Saudis to reduce foreign workforce across the country

Saudi Arabia has decided to reduce the foreign workforce across the country, Anadolu reported on Sunday. Jobs in at least 12 sectors, including hotels and tourism, will be affected. The decision came after a similar move in retail, communication and insurance to “Saudi-ise” the workforce. According to Abdullah Al-Tawi, the deputy assistant to the Governor of Makkah and the person responsible for development affairs, it has been decided to concentrate on hotels and tourism initially as they are the most obvious sectors in the holy city with jobs filled by non-Saudi citizens. He did not mention which other sectors will be affected. The General Committee for Tourism and National Heritage in Saudi Arabia announced last week that work in the […]

UNHCR: Taiz hosts 15% of internally displaced Yemenis

The Yemeni governorate of Taiz hosts 15 per cent of the internally displaced Yemenis, the Anadolu Agency reported the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) saying yesterday. Om Twitter, the UNCHR wrote: “Taiz hosts 15 per cent of the internally displaced Yemenis. Nearly 303,672 people.” تستضيف محافظة تعز 15% من النازحين داخلياً في #اليمن، أو حوالي 303,672 شخصاً. pic.twitter.com/TtCt8fIq4K — مفوضية اللاجئين (@UNHCR_Arabic) July 26, 2017 Since January, there have been battles in several Yemeni directorates near and inside Taiz between the Houthis and their allies, supporters of ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition. Thousands of Yemenis fled the major towns and cities in these directorates to Taiz which has been under […]

Morocco captures wanted Saudi prince

Saudi’s Prince Saud Al-Saud was arrested in Morocco after being involved in a traffic accident in the M’Diq region, Reu20 reported. According to the Moroccan website, the prince was arrested after police came to investigate the accident he was involved in and realised his name was listed under an international arrest warrant issued by Saudi authorities. The prince was then transferred from M’Diq to a police station in the city of Tetouan. Once his identity is confirmed, the prince will be transferred to capital, Rabat, where he will be held in detention until the court decides on his extradition. Morocco and Saudi Arabia have signed a judicial cooperation agreement requiring that the state concerned request the extradition of a wanted […]

China Slams Trump’s “Trade War” Announcement, Says It Is A Distraction From “Domestic Turmoil” In The U.S.

Today at 3pm, President Trump will sign a memo addressing “China’s laws, policies, practices, and actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology” effectively launching the first shot in what many predict will blossom into an all-out trade war with China. As discussed over the weekend, administration officials said Saturday that memo will direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider investigating China over its IP policies, especially the practice of forcing U.S. companies operating in China to transfer technological know-how.

Predictably, China is not happy. In an editorial published in the China Daily, the government lashed out at Trump, warning him that by “politicizing” trade, he risks “exacerbating” the US’s “economic woes,” and “poisoning” the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Here’s Reuters:

“In an editorial, the official China Daily said it was critical the Trump administration doesn’t make a rash decision it will regret.

 

“Given Trump’s transactional approach to foreign affairs, it is impossible to look at the matter without taking into account his increasing disappointment at what he deems as China’s failure to bring into line the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the English-language paper said.

 

‘But instead of advancing the United States’ interests, politicizing trade will only acerbate the country’s economic woes, and poison the overall China-U.S. relationship.’”

For those who’ve been too busy enjoying their August vacation to keep track of all the international conflicts flaring up around the globe, Trump is preparing to order US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to launch an investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The law, which was commonly used during the Reagan administration, has fallen into disuse since the launch of the WTO. It has more recently been used as a tool by trade unions.  The investigation should pave the way for the US to take potentially aggressive retaliatory actions against China, such as imposing tariffs on Chinese imports or rescinding licenses for Chinese companies wanting to do business in the US.

