Middle East & Africa

Lesotho’s’ Prime Minister absent in the murder case of his first wife and leaves the country.
Middle East & Africa

Lesotho’s’ Prime Minister absent in the murder case of his first wife and leaves the country.

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Tabani failed to appear in court on Friday in the case of the murder of his first wife, his son said that he had traveled to South Africa to visit a doctor and had not “escaped from the country”.

Tabani was due to appear before the court at 9:00 am local time (0700 GMT) in the case of the murder of Lipolillo Tabani in June 2017 near her home in the capital, Maseru, two days before he took office.
But the 80-year-old leader was absent from attendance.

On Thursday, police said, Tabani would be charged with the murder of his wife, Lippolillo. After the Prime Minister was absent from the session, the Deputy Commissioner of Police said that if it was established that Tabani was trying to escape justice, the police would issue an arrest warrant for him.

Tapani’s current wife, Masayah, 42, has already been charged with ordering the murder of Lepolillo, but she is currently out of prison on bail.

His son in law, Botlaco, said by phone that his father “went to South Africa to visit his private doctor”. He added, “He did not flee the country.”
Takalikwala, Tabani’s private secretary, said that the prime minister will return to Lesotho sometime in the weekend.

Libolillo, 58, at the time, and Tabani were in a difficult divorce at the time of her death when an unknown attacker shot her in her car.

Tappani and Maisayaiah, who were married two months after Lippolello’s murder, denied any role in her murder.

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Global watchdog blacklisted Iran after it failed to follow FATF norms
Middle East & Africa

Global watchdog blacklisted Iran after it failed to follow FATF norms

On Friday, The global watchdog put Iran on its blacklist after it failed to follow the global anti-terrorism funding norms, a step that will advance the nation’s disengagement from the financial market.

The decision came after over three years of forewarning from the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), pressing the Islamic Republic to either order militant financing conventions or see its pardon from the blacklist lifted and some forced counter-measures.

The group’s 39 members stated in an announcement following a week-long meeting, “Given Iran’s inability to authorize the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions following the FATF Standards, the FATF completely lifts the suspension of counter-measures and approaches its individuals and urges all jurisdictions to apply successful counter-steps,” The Reuters revealed.

These would involve more scrutiny of dealings with Iran, harder external evaluating of financing firms working in the nation, and additional stress on foreign banks and organizations continuing business with Iran.

The United States recognized the team’s action after what it said was Tehran’s inability to follow FATF’s norms.

Iran “must face ramifications for its continued failure to submit to global standards,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an announcement.

Iran’s central bank chief rejected FATF’s decision as “politically driven and not a professional decision,” the state news agency IRNA cited Abdolnasser Hemmati as stating.

“I can guarantee our country that it will not affect Iran’s stability and foreign trade,” Hemmati added.

US sanctions have disabled Iran’s economy, wrecking its oil exports and, to a great extent, closing it from the global financial system. Washington has since long forced a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, The National reported.

Article Credit: The National

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Iran’s preparation for elections could test the popularity of the ruling party.
Middle East & Africa

Iran’s preparation for elections could test the popularity of the ruling party.

On Thursday, Iran’s parliamentary election campaigns officially ended a day before the vote, which is seen as a crucial test of the popularity of the ruling religious establishment.

Workers went out early in the morning to clean the streets from posters and banners in preparation for the first Iranian elections after US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018.

Analysts said that the turnout in the elections would be a referendum on the Islamic Republic’s leaders dealing with political and economic crises, while Iran faces increasing isolation on the international stage and resentment at home from economic difficulties.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the vote was a “religious duty” but some prominent politicians of the reformist movement in Iran and activists abroad have called for a boycott of the elections. “We need to launch a strong boycott campaign to respond to the regime’s oppressive policies,” said imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi from her cell in the city of Zanjan in a message posted on her husband’s Facebook page this week.

Iranian activists, opposition groups, and two advocates of boycotting the elections are posting heavily on social media.
The vote to choose the 290 members of parliament will have little impact on Iran’s foreign policy or nuclear policy, which Khamenei sets, and his supporters are likely to dominate parliament.

The Guardians Council, which is responsible for reviewing applications for those who want to run, refused 6850 moderates and conservatives from among the 14,000 applicants who qualified.

“We expect that 50 percent of citizens will participate in the elections,” Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhadai told a televised news conference on Wednesday.

