JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister says he's closing the country's main personnel crossing with Gaza in response to recent violence along the frontier.
Over 2 million Muslims from around the world are beginning the five-day hajj pilgrimage on Sunday. They will circle Islam's most sacred site, the cube-shaped Kaaba in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, and take part in a series of rituals intended to bring about greater humility and unity among Muslims.
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the annual hajj pilgrimage beginning Sunday, as over 2 million Muslim faithful are ready to take part in the ultraconservative kingdom.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A detained American pastor has become a symbol of a growing rift between Turkey and the United States, but problems in the Cold War-era alliance as well as Turkey's own financial crisis are unlikely to dissipate even if he is released and Washington eases economic penalties.
ISTANBUL (AP) — The Turkish currency fell again on Friday, breaking a three-day quiet spell in the country currency crisis, after the United States threatened to impose new sanctions on the NATO country.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Turkey's currency crisis and diplomatic dispute with the United States (all times local):
CAIRO (AP) — Al-Qaida's chief bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, who was behind the 2009 Christmas Day plot to down an airliner over Detroit and other foiled aviation-related terror attacks, was killed in a U.S. drone strike, Yemeni officials and a tribal leader said Friday.
CAIRO (AP) — Yemen's al-Qaida branch denied on Friday an Associated Press report saying it struck secret deals over territories it controls with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in the country.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and another 60 injured at a protest along the Gaza border amid ongoing Egyptian efforts to broker a cease-fire, Gaza's Health Ministry said Friday.
CAIRO (AP) — A Yemeni minister has accused rival Houthi rebels of storming a warehouse used by the World Food Program to store humanitarian aid in the war-torn Red Sea port city of Hodeida.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia said early on Friday that it has contributed $100 million to northeast Syria for "stabilization projects" in areas once held by the Islamic State group and now controlled by U.S.-backed forces.
CAIRO (AP) — For thousands of years beneath Egypt's desert sands a solidified whitish substance sat in a broken jar. Scientists now say it's "probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found."
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — A prominent Moroccan feminist activist has been arrested for alleged public drinking and disturbance of order, in what her association called an attempt to quash its campaigning for abortion access and LGBT rights.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish media: higher court also rejects appeal for American pastor's release.
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi security officials say Iraq's air force carried out two airstrikes targeting Islamic State group inside Syria, killing at least 28 IS militants.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police are again questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of their investigations into corruption allegations.
HEMEIMEEM AIR BASE, Syria (AP) — Russian air defense assets in Syria have downed 45 drones targeting their main base in the country, its military said Thursday, after an attack by the Islamic State group on a Syrian army base a day earlier killed seven troops.
ISTANBUL (AP) — A small number of Turks are responding to their president's call to boycott American electronic goods by posting videos in which they smash iPhones with bats, hammers and other blunt instruments.
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A special United Nations panel is urging Bahrain to immediately release imprisoned activist Nabeel Rajab, describing him as the victim of government-sponsored "persecution" for his political views in the island kingdom.