The Pentagon on Friday welcomed Saudi Arabia's pledge to commit ground forces to fight Islamic State jihadists in Syria, should the US-led coalition ever send in combat troops. Saudi Arabia has been part of the coalition since late 2014. "We welcome the announcement by Saudi Arabia that they6 days agoAFP
The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said. The military drill is scheduled to be held in the northern region of Saudi Arabia in the next few days and a number of countries will be participating in it, local media reported on Tuesday. Military experts have warned that the next probable threat to the Gulf states is likely to come from the northern areas, after Iran demographically occupies Iraq and uses that country as its military arm to meddle in the affairs of neighboring countries and drain Gulf states’ resources.
A stunning four of the world’s top five and six of the top 10 will compete in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA event next week after defending champion and world number three Simona Halep, 2015 Dubai finalist Karolina Pliskova and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova accepted wild cards into the tournament. “We are thrilled that once again so many of the very best players in the world have chosen to compete at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free. Halep had announced that she would have to miss the event in order to undergo surgery, but the temptation to defend her trophy at one of her favourite stops on the WTA Tour proved too much to resist.
By Katie Paul RIYADH, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's three telecom operators are in talks to create a company to own and manage their mobile transmitter towers in a move that could cut costs and lower tariffs in the kingdom, a Saudi financial news website reported on Wednesday. Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) in November said it was considering selling its towers, most likely to a tower company which would lease these back to the seller.
* Syria says Saudis cannot bear costs of intervening * Government forces aim to open highway south * Idlib's time will come, says minister By Laila Bassam and Tom Perry DAMASCUS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The Syrian government expects a tough battle for Aleppo, the city that has become the focal point of the country's long civil war, but is confident of victory and says it won't be a long fight. Damascus aims to seal the border with Turkey, a major sponsor of the insurgents fighting President Bashar al-Assad, and to retake rebel-held areas of what was Syria's biggest city and industrial hub before the conflict began in 2011. "These battles are not easy, but the day will come, God willing, when all Aleppo - its rural areas and the occupied part of the city - will return to state authority," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview on Wednesday.
Said Ramadan has lost count of how much he's borrowed just to stay afloat while other vendors at Giza's pyramids have already lost hope, as jihadist attacks bring Egypt's tourist industry to its knees. Since Egypt's then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013, a deadly insurgency led by the Islamic State jihadist group has kept away millions of tourists. Tourism in Egypt was dealt a body blow when a Russian airliner blew up mid-air over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 people on board, mostly Russian tourists.
Qatar signed a long-term deal with Pakistan on Wednesday to export liquefied natural gas, according to state media in the Gulf. The deal will see Qatar export up to 3.75 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year, according to Pakistan's petroleum minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The Qatar News Agency (QNA) confirmed the deal had been signed in a statement posted on its website.
The cooperation between India and the UAE in the energy sector is expected to grow following the three-day visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India on Wednesday. The visit comes six months after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the UAE to strengthen bilateral ties and increase investments between the two countries.
Syrian Kurdish separatists on Wednesday opened a representation in Moscow amid a push by the Kremlin to have them included in Syria peace talks despite Turkey's objections. "This is a historical moment for the Kurdish people," Merab Shamoyev, chairman of the International Union of Kurdish Public Associations, said at the ceremony in an industrial neighbourhood in southeast Moscow. "Russia is a great power and an important actor in the Middle East.
* Sees larger drop in 2016 non-OPEC supply of 700,000 bpd * OPEC output rises in January, increasing supply glut * Says low oil prices hurting world economy (Adds details from report, quotes) By Alex Lawler LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - OPEC pointed to a larger oil supply surplus on the world market this year than previously thought as Saudi Arabia and other members pump more oil, helping to make up for losses in non-member producers hurt by the collapse in prices. OPEC's 2014 strategy shift to defend market share and not prices helped deepen the decline. OPEC also cut its forecast for world economic growth in 2016 to 3.2 percent from 3.4 percent and said low oil prices were hurting the economy, in contrast to previous price slides that were supportive of global growth.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) The construction of India's strategic petroleum storage in Karnataka's Mangaluru with the assistance of the UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is proceeding on schedule and will be completed soon, the government said on Wednesday. According to an Indian petroleum ministry release here, this was mentioned by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in his meeting here with United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, ahead of the India visit of Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The complainant paid them Dh85,000 on that day and it was the last time he ever heard from them. A businessman and his friend, both Pakistanis, have been charged with fraud for allegedly swindling a compatriot man of Dh130,000 after assuring him that they could process 25 residence visas for him. The 39-year-old businessman, M.S., allegedly claimed to the complainant that he owned a company.
