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Africa
Africa's elusive forest elephants are disappearing

The clock is ticking to save Central Africa's forest elephants. Populations of the elusive elephants have plunged by around 80 percent inside one of the region's most important nature preserves. Within Gabon's Minkébé National Park, poachers likely killed about 25,000 forest elephants for their ivory tusks between 2004 and 2014, according to a Duke University-led study in the journal Current Biology. SEE ALSO: The world's fastest land animal is even more threatened than we thought That's a significant number of animals, considering that Gabon holds about half of the estimated 100,000 forest elephants across all of Central Africa. Forest elephants in Gabon's Minkébé National Park....

Iraqi forces on Mosul hilltop gird for fierce fight ahead
Iraqi forces on Mosul hilltop gird for fierce fight ahead

ABU SAIF, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi troops worked to secure a strategic hilltop overlooking Mosul's international airport and a nearby military base on Tuesday, fearing the Islamic State group, which still holds both facilities, may launch another wave of nighttime counterattacks.

Oil exporter Saudi starts hunt for solar, wind firms
Oil exporter Saudi starts hunt for solar, wind firms

The world's biggest oil exporter on Monday took the first step towards a goal of generating 9.5 GW of energy through solar and other renewable means. It invited local and international firms to try to qualify for bidding on two projects. One is for 300 MW of solar energy to be built in Al-Jouf province, in the kingdom's north.

Iran says Saudi, Israel working to damage country
Iran says Saudi, Israel working to damage country

Iran on Monday criticised what it said was coordination between Israel and regional rival Saudi Arabia, describing attempts to create an "international atmosphere" against Tehran. Israel and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of fuelling regional conflicts by supporting armed Shiite movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.

Malaysia Recalls North Korea Ambassador Amid Tensions
Malaysia Recalls North Korea Ambassador Amid Tensions

Tensions between the two countries escalated after Pyongyang's demands to hand over the body of Kim Jong Un's half brother were rejected.

Razer Blade Stealth review: The MacBook Pro that Apple should have made
Razer Blade Stealth review: The MacBook Pro that Apple should have made

Up until last fall, the formula for Apple's MacBook Pro was well known and well loved: a 13-inch, aluminum unibody laptop with oodles of power, a great screen and enough ports for 98% of everyone who would call themselves a "pro." With the most recent update, Apple decided to go with a far more courageous design. The unibody stayed, as did the size, but a lot of other things changed. All the ports vanished, replaced with four USB-C ports and a fistful of dongles. A discrete graphics card didn't appear, and instead Apple chose to spend the cash on a fancy OLED touchscreen with a fingerprint sensor. Pros were not amused. All of this brings us to the new Razer Blade Stealth, a...

Climate doubter Pruitt takes EPA reins as Trump targets regulations
Climate doubter Pruitt takes EPA reins as Trump targets regulations

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners. The installation of Scott Pruitt, who sued the agency he intends to lead more than a dozen times as Oklahoma attorney general, reinforces expectations on both sides of the political divide that America will cede its position as a leader in the global fight on climate change. Senators voted 52-46 to approve Pruitt, who was to be sworn in later on Friday afternoon...

A month into presidency, Trump prepares for a campaign rally
A month into presidency, Trump prepares for a campaign rally

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally Saturday in politically strategic Florida - 1,354 days before the 2020 election.

Israeli joy, Palestinian alarm at Trump two-state shift
Israeli joy, Palestinian alarm at Trump two-state shift

Donald Trump's shelving of the decades-long goal of a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict has excited Israelis and alarmed Palestinians and Arabs, but no-one is quite sure what it means. The US president's announcement was hailed by ministers in Israel's right-wing government, a number of whom have called for the annexation of Palestinian territory in the occupied West Bank. "The Palestinian flag has come down from the mast and the Israeli flag has taken its place," far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett said.