During the campaign, Trump’s rhetoric about “punishing” the Chinese for their unfair trade practices helped differentiate his message from milquetoast centrists like “low energy” Jeb Bush. But after triumphing over Hillary Clinton, and subsequently filling his administration with Goldman Sachs alumni like Gary Cohn, the president appeared to change his mind. However, according to media reports, he had yet another change of heart earlier this summer, when he started siding with Steve Bannon and the anti-globalist contingent of his advisers during discussions about trade.  

And after initially delaying the investigation two weeks ago on the advice of his new chief of staff, General John Kelly, it appears Trump is finally ready to disrupt one of the world’s most complex bilateral trade relationships. The editorial also pushed back against the notion that China is somehow responsible for Pyongyang’s actions.

“The China Daily said it was unfair for Trump to put the burden on China for dissuading Pyongyang from its actions.

 

‘By trying to incriminate Beijing as an accomplice in the DPRK’s nuclear adventure and blame it for a failure that is essentially a failure of all stakeholders, Trump risks making the serious mistake of splitting up the international coalition that is the means to resolve the issue peacefully,’ it said.

 

‘Hopefully Trump will find another path. Things will become even more difficult if Beijing and Washington are pitted against each other.’”

The move against China over trade was also seen here as an attempt to distract attention away from Trump’s domestic problems. “Bashing China cannot solve U.S. economic problems, experts say,” the state-run Xinhua news agency proclaimed. The nationalist Global Times newspaper even tried to link developments to violence and “racial hatred” that broke out in Charlottesville at the weekend.

The source of “global instability may not be North Korea’s nuclear ambitions nor Europe’s regufee crisis, but the chaos in the US,” it wrote. “The public is also concerned that Trump is using international disputes to divert public attention away from the domestic turmoil.”

* * *

That said, the argument that China doesn’t bear some responsibility for the North’s actions is refuted by simple economic staitstics.  China is North Korea’s most prominent benefactor, and its economic support has been a lifeline to the North’s government; without it, the Kim regime probably would’ve collapsed decades ago. China is responsible for 90% of North Korea’s foreign trade.

Last month China announced that imports from North Korea fell to $880 million in the six months that ended in June, down 13 percent from a year earlier. Notably, China’s coal imports from North Korea dropped precipitously, with only 2.7 million tons being shipped in the first half of 2017, down 75 percent from 2016. But a 29 percent spike in Chinese exports to North Korea — North Korea bought $1.67 billion worth of Chinese products in the first six months of the year — helped push total trade between the two countries up 10 percent between January and June, compared with the same period last year

China also harbors North Korea laborers whose remittances are another crucial source of foreign currency for the North’s economy. According to a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of US voters believe China should take a leading role in the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

As we wait for Trump to give the order, the only question left is will the US and China reach a last-minute deal to once again delay the investigation. It’s not out of the question: President Xi Jingping is hoping to tighten his grip on power at this fall’s National Congress of the Communist Party. In the meantime, maintaining economic stability remains paramount.

The post China Slams Trump’s “Trade War” Announcement, Says It Is A Distraction From “Domestic Turmoil” In The U.S. appeared first on crude-oil.news.

China Slams Trump’s “Trade War” Announcement, Says It Is A Distraction From “Domestic Turmoil” In The U.S.

Today at 3pm, President Trump will sign a memo addressing “China’s laws, policies, practices, and actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology” effectively launching the first shot in what many predict will blossom into an all-out trade war with China. As discussed over the weekend, administration officials said Saturday that memo will direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider investigating China over its IP policies, especially the practice of forcing U.S. companies operating in China to transfer technological know-how.

Predictably, China is not happy. In an editorial published in the China Daily, the government lashed out at Trump, warning him that by “politicizing” trade, he risks “exacerbating” the US’s “economic woes,” and “poisoning” the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Here’s Reuters:

“In an editorial, the official China Daily said it was critical the Trump administration doesn’t make a rash decision it will regret.

 

“Given Trump’s transactional approach to foreign affairs, it is impossible to look at the matter without taking into account his increasing disappointment at what he deems as China’s failure to bring into line the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the English-language paper said.