The defeat on Tuesday in the Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka brought the Indian players down to earth after the auction euphoria of the Indian Premier League (IPL) barely two days before the game. None of the new-found IPL millionaires was playing at Pune, though the highest-paid Indian, Pawan Negi, was in the squad. Dominated by the IPL rejects -- Secuge Prasanna, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Dishamantha Chameera and Sanchitha Senanayake - the islanders nearly bowled the Indians out for less than a hundred before coasting to a five-wicket victory.
Qatar's World Cup organisers said on Wednesday that six labourers building stadiums for the 2022 tournament suffered work-related injuries last year but there were no fatalities. Qatar has been widely condemned for its treatment of almost two million foreign workers. Critics have estimated that several thousand workers could die in the run-up to the World Cup because of labour conditions in Qatar on direct or indirect tournament projects.
Lucknow, Feb 10 (IANS) Following a complaint and an internal probe, the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) has held the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for Deoband assembly by-polls in Uttar Pradesh guilty of making a hate speech with the aim of dividing the voters on religious lines. Social activist Shehzaad Poonawalla had made a complaint before the minorities panel seeking action against Rampal Singh Pundir for his inflammatory speech. The panel will now contact Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, vide a letter seeking action against Pundir, an official said.
* Turkey, Russia exchange barbs over downed plane * Russian sanctions depress bilateral trade * Executives fear being barred from Russia: bank source (Releads with source at bank, possible buyer) By Oksana Kobzeva and Margarita Papchenkova MOSCOW, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Turkish conglomerate Fiba Group has put up for sale a bank it owns in Russia, two banking sources told Reuters, a decision that may be due partly to a row between Moscow and Ankara over the shooting down of a Russian warplane. One of the sources said Fiba Group's decision to sell Credit Europe Bank was prompted by fears among the unit's senior executives that their Russian entry visas might not be renewed because of the diplomatic dispute.
Manchester (US), Feb 10 (IANS) Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders cruised to early victories in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, while Ohio Governor John Kasich is projected to finish second in the GOP race, CNN reported. Multiple Republicans, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, are now battling for a third-place finish. Trump, a brash billionaire reality TV star who has never run for office, and Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, were seen as long-shot outsiders when they launched their campaigns.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party's Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, following a video clip that showed his minister's involvement in a bribe demand. "Kejriwal should resign on moral grounds. Seven MLAs of AAP have gone to the jail and approximately 32 (AAP) people have criminal cases against them, what kind of government is this," Upadhyay said, talking to IANS.
Jerusalem, Feb 10 (IANS) Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he has plans to encircle Israel with fences because the Mideast is filled with "wild beasts" that imperil the Jewish country. "We are preparing a multi-year plan to surround the entire State of Israel with security fences to protect ourselves in the current Middle East," Netanyahu said during a tour to the construction site of a new fence along its eastern border with Jordan, Xinhua reported. "In the place where we live, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts," Netanyahu said, apparently referring to Islamist militants.
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No reports of attempted or actual kidnapping of students from Dubai schools were ever reported to any of Dubai Police’s stations, an official said on Tuesday. Lt Col Adel Al Joker, head of investigation at Dubai Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), told Gulf News that concerns expressed in an advisory letter issued by a school at the end of January claiming that a stranger approached two students are unfounded. “We found out that in such cases of schools issuing advisory letters, some parents are worried about their children who sometimes wait outside the school gates for their parents without any safety measures such as cameras outside the school gates,” Lt. Col Al Joker explained.
US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for the efforts the Kingdom has exerted in assisting coalition forces against Daesh. Speaking to reporters following talks with Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir held at the headquarters of the State Department in Washington, Kerry said: “Let me thank King Salman and Saudi Arabia for the strenuous efforts they have made in assisting coalition forces against Daesh and their being prepared to include their troops as part of the coalition.
Mumbai, Feb 10 (IANS) Actor Sidharth Malhotra says he doesn't have any special plans for Valentine's Day and will be working on his film "Baar Baar Dekho" with Katrina Kaif. At the trailer launch of his film "Kapoor and Sons", Sidharth was asked how he intended to celebrate Valentine's Day. "As of now, I'll be travelling and shooting for 'Baar Baar Dekho', so sadly with the whole crew," he said.