Germany says Israeli settlements could end two-state solution, fuel conflict

Germany's foreign minister warned on Thursday that ongoing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories could end the prospect of a two-state solution and heighten the risk of conflict in the region. "We are concerned that unlimited construction of settlements will ... make a two-state solution impossible and could increase the risks of conflicts in the Middle East, including possible war," Sigmar Gabriel told reporters in a news conference at the G20 foreign ministers meeting.

Israel
Israel's Lieberman warns Hamas after flare-up

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday warned Hamas of a tough response to "provocation", after a projectile fired from Gaza saw the Jewish state retaliate with force. Lieberman also said Israel would turn the Gaza Strip into a prosperous territory if its people toppled the enclave's Islamist rulers, or if the militant group changed its ways. While Israel was not seeking a new war, "any provocation will be met with a powerful response," Lieberman said, quoted by the website of COGAT, the defence ministry body responsible for coordinating Israeli activities in the Palestinian territories.

Why Your Dishwasher Filter Makes a Difference
Why Your Dishwasher Filter Makes a Difference

After deciding whether you want a third rack in your new dishwasher or extra spray arms to clean your extra-dirty dishes, you might not give much thought to the dishwasher filter. In fact, many c...

After Tillerson talks, Britain says 'no doubt' U.S. committed to working with allies

Britain said on Thursday it had "absolutely no doubt" that the United States was committed to working closely with its allies to tackle crises around the world after meetings between Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "There was absolutely no doubt that the U.S. remains as committed as ever to working closely with us, and other likeminded partners, to face up to aggression and tackle tough problems around the world," a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement. The two ministers held talks on subjects ranging from Iran to Yemen and Middle East peace on the sidelines of a G20 ministers meeting in Bonn.

Yemen air raid kills eight women, child at funeral
Yemen air raid kills eight women, child at funeral

An air strike killed eight women and a child at a funeral reception near the Yemeni capital, witnesses said Thursday, adding to the conflict's mounting civilian death toll. At least 10 other women were wounded in the overnight raid on the district of Arhab, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Sanaa, medics sent to the site told AFP. A coalition statement sent to AFP said the group was "investigating the reports" that civilians were killed in the raid near Sanaa.

Hezbollah says Trump-Netanyahu meet signaled end to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

Lebanese Hezbollah said on Thursday the outcome of U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had effectively signaled an end to peaceful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. "After what came out after the meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, I am not exaggerating if I say that yesterday there was a semi-official announcement of the death of the path of negotiations," Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a live televised speech.

Iran says Israel
Iran says Israel 'biggest threat' to world peace

Iran said Thursday that Israel's atomic arsenal is the biggest danger to world peace, a day after US President Donald Trump vowed to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon. Israel is the "biggest threat to the peace and security in the region and the world," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, quoted by state news agency IRNA. Trump had warned Wednesday after meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington that the "threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions" was one of the major security challenges facing Israel.

Saudis voice optimism about relations with US under Trump
Saudis voice optimism about relations with US under Trump

BONN, Germany (AP) - Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says his country expects to have a productive relationship with the Trump administration and is optimistic that U.S.-Saudi cooperation can overcome challenges in the Middle East.

Trump
Trump's pick for Israel ambassador faces rocky confirmation

WASHINGTON (AP) - David Friedman, the firebrand attorney President Donald Trump picked to be his ambassador to Israel, faces a rocky confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after Trump signaled a dramatic shift in strategy for pursuing peace in the Middle East.

Texas attorney general backs Trump in travel ban litigation
Texas attorney general backs Trump in travel ban litigation

President Donald Trump acted well within his authority in issuing his executive order on immigration, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told a federal appeals court on Wednesday. Paxton, a Republican, attached a brief in asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California for permission to argue in support of Trump's temporary ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Texas is the first state to back Trump in the closely watched litigation.

Mississippi companies going on trade mission to Middle East

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - At least 15 Mississippi companies are heading to the Middle East next month in the hopes of establishing new partnerships.

