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  Friday, February 27, 2015  Home > Latest News > World > Middle East
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  • Top Asian News at 1:30 a.m. GMT 27 Feb 2015 | 7:33 pm

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

  • Top Asian News at 1:30 a.m. GMT 27 Feb 2015 | 7:33 pm

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

  • Kurdish fighters rout IS militants from town near Iraq 27 Feb 2015 | 7:17 pm

    Iraqis hold a protest a day after Islamic State militants posted an online video showing them smashing rare ancient artifacts in a museum, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. The protesters held a banner denouncing the destruction of the artifacts and call upon the Iraqi government to protect archeological sites in the country. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)BEIRUT (AP) — Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Kurdish fighters fought their way Friday into a northeastern Syrian town that was a key stronghold of Islamic State militants, only days after the group abducted dozens of Christians in the volatile region, Syrian activists and Kurdish officials said.


  • U.N. condemns Islamic State's 'barbaric terrorist acts' in Iraq 27 Feb 2015 | 7:16 pm

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council on Friday condemned what it described as the latest "barbaric terrorist acts" in Iraq by Islamic State militants, including the destruction of priceless religious and cultural artifacts. A video published by the ultra-radical Islamist militant group Islamic State on Thursday showed men attacking ancient Assyrian statues and sculptures, some of them identified as antiquities from the 7th century BC, with sledgehammers and drills, saying they were symbols of idolatry. "The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the ongoing barbaric terrorist acts in Iraq by ISIL (Islamic State)" the council said in a statement.

  • Bill O'Reilly's partisan critics stepping up attack 27 Feb 2015 | 7:02 pm

    FILE - This Oct. 13, 2012 file photo shows Fox News commentator and author Bill O'Reilly at the Comedy Central "Night Of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together For Autism Programs" at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Following several stories questioning Bill O'Reilly's past reporting, a liberal media watchdog has ordered its researchers to comb through years of the Fox News Channel host's writings, radio and television shows and public appearances to find examples of inconsistencies. O'Reilly is squarely in the crosshairs of Media Matters for America, an illustration of how the media is subject to the same political campaigns as politicians. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Following several stories questioning Bill O'Reilly's past reporting, a liberal media watchdog has ordered its researchers to comb through years of the Fox News Channel host's writings, radio and television shows and public appearances to find examples of inconsistencies.


  • Senators offer bill challenging Obama on Iran 27 Feb 2015 | 6:57 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation Friday that would require a congressional review of any deal the Obama administration and other western powers strike with Iran on its nuclear program.

  • Iran nuclear talks advancing, no deal likely next week: U.S. official 27 Feb 2015 | 6:55 pm

    By Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Talks on curbing Iran’s nuclear program have made substantial progress, a senior U.S. official said on Friday as the White House braced for an onslaught of criticism next week from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The official told reporters many hurdles remained to reaching an agreement to restrain the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions and said he did not expect one to be reached next week. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are to meet in Switzerland early next week just as Netanyahu comes to Washington. U.S. Republicans have also criticized the talks with Iran.

  • Top Asian News at 12:30 a.m. GMT 27 Feb 2015 | 6:33 pm

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

  • Top Asian News at 12:30 a.m. GMT 27 Feb 2015 | 6:33 pm

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

  • US denies pushing Iraq on Mosul offensive 27 Feb 2015 | 6:31 pm

    Kurdish peshmerga fighters hold a position at a post in the Jalawla area, in Diyala province, on September 27, 2014The US military insisted Friday it was not pressurizing Iraq to launch an offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State extremists in the next few months, saying the timing was up to Baghdad. "I don't think it's fair to say that the Pentagon or the military has been pushing the Iraqis on any specific timeline," Kirby told reporters. General Lloyd Austin, who as head of US Central Command oversees the international campaign against the IS jihadists, recently said that Iraqi and Kurdish forces would be ready by the spring or early summer to start an offensive to grab back Mosul -- Iraq's second-largest city, seized by the IS group last June. A few days later, Iraq's defence minister, Khaled Obeidi, expressed irritation that the Pentagon would publicly announce a date for the battle of Mosul.


  • GOP contenders push for military action against ISIS 27 Feb 2015 | 6:31 pm

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pauses as he speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — The Republican Party's leading presidential contenders on Friday promised conservative activists they would pursue aggressive military action to prevent the spread of global terrorism, including a renewed use of ground forces in the Middle East.


  • Training of Syrian rebels in Turkey in 4-6 weeks: US 27 Feb 2015 | 5:42 pm

    A rebel fighter stands on a tank near the frontline in the village of Ratyan in the countryside north of the Syrian city of Aleppo on February 19, 2015The US military said Friday the training of moderate Syrian rebels will likely begin within four to six weeks in Turkey after the two NATO allies clinched an agreement last week. Potential recruits still needed to be vetted for the training sessions, which will take place in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Turkey, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference. About 1,500 Syrian rebels had been identified to take part and of those 100 had been screened and approved, Kirby said.


  • Sap Story: Farming Eases Return Home for Vets 27 Feb 2015 | 5:09 pm

    Women are the fastest growing demographic of both beginning farmers and military veterans—but Denise is one of only 522 women farmers in the Farmers Veteran Coalition.

  • U.S. begins vetting Syrian rebels for military training: Pentagon 27 Feb 2015 | 5:09 pm

    By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has begun vetting a group of Syrian rebels eligible for training and assistance in the fight against Islamic State militants, a step that paves the way for training to begin in weeks, the Pentagon said on Friday. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said about 100 moderate Syrian rebels had been vetted to participate in the training and assistance effort, with no derogatory information uncovered to weigh against their involvement. "Our assessment is we could be ready sometime within the next four to six weeks to begin actual training," Kirby told a Pentagon briefing, noting that the vetting was "an important first step." A week ago, the United States and Turkey signed an agreement to use a site in Turkey for the effort. The site is one of four where U.S. and coalition partners may offer training to Syrian rebels to fight against Islamic State militants.

  • Unmasking of 'Jihadi John' as a London lad shocks Britain 27 Feb 2015 | 4:03 pm

    This undated image shows a frame from a video released Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, by Islamic State militants that purports to show the militant who beheaded of taxi driver Alan Henning . A British-accented militant who has appeared in beheading videos released by the Islamic State group in Syria over the past few months bears "striking similarities" to a man who grew up in London, a Muslim lobbying group said Thursday Feb. 26, 2015. Mohammed Emwazi has been identified by news organizations as the masked militant more commonly known as "Jihadi John." London-based CAGE, which works with Muslims in conflict with British intelligence services, said Thursday its research director, Asim Qureshi, saw strong similarities, but because the hood worn by the militant, "there was no way he could be 100 percent certain." (AP Photo)LONDON (AP) — The unmasking of Islamic State militant "Jihadi John" as a Londoner who had repeatedly been questioned by security services sent shock waves through Britain Friday, with Prime Minister David Cameron stepping in to defend British spy craft.


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