By Angus McDowall and Amena Bakr RIYADH/DOHA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is pushing for Sunni Muslim Middle East countries to set aside differences over political Islam and focus on what it sees as more urgent threats from Iran and Islamic State. Its new monarch, King Salman, has used summits with leaders of all five Gulf Arab states, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey over the past 10 days to reinforce the need for unity and find a way to work around disagreements over the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia's deep-seated mistrust of the Islamist group is unchanged, diplomats say.
By Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another wounded fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east, a military spokesman said on Thursday, as Kiev accused rebels of increasing violations of a ceasefire deal. President Petro Poroshenko, whose initiative to boost the armed forces by a third 250,000 personnel was passed easily in parliament, has called the ceasefire the last chance for peace with the pro-Russian rebels. Some 6,000 people have been killed in fighting since separatists took up arms last year in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland in response to the overthrow of the Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev. Another military spokesman said rebels had attacked Ukrainian troop positions or civilian targets 40 times in the previous 24 hours, including 17 artillery attacks.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A blast targeting senior members of al Qaeda's official Syrian wing, the Nusra Front, killed the group's General Military Commander Abu Humam al-Shami on Thursday, two insurgent sources told Reuters. Al-Shami is one of the most senior Nusra Front figures to be killed since it formed in 2012 and has fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the sources said. They said the explosion was caused by a U.S.-led coalition air strike that hit a high-level Nusra Front meeting in the northwestern province of Idlib. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; editing by Ralph Boulton)
The Argentine prosecutor who died mysteriously while pursuing a case against President Cristina Kirchner was "assassinated," his ex-wife said Thursday after commissioning an unofficial probe. Alberto Nisman, who accused Kirchner of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center, "was killed, his death is an assassination," said Sandra Arroyo Salgado, a judge who is his ex-wife and mother of his two daughters.
In this photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe, a student protester lies on the floor of a monastery in Letpadan, Myanmar, after police stopped protesters from continuing their march toward Yangon, the country's largest city. The students have been rallying for a month in protest of an education law passed in September that puts all decisions about academic policy and curriculum in the hands of a body made up largely of government ministers. It bans students from forming unions and ignores calls for local languages to be used in instruction in ethnic states. Students say the law undermines the autonomy of universities, which were shuttered or rigidly controlled during five decades of military rule because the junta considered them hotbeds of discontent. The threat of an expanded protest is sensitive in part because students were at the forefront of pro-democracy protests in 1988 that were crushed by a bloody military crackdown.