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  • Egypt court convicts doctor of female genital mutilation

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness, shows a portrait of Sohair el-Batea, who died last year after undergoing a female genital mutilation operation by Dr. Raslan Fadl, in Egypt. Lawyer Reda al-Danbouki says an appeals court has convicted Dr. Fadl of manslaughter and performing a female genital mutilation that killed el-Batea sentencing him to two years and three months in prison. Female genital mutilation was criminalized in 2008, but remains widespread in Egypt, where more than 90 percent of women are estimated to have undergone it. (AP Photo/Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness, File)CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian appeals court on Monday convicted a doctor of manslaughter and performing female genital mutilation that led to the death of a 13-year-old girl, sentencing him to two years and three months in prison in the country's first case that came to trial over the widespread practice, defense lawyers said.


  • Assad seeks agreement over U.S. air strikes in Syria

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is seen during an interview to the American magazine Foreign Affairs published on Monday in DamascusPresident Bashar al-Assad has said U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria should be subject to an agreement with Damascus and Syrian troops should be involved on the ground. Assad was speaking in an interview with the U.S.-based Foreign Affairs Magazine published on Monday. "With any country that is serious about fighting terrorism, we are ready to make cooperation, if they're serious," Assad said, when asked if he would be willing to take steps to make cooperation easier with Washington. Washington supports opposition forces fighting for the past four years to topple Assad, but its position has become complicated since Islamic State and other hardline groups emerged as the most powerful rebel factions.


  • Yemen crisis is first big test for Saudi Arabia's King Salman

    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud arrives at Haneda airport in TokyoBy Angus McDowall RIYADH (Reuters) - The turmoil hitting Saudi Arabia's neighbor Yemen will pose the first big test for King Salman, and provide a glimpse as to whether his approach to hotspots in a fragmenting region will differ from that of his late brother. Yemen is at risk of breaking up with the ascent of the Houthi movement, a group whose main strategic alliance is with Riyadh's great regional foe Iran, in a country also home to Sunni al Qaeda's most active affiliate. In that respect, Yemen reflects what has happened across the Middle East, with Tehran's Shi'ite Muslim allies dominating war-torn Iraq and Syria, and Saudi Arabia attempting to back Sunni groups without bolstering its Islamist militant enemies. Under King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia constructed a dual-track regional policy of attempting to contain Iranian influence while at the same time opposing the growth of Sunni political Islam which it saw as an ideological threat to dynastic rule.


  • Japan seeks Jordan's help on gaining hostage's release

    Japan's government spokesman Yoshihide Suga speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Suga told reporters that the government was still analyzing a video posted online that purported to show Haruna Yukawa, one of the two hostages held by the extremist Islamic State group, had been killed. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDITTOKYO (AP) — Japan sought help from Jordan and other countries Monday in its race to save a hostage held by the extremist Islamic State group, with no signs of progress on securing his release.


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