ALS - updates

Rappler's latest stories on ALS

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Qatar emir skips summit but warm words point to thaw with Saudi

Dec 10, 2019 - 11:48 PM

In a sign of the changing mood, the Doha delegation receives a warm welcome in Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the Qatari prime minister exchanging smiles and pleasantries

THAW? Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar's Prime Minister, is seen waiting for a family picture during the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council summit held at the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 10, 2019. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

U.S. athlete who inspired 'ice bucket challenge' dies at 34

Dec 10, 2019 - 7:16 AM

A one-time college athlete from the Boston area, Pete Frates' struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is one of the inspirations behind the ice bucket challenge which took social media by storm in 2014

INSPIRATION. In this file photo taken on December 08, 2014 Pete Frates and Julie Frates attend the Sportsman Of The Year 2014 Ceremony in New York City.  Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images North America/AFP

Saudi king invites Qatar emir to Riyadh summit

Dec 04, 2019 - 11:45 AM

The invitation to the December 10 summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation (GCC) comes amid signs of reduced animosity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which has led an economic boycott of Doha since 2017

INVITATION. This combination of pictures created on December 03, 2019 shows Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz (left) Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Photos by Fethi Belaid, Bandar Al-Jaloud/Pool/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP

Bichara orders mandatory evacuation in Albay due to Typhoon Tisoy

Dec 01, 2019 - 9:10 PM

Towns and cities prone to lahar, landslides, floods, and storm surges are covered by Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara's mandatory evacuation order

FORCED EVACUATION. Albay governor Al Francis Bichara orders the mandatory evacuation of families living in flood, lahar, and landslide prone areas, including communities threatened by storm surges. Photo by Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler

Kuwait PM, cabinet quit after disputes with parliament

Nov 14, 2019 - 11:25 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah 'submitted the resignation of the cabinet to the emir...in order to allow for a cabinet reshuffle,' says a government spokesman

RESIGNATION. In this file photo, Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah speaks during the 74th Session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters on September 25, 2019 in New York. File photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP

Yemen gov't, southern separatists sign power-sharing deal

Nov 06, 2019 - 12:05 AM

The deal will reportedly see the secessionist Southern Transitional Council handed a number of ministries, and the government return to the southern city of Aden

DEAL. A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on November 5, 2019, shows (behind, L to R) Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi applauding as (front, L to R) Yemeni Southern Transitional Council (STC) member and former Aden governor Nasser al-Khabji shakes hands and kisses Yemen's deputy prime minister Salem al-Khanbashi during a peace-signing ceremony between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the southern separatists in the capital Riyadh. AFP PHOTO/SAUDI ROYAL PALACE/BANDAR AL-JALOUD

Turkey says it captured sister of dead ISIS leader

Nov 05, 2019 - 10:18 PM

A senior Turkish official says the arrest could be 'an intelligence gold mine'

CAPTURED. This handout undated picture taken and released by the press service of the Turkish government shows Rasmiya Awad, believed to be the sister of slain Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was captured in the northern Syrian town of Azaz by Turkish security officials, seen in an unknown location. HANDOUT / TURKISH GOVERNMENT / AFP

Iraq protests enter 2nd month, defying pledges of reform

Nov 01, 2019 - 9:08 PM

More than 250 people have died and 10,000 have been wounded in the past month as protests evolved into calls for the 'downfall of the regime'

SECOND MONTH. Iraqi protesters gather at Tahrir square during ongoing anti-government demonstrations in the capital Baghdad on November 1, 2019. Photo by Sabah Arar/AFP

Turkey begins joint patrols with Russia in northern Syria

Nov 01, 2019 - 7:25 PM

The soldiers head to the east of Derbasiyeh in a convoy of Turkish and Russian military vehicles to patrol a strip of territory several dozen kilometers long, according to Turkish military sources

PATROL. A picture taken on November 1, 2019 shows Turkish and Russian military vehicles driving on a road during a joint patrol near the Turkish border town of Kiziltepe, in Mardin province. Photo by Ilyas Akengin/AFP

Syria's Assad says he does not want Turkey as an 'enemy'

Nov 01, 2019 - 2:16 PM

However the Syrian president says that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself was an 'enemy' due to policies hostile to Syria

NOT ENEMY. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 31, 2019 shows President Bashar al-Assad speaking during a special broadcast interview in Syria's capital Damascus. Photo by SANA/AFP

ISIS names Baghdadi successor, threatens U.S.

