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Rigging claims fly as Nigeria election results come in

ABUJA — Nigeria’s main opposition on Monday accused the ruling party of trying to rig presidential elections, as the incumbent made early gains but monitors voiced concern about polling day problems, including dozens of deaths. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari …

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Iraq to prosecute 13 French Daesh fighters seized in Syria

PARIS — Iraqi courts will prosecute 13 French citizens captured while fighting for the terror group Daesh in Syria, Iraq’s President Barham Salih said on Monday. The fighters, who were turned over to Iraq after being seized by Syrian Kurdish forces, “will be judged according to Iraqi law”, Salih told …

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Algeria PM points to polls amid ire over president reelection bid

ALGIERS — Algeria’s prime minister on Monday insisted voters would determine if ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gets a fifth term at the ballot box, after major protests against his candidacy. Tens of thousands of people on Friday took to the streets, including in the capital Algiers where demonstrations are forbidden, …

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Syria force carries out major evacuation from last Daesh holdout

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria — US-backed forces evacuated over 40 truckloads of people from the Daesh group’s last Syria redoubt on Monday, as they sought to clear out civilians before a final push to crush the extremists. The Syrian Democratic Forces has slowed down its offensive on the final pocket due …

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Sudan’s Bashir declares state of emergency, dissolves gov’t

KHARTOUM — Sudan President Omar Al Bashir, facing the country’s biggest popular protests since he came to power 30 years ago, declared a one-year state of emergency on Friday and called on Parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek another term in a 2020 presidential election.  …

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‘Abused’ Saudi sisters trapped in Hong Kong risk deportation

HONG KONG — Two Saudi sisters trapped in Hong Kong say chronic physical abuse by male family members prompted them to flee the kingdom, where they now fear they will be forcibly returned. The siblings are the latest example of Saudi women plotting their escape from the ultra-conservative kingdom only …

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Egypt court sentences two monks to death over bishop killing

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced two monks to death over the murder of a bishop, a judicial source said, in a case that shocked the Middle East’s largest Christian community.  Coptic Bishop Epiphanius was found dead with a head wound in July at the Saint Macarius monastery …

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Netanyahu’s main rival in Israeli election voices agreement with him on Iran

MUNICH — Former General Benny Gantz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest challenger in an election scheduled for April, voiced support on Sunday for the right-wing leader’s tough policy towards Iran. “I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the fight against Iran’s aggression,” Gantz, a former chief of …

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In Iraq visit, US general eyes longer-term Daesh threat

BAGHDAD — The general overseeing US forces in the Middle East flew into Iraq on Sunday for talks with US and Iraqi officials expected to focus on ensuring that Daesh cannot stage a resurgence after US troops withdraw from neighbouring Syria. US army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the US Central Command, made …

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Israel clears Palestinians from Jerusalem home claimed by settlers

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli forces on Sunday evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, after the supreme court ruled Jewish claimants were the rightful owners. An AFP photographer said residents of the neighbourhood in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem scuffled with police, who stood guard …

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