 

‘But instead of advancing the United States’ interests, politicizing trade will only acerbate the country’s economic woes, and poison the overall China-U.S. relationship.’”

For those who’ve been too busy enjoying their August vacation to keep track of all the international conflicts flaring up around the globe, Trump is preparing to order US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to launch an investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The law, which was commonly used during the Reagan administration, has fallen into disuse since the launch of the WTO. It has more recently been used as a tool by trade unions.  The investigation should pave the way for the US to take potentially aggressive retaliatory actions against China, such as imposing tariffs on Chinese imports or rescinding licenses for Chinese companies wanting to do business in the US.

During the campaign, Trump’s rhetoric about “punishing” the Chinese for their unfair trade practices helped differentiate his message from milquetoast centrists like “low energy” Jeb Bush. But after triumphing over Hillary Clinton, and subsequently filling his administration with Goldman Sachs alumni like Gary Cohn, the president appeared to change his mind. However, according to media reports, he had yet another change of heart earlier this summer, when he started siding with Steve Bannon and the anti-globalist contingent of his advisers during discussions about trade.  

And after initially delaying the investigation two weeks ago on the advice of his new chief of staff, General John Kelly, it appears Trump is finally ready to disrupt one of the world’s most complex bilateral trade relationships. The editorial also pushed back against the notion that China is somehow responsible for Pyongyang’s actions.

“The China Daily said it was unfair for Trump to put the burden on China for dissuading Pyongyang from its actions.

 

‘By trying to incriminate Beijing as an accomplice in the DPRK’s nuclear adventure and blame it for a failure that is essentially a failure of all stakeholders, Trump risks making the serious mistake of splitting up the international coalition that is the means to resolve the issue peacefully,’ it said.

 

‘Hopefully Trump will find another path. Things will become even more difficult if Beijing and Washington are pitted against each other.’”

The move against China over trade was also seen here as an attempt to distract attention away from Trump’s domestic problems. “Bashing China cannot solve U.S. economic problems, experts say,” the state-run Xinhua news agency proclaimed. The nationalist Global Times newspaper even tried to link developments to violence and “racial hatred” that broke out in Charlottesville at the weekend.

The source of “global instability may not be North Korea’s nuclear ambitions nor Europe’s regufee crisis, but the chaos in the US,” it wrote. “The public is also concerned that Trump is using international disputes to divert public attention away from the domestic turmoil.”

* * *

That said, the argument that China doesn’t bear some responsibility for the North’s actions is refuted by simple economic staitstics.  China is North Korea’s most prominent benefactor, and its economic support has been a lifeline to the North’s government; without it, the Kim regime probably would’ve collapsed decades ago. China is responsible for 90% of North Korea’s foreign trade.

Last month China announced that imports from North Korea fell to $880 million in the six months that ended in June, down 13 percent from a year earlier. Notably, China’s coal imports from North Korea dropped precipitously, with only 2.7 million tons being shipped in the first half of 2017, down 75 percent from 2016. But a 29 percent spike in Chinese exports to North Korea — North Korea bought $1.67 billion worth of Chinese products in the first six months of the year — helped push total trade between the two countries up 10 percent between January and June, compared with the same period last year

China also harbors North Korea laborers whose remittances are another crucial source of foreign currency for the North’s economy. According to a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of US voters believe China should take a leading role in the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

As we wait for Trump to give the order, the only question left is will the US and China reach a last-minute deal to once again delay the investigation. It’s not out of the question: President Xi Jingping is hoping to tighten his grip on power at this fall’s National Congress of the Communist Party. In the meantime, maintaining economic stability remains paramount.

