Saturday, March 6

Timeline of Disaster and Displacement for Iraqi Christians

General
BAGHDAD - In Iraq, two decades of back-to-back conflicts have left ancient Christian communities that were once a vibrant and integral part of the landscape scattered and in ruins. Iraq was estimated to have nearly 1.5 million Christians before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. They date back to the first centuries of the religion and include Chaldean, Syriac, Assyrian and Armenian churches. Now, church officials estimate only a few hundred thousand, or even less, remain within Iraq's borders. The rest are scattered across the globe, resettling in far-flung places like Australia, Canada and Sweden, as well as neighboring countries. Many of those who remain in Iraq feel abandoned, bitter and helpless, some wary of neighbors with whom they once shared ...

Missile Strikes Hit Oil Refineries in Northern Syria; 1 Person Killed

General
BEIRUT - Missile strikes in northern Syria near the Turkish border killed one person and injured at least 11 others Friday, Turkish state media and a source from the Turkish-backed faction that controls the region said. Explosions rocked local oil refineries near the towns of al-Bab and Jarablus, sparking large fires, a witness and Turkey's state-owned Anadolu news agency said. The source in the National Army, which controls swaths of northwest Syria where Turkish troops have a presence, said missile strikes had caused the blasts, wounding 11 people. Anadolu said they were ballistic missiles and it was not clear who carried out the strikes, which it said injured 18 people. Turkey has backed fighters who sought to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, but the Syrian president, with Russian...

JAPAN SUPPORTS MUNICIPALITY OF GHOBEIRY THROUGH PROVIDING MEDICAL EQUIPMENT FOR ITS PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CENTER

Medical
The Embassy of Japan in Lebanon said on Friday that Japan would extend 89,900 US dollars in grant to Ghobeiry Healthcare Center to finance the project for enhancing its imaging and radiology services through procuring medical equipment. On March 4, 2021, Ambassador OKUBO Takeshi signed a grant contract with Mr. Maan Khalil, Mayor of the municipality of Ghobeiry. Ghobeiry Healthcare Center provides its community members equally regardless of their nationalities with comprehensive and accessible medical care. Considering a pivotal role the Center plays in securing healthcare for the vulnerable populations, Japan has decided to reinforce the Center through equipping its radiology department with advanced medical equipment. With the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Program...

EU ADOPTS €130 MILLION SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN JORDAN AND LEBANON

General
Yesterday, the European Union, via the Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis, adopted a €130 million assistance package to support Syrian refugees and local communities in Jordan and Lebanon in key areas such as social protection, healthcare services or waste management. For Lebanon, the funds will help also alleviating the consequences of the Beirut port blast, which affected both Syrian refugees and Lebanese people.   High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, said: "15 March 2021 sadly marks ten years since the start of the Syrian crisis. A tragic anniversary; one we would rather not have. The continuing conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic and a general regional economic deterioration have e...

Wall Street Closing

Business
New York, U.S. stocks fell sharply Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell failed to reassure investors that the central bank would keep surging bond yields and inflation expectations under control. The heavy losses pushed the Nasdaq into negative territory for 2021, and the technology-heavy index fell into correction territory, down more than 10 percent from its recent high. In U.S. economic news, jobless claims rose slightly less than expected to an extremely high 745,000 last week, indicating continuing layoffs despite increasing Covid-19 vaccinations and an improving economy. The U.S. dollar rose versus a basket of other currencies following Powell’s remarks. Gold dropped to near a nine-month low, pressured by gains in the dollar and Treasury yields after Powel...

384 New Confirmed Covid-19 Cases, 309 Recoveries Reported, in Saudi Arabia

Medical
Riyadh, The Ministry of Health announced, in a statement here today, that 384 new confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) have been reported, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number to 379,092, including 2,651 active cases undergoing treatment. Of these, there are 509 critical cases, while the health condition of the rest is stable. It added that 5 new deaths have been reported; putting the tally of fatalities, at 6,519. Meanwhile, as many as 309 cases have recovered, raising recoveries' toll to 369,922. On the other hand, 52,737 new laboratory tests were conducted, in the last 24-hour, across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.   Source: Saudi Press Agency