Theresa May’s Brexit deal suffers second crushing defeat in UK Parliament

KEY POINTS Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal was rejected by 149 votes. The vote on Tuesday evening was arguably the most important vote for Brexit since the 2016 referendum on EU membership. In a last-ditch attempt to allay concerns over the backstop, May traveled to Strasbourg Monday night and said she had won “legally binding” […]

U.S. senators say Saudi crown prince has gone ‘full gangster’

Retired General John Abizaid, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, defended the U.S.-Saudi relationship on Wednesday as lawmakers accused the kingdom of a litany of misdeeds and criticized its crown prince as going “full gangster.” Senators at Abizaid’s confirmation hearing including Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats condemned the kingdom’s […]

Putin threatens US, confirms development of Russia’s hypersonic cruise missile ‘Tsirkon’

Russian President Vladimir Putin sternly warned the United States against deploying new missiles in Europe, saying Wednesday that Russia will retaliate by fielding new weapons that will take just as little time to reach their targets. While the Russian leader didn’t say what specific new weapons Moscow could deploy, his statement further raised the ante […]

In Lebanon, U.S. State Department official calls Hezbollah ‘unacceptable’

The U.S. State Department criticized Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Monday for digging tunnels into Israel and stockpiling rockets, as Washington steps up efforts to isolate Tehran. In recent weeks, Israeli forces uncovered tunnels they said were dug by Hezbollah, and Lebanon complained about Israel’s construction of a barrier along disputed parts of the border. […]

Hamas denies Mubarak claim it sent militants to Egypt in 2011

Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas on Saturday denied an allegation by Egypt’s deposed president Hosni Mubarak that it infiltrated hundreds of men across the border during the 2011 uprising. Mubarak took to the witness stand in a Cairo court Wednesday to testify about jailbreaks allegedly orchestrated by his successor Mohamed Morsi and members of the Muslim […]

New snags hold up formation of Lebanon unity government

Efforts to finalize a deal on a Lebanese national unity government hit new snags on Saturday, postponing its formation, a senior official closely involved in the efforts said. More than seven months since its last general election, Lebanon, heavily indebted and suffering from low economic growth, is in dire need of an administration to enact […]

US Federal government shutdown to begin at midnight

A partial federal government shutdown will begin at midnight now that House and Senate lawmakers have adjourned until Saturday amid a flurry of last-minute negotiations that failed to end a budget standoff. Congressional leaders and the White House worked behind the scenes late Friday in hopes of striking a deal. But the House went home […]

An Iranian blogger dies in jail following 60-day hunger strike

Iranian authorities have confirmed the death of a social media activist jailed on security charges, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday, after Western rights groups said he had died following a 60-day hunger strike in prison. “The political prisoner Vahid Sayyadi Nasiri, on hunger strike since October 13, 2018 to protest the denial […]

Syrian army frees 19 IS hostages – state media

The Syrian army has freed 19 women and children held hostage since July by so-called Islamic State, state media say. They say the captives were rescued when troops launched an operation north-east of the desert city of Palmyra. The hostages were seized during an IS attack in the southern Suweida region. More than 200 people […]