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WHO top official: lockdowns are a mistake

The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 urged world leaders earlier this month to reconsider ‘using lockdowns as the primary control method’ of battling Covid-19. After first creating global panic by putting the Covid-19 mortality rate higher than 3 percent and urging governments in an unprecedented move to lockdown …

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Pop art representation of Muslims still falls short of expectations

In 2017, Emmy-winning actor and activist Riz Ahmed gave a speech in Parliament about diversity on screen. “Representation is not an added thrill [because] what people are looking for is a message that they belong,” he said. Soon after, the Riz test – the equivalent of the Bechdel test for the representation of Muslims in …

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UAE tolerance minister implicated in sexual assault case during prestigous literary festival

One of the UK’s leading literary festivals has announced it will not be going back to Abu Dhabi after one of the event’s curators claimed she was sexually assaulted by the United Arab Emirates’ tolerance minister. Caitlin McNamara claimed a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, …

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Pompeo attempt to settle Azer-Armenia dispute fade

Armenian and Azeri forces fought new clashes on Friday, defying hopes of ending nearly three weeks of fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Turkey for inflaming the situation by arming the Azeris. The worst outbreak of violence in the South Caucasus since Armenia …

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Uzbekistan increases exports

A landlocked Central Asian country that shares its southern border with Afghanistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan shipped an estimated US$11.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 10% increase since 2017 and a 1.5% gain from 2018 to 2019. From a continental perspective …

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Libya charges UN with human trafficking

Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has detained Abdalrahman al-Milad, a coastguard commander sanctioned by the United Nations for alleged human trafficking and migrant smuggling, its interior ministry said on Wednesday. The ministry said it had detained Milad at the request of the U.N. Security Council and that …

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Human Rights Watch charges Assad, Putin with war crimes

Bombing of civilians by Syrian and Russian armed forces during a campaign against the last rebel bastion in northwest Syria may amount to crimes against humanity, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Thursday. The global rights group said it investigated dozens of “unlawful” air and ground …

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US joins EU in condemning Turkey in East Med

The United States on Tuesday slammed Turkey’s renewed push to send a vessel to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, accusing Ankara of unilaterally stoking tensions and “deliberately” complicating the resumption of talks with Greece. “The United States deplores Turkey’s October 11 announcement of renewed Turkish survey activity …

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Drone crash stirs up tensions between Iran, Azerbijan

Iran said an unidentified drone crashed near its border with Azerbaijan on Tuesday, as Baku and Yerevan accused each other of violating a truce in fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh. The drone crashed in a village in Parsabad county, Ardebil province, along Iran’s northern border, deputy governor Behrouz Nedayi told state news …

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US launches airstrike in Hemland against Taliban

The United States launched air strikes against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, U.S. officials said on Monday, after a large-scale offensive saw insurgents take over military bases in the region and close in on a key provincial capital. The strikes, carried out over the last two days, mark …

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New violent strain of corona virus found in Australia

The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus. Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, …

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Azer and Armenia forces trade charges over broken ceasefire

Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces accused each other on Monday of launching new attacks in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, increasing pressure on a humanitarian ceasefire intended to stop the heaviest fighting over the enclave for more than 25 years. Azerbaijan said its military positions had been shelled overnight. Nagorno-Karabakh, which is …

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Alan Moore charges superheroes with Brexit amd Trump

“Watchmen” creator Alan Moore shared his belief in 2017 that superhero movies’ impact on popular culture was “tremendously embarrassing,” and the comic book icon remains just as critical of Marvel and DC films three years later. In a new interview with Deadline to tout his feature film “The Show,” Moore says he remains retired from writing comic …

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Pakistan takes on immoral TikTok

Pakistan on Friday blocked social media app TikTok for failing to filter out “immoral and indecent” content, the country’s telecommunication authority said in a statement. “In view of number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication …

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Turkey demands Armenia withdraw to end Azer conflict

