24 May 15
Saudi-led warplanes launched a fresh wave of air strikes across Yemen
Saudi-led warplanes launched a fresh wave of air strikes across Yemen targeting Iran-backed rebels as fighting raged on the ground in the south of the country, witnesses said.
The air raids pounded arms depots under the control of the Shiite Huthi rebels in the locality of Ghula, in Omran province north of Sanaa, residents said.
Syrians try to build case against Assad in chlorine attacks
With only a cloth mask for protection, Firas Kayali rushed to try to rescue the residents of a house in a village in rebel-held northern Syria after a barrel bomb, suspected to be filled with chlorine gas, hit nearby.
Ukraine crisis: Rebel commander Alexei Mozgovoi 'killed'
One of the top rebel commanders in eastern Ukraine, Alexei Mozgovoi, has been killed in an attack on his car, Russian and Ukrainian media report.
UN nuclear weapons talks fail 'over Israel row'
A UN conference aimed at preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons has ended in failure after a row over a nuclear-free Middle East proposal.
The Egypt-backed plan had envisaged a regional forum which analysts say might have forced Israel to reveal whether or not it has nuclear weapons.
The proposal was blocked by the US, the UK and Canada. The next review is set for 2020.
US 'deeply troubled' by Russia's NGO law
The United States said it was "deeply troubled" after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially enacted a controversial law banning what Moscow deems to be "undesirable" non-governmental organizations.
Isis claims it could buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year
Isis has used the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq to suggest the group is expanding so rapidly it could buy its first nuclear weapon within a year.
The hyperbolic article, which the group attributes to the British hostage John Cantlie, claims Isis has transcended its roots as “the most explosive Islamic ‘group’ in the modern world” to evolve into “the most explosive Islamic movement the modern world has ever seen” in less than twelve months.
Israeli Arabs rally against Morsi death sentence
Thousands of Arabs marched in northern Israel on Saturday to protest the death sentence issued in Egypt against ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Organisers said 5,000 people took part in the demonstration led by Sheikh Raed Salah, a firebrand preacher who heads the Islamist Movement's radical northern wing.
23 May 15
Irish voters back gay marriage in 'social revolution'
Irish voters backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum marking a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country, government ministers and opponents of the bill said on Saturday.
Hezbollah shows off its tunnels, claims it is prepared for war with Israel
A rare glimpse into Hezbollah's underground tunnels was provided on Friday by Lebanese publication As-Safir, which is associated with the militant organization.
The report praised Hezbollah's activities and painted it as a strong army ready for battle. While it is difficult to verify the claims in the article, it contained a rare discussion of the tunnels by Hezbollah members.
Chinese Military Using Jamming Against U.S. Drones
China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said.
Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.
The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims
Meditation and mindfulness is promoted by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Brand, who boast of its power to help people put stress out of their minds and live for the moment.
But the treatment can itself trigger mania, depression, hallucinations and psychosis, psychological studies in the UK and US have found.
The practice is part of a growing movement based on ancient Eastern traditions of meditation.
US Senate blocks bill to end NSA phone data collection
The US Senate has blocked a bill that would have ended the bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the National Security Agency (NSA).
It also failed to authorise a temporary extension of the current legislation. Senators are to meet again on 31 May - a day before the bill is due to expire.
A US appeals court has already ruled the bulk collection illegal.
Cholera outbreak hits 3,000 Burundi refugees - UN
Cholera has infected about 3,000 people in Tanzania, the UN has said, where many Burundians have fled seeking refuge from their country's unrest.
Up to 400 new cases are being seen each day, the UN's refugee agency said.
Over 100,000 have left Burundi in recent weeks, escaping violence sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term.
Report: Israel offered Saudi Arabia use of its Iron Dome technology
Arabic-language newspaper Rai al-Youm reported on Saturday that Israel has offered Saudi Arabia to use its Iron Dome anti-rocket technology.
The offer was made to the Kingdom to defend its border with Yemen that has come under numerous rocket attacks.
...Saudi Arabia reportedly rejected the offer, according to the London based newspaper.
