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-03-23 03:51UN-backed Syria peace talks to restart in GenevaUN envoy Staffan de Mistura tried to strike an optimistic note when the previous round ended last month.He insisted government and rebel negotiators had agreed on a "clear agenda" and that "everything is ready" for the talks to move forward.
-03-23 00:51Amnesty condemns US and UK over Yemen armsThe rights group said the two countries had together sent more than five billion dollars (4.6 billion euros) worth of arms to Riyadh since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015.That was more than 10 times their humanitarian aid to Yemen during the same period, it said.
-03-22 16:40Sharp rise in Israeli settlement projects in 2016Ground was broken on 2,630 housing units last year compared with 1,884 in 2015, figures from Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics showed.Anti-settlement NGO Peace Now called it "the second highest number of construction starts in the past 15 years".
-03-22 15:14Trump wishes Iranians happy New YearIn a statement, the outspoken Iran critic sent "best wishes to all those around the world celebrating the wonderful ancient holiday of Nowruz."This year Persian New Year, or Nowruz, falls on Tuesday, March 21.
-03-21 13:51China's Xi calls for peace in meeting with Netanyahu"A peaceful, stable and developing Middle East is the common interest of all parties... China appreciates that the Israeli side will continue to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the basis of the 'two-state solution'," Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying during their meeting.""As soon as possible, (I hope) the two countries will live in peace and coexistence."
-03-21 08:42Syria rebels launch fresh assault on east DamascusAn AFP journalist in east Damascus and a monitor both reported a large explosion at dawn followed by fierce clashes, shelling and government air strikes on opposition positions.The renewed fighting in the capital, which saw rebels and jihadists make their largest incursions in east Damascus in years, came just two days before another round of UN-backed peace talks were set to get underway in Switzerland.
-03-21 01:36Intense strikes pound east Damascus after rebel assaultIn the north of the country, meanwhile, a Kurdish militia said the Russian military is to train Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State group.Rebels and allied jihadists, led by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, early Sunday attacked government positions in east Damascus, initially scoring gains.
-03-20 23:43US poised to curb electronic devices on Middle East flightsA tweet from Saudi Airlines and one -- subsequently deleted -- by Royal Jordanian airlines informed their customers of an imminent cabin ban on electronic devices larger than a cellphone.Royal Jordanian said all such devices -- including laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games -- would need to be checked in under new US government rules coming into force March 21.
-03-20 20:17European and North African ministers seek to curb Libya migrant flowsOne year after a controversial deal with Turkey to stop migrants setting out across the Aegean Sea for Greece, the European Union is seeking to reach a similar accord with conflict-hit Libya, despite fierce opposition from human rights campaigners.Just this past weekend more than 3,300 people were rescued from unseaworthy vessels off the north African country, bringing the number of arrivals in Italy to nearly 20,000 so far in 2017 -- a significant increase on previous years.
-03-20 16:01UN wants probe into refugee boat attack off Yemen"Many questions remain unanswered on the circumstances of this horrific event," the head of the UN refugee agency, Filippo Grandi, said in a statement."We call on all parties to the conflict to make proper inquiries to ensure accountability and to prevent this from happening again," he added.