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10 (IANS) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday urged party leaders in Kerala to stop fighting among themselves ahead of the assembly polls, saying only "the Congress can defeat the Congress". "The Congress is like a family and can fight (within), but it should not be done (now) as elections are around the corner," he said here. "Only the Congress can defeat the Congress in Kerala.
Mumbai, Feb 10 (IANS) Bollywood celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan are praying for the recovery of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, the soldier who was rescued from under an avalanche on the Siachen glacier, in what many have called a 'miracle'.
South Korean companies prepared Thursday to begin pulling out of a jointly-run industrial zone in North Korea after Seoul shut it down to punish Kim Jong-Un's regime for its recent nuclear test and rocket launch. Wednesday's announcement to close the Kaesong complex took many by surprise, given that South Korea had always allowed it to remain open despite serious provocations in the past. Defending what it called an "unavoidable" decision, the South said North Korea had been using the hundreds of millions of dollars in hard-currency cash that it earned from Kaesong to fund its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
Iranians waved "Death to America" banners and took selfies with a ballistic missile Thursday as they marked 37 years since the Islamic revolution, weeks after Iran finalised a nuclear deal with world powers. In the capital, hundreds of thousands converged on the historic Azadi (Freedom) Square, where President Hassan Rouhani was set to make a speech. Many demonstrators carried the traditional placards reading "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" while others carried the Iranian flag.
Kurdish forces backed by Arab rebel groups on Wednesday seized most of a key military airport and the adjacent town in northern Syria from rival anti-government factions, a monitoring group said. The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and its Arab allies expelled Islamist and other rebel fighters from the town of Minnigh and overran "more than half" of the nearby air base, north of Syria's second city Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Clashes were ongoing inside the airport, where Islamist rebels were trying to maintain a grip on the last military air base they hold in Aleppo province, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) In the midst of political controversies between India and Pakistan, six Indian directors including Aparna Sen, Tanuja Chandra and Ketan Mehta and six Pakistani directors of the likes of Mehreen Jabbar, Sabiha Sumar and Meenu Farjad are coming together on a common platform for an apolitical exchange to mark the onset of the 70th year of the country's Partition. After the launch of Zindagi channel which brought Pakistan's TV content closer to Indians in 2014, Zeal For Unity (ZFU) is the second initiative by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) to use the strength of creative thought leadership from both the countries to bridge the divide between the two.
Stock markets in the Gulf may weaken further on Wednesday after oil prices plunged 8 percent overnight on a gloomy outlook for U.S. and global demand. Brent crude has recovered modestly in early Asian trading on Wednesday, but at just above $31 a barrel it is still uncomfortably low for Gulf stock markets, which have been closely correlated to oil in the last couple of months. United Arab Emirates markets have been outperforming the region because the UAE economy is seen as more diversified and able to withstand a prolonged period of low oil prices.
Syrian farmer Mahmud Turki was sitting on his couch at sunset watching the news with his family after eating supper. Then an air strike hit his home and turned his life upside down. "The moment of the air strike... nobody can describe it," Turki -- stitches still in his head and his body covered in bruises -- said from his hospital bed in neighbouring Turkey, where he was among just a few allowed across for treatment.
(Adds analyst, background) CAIRO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Egypt's annual urban consumer inflation fell to 10.1 percent in January from 11.1 percent the previous month, the statistics agency CAMPAS said on Wednesday, after the country raised interest rates and moved to control prices of essential food. The central bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points in December, citing inflationary pressure. In November, Egypt's government said it would control prices of 10 essential goods, and the army rolled out trucks to distribute subsidised food.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday called on Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, soon after he arrived here on a three-day visit. EAM @SushamSwaraj calls on Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Al Nahyan," external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted with pictures of the two leaders. Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol as he received the crown prince on his arrival here.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday greeted the Iranian government and its people on the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in their country. "On behalf of the government and the people of India and on my own behalf, it is with great pleasure that I convey warm greetings and best wishes to Your Excellency and to the government and people of Iran on the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran," the president said. The president extended his greetings in a message to his Iranian counterpart Dr Hassan Rouhani.
