GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip today, striking more than 100 sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel.
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military bolstered forces along the volatile border with the Gaza Strip today in response to intensifying rocket fire as tensions remained high over the deaths of three Israeli teenagers and an Arab youth who Palestinians allege was killed in a revenge attack.
TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a tentative step toward improved relations with North Korea today by announcing his government will lift some of its sanctions in response to the North’s decision to re-open a probe into the fate of at least a dozen Japanese believed to have been abducted by North Korean agents decades ago.
KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber attacked an air force bus in Afghanistan’s capital today, killing at least seven people, including four officers, and wounding another 16. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police in Hong Kong on today arrested at least 511 demonstrators who refused to leave city streets following one of the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in the former British territory since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.
JERUSALEM — Israel today mourned the deaths of three teenagers who had been kidnapped over two weeks ago, as the air force targeted dozens of locations in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said, in a surge of violence that followed the discovery of the teens’ bodies.
KARLOVKA, Ukraine — Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists fought with heavy weapons in the country’s east today, and the rebels captured the Interior Ministry headquarters in a major city after an hours-long gun battle, a day after the president said rebels weren’t serious about peace talks and ended a cease-fire.
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s new parliament deadlocked less than two hours into its first session when minority Sunnis and Kurds walked out, dashing hopes for the quick formation of a new government that could hold the country together in the face of a militant blitz.
MOSCOW — The Kremlin on Wednesday renounced the right to send troops into Ukraine and voiced support for a peace plan, but the West said Russia must do much more to stop the fighting in eastern Ukraine if it wants to avoid a new, more crippling round of sanctions.
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s vice president called on parliament to convene on Tuesday, taking the first step toward forming a new government to present a united front against a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency while Britain’s top diplomat started an official visit to the country to urge the country’s leaders to put their differences aside for the good of the nation.
After more than a decade of helping fight Islamic militants, the United States is disbanding an anti-terror contingent of hundreds of elite American troops in the southern Philippines where armed groups such as Abu Sayyaf have largely been crippled, officials said Thursday.
BAGHDAD — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Mideast nations today against taking new military action in Iraq that might heighten sectarian divisions, as reports surfaced that Syria launched airstrikes across the border and Iran flew surveillance drones over the neighboring country.
BAGHDAD — Underlying the persistent danger of Iraq being swept up again by sectarian bloodletting, a suicide bomber blew himself up at an outdoor market south of Baghdad today, killing 15 people and wounding 30, police and hospital officials said.
VIENNA — Iran and six world powers began a “critical” week of nuclear negotiations in Vienna still far apart despite daily contacts over the last month, a senior Obama administration official said Monday.
CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi today rejected calls from the United States and other Western governments that he pardon or commute the sentences of three Al-Jazeera journalists who were handed heavy prison terms a day earlier in a court ruling that raised international outrage.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Extremists have abducted 60 more girls and women and 31 boys in weekend attacks on villages in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said today, another sign of the Nigerian military’s failure to curb an Islamic uprising.