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Scrambling Saudis blame oil price drop on U.S. fracking revolution, global economic slowdown

Saudi oil official at rig near Howta, Saudi Arabia. / John Moore / AP

Special to ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has been struggling to counter the plunge in crude oil prices. Officials said the Saudi leadership has decided to maintain production despite a nearly 50 percent drop in the price of crude […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories,U.S. Economy | Read More »

Number of young Jews in Turkey choosing to live abroad doubled last year

Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, Turkey.

Special to ANKARA — Turkey’s ancient Jewish community has begun to flee amid rising threats from Islamists and nationalists. A prominent Jewish executive reported that the community of some 12,000 was being eroded by fears of attacks. Mois Gabay […]

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

ISIL tests Jordan defenses with clashes along borders with Iraq, Syria

Special to AMMAN — Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has been approaching Jordan. Officials said the Hashemite kingdom was on alert for an ISIL presence along Jordan’s borders with Iraq and Syria. They said ISIL was trying to […]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Iraq,Jordan,Mideast,Syria,Terrorism,Top Stories | Read More »

In survey of 59 nations’ private sectors, Egypt’s ranked as most corrupt


Special to LONDON — Egypt’s private sector has been ranked one of the most corrupt in the world. The Western audit company Ernst and Young said Egypt was ranked the most corrupt in a survey of 59 countries. Egypt’s […]

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

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,Stateside,Syria,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Intelligence,Washington | 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 »

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 »

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 […]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Algeria,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Germany,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

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