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The Levant

Geotourism – a new direction of the tourism industry

The State Tourism Committee, together with Navoi region officials, has studied the infrastructure facilities for geotourism and industrial tourism in the Amantoytov and Dovgiztov fields of the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine (NMMC). According to the committee, it aims to introduce new types of tourism. “In recent years, geotourism has …

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UN wants Shiite activists released from Saudi prisons

U.N. human rights experts called on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to free three young Shi’ite Muslims whose death sentences for taking part in protests as minors have been commuted, citing allegations of torture and unfair trials. The kingdom’s human rights record has come under growing U.N. and Western scrutiny. The …

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Biden sanctions Russia over Navalny attempted poisoning

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late on Tuesday that new sanctions imposed by the United States were evidence of a “hostile anti-Russian lunge” and said it would retaliate to what it described as another blow to U.S.-Russia ties. In President Joe Biden’s most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin, …

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China rescues Afghanistan with corona vaccine

China has pledged to deliver 400,000 doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine to Afghanistan, Afghan officials said on Monday, in a boost for an immunisation campaign begun last week. “China’s ambassador to Kabul said in a meeting with health officials that his country would provide Afghanistan with 400,000 doses of COVID-19 …

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Russia condemns EU-backed anti-Iran IAEA resolution

Britain, France and Germany are pressing ahead with a U.S.-backed plan for a resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board criticising Iran for curbing cooperation with the agency, despite Russian and Iranian warnings of serious consequences. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors is holding a quarterly meeting …

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Uzbekistan’s economy is open for investors

Uzbekistan’s economic freedom score is 57.2, making its economy the 114th freest in the 2020 Index. Its overall score has increased by 3.9 points due to higher scores for investment freedom, financial freedom, and property rights. Uzbekistan is ranked 26th among 42 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall …

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Iran dismissive of US, EU proposals over nuclear deal

Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and other major powers to discuss ways to salvage the unravelling 2015 nuclear deal, insisting Washington must first lift all its unilateral sanctions. “Considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, …

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Turkey, Iran fight over Iraqi territory

The diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Tehran has escalated following the latest statement from Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi, who reiterated an opposition to Turkish military intervention in Iraq, a new move that highlights a broader rivalry between the two countries in the region. “Turkish forces should not pose …

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Churches of Mosul on Pope’s tour to repair ISIS damage

In Mosul, adjacent to the Biblical city of Nineveh, four churches representing different denominations occupy a small square surrounded by low-rise houses, testament to the role Iraq’s once flourishing Christian community played. Today, all four churches are either damaged or destroyed after Islamic State militants occupied the city from 2014-2017, …

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Israel says Iran behind cargo ship attack

Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday his “initial assessment” was that Iran was responsible for an explosion on an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman. The ship, a vehicle-carrier named MV Helios Ray, suffered an explosion between Thursday and Friday morning. A U.S. defence official in Washington …

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Fallout of Khashoggi report going global

The world reacted to the release on Friday of a U.S. intelligence assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to capture or kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi: OFFICE OF U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT: “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved …

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In wake of Khashoggi report, US sanctions certain Saudi officials and contemplates halting arms sales

The Biden administration announced sanctions and visa bans on Friday targeting Saudi Arabian citizens over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but stopped short of imposing sanctions on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself. U.S. President Joe Biden’s actions in the first weeks of his administration appear aimed at …

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Protests break out in Iraq ahead of Pope’s visit

At least five protesters were killed and more than 175 people injured on Friday in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya, a Reuters witness and other sources said. Among the fatalities, most died from bullet wounds, a hospital source said, adding that about …

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