Oct 31, 2019 - 11:49 PM

The Islamic State jihadist group also names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi

CONFIRMED. This still image from video released by the US Department of Defense on October 30, 2019, shows smoke rising from the compound of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria after it was destroyed in the US raid on October 26, 2019. AFP PHOTO/US Department of Defense

'Hero' dog to get a White House homecoming – Trump

Oct 31, 2019 - 9:51 PM

According to the US account, Conan was injured chasing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi into a dead end tunnel in his Syrian hideout, where the cornered ISIS leader detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two children

'HERO.' This undated image released by the US Department of Defense on October 30, 2019, shows the military dog who sustained minor injuries during the Al-Baghdadi raid. The dog has returned to duty, according to the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO/US Department of Defense

Pentagon releases video, photos of Baghdadi raid

Oct 31, 2019 - 8:54 AM

The US Defense Department releases a grainy black-and-white footage of troops approaching on foot the high-walled compound in northwestern Syria where Baghdadi was holed up

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 30: U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, speaks as a picture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is seen during a press briefing October 30, 2019 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Gen. McKenzie and Hoffman spoke to the media to provide an update on the special operations raid that targeted former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Idlib Province, Syria. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP AFP

Syria government, opposition open 'historic' constitutional review

Oct 30, 2019 - 11:17 PM

The United Nations-brokered constitutional review committee includes 150 delegates – divided equally among President Bashar al-Assad's government, the opposition, and civil society

HISTORIC. Members of the Syrian government delegation attend the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the United Nations in Geneva on October 30, 2019. Photo by Denis Balibouse/Pool/AFP

Trump says Baghdadi's top replacement also killed

Oct 29, 2019 - 11:27 PM

But US President Donald Trump does not identify the person or give more detail on how he was killed

TRUMP. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 20, 2019. File photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

ISIS chief Baghdadi buried at sea by U.S. military

Oct 29, 2019 - 8:35 AM

The US military basks in success after the eliminating the founder and spiritual guide of the Islamic State group, capping a years-long campaign to crush the Sunni Muslim extremist organization

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 28: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley hold a news conference at the Pentagon the day after it was announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria October 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. The leader and self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi reportedly blew himself up with explosives when cornered by a U.S. Special Operations team at his compound in Syria. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

The dead and the living: This week's outlook

Oct 29, 2019 - 8:14 AM

In the Philippines, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death will likely have little operational impact on the recruitment and plans of terrorists, who thrive on our porous backdoor and fertile areas for agitation

With Baghdadi gone, who is heir to the 'caliph'?

Oct 28, 2019 - 10:48 PM

Whoever gets the job will inherit the difficult task of leading a frayed organization that has been reduced to scattered sleeper cells after continuous offensives stripped it of its territory in Iraq and Syria

ISIS. A man stands among the rubble of a destroyed building on October 27, 2019, in the old city of Mosul, the former base of the Islamic State group in northern Iraq, where Jihadist supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi used to address followers before the group was chased out of the area in 2017. Photo by Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP

Revenge attacks by pro-ISIS groups ‘very likely’ after Baghdadi killing – analyst

Oct 28, 2019 - 7:31 PM

The death of ISIS' top leader in the Middle East may shift extremists' attention closer to home as they try to avenge his death and assert their influence, says leading terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna

TERRORIST KILLED. An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, addressing worshippers at a mosque in the ISIS-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Al-Furqan Media/Handout/AFP

