1. Turkey’s Syria borders an open door for smugglers
    “Multidimensional” is a term the Turkish government loves repeating to inflate the wisdom of Turkey’s foreign policy. Its applicability to other fronts may be debated, but it surely prevails along the 910-kilometer (565-mile) border with Syria.
  2. Iranian president pursuing release of house arrested leaders
    Iranian president aims to support the rights of every citizen including those who are in prison, Iranian official said commenting on the issue of house arrested opposition leaders.
  3. Search is on for successor to Syria peace mediator Brahimi
    (Reuters) – The search has started for a replacement for Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who diplomatic sources say is planning to resign in the near future, largely out of frustration at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s plans to hold an election in June.
  4. Iran raps US report keeping it on terror list
    Iran rejected an annual US report that keeps Tehran on a list of state sponsors of terrorism as reflecting double standards, media reports said Thursday.
  5. REPORT: State Department should double list of worst religious freedom offenders
    (RNS) Secretary of State John Kerry should cite 16 countries for severe violations of religious freedom, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended Wednesday (April 30) in its 15th annual report.
  6. Iraq: Al-Maliki calls vote ‘slap’ to terrorism
    BAGHDAD — Iraq’s prime minister hailed a high turnout in nationwide elections as a “slap in the face of terrorism” Thursday, but his upbeat comments were tempered by a U.N. announcement that last month’s death toll was the highest so far this year amid a sharp spike in sectarian bloodshed.
  7. Amnesty urges Pakistan to probe threats to media
    ISLAMABAD — Pakistan should investigate threats to journalists and probe its military and intelligence agencies for stifling media freedoms, Amnesty International said Wednesday.
  8. 17-Minute Delay Found in Reporting Missing Plane
    HONG KONG — Seventeen minutes passed after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from civilian radar screens before air traffic controllers in Vietnam and Malaysia raised any concerns about it, according to a Malaysian government report released on Thursday that described confusion and miscommunication in the hours that followed.
  9. OPCW team to probe Syria ‘chemical bomb’ attack
    A newspaper-initiated investigation that claims to establish proof of the deployment of chlorine and ammonia bombs on civilian targets by the government of President Bashar al-Assad regime of Syria has led to the establishment of a fact-finding team of weapons inspectors by the Brussels-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).