BEIRUT – Shelling killed around ten people, including five children at a school gate, in a besieged rebel enclave near Syria’s capital Damascus on Tuesday, a day after a U.N. aid delivery to the area, a war monitor said. The shelling also injured 30 other people in the Eastern Ghouta area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based monitor said the ongoing shelling which began Tuesday morning hit the towns of Jisreen, Douma,…"Shelling hits besieged Syrian Ghouta school gate after aid delivery"
BERLIN – German police arrested a 19-year-old Syrian suspected of planning an Islamist-motivated bomb attack in Germany with the aim of killing as many people as possible, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said security officials had averted a “major terrorist attack”. The man, identified as Yamen A., had been in contact online with jihadists including one who described himself as a “soldier of the caliphate”, a spokeswoman for…"German police arrest Syrian suspect, avert ‘major terrorist attack’"
ERBIL – There are no winners among Iraq’s Kurds, just weeks after Kurdish president Masoud Barzani gambled away his people’s autonomy in a defiant independence referendum. The losing bet has come at a steep price for everyone involved. Barzani has had to give up the presidency, his Kurdish political foes have angered their popular base, and the Kurdish people, who overwhelmingly voted to break away from Iraq, feel further than ever from their lifelong…"Iran seen as winner after Iraq’s Kurds lose referendum gamble"
GENEVA – A convoy from the United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered towns in the besieged Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on Monday, bringing aid to 40,000 people for the first time since June 2016, the United Nations said. A tightening siege by government forces has pushed people to the verge of famine in the eastern suburbs, residents and aid workers said last week, bringing desperation to the only major rebel enclave near…"Convoy rolls into Damascus suburbs with aid for 40,000: U.N."
KABUL – The Afghan Taliban said on Monday that Kevin King, one of two professors from the American University of Afghanistan who were kidnapped in Kabul last year, is seriously ill and needs urgent medical attention. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said King, an American, was suffering from “dangerous” heart disease and kidney problems. “His illness has intensified, his feet have swollen and sometimes he becomes unconscious and his condition worsens every day,” Mujahid said in…"Afghan Taliban say kidnapped U.S. professor is seriously ill"
LONDON – Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday that a key proviso of a 100-year old British declaration which laid the foundations for Israel had not been fully met, striking a sympathetic tone towards the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to travel to Britain on Thursday to meet his British counterpart Theresa May and Johnson for the anniversary of the Balfour declaration which said Britain viewed with favor “the establishment in…"UK’s Johnson says 1917 Jewish homeland declaration terms ‘not fully realized’"
DUBAI – Saudi Arabia will for the first time allow women to attend sports events, preparing special sections in three selected stadiums from early next year in another step toward opening public spaces to women. The stadiums in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh will be set up to accommodate families from early 2018, said the statement from the General Sports Authority, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency late on Sunday. Last month Saudi Arabia announced…"Saudi Arabia to let women enter sports stadiums in 2018"
ABU DHABI – Iran is fulfilling its commitments under the nuclear deal with world powers and U.N. inspectors are facing no problems in their verification efforts, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general said on Monday. U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this month that he would not continue to certify the multinational 2015 agreement, reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and warned that he might ultimately terminate it. Iran would abandon the agreement if…"Iran fulfilling nuclear deal commitments: IAEA chief"
LONDON – Iran will reopen all its border crossings with Iraq’s Kurdistan region in the coming days, lifting restrictions imposed after last month’s Kurdish vote in favor of independence, its chief of staff said on Monday. The announcement comes a day after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he would give up his position as president on Nov. 1, after the independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered military action by the Baghdad. After the…"Iran to lift border curbs with Iraq’s Kurdish region in coming days"
Qaryatayn, SYRIA – Twenty six Syrian hostages who escaped from their Islamic State captors received an emotional homecoming on Sunday in the central province of Homs, witnesses and officials said. They were among at least 70 people abducted and taken by fleeing Islamic State militants to a secret location in the desert east of the town of al-Qaryatayn on Oct. 21 when the Syrian army and pro-government militias regained control of the town. The others…"Syrian hostages who escaped Islamic State receive rapturous homecoming"