August 1, 2011
Posted: 1446 GMT
Muslims around the world on Monday ushered in Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk abstinence from food and drinks.
Several countries in the region have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force that has escalated into seemingly unending violence.
Most anti-government demonstrations have taken place after prayers, with the masses taking to the streets after meeting at mosques.
The month, which brings more Muslims to mosques, has some governments worrying that the gatherings will provide more opportunities for such protests - and demonstrators fearing that security forces will crack down forcefully to prevent them. Read more...
July 13, 2011
Posted: 941 GMT
July 5, 2011
Posted: 1332 GMT
Indonesian domestic helper Rosnani Matsuni holds traumatic memories from her years working abroad, claiming she was beaten, threatened with her life and "treated like an animal" by her employers.
Having worked for most of the past decade in and around Saudi Arabia, she identifies with the case of fellow Indonesian migrant worker Ruyati bin Satubi, who was executed there by beheading on June 16 for killing her employer's wife, who she says abused her.
Saudi Arabia is suspending the issuance of visas to domestic workers from Indonesia starting Saturday, the latest move in a tit-for-tat game of economics and human rights. The statement came days after the Indonesian government declared it will refuse to allow its citizens to go to Saudi Arabia until human rights conditions there improve. Indonesia issued its moratorium policy, effective August 1, after the Gulf kingdom beheaded Satubi. Read more...
June 15, 2011
Posted: 1153 GMT
Israel's foreign minister Tuesday denied that an American-Israeli law student being held as a spy in Egypt worked for Israeli intelligence.
Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman says he has no idea why Ilan Grapel, 27, should be detained.
Avigdor Lieberman has no idea why Ilan Grapel, 27, should be detained, he told Israel Radio.
June 13, 2011
Posted: 901 GMT
The party of Turkey's ruling prime minister sailed to an easy victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday, winning a third term in office with 49.9% of the vote with 99.9% of the votes counted.
But marring the night, an unknown number of people were wounded at a post-election party.
For nearly a decade, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics while also defining his country's assertive new role as an economic and diplomatic power in the region.
Campaigning on his record of unprecedented economic stability and prosperity during nine years in power, Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) succeeded in slightly increasing his mandate. The AKP won 49.9% of the vote, an increase of nearly 4 percentage points from the party's performance in the 2007 parliamentary election.
"We are thrilled after winning one out of every two voters' votes in the country," Erdogan said late Sunday night.
In a victory speech delivered from the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara, Erdogan made a pledge to serve all Turks, regardless of ethnicity or religious sect. Read more...
June 7, 2011
Posted: 922 GMT
Israel and the United States on Monday blamed Syria for violent protests on the country's border with the occupied Golan Heights.
June 5, 2011
Posted: 918 GMT
Effective Saturday night, Yemeni Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi took over Ali Abdullah Saleh's responsibilities as president, Yemeni government spokesman Abdu Ganadi told CNN.
The power transfer comes as a source close to the Saudi government said that the long-time Yemeni ruler arrived in Riyadh around midnight Saturday, a day after being hurt in an attack on a mosque in his palace.
Some Yemeni officials continue to insist that Saleh, who for months has resisted calls to step down, is still in Yemen. Yaser Yamani, Sanaa's deputy mayor, told Yemeni state TV Saturday night that "Saleh is still being treated in the military hospital in Sanaa."
Yet the Saudi source said that Saleh was immediately taken to a nearby hospital after his plane landed in Saudi Arabia. Read more...
June 1, 2011
Posted: 1004 GMT
May 17, 2011
Posted: 1220 GMT
Clashes between pro-Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces erupted along Israel's borders and occupied territories Sunday, leaving at least 12 dead on a Palestinian mourning day marking the birth of the Jewish state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried what he called "violent demonstrations" aimed at undermining Israel's existence.
"We hope for the peace and restfulness to return quickly, but no one should be mistaken - we are determined to defend our borders and our sovereignty," Netanyahu said.
The conflicts broke out on "Nakba Day." Nakba - Arabic for "catastrophe" - marks the period when more than 700,000 Arabs were displaced from their homes during fighting that followed the creation of Israel in 1948.
Two protesters were killed and 170 were wounded Sunday when fighting broke out in the Golan Heights area, the Syrian Arab News Agency said. And at least 10 were killed and 112 others were injured in clashes along the line of demarcation with Lebanon, Lebanon's state news agency reported. Read more...
May 11, 2011
Posted: 1048 GMT
When 18-year-old Amal al-Sadah became the fifth wife of 43-year-old Osama bin Laden in 2000, she was "a quiet, polite, easygoing and confident teenager" who came from a big, conservative family in Yemen, a relative told CNN in an exclusive interview.
The relative, Ahmed, who knew al-Sadah growing up, said she came from a traditional family in Ibb, Yemen - established and respectable but certainly with no militant views paralleling the al Qaeda leader's terrorism.
While some accounts say a matchmaker put the couple together, the relative wasn't sure of that report, adding he heard many stories about how the two were betrothed. Read more...