The post China Slams Trump’s “Trade War” Announcement, Says It Is A Distraction From “Domestic Turmoil” In The U.S. appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for Gaza’s pilgrims

The first batch of pilgrims from the Gaza Strip have left Gaza via the Rafah crossing and headed to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj. Hisham Adwan, Palestinian director of the crossing, said that Egypt opened the crossing to allow the pilgrims to reach Cairo International Airport and fly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to perform the pilgrimage. Adwan noted that 800 pilgrims left Gaza and they would be flying to Saudi Arabia on three planes. He added that the Palestinian border and crossing committee made the necessary arrangements and preparations for the pilgrims’ travel from Gaza to Saudi Arabia via the Rafah crossing. Some 2,500 pilgrims from the Gaza Strip are set to travel to Saudi Arabic over the next […]

US official acknowledges improved security in Darfur

A senior US official with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations acknowledged on Sunday that the security situation in Darfur has improved, Anadolu has reported. Heather Flynn made her comment during a meeting with the Governor of North Darfur, Abdul Wahid Yousef. According to the Director of Yousef’s office, Flynn recognised the improvement in local security. “She had some comments regarding the work of the humanitarian organisations,” explained Khalid Maryoud, “and stressed the importance of facilitating their work and access to all regions.” Maryoud added that Yousef briefed Flynn about security in the governorate and the plans for dealing with the consequences of the conflict, mainly the issue of displaced people, disarmament and achieving social reconciliation. The American official arrived […]

HRW: Saudi must provide basic amenities to besieged Shia city

Large areas of a Shia town in Saudi Arabia appear to have been damaged in what may be an attempt by authorities to hide the devastation they unleashed in the besieged Al-Awamiya in the eastern part of the Kingdom, Human Rights Watch has warned. The group also called on Saudi authorities to provide basic services to the trapped residents in the town which was placed under siege in July. “Saudi security forces should provide essential services to trapped Awamiya residents and make sure they can move in and out of the town safely,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. Saudi authorities should also immediately and credibly investigate whether its forces used excessive force in Al-Awamiya. […]

Thousands uprooted as floods kill 143 in India, Nepal

Author: 
AFP
Mon, 2017-08-14 10:54
ID: 
1502699639977944800

Katmandu: At least 143 people have died and thousands have fled their homes as monsoon floods swept across Nepal and India, officials said Monday, warning the toll could rise as the extent of the damage becomes clear.
Three days of relentless downpours sparked flash floods and landslides that have killed at least 70 in Nepal and 73 across northern and eastern India.
Around 200,000 are living in emergency camps in Assam in northeast India, which suffers frequent flooding during the annual monsoon rains.
Another 15,000 have had to leave their homes in the eastern state of Bihar, which borders Nepal and where one official said seven rivers in Bihar were at danger levels.
Huge swathes of the state were submerged in 2008 when a river burst its banks across the border in Nepal, with the two countries trading blame for the disaster.
A massive landslide in the mountainous northern state of Himachal Pradesh swept two passenger buses off a hillside and into a deep gorge, killing at least 46 people on Sunday.
In Nepal, over 48,000 homes have been totally submerged by the floods and 21,000 people displaced, according to police.
As emergency workers struggled to reach far-flung areas, the country’s home ministry said another 47 people were missing, presumed dead.
The Nepal Red Cross warned that shortages of drinking water and food could create a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Himalayan country.
“In many parts of the country there is a scarcity of safe drinking water creating a high risk of health hazards,” spokesman Dibya Raj Poudel told AFP.
“Several villages and settlements are unreachable. Telecommunications, mobile phones are still not working so it difficult to give a full assessment.”
The southern lowlands of Nepal known as the Terai have so far born the brunt of the monsoon deluge.
The Terai is Nepal’s most fertile region and the economic toll is expected to be severe.
“We are getting reports that about 70 percent of agriculture area in the Tarai is inundated,” said Shankar Sapkota, senior agricultural economist with the government.
“Paddy fields, vegetable plantation and fish farms have been affected but right now we cannot confirm the extent of damage.”
The rains are now expected to shift westwards and authorities in Nepal have begun evacuating 74,000 people from the area expected to be hit.
Nearly 150 people have been killed in Nepal since the beginning of the rainy season in late June.
Hundreds have died in torrential rain, floods and landslides in neighboring India during the monsoon, which hits the country’s southern tip in early June and sweeps across the nation, lasting into September.
In the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand — which borders Nepal — three people were killed in a landslide late Sunday triggered by heavy rains, local police official Ajay Joshi told AFP.

