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Tag Archives: covid

Iran, Saudi meet for talks in New York

Saudi Arabia’s monarch expressed hope Wednesday that the kingdom’s direct talks with Iran will lead to confidence building as the two bitter regional rivals take small steps toward dialogue following several years of heightened tensions. King Salman made the remarks in a pre-recorded speech delivered to leaders gathered for the …

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Oman’s deficit continues

Oman posted a year-to-date budget deficit of 1.1 billion rials ($2.86 billion) in June, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. Oman is among the weakest countries financially in the oil-rich region and more vulnerable to swings in the price of hydrocarbons, a sector that accounted for about a third …

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Iraq desperately needs $4 billion from IMF

Iraq restarted talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after previously halting efforts to secure aid, the country’s finance minister Ali Allawi told reporters on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. Talks between both parties began last year amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as demand shock sent oil prices tumbling, but were …

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Death toll reaches 92 for Iraqi hospital fire

The death toll from a fire that tore through a coronavirus hospital in southern Iraq rose to 92, health officials said on Tuesday, as authorities faced accusations of negligence from grieving relatives and a doctor who works there. More than 100 people were injured in the blaze on Monday night …

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Lebanese crisis forces Pizza hut to shut down

Pizza Hut is closing in Lebanon as the fast food chain succumbs to the country’s deepening economic crisis. The family food favorite posted a notice on social media thanking its customers for their support and asking them to “hold on to these memories until we make new ones.” Rocketing inflation, …

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Yemeni model put in solitary by Houthis

Iran-backed Houthis have thrown abducted Yemeni model and actress Entesar Al-Hammadi into solitary confinement as punishment for her protest against the initial incarceration and prison conditions, the model’s lawyer said on Thursday. Khaled Mohammed Al-Kamal told Arab News that a prosecutor from the rebel-controlled West Sanaa court on Wednesday questioned …

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MBS in green talks with President Xi Jinping

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported. During the call, the two leader reviewed the recently announced Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative to combat environmental challenges in the region. The crown …

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UK, Israel agree to counter Iranian regional threat

Israel’s Foreign Minister discussed on Tuesday the threat Iran poses on the region with UK Minister Michael Gove. Gabi Ashkenazi discussed other regional issues, bilateral ties and “the need for a travel corridor,” with the British Cabinet Office minister. Gove is visiting Israel to study a COVID “green pass” smartphone …

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Saad Al-Hariri says Lebanon on verge of collapse without his cabinet

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday after a meeting with President Michel Aoun that forming a government that could re-engage with the IMF was the only way to halt the country’s financial collapse. The meeting took place after a heated exchange on Wednesday night between the two politicians, …

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Corona scandal leads to Jordan health minister resignation

Jordan’s health minister was dismissed on Saturday after seven people died following an oxygen outage in a hospital treating coronavirus patients, and police were deployed to hold back hundreds of angry relatives, state media and witnesses said. The oxygen failure on Saturday hit intensive care, maternity and coronavirus wards in …

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Assad regime hit with COVID at core

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma have tested positive for COVID-19 after showing minor symptoms, his office said on Monday. The Syrian leader and his spouse, who announced her recovery from breast cancer in 2019, were in good health and would keep working in isolation at home, the …

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Jordan escalates IMF reforms with cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh reshuffled his cabinet on Sunday in a move meant to accelerate IMF-guided reforms seen as crucial to Jordan’s economic recovery from the blow of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said. Six new ministers were named including interior and justice after Khasawneh fired both incumbents last week for …

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Switzerland banning face veil is sexism, says Amnesty

The proposed ban on face veils in Switzerland is discriminatory and “violates women’s rights,” the head of women’s rights at Amnesty International’s Swiss section said. “The proposed face veil ban cannot in any way be viewed as measure for the liberation of women. Rather, it is a dangerous policy that …

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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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Yemen fundraising conference slotted for March

A fundraising event for Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is expected to take place in early March, hosted virtually by Sweden and Switzerland, four aid sources told Reuters on Sunday. A U.N.-backed push for international donors last June fell short of its $2.4 billion target, raising only $1.3 billion for what the …

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Hariri, Macron talk new government, financial crisis

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri on Wednesday dined with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the crisis in Lebanon and the difficulties in forming a new government, according to Hariri’s Twitter account. “Presidents Hariri and Macron discussed the internal Lebanese difficulties that hinder the formation of the government and the …

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International Human Fraternity summit condemns social media

Societies are diverse things by nature, composed of individuals with varying ideals and attributes who agree on an arrangement of coexistence around a shared set of values. It stands to reason there will be disagreements from time to time. However, if societies lose this sense of fraternity, they can come …

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Pope Francis to talk with Sistani in March Iraq visit

Pope Francis is set for an historic meeting with Iraq’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during a trip to Iraq planned for March, the patriarch of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church said on Thursday. The visit, which eluded Francis’s predecessors, takes place amid deteriorating security in some parts …

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Fears still loom over US sanctions on Yemen

The United Nations is still hearing concerns that companies are planning to cancel or suspend business with Yemen despite a U.S. decision to allow all transactions with the Houthi movement “given this move does not resolve underlying uncertainties,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday. The United States on Monday …

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