Saudi Arabia women’s driving activists ‘targeted in smear campaign’

Saudi Arabia women’s driving activists ‘targeted in smear campaign’

Image copyright MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images Image caption Saudi activist Manal al-Sharif – living in Sydney – said there was an “organised defamation campaign” The woman behind the movement to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia says she and her fellow activists in the kingdom are being targeted in a smear campaign. Saudi native Manal […]

Syria war: IS militants ‘leave Damascus suburbs’

Syria war: IS militants ‘leave Damascus suburbs’

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Syrian forces say they are clearing the area of militants Militants from the Islamic State (IS) group have been evacuated from an enclave in the southern suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus, activists say. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a temporary ceasefire had come into effect following […]

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr’s bloc wins Iraq elections

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr’s bloc wins Iraq elections

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Moqtada Sadr has ruled himself out of becoming prime minister An alliance headed by a former Shia militia chief who led two uprisings against the US-led invasion of Iraq has won the parliamentary elections. But Moqtada Sadr, who is also staunchly opposed to Iranian involvement in the country, cannot become […]

Saudi Arabia detains seven activists ahead of lifting of driving ban

Saudi Arabia detains seven activists ahead of lifting of driving ban

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Saudi Arabia is due to lift its ban on women driving next month Saudi authorities have arrested seven women’s rights advocates, weeks before the kingdom is to lift its ban on women driving, rights groups say. The reasons for the arrests were not clear, but activists say authorities are attempting […]

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr bloc wins Iraq elections

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr bloc wins Iraq elections

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Moqtada Sadr cannot become prime minister himself An alliance headed by the former Shia militia chief Moqtada Sadr has won the parliamentary elections in Iraq. Final results released by the electoral commission give his Saeroun bloc 54 seats, with current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in third place with 42. Mr […]

Saudi Arabia ‘detains seven activists’ ahead of lifting of driving ban

Saudi Arabia ‘detains seven activists’ ahead of lifting of driving ban

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Saudi Arabia is due to lift its ban on women driving next month Saudi authorities have reportedly arrested seven women’s rights advocates, weeks before the kingdom is to lift its ban on women driving. The reasons for the arrests were not clear, but activists say authorities are attempting to silence […]

Iran nuclear deal: EU moves to avoid impact of US sanctions

Iran nuclear deal: EU moves to avoid impact of US sanctions

Image copyright Reuters Image caption European companies have invested heavily in Iran’s energy sector The EU has begun reviving legislation that will allow European companies to continue doing business with Iran, despite US sanctions, officials say. The so-called “blocking statute” was introduced in 1996 to circumvent US sanctions on Cuba but was never used. An […]

Israel’s Gaza response ‘wholly disproportionate’ – UN rights chief

Israel’s Gaza response ‘wholly disproportionate’ – UN rights chief

Image copyright EPA Image caption Israel and the Palestinians have blamed each other for the deaths The UN human rights chief says Israel used “wholly disproportionate” force against Palestinian border protests which have left over 100 people dead. Zeid Raad Al Hussein told a meeting in Geneva that Gazans were effectively “caged in a toxic […]

Syria war: OPCW says chlorine used in February attack

Syria war: OPCW says chlorine used in February attack

Image copyright AFP Image caption People bought to hospitals after February’s attack in Saraqeb suffered breathing problems The global chemical weapons watchdog has said chlorine is likely to have been used in an attack on a rebel-held town in northern Syria in February. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found chlorine had […]

Gaza violence: Israelis and Palestinians in fierce exchanges at UN

Gaza violence: Israelis and Palestinians in fierce exchanges at UN

Image copyright EPA Image caption Palestinian relatives held funerals on Tuesday for those who died a day earlier There have been angry exchanges between Israeli and Palestinian envoys at the UN, as the diplomatic fallout over deadly violence in Gaza gathered pace. Some 58 Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops fired on protesters on Monday, […]