South Korea announced on Wednesday it would completely shut down all operations at a jointly run industrial park in North Korea to punish Pyongyang for its latest rocket launch and nuclear test. WHAT IS KAESONG? Kaesong is formally labelled as a special administrative industrial region of North Korea.
Rabat, Feb 11 (IANS) Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salaheddine Mezouar said on Wednesday that his country supports Saudi Arabia against any interference in its internal affairs. "We reiterate our full support of Saudi Arabia against any interference in its internal affairs," Xinhua quoted Mezouar as saying during a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir. Mezouar said Morocco also stands with Saudi Arabia against the growing threats that undermine peace and stability in the Gulf region, and "firmly rejects any use of sectarianism as a tactic to interfere in Gulf countries' affairs".
United Nations, Feb 10 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned of the danger of the Islamic State spreading its tentacles to South Asia through organisations like the Tehreek-e-Khilafat in Pakistan and called for international action against the grave threat. The Islamic State now controls swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, but Ban said, "The recent expansion of the ISIL sphere of influence across West and North Africa, the Middle East and South and South-East Asia demonstrates the speed and scale at which the gravity of the threat has evolved in just 18 months." "In Afghanistan and Pakistan, ISIL continues to develop a network of contacts and sympathisers who carry out attacks in its name," Ban said.
Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said Wednesday he had lost an appeal against his exclusion from elections for the powerful Assembly of Experts. "Based on news we have received, Sayyad Hassan Khomeini's qualification for candidacy for the Assembly of Experts has once again not been approved by the Guardian Council," he wrote on instant messaging service Telegram. The Guardian Council, a conservative-dominated committee that decides who can run for public office, has barred hundreds of candidates from standing for the assembly on February 26, the same day as parliamentary polls.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday launched a bitter attack on NATO ally the United States over its support of Syrian Kurdish groups, saying it was creating a "pool of blood" in the region. In an impassioned and sometimes angry address, Erdogan asked whether the United States was an ally or was working with groups Ankara lists as terror organisations. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia to be terror groups allied to Kurdish rebels inside Turkey, a position not shared by Washington.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) The BJP on Wednesday sought Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's resignation after the Delhi High Court set aside a trial court order to the CBI to release documents seized during a raid at the state secretariat. In an order on Wednesday, Justice P.S. Teji said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will retain the documents seized by it during a raid at the office of Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to Kejriwal, on December 15, last year. "The Bharatiya Janata Party welcomes the high court decision.
The UAE and India are set to unveil a series of new agreements which will strengthen their strategic partnership in new areas, a top Indian official said, as His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, began a three-day official visit to India on Wednesday. The memoranda of understanding (MoUs) that will be signed between the two countries range from infrastructure investment, cooperation between financial and insurance agencies and renewable energy to cyber security, forging stronger cultural links and exchange of skill sets, Anil Wadhwa, Secretary East, Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said on Wednesday.
(Repeats Tuesday item) * Namazi was left behind in U.S.-Iran prisoner swap * Prisoner advocated U.S.-Iran rapprochement through business * Dubai-based executive may be pawn in Iran power struggle By Paul Taylor BRUSSELS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - When Iran and the United States sealed the implementation of a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear programme with a prisoner exchange last month, Siamak Namazi was among the detainees some expected to be freed by the Iranian authorities. The businessman with dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship was on a list of four prisoners to be released published by the official Islamic Republic News Agency and the Tabnak website on the day of the swap, Jan. 16. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters the following day he had commitments from Iran that Namazi's case would be resolved.
New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS/WAM) Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is on a three-day visit to India, on Thursday visited Rajghat and laid a wreath at the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Sheikh Mohamed, who observed a minute's silence in respect, also planted a sapling at the site and watered a tree that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had planted on a visit to India. "The world is in much need today for the principles and values that Gandhi lived by," Sheikh Mohamed wrote in the guestbook.
Long seen as a destination strewn with shortcomings, Iran is making a fresh pitch for tourists, with the recent lifting of economic sanctions providing an opportunity to cash in. The tourism industry has been overlooked by successive governments in Tehran but the deal Iran struck with world powers over its nuclear programme last summer could change that. Along with nine companions including Americans and Germans, China-based Frenchman Yannick Lequelenec said he aims to make "one unique journey" every year.
