Serena A. Roberts

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Philippines to strengthen special forces unit

The Philippine government is to triple the size of a special forces military unit that operates against armed fighters responsible for bombings and kidnappings of Westerners, officials say.<p>The Light Reaction Battalion is to be built up to regiment size, Philippine Army chief Lieutenant-General Noel …

North Korea to hold parliamentary elections

North Korea has announced the first parliamentary elections under Kim Jong Un as the country celebrates the birthday of the young leader who seeks to cement his grip on power after executing his uncle.<p>The presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) decided the election would take place on …

Deal struck to drive out fighters in Iraq

Iraq's military and some tribal leaders have struck a deal to drive out al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Anbar amid continued clashes and shelling in the predominantly Sunni Arab western province.<p>Pro-government Sunni tribes have asked the Iraqi military to withdraw from Anbar, and together with local …

Al Jazeera demands Egypt free detained staff | Egypt News | Al Jazeera

Three of Al Jazeera's journalists were detained in Egypt on December 29 and have remained in custody since, accused of spreading lies harmful to state security and joining a terrorist organisation.<p>Producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and correspondent Peter Greste, were remanded to 15 more …

Iran set to resume nuclear talks in Geneva

Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers are set to resume in Geneva on activating a landmark deal to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.<p>A two-day meeting that starts on Thursday between Abbas Araqchi, Iran's negotiator, and Helga Schmid, representative of the P5+1 group of world powers, has been …

Tunisia PM resigns as part of transition plan

Tunisia's prime minister has resigned, in line with an agreement aiming to end months of political deadlock in the country.<p>Ali Larayedh, of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party, announced on Thursday that he had handed his resignation to President Moncef Marzouki.<p>"As I promised to a short while ago …

Bahrain: National dialogue talks collapse

<b>Bahrain's government has officially suspended national reconciliation talks, which had already been boycotted by the main opposition group.</b><p>The Sunni-led government said it made the decision because of the refusal of groups from the country's Shia majority to attend the talks.<p>The talks were intended …

South Asia

Afghanistan to release scores of Taliban prisoners

<b>Afghanistan will release scores of prisoners considered by the US to be a security threat, President Hamid Karzai's office has said.</b><p>A statement said there was not enough evidence against 72 out of 88 prisoners previously held by US forces.<p>Washington expressed concern over the planned releases, …