Flynn, fired once by a president, now removed by another
Flynn, fired once by a president, now removed by another

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fired by one American commander in chief for insubordination, Michael Flynn has now delivered his resignation to another.

Former U.S. ambassador to Trudeau: Don't 'moralize' with Trump

With just hours to go before the historic first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump, former Canadian ambassador to the United States Frank McKenna weighed in on CBC Radio's Metro Morning about how he thinks the prime minister should handle the delicate interaction. Matt Galloway: How much is at stake [in this meeting]? Frank McKenna: The stakes are extremely high.

Israel wants settlements, not peace
Israel wants settlements, not peace

With each new settlement, the prospect of peace and the formation of a Palestinian state become even more unattainable.

Syrian government says ready for prisoner swaps with rebels

The Syrian government said on Monday it was ready to agree prisoner swaps with rebel groups, a potential confidence-building measure as the United Nations prepares to convene new peace talks. The Syrian opposition has long demanded a release of detainees held by the government as one of several humanitarian actions they say must take place ahead of any negotiations over Syria's political future. The government was "always ready" to exchange prisoners in its jails for people "kidnapped by terrorist groups", Syrian state media cited an official source as saying.

Hamas military hardliner Sinwar elected group
Hamas military hardliner Sinwar elected group's Gaza chief

Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas elected a hardline member of its armed wing as its new Gaza head on Monday, Hamas officials said.

Jihadist rebel groups clash in northwest Syria - monitor
Jihadist rebel groups clash in northwest Syria - monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian jihadists seen as close to Islamic State battled a rival hardline Islamist faction on Monday in northwestern Syria, a war monitor and an official with another insurgent group said. Jund al-Aqsa and Tahrir al-Sham clashed around Kafr Zeita in the countryside north of Hama, and near Tamaniaa, Khan Sheikhoun and Tal Aaas in southern Idlib Province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor. ...

Netanyahu opposes Palestinian state, Israeli minister says ahead of U.S. visit
Netanyahu opposes Palestinian state, Israeli minister says ahead of U.S. visit

By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Benjamin Netanyahu opposes a Palestinian state, a senior Israeli cabinet member said on Monday, but left it unclear whether the prime minister would say that publicly in talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington this week. Netanyahu has never explicitly abandoned his conditional support for a future Palestine, and his spokesman did not respond immediately to a request to comment on Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan's remarks. Erdan belongs to Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, whose leading members have often espoused a harder line than the prime minister himself.

AP image of Turkish assassin wins World Press Photo award
AP image of Turkish assassin wins World Press Photo award

Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici won the 2017 World Press Photo competition Monday, with jurors and colleagues lauding his courage and composure in capturing his image of a gun-wielding off-duty Turkish policeman standing over the body of Russia's ambassador, whom he had just fatally shot. Ozbilici's image was part of a series titled "An Assassination in Turkey" that also won the Spot News - Stories category. The photos were captured in the moments before and after policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas drew a handgun and shot Ambassador Andrei Karlov at a photo exhibition in Ankara on Dec. 19.

'It is in Trump's interest to keep the Iran deal alive'

Trump's presidency offers both threats and opportunities to Iran, says former senior Iranian diplomat.

Air Canada Increases Israel Service with a New Non-Stop Route from Montreal and Daily Flights from Toronto
Air Canada Increases Israel Service with a New Non-Stop Route from Montreal and Daily Flights from Toronto

MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today a significant expansion in services between Canada and Israel, with the introduction of a seasonal non-stop service between Montreal and Tel Aviv and an increase in its current Toronto-Tel Aviv non-stop service to a daily frequency year-round. With the new services beginning this summer - a 28 per cent capacity increase over summer 2016 - Air Canada will be the airline offering the most seats and frequencies between Canada and Israel. "Air Canada is the leader in the Canada-Israel market, which we have now served for 22 years.

