Showing posts with the label Middle East

News | World | Middle East | Beirut: Rescue workers search rubble after deadly Beirut blast

8-10 minutes - Source: BBC Media caption"Now I'm shaking, all the way from up to down" - Eyewitnesses describe the power of the explosion Rescue workers in Lebanon are searching for more than a hundred people who are missing after a huge explosion devastated the port are of the capital Beirut on Tuesday. The blast killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 others. The whole city was shaken by the explosion and a mushroom cloud could be seen spreading over the port area. President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse. Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and as an explosive. He scheduled an urgent cabinet meeting for Wednesday, and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.The country will observe an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday. What happ

News | Middle East | Tech: UAE's first Mars mission 'to launch within weeks'

Frank Gardner  5-7 minutes Image copyright The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre Image caption The UAE believes its Hope project will prove a game-changer for space exploration The first Arab space mission to Mars is preparing to lift off within weeks. Fuelling is due to begin next week. It will take seven months to travel the 493 million km (308 million miles) to reach Mars and begin its orbit, sending back ground-breaking new data about its climate and atmosphere. The probe will remain orbiting Mars for an entire Martian year, 687 days, to gather sufficient data. A single orbit around Mars will take the probe 55 hours. In a briefing on Monday,

World News | Middle East | Israel and Gaza militants agree to cease-fire after weekend of violence

By Loveday Morris  5-6 minutes A view shows the remains of a building that was destroyed by Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City May 6, 2019. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters) JERUSALEM — Armed factions in Gaza said that they had agreed to a cease-fire with Israel that took hold in the early hours of Monday morning, after militants fired more than 600 rockets toward Israel, which responded with airstrikes.  Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two largest militant groups in Gaza, confirmed that a cease-fire was in place as of 4:30 a.m. local time. A spokesman for the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment on the reports but the Israeli military said that protective restrictions for civilians in southern Israel were being lifted as rocket fire had ceased.  In the past the prime minister’s office has declined to comment or outright denied that it has reached truce deals with Hamas, which are unpopular with parts

Middle East | In tightly fought election, Netanyahu appears set to clinch fifth term in office

By Loveday Morris  7-8 minutes Ruth Eglash Reporter covering Israel and the Palestinian territories April 10 at 7:00 AM TEL AVIV — With the vast majority of votes counted in Israeli elections by Wednesday morning, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked set to clinch a fifth term in office, outmaneuvering corruption charges and a strong challenger.  Although both Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz gave victory speeches to raucous crowds at their campaign headquarters a night earlier, only one of them can win.  With around 97 percent of the vote counted, both Netanyahu’s Likud party and Gantz’s Blue and White were tipped to win 35 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset, or parliament. But Netanyahu was the one with a clear path to forming a coalition, with his natural allies in the right-wing doing better overall, predicted to win 65 seats. To form a government he needs to cobble tog

The English Voice of ISIS Comes Out of the Shadows

14-17 minutes Mohammed Khalifa, a 35-year-old Canadian citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia and is of Ethiopian descent, says he is the narrator of multiple English-language Islamic State videos. CreditIvor Prickett for The New York Times Image Mohammed Khalifa, a 35-year-old Canadian citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia and is of Ethiopian descent, says he is the narrator of multiple English-language Islamic State videos. CreditCreditIvor Prickett for The New York Times HASAKA, Syria — More than four years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation appealed to the public to help identify the narrator in one of the Islamic State’s best-known videos, showing captured Syrian soldiers digging their own graves and then being shot in the head. Speaking fluent English with a North American accent, the man would go on to narrate countless other videos and radio broadcasts by the Islamic State, serving as the terrorist group’s faceless evangelist to Americans and other

Turkey’s Erdogan delays operation against Kurdish forces in Syria

By Erin Cunningham Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint news conference with the Iranian President at the Turkish presidential complex in Ankara on Dec. 20, 2018. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images) Erin Cunningham Middle East reporter covering Iran, Turkey, Syria and the wider region December 21 at 8:47 AM ISTANBUL — Turkey will delay a planned offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria's northeast, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, citing talks with the U.S. president and other officials. Erdogan said that he welcomed President Trump's decision — announced Wednesday — to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, where they are partnered with Kurdish-led fighters to battle the Islamic State. Turkey sees Kurdish forces both at home and in Syria as a threat to its national security and warned of an impending offensive to rout them from the Turkish border. “We decided last week to la

Khashoggi’s death was a ‘rogue operation’ that the crown prince was not aware of, Saudi foreign minister says I Middle East I The Washington Post.

Image Security personnel wait Wednesday in front of the gate of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images) Tamer El-Ghobashy Baghdad bureau chief focusing on Iraq's politics, security and the fight against the Islamic State Carol Morello National reporter focusing on foreign policy and State Department October 21 at 1:08 PM ISTANBUL — Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister denied on Sunday that the kingdom’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, had any prior knowledge of an operation that resulted in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and said that the agents involved “weren't people closely tied” to the crown prince. “This was an operation that was a rogue operation,” Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News. “This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had. They made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi.” “Even the senior leader

Jamal Khashoggi: Turks to search Saudi consulate I Middle East I The Washington Post

Image By Kareem Fahim and A security member looks out of the doors of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 15, 2018. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images) Souad Mekhennet Reporter covering national security, Middle East, North Africa, terrorism, Europe. October 15 at 7:06 AM ISTANBUL — Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Turkish investigators to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday, 13 days after Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, vanished after entering the mission, three Turkish officials said.      Two of the officials said the search could take place as early as Monday afternoon. Turkey had publicly scolded the Saudi government for refusing repeated requests to search the consulate, where Turkish investigators believe Khashoggi was killed, and then dismembered, by Saudi agents.     Saudi Arabia has vehemently denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts.