Friday, 13 Dec 2019

Middle East

Israel will hold record third election in a year

Israel will hold its third general election in less than a year after a deadline was missed for any lawmaker to form a majority coalition. MPs are now expected to set the election date for 2 March. Ahead of the midnight (22:00 GMT) deadline, they gave initial approval to a bill to dissolve parliament. Both […]

US and Iranian men released in prisoner swap

A Chinese-American researcher convicted of spying in Iran has been freed in an apparent exchange for the release of an Iranian scientist held by the US. Xiyue Wang was arrested in Iran in 2016 for “collaborating with foreign governments”. Massoud Soleimani, a stem cell expert, was arrested at a Chicago airport last year. He was […]

Algerians seeking old guard's exit protest against upcoming poll

Protesters march to demand that political elite linked to Abdelaziz Bouteflika is not entrenched in next week’s vote. Fresh demonstrations are taking place in Algeria, the last in a series of weekly marches in the lead-up to a presidential election opposed by a protest movement that fears it will cement in power politicians close to […]

Saudi Aramco prices shares at top of range in world's biggest IPO

RIYADH/DUBAI (REUTERS) – State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) will be the biggest in history, but will fall short of the towering US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion) valuation long sought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Aramco priced its IPO at 32 riyals (US$8.53) per share, the top of its indicative range, the […]

Muhasasa, the political system reviled by Iraqi protesters

Demonstrators demand removal of quota-based political system, introduced in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003. Baghdad, Iraq – “No to muhasasa, no to political sectarianism,” chanted protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square as calls for a complete overhaul of the political system continued despite Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s resignation on Sunday. From painting slogans […]

In Syria, Health Workers Risk Becoming ‘Enemies of the State’

The nearly 9-year-old conflict in Syria has been punctuated by repeated violations of what is considered acceptable in war, including the military’s use of chemical weapons, torture of prisoners and recurrent bombings of hospitals in rebel-held areas. Less attention has been paid to another outcome: the government’s criminalization of medical care. On Wednesday, Physicians for […]

Iran Used Firearms in Deadly Crackdown on Protesters, Officials Admit

Two weeks after protests first gripped Iran — and quickly turned deadly — the government has officially acknowledged that security officials used firearms to tamp down the widespread demonstrations. A report on state television on Tuesday said that some of the protesters killed in the crackdown were “rioters who have attacked sensitive or military centers […]

Turkey threatens to block NATO's Baltic defence plan over YPG

President Erdogan calls for unconditional support from the alliance in its fight against the Kurdish-Syrian militia. Turkey will block NATO’s plan for the defence of Baltic countries unless the alliance recognises a Kurdish  group as “terrorists”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned. A NATO meeting on Tuesday, marking the alliance’s 70th anniversary, was set to […]

Death toll in Tunisia bus accident rises to 26

WHO reports Tunisia had second-worst traffic death rate per capita in North Africa, behind only war-torn Libya. At least 26 people were killed when their bus careened into a ravine in northwestern Tunisia, officials said in a new death toll on Monday. The Ministry of Public Health said late on Sunday that 17 people were […]