Lebanon’s Aoun urges more efforts to repatriate Syrian refugees

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese President Michel Aoun urged world powers on Sunday to “make all efforts” to enable Syrian refugees to return home, regardless of any political solution to the war there. Lebanese President Michel Aoun talks during the Arab Economic and Social Development summit meeting in Beirut, Lebanon January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aziz Taher Aoun

Yemeni refinery fire spreads to second storage tank: sources

ADEN (Reuters) – A fire at a refinery in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden spread to a second storage tank on Saturday, injuring six people, sources at the refinery said. They told Reuters that civil defense forces had failed to contain the fire sparked by an explosion on Friday. The cause of the blast

Runaway Saudi woman reaches her new home in Canada

Tired but smiling, an 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if deported back home arrived Saturday in Canada, which offered her asylum in a case that attracted global attention after she mounted a social media campaign. “This is Rahaf Alqunun, a very brave new Canadian,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said arm-in-arm with the

Both sides largely sticking to Yemen ceasefire, more progress needed: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Both sides in the conflict in Yemen have largely stuck to a ceasefire agreed last month, but substantial progress is still needed before more talks can be held on ending the war, the U.N. special representative to the country said on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO: U.N. envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is

Thailand halts plan to expel Saudi teen barricaded in her hotel room

BANGKOK/DUBAI (Reuters) – Thailand halted plans on Monday to expel an 18-year-old Saudi woman fleeing her family after she barricaded herself inside an airport hotel to prevent immigration officials putting her on a flight to Kuwait. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, a Saudi woman who claims to be fleeing her country and family, speaks in a room

Rights group urges Thailand not to return Saudi woman fleeing family

BANGKOK/DUBAI (Reuters) – A human rights group urged Thai authorities on Monday to halt plans to deport an 18-year-old Saudi woman who says she is fleeing abuse from her family and fears they will kill her if she is returned home. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, a Saudi woman who claims to be fleeing her country and

UAE court upholds 10-year jail sentence of activist Mansoor: sources

DUBAI (Reuters) – A United Arab Emirates appeals court upheld a 10-year jail sentence against pro-democracy campaigner Ahmed Mansoor for criticizing the government on social media, two sources familiar with the case said on Monday. A trade and tourism hub, the UAE is an absolute monarchy which tolerates little public criticism. Mansoor, an electrical engineer

No embassy move announced as Brazil’s Bolsonaro hosts Israel’s Netanyahu

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and while both pledged to deepen ties, there was no announcement as some anticipated of Brazil moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a

Bahrain says work in Syria embassy ‘continuing’: BNA

DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain’s embassy in Damascus and the Syrian diplomatic mission in Manama have been operating “without interruption”, the Bahraini foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday, a day after the United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Syria. The reopening of the UAE’s mission was a diplomatic boost for Syrian President Bashar

UAE reopens Syria embassy, a boost for Assad

DAMASCUS/DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus on Thursday, marking a big diplomatic boost for President Bashar al-Assad from a U.S.-allied Arab state that once backed rebels fighting him. A man works on the emblem of the United Arab Emirates embassy in Damascus during its reopening, Syria December 27, 2018.

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