Saturday, January 19
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Arab economic summit work begins with meeting for ministerial follow up committee

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Work commenced Friday on the Fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Beirut at 9 a.m. with a closed-door session of the ministerial follow-up committee at the Phoenicia Hotel in the presence of Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit, Lebanon's caretaker Economy Minister Raed Khoury and the representatives of the member states. During the session, Lebanon's organization of the summit was discussed. A joint meeting will be held between foreign ministers and relevant ministers of the Socioeconomic Preparatory Council for the summit at the Phoenicia Hotel at 2 p.m. The open-door session will include speeches from: the head of the delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the president of the third summit; head of the Lebanese delegation, president of the current summi...

US Envoy: Taliban Must Engage Afghan Government

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ISLAMABAD, A high-level U.S. diplomat responsible for negotiations with the Taliban made it clear the insurgent group would have to engage with the Afghan government if they wanted the peace process to move forward."The road to peace will require the Taliban to sit with the Afghan government. There is a consensus among all the regional partners on this point," Zalmay Khalilzad, the special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, told a group of journalists Wednesday in Kabul.The Taliban's refusal to engage directly with the sitting administration in Kabul seems to have become a stumbling block in negotiations that started last year, after U.S. diplomats gave in to a major Taliban demand and met them directly.So far, the Taliban have held several meetings with the Americans.The last ...

Hariri sends message to Rouhani demanding release of Zakka

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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri received today at the Center House the Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon Emmanuelle Lamoureux, in the presence of World Bank regional director Saroj Kumar Jha and the vice-president of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Abir Chbaro.After the meeting, Ambassador Lamoureux said: "The regional director of the World Bank and myself just had a very fruitful meeting with Prime Minister Hariri to discuss the Mashreq Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment which will take place this Saturday in Beirut and will bring together representatives of Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon along with private sector and civil society representatives. We think the conference will be an opportunity to support the increased engagement of women in the economy of these three count...

Investigation Topics Planned by House Democrats

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When the Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, the new committee chairs said they would use their role of oversight to begin investigating the controversies and scandals regarding President Donald Trump's businesses, campaign and administration. Russia inquiry*At least four House committees plan to look into aspects of the Russian election interference investigation � Intelligence, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, and Judiciary. However, none plan to reopen a full-scale investigation, since Democratic officials say special counsel Robert Mueller's probe is already doing that. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler says he will wait for Mueller to conclude his investigation before considering any possible impeachment inquiry.The lines of questi

Al-Halbousi holds a meeting with the Governor of Babylon and members of the Provincial Council to see the reality of the province

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BAGHDAD, Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohamed Al-Halbousi arrived in the governorate of Babylon with a parliamentary delegation and held a meeting with the governor and members of the provincial council.A brief statement by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives said that Al-Halbusi held a meeting with the governor and members of the provincial council to see the reality of the province."The Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohammed Al-Halbousi arrived in the province of Babylon yesterday evening.Source: National Iraqi News Agency

Aid agencies: Stocktaking after storm hit refugees in Lebanon hard, preparations for looming storm underway

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The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon issued the following statement on the work of relief agencies during the recent storm that hit Lebanon, particularly in assisting the affected refugees: "A violent storm - Storm "Norma" - hit Lebanon hard on the morning of Sunday 6 January, and continued raging until the early hours of Thursday 10 January. Several days of strong winds, snow and torrential rains have affected more than 570 informal tented sites all over the country, home to over 22,500 refugees. UNHCR, UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies, together with Lebanese authorities scrambled to attend to the needs of the affected Lebanese and refugees. The emergency response to the extreme weather conditions was coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and UN...

Aid agencies: Stocktaking after storm hit refugees in Lebanon hard, preparations for looming storm underway

General
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon issued the following statement on the work of relief agencies during the recent storm that hit Lebanon, particularly in assisting the affected refugees: "A violent storm - Storm "Norma" - hit Lebanon hard on the morning of Sunday 6 January, and continued raging until the early hours of Thursday 10 January. Several days of strong winds, snow and torrential rains have affected more than 570 informal tented sites all over the country, home to over 22,500 refugees. UNHCR, UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies, together with Lebanese authorities scrambled to attend to the needs of the affected Lebanese and refugees. The emergency response to the extreme weather conditions was coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and UN...

Saudi Woman Fleeing Family Travels to Canada for Asylum

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BANGKOK, A young Saudi woman who fled from her family out of fear for her life has left Thailand for Canada, where she has been granted asylum.Thai officials said Friday evening that 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun is en route to Toronto via Seoul, South Korea.Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that his country had granted Alqunun asylum and said the teenager had chosen to live in Canada.Several other countries, including Australia, had been in talks with the U.N.'s refugee agency to accept Alqunun's bid for asylum.Trudeau said that Canada was pleased to grant Alqunun asylum because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights and to stand up for women's rights around the world.Alqunun arrived in Bangkok last Saturday on a flight fr...

Stange: Syrian football team ready to meet Jordan

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Abu Dhabi, Coach Bernd Stange affirmed on Wednesday that the Syrian national football team is ready for its second match with Jordan, saying that the team doesn't suffer from any pressure even it drew with Palestine 0-0 in the first match.Syrian players will enter the game with determination to win and gain the three points, Stange said at a press conference.He added that team is in need for the three points to continue in the tournament of the Asian cup finals.Jordan leads group B with 3 points, Syria and Palestine each 1 point and Australia in the bottom with 0 points.Source: Syrian Arab News Agency