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Trump envoy making money from Israeli crowdfunding, designer of deal of century

Crowdfunding venture investing platform OurCrowd, one of Israel’s largest investors, said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s former special envoy for the Middle East Jason Greenblatt has joined the company as a partner. Greenblatt, who resigned in September, is an architect of Trump’s “deal of the century” plan that seeks …

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US fearful of coronavirus outbreak on its shores

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday alerted Americans to begin preparing for the spread of coronavirus in the United States after infections surfaced in several more countries. The announcement signaled a change in tone for the Atlanta-based U.S. health agency, which had largely been focused …

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Turkish-backed rebels recapture towns in Idlib

Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military have seized the town of Nairab in northwest Syria’s Idlib province, Turkish and rebel officials said on Tuesday, the first area to be taken back from advancing Syrian government forces. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, supported by Russian air power, are trying to …

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No more US aid to Houthi-held areas in Yemen

Donors and aid groups are planning to suspend humanitarian aid to areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthis in the coming months if the group does not stop hindering the delivery of assistance, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Tuesday. Aid agency sources told Reuters earlier this month …

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Khaled al-Falih back in Saudi cabinet

Former Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih, who was removed last year, was tapped to head the kingdom’s newly-created investment ministry in a cabinet reshuffle announced on Tuesday that also created new ministries for tourism and sports. According to royal orders published by state news agency SPA, the ministers of media …

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Egypt’s first ex-president, Mubarak, passes away

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak – ousted by the military in 2011 – has died in Cairo at the age of 91. Mubarak spent three decades in office before a popular uprising swept Egypt. He was found guilty of complicity in the killing of protesters during the revolution. That conviction …

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Coronavirus outbreak reaches Afghanistan

Afghanistan confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Monday and announced a state of emergency in the western city where the virus was detected, according to the Afghan Health Ministry. On Sunday, Afghanistan closed its border with Iran and halted flights between the two countries after three men who recently …

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More fire exchanged between Israel and Gaza

Gaza militants on Monday fired rockets toward Israel, which responded with air strikes, in the second day of an escalation that began to ebb after the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad announced a halt to its attacks. Islamic Jihad has fired 80 rockets toward Israeli communities along the Gaza border …

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Coronavirus hits US army in South Korea

The family member of a U.S. soldier in South Korea has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the U.S. military command in the country said Monday. The patient is the first U.S. forces-related individual to have tested positive for the virus. The risk level for the military community has been raised …

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Chinese communist party congress postponed under coronavirus threat

China’s ruling Communist Party has postponed the biggest event on its political calendar, the National People’s Congress, as it concentrates on fighting the coronavirus. But the decision could further complicate President Xi Jinping’s ability to fulfill his ambitious agenda for the year, which includes doubling economic output compared with 2010 …

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UN needs Turkey to help Idlib survivors

The United Nations is in talks with Turkey to boost cross-border aid flows into northwest Syria and allow more evacuations of those in urgent need of medical help, such as babies in incubators, as shelling draws closer. More than three million people are trapped in northwest Syria between the Turkish …

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Julian Assange in court

Julian Assange appeared before a British court on Monday to fight an extradition request from the United States which wants to put the 48-year-old on trial for hacking government computers and violating an espionage law. For the main story: Below are the main developments and quotes from the hearing. ** …

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Israeli jets attack Syria and Gaza

Israeli fighter jets launched air strikes on suspected Islamic Jihad positions in Syria, the Israeli military said on Monday, after the militant group and Israel exchanged rockets and air strikes around Gaza. An Israeli military statement said its forces had “struck Islamic Jihad terror targets south of Damascus” in addition …

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Belgium defies UN and Israel in name of free speech

A satirical Belgian carnival parade decried by Israel’s foreign minister as “hateful” went ahead on Sunday despite being withdrawn from the United Nation’s list of recognized cultural events over accusations of racism and anti-Semitism. After a float in 2019 featured caricatures of ultra-Orthodox Jews standing with bags of money, organizers …