The turnout was 62 percent in the 2016 parliamentary elections and 66 percent in the 2012 elections. There are about 58 million Iranians who are eligible to vote.

While supporters of the foundation will vote for hard-line candidates, many Iranian reformists are outraged by the authorities’ handling of protests in November over high fuel prices, which quickly turned into political protests in which protesters demanded “regime change”.

Human rights groups said a campaign led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to quell the protests had killed hundreds and arrested thousands. Iranian authorities have accused the opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies of fomenting the unrest.

Many are also angry that a Ukrainian passenger plane was downed in January, killing all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians. After days of denial, the Revolutionary Guards claimed responsibility for the downing of the plane.

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Tunisia reveals new government in a proposal to end political standstill
Middle East & Africa

Tunisia reveals new government in a proposal to end political standstill

On Wednesday, Tunisia’s Prime Minister-designate, Elyes Fakhfakh, declared his proposed government, which led to the closure of the political standstill that has grasped the nation since legislative elections were held in October 2019.

On Monday, President Kais Saied announced legislators that he was set up to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections if Fakhfakh’s proposed government failed to get the vote of confidence from the parliament.

For four months, Tunisia has been without a working government. Ennahda had initially been given a chance to come to power in October. Yet, their proposals couldn’t make it due to a fragile and split parliament, which prompted Elyes Fakhfakh, head of the Ettakatol party, being endowed to shape a legislature by President Kais Saied on January 20.

Fakhfakh’s proposals will be presented to Tunisia’s legislature, where they are required to get the vote of confidence in the parliament, which is on February 26.

As it has been anticipated, Fakhfakh’s administration of two secretaries of state and thirty ministers is arranged from a broad alliance of leading political parties and independents. Attayar, Achaab, Tahya Tounes, and the El Badil party are all represented in the administration, with the moderate Islamists, Ennahda, who won a majority in the October elections, doing a remarkable job.

Few are listed below: – Diplomat Nourddine Erray is relied upon to take the post of foreign minister, and financier Nizar Yaiche is expected to become the finance minister. An Independent, Imed Hazgui, is set to take charge of the Defense Ministry. Politician Mongi Marzouk is anticipated to take responsibility of energy ministry.

The job before the new government is critical. Tunisia needs to get an expected $3 billion (Dh11 bn) globally to make it through its 2020 spending obligations.

Beyond the IMF credit, Tunisia has depended upon a list of global loans to keep up its economy since its 2011 upheaval.

As of late, Tunisia has observed a sharp accretion in the number of Tunisian youth illegally migrating to Europe, as their trust in the nation’s future wavers.

Article Credit: The National

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to confront corruption lawsuit on 17 March
Middle East & Africa

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to confront corruption lawsuit on 17 March

Benjamin Netanyahu is required to appear at a court hearing on 17 March for the beginning of a corruption case against him, the Israeli legal judiciary has declared.

The first day of the case is scheduled only two weeks after general elections on 2 March in which the PM is battling to stay in power, despite the damaging charges leveled on him.

Following a three-year police investigation, the nation’s attorney general charged the 70-year-old pioneer in November in each of the three of the leading cases against him.

Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud, and violation of trust after allegedly accepting a considerable number of dollars worth of gifts from wealthy friends and trading administrative favors for constructive media coverage.

Israel’s Justice Ministry told that he expected to attend court in Jerusalem, where three judges will hear his trial.

He could face up to ten years in jail whenever indicted for bribery charges and a maximum three-year sentence for breach of trust and fraud.

Netanyahu, who denies the charges, is the first Israeli sitting PM to be indicted for corruption.

The general election results could majorly affect his preceding. Netanyahu has already backtracked on a request for parliamentary immunity, yet his adversaries in the Knesset had just demonstrated they would obstruct any solicitation.

Israelis have been requested to take part in the upcoming elections for the third time in under a year following two failed to form a majority government.

Netanyahu’s greatest adversary is politician Benny Gantz, who has centered firmly on the corruption allegations and the Prime Minister’s friendly relationship with US President Donald Trump.

Gantz had rejected after September elections to join a unity government headed by Netanyahu, saying he should initially settle his legal issues before taking control.

As occurred in both the April and September political elections, neither one of the candidates is anticipated to have enough seats to frame a majority government. If that situation occurs again, Israel could dive into fourth general elections, expanding the political crisis well over a year.

