Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

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Death Follows Refugee Family from Syrian War to Beirut Blast

Ahmed Staifi’s wife fled the relentless bombing in neighboring Syria only to die in the biggest explosion ever to hit Beirut. His family escaped the war raging across the border in Syria six years ago, looking for refuge in Lebanon where he was already living and working as a laborer. “My wife

Lebanon Registers Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

Lebanon on Tuesday announced a record daily number of over 300 COVID-19 infections and seven deaths from the virus as the country grapples with the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion that rocked the capital and overwhelmed hospitals. The country's tally now stands at 7,121 COVID-19 cases and

Severe Flooding Displaces Scores of Thousands in Somalia

Severe flooding continues to displace thousands of people in Somalia. The government in recent days issued new warnings to communities living along the Jubba and Shabelle rivers.

Scientists Uneasy as Russia Approves 1st Coronavirus Vaccine

Russia on Tuesday became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, a move that was met with international skepticism and unease because the shots have only been studied in dozens of people. President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry's approval and said one of his two adult d

Israeli PM's Uneasy Alliance Seems Headed toward Collapse

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival, Benny Gantz, agreed to form an “emergency” government in May after three bitter and deadlocked election campaigns, the goal was to stabilize Israeli politics in the face of a global pandemic. But less than 100 days later, their fractious coali

Last 8 Shows Why Champions League Worth Protecting

Eight European teams in one country to determine who collects the biggest prize in club football. What should be a temporary, pandemic-enforced Champions League format adjustment provides a snapshot of so much there is to fear about the future of football from all sides. Bringing teams togethe

Martin Scorsese Joins Apple's Hollywood Roster for New Films, TV Shows

Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese will produce film and TV projects for Apple Inc’s streaming service under a multi-year deal, the company said on Tuesday, as digital video platforms battle for Hollywood’s top talent. Scorsese, director of “Goodfellas,” “Taxi Driver” and other cinema classi

Container Lines Resume Calls to Beirut as Terminal Restarts Operations

Container lines have resumed calls to Beirut after last week’s explosion, with the terminal having sustained only minor damage, leading companies said on Tuesday. The Aug.

Lebanon Family Restless as it Awaits Missing 'Heroes'

Three firefighters. One Lebanese family. The same restless wait.

GCC Condemns Turkish Threats against UAE

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Dr.

Saudi Arabia Stresses to UN Envoy Urgent Need to Address Safer Tanker Crisis

Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed al-Jaber held talks in Riyadh on Tuesday with United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths. He underscored to the envoy the urgent need for experts to access the eroding Safer oil tanker that is stranded off the coast of Ras Issa. Griffiths hailed S

Turkish Drone Kills 2 Iraqi Officers in Kurdish Region, Says Army

Two high-ranking Iraqi officers were killed Tuesday in what the army said was a "blatant Turkish drone attack" in the autonomous Kurdish region, where Ankara has for weeks been raiding militant positions. The strike killed two border guard battalion commanders and the driver of their vehicle, the

Oil Gains on US Stimulus Hopes and Demand Recovery

Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by expectations of US economic stimulus to support the world's biggest oil consumer as well as a rebound in Asian demand as economies reopen. Brent crude added 60 cents, or 1.3%, to $45.59 a barrel by 1218 GMT.

Argentina Looks to IMF for More Breathing Space

After reaching a $65 billion restructuring agreement in principle with its creditors earlier this month, Argentina must now turn to relief from the International Monetary Fund to free up cash in the near term, the IIF said on Tuesday. "We think external financing will be comfortable if the IMF ro

Humanity Versus Disease Showcased as London's Science Museum Reopens Doors

Exhibits showcasing humanity's battle with infectious disease will greet visitors recently emerged from coronavirus lockdowns when London's Science Museum re-opens its doors next week after its longest closure since World War II. "Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries" tracks medical advances through

German Authorities Conduct Raids in Money Laundering Probe

German authorities raided an import-export company and the home of a businessman in the state of Brandenburg on Tuesday on suspicion he was involved in a scheme to launder millions of euros (dollars) for Russian criminals, prosecutors said. The suspect is accused of receiving some 7 million euros

Hyundai, Aptiv Name Self-Driving Joint Venture Motional

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co and auto supplier Aptiv PLC have named their self-driving joint venture Motional, the companies said Tuesday. Formed a year ago, the $4-billion venture is developing a fully automated system that it hopes to begin selling in 2022 to robotaxi companies and f

Priced Out of Services, Venezuelans Turn Creative for Water and Gas

Venezuelans are steadily losing access to cheap basic services from water to cooking gas that have helped them survive economic crisis, forcing many to find creative solutions and adding pressure during the coronavirus quarantine. Services have long been near-free due to heavy subsidies by the ru

Adidas Has Seen No Impact on Sales from Race Row, Says CEO

Adidas has seen no impact on its sales from employee complaints over racism at the German sportswear company that led to the departure of its human resources boss, Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted said on Tuesday. Karen Parkin stepped down in June after a group of employees called for an investigat

Palestinian Protesters Urge Israel to Free Boycott Activist

Dozens of Palestinians protested outside the German diplomatic office in the West Bank on Tuesday, seeking to draw attention to Israel's arrest of a leading coordinator of the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel. Mahmoud Nawajaa was arrested on July 30 and remains in Israeli custody.