Turkey said on Friday efforts by France, the United States and Russia to end violence between Azeri and Armenian forces over Nagorno-Karabakh were bound to fail unless they also ensured a withdrawal of Armenian forces from the enclave. As the region’s deadliest battles for more than 25 years raged, Russia …

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Ex-PM Hariri wants French intervention

Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician, former premier Saad al-Hariri, called for the restoration of a French plan to lift the nation out of its worst financial crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. Former colonial power France, which has led foreign aid efforts, has tried to rally have Lebanese leaders to …

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No more drone tech for Turkey, Canada says

Canada has suspended the export of some drone technology to Turkey while it probes allegations the equipment was used by Azeri forces involved in fighting with Armenia, a senior official said on Monday. Project Ploughshares, a Canadian arms control group, says video of air strikes released by Baku indicates the …

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Israelis, Saudis take diplomatic, economic offensive against Turkey

Israel’s defence minister accused Turkey on Sunday of destabilising the region and working against peacemaking efforts, and called for international pressure to bring about a change in the NATO power’s conduct. Israel generally shies from public censure of Turkey, with which it maintains trade and diplomatic relations despite the pro-Palestinian …

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Scores killed by latest car bomb in Afghanistan

Attackers set off a truck bomb in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, according to provincial officials, as violence continues in the war-torn nation despite peace talks taking place in Qatar. Attaullah Khugyani, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the number …

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Women scaling new hights in Afghani mountains

Eighteen-year old Fatima Sultani gazes at the peak of a mountain near Afghanistan’s capital Kabul after completing a morning climbing session, considering her next challenge. She and her team of nine young Afghan mountaineers, including three women, are hoping to climb Afghanistan’s Mir Samir mountain and after that travel to …

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Macron now turns tirade on Turkey over Armenia dispute

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday condemned what he called Turkey’s “reckless and dangerous” statements backing Azerbaijan it its bid to take back the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh. Ankara said on Tuesday it was “fully ready” to help Azerbaijan recover Nagorny Karabakh, as armed conflict escalated with neighboring Armenia …

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Netanyahu wants Lebanese to protest Hezbollah stockpiles

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Lebanon’s Hezbollah of storing weapons near a gas company in a residential Beirut neighborhood, but the Iran-backed movement denied it. Speaking in a video to the United Nations General Assembly, pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic, Netanyahu warned the depot in the …

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Hezbollah decries imperialist Macron

Hezbollah’s leader said on Tuesday his Shi’ite movement welcomed French efforts to help Lebanon out of crisis but that did not mean French President Emmanuel Macron could act like the country’s ruler. In a televised address, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah remained ready for dialogue under …

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Turkey accused of downing Armenian plane

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Tuesday of firing directly into each other’s territory as the worst regional fighting since the 1990s raged for a third day and civilian deaths mounted. Both reported firing from the other side across their shared border, well to the west of the breakaway …

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Uzbekistan Economic Growth: EU allocates over €2 million

The Covid-19 pandemic and related measures will bite into growth this year. Internally, demand will likely be downbeat amid social distancing measures and weaker remittance inflows. On the external front, feeble external demand and rising uncertainty will keep exports subdued. The possibility of further domestic restrictions clouds the outlook. FocusEconomics …

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Dispute breaks out between Amal and Macron

Lebanon’s Amal movement expressed surprise on Tuesday over accusations by French President Emmanuel Macron that the Shi’ite party triggered the collapse of talks to form a new government. Prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib quit on Saturday after failing to line up a non-partisan cabinet, dealing a blow to a French plan …

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EU angry at Lebanon for failed cabinet reshuffle

The EU on Monday criticized Lebanese politicians for their failure to form a government, after the country’s prime minister-designate quit at the weekend due to pressure from Hezbollah and its allies over key ministerial jobs. Lebanon has experienced almost a year of intense turmoil, which has been exacerbated by the …

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