In coalition discussions following the last political elections, Netanyahu couldn’t accumulate any help from the centrist or left-wing parties, who declined to stand behind a leader confronting indictment.

Article Credit: The National/ CNN

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Trump Control Comes Through Congressional Vote On Iran
Americas, Middle East & Africa

Trump Control Comes Through Congressional Vote On Iran

A Republican controlled senate has finally passed a resolution to control President Donald Trump’s military moves against Iran. Now, Trump cannot make a move towards Iran with a congressional authorization.

This development has come through after a vote fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to overcome a promised veto by the White House.

This reiterates that there is lack of faith in Trump’s administration that does not speak for the betterment of the United States as a whole. The vote shows that some Republicans have no qualms about break away from Trump on foreign policy, even if they largely remained aligned with the administration on most other issues.

While being a Republican leader, he has not received thumps up for his obtuse point of view when it comes to trade and foreign policy. His various decisions in Syria, China and Iran, have done nothing but created sense of unrest and disturbed inter-government dynamics.
In 2019, Republicans had joined Democrats to challenge the Trump administration on several foreign-policy measures. Nearly 130 House Republicans voted to oppose Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria last year.

Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate also have approved resolutions that aimed to withdraw U.S. support for a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and block arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Trump vetoed both of them.
Sen. Tim Kaine is a democrat from Vermouth and the author of the resolution. According to Kaine, “While the President does and must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there,” Mr. Kaine said. “An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote. This should not be a controversial proposition.”

In America, most such strategic decisions that can affect the national security of the country cannot be taken by the President without running it through the congressional approval. This is done merely to ensure the onus of a major decision does not lie with one person only. Read more Latest news on africa .

Franco-Iranian researcher imprisoned in Iran stopped her hunger strike
Europe, Middle East & Africa

Franco-Iranian researcher imprisoned in Iran stopped her hunger strike

Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelakha, who has been imprisoned in Iran since last June, suspended her hunger strike that started six weeks ago. The researcher’s lawyer, Saeed Dahqan, told Agence France Presse that “Adelkha has responded to a written request from civil and political activists and has stopped her hunger strike Wednesday afternoon”.

Last January, the French newspaper “Le Figaro” quoted a research fellow saying that Adelakha had entered a hunger strike since December 24 and that her health condition had deteriorated, while that of her colleague arrested with her, Ronald Marshall, was completely unstable.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Iran earlier to release the French citizen and her colleague, saying that their health had deteriorated.

According to AFP, on January 7 Fariba Adelakha’s lawyer said that the authorities had dropped her charges of espionage but was still holding her for other security-related charges, adding that Marshall was being held on suspicion of acts harmful to Iranian national security. Read all the Latest news on africa visit us.

Why Does Palestine Feel Like ‘Swiss Cheese’?
Middle East & Africa

Why Does Palestine Feel Like ‘Swiss Cheese’?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been very vocal in his disgust over the Trump proposed Middle Eastern peace plan when he addressed the United Nation’s Security Council recently. However, bringing attention to the larger picture, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a pertinent opening speech at the Security Council meeting talking about the increasing instability in Yemen, Syria and Libya. He said, “upheaval in these regions asks for an immediate political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has lasted far too long and which remains crucial for sustainable peace in the Middle East.”

He has indicated that ‘a two state’ solution looks like a viable one for Israel and Palestine. There is evident opposition from Abbas, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and they are not hiding it. Everyone has noticed that Trump’s plan has once again deviated from the international norms. It has favoured Israel more than anyone else and has been disapproved off by African Union member states as well.

Abbas later addressed the Security Council, saying Trump’s plan “violates UN resolutions” and annuls the Palestinians’ right to self-determination while legitimizing illegal Israeli settlements and the illegal annexation of occupied Palestinian land.

Abbas has called the state of Palestine a hopelessly ‘swiss cheese’ state where everything is fragmented and the hope of unity and strength. He is now calling for the convening of an international conference “to bring real peace between the Palestinians and Israel.”

Strangely, when the UN council was about to convene for a resolution vote, Palestinian looked as if it took a back step, showing their lack of confidence that, they would after all not get passed a complete US veto vote.

Abbas also communicated that he was more confident that most nations will side with the Palestinian people and an open dialogue would be the best way to solve the situation. Read all the Middle East Latest news.