Death of ISIS leader Baghdadi ‘just a momentary setback’ – Lorenzana

Oct 28, 2019 - 1:40 PM

The killing of ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US Special Forces may be a 'severe blow' to the terror group but ISIS-linked terrorists in the Philippines will continue to be a threat, the defense chief and the military say

SECURITY OFFICIALS. This file photo shows Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Clement at the Senate on September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Trump wins big with Baghdadi death – and intends to milk it

Oct 28, 2019 - 8:31 AM

Trump – threatened by a snowballing impeachment threat in Washington and stung by widespread criticism of his overall Syria policy – needs the victory to be his

DONALD TRUMP. US President Donald Trump makes a major announcement October 27, 2019 the White House in Washington, DC. Photo by Jim Watson/ AFP

Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Baghdadi

Oct 27, 2019 - 9:21 PM

(4th UPDATE) 'He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much better place,' Trump says in a televised broadcast announcing the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world's most wanted man

Syria faction closes off suspected Baghdadi operation site

Oct 27, 2019 - 8:55 PM

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an organization that includes former operatives from Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, seals off the village of Barisha near the Turkish border

Iraq students join protests as pressure on government swells

Oct 27, 2019 - 6:46 PM

The protests are unprecedented in recent Iraqi history for their ire at the entire political class, including Abdel Mahdi, parliament speaker Mohammed Al-Halbussi and even traditionally revered religious leaders

PROTESTS. Iraqis demonstrators wave a national flag (L) and another bearing the words 'O Hussein' in Arabic, referring to the prophet Mohamed's grandson Imam Hussein ibn Ali, in the capital Baghdad's Tahrir square on October 26, 2019. Photo by AFP

ISIS head Baghdadi believed dead after U.S. strike in Syria

Oct 27, 2019 - 1:14 PM

(5th UPDATE) US media cites multiple government sources as saying Baghdadi may have killed himself with a suicide vest as US special operations forces descended

BELIEVED DEAD. In this undated and unlocated TV grab taken from a video released by Al-Furqan media, the chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears for the first time in 5 years in a propaganda video in April 2019. Photo from AFP

Kurdish forces start Syria-Turkey border pullback

Oct 24, 2019 - 10:54 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have pulled out of some areas at the eastern end of the border

SYRIA CONFLICT. Mourners attend the funeral of 3 Syrian Democratic Forces' fighters killed in battles against Turkey-led forces in the flashpoint town of Ras al-Ain along the border, on October 24, 2019 in the Syrian Kurdish town of Qamishli. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Turkey outlines 'safe zone' plan ahead of key deadline

Oct 21, 2019 - 11:28 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, accuses Western countries of 'standing by terrorists' in failing to support Turkey's operation

INSPECTION. Turkish-backed Syrian fighters inspect a tunnel, said to have been built by Kurdish fighters, in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, on October 21, 2019. Photo by Bakr Alkasem/AFP

South Asia region Al-Qaeda chief killed in Afghanistan – officials

Oct 08, 2019 - 10:34 PM

Afghan officials confirm that Asim Umar, who led Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent from its inception in 2014, was killed during a September 23 raid on a Taliban compound in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province

Sandigan dismisses 2 graft charges vs ex-MRT chief Vitangcol

Oct 07, 2019 - 11:42 PM

The anti-graft court says the prosecution failed to provide 'the required quantum of proof' that Al Vitangcol and businessman Wilson de Vera tried to extort money from a Czech company

ACQUITTED. Former MRT-3 general manager Al Vitangcol III is acquitted by the Sandiganbayan on Monday, October 7, during the promulgation of his graft case in relation to the alleged $30-million extortion attempt on officials of Czech firm Inekon Group. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

First Arab on ISS returns to Earth

Oct 03, 2019 - 6:17 PM

(UPDATED) Although Hazzaa al-Mansoori's mission was short – 8 days in total – it has been the source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space with ambitions to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021

