamimi is now a famous Palestinian prisoner, arrested by Israel in December […]

US holds back $65m aid to Palestinians

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Palestinians like these in Gaza City receive UN food aid The US is withholding more than half of a $125m (£90m) instalment destined for the UN relief agency for the Palestinians, American officials say. It will provide $60m in aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) but will […]

Syria war: Turkish forces mass near Kurdish areas

Image copyright AFP Image caption Turkish military lorries were photographed transporting tanks to the border with Syria on Tuesday Turkey’s president has warned of imminent military offensives on two Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria, as tanks and troops mass on the border. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Syrian rebels would support Turkish efforts to clear the […]

Jordan urged to end animal mistreatment at Petra site

Image copyright Peta Image caption Peta says the donkey on the left has a tongue sticking out due to a neurological disorder Animal rights group Peta has launched an international campaign to try to end the mistreatment of working animals in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Peta says donkeys, horses and camels are […]

Baghdad suicide bombers kill dozens in attack on labourers

Image copyright AFP Image caption Some victims were buried hours later in the Shia Muslim holy city of Najaf Two suicide bombers have killed at least 35 people and injured 90 in an attack on a Baghdad square where day labourers gather to look for work. They set off their devices at intervals, sending people […]

Saudi Ritz ‘gilded jail’ hotel to reopen

Image copyright AFP Image caption The hotel has been a luxury detention centre since early November A luxury Saudi hotel which has been a detention centre for dozens of princes and top officials held in a corruption drive since November is to reopen. The five-star Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is taking bookings again from February, after […]