Middle-east

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Turkey PM to propose extending state of emergency

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said today that he would propose extending emergency rule, imposed soon after an attempted coup on 15 July last year, by another three months when it expires next week, CNN Turk reported. Yildirim made the comments at a briefing with media representatives in the capital Ankara ahead of official commemorations of the coup anniversary tomorrow. The state of emergency has been renewed several times since it was first imposed a year ago. On Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “There can be no question of lifting emergency rule with all this happening.” We will lift the emergency rule only when we no longer need to fight against terrorism. Ankara imposed the state of emergency soon […]


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Visit by Turkish official to Israel expected

Israeli Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, said that his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, is set to visit Israel by the end of this year to conclude an agreement regarding the construction of a natural gas pipeline to transport gas from Israel to Turkey. The visit by Albayrak, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and part of his inner circle, is considered a significant diplomatic move by Ankara after improving relations with Israel following a conflict which lasted years due to the attack on a Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza. This attack resulted in the death of ten Turkish activists in 2010. The conflict was settled in June 2016 and the two parties began discussing the gas pipeline project. […]


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3,000 cases of corruption recorded in Algeria since 2013

Over 3000 cases of “dangerous” corruption were recorded in Algeria between 2013 and 2016, according to the Minister of Justice, Tayeb Louh, yesterday. The Public Prosecutor has set in motion the prosecution of serious perpetrators, according to the minister who was speaking at a ceremony of the newly sworn-in Attorney General at the Tipaza Court, Brahim Kherrabi. According to Louh, “more effective mechanisms of the policy of prevention against the crime of corruption” by means of “the intensification of the coordination between the authorities and services of the State in the fight against financial and economic crimes” were introduced in the new Government Action Plan recently adopted by both Houses of Parliament. “To fight against corruption is not a cyclical campaign, but a […]


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US cuts to foreign aid will not affect Israel or Egypt

US cuts to foreign aid totalling $10 billion will not affect Israel and Egypt, according to legislation unveiled on Wednesday.The cuts were proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration to pay for the proposed “border wall” with Mexico but the cuts are less than the initially proposed $17 billion. The Republic-lead panels in the House of Representatives and Senate released spending bills in order to fund government agencies and departments in 2018 as well as the infamous wall for which the down payment is $1.6 billion. The funding will also be allocated towards an additional 1,000 border agents. The funding cuts and allocation has received criticism for not being directed at necessary foreign aid and domestic programmes. According to California Democratic Congresswoman, Lucille Roybal-Allard, the […]


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Israel seeks to further restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israelis are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to review arrangements that allow Palestinians to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to the Jerusalem Post. Following the shooting of three Palestinians after an alleged attack against Israeli occupation forces earlier today, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the incident “an extremely serious event which crossed all red lines.” “The investigation is ongoing. We will need to re-evaluate all of the security arrangements on the Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] and its environs.” Palestinians already face severe restrictions when visiting the mosque; men under the age of 45 are usually made to apply for permits in advance and visitors can be prevented from entering by Israeli soldiers stationed at the gates at any time. […]


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Scores killed in US-Somali raid

A joint raid by the United States and Somalia killed scores of people in southern Somalia yesterday, the Washington Post reported. Two US apache helicopters raided an Al-Shabaab detention facility alongside the Somali National Army in Kunya Barrow village in Lower Shabelle region. There are no reports on civilian casualties, and the number of prisoners freed is unknown. Read: Trump’s ‘temporary’ battlefields in Yemen and Somalia Al-Shabaab’s radio Andalus reported that the group thwarted a raid by US and African forces. This raid follows a US drone strike that targeted Al-Shabaab on 2 July. The drone strike targeted vehicles in the same village. President Donald Trump introduced new legal authorities in late March to determine parts of Somalia as “temporary […]


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Egypt receives $1.25bn from IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced this morning its approval to grant Egypt the second of $ 1.25 billion of a $12 billion loan. In November 2016, Egypt accepted a three-year loan programme, linked to economic reforms, including reducing subsidies and increasing taxes. Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, congratulated the Egyptian people and the authorities for their “success in pursuing their ambitious economic reform programme. The approval by the IMF Executive Board of the First Review of the programme shows the IMF’s strong support for Egypt in these efforts.” Read: Egypt to raise Metro prices by 100% Lagarde also added: I am very pleased that the government has taken and will continue to take measures to protect the poor […]


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Germany warns citizens against travelling to Egypt

The German government warned its citizens against travelling to Egypt due to the possibility of “terrorist operations”. In its most recent warning posted on its website yesterday, the German Foreign Ministry said the attacks target foreigners and Egyptians. The ministry called on German citizens to be careful in the event that they do travel to Egypt. In addition to terrorist dangers, there is also the possibility that Germans in Egypt, or those who intend to spend their vacation there, will be kidnapped. The German foreign ministry security warning also stressed the need to avoid places of protests and large gatherings, especially places of worship, universities and state institutions. Read: Improved security in Egypt revived tourism says Germany 


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To avoid cyber attacks, Israel urged to manually count election results

Israel’s National Cyber Authority is expected to recommend the manual counting of votes in future elections in order to prevent cyber attacks “following recent attempts to meddle with elections in the West,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday. Formed 18 months ago, the authority is working on a “defence plan” against possible meddling in Israeli elections through cyber attacks similar to what recently took place in the United States, France and Ukraine. The plan will recommend that votes continue to be counted manually in Israel, as they always have, even if this is an “outdated method”. “However,” Haaretz noted, “other aspects of the election campaign and preparations for Election Day are also exposed to cyber attacks and need protection.” Citing […]


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3 Palestinians, 2 Israeli soldiers killed in clashes in Al-Aqsa

Three Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed during an armed confrontation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound earlier today. According to reports, four Israeli occupation soldiers were injured when Palestinians shot at them at around 7am. Two of the soldiers later died. The soldiers returned fire and injured the three Palestinians, leaving them on the floor bleeding and refusing medics access to them, witnesses reported. Witnesses told Ma’an that the Palestinians entered Lions’ Gate on a motorcycle and shot at the police officers at point-blank range, before heading towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s Gate of Remission – known in Arabic as Bab Al-Huttah – where Israeli forces shot them at close range. Israeli police had closed off sections of the […]