YEMEN

Troops targeting al-Qaeda positions

The Yemeni government launched an ambitious ground offensive Tuesday targeting strongholds of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants in southern provinces as President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi sought to draw public attention to the rising number of foreign fighters who've traveled to Yemen to fight for the group.

At least 18 Yemeni soldiers and 12 militants were killed in the first day of fighting in what's likely the Yemeni army's most significant action since spring 2012, when troops backed by local tribal fighters forced militants to abandon their strongholds in the west of Abyan province, where they'd set up a state.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the police academy in Sana'a, Hadi alleged that the bulk of the fighters were foreigners.

- McClatchy Newspapers
IRAN

President's appeal

President Hassan Rouhani took to the airwaves twice Tuesday in attempts to quiet critics who say he is not fulfilling his campaign promises nearly a year after his unexpected election. The goal of Tuesday night's live prime-time broadcast was to win back some of Rouhani's public support, which has lagged as Iran's economy continues to struggle under the weight of sanctions. - Washington Post
KENYA

Polygamy legalized

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a bill that legalizes polygamous unions and opens the door for men to marry as many wives as they want. Lawyer Judy Thongori said Tuesday that the Marriage Act 2014 is long overdue. She said the number of women a man can marry depends on the traditions of his tribe. - AP