Russia releases drone footage of fresh Palmyra destruction
Russia releases drone footage of fresh Palmyra destruction

Russia's military on Monday released drone footage showing more destruction of treasured monuments by the Islamic State in Syria's Palmyra since jihadists recaptured the UNESCO World Heritage Site late last year.

Turkey's Erdogan says aims safe zone in Syria after Raqqa operation

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Turkey aimed to create a safe zone in Syria, extending its military operations to the towns of Manbij and Raqqa after driving Islamic State from al-Bab, if it acts together with the U.S.-led coalition. In a speech in Bahrain, broadcast live on Turkish television, Erdogan said the planned safe zone would cover an area of at least 4,000-5,000 square kilometres (3,475 square miles) and would require a no-fly zone. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan)

Iraq
Iraq's Turkmen mobilise for a post-ISIL future

The minority group has long been divided along sectarian lines - but recent events could bring greater unity.

Russia's Lavrov, U.S. Tillerson may meet in Germany, discuss Syria - Interfax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may meet in Germany and discuss Syria, Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying on Monday. (writing by Denis Pinchuk, editing by Katya Golubkova)

Trump moves spark Iraqi anger, calls against future alliance
Trump moves spark Iraqi anger, calls against future alliance

Reverberations from President Donald Trump's travel ban and other stances are threatening to undermine future U.S.-Iraqi security co-operation , rattling a key alliance that over the past two years has slowly beaten back the Islamic State group. Iraq's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has sought to contain any backlash from public anger sparked by Trump's executive order banning Iraqis from travelling to the U.S. Also breeding resentment and suspicion are Trump's repeated statements that the Americans should have taken Iraq's oil and his hard line against Iran, a close ally of al-Abadi's government.

Trump moves spark Iraqi anger, calls against future alliance
Trump moves spark Iraqi anger, calls against future alliance

BAGHDAD (AP) - Reverberations from President Donald Trump's travel ban and other stances are threatening to undermine future U.S.-Iraqi security cooperation, rattling a key alliance that over the past two years has slowly beaten back the Islamic State group.

Spieth piling up wins at rate not seen since Tiger Woods
Spieth piling up wins at rate not seen since Tiger Woods

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Winning has come so quickly for Jordan Spieth that even at age 23, he wondered if he took it for granted.

Peru president asks Trump to consider deporting wanted ex-leader
Peru president asks Trump to consider deporting wanted ex-leader

By Mitra Taj LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said he asked U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call on Sunday to consider deporting the Andean country's fugitive ex-leader Alejandro Toledo, and thanked Israel for agreeing to deny him entry. Kuczynski's government believes that Toledo, wanted in connection with a far-reaching graft probe, is in the United States but it said that efforts to capture him there have stalled on legal hurdles. Toledo said on Twitter that he did not flee Peru but was not given the right to a fair trial in a ongoing inquiry into bribes distributed by Brazilian builder Odebrecht.

Peru ex-leader Toledo goes missing amid graft charges
Peru ex-leader Toledo goes missing amid graft charges

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has urged his US counterpart Donald Trump to consider sending fugitive ex-Peruvian leader Alejandro Toledo -- believed to be in the United States -- back to Peru on graft charges.

White House declines to publicly defend embattled Flynn
White House declines to publicly defend embattled Flynn

A top White House aide sidestepped repeated chances Sunday to publicly defend embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn following reports that he engaged in conversations with a Russian diplomat about U.S. sanctions before Trump's inauguration. The uncertainty comes as Trump is dealing with North Korea's apparent first missile launch of the year and his presidency, along with visits this week from the leaders of Israel and Canada. Pressed repeatedly, top policy adviser Stephen Miller said it wasn't up to him to say whether the president retains confidence in Flynn.

The Latest:
The Latest: 'La La Land' wins best picture at British awards

"La La Land" has been named best picture at the British Academy Film Awards. Damien Chazelle also won the best director BAFTA for the film, which had 11 nominations going into the London ceremony. "La La Land" also took prizes for music and cinematography.

