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Lebanon’s President Meets German Counterpart: Bearing Syrian Displacement’s Burden “Int’l Responsibility”

President Michel Aoun maintained that Germany constituted a vital economic force that Lebanon was seeking to cooperate with on all levels, in remarks made following his meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at Baabda palace on Monday. “We dwelt on Germany’s participation in three crucial conference that Lebanon is looking forward to,” Aoun said. “We reviewed the regional situation ...

Buyer’s remorse: Australia’s sorry record on defence hardware

Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled an “ambitious, positive plan” to make Australia one of the world’s largest weapons exporters. Unveiling the new “defence export strategy” on Monday, the prime minister said Australia would raise its profile in the international arms trading game by helping private firms sell weapons in “priority markets” such as the Middle East. Military budgets are increasing around the world, ...

Egyptian politician emerges as sole election challenger to Sisi

Mousa Mostafa Mousa leads the Ghad party, which had endorsed Sisi for a second term and even organized events to help nominate the former military commander as recently as last week. Mousa said he would mount a full challenge to Sisi, though opposition activists, journalists, and analysts took to Twitter to dismiss him as a dummy candidate, standing only to ...

Investment top on agendas of King’s Davos meetings

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday continued a series of planned meetings on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, a Royal Court statement said. Her Majesty Queen Rania attended some of these meetings, according to the statement.  His Majesty met separately with Spanish King Felipe VI, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emanuel ...

Australian mother accused of murdering adult children

An Australian woman has been accused of murdering two of her children and torturing a third, in alleged crimes that spanned at least five years. Maree Crabtree, 51, was arrested on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Wednesday. Police allege she killed her daughter, 18, in 2012, and her son, 26, last year. Both had disabilities. Authorities alleged Ms Crabtree was motivated ...

Australia’s $46 million 2022 World Cup bid ‘never had a chance’, says former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter

These words were uttered by disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter late last year as he had lunch with former Football Federation Australia (FFA) executive Bonita Mersiades in Zurich. He was talking of course about Australia’s bid for the 2022 Football World Cup. The revelations are contained in Ms Mersiades’ new book, Whatever It Takes: The Inside Story of the ...

Khaled Ali withdraws from Egyptian presidential race

The Egyptian presidential hopeful and rights lawyer Khaled Ali has quit the race, becoming the latest would-be candidate who either has bowed out or been forced to abandon a challenge to the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, before the March election. Ali, a prominent socialist, had entered the race as a symbol of Egypt’s leftist revolutionary politics, but on Wednesday he told ...

Anger that drove the Arab spring is flaring again

When the people of Balta wanted to protest, they had to leave town. “This place is so small that blocking the road is like sitting in your own hall – no one notices,” said Wathik Balti, a 19-year-old student. So in December, they headed to the nearest motorway, where dozens of them blocked an important junction for hours and called ...

Iraq, Turkey mountains need to be cleared of terrorists

Turkish and Iraqi mountains need to be cleared of terrorists, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday. Speaking at a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari in capital Baghdad, Çavuşoğlu said it was important that Iraq clears Daesh terrorist group. “But it is equally important to wipe out all terrorist groups from Iraq,” he said. “Daesh, ...

German woman to become first European female executed in Iraq for belonging to Isil

an Iraqi court condemned to death by hanging a German woman after finding her guilty of belonging to the Islamic State jihadist group. She is one of hundreds of foreign jihadists held by Iraqi authorities, who in December announced the defeat of Isil after a gruelling three-year battle. She is believed to be the first European woman to be sentenced ...

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