* Says U.S. stance turning region into "sea of blood" * Says Turkey should respond with own proposed solution * U.S. envoy summoned over support for Syrian Kurds * Turkish army says soldier killed in clash with Kurds (Adds Erdogan comments on safe zone) By Daren Butler ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan upbraided the United States for its support of Syrian Kurdish rebels on Wednesday, saying Washington's inability to grasp their true nature had turned the region into a "sea of blood". Turkey should respond by implementing its own solution, he said, alluding to the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria - something Ankara has long wanted but a proposal that has failed to resonate with the United States and other NATO allies.
(Releads with Security Council meeting, Syrian minister, reports from aid workers) * Kerry seeking ceasefire, access for aid * Major powers meeting in Munich on Thursday * Little hope of breakthrough * Source says Russia pushing for battlefield victory * Syria says no halt to offensive By Michelle Nichols, Tom Perry and Humeyra Pamuk UNITED NATIONS/DAMASCUS/ONCUPINAR, Turkey, Feb 10 (Reuters) - W orld powers pressed Russia on Wednesday to stop bombing around Aleppo in support of a Syrian government offensive to recapture the city and a Western official said Moscow had presented a proposal envisaging a truce in three weeks' time. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a ceasefire and more aid access to Aleppo, where rebel-held areas are being cut off and the United Nations has warned a new humanitarian disaster could be on the way.
Abu Dhabi, Feb 10 (IANS/WAM) The cooperation between India and the UAE in the energy sector is expected to grow following the visit to India of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, beginning Wednesday. The visit comes six months after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to strengthen bilateral ties and increase investments between the two countries.
* Kerry pushing for ceasefire * Major powers meeting in Munich this week * Source says Russia pushing for battlefield win * Syria says offensive will continue By John Irish and Louis Charbonneau PARIS/UNITED NATIONS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Major powers meeting in Germany on Thursday aim to revive Syria peace efforts, but with Russia backing a government push for a military victory, opposition delegates and Western officials see little hope of a diplomatic breakthrough. United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura halted the first attempt to negotiate an end to Syria's war in two years after an unprecedented offensive by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Western-backed rebels supported by Russian air strikes.
(Corrects headline to U.S from U.N.) PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday questioned the commitment of the United States to resolving the crisis in Syria, saying its "ambiguous" policy was contributing to the problem. "There are the ambiguities including among the actors of the coalition ... I'm not going to repeat what I've said before about the main pilot of the coalition," Fabius told reporters. "But we don't have the feeling that there is a very strong commitment that is there." Fabius, who separately announced on Wednesday that he was leaving the French government, as expected, said he did not expect U.S. President Barack Obama to change his stance in the coming months.
Egypt's stock market fell in early trade on Thursday, erasing the previous day's gain as global bourses sagged, while Saudi Arabia's index was headed for a third straight day of losses after oil slid back near $30. Cairo's main index fell 1.0 percent in the first 30 minutes with Egypt's largest bank by market value, Commercial International Bank, dropping 1.6 percent after it recorded fourth-quarter net profit of 1.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($192 million), up 11 percent from a year earlier. Orascom Telecom was down 1.8 percent.
By Warren Strobel WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Libya needs to form a unified government before the United States and European allies opt for any military intervention against thousands of Islamic State fighters in the chaotic North African country, Egypt's foreign minister said on Tuesday. "This has to be a Libyan-led process," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Reuters in an interview, while acknowledging that efforts to forge a single government from two rivals in neighboring Libya have been "difficult." U.S. counter-terrorism officials have been alarmed at the growth of an Islamic State affiliate in Libya, where it has amassed thousands of fighters, seized a coastal strip that includes the city of Sirte and attacked oil infrastructure.
ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Here are news, reports and events that may affect Turkish financial markets on Wednesday. The lira stood at 2.9384 against the dollar at 0558 GMT, firming from 2.9406 late on Tuesday. The main share index fell 0.82 percent to 71,415 points on Tuesday. The benchmark 10-year government bond yield stood at 10.80 percent at the spot close on Tuesday and was at 10.81 percent in Wednesday-dated trade. ...
Saudi Arabia's Bank Albilad plans to issue 1 to 2 billion riyals ($267-533 million) of sukuk by the end of the second quarter of 2016 to finance expansion, chief executive Khaled al-Jasser told CNBC Arabia. The bank plans to open 25 new branches and hire more employees, which Jasser said would likely increase costs this year by 15 to 17 percent. Given weak market conditions, Jasser said the bank would prefer not to distribute dividends at the moment.
