Middle East

Japanese hostage 'beheaded' video

A screenshot of the video released by the so-called Islamic State's al-Furqan media arm on January 20. Haruna Yakawa can be seen on the left.

A new video apparently shows the body of a Japanese hostage beheaded by members of Islamic State.

The King's 'jailed' princesses

SAHAR AND JAWAHER: They claim they are being held captive.

World leaders have dropped everything to pay tribute to a "man of wisdom". But four of his 15 daughters aren't mourning the Saudi monarch's death.

Thousands protest Charlie Hebdo cartoon video

OUTRAGED: Palestinians take part in a protest against satirical French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover of its first edition since an attack by Islamist gunmen.

Thousands of Palestinians rally in the occupied West Bank to protest cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

New Saudi king suffering from dementia?

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman bin Abdul Aziz praying at the funeral of his half-brother King Abdullah.

'He is a tall, upright son of the desert.' But he's also rumoured to have significant health problems.

Meet the Saudi royal family's rising star

PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN NAYEF: "He has led the fight against terrorism and his accomplishments are tangible," says Awadh al-Badi, a researcher and scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies in Riyadh.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is 'America's favourite Saudi official'. Others, however, say 'he's worse than his father'.

'Down with Charlie Hebdo' gallery

Supporters of the religious party Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI) burn a U.S. flag during a protest against against satirical French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdob in Lahore January 23, 2015.

Thousands and thousands across South Asia burn French flags and chant slogans calling for France's downfall,

Japanese hostage's mum pleads

"I say to you people of the Islamic State, Kenji is not your enemy. Please release him": Junko Ishido, mother of Japanese hostage.

'I would not hesitate to offer my own life to change this situation.'

Yemen's turmoil deepens

TAKING OVER: Houthi fighters ride a truck near the presidential palace in Yemen's capital of Sanaa on Thursday.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi succumbs to an apparent coup attempt.

New Saudi king in poor health

New Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud reportedly suffers dementia.

The region's most important Sunni power and America's closest Arab ally is now ruled by a 79-year-old reportedly suffering from dementia.

Saudi King Abdullah dies video

THE KING IS DEAD: The health of King Abdullah has been scrutinised for any hint of a leadership change in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died, state television report, and his brother Salman has become king.

Saudi King a cautious reformer

CAUTIOUS REFORMER: King Abdullah at the opening session of the Arab summit in Doha, in this March 30, 2009 file photo. His order to spend NZ$146.64 billion  on social benefits, new housing and new jobs helped to avert any significant pro-democracy unrest in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz leaves a modernising legacy of cautious social and economic reform.

'We didn't invite Netanyahu'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Fuming Democrats accuse Republicans of breaking protocol over an invite to Israel's prime minister.

Activist's flogging delayed again

Raif Badawi at home in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Saudi Arabia plans to delay the public flogging of a rights activist on medical grounds.

Yemeni government resigns amid rebels siege video

IN CONTROL: Fighters from the Houthi militia patrol the streets of Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

Yemeni government cabinet submits its resignation to embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Clock ticking for Japanese IS hostages video

Deadline looms for cash payment ... An IS militant with the two Japanese hostages, journalist Kenji Goto, left, and military contractor Haruna Yukawa.

The clock is ticking towards a deadline imposed by Islamist militants threatening to kill two Japanese nationals.

Saudis every bit as sickening as IS

Illustration: Simon Bosch

OPINION: Westerners are fixated by IS beheadings. But when a major Western ally does the same? Not so much.

IS hostage video 'doctored' video

DOCTORED VIDEO? An IS militant with the two Japanese hostages, journalist Kenji Goto Jogo, left, and military contractor Haruna Yukawa. Several peculiarities, such as shadows on the hostages, suggest the video may have been doctored.

Japan's government believes an Islamic State video of two Japanese hostages may have been doctored.

Reporter's bid to save friend led to abduction

An Islamic State militant with Japanese hostages, journalist Kenji Goto, left, and military contractor Haruna Yukawa.

It is an unlikely friendship that ties the fates of two men held by Islamic State.

Japan races against time

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned from a Middle East tour to deal with the hostage crisis.

Japan is making efforts as it races against time to free two hostages the IS group is threatening to kill within 72 hours.

Israeli man arrested in Madonna song leak probe

PERP FOUND: An arrest has been made after unfinished tracks were leaked in December from Madonna's "Rebel Heart" album before its release, something the singer described as 'artistic rape'.

Israeli man arrested on suspicion of hacking into the computers of a number of international singing stars.

Stabbing on Tel Aviv bus

Israeli police crime scene investigators work at the scene of a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.

Palestinian man stabbed nine people on a Tel Aviv bus, wounding four seriously before he was shot by Israeli police.

Yemen leader to accept demands of Houthis video

UNDER REBEL CONTROL: A Houthi checkpoint at the entrance to the barracks of Yemen's presidential guard.

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi expected to yield to demands for constitutional change and power sharing.

UN envoy returning to Yemen amid clashes

'GRAVELY CONCERNED': United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon condemns the latest clashes between Houthi fighters and the presidential guard in Yemen's capital.

Hostages believed held by Isis video

Around 350 members of Iraq's Yazidi community have been released from captivity by Islamic State, although their homecoming to the Kurdish north of the country, has been bittersweet.

A list of foreign hostages believed held by the Islamic State group and some of those who have been released:

Isis threatens to kill Japanese hostages video

RANSOMED: Isis wants $200m to spare the lives of Japanese men Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.

An online video purports to show the Islamic State group threatening to kill two Japanese hostages unless they receive a NZ$260m ransom in the next 72 hours.

Shiite rebels staging 'coup' in Yemeni capital

UNDER ATTACK: A Yemen presidential guard stands on an armoured vehicle blocking the road to the presidential palace.

Shiite Houthi rebels shelling the residence of the country's president after taking presidential palace.

Peer pressure key to IS recruitment

An Iraqi Shi'ite fighter fires his weapon during fighting with Islamic State militants at Al-Nibai, north of Baghdad.

Peer pressure from radicalised fighters is more powerful in attracting recruits than Islamic State propaganda.

Peacekeepers brace for retaliation

Hezbollah fighters in Beirut carry the coffin of Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah operative assassinated in 2008 in Damascus and one of the six Hezbollah fighters killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Thousands turn out in Beirut to mourn the death of a young Hezbollah fighter – one of at least six killed in a suspected Israeli air strike on a convoy.

Shots fired at PM's convoy

A man waves a Yemen flag during a demonstration in support of the Yemen army and security forces in a U.S.-backed campaign against militant network Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in Sanaa May 21, 2014.

Shi'ite militia launch assassination attempt against Prime Minister Khalid Bahah in clash with Yemen's army.

Israel airstrike hit Hezbollah targets video

KILLED: Jihad Moughniyah, right, seen greeting Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, head of Hezbollah's Executive Council, was reportedly killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria on Sunday.

The airstrike in Syria reportedly killed seven, including Hezbollah field commanders and several Iranians.

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