Middle East | WHEC.com

Iraqi officials: At least 3 rockets hit near Baghdad airport

BAGHDAD (AP) - At least three rockets struck near Baghdad's international airport and an adjacent military base that hosts U.S. and other coalition advisors on Friday, damaging an abandoned commercial plane but causing no casualties, Iraqi officials said.

In north Iraq, Chinese language school projects soft power

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) - In a classroom in northern Iraq, Zhiwei Hu presides over his students as a conductor would an orchestra. He cues with a question, and the response from his students resounds in perfect, fluent Chinese.

Autopsy says violence caused death of detained Palestinian

JERUSALEM (AP) - An autopsy has found that a 78-year-old Palestinian man who was pronounced dead shortly after being detained by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank died of a heart attack caused by "external violence."

Dozens of armed militants still hold corner of Syria prison

BEIRUT (AP) - Dozens of armed Islamic State militants remained holed up in the last occupied section of a Syrian prison, U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces said Thursday. The two sides clashed a day after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced they had regained full control of the facility.

Saudi-led coalition says it's probing deadly prison strike

CAIRO (AP) - The Saud Arabia-led coalition at war in Yemen announced Thursday it is investigating an airstrike on a detention facility there that killed dozens of people.

Group warns of potential catastrophe on old tanker off Yemen

CAIRO (AP) - A leading environmental group warned Thursday of a potential major oil leak or explosion on an aging oil tanker moored off of Yemen's Red Sea coast. The neglected vessel is loaded with more than a million barrels of crude oil.

Iran state TV shows dissidents' images after apparent hack

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Multiple channels of Iran's state television broadcast images on Thursday showing the leaders of an exiled dissident group and a graphic calling for the death of the country's supreme leader, an incident that authorities later described as a hack.

Abraaj founder fined staggering $135M by Dubai regulator

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - A regulatory body in Dubai said Thursday it is seeking to impose a staggering fine of $135.5 million on the Pakistani-born founder of Abraaj Group, the now defunct Mideast private-equity firm accused of fraud.

Jordanian military kills 27 in shootout with Syria smugglers

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - The Jordanian military said Thursday that troops have killed 27 suspected smugglers attempting to enter the country from neighboring Syria.

Jordan kills 27 suspected drug smugglers trying to enter the country from Syria, military reports

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Jordan kills 27 suspected drug smugglers trying to enter the country from Syria, military reports.

Jerusalem blanketed in white after rare snowfall

JERUSALEM (AP) - Jerusalem was blanketed in white on Thursday after a winter storm covered much of the region's higher altitudes with snow.

As world marks Holocaust, some survivors in Israel struggle

JERUSALEM (AP) - Several dozen octogenarians, bundled against the cold, chattered in Russian and Hebrew as they picked through heaps of carrots, onions and grapefruit in a Jerusalem courtyard.

Virus-ravaged Iran finds brief respite with mass vaccination

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - As much of the world sees vaccination slowing and infections soaring with the spread of omicron, Iran has found a rare, if fleeting, respite from the anxiety and trauma of the pandemic.

Lebanon to receive Jordan electricity via Syria, deal signed

BEIRUT (AP) - Lebanon signed deals on Wednesday to purchase electricity from Jordan via Syria to help the small Mediterranean country deal with its crippling energy crisis.

Yemen forces sweep through key province in blow to rebels

CAIRO (AP) - Forces of Yemen's internationally recognized government and their Emirati-backed allies swept through a strategic province, forcing Houthi rebels out of its second largest district, officials said Wednesday.

US-backed Syria forces retake prison a week after IS assault

BEIRUT (AP) - U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces said they wrestled control of the last section of a prison seized by Islamic State militants and freed a number of child detainees they had used as human shields. That ended a deadly, weeklong assault by the extremists on one of the largest detention facilities in Syria.

EXPLAINER: Who are the kids trapped in Syria prison attack?

BEIRUT (AP) - A distressing series of voice notes sent by an injured Australian teenager from a prison in northeast Syria underscores the plight of thousands of forgotten children who remain trapped in overcrowded detention facilities in Syria and Iraq.

People posting videos of UAE attack summoned under vague law

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - State prosecutors in Abu Dhabi summoned people who shared videos on social media of Emirati defense forces intercepting missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis at the nation's capital, a state-run report said Wednesday.

Iran arrests 17 pranksters over videos that 'spread panic'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - In Tehran in recent weeks, men have smashed cream pies into the faces of hapless bystanders on metro escalators. Actors posing as private taxi drivers have opened fire on passengers with red paint guns. Young people have tossed eggs at unwitting pedestrians.