NFL player pulls out of Israel trip, feels
NFL player pulls out of Israel trip, feels 'used'

An American professional football player has pulled out of a sponsored trip to Israel, accusing its government of trying to use him for PR purposes and citing sympathy for the Palestinians. Seattle Seahawks defence lineman Michael Bennett's last-minute decision came as an embarrassment to the Israeli government, which has invited a group of players to visit this week on a mission aimed at improving the country's image. Erdan leads the ministry for strategic affairs and public diplomacy, which works to boost Israel's image and counter the influence of an international boycott movement.

Syrian opposition picks delegation to Geneva talks
Syrian opposition picks delegation to Geneva talks

Syria's main opposition body on Sunday approved a new delegation to take part in Geneva peace talks later this month, which include Russian-backed blocs that have been critical of the armed insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad. The High Negotiation Committee, (HNC) the main umbrella group, said in a statement after two-days of meetings in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, that the new 21-member negotiating team included members of two dissident alliances with which it has previously been at odds.

Peru says bid to detain fugitive ex-president stalled in U.S.
Peru says bid to detain fugitive ex-president stalled in U.S.

Peru's Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio said it was unclear where the country's fugitive former president Alejandro Toledo was on Sunday after the government's bid to capture him hit a legal obstacle in the United States. The United States told Peru that there did not appear to be sufficient probable cause to merit detaining Toledo and asked the Andean country to refile its request, Basombrio said by phone. Toledo did not board a flight he had booked from San Francisco, California to Israel late on Saturday, said a source in the attorney general's office who was not authorized to comment.

Coalition air strikes killed 18 Afghan civilians, U.N. says

By Josh Smith KABUL (Reuters) - At least 18 civilians were killed last week in air strikes by international forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an initial United Nations inquiry has concluded. American military officials say their aircraft have conducted around 30 air strikes in Helmand in the past week. "We are investigating the allegations and working diligently to determine whether civilians were killed or injured as a result of U.S. air strikes," said Brigadier General Charles Cleveland.

Mob lynches Afghan couple for eloping, in
Mob lynches Afghan couple for eloping, in 'honour killing'

An angry mob lynched a young Afghan couple who had eloped together after storming a police station where they were being held for "immoral acts", officials said Sunday, the latest so-called honour killing in the country.

Helicopter bombs vehicle amid power struggle in Yemen's Aden

An Apache helicopter from a Saudi-led military coalition wounded three Yemeni soldiers when it fired a missile at a military vehicle outside Aden International Airport on Sunday, Yemeni security officials said. The incident was yet another sign of the inability of Yemen's internationally recognised government to enforce order. The Saudi-led coalition has launched thousands of air strikes against the government's foes, the Iran-allied Houthis, in a campaign to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

Israel says will not allow former Peru president Toledo to enter

Israel said on Sunday it will not allow in former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, who is wanted in connection with a corruption probe, before his matters are settled in Peru. Peru had been informed by U.S. authorities that they were not planning to keep Toledo from boarding a flight to Israel from California that was scheduled to land in Tel Aviv Sunday. "Former Peru President Toledo will be allowed into Israel only when his matters are settled in Peru," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, without elaborating.

From protests to
From protests to 'pussy hats,' Trump resistance brews online

Not long after President Donald Trump temporarily barred most people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., social activist Dex Torricke-Barton took to Facebook. "I'm thinking of organizing a rally," he posted. The resulting protest a week later, in front of San Francisco's City Hall, drew thousands more.

Hezbollah supports Syria ceasefire and political talks
Hezbollah supports Syria ceasefire and political talks

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Lebanese Hezbollah movement strongly supports the Syria ceasefire agreed upon in Kazakhstan and any truce that could lead to a political solution, its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday. Russia and Turkey brokered a shaky ceasefire in December between rebel groups and the government in Syria, where Hezbollah is fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad. (Reporting by Ellen Francis; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Top News: Middle East

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