NEWS ABOUT: Middle East

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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 »

Egypt Death Toll Hits 638

Families seek loved ones as Muslim Brotherhood tries to regroup

(Newser) - Weeping relatives in search of loved ones uncovered the faces of the bloodied, unclaimed dead in a Cairo mosque near the smoldering epicenter of support for ousted President Mohammed Morsi, as the death toll soared past 600 today from Egypt's deadliest day since the Arab Spring began. World condemnation... More »

278 Dead in Egypt Clashes

John Kerry delivers warning in surprise appearance at State Dept.

(Newser) - At least 278 people died in vicious battles between Egyptian security forces and supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi, and 235 of them were civilians, according to state TV. Interim Interior Minister Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim said 43 of the dead are police officers. "It's an open war,"... More »

City Councilor Considered 'Too Hot,' Denied Seat

Nina Siahkali Moradi may have upset Islamic conservatives

(Newser) - Is Nina Siahkali Moradi too sexy for Iranian politics? The 27-year-old candidate won a city council seat in the city of Qazvin, but has been mysteriously disqualified at the last minute, the Independent reports. A senior Qazvin official said that "we don't want a catwalk model on the... More »

Abused Donkey Gets New Pair of Pants

Israeli animal sanctuary gives Haim a healing gift

(Newser) - A donkey in Israel is faring much better, thank you, after getting a brand new pair of pants. Haim the donkey was abused before finding a home at the Ramat Gan Safari, the Middle East's largest animal sanctuary, the Times of Israel reports. Haim's previous owner used to... More »

Israel Begins Freeing 26 Palestinian Prisoners

Israeli relatives of victims hold protests throughout the day

(Newser) - Israel released 26 Palestinian inmates, including many convicted in grisly killings, on the eve of renewed Mideast negotiations, angering families of those slain by the prisoners, who were welcomed as heroes in the West Bank and Gaza. Buses carrying the inmates departed the Ayalon prison in central Israel late today,... More »

US to Reopen Most Diplomatic Posts

Facilities in Yemen and Pakistan will remain closed

(Newser) - The State Department plans to reopen all but one of the diplomatic posts it shuttered this week over a possible al-Qaeda attack , reports CNN . Only the embassy in Sanaa Yemen will stay closed over continued concerns of a terror strike. The Obama administration will reopen 18 other facilities throughout North... More »

Israel to Free 104 Palestinian Prisoners

Solid step toward resuming peace talks

(Newser) - Israel's Cabinet today approved the release of 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners, clearing a hurdle toward a possible resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after five years as the US pushes to bring the two sides back to the table. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will next hold preliminary talks in Washington... More »

Federal Official: It's a 'Terrorist Attack'

And early reactions to Boston bombings appear online

(Newser) - A federal law enforcement official called today's fatal explosions in Boston a "terrorist attack" but said it wasn't clear whether the responsible party was foreign or domestic, CNN reports. Meanwhile speculation, dread, and political agendas are swirling around the Internet as the story unfolds. Slate notes the... More »

Egyptian Court Ruling Sparks Fatal Riot

Soccer fans outraged over death sentences

(Newser) - An Egyptian court today confirmed the death sentences against 21 people for taking part in a deadly soccer riot but acquitted seven police officers for their alleged role in the violence. The verdict enraged fans in Cairo, prompting them to torch the soccer federation headquarters and a police club in... More »

Of Dozen People With New SARS-Like Virus, 6 Dead

But threat remains low even after death of UK patient

(Newser) - A UK patient has died after being infected with a SARS-like virus, meaning 50% of the known victims of the disease have now died. But the BBC reports that even with the staggering mortality rate, the novel coronavirus isn't considered a major threat because it doesn't easily move... More »

Egypt's Morsi Declares Emergency, Curfew

President almost screaming in televised address

(Newser) - Egypt's president declared today a 30-day state of emergency and night curfew in the three Suez Canal provinces hit hardest by the wave of violence that has left more than 50 dead in three days. Angry and almost screaming, Mohamed Morsi vowed in a televised address that he would... More »

Israel Evicts 200 in Palestinian 'Peace Camp'

Conflict over settlements continues in E1 corridor

(Newser) - The battle over proposed Jewish settlements heated up today as Israeli forces uprooted Palestinian activists who had staked tents on a hillside east of Jerusalem, the Guardian reports. The activists say a military force encircled their camp at about 3am and arrested all 200 of them, injuring six in the... More »

Abbas: We Won't Allow Israeli Settlements

Netanyahu: 'I don't care what the United Nations says'

(Newser) - With tensions rising over new Israeli settlement plans , Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said today that he will not allow settlements in a highly sensitive area bordering Jerusalem, reports the Jerusalem Post . Building plans in the 5-square-mile E1 corridor are "a red line and we will not allow it to... More »

Turnout Low, VP Quits in Egypt Constitution Vote

Vice President Mahmoud Mekki steps down, but it's not clear why

(Newser) - Egyptians voted today in the second and final phase of a referendum on an Islamist-backed constitution that has polarized the nation, with little indication that the expected passage of the charter will end the political crisis in which the country is mired. Voter turnout was low, the Guardian reports, but... More »

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