Kuwait death toll raised to 4 in oil refinery fire

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The death toll from a fire at a major oil refinery in Kuwait has been raised to four after two critically injured workers died of their wounds, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company said in a statement Wednesday.

Ex-cop's trial for Taylor raid offers new chance for justice

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Louisville Metro Police Department shows Officer Brett Hankison. Attorneys for Hankison, a former police officer involved in the Breonna Taylor raid, want to ban news outlets from part of the jury selection process. Hankison is set to go on trial on wanton endangerment charges, with jury selection set to begin on Feb. 1, 2022. (Courtesy of Louisville Metro Police Department via AP, File)

How many times can I reuse my N95 mask?

How many times can I reuse my N95 mask? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Man executed for 1996 killing after Supreme Court clears way

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Matthew Reeves. Late Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the state of Alabama to execute Reeves, an inmate who contended that an intellectual disability combined with the state's inattention cost him a chance to avoid lethal injection and choose a new method. Reeves was condemned for killing a man during a robbery in 1996. (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP, File)

NYC gives final salute to slain NYPD officer

Police officers stand in line outside St. Patricks Cathedral to pay their respects during the wake of New York City Police Officer Jason Rivera, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in New York.  Rivera was fatally shot Friday, Jan. 21, while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

US judge may suspend mustang roundup in Nevada; suit pending

FILE - A livestock helicopter pilot rounds up wild horses from the Fox & Lake Herd Management Area on July 13, 2008, in Washoe County, Nev., near the town on Empire, Nev. A federal judge is considering temporarily suspending the capture of wild horses in Nevada where their advocates say the federal government is

Cases plateauing in parts of India but omicron still surges

An elderly receives Covid-19 vaccination at a makeshift center in a government school in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. Indian health officials said that the first signs of COVID-19 infections plateauing in some parts of the vast country were being seen, but cautioned that cases were still surging in some states. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Australia pledges $704 million to save Great Barrier Reef

In this photo provided by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority divers survey a part of the Barrier Reef off Townsville, March 12, 2016. The Australian government on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, pledged to spend another 1 billion Australian dollars ($704 million) over nine years on improving the health of the Great Barrier Reef after stalling a UNESCO decision on downgrading the natural wonder's World Heritage status. (C. Jones/Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority via AP)

Executive overseeing investments leaves Japan's SoftBank

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure speaks to reporters as he leaves the courthouse in New York. Claure, who joined SoftBank Group after turning around one of its key investments, office-sharing business WeWork, is leaving, the Japanese technology company said Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Google to invest $1 billion to push India's digitalization

FILE - The logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris, Nov. 18, 2019. Google will invest up to $1 billion in partnership with India's Airtel for providing affordable access to smartphones to over a billion Indians and accelerating the cloud ecosystem for businesses, the two companies said on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

S. Korea plans to add small hospitals as COVID cases surge

A medical worker runs to guide people as they wait for their coronavirus test at a makeshift testing site in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

AP Week in Pictures: Europe and Africa

Ukrainian servicemen carry water supplies for an advanced position on the front line in the Luhansk area, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. The U.S. rejection of Russia's main demands to resolve the crisis over Ukraine left

Old grievances haunt Portugal's vote: low pay, stagnation

Portuguese Prime Minister and Socialist Party Secretary General Antonio Costa, center, waves during an election campaign event in the outskirts of Lisbon, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. Portugal holds a general election on Jan. 30. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Kim Jones back on runway as Fendi channels celestial Rome

A model wears a creation for the Fendi Spring-Summer 2022 Haute Couture fashion collection, in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Family clarifies no 'Picasso NFT' is set to be sold online

FILE - Marina Picasso, right, granddaughter of artist Pablo Picasso, and her son Florian Picasso, left, pose for a photo during an interview with the Associated Press in Cologny near in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. The pair told The Associated Press that they planned to sell 1,010 digital art pieces of one of his ceramic works that has never before seen publicly but a lawyer for the late artist says no sale of digital Picasso art has not been permitted and no digital Picasso artwork would be sold. (AP Photo/Boris Heger, File)

Danish troops to leave Mali after call from country's rulers

FILE - Denmark's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod attends a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on Aug. 31, 2021. Denmark's foreign minister says the country will pull its small military force out of northern Mali after the West African country's transitional government said no permission had been given for them to deploy there. The government in Bamako, under coup leader Col. Assimi Goita, on Wednesday told Denmark to withdraw its 90-person contingent that arrived in Mali just a week earlier for a one-year deployment under a European counterterrorism operation.  Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod announced the pullout Thursday, following a briefing of parliament's foreign policy committee. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)