- Saudis Arrest 113 Militants
CAIRO — Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that its security forces had arrested 113 militants with ties to Al Qaeda who had been planning attacks against oil operations and security facilities in the eastern part of the kingdom.
- Iran, Turkey near $5.5 billion gas deal
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz says there is a “complete political support” in Ankara for signing a 5.5-billion-dollar gas deal with Iran.
- Pakistani forces kill 21 militants in Orakzai offensive
At least 21 militants have been killed and 24 injured in fierce firefights and bombardments as Pakistan’s armed forces launched an offensive on Taliban hideouts in the northwest tribal belt with neighboring Afghanistan.
- Iraqi demonstrators call for recount of ballots
Hundreds of Iraqis have taken to the streets in the southern city of Basra to demand the nationwide recount of votes from the country’s March 7 parliamentary elections.
- Watchdog urges Saudi to free Shia dissident
Human Rights Watch called on Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to free Shia activist Munir Jassas, saying that no charges had been pressed five months after his detention by domestic intelligence agents.
- Iraq: Newspaper Industry Crippled by too Many Holidays
Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- More than seven years after the change of its political order, Iraq today has one of the Arab world’s largest number of media outlets of all types. It has independent, partisan, Islamic, and educational satellite television channels, as well as several government-owned public service stations.
- Sacked Bahrain Minister Denies Money Laundering Reports
DUBAI (AFP) – Bahrain’s sacked state minister Mansur bin Rajab denied on Tuesday involvement in money laundering activities that local media have suggested was the reason for his dismissal.
- Jordan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Targeted by Plot
AMMAN, Jordan, (AP) – Jordan’s ambassador to Pakistan was the target of a Taliban kidnap attempt foiled by authorities in Islamabad and is now safe, the Jordanian information minister said Tuesday.
- Gulf Inflation Pressure Drops, Not Gone: Kuwait
KUWAIT CITY – Gulf central bank chiefs began a meeting on Wednesday with a call for more coordination to achieve financial stability and face continued fallout from the global economic downturn.
- U.S. plays down hopes for Afghan reconciliation
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday the timing was still not right for reconciliation with senior Afghan Taliban leaders, acknowledging military pressure had yet to weaken the group enough.