Oman's COVID-19 Cases Stand at 82,050

Oman's Health Ministry said on Tuesday that its total COVID-19 infections have risen to 82,050 while recovery rates have reached 93.5 percent. The Ministry said that 48 new cases were admitted to hospital in the past 24 hours, raising the number of those receiving treatment to 458. Meanwhile,

Record-Breaking Lukaku Propelling Inter's European Dream

A record-breaking Romelu Lukaku is leading Inter Milan's chase for its first trophy in nine years. Eyebrows were raised last year when Inter shelled out a club record of around 65 million euros ($73 million) plus 13 million euros ($15 million) in bonuses for Lukaku, who had had a disappointing fi

Lebanon’s Judiciary Continues Investigations Into Port Explosion

The judicial and security investigations into the Beirut Port explosion are following several paths.

Egypt-Gaza Crossing Opens for First Time in Months

The only crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Tuesday for 72 hours, allowing people to leave the Palestinian enclave for the first time since the novel coronavirus outbreak began. The Rafah crossing in southern Gaza was closed in March, as Hamas sought to guard against a major virus outbreak

'I Don't Want to Die': Blast Traumatizes Beirut Children

"I don't want to die." Those were the first words Hiba's six-year-old son screamed after the massive explosion at Beirut port sent shards of glass flying around their house. The blast a week ago that temporarily displaced 100,000 children, according to a UN estimate, was so mighty it had the magn

Coronavirus Breaks Out Again in New Zealand After 102 Days

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday that authorities have found four cases of the coronavirus in one Auckland household from an unknown source, the first reported cases of local transmission in the country in 102 days. Ardern said Auckland, the nation's largest city, will be mo

Jeddah Field Hospital Receives 500 COVID-19 Patients

The coronavirus field hospital in Jeddah continues to receive COVID-19 patients who need moderate medical care. Director of the Field Hospital Ali al-Shihri told Asharq Al-Awsat that the number of cases received has exceeded 500 since its inauguration in June 7.

Indian Airline Indigo to Fight Virus Woes With $534 MN Share Issue

India's largest airline IndiGo hopes to raise $534 million by issuing shares to try and boost liquidity after the coronavirus pandemic sparked record losses and job cuts. Airlines worldwide have reported steep falls in revenue because of a slump in demand as governments impose sweeping travel res

French Privacy Watchdog Opens Preliminary Investigation Into Tiktok

France's data privacy watchdog CNIL said on Tuesday that it has opened a preliminary investigation into Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok after it received a complaint. TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, is already under investigation over privacy concerns by US, European Union, and Dutch a

Who Owned the Chemicals that Blew up Beirut? No One Will Say

In the murky story of how a cache of highly explosive ammonium nitrate ended up on the Beirut waterfront, one thing is clear -- no one has ever publicly come forward to claim it. There are many unanswered questions surrounding last week's huge, deadly blast in the Lebanese capital, but ownership

UK Jobs Market Hurtling Toward Cliff-Edge Moment in October

The UK has kept a lid on the unemployment rate so far during the coronavirus pandemic but, scratch beneath the surface, and there are worrying trends that will likely see the jobless total soaring by the end of the year. Official figures released Tuesday showed that the number of people working f

Egypt Checks Hospital Preparations amid Surge in Coronavirus Infections

The rate of the novel coronavirus infections in Egypt has continued to increase, prompting health authorities to check the treatment systems at state hospitals and the availability of drugs.

Lebanon’s Opposition Pushes for Early Elections

Lebanon’s opposition forces are holding intensive discussions to push for shortening the parliament’s term, organizing early parliamentary elections and forming a neutral government. In this context, a delegation from the Democratic Gathering bloc, headed by MP Taymour Jumblatt, conducted visits

Lebanon Blast: Political Game Changer or Hollow Blow?

Last week's cataclysmic explosion has ripped Beirut apart but was it strong enough to topple the entrenched ruling class whose greed and incompetence are blamed for it? The masters of Lebanon's political pie-sharing game have not changed in decades: warlords from the 1975-1990 civil war who trade

Russia, Turkey Resume Joint Patrol Near Aleppo

Turkish forces and the Russian military police has conducted a joint patrol in the countryside of Ain al-Arab, in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. The patrol included four Russian and Turkish vehicles that roamed a number of villages, as Russian helicopters flew in the air.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Does Not Mourn Resigned Govt.

The government of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab did not have another choice but to resign, according to parliamentary sources that spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat. The sources said that President Michel Aoun contacted Speaker Nabih Berri, with whom he discussed the latter’s call for a parliamentar

Iran Arrests 5 Iranians for Spying for Foreign Powers

Iranian authorities have arrested five Iranians on charges of spying for Israel, Britain and Germany, convicting and handing down prison sentences on at least two of them, the judiciary said on Tuesday. "In recent months, five Iranians who were spying for foreign intelligence services have been a

Sudan Export Ban on Key Crops Has Hit Traