WASHINGTON - An American who vanished nearly seven years ago in Iran was working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission that, when it came to light inside the government, produced one of the most serious scandals in the recent history of the CIA — but all in secret, an Associated Press investigation found.
Continuing a furious pace of shuttle diplomacy aimed at securing an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by spring, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opened meetings Thursday in the Middle East on his ninth trip of the year to the region.
HAVANA - It was the briefest of moments, just seconds, two presidents shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries amid a gaggle of world leaders together to honour the late Nelson Mandela.
It would hardly have been noteworthy, except the men locking hands in Johannesburg were Barack Obama and Raul Castro, whose nations have been mired in Cold War antagonism for more than five decades.
BEIJING, China - Five years after his detention, the United States is calling for the release of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and an end to his wife's undeclared house arrest.
Washington remains deeply concerned about the couple's treatment, along with that of other jailed government critics, Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Palestinians mourned Nelson Mandela as their most loyal champion, lighting candles in special prayer services Sunday and holding his picture like a shield in confrontations with Israeli troops.
But the death of the South African leader who famously said that "our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians" also reminded many here of how far they are from establishing a state of their own.
TRIPOLI, Libya - In a story Dec. 5 about an American teacher killed in Libya, The Associated Press erroneously attributed a statement from The Austin Stone Community Church. The statement came from Dave Barrett, an executive pastor at the church, not Daphne Bamburg, a church employee who emailed Barrett's statement.
A corrected version of the story is below:
American teacher shot dead in Libya's Benghazi
American chemistry teacher shot and killed in Libyan city of Benghazi
ADEN, Yemen - Saudi militants were behind the massive car bombing and assault on Yemen's military headquarters that killed more than 50 people, including foreigners, investigators said in a preliminary report released Friday. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for U.S. drone strikes that have killed dozens of the terror network's leaders.
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad joined thousands of his supporters Wednesday in an extremely rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.
Dressed more casually than usual in a jacket but no tie, the president told the cheering crowd that he wanted to draw strength from them. Security guards surrounded him as supporters waved his portrait and raised Syrian flags.