Category: Middle East

Middle East

Iraq’s Former Spy Chief Voted Prime Minister After 6 Months Of Caretaker Government

Mustafa al-Kathimi speaks to parliament in Baghdad Thursday. Iraq’s former spy chief was sworn in early Thursday as prime minister after weeks of tense political negotiations as the country faces a severe economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Iraqi Parliament Media Office/AP hide caption toggle caption Iraqi Parliament Media Office/AP Mustafa al-Kathimi speaks to […]

Middle East

Iraq parliament approves PM Kadhimi’s new cabinet after months of deadlock

Issued on: 07/05/2020 – 00:28Modified: 07/05/2020 – 00:59 Iraqi lawmakers approved a new government on Wednesday after six months without one as parties squabbled until the last minute over Cabinet seats in backroom deals. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s intelligence chief and a former journalist, will head the new government. He will begin his term […]

Middle East

Hezbollah slams German ban as ‘submission to America’s will’

Issued on: 04/05/2020 – 18:29Modified: 04/05/2020 – 18:29 The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement on Monday condemned Germany’s ban on his group as bowing to US pressure and insisted it was not active in the country.  Germany designated Hezbollah a “Shiite terrorist organisation” on Thursday as its security forces raided mosques and associations linked to […]

Middle East

Lebanon approves long-awaited economic rescue plan after weeks of unrest

Issued on: 30/04/2020 – 15:32Modified: 30/04/2020 – 15:32 The Lebanese government on Thursday approved a long-awaited plan to rescue the economy from its worst crisis in decades following a fresh wave of angry street protests this week. Nationwide protests broke out in October accusing the country’s political class of corruption and mismanagement. The plan drawn up by Lebanese Prime Minister […]

Middle East

Turkey detains more than 400 for Covid-19 social media posts

Issued on: 27/04/2020 – 18:57Modified: 27/04/2020 – 18:57 Turkey has detained 402 people in the past 42 days for allegedly sharing “false and provocative” social media postings concerning the coronavirus outbreak, officials said Monday. An Interior Ministry statement said officials have inspected more than 6,000 social media accounts and the 402 suspects were among a […]

Middle East

Demonstrators block roads in Lebanon protest over dire economy

Issued on: 27/04/2020 – 05:48 Demonstrators blocked roads through Lebanon late Sunday to protest the deteriorating economic situation, despite a lockdown and curfew imposed because of the coronavirus, according to the official news agency. Police quickly intervened to reopen the highways where the demonstrators burned tyres to block roads, the ANI national news agency said.In […]

Middle East

Saudi Arabia abolishes the dealth penalty for crimes committed by minors

Issued on: 26/04/2020 – 22:26Modified: 26/04/2020 – 22:27 Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended the death penalty for crimes committed by minors after effectively abolishing floggings as the kingdom seeks to blunt criticism over its human rights record. The reforms underscore a push by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to modernise the ultra-conservative […]

Middle East

Yemen separatists break peace deal to claim control of south

Issued on: 26/04/2020 – 07:35Modified: 26/04/2020 – 07:35 Yemen’s southern separatists on Sunday broke a peace deal with the country’s internationally recognized government and claimed sole control of the regional capital of Aden, threatening to resume fighting between the two ostensible allies.  In a statement, the separatists’ Southern Transitional Council, which is backed by the […]

Middle East

Ramadan starts amid unprecedented lockdown restrictions including Mecca and Medina mosque closings

Issued on: 24/04/2020 – 06:13Modified: 24/04/2020 – 06:26 Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest shrines, has announced that the holy fasting month of Ramadan will start Friday, as Muslims worldwide face unprecedented restrictions to counter coronavirus. “Based on the sighting of the new month’s moon … it has been decided that Friday is the start of the […]

Middle East

Covid-19: ‘If there was a severe outbreak in Syria, there would be a bloodbath’

While the Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 180,000 people worldwide and infected more than 2.5 million, Syria has officially reported relatively few cases. If the epidemic were to worsen there, the death toll would be all the higher as the country, still under international sanctions, lacks basic medical equipment. Nine years of war have left […]

Middle East

Isolated ultra-Orthodox Jews at epicentre of Jerusalem’s Covid-19 outbreak

Issued on: 22/04/2020 – 14:30Modified: 22/04/2020 – 14:31 Jerusalem’s isolated ultra-Orthodox community is at the epicentre of the city’s coronavirus outbreak, but the traditional Jewish laws its population abides by means that the government’s confinement measures have had little effect so far. The Israeli police officers who try to enforce the rules are often verbally […]

Middle East

Israel’s Netanyahu and rival Gantz agree to form ‘emergency’ coalition government

Issued on: 20/04/2020 – 18:45Modified: 20/04/2020 – 18:45 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival on Monday signed an agreement to form an “emergency” coalition government, their parties announced in a joint statement. The deal between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and former military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White ends months of political paralysis […]

Middle East

Protesting in a pandemic: Israelis demonstrate at a distance

Issued on: 20/04/2020 – 14:17Modified: 20/04/2020 – 14:19 Wearing face masks and keeping two metres apart, thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday while maintaining the country’s strict Covid-19 social distancing rules. Protest organisers marked spots on the ground for demonstrators to stand in to ensure social distancing rules were followed.Netanyahu […]

Middle East

Turkey’s Covid-19 cases overtake Iran to become highest in Middle East

Issued on: 18/04/2020 – 19:52 Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 82,329, Health MinisterFahrettin Koca said on Saturday, overtaking neighbouring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East.  An increase of 3,783 cases in the last 24 hours also pushed Turkey’s confirmed tally within a few hundred of China, where the novel coronavirus […]

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