SAFE. In this image released by NASA, Russian space agency rescue team members and United Arab Emirates (UAE) specialists carry UAE astronaut Hazzaa al-Mansoori shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz MS-12 space capsule about 150kms (90 miles) southeast of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan on October 3, 2019. AFP PHOTO / NASA / Bill INGALLS

In first, Iraq PM points finger at Israel on base attacks

Oct 01, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Iraq Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi says his government had 'indications' Israel was behind some attacks on paramilitary bases this summer

Members of the "Liwa al-Tafuf" 13th Brigade of Iraq's Shiite Muslim Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation units) paramilitary show off their skills during a graduation ceremony at a training centre in the central Iraqi city of Karbala on August 30, 2019.  Mohammed SAWAF / AFP

Anti-Sisi protests break out in Egypt, several arrested

Sep 21, 2019 - 11:45 AM

Dozens of people join nighttime demonstrations around Tahrir Square – the epicenter of the 2011 revolution that toppled the country's long-time autocratic leader

ANTI-SISI PROTESTS. Egyptian protesters shout slogans as they take part in a protest calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo's downtown on September 20, 2019. Photo by AFP

Trump confirms death of Al-Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden

Sep 15, 2019 - 8:31 AM

US President Donald Trump makes the announcement 3 days after the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks by Al-Qaeda

HEIR. An undated file video grab released by the Central Intelligence Agency on November 1, 2017 and taken by researchers from the Federation for Defense of Democracies' Long War Journal, shows an image of Hamza bin Laden, son of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Handout photo/AFP

Kuwait ruler in U.S. hospital for 'tests', Trump meeting postponed

Sep 09, 2019 - 8:48 AM

A meeting with US President Donald Trump set for September 12 is postponed due to the hospital stay of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah

IN THE HOSPITAL. In this file photo taken on March 31, 2019 Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (C) attends the opening session of the 30th Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital Tunis. Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP

Duterte tells disarmed MILF soldiers: Do not be disheartened

Sep 07, 2019 - 10:36 PM

Having been at war for much of their lives, the former Moro rebels face insecurity and uncertainty as they return to civilian life

NOT SURRENDER. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels stand guard at the entry of Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat on September 7, 2019 ahead of a weapons decommissioning ceremony. Photo by Ferdinandh CABRERA/AFP

Serbia's Divac inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

Sep 07, 2019 - 3:18 PM

'To me basketball was always about love,' says Vlade Divac, the first player born and trained outside the United States to play more than 1,000 games in the NBA

ICON. Former Lakers star Vlade Divac  credits NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson as mentors. Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images/AFP

Comelec asked to disqualify Duterte Youth from party list

Sep 03, 2019 - 6:28 PM

The petitioners argue Duterte Youth's party-list registration should be deemed void from the beginning as it failed to meet jurisdictional requirements of publication and public hearing

'VOID AB INITIO.' Youth leaders files their petition seeking to cancel the registration of Duterte Youth on September 3, 2019. Photo from election lawyer Emilio Marañon III

Russia announces ceasefire in Syria's Idlib

Aug 30, 2019 - 8:44 PM

The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria says the ceasefire aims 'to stabilize the situation' in Idlib and urged anti-government fighters to 'abandon armed provocations and join the peace process'

CEASEFIRE. This file photo shows Syrian civilians flee on August 21, 2019 a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Assad regime forces mass in northwest Syria – monitor

Aug 24, 2019 - 6:51 PM

Russian-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces gather north of the key town of Khan Sheikhun in a bid to take more territory from Turkish-backed rebels

Pentagon chief confirms death of Qaeda's Hamza bin Laden

Aug 23, 2019 - 12:31 AM

'That's my understanding,' US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says when asked if Hamza bin Laden is dead

Sudan swears in civilian-majority ruling council

Aug 21, 2019 - 7:13 PM

(UPDATED) General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan will be Sudan's head of state for the first 21 months of the 39-month transition period, until a civilian takes over for the remainder

