Israel Says “No” to Middle East Peace Conference in Paris

JERUSALEM, Nov 7 – Israel on Monday formally rejected France’s invitation to take part in a Middle East peace conference in Paris later this year, saying it was a distraction from the goal of direct negotiations with the Palestinians. At a meeting in Jerusalem with Israel’s acting national security adviser and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s… Continue reading Israel Says “No” to Middle East Peace Conference in Paris

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As Calais ‘Jungle’ Closes, Women Migrants in Smaller Camps Fear Influx

NORRENT-FONTES, France, Oct 25 – At a small, muddy makeshift migrant camp in the quiet countryside of Norrent-Fontes, some 70 kilometres (43 miles) from Calais in northern France, Ethiopian and Eritrean women prepare to cook injera, a type of flatbread, for their lunch. Inside a wooden shack lined with mattresses and belongings hanging in plastic… Continue reading As Calais ‘Jungle’ Closes, Women Migrants in Smaller Camps Fear Influx

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Vast Moroccan Solar Power Plant is Hard Act for Africa to Follow

OUARZAZATE, Morocco, Nov 6 – On the edge of the Sahara desert, Morocco is building one of the world’s biggest solar power plants in a project largely funded by the European Union. It is a hard success for other African nations to match as they seek to implement a new global deal to combat climate… Continue reading Vast Moroccan Solar Power Plant is Hard Act for Africa to Follow

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Lebanon’s Ice Cream King

Nearly seven decades ago, a young man launched his own sweets parlor on a narrow street in eastern Beirut’s upscale Achrafieh district in 1949. Hana Mitri Moussa stands in front of the shop his father opened back in 1949. Nothing has changed about Al Salam since then, including his family’s secret recipe for the ice… Continue reading Lebanon’s Ice Cream King

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In a West Bank Refugee Camp, Political Struggle Turns to Violence

BALATA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank, Nov 3 – Hundreds of bullet holes scar the concrete walls, shop fronts and trash-strewn alleys of Balata, the West Bank’s largest refugee camp, the result of furious clashes earlier this week between Palestinian security forces and local gunmen. The heavily armed force came before dawn on Monday, hunting for… Continue reading In a West Bank Refugee Camp, Political Struggle Turns to Violence

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The Real War-Torn Yemen

In 2014, Iran-backed Houthi rebels (also known as Ansar Allah) launched an offensive that took over most of northern Yemen, an event which was followed by a series of negotiations under pressure from neighboring countries to back off. One year later, on March 26, 2015, operation Decisive Storm, a military campaign spearheaded by Saudi Arabia that… Continue reading The Real War-Torn Yemen

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Qatar’s Abu Issa Holding to Enter Iran Retail Market in 2017

DOHA, Oct 31 – Abu Issa Holding, one of the largest retail and luxury goods firms in the Middle East, plans to expand into Iran next year and open stores in Tehran selling watches and confectionery as the market opens up after sanctions. The family-run Qatari firm is an example of a Gulf Arab business… Continue reading Qatar’s Abu Issa Holding to Enter Iran Retail Market in 2017

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Pope Heads to Sweden to Commemorate Martin Luther

VATICAN CITY, Oct 31 – Pope Francis goes to Sweden on Monday to help start commemorations of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation, a trip that has won him praise from Lutherans but criticism from Catholic conservatives. Martin Luther, a German, started the Reformation in 1517 when he wrote 95 theses criticising the Catholic… Continue reading Pope Heads to Sweden to Commemorate Martin Luther

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Women Lawmakers Face Discrimination, Violence on Job – Report

GENEVA, Oct 26 – Women members of parliament (MPs) in all regions face sexism, harassment and violence from male lawmakers and are increasingly targeted by online humiliation campaigns, a report said on Wednesday. The first study on the issue by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) follows scandals in France and other countries where women have denounced… Continue reading Women Lawmakers Face Discrimination, Violence on Job – Report

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Yemeni Graffiti Artists Hope Images Will Highlight War Horrors

