Refugees leave the Italian Navy ship ‘Etna’, which rescued some  2,186 migrants off the Sicily coasts, as it arrives in Salerno, Southern Italy today. Photograph: Cesare Abbate/EPA.

Nineteen people died trying to reach Italy on a boat packed with hundreds of migrants, probably poisoned by carbon monoxide fumes from its engines, th(...)

File photograph of detainees held  in the US military prison for “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo Bay. Of the 143 prisoners still detained there, 71 are approved for transfer. Photograph:   John Moore/Getty Images

The Pentagon has told members of the US Congress it plans to transfer six prisoners at the controversial Guantánamo Bay detention camp to Uruguay, the(...)

Bashar al-Assad reviews the guard of honour on his arrival at his swearing in ceremony at the presidential palace in Damascus on Wednesday. He was elected for another seven-year term with 88.7 per cent of the vote in an election in June. Photograph: EPA/Sana

Bashar al-Assad has been sworn in for a third term as Syria’s president, defiantly scorning enemies at home and abroad and claiming victory over those(...)

Israeli flares float down over Gaza tonight  in Sderot, Israel. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Egypt is proposing a temporary ceasefire as a first step in ending the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has left more than 175 people dead.The(...)

Edward Snowden participating, via a video link from Moscow, in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) hearing at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg on June 24th 2014. Photograph: Council of Europe/EPA

The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has condemned the new surveillance bill being pushed through the British parliament this week, expressing concern(...)

Massoud Barzani with US secretary of state John Kerry. Photograph: AP

When Recep Erdogan 10 days ago – to no one’s surprise – formally announced his candidacy for Turkey’s forthcoming presidential election, he promised t(...)

Increasingly bitter political squabbling in Iraq has  prompted the country’s senior Shi’ite cleric today to urge  leaders to pull together and for fighters to respect all Iraqis regardless of sect or ethnicity. Pictured is Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Al-Karbala’i delivering a sermon by Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Photograph: Mushtaq Muhammed/Reuters.

Kurdish forces seized two oilfieds in north Iraq today and took over operations from a state-run oil company, while Kurdish politicians formally susp(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel and finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have been speaking about claims of US spying on German interests after the arrest of a man on suspicion of working for a foreign intelligence agency. Mr Schaeuble said the story was so stupid that one can only cry at the foolishness of it. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters.

Germany’s federal government has ordered the US intelligence station chief at the Berlin embassy to leave the country - before he is expelled - after (...)

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ireland is at risk of attack because it facilitates the stopover of US military aircraft at Shannon airport, Independent TD Clare Daly has claimed. S(...)

Shi’ite volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), march in the city of Kerbala, southwest of Baghdad. Photograph: Reuters.

Some 50 bodies have been found in Iraq, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound, raising concerns over a possible sectarian killing amid t(...)