Stories written by AJ Correspondents

Thailand Holds Peace Talks with Muslim Rebels

Thai authorities and Muslim rebels leaders have started peace talks aimed at ending almost a decade of unrest in the country's far south, as fresh violence killed at least five people.

Cyprus Readies for Reopening of Banks

Cyprus is finalising capital control measures to prevent a run on the banks by depositors anxious about their savings after the country agreed a painful rescue package with international lenders.

PKK Leader Calls for Ceasefire in Turkey

Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed Kurdish rebel leader, has issued a long-awaited ceasefire declaration that would be a major step towards ending a 30-year conflict that has cost around 40,000 lives in Turkey.

Cyprus Government Holds Bailout Crisis Talks

Political leaders in Cyprus are working on an alternative proposal to stave off bankruptcy after parliament overwhelmingly rejected an international bailout plan.

PKK Frees Turkish Hostages in Peace Bid

Kurdish rebels in Turkey have released eight hostages after their jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan called for a prisoner exchange.

North Korea Threatens U.S. with Nuclear Attack

North Korea has vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, hours ahead of a U.N. vote on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.

Kabul Bank: A Bank that Defaulted on Trust

Afghanistan's Kabul Bank is back in the news, with the sentencing of two of its top executives to five years in prison for fraud. But being in the limelight - for good or bad - has been part of the bank's saga since its inception in 2004.

‘Tortured’ Palestinian Inmate’s Funeral Held

Thousands of Palestinian mourners have gathered in the town on Sair in the occupied West Bank for the funeral of Arafat Jaradat, who died in an Israeli jail under disputed circumstances.

Deadly Car Blast Hits Turkey’s Syria Border

At least 10 people have been killed and 30 others wounded following a car-bomb explosion near the border between Turkey and Syria, Turkish television reported.

Tunisia PM to Dissolve Government Amid Crisis

Tunisia's prime minister has said that he will dissolve the Islamist-led government and form a national unity administration, following the killing of prominent secular opposition figure Shokri Belaid in front of his home.

Corruption Case Raises Iran Domestic Tensions

Iran's president has accused the brother of the speaker of parliament of corruption, increasing tensions between two of the country's most powerful political figures in the run-up to presidential elections in the country.

Brahimi Says Syria “Horror Unprecedented”

The Syrian conflict has reached "unprecedented levels of horror", Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, has said in remarks that came just hours after dozens of people were found shot dead in Aleppo city in what is being called a "new massacre".

CAR Rebels Halt Advance on Capital

Rebels in Central African Republic have said they have halted their advance on the capital, Bangui, and would participate in dialogue, as head of regional African forces warned them against making further moves.

Iraq Sunnis Block Trade Routes in New Protest

Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims blocked Iraq's main trade route to neighbouring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations against Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

South Korea’s Park Wins Presidential Election

The daughter of South Korea's former military ruler has won the country's presidential election, promising in a speech to her supporters to heal a "divided society".

Zuma Seeks ANC Leadership at Party Summit

Jacob Zuma, the South African president, has acknowledged that corruption and violence have marred the image of the African National Congress (ANC) under his watch, but called on members to again support him to be the party's leader.

Syria Opposition Wins International Backing

More than 100 countries have recognised a new Syrian opposition coalition, opening the way for greater assistance to the forces fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, including possibly military aid.

Syria Opposition Wins International Backing

More than 100 countries have recognised a new Syrian opposition coalition, opening the way for greater assistance to the forces fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, including possibly military aid.

Syria Rebels “Seize Key Aleppo Army Base”

Syrian rebels have captured parts of a large army base in the country's north, just west of the city of Aleppo, activists say.

Merkel Meets Netanyahu amid Tense Relations*

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been holding tense talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as plans to build thousands of new settler homes on occupied Palestinian land strain ties with key allies.

Rebels Begin Withdrawal in Eastern DR Congo

Rebels in eastern DR Congo say they have started withdrawing from territory they have captured from government troops, days after a pullout deal was reached in neighbouring Uganda.

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