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Shale gas breakthrough made in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Aramco plans to invest $110 billion to develop unconventional gas reserves in Saudi Arabia’s Jafurah field, the state news agency SPA said on Friday. It said the development plans were reviewed by the Saudi High Commission for Hydrocarbons in a meeting chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The …

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South Korea declares coronavirus emergency

South Korea raised its infectious disease alert to its highest level on Sunday as confirmed coronavirus cases in the country jumped to 602 and the death toll rose to five. More than half the new cases are linked to a church in the southeastern city of Daegu after a 61-year-old …

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Saudi naval operation foils Red Sea attack

Naval forces from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen on Sunday foiled an “imminent terrorist” attack by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in the southern Red Sea, a major commercial shipping channel, the Saudi-led coalition said. The forces destroyed an unmanned boat laden with explosives that was launched from Hodeidah province …

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South Korea hit badly by coronavirus spread

China reported another fall in new coronavirus infections outside of its epicenter on Sunday, but world health officials warned it was too early to make predictions about the outbreak as new cases and fears of contagion increased elsewhere. China’s health commission confirmed 648 new infections – higher than a day …

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Latest Turkish casualty in Idlib

A Turkish soldier was killed in Syria’s Idlib region in a bomb attack by Russian-backed government forces, the defence ministry said on Saturday, Turkey’s 16th military death during a month in which talks between Ankara and Moscow have stalled. The rising Turkish military death toll, including two on Thursday, could …

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Conservatives set to win in Iran elections

Anti-Western hardliners are set to sweep Iran’s parliamentary elections and appear favorites to clinch the presidency next year, but an economic crisis could force them to engage with the United States despite their tightening grip on power. Tehran has ruled out any talks with Washington unless it lifts crippling sanctions …

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IMF warns coronavirus will retard world economic growth

The fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak will likely lower China’s economic growth this year to 5.6%, down 0.4 percentage points from its January outlook, and shave 0.1 percentage points from global growth, the IMF said on Saturday. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva presented the outlook to central bankers and finance …

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Russian, Turkish defence ministers talk Idlib

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has discussed the situation in Syria’s Idlib with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday. “During the telephone conversation they discussed issues of stabilization of the situation in Idlib de-escalation zone,” Interfax agency reported, citing a statement from the Defence Ministry. …

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New measures against coronavirus

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Chinese authorities have introduced policies and measures to respond to the epidemic and help people get through difficult times. Here we list some of the policies and measures that have been rolled out. 1. Treatment bills of infected patients subsidized Apart from confirmed …

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China experience combating coronavirus should be shared

China’s experience in fighting the novel coronavirus could provide more practical experience in upgrading global cooperation in public health emergencies, according to a newly released report. The report, China’s Fight Against COVID-19 Epidemic, said that a full governmental and social mobilization across the country has made a great contribution to …

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UN want immediate halt to bloodshed in Idlib

The United Nations reiterated its appeal on Friday for a halt to hostilities in northwest Syria, saying it feared that the violence “may end in a bloodbath”. Some 60% of the 900,000 people who have fled but are trapped in a shrinking space are children, OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke told …

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Pompeo on his way to Oman

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Oman on Friday and will meet with Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq al-Said, the U.S. State Department said in a statement. Pompeo, who has been traveling overseas including a stop in Saudi Arabia, will also pay respects to the family of Sultan Qaboos …

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Merkle, Macron call for decisive action in Idlib

The leaders of Germany and France called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to express their concern about the humanitarian situation in Syria’s Idlib region, urging an end to the conflict there, a German spokesman said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke together by phone with …

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Neom to construct a ‘Solar Dome’ Desalination Plant

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem   Saudi Arabia will adopt a new solar technology to desalinate seawater at Neom, a mega-city that it is developing along the country’s northern Red Sea coast. Last month NEOM announced that it will rely on a pioneering solar technology to produce clean, low-cost, environmentally friendly …

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