Emirati forces … an eternal imprint in Yemen’s memory.
Middle East & Africa

Emirati forces … an eternal imprint in Yemen’s memory.

The UAE armed forces represented a difference, within the Arab Alliance to Support Stability in Yemen. In addition to its military effort in assisting brothers and combating terrorism, the armed forces have contributed to supporting humanitarian efforts, and have contributed prominent, pivotal and strategic roles in normalizing public life and advancing various developmental aspects in more than 22 Yemeni governorates, where a long and wide range of humanitarian, charitable and development projects have been implemented that It benefits all segments and societal groups.

The liberation of Al-Mukalla, the capital of Hadramaut, the largest Yemeni city from the hegemony and control of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, represented a pivotal turning point in the path of combating terrorism in Yemen, where qualified Yemeni security and military formations that were carefully trained by the Emirati forces managed to regain control of the city that Al-Qaeda transformed it into a closed “emirate” on its influence and control, which turned into an after-effect after the Emirati intervention that started from the established values ​​of Emirati values ​​in combating extremism and fighting terrorism, which made the UAE represent the spearhead in the international coalition to combat terrorism.

The researcher in the history of fundamentalist groups, “Muhammad Abdel Nasser Banaji,” in a statement, considered that Hadramout, which is the largest governorate of Yemen and represents a third of the country, was threatened by the entire Al-Qaeda organization, which represented its control of the capital of the province, “Al-Mukalla”, a nightmare for all The sons of Hadhramaut, as it will pave the way for the terrorist organization to expand its influence and control over other parts of the province, which was not achieved, thanks to the Emirates that have competently led the battle to liberate the “Mukalla” and were able with their own forces and the Yemeni units that qualified them to fight this battle .Many of the leaders and elements of al-Qaeda who survived being killed in the clashes, disguised themselves in women’s clothes, to avoid being caught by the anti-terrorist forces.

Panaji pointed out that ending the presence and control of the so-called “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”, which is the strongest branch of the extremist fundamentalist organization in Mukalla and the “Azan” region of Shabwa, which the organization declared a “emirate” for it, striking the organization’s dens in “Abyan” and pursuing its elements in Marib Adjacent to the Saudi border, such an unprecedented achievement would not have been achieved without the UAE’s support, extensive logistical support operations, and the serious and qualitative qualification of the forces that fought.

The UAE has a unique, effective and pivotal role in enhancing the capabilities of the national army forces, both at the armed and combat levels, by undertaking the task of qualifying more than 90,000 soldiers and commanders and enabling them to “advanced” technical and field capabilities. See more Latest news on africa.

Iraq dismisses MP’s request that Germany, France, and Australia proposed to pull back soldiers
Middle East & Africa

Iraq dismisses MP’s request that Germany, France, and Australia proposed to pull back soldiers

Questions regarding the presence of foreign troops in Iraq come during a period of high pressure amid the US and Iran, following the death of the leader of Quds Force Qassem Suleimani, who was killed at Baghdad International Airport via a US drone strike.

The killing incited mass protests in Iran and retribution assaults against US bases in Iraq, The National report.

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command has dismissed a claim by a member from its security and defense board that France, Germany, and Australia approached Baghdad to prepare to remove their forces.

On Monday, Badr Al Ziyadi Member of Parliament’s Office disclosed to The National that Canberra and Berlin had officially offered a letter to set a timetable for the exit of their soldiers.

“Their solicitation has been to set up a timetable for the withdrawal of their soldiers. The next government will take charge of setting the timetable and the exit plan for foreign soldiers.”

However, Major General Tahsin Al Khafaji, the representative of the Joint Operations Command, denied that the three countries had presented any such solicitation.

According to The National, when they reached Al Ziyadi’s office, they stated that the solicitation was just made verbally by commandants from the three nations to the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, and not conveyed by official letter.

“It is an unsubstantiated rumor,” a foreign ministry representative told The National.

Al Sadr’s Mahdi Army battled the US and British armies in Baghdad and the city of Najaf following the US-led attack in 2003. A month ago, his supporters organized a march in Baghdad to request that US troops leave Iraq alongside other foreign powers. They likewise wanted Iraq’s security alliances with the US to be dropped, and the closing of Iraqi airspace to the US military.

Due to the growing tensions Iraqi legislature voted last month to ask for the withdrawal of US forces from the nation.To read more Middle East Latest news

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