Iran denied the report, saying there were no al Qaeda “terrorists” on its soil. MORE SANCTIONSPompeo has accused Iran of links to al Qaeda in the past but has not provided concrete evidence. “There have been times the Iranians have worked alongside al Qaeda,” then CIA director Pompeo said in October 2017. But reports have surfaced over the years of al Qaeda operatives hiding out in Iran. Shi’ite Iran and al Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim militant organization, have long been sectarian foes.
January 12, 2021 08:15 UTC
JERUSALEM (AP) — A leading Israeli human rights group has begun describing both Israel and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single “apartheid” regime, using an explosive term that the country’s leaders and their supporters vehemently reject. Israel withdrew troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but imposed a blockade after the militant Hamas group seized power there two years later. It considers the West Bank “disputed” territory whose fate should be determined in peace talks. Israel adamantly rejects the term, saying the restrictions it imposes in Gaza and the West Bank are temporary measures needed for security. Israel has full control over 60% of the West Bank.
January 12, 2021 06:11 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — After days out of sight following the Capitol siege, President Donald Trump travels to Texas to trumpet one of the pillars of his presidency: his campaign against illegal immigration. Trump will be flying Tuesday to Alamo, Texas, a city in the Rio Grande Valley near the US-Mexican border. In the end, his administration has overseen the construction of roughly 450 miles of border wall construction — likely reaching 475 miles by Inauguration Day. The vast majority of that wall replaces smaller barriers that had already existed, though the new wall is considerably more difficult to bypass. Their efforts were aided in his final year by the coronavirus pandemic, which ground international travel to a halt.
January 12, 2021 05:37 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US military has not halted a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Department of Defense told Reuters on Monday, despite a new law prohibiting further reductions without the Pentagon sending Congress an assessment of the risks. “If they are continuing the drawdown, that would be a violation of the law,” said a congressional aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Halting the drawdown could jeopardize the US-backed Afghanistan peace process as a February 2019 agreement with the Taliban calls for a complete U.S. troop withdrawal by May in return for the insurgents fulfilling security guarantees. In November, the Pentagon said it would reduce the number of US forces in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January. The Pentagon said it was “evaluating” the impact the legislation would have on US troop strength in Afghanistan.
January 12, 2021 02:26 UTC
Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — after the deadly Capitol riot in an impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday. “President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads the four-page impeachment bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is summoning lawmakers back to Washington for votes, and Democrats aren’t the only ones who say Trump needs to go. Their Democrats’ House resolution was blocked by Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is calling for congressional action to rein in President Donald Trump after inciting last week’s deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.
January 12, 2021 01:52 UTC
An employee shows the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital in New York, U.S., December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File PhotoCAIRO - 12 January 2020: According to a statement released by the Health Ministry that 961 new coronavirus cases were detected, upping the total number of confirmed cases to 150,753. Spokesman for the Health Ministry Khaled Megahed said 52 patients have died from the virus over the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 8,249. The fund is cooperating with a number of NGOs to register the number of the villages and families who deserve the vaccine, he continued. The fund provided food and humanitarian assistance to 660,000 families in the first wave of the Coronavirus, besides providing ventilators and quantities of sterilization and disinfection tools, Mukhtar said.
January 11, 2021 22:52 UTC
“We have repeatedly told the Korean side that politicizing the case would not help resolve the case,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said. He said South Korean officials could assign an attorney to handle its case and present evidence in court. The crew, including sailors from Indonesia, Myanmar, South Korea and Vietnam, remain in custody at the port city of Bandar Abbas near the Strait of Hormuz. “I told the South Korean delegation that Iran does not accept their pretexts,” said Hemmati, according to Iranian media. Hemmati said he believed the South Korean delegation was determined to solve the problem.
January 11, 2021 18:45 UTC
CAIRO – 11 January 2021: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi affirmed the need to resume peace process at the international political level, while taking into consideration the latest international and regional political developments, the Presidency said. This came as he met in Cairo on Monday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The president also stressed Egypt’s ongoing efforts toward the Palestinian cause, as one of the constants of the Egyptian policy and the core of issues of the Middle East, the statement read. Foreign ministers of Jordan, France and Germany all expressed appreciation to Egypt’s efforts in backing the Palestinian cause. The meetings aim at urging the Palestinian and Israeli sides to negotiate to reach a comprehensive, fair political solution to the crisis.
January 11, 2021 18:11 UTC
The Egyptian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General, Ahmed Khaled Saeed on Monday attended a ceremony celebrating the arrival of the first Egyptian made Gowind-class frigate to join the Egyptian Navy fleet. The Navy fleet is witnessing a huge technological breakthrough in armament systems and combat efficiency, in line with the latest international systems. Here are seven facts about the Egyptian navy’s latest addition:Has been called the “Frigate Port Said.”Built at the Alexandria Shipyard Company. The working hours in its construction hit 650,000 hours, in addition to work hours needed to support production estimated at about 110,000 hours. The frigate has a high-capacity multiple electronic and combat monitoring system allowing it to monitor, track and engage with air, surface and subsurface targets.