ISIS expands its 'state'
Almost a year after Islamic State's shock capture of Mosul, Iraq's second city, the black flags of the jihadis have been raised over Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, seat of Iraq's increasingly theoretical central government.
...Now it is all about the fall of Ramadi, the neighboring ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in central Syria...the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
US officials: Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery
Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops — including some operating artillery and other heavy weapons — in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S. defense officials said Friday.
Cameron launches diplomatic offensives for EU reform
British prime minister David Cameron is to embark on a series of diplomatic offensives in the coming weeks to seek political support for renegotiating Britain’s membership of the European Union. He pledged to give British people a “proper choice” in the forthcoming EU referendum.
Netherlands backs veil ban plans
The Dutch government yesterday agreed to introduce a partial ban on the wearing of the full-face veil in public places, the Home Affairs Ministry said.
Deadly suicide blast at mosque in Saudi Arabia kills 21
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest during Friday weekly prayers at a Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 21 people and wounding several others, a hospital official said.
The official reached by telephone said more than 90 other people were wounded, including some who are in serious condition.
Senate approves trade bill in major win for President Barack Obama
In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House.
The vote was 62-37 on the bill, which would let Obama complete trade deals that Congress could approve or reject, but not change. A total of 48 Republicans supported the bill, but only 14 the Senate's 44 Democrats backed a president of their own party on legislation near the top of his second-term agenda.
43 killed in Mexico shootout
A three-hour shootout between Mexican security forces and unidentified gunmen Friday left 42 of the gunmen dead, as well as one federal police officer, officials said.
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by setting a deadline for Israel and its neighbors to meet within months on a Middle East zone free of such weapons.
Russia Issues Travel Warning Over U.S. 'Hunt' For Russians
Russia's foreign ministry has warned its citizens traveling abroad of the risks posed by U.S. law enforcement bodies and special services, which it said were hunting for Russians around the world.
In a statement on Friday it also accused Washington of kidnapping Russians, citing cases such as that of Vladimir Drinkman, who was extradited to the United States from the Netherlands earlier this year.
Time is running out for struggling oil companies
Low oil prices are endangering an increasing number of exploration and production companies.
According to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, the oil and gas industry could see the rate of defaults rise over the next year. The companies in danger of going belly up, not surprisingly, are the ones that already have low credit ratings.
22 May 15
5.3-magnitude earthquake shakes Las Vegas
A 5.3-magnitude earthquake shook Las Vegas and surrounding areas Friday morning, and the state closed parts of the Spaghetti Bowl to inspect ramps for possible structural damage, backing up traffic for miles.
The quake, which hit at 11:47 a.m., was centered about 24 miles south-southwest of Caliente, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Obama sells Iran deal directly to US Jews
Washington - Amid a bitter public fight with Israel's government, President Barack Obama on Friday donned a yarmulke and pitched his nuclear deal with Iran and the case for a Palestinian state directly to US Jews.
55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May: UN
The United Nations said on Friday that around 55,000 people had fled Ramadi since a surge by the Islamic State group in mid-May that landed the Iraqi provincial capital in the hands of jihadists.
Financial markets remain in a prolonged period of stability
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said more work is needed on marathon loan talks with Greece but analysts argue that both sides know there is no alternative to a deal.
Speaking after a two-hour meeting late on Thursday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and French President Francois Hollande in Riga, Merkel urged Athens to continue talks with its international creditors.
Boy Scouts' chief says ban on gay adults 'unsustainable'
The head of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has said that the organisation's long-standing ban on participation by openly gay adults is unsustainable.
Robert Gates said no changes would be made at the meeting, but opened the door to a future policy review.
The former US Defence Secretary cited defiant chapters, possible legal challenges and other developments related to gay rights in the US.
Islamic State 'seizes last Syria-Iraq border crossing'
Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syrian monitoring group says.
Government forces withdrew from al-Tanf - known as al-Waleed in Iraq - crossing as IS advanced, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
The loss of al-Tanf to IS follows the group's takeover of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday.