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U.S. sanctions oil companies in four nations for sales to Syria

Special to WASHINGTON — The United State has imposed fresh sanctions on energy companies that supply the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on six oil companies in four countries deemed suppliers to the […]

Posted in BB Top Story,Exclusives,Mideast,Syria | Read More »

UN’s 1,300 observers at loose ends after fleeing to Israel from Syria’s Golan Heights

UN observers on patrol in 2012 at the Golan Heights.

Special to WASHINGTON — The United Nations monitoring force is struggling to operate after fleeing Syria’s Golan Heights. A UN report said its monitoring force has been hampered by the loss of its bases in Syria as well as […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Israel,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories | Read More »

Throwing a Christmas bone to Communist tyrannies: 1978 and 2014


Special to By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — One of the last legacies of the Cold War has ended with Washington reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba after a fifty-three year break in relations. Yet another enduring legacy of […]

Posted in BB Americas,BB NE Asia,China,Columnists,Cuba,Exclusives,John Metzler,NE Asia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Military,U.S. Politics,Washington | Read More »

First major exercise by Hamas since war panics Israelis living near Gaza border

Hamas members with weapons on parade in Gaza City this week. / Reuters

Special to GAZA CITY — Hamas, months after its war with Israel, has resumed major exercises in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas military conducted what was termed an infantry exercise along the Mediterranean coast on late Dec. 17. The […]

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Sanctions cited for drop in Russian arms exports

Vladimir Kozhin.

Special to MOSCOW — Russia has reported a decline in arms exports in 2014. The Kremlin said Russian defense exports reached $13 billion in 2014, the second largest after the United States. The figure marked a 18 percent decline […]

Posted in BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,Russia,Top Stories | Read More »

EU court orders removal of Hamas from terrorism list

Hamas members at rally in Rafah.

Special to LONDON — The European Union, months after the war with Israel, has been ordered to remove Hamas from the terror list. A leading court said the EU’s decision to keep Hamas on the terrorist list was not […]

Posted in BB Middle East,EU,Exclusives,Mideast,Terrorism,Top Stories | Read More »

One year after killing his uncle, Kim Jong-Un finds his vital ties with China are at risk


Special to By Lee Jong-Heon, SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has strengthened his power base at home since the dramatic purge of his uncle Jang Song-Thaek a year ago, officials here say. But Kim has yet […]

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Egypt signs first fracking shale gas deal with U.S. firm


Special to CAIRO — Egypt has signed a natural gas exploration contract with Western companies. The Petroleum Ministry has signed a contract with the U.S. firm Apache Corp. and Europe’s Shell Egypt for the drilling of three wells in […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Egypt,Exclusives,Mideast,Top Stories | Read More »

Turkey’s military goes entrepreneurial, sells draft exemptions

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Special to ANKARA — Turkey has found a novel way to pay for weapons — offer young men to buy their way out of the military draft. The government has drafted a plan to raise $5 billion through selling […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

German churches succeed in blocking Mideast arms deals

Heckler & Koch G36 rifle

Special to LONDON — The church has helped block German arms exports to the Middle East. Leading churches have joined with the opposition to lobby against major German weapons deals with Middle East allies. Clergymen said the lobbying reduced […]

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