SANAA, Oct 25 – Yemeni street artists are daubing the capital’s walls with haunting images of war and starving children in an effort to highlight the impact conflict is having on the country’s population. The graffiti, including a malnourished child locked in a blood-red coffin, is turning heads in a country where more than two… Continue reading Yemeni Graffiti Artists Hope Images Will Highlight War Horrors

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Business Outlook: All Eyes on the Central Bank

September will be a busy month for investors given that nearly thirty main central bank meetings are scheduled this month. Since the Bank of England’s (BoE) last policy announcement, the total monthly amount in official global Quantitative Easing (QE) has reached almost 200 billion dollars, which corresponds to the cost of the war in Syria… Continue reading Business Outlook: All Eyes on the Central Bank

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Plane Crashes After Take-Off in Malta, Killing All Five on Board

VALLETTA, Oct 24  – A light aircraft crashed after taking off from Malta’s main airport early on Monday, killing all five people on board, officials there said, in the island nation’s worst peacetime air accident. Airport sources initially said the plane was believed to be carrying officials from European Union border agency Frontex. But the… Continue reading Plane Crashes After Take-Off in Malta, Killing All Five on Board

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Britain, France seek EU Condemnation of Russia Over Syria

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 17 – Britain and France sought to persuade the European Union on Monday to condemn Russia’s devastating air campaign in Syria and pave the way for imposing more sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad’s government. After a weekend of U.S.-led diplomacy that failed to find a breakthrough, EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg to… Continue reading Britain, France seek EU Condemnation of Russia Over Syria

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Merkel says Should Consider Protected Zones for Yazidis in Northern Iraq

PADERBORN, Germany, Oct 16 –  German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday plans should be considered to give Yazidis in Iraq protected areas to retreat to in the north of the country. “The plans are not finished yet, I’ll be honest with you, but they are on the agenda,” Merkel told a conference of the… Continue reading Merkel says Should Consider Protected Zones for Yazidis in Northern Iraq

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The Power of Gender Parity

Women’s workforce participation is vital for socioeconomic growth, yet gender inequality remains a critical issue worldwide. If women were to participate in the economy on par with men, their contribution would add $28 trillion, or 26 percent, to the global economy in 2025. This is roughly the combined size of the economies of the U.S.… Continue reading The Power of Gender Parity

Middle East’s Smart Cities

The formation of the first cities more than 9,000 years ago, stands as civilization’s greatest milestone. Yet, it was technological innovation—the invention of the wheel—that made agriculture, farming and by extension, civilization itself, possible. That same spirit of technological innovation has, throughout the ages, continued to transform our cities and way of life, culminating in… Continue reading Middle East’s Smart Cities

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Trump as President Would Pose Global Danger, UN Rights Boss Warns

GENEVA, Oct 12 – Republican nominee Donald Trump becoming president of the United States would present a global danger, the top United Nations human rights official said on Wednesday. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein cited Trump’s views on vulnerable communities including minorities and his talk of using torture, banned under… Continue reading Trump as President Would Pose Global Danger, UN Rights Boss Warns

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Aleppo Fighting Spreads Amid Accusations of Gas Attack

AMMAN/BEIRUT, Oct 31 – Syrian rebels opened a new front in Aleppo as fighting spread on the third day of a major insurgent counter-attack to break the government’s siege of the opposition-held part of the city, and each side accused the other of using poison gas. The rebels, including both Free Syrian Army factions and… Continue reading Aleppo Fighting Spreads Amid Accusations of Gas Attack

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Iraq Commemorates Shi’ite Mourning Amid Preparations to Attack Mosul

KERBALA, Iraq, Oct 13 – Millions of Shi’ite Muslims flocked to Iraq’s holy city of Kerbala on Wednesday to commemorate Ashura, a religious day marking the slaying of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussein in the 7th century AD in a revolt against the Umayyad ruler Yazeed. Visitors came from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Gulf as… Continue reading Iraq Commemorates Shi’ite Mourning Amid Preparations to Attack Mosul

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