Middle East

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Hobby Lobby Clan Suspected of Looting Iraq Antiquities

4-year federal probe looks into whether ancient tablets were smuggled into US

(Newser) - The Museum of the Bible being built in DC by the Christian family behind one of the nation's biggest arts-and-crafts retailers is coming along nicely. Maybe too nicely, per law enforcement sources, who tell the Daily Beast that the Green family—the ones whose Hobby Lobby chain claimed a... More »

Pregnant Woman Killed in Israeli-Palestinian Violence

Random stabbings have Israelis on edge

(Newser) - A wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence showed no signs of abating Sunday, as three Palestinians, including a 2-year-old and a 13-year-old, were killed by Israeli forces, and four Israelis were wounded in an evening stabbing attack. The attacks have been primarily stabbings and shootings, but a Palestinian woman seriously injured herself... More »

One Country Starts Fence to Keep Out Migrants

It's not their first fence, either

(Newser) - Israel has begun building a fence along part of the country's eastern border with Jordan as Syrian civil war refugees and other migrants flee their countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today: "We see today what happens when countries lose control of their borders." He seemed to... More »

Saudis Say They'll Keep Up With Iran in Nuke War

Obama meeting with Arab leaders today to assure them of Middle East security

(Newser) - President Obama is convening with six Arab leaders today at Camp David, hoping to assure them that a deal between the West and Iran to contain the latter country's nuclear efforts won't compromise the security of the Middle East. But the Saudis already seem to be balking, announcing... More »

Man Accused of International In-N-Out Burger Scheme

Prosecutors say Craig Stevens peddled fake franchises

(Newser) - Craig Stevens allegedly had what sounded like a great offer: Purchase an In-N-Out Burger franchise and bring the fast-food chain to the Middle East. That would be pretty major, considering a slim five US states are home to In-N-Out Burger locations. The only problem? The company has "adamantly" refused... More »

This Man Leads a 3.5-Acre Mideast Nation of 2

Eli Avivi and his Akhzivland seceded from Israel more than 60 years ago

(Newser) - In 1971, Eli Avivi and his wife, Rina, ripped up their Israeli passports and were hauled off to jail, where they were charged with destroying passports and "creating a country without permission," per the BBC . That charge was eventually dropped, but their "country," Akhzivland, is still... More »

HarperCollins Map for Mideast Students Leaves Out Israel

Company to 'pulp' remaining copies amid outrage

(Newser) - A map from HarperCollins aimed at Middle East schools has been getting a lot of one-star reviews on Amazon , and it's not because the colors aren't pretty. The map, which HarperCollins says was "developed specifically for schools in the Middle East," doesn't mention the existence... More »

Reporter Next to Burning Heroin Can't Stop Giggling

BBC's Quentin Sommerville posts video of failed news report from Middle East

(Newser) - Christmas came early for BBC reporter Quentin Sommerville's nearly 25,000 Twitter followers after he posted a rather hazy link yesterday: footage of him reporting next to a pile of flaming drugs. Or trying to report, as he bursts into uncontrollable laughter just a few seconds into the taping.... More »

This Tiny Copper Awl Is Rewriting History

Awl is oldest metal object ever found in Middle East

(Newser) - A small copper awl found in a woman's ancient grave in Israel is rewriting history. It's the oldest metal object ever found in the Middle East, and was probably owned by the apparently important 40-year-old woman buried with it in an extravagant Tel Tsaf grave, LiveScience reports. The... More »

US Officials: Egypt, UAE Secretly Attack Libya

Old-school autocrats strike Islamists without US approval

(Newser) - Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched airstrikes at militias in Libya twice over the last week without Washington's approval, four US officials tell the New York Times . Egypt, in fact, denied any involvement in the attacks. The first strikes came last week in Tripoli, destroying a weapons depot... More »

Israel Accepts Egyptian Ceasefire Proposal

Palestine had already accepted the plan

(Newser) - A senior Israeli official says the Israeli government has accepted an Egyptian ceasefire proposal to end a month-long war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The official says a preliminary 72-hour truce will begin in the morning. An Israeli delegation will head to Egypt for talks meant to work... More »

Egypt Offers Ceasefire Proposal

Israel, Hamas say they're considering it

(Newser) - Egypt presented a ceasefire plan today to end a week of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip that has left at least 185 Palestinians dead, and both sides seem to be considering the proposal. The late-night offer by Egypt marked the first sign of a... More »

Israel to Gaza Residents: Flee Before Airstrikes

Meanwhile, UN calls for a cease-fire

(Newser) - The Israeli military says it is ordering Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate the area "for their own safety." In a statement today, the military said it would send messages to residents overnight to leave the area. Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz, the chief military spokesman,... More »

Cold-War Photos Give Up New Secrets: Lost Cities

Spy satellites captured ruins throughout the Middle East in the '60s

(Newser) - The Middle East is home to 4,500 archaeological sites, or so we thought. An in-depth review of Cold War-era photos taken by spy satellites has pulled back the veil on as many as 10,000 more lost cities, roads, and other ruins in the region. As Gizmodo reports, CORONA... More »

Middle East Sees Spike in Cases of Lethal Virus

92 have died since 2012

(Newser) - A respiratory virus identified in 2012 has since claimed 92 lives—and recent days have seen cases soar. Last week, Saudi Arabia reported 15 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome within four days; this weekend, the United Arab Emirates announced that paramedics were the victims in six additional cases.... More »

Israel Frees Palestinians in US-Brokered Deal

PM Netanyahu takes heat from political right and left alike

(Newser) - Israel has released more than two dozen Palestinian prisoners convicted in deadly attacks against Israelis as part of a US-brokered package to restart Mideast peace talks. After departing on buses from Israeli jails overnight, the prisoners received hero's welcomes upon their return to the West Bank and Gaza with... More »

Cairo Gets First Snow in 100+ Years

Storm brings winter to much of Middle East

(Newser) - Cairo saw a rare and wonderful sight today: Snow. Much of the Middle East has been blanketed by the white stuff in recent days thanks to a region-wide cold snap and winter storm. According to local news reports, Cairo hasn't gotten snow in more than a century, the LA ... More »

Ancient City Found Under Biblical-Era Ruins

Archaeologists in Israel unearth evidence of older Canaanite city

(Newser) - Archaeologists excavating an ancient city in Israel have found evidence of an even older city at the site, one that dates back to the 14th century BC, LiveScience reports. Archaeologists have been digging at the Canaanite city of Gezer for about 100 years, with most experts dating their findings to... More »

US Cutting Major Military Aid to Egypt

Obama administration to risk damaging ties with Middle East ally

(Newser) - Shifting its stance with an Arab ally, Washington will cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt in response to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown by the military-backed government on his supporters. The US provides $1.5 billion in aid each year to Egypt.... More »

Why War Reporters Get It So Wrong

Patrick Cockburn: It's a hard job when propaganda and bullets are flying

(Newser) - Journalists have given us the wrong impression about four Middle East wars since 9/11—but how did they blow it so badly? In the London Review of Books , Patrick Cockburn looks at how the media fumbled the ball in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. In each case, he argues, reporters... More »

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