Middle East

Kuwaiti emir names top security official as crown prince

  KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (AFP) — Kuwait’s new emir, Sheikh Nawaf, on Wednesday named his half-brother Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah, a long-serving top security official, as crown prince. Sheikh Meshal, 80, has been deputy chief of the Kuwait National Guard since 2004, largely staying out of the political scene and away from disputes within the royal family. The Sabah ruling family “blessed” 83-year-old Sheikh Nawaf’s decision, the official Kuwait News Agency said Wednesday, a […]

Saudi to ease international flight restrictions Tuesday

  RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi Arabia will partially lift its suspension on international flights from Tuesday, the interior ministry said, six months after travel curbs were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The kingdom will end all restrictions on air, land and sea transport for Saudi citizens “after January 1” next year, the ministry added on Sunday, adding that an exact date will be announced in December. Gulf citizens and non-Saudis with valid […]

‘Pulse’ sparks hunt for survivor one month after Beirut blast

  by Layal Abu Rahal and Dylan Collins Agence France Presse BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — Rescuers resumed a search Friday for a possible survivor under the rubble in Beirut, buoyed by faint hopes of a miracle a month after a monster blast ripped through the city’s port. The cataclysmic August 4 explosion killed 191 people, making it Lebanon’s deadliest peacetime disaster. One month on, Lebanese across the grieving country observed a minute of silence on […]

Jordan summit still on after Iraq minister catches COVID-19: officials

  AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) — An Amman summit between Jordan, Iraq and Egypt will go ahead Tuesday, officials said, with extra precautions after Iraq’s telecommunications minister tested positive for COVID-19. Minister Arkan al-Shaybani and fellow Iraqi officials were tested upon landing in Amman on Friday and were put under confinement following the positive result, according to a statement by Jordan’s information minister Amjad al-Adayla. “This required implementing medical procedures put in place to protect the […]

Trump announces ‘historic peace agreement’ between Israel, UAE

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement, said Thursday that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had reached a peace agreement. The normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel is a “HUGE breakthrough” Trump tweeted, calling it a “Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends.” Speaking to reporters later, Trump suggested that more diplomatic breakthroughs between Israel and its Muslim neighbors in the region were expected. “Things […]

Rescuers scour Beirut blast zone as first arrests made

  by Hashem Osseiran and Jean-Marc Mojon Agence France Presse BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — Rescuers combed through the rubble of Beirut port Friday in a search for survivors watched breathlessly by relatives of the missing, after an investigation into the huge blast made its first arrests. Shock has turned to anger in Lebanon since Tuesday’s colossal explosion killed at least 153 people and devastated swathes of the capital, with security forces firing tear gas at […]

OFW who survives Beirut blasts describes ordeal

(Eagle News) — A Filipina overseas worker who survived the horrific blasts in Beirut, Lebanon early this week described the incident that had killed at least 149 people and injured around 5,000 more. Raquel Bautista, an OFW in Lebanon, was interviewed by EBC’s Eagle News Service Bureau in Lebanon, where she was hospitalized after being injured in the blasts. Bautista described how glass shards injured her arms and legs, but thankfully she did not suffer […]

Utter devastation as toll from Beirut monster blast tops 100

by Tony Gamal-Gabriel and Layal Abou Rahal Agence France Presse BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — Rescuers searched for survivors in Beirut Wednesday after a cataclysmic explosion at the port sowed devastation across entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 100 people, wounding thousands and plunging Lebanon deeper into crisis. The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse, was felt as far away as Cyprus, […]

Like an atomic bomb: Scenes of Beirut explosions that killed at least 100, wounded thousands

  (Eagle News) — These are just some of the scenes as provided by photos from Agence France Presse that showed the two enormous explosions which rocked Beirut’s port on Tuesday that killed at least 100 people and wounded thousands more. The explosions that shook distant buildings, with an enomous orange fireball seen in the sky, had “tornado-like shockwaves” that shattered windows kilometers away. Agence France Presse described the bloodied and dazedĀ  people wounded by […]

Trump says will bar TikTok from US

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he will bar fast-growing social media app TikTok from the United States as American authorities have raised concerns the service could be a tool for Chinese intelligence. US officials and lawmakers in recent weeks have voiced fears of the wildly popular video platform being used by Beijing for nefarious purposes, but the company has denied any links to the Chinese government. Media reports circulated earlier […]

Qatar coronavirus cases pass 100,000 mark

  DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — Qatar passed the milestone of 100,000 coronavirus cases on Monday, the health ministry said, as the country presses ahead with plans to re-open its economy. The gas-rich emirate has one of the world’s highest per capita infection rates with 100,345 people, 3.65 percent of its 2.75 million population, having tested positive for COVID-19. Almost 94,000 of those infected have recovered and 133 people have died, one of the lowest reported […]

PHL embassy in Kuwait suspends on-site ops until July 16 after employee tests positive for COVID-19

(Eagle News) — The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has suspended its on-site services after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement, the embassy said the suspension, effective July 2 and which will last until July 16, was in accordance with the protocols of the World Health Organization and the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health which require people in close contact with a COVID-19-positive to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Those with scheduled appointments […]