Middle East and North Africa

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German minister heads to Iran, business ties still limited


BERLIN German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel heads to Iran next week with a planeful of industry executives keen to rebuild trade ties, but remaining U.S. sanctions and political concerns are holding back a hoped-for business boom.

Russia said to send more warplanes to Syria, diplomacy 'on life support'

MOSCOW/BEIRUT Russia is sending more warplanes to Syria to ramp up its air campaign, a Russian newspaper reported on Friday, as the United States said diplomacy to halt the violence was "on life support" but not dead yet. | Video

World, Syria, Top News 4:44am IST

Israeli troops kill Palestinian who stabbed guard at West Bank checkpoint

JERUSALEM A Palestinian who stabbed and wounded an Israeli security guard at a main military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank that separates Ramallah and Jerusalem, was shot and killed on Friday, police said.

World, Israel 4:11am IST

U.S. urges Iran to free activist serving lengthy prison term

WASHINGTON The United States said on Friday it was "deeply troubled" that Iranian courts had upheld a 16-year prison term against journalist and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, and it urged Tehran to release her on humanitarian grounds.

3:21am IST

Oil up second straight month on OPEC-fuelled rally

NEW YORK Oil prices settled mixed on Friday while posting their second straight monthly gain on OPEC's planned output cuts, even as scepticism about the cartel's pledge grew after data suggested another record high in its production.

1:55am IST

Peres funeral, attended by Obama, briefly brings Israeli, Palestinian leaders together

JERUSALEM Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook hands during a brief chat and U.S. President Barack Obama gently reminded them of the "unfinished business of peace" at the funeral Friday of Shimon Peres, the last of a generation of Israel's founding fathers. | Video

World, Israel 30 Sep 2016

SAARC summit postponed amid rising Pakistani-Indian tensions

ISLAMABAD A summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders set for Islamabad in November has been postponed indefinitely, the Pakistani government said on Friday, amid rising tension between arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

World, Top News 30 Sep 2016

EU's anti-fraud body probes aid for Syrian refugees

BRUSSELS/LONDON The European Union's anti-fraud body is investigating Syria aid projects, officials said, after a similar U.S. probe exposed bribery and fraud in some of its humanitarian assistance in the war-torn state.

World, Syria 30 Sep 2016

Syrian army, rebels wage fierce battles in Aleppo

BEIRUT Syrian government forces and rebels fought battles in the centre of Aleppo and north of the city on Friday, a week into a Russian-backed offensive by the Syrian army to take the entire area, a war monitor and sources on both sides said.

World, Syria 30 Sep 2016

Recently-emerged militant group claims attack on Egyptian prosecutor

CAIRO A recently-emerged militant group called the Hasm Movement claimed responsibility on Friday for an assassination attempt on a senior Egyptian prosecutor, saying it was in revenge for death sentences handed to thousands of convicts.

30 Sep 2016

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