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) At a time when the global technology giants are set to leverage the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for your daily lives -- from taking care of businesses to fulfilling your personal needs -- India seems to be reluctant to get on to this bus. When Amit Singhal -- an India-born techie who joined Google nearly 15 years ago practically reigning at Google Search since then -- decided to quit this month and hand the baton over to the head of the technology giant's artificial intelligence (AI) chief, the message was clear: AI was the future that had arrived. Amid all the brouhaha over machines acquiring near-human intelligence, is India ready to embrace the change?
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders-cruised to early victories in the first primary battleground of New Hampshire turning the nomination contests into a long drawn battle that may well stretch into spring. With his win, Trump, the brash real estate mogul and celebrity who had never run for public office before, recovering from his second place finish in Iowa caucuses, seemed to legitimise his status as the frontrunner among the Republicans. With about 80 percent results in shortly before midnight, Sanders had a double digit 59.9 per cent to 38.5 percent lead over Clinton, while Trump was sitting pretty among Republicans with 34.5 percent - more than double his nearest rival Ohio governor John Kasich with 16.4 percent.
Jerusalem, Feb 11 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the parliament on Wednesday that the situation is not yet right for a two-state solution aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a statement from his office read. In a speech during a special Knesset (parliament) session, Netanyahu said he supports the two-state solution, as he stated in his seminal 2009 Bar-Ilan speech in which he acknowledged it officially for the first time, but the Palestinians do not accept Israel's basic principles, Xinhua reported. "I have clarified what is needed to end the conflict between us and the Palestinians, acknowledgment and demilitarization," Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening, according to a statement from his office.
DUBAI, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf weakened in early trade on Wednesday after oil prices plunged 8 percent overnight, prompting some local investors to take short-term profits in equities. Dubai's index dropped 0.7 percent in the first hour of trade as Emaar Properties sank 2.2 percent. Some smaller real estate firms rose, however, with DAMAC Properties edging up 0.4 percent. Bahrain's Al Salam Bank rose 2.5 percent after it recommended a cash dividend of 5 fils per share for 2015, unchanged from the previous year despite a 33 percent drop in annual net profit. ...
* Rich Arab hunters pursue rare houbara, prized as aphrodisiac * Abduction of Qatari royals in Iraq desert highlights risks * Elite hunters say sport is key to their identity * But critics warn of dwindling global houbara population By Tom Finn DOHA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Every year the houbara bustard, a rare desert bird whose meat is prized by Arab sheikhs as an aphrodisiac, migrates from Central Asia to the far reaches of Iraq and Pakistan in search of a mild climate and a place to breed. Its arrival sets off another migration - as scores of wealthy Gulf Arabs descend on Iraq to hunt the bird with trained falcons through the winter months.
Washington, Feb 10 (IANS) Scientists at the US space agency NASA have discounted reports that an Indian bus driver in Tamil Nadu was killed by a meteorite, saying he was likely hit by a land based explosion. Online photographs of the site of the suspected meteorite hit in a college campus on Saturday were more consistent with "a land based explosion" than with something from space, the New York Times reported Tuesday citing NASA scientists. Witnesses described hearing an explosion, and police recovered a black, pockmarked stone from the site in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu.
Like thousands of other locals, the water plant employee can no longer make a living because she lives on land seized by pro-Russian insurgents but works in a government-run part of eastern Ukraine. "Closure of checkpoints has an immediate impact on people's lives, directly increasing hardship and humanitarian need," Neal Walker said immediately after the road was blocked off.
Melbourne, Feb 10 (IANS) A piece of legislation which would make the cultivation of medicinal marijuana legal throughout Australia will go before Federal parliament on Wednesday. The establishment of a nationwide cannabis cultivation scheme follows several Australian state governments setting up trials last year, aiming to produce medical-grade marijuana for treatment proposes, Xinhua news agency reported. Medicinal marijuana has long been hailed as a powerful pain-relief treatment from those suffering chronic diseases such as cancer, Dravet Syndrome, HIV/ AIDS, glaucoma and Parkinson's disease.
Yemen Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has thanked Saudi Arabia for standing by his country during tough times. Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, he said: “Our GCC brothers, particularly Saudi Arabia, stood by us in 2011, helping us draft a new constitution. Now with the Houthis refusing to commit to national reconciliation efforts, we have asked for the support of our neighbors to proceed with military intervention.