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At least 94 dead in monsoon disasters in Nepal and India
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Kenya’s Odinga mulls next move on disputed election

Author: 
AFP
Mon, 2017-08-14 11:17
ID: 
1502699639817944400

NAIROBI: Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga was weighing his next move Monday to contest an election he claims was rigged after defying pressure at home and from abroad to take his complaints to the courts.
The 72-year-old insists he was the rightful winner of a “stolen” election last week and has urged his supporters to stay away from work Monday to mourn the deaths of those killed in angry protests against the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
However, after nearly a week in limbo in which businesses remained shut and workers stayed home, Nairobi largely came back to life on Monday with many unable to afford any more time away from their livelihoods.
Fruit vendor Alex Kilonzo returned to his stand on a busy street corner, even though many nearby had not reopened. “If I had money I could strike,” he told AFP.
“Life has to move on,” said IT worker Kenneth Kiruja as he headed into the office for the first time since Tuesday’s election, adding the opposition should take their grievances to court.
Odinga, a veteran opposition leader in Kenya, lost his fourth shot at the presidency, according to official results, and has repeated claims he made in 2007 and 2013 that the vote was rigged against him..
His loss sparked angry protests on Friday night and Saturday in his strongholds in the west of the country and in Nairobi slums, leaving 16 people dead according to an AFP tally. This includes a nine-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet.
Police have denied that innocent protesters have been killed, saying those shot dead had been armed and attacked officers, many while carrying out criminal acts such as rape and looting.

The dispute has plunged Kenya into its worst political crisis since Odinga lost a 2007 election that many observers agreed was riddled with irregularities.
That election exposed decades-old political and ethnic grievances over access to power and land that sparked two months of violence in which 1,100 were killed and 600,000 displaced.
Three of Kenya’s four presidents have been Kikuyu and the other Kalenjin, leaving Luos and other major ethnic groups feeling excluded from power and marginalized for over half a century.
While there have been efforts to dilute the winner-takes-all nature of Kenyan politics, notably by devolving power to the counties, critics argue the underlying fault lines have merely been papered over.
As a grim reminder of this, members of Odinga’s Luo ethnic group and those from Kenyatta’s Kikuyu group clashed violently in Nairobi’s Mathare slum late Sunday with sticks, rocks, bows and arrows.
Mobs set on a Luo man, and then later in revenge a Kikuyu man, leaving them bloodied and motionless, as captured by two AFP photographers.
Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome denied the incident.
“We don’t have attacks in Mathare,” he told journalists.
Despite this isolated incident, protests in Odinga’s strongholds appeared to largely have fizzled out, as his supporters await his next move.
“We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action which I will announce the day after tomorrow (Tuesday),” Odinga told a crowd of thousands in Nairobi’s Kibera slum on Sunday.
Later on Twitter he wrote: “There is no turning back.”
The United Nations, Britain, France and the European Union have beseeched Odinga to use legal means to address his concerns. Kofi Annan, who mediated the 2007/08 crisis, has warned Kenya’s political leaders to “be careful with their rhetoric and actions.”
Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) claim the results from Tuesday’s election which came in via an electronic tallying system were hacked and manipulated.
Documents he has provided as evidence so far have been dismissed by the electoral commission, and it is unclear what Odinga will do next.
He lost a court dispute in 2013 when he alleged an election was rigged, and this time NASA has said court is not an option.
Odinga has until Friday to lodge a court complaint.

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Pressure on Kenyan opposition to concede defeat
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Three killed in protests against disputed Kenya vote