January 11, 2021 14:03 UTC
Egyptian actress Dina el-Sherbiny began filming the first scenes of her upcoming TV series “Qasr al-Nile”, scheduled to be shown during Ramadan 2021. Egypt’s Youm7 reported that the series, directed by Khaled Marai, stars Sherbiny as an aristocratic girl in the 1960s. Actors Riham Abdel Ghafour, Salah Abdallah, Sabri Fawaz, Mahmoud al-Bezawi, Ahmed Khaled Saleh, Narden Fag, Ahmed Magdy, Amro al-Saed, Nabil Essa, and Mariam al-Khesht will play alongside Sherbiny in the series. Sherbiny has appeared in over 30 TV shows and movies, including “Thanya Wahda” starring Mostafa Khater, and directed by Akram Farid, the 2016 Ramadan series “Grand Hotel”, and 2017’s Ramadan series “Asham Ebles”. More recently, she was featured in the Ramadan 2020 series “Lebet al-Nessian”, starring Mahmoud Qabil, Enji al-Mokadm, and Ragaa el-Gedawy and the movie “March 30th” starring Ahmed el-Fishawy and Nilly Karim.
January 11, 2021 13:39 UTC
Egypt’s Health and Population Ministry issued a warning on Monday that smoking increases the risk of respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza, the common cold, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Studies also indicate that smoking in women and breast cancer are linked, the ministry added, with smoking significantly increasing the risk of developing several types of cancer. Even non-smokers are unsafe, with the ministry stating that the risk of lung cancer and coronary heart disease can increase just by inhaling smoke. The ministry added that secondhand smoke causes 100,000 premature deaths annually from non-smokers, including men, women and children, explaining that chemicals within tobacco smoke contains 40 substances that cause cancer. In an interview with Ahmed Mousa on his TV show “Ala Masaolity” (On My Responsibility), Jabbour explained that smoking can lead to increased risk of chronic diseases.
January 11, 2021 12:56 UTC
Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. The Palestinians view settlements as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace, a position with wide international support. The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry condemned the latest announcement, accusing Israel of “racing against time” to build settlements before President Donald Trump leaves office. Trump’s administration provided unprecedented support to Israel, including by abandoning a decades-old US policy of opposing settlements. Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, who hopes to unseat Netanyahu in March, called the settlement announcement an “irresponsible step” that would spark a “battle” with the new US administration.
January 11, 2021 12:56 UTC
Ethiopia broke ground on Saturday and began building a new dam worth US$125 million in North Shewa, Amhara Region. According to Amhara Mass Media Agency, the dam, named Ajima-Chacha, will be 45.5 meters tall, 371 meters long, and capable of storing 55 million cubic meters of water. Upon completion, 7,000 hectares of land will be able to be developed, benefitting more than 28,000 families in the region. The Chinese Civil Engineering Corporation (CCEC), in cooperation with the Water and Construction Works Corporation of the Amhara Region, is building the dam. Ethiopia also recently inaugurated its Italian-built €2.5 billion euro Koysha hydroelectric power project in Koysha, located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of the country.
January 11, 2021 12:11 UTC
"Port Said" was launched in September 2018 to be the second Gowind corvette owned by Egypt as the first – dubbed Al Fateh - was produced in France and delivered a year earlier. The third dubbed Al Moez and the fourth dubbed Luxor were launched in May 2019 and May 2020, respectively. The spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces announced on December 31 that Egypt's first FREMM Bergamini frigate arrived at Alexandria's naval base. The frigate – dubbed Al Galala - is one of two Egypt purchased from the Italian company Fincantieri, and can sail for 6,000 sea miles. The ceremony was attended by a number of Armed Forces' commanders, former commanders of the Naval Force, and students at the Egyptian Naval Academy.
January 11, 2021 12:00 UTC
Egypt on Sunday explained that the recent sessions of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations have failed once again due to differences on how to resume talks and of the procedural aspects related to managing the negotiation process. “The African Union experts are not specialists in the technical and engineering fields related to water resources management and dam operating,” the statement said. Khartoum has called for a change in the negotiation methodology, granting the African Union experts a greater role to bring the views of the three countries closer. The construction of the dam, which began in 2011, is considered to be one of Egypt’s most serious water issues. Sudan is somewhat caught in the middle of the conflicting interests of Egypt and Ethiopia.
January 11, 2021 10:41 UTC