Israel halts aid to Angola over anti-settlement UN vote

Israel has stopped foreign assistance to Angola after it voting in favour of the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories and demanding their construction be stopped, Israeli radio said on Tuesday. The station added that Israel’s Ambassador to Angola, Oren Rosenblatt, informed Angolan officials of Tel Aviv’s decision. Israel will also shut down an international aid agency it operates in Angola which brings individuals from the country to Israel in order to gain exposure to advanced agricultural and manufacturing technology. Israel has also stopped foreign assistance to Senegal over the vote. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Tuesday that Israel was “temporarily reducing” visits and work with embassies of nations that voted […]

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Turkey, Russia have ceasefire plan for Syria

Turkey and Russia have prepared an agreement for a ceasefire in Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said, adding Ankara would not budge on its opposition to President Bashar Al-Assad staying in power. The comments by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today appeared to signal a tentative advance in talks aimed at reaching a truce, but the insistence that Al-Assad must go will do little to smooth negotiations with Russia, his biggest backer. Russia, Iran and Turkey said last week they were ready to help broker a peace deal after holding talks in Moscow where they adopted a declaration setting out the principles any agreement should adhere to. “There are two texts ready on a solution in Syria. One is about a political […]

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Daesh member in Bahrain ‘planned to assassinate local officials’

A court in Bahrain has heard that a local Daesh court in Bahrain supporter provided the terrorist group with vital information about officials of the interior ministry so that they might be targeted for assassination, Gulf News has reported. The unnamed 23-year-old man told the court that he became a member of Daesh in 2013 and had planned to travel to fight for them, before he was arrested by the Bahraini authorities in August last year. The accused is a member of a Bahraini group which liaises with Daesh, circulating propaganda material on social media. According to local media reports, the primary aim of the prisoner’s activities was to “undermine the status and reputation of the kingdom.” His trial will […]

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Egyptian delegation visiting Saudi Arabia to ‘clear the air’

Senior Egyptian officials are part of a delegation which travelled by private jet to Riyadh a few days ago for what have been reported as “clear the air” meetings, claim sources in Cairo. According to pro-government newspaper Sadah Al-Balad, although the visit is scheduled to be brief, the delegation will meet with a number of senior Saudi officials and dignitaries to discuss the latest developments in the region, within the framework of the strategic relationship between the two countries. The professor of international relations in the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University pointed out that the main objective of the visit is to clear the air once more. Dr Mohammed Hussein told Sadah Al-Balad that the strained […]

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Syrian opposition denies knowledge of peace talks with regime

One of Syria’s main opposition groups made it clear on Tuesday that it has no knowledge of what Russia claims are peace talks with the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad. “We in the High Negotiations Committee certainly have no connection to this matter,” HNC member George Sabra told Reuters. According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that the Syrian government was consulting with opposition groups ahead of possible peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. “During the recent meeting in Moscow with my colleagues from Iran and Turkey,” Lavrov explained, “we approved a joint declaration in which we confirmed our readiness to guarantee a future agreement between the Syrian government and the opposition.” Negotiations, he added, are ongoing. […]

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Polygamy sanctioned by Israeli rabbis to counter Arab demographic threat

Israeli rabbis have sanctioned the practice of polygamy to counter what they believe is a demographic threat posed by Arab populations living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. An expose by Channel 10, an Israeli broadcasting channel, revealed the practice was approved by the rabbinate that has actively encouraged and facilitated polygamy, claiming the practice will give Jews an edge in the demographic race against Arabs in Israel. One rabbi who has been married for 26 years is filmed by an undercover reporter persuading a single woman to become his second wife. “If your parents ask you why you don’t marry like everyone else,” he told her, “tell them that it is a mitzvah [religious commandment] and I want […]

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Iraq PM admits his failure to recapture Mosul by New Year

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said yesterday that it would take a further three months to remove Daesh from Iraq and specifically Mosul, as US and Iran-backed forces battled to dislodge the militants from their last major stronghold in the country. Al-Abadi had previously pledged the northern city would be retaken by the end of this year. But the operation has been slowed by crippling losses inflicted upon advancing Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Asked to respond to comments by the commander of a US-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces that it would take as long as two years to eliminate Daesh and its cells in Iraq and neighbouring Syria, Al-Abadi said: “The Americans were very pessimistic. They used to talk about […]

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Tunisians protest return of militants fearing more violence

Tunisia is facing growing fears that the return of Tunisian militants from abroad could destabilise the country that has already suffered a number of deadly attacks since 2011 when former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted. Concerns have increased after a Tunisian was identified as the main suspect behind the Berlin Christmas market attack where 11 people were killed after a truck ploughed through the packed market last week. The driver was later killed by police in Italy. Responsibility for the attack was later claimed by Daesh in a video showing the driver, Anis Amri, pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader. However, it is unclear if this was a planned Daesh attack or a “lone […]

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New law in Egypt will see government regulate media

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has signed a new law today that will further control the media and regulate members of a new media council. The council will be given the power to fine or suspend publications and broadcasters and to allow foreign media permits or revoke them. The law, which was approved by parliament and signed into law by Al-Sisi, will create a Supreme Council for the Press and Media where a chairman will be picked by Al-Sisi and where members will be appointed based on nomination by bodies like parliament and the judiciary. The new council will be tasked with suing media organisations that violate enforced regulations, creating a list of penalties, fining media organisations that are in […]

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New law in Egypt will see government regulate media

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has signed a new law today that will further control the media and regulate members of a new media council. The council will be given the power to fine or suspend publications and broadcasters and to allow foreign media permits or revoke them. The law, which was approved by parliament and signed into law by Al-Sisi, will create a Supreme Council for the Press and Media where a chairman will be picked by Al-Sisi and where members will be appointed based on nomination by bodies like parliament and the judiciary. The new council will be tasked with suing media organisations that violate enforced regulations, creating a list of penalties, fining media organisations that are in […]

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