SWORN IN. A video grab from footage by Sudan's Presidential Palace show General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling military council, during a swearing in ceremony in Khartoum on August 21, 2019. Photo by Sudan Presidential Palace/AFP

Anti-Assad fighters withdraw from key area of northwest Syria

Aug 21, 2019 - 11:42 AM

After 8 years of civil war, the Idlib region on the border with Turkey is the last major stronghold of opposition to Assad's Russia-backed government

Syrian government forces gather near the town of Khan Shaykhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province on August 18, 2019. A Turkish military convoy crossed into jihadist-run northwest Syria on August 19, it's path blocked by advancing regime troops as tensions soared between Damascus and Ankara, which said its forces were targeted by an air strike. AFP

By 2022 elections, Comelec will be packed with Duterte appointees

Aug 20, 2019 - 8:30 AM

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism points out the exit of seasoned poll commissioners means the appointment of newer ones who have limited experience running national automated elections

DUTERTE DOMINATED. By 2022, all 7 Comelec commissioners will have been hand picked by President Duterte. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Sudan's Bashir 'got $90 million from Saudi royals'

Aug 19, 2019 - 6:47 PM

(UPDATED) Omar al-Bashir faces a raft of charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide from the International Criminal Court over his role in the Darfur war, but the latest trial is over graft allegations

TRIAL. In this file photo, Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir is escorted into a vehicle as he returns to prison following his appearance before prosecutors over charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency, in the capital Khartoum on June 16, 2019. File photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

Yemen Huthi rebels appoint 'ambassador' in Tehran

Aug 18, 2019 - 6:45 PM

Ibrahim Mohammed Mohammed al-Dailami is appointed as an 'ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for the republic of Yemen to the Islamic republic of Iran'

Fears in U.S. of bad peace deal with the Taliban

Aug 18, 2019 - 9:52 AM

In tweets, interviews, and op-ed pieces in newspapers, Americans caution against bringing home the 14,000 United States troops in Afghanistan

WITHDRAWAL WOES. In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, US soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province. Photo by Thomas Watkins/AFP

Sudanese eagerly anticipate transition to civilian rule

Aug 17, 2019 - 2:15 PM

The composition of the transitional civilian-majority ruling council is to be announced Sunday, August 18

A Sudanese demonstrater waves his national flag in front of the Algerian embassy as people celebrate in Khartoum on August 4, 2019, after Sudan's army rulers and protest leaders signed a hard-won constitutional declaration that paves the way for a transition from August 18 to civilian rule following more than seven months of often deadly street rallies. - The agreement, signed at a ceremony in Khartoum, builds on a landmark July 17 power-sharing deal and provides for a joint civilian-military ruling body to oversee the formation of a transitional civilian government and parliament to govern for a three-year transition period. (Photo by Ebrahim HAMID / AFP)

Regime forces advance towards key town in northwest Syria

Aug 14, 2019 - 11:31 PM

President Bashar al-Assad's fighters are just a few kilometers away from Khan Sheikhun, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

KEY TOWN. This picture taken on August 5, 2019 shows smoke billowing above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on Khan Sheikhun in the south of the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

1 hurt in Norway mosque shooting, suspect arrested

Aug 11, 2019 - 8:39 AM

Police also discover the body of a young woman related to the suspect in a home at the Baerum suburb, where the shooting happened

CRIME SCENE. A Norwegian riot policeman stands in front of the Al-Noor islamic center mosque where a gunman went on a shooting spree in the town of Baerum, an Oslo suburb, on August 10, 2019. Photo by Terje Pedersen/NTB Scanpix/AFP/Norway OUT

2 million Muslim hajj pilgrims scale Mount Arafat

Aug 10, 2019 - 8:14 PM

Two million Muslims converge outside Mecca as officials safeguard the gathering to prevent deadly stampedes that happened in previous years

HAJJ. Muslim pilgrims pray outside the Namirah mosquee at Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy), southeast of the Saudi holy city of Mecca, as the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage approaches on August 10, 2019. Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP