1. Iraqi govt allocates $1bn for Anbar reconstruction
    BAGHDAD – The government plans to allocate $1 billion for the reconstruction of the violence-wracked Anbar province in response to demands by local tribesmen, as Iraqi security forces continue to wage a wide-scale operation against militants in the western, predominantly-Sunni province.
  2. Afghan Ethnic Tensions Rise in Media and Politics
    KABUL, Afghanistan — It started with a heat-of-the-moment comment on a partisan television talk show, drawing an ethnic line that was bold even by Afghan standards.
  3. Syria stresses full representation of “national” opposition in Geneva II
    DAMASCUS, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — The Syrian parliament speaker stressed Tuesday the full representation of Syria’s “national” opposition in the peace talks of Geneva II conference, according to the official SANA news agency.
  4. Bahrain sentences Shiite protester to death, jails 8
    DUBAI: A Bahrain court Wednesday sentenced a Shiite protester to death and jailed six others for life after they were convicted of killing a policeman a year ago, a judicial source said.
  5. Libya MPs denounce militia ultimatum as coup threat
    Libya’s interim assembly said it was facing an impending “coup” Tuesday after ex-rebel militias gave it a five-hour deadline to hand over power.
  6. Islamabad declared ‘extremely dangerous’, alerts sent out to all embassies
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s capital has been declared as “extremely dangerous” by the interior ministry due to the presence of sleeper cells of banned terror groups like al-Qaida, a report said on Wednesday.
  7. Iran, powers seek to agree basis for final nuclear deal
    (Reuters) – Six world powers and Iran appeared to make some progress at a second day of talks in Vienna on Wednesday to hammer out an agenda for reaching an ambitious final settlement to the decade-old standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
  8. Suicide bombers target Iranian centre in Beirut
    BEIRUT: Two suicide bombers targeted the Iranian cultural centre in Beirut on Wednesday, killing four people and themselves in an attack claimed by Sunni militants who said it was a response to the intervention of Iran and Hezbollah in the Syrian war.