Middle East


Saudi Aramco half-year profits plunge 50% from virus impact Sunday, August 9th, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates:- Saudi Aramco’s net income plunged by 50% in the first half of the year, according to figures published Sunday, offering a revealing glimpse into the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on one of the world’s biggest oil producers. Profits for the first six months of..

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Iran launches underground ballistic missiles during exercise Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

By AMIR VAHDAT and JON GAMBRELL, TEHRAN, Iran (AP):- Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched underground ballistic missiles Wednesday as part of an exercise involving a mock-up American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, highlighting its network of subterranean bases. Although..

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Yemen: Four dead in Sanaa hotel collapse Monday, July 27th, 2020

SANAA, (AFP):- A hotel near the Yemeni capital Sanaa’s historical district has collapsed, killing four people and leaving another three wounded, medical sources and local media said on Tuesday. Rescuers from the civil defence department were searching through the debris to try to find survivors,..

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Israeli police use water cannons on protesters, arrest 55 Friday, July 24th, 2020

By ARIEL SCHALIT, JERUSALEM (AP):- Israeli police used water cannons to disperse protesters in central Jerusalem and arrested at least 55 of them as clashes broke out overnight after thousands staged a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israelis have held a series of..

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Swapping the stage for a deli: Israel underemployment rises Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

By ISAAC SCHARF and TIA GOLDENBERG, TEL AVIV, Israel (AP):- A year ago, Cijay Brightman was doing sound and lighting for a Madonna performance in Israel. Now, after the coronavirus wiped out live events, he’s making sandwiches, slicing cheese and serving customers at a Tel Aviv deli. Brightman..

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Families step in at Kabul COVID-19 ward to care for patients Sunday, July 19th, 2020

By TAMEEM AKHGAR, KABUL, Afghanistan (AP):- The intensive care unit at the Afghan capital’s premier hospital for COVID-19 patients is a medical nightmare — and a stark warning how the country’s war-ravaged health care system risks collapsing. Family members, without protective equipment and..

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Lebanon looks to China as US, Arabs refuse to help in crisis Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

By BASSEM MROUE, BEIRUT (AP):- Facing a worsening economic crisis and with little chance of Western or oil-rich Arab countries providing assistance without substantial reforms, Lebanon’s cash-strapped government is looking east, hoping to secure investments from China that could bring..

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UN to hold crisis talks as decaying Yemen tanker risks disaster Sunday, July 12th, 2020

DUBAI, (AFP):- An abandoned oil tanker lying off Yemen's coast with 1.1 million barrels of crude on board is deteriorating badly and could rupture at any time, with disastrous results for Red Sea marine life, UN and other experts warn. The 45-year-old FSO Safer is anchored off the port of Hodeida..

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Turkey’s president formally makes Hagia Sophia a mosque Friday, July 10th, 2020

By SUZAN FRASER, ISTANBUL, (AP):- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday formally reconverted Istanbul’s sixth-century iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque and declared it open to Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had turned it into a museum. The..

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Jerusalem offers a grim model for a post-annexation future Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

By JOSEPH KRAUSS, JERUSALEM (AP):- It’s hard to say what exactly will change in the West Bank if Israel follows through on its plans to annex parts of the occupied territory, but east Jerusalem, which was annexed more than a half-century ago, may provide some answers. Israeli leaders paint..

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Iraqi extremism expert Hisham Al Hashemi killed Monday, July 6th, 2020

BAGHDAD, (AFP):- Renowned extremism expert Hisham Al Hashemi was shot outside his home in Baghdad on Monday and died shortly thereafter at a local hospital, Iraqi officials told AFP. Al Hashemi was an authoritative voice on extremist factions including Daesh, but was also frequently consulted by..

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Iran confirms damaged nuclear site was centrifuge facility Sunday, July 5th, 2020

TEHRAN, Iran (AP):- Iran on Sunday confirmed that a damaged building at the underground Natanz nuclear site was a new centrifuge assembly center, the official IRNA news agency reported. Iranian officials had previously sought to downplay the fire, which erupted early on Thursday, calling it only..

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Israeli leader’s son takes center stage in corruption sagas Saturday, July 4th, 2020

By ARON HELLER, JERUSALEM (AP):- As scandal-plagued Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands trial for corruption, his 28-year-old son has emerged as a driving force in a counterattack against critics and the state institutions prosecuting the longtime Israeli leader. A favorite of the prime..

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Iran will not disclose cause of mysterious nuclear site fire Friday, July 3rd, 2020

By JON GAMBRELL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP):- An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident — even as Tehran..

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Analysts: Fire at Iran nuke site hit new centrifuge facility Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

By JON GAMBRELL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP):- A fire and an explosion struck a building above Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early on Thursday, a site that U.S.-based analysts identified as a new centrifuge production plant. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran..

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Lebanon’s plea to skeptical expats: Come visit, bring cash Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

By ZEINA KARAM,BEIRUT (AP):- With Beirut’s airport partially reopening from a three-month virus shutdown, the government is hoping thousands of Lebanese expatriates will return for the summer — and bring dollars desperately needed to prop up the crashing economy. But Lebanon’s far-flung..

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