Washington and Riyadh uneasy allies in turbulent Middle East

Jan 24, 2015

Washington and Riyadh uneasy allies in turbulent Middle East

Long-standing ties between the United States, the world’s oldest democracy, and Saudi Arabia, an ultraconservative Islamic absolute monarchy, have strained at times, but the unlikely allies remain bound by mutual interests in regional stability and oil. The depth of the complex relationship was highlighted ...

Jan 24, 2015

Some counterterrorism efforts in Yemen frozen

The United States has halted some counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida militants in Yemen following a takeover of the country by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, U.S. officials said Friday. The collapse of the U.S.-backed government of Yemen on Thursday has left America’s counterterrorism campaign “paralyzed,” two ...

Salman takes Saudi throne with continuity pledge

Jan 24, 2015

Salman takes Saudi throne with continuity pledge

New Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud vowed to keep his conservative, oil-rich Muslim kingdom on a steady course and moved to cement his hold on power following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah. Abdullah, a cautious reformer who led the U.S.-allied ...

Ukrainian rebels launch offensive

Jan 24, 2015

Ukrainian rebels launch offensive

Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine rejected a previously signed peace deal Friday and launched a new multipronged offensive against Ukrainian troops, upending recent European attempts to mediate an end to the fighting. The main separatist leader in the rebellious Donetsk region vowed to push ...

Jan 23, 2015

Partial list of Japanese hostage crises

The deadline set by Islamic militants threatening to kill two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo pays a $200 million ransom passed Friday with no news of their fate. Here are some key hostage crises that have embroiled Japanese nationals abroad in the past. September 1977: ...

Hostages in limbo as deadline passes

Jan 23, 2015

Hostages in limbo as deadline passes

by Reiji Yoshida

The presumed 72-hour deadline for paying the exorbitant ransom demanded by the Islamic State group apparently expired at 2:50 p.m. Friday without any hint about what would happen to the two Japanese hostages in its grasp. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the No. 2 ...