1. Iran election: Rafsanjani defends decision to stand as his ‘national duty’
    Pro-regime figures call for Rafsanjani’s disqualification amid growing support for ex-president’s candidacy from Green movement
  2. Three mass graves with 1,000 corpses found in Iraq
    Iraqi officials have found three mass graves containing the bodies of about 1,000 people thought to have been executed by US soldiers during their occupation of the country.
  3. Bahrain court jails 6 tweeters
    DUBAI: A Bahraini court on Wednesday sentenced six tweeters charged with insulting King Hamad to one year in prison, the public prosecutor’s office announced.
  4. Relatives of Lebanese hostages continue their sit-ins
    Relatives of Lebanese hostages in Syria’s staged another sit-in on Thursday outside the Turkish Airlines office in Downtown Beirut.
  5. Assad forces foil Syrian rebels’ attempt to free prisoners in Aleppo
    BEIRUT – Syrian rebels withdrew from a prison in the northern city of Aleppo Thursday after heavy fighting with government troops, an activist group said, as it more than doubled its tally of deaths from sectarian killings in a coastal city earlier this month.
  6. Wave of car bombs, shooting in mainly Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad kill 21, officials say
    BAGHDAD — Car bombs hit Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital for the second day in a row on Thursday, part of a series of attacks across the country that left 21 people dead and raised concerns over a return to sectarian bloodshed.
  7. The challenges of the ever-changing face of terror
    The recent drama revolving around the arrest and killing of suspected terrorists in Jakarta, Banten, Bandung, Kebumen, Kendal, Lampung and Batam suggest that Indonesia’s efforts to curb terror the threat are still facing serious challenges, which stem from violent groups as well as an imperfect approach to dealing with the issue.
  8. Three Red Cross workers, 2 Egyptians freed in Yemen: Security official
    Five people abducted by armed tribesmen in southern Yemen have been released, a security official says.
  9. Over 70 states refuse to say yes to anti-Syria resolution
    More than 70 countries have refused to say yes to an Arab-backed resolution against Syria at the United Nations General Assembly.