Negotiators are due to meet in Vienna to discuss Iran's nuclear programme, a day after the country's supreme leader said he was not optimistic about talks and that they would lead nowhere.
A wave of explosions have rocked mainly Shia neighbourhoods in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and wounding dozens, officials have said.
South Korea has voiced shock and outrage at the bombing of a tourist bus in Egypt that killed three of its nationals, while issuing a travel ban for the Sinai region.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has blamed the Syrian government for stonewalling peace talks, intended to bring the civil war to an end, and told Moscow it had to stop supplying President Bashar al-Assad's regime with weapons.
The rebel Free Syrian Army has fired Selim Idriss as its military chief calling him "ineffective" and lacking in experience to lead military operations on the ground.
Iraqi religious and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr has announced a complete withdrawal from Iraqi politics.
The deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was accused of committing "the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt" as he faced court on espionage and terrorism charges.
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|William A. Cook|