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Bahrain court jails 11 Shiites over police attack

A Bahraini court on Monday sentenced 11 Shiite demonstrators to five years in jail each for attacking police with iron rods and petrol bombs near Manama last year, a judicial source said. The men were accused of taking part in an unauthorised demonstration in the Shiite village of Al-Maameer, south of the capital, last June, the source said. The prosecution also charged the demonstrators with assaulting a police patrol with "Molotov cocktails and iron rods", according to the source.

Gunmen kill Saudi guard near Yemeni border, wound another: media

RIYADH (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen in Yemen shot dead a Saudi Arabian border guard and wounded another in the early hours of Monday morning, Saudi news websites reported, in what would be the second such incident in five days. The guards came under heavy fire from the Yemeni side of the border at about 3 a.m. (8 p.m. EDT)) in the mountainous eastern part of Jizan province in the southwest, www.sabq.org said.

Syria's Assad says war turning in his favor

By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that Syria's three-year conflict was at a "turning point" due to his forces' military gains against rebels, state media said. Assad's allies have portrayed him as confident and in control and they expect him to run for and win a presidential election in July - a turnaround from last year when he looked on the verge of defeat as rebels advanced towards Damascus, struck in the heart of the capital and took control of key areas.

Saudi Arabia jails 13 for aiding overseas fighters

RIYADH (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian court on Sunday jailed 13 men to sentences ranging from one to 10 years for aiding and financing militants fighting abroad, conspiring inside Saudi Arabia and harboring wanted suspects, state news agency SPA reported on Monday. Other charges for which the 13 were convicted included money laundering, bribery, possession of illegal weapons. They were all given travel bans to come into force after their sentences finish. Another seven men were acquitted, SPA reported.

Syria's Assad says war turning in regime's favour

President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday that the war that has torn Syria apart for three years and cost more than 150,000 lives is turning in the government's favour, state news agency SANA reported. "This is a turning point in the crisis, both militarily in terms of the army's achievements in the war against terror, and socially in terms of national reconciliation processes and growing awareness of the truth behind the (attacks) targeting the country," he said.

Saudi Arabia may close shops early to boost employment - paper

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is expected to make shops close at 9 p.m. instead of midnight later this year, Saudi Gazette reported on Sunday, in a move aimed at encouraging employment by making sales jobs more attractive. The policy, first announced last year, has been approved by a government committee, the English-language daily reported. The move might face some public criticism in a country where many people prefer to shop late in the evenings.

Saudi Arabia may close shops early to boost employment - paper

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is expected to make shops close at 9 p.m. instead of midnight later this year, Saudi Gazette reported on Sunday, in a move aimed at encouraging employment by making sales jobs more attractive. The policy, first announced last year, has been approved by a government committee, the English-language daily reported. The move might face some public criticism in a country where many people prefer to shop late in the evenings.

German government to cancel Saudi tank deal

The German government will not approve a reported deal to sell up to 800 battle tanks to Saudi Arabia, a German Sunday newspaper said, citing government sources. The sale of the Leopard-2 tanks had been billed as one of the biggest deals for the German armaments industry, Bild reported. But Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat in the left-right "grand coalition", has "positioned himself against a tanks delivery to the autocratic royal house", it said, citing government sources.

Egyptian hardline Islamist leader jailed for one year

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court sentenced a hardline Islamist former presidential hopeful to one year in prison on Saturday for insulting the court, state news agency MENA reported. Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is on trial for fraud in a case related to presidential elections in 2012 which brought the now ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

Kuwait opposition calls for full multi-party democracy

Kuwait's opposition called Saturday for broad democratic reforms including a Western-style party system to limit the powers of the emirate's ruling family. The call came in a "national political reform programme," launched by the Opposition Coalition in the Gulf state where political parties are banned. The coalition groups almost all opposition political groups, including Islamists, liberals and nationalists as well as trade and student unions, youth activists and civil society groups.
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