Iran wrestling officials resign over Israel competition ban

Image copyright AFP Image caption Karimachiani, right, was praised by Iran’s Supreme Leader for throwing the match that led to his ban The head of Iran’s wrestling federation has resigned after criticising authorities for letting players be punished because of the country’s ban on athletes competing against Israel. Rasoul Khadem, an Olympic gold medallist, was […]

N Korea ‘providing materials for Syria chemical weapons’

Image copyright AFP Image caption There have been recent reports of chlorine gas attacks in the eastern Ghouta region North Korea has been sending equipment to Syria that could be used to make chemical weapons, a UN report says. Some 40 previously unreported shipments were made between 2012 and 2017, the report found. Materials included […]

Jerusalem: Christianity’s ‘holiest site’ Holy Sepulchre reopens after protest

Image copyright AFP/ Getty Images Image caption The church reopened before dawn on Wednesday The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has reopened, three days after Christian leaders closed it in protest at plans to tax Church properties in the city. Leaders had said the church would be closed indefinitely. Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat […]

Worker died in fall at ‘lethal’ Qatar World Cup stadium

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Zachary Cox fell 130ft while working at the Khalifa International Stadium A construction worker died after he fell at a Qatar 2022 World Cup stadium building site while using “potentially lethal equipment”, an inquest heard. Zachary Cox, 40, plummeted 130ft (40m) at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on January 19 […]

N Korea ‘providing materials to Syria chemical weapons factories’

Image copyright AFP Image caption There have been recent reports of chlorine gas attacks in the eastern Ghouta region North Korea has been sending equipment to Syria that could be used in chemical weapons manufacturing, US media report, citing findings by UN experts. The materials include acid-resistant tiles, valves and pipes, reports say. An as-yet-unreleased […]

Saleh Muslim: Release of Syrian Kurdish leader angers Turkey

Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Muslim was escorted by Czech police to his trial on Tuesday A prominent Syrian-Kurdish leader who was detained in the Czech Republic has been freed, prompting anger from Turkey, which issued the warrant for his arrest. Saleh Muslim, a former co-chair of the main Syrian-Kurdish movement, the Democratic Union […]

Egypt’s Sherine sentenced to prison over Nile joke

Image copyright AFP Image caption Sherine is one of Egypt’s most famous singers Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab has been sentenced to six months in prison for joking about the cleanliness of the River Nile. Sherine, one of the country’s most famous singers – and a judge on the Arabic version of The Voice TV […]

Syria war: Shelling and strikes despite Eastern Ghouta ‘pause’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Russian media said not a single civilian left the besieged Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday Fighting continued in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area in Syria during the first daily five-hour “pause” ordered by the government’s ally Russia. Activists said there were government air and artillery strikes, while Russia said rebels shelled […]

Syria conflict: Women ‘sexually exploited in return for aid’

Media captionAid worker Danielle Spencer: “They were withholding the aid… then using these women for sex” Women in Syria have been sexually exploited by men delivering aid on behalf of the UN and international charities, the BBC has learned. Aid workers said the men would trade food and lifts for sexual favours. Despite warnings about […]

Syria conflict: Eastern Ghouta ‘humanitarian pause’ begins

Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 560 people have been killed in the enclave in the past eight days, monitors say A five-hour pause in the Syrian government’s assault on the rebel-held area of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus has now begun. The respite was ordered by Syria’s ally Russia, which said it would be […]