To divert attention from corruption, Iran executes traders without a fair trial: Rights group

Three more remain on death row over financial crimes after convictions in quickie trials that critics say fail to meet Iranian or international legal standards By: Borzou Daragahi Convicted with “spreading corruption on earth,” the execution of two Iranian gold traders this week has raised concerns that the authorities are seeking to use the two men as scapegoats to […]

Trump studying Turkey’s demands to expel Gulen, report

The Trump administration is exploring possible ways to expel US-based Muslim cleric and Turkey foe Fethullah Gulen to convince Ankara to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a US network. White House officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing Gulen, a […]

Israeli PM to take over defence job as speculation of early elections soar

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take over the defence portfolio in his government after Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned this week, a spokesman for his Likud Party said on Friday, fuelling speculation of an early election. Earlier Netanyahu met with key coalition partner Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home Party who had sought the […]

Lebanon’s Geagea, Franjieh reconcile after decades of enmity

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Marada Movement leader  Suleiman Franjieh struck on Wednesday a historic reconciliation, ending four decades of enmity triggered during Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. The two Christian leaders shook hands and kissed each other on the cheeks at the headquarters of the Maronite patriarchate in Bkirki. The reconciliation was sponsored by Maronite […]

Lebanon calls for more int’l support to cater to education needs of Syrian refugees

Lebanese Education Minister Marwan Hamade said Thursday that Lebanon needs more international support in order to cater to the education needs of the big number of Syrian refugees. “Our willingness to offer education services to this big number of students is linked directly to the support we receive from the international community,” Hamade was quoted […]

Hand recount ordered in Florida’s divisive U.S. Senate race

TAMPA, Fla.  – Florida election officials on Thursday ordered a hand recount of ballots in the closely fought U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger, Governor Rick Scott, after a machine recount showed them divided by a razor-thin margin. But in another tight contest, Republican Ron DeSantis appeared to secure […]

Netanyahu coalition at a crossroads after Israeli defence minister quits

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plotted his next moves Thursday after his defence minister resigned over a controversial Gaza ceasefire, throwing his coalition into crisis and raising the possibility of early elections. After Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, Netanyahu was clinging to a one-seat majority in parliament and one of his main right-wing […]