Without IMF bailout, is Lebanon heading for ‘hell’?

Beirut (AFP) Talks between crisis-hit Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund are deadlocked, and leaders reluctant to enact reforms. Without a vital multi-billion-dollar bailout, is Lebanon headed for "hell"? For months, the Mediterranean country has grappled with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic crisis since … Continue reading Without IMF bailout, is Lebanon heading for ‘hell’?

Bolsonaro says he feels ‘very well’, praises hydroxycholoroquine

Brasília (AFP) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has tested positive for COVID-19, said on Facebook Thursday that he was "very well" and again advocated the use of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine. Bolsonaro, 65, appeared in his weekly Facebook Live post at his official residence. He appeared to be in good shape and was not accompanied, … Continue reading Bolsonaro says he feels ‘very well’, praises hydroxycholoroquine

Dubai counts on pent-up demand for tourism comeback

Dubai (AFP) After a painful four-month tourism shutdown that ended this week, Dubai is betting pent-up demand will see the industry quickly bounce back, billing itself as a safe destination with the resources to ward off coronavirus. The emirate, which had 16.7 million visitors last year, opened its doors to tourists despite global travel restrictions … Continue reading Dubai counts on pent-up demand for tourism comeback

Yemen fuel supplies ‘weaponised’, putting millions at risk

Sanaa (AFP) A fuel shortage is blighting life in the swathes of Yemen controlled by Huthi rebels, cutting electricity supplies, halting water pumps and stranding people in need of medical care as warring sides trade blame. Energy scarcity is nothing new in a country ravaged by years of conflict, but queues at the pumps have … Continue reading Yemen fuel supplies ‘weaponised’, putting millions at risk

Three years after IS, slim funds keep Mosul in ruins

Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) Ahmed Hamed has dreamt of rebuilding his pulverised home in Iraq's Mosul from the moment government forces recaptured the city from jihadists in 2017. But three years on, it remains a pile of rubble. He is among tens of thousands of Iraqis who have filed claims to the Nineveh province's Subcommittee for … Continue reading Three years after IS, slim funds keep Mosul in ruins

Serbia drops plans for reimposed lockdown after days of violent protests

Thousands staged a sit-down rally in Belgrade on Thursday to object to any reimposition of coronavirus curbs and to voice opposition to the government, an even-tempered protest that contrasted sharply with riots in the past two days. Similar protests were also held in several Serbian cities and came hours after authorities dropped plans for a weekend lockdown … Continue reading Serbia drops plans for reimposed lockdown after days of violent protests

Malaysia police question Australian Al Jazeera journalists

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Malaysian police Friday called in a group of Australian journalists from Al Jazeera for questioning over a documentary about the arrest of migrants, as the broadcaster expressed shock at the investigation. The probe into the Qatar-based network's programme has added to concerns about a widening media crackdown in Malaysia since a coalition … Continue reading Malaysia police question Australian Al Jazeera journalists

US senators press Trump over detention of Saudi ex-spy’s children

Washington (AFP) Four US senators have urged President Donald Trump to help free the detained children of a former top Saudi intelligence official exiled in Canada, according to a joint letter released Thursday. Two adult children and a brother of Saad Aljabri, who is said to hold key state secrets, were detained in Riyadh in … Continue reading US senators press Trump over detention of Saudi ex-spy’s children

A trio of Mars missions in the starting blocks

Paris (AFP) "We have lift-off, we have lift-off!" The summer race to land a space probe on Mars is off to a hot start. Three countries -- The Hope Probe (United Arab Emirates), Tianwen-1 (China) and Mars 2020 (United States) -- have all taken their positions, hoping to take advantage of the period of time … Continue reading A trio of Mars missions in the starting blocks

Eyes on the stars: UAE’s Mars probe a first for the Arab world

Dubai (AFP) The oil-rich United Arab Emirates has built a nuclear power programme and sent a man to space, and now plans to join another elite club by sending a probe to Mars. Only the United States, India, the former Soviet Union, and the European Space Agency have successfully sent missions to orbit the Red … Continue reading Eyes on the stars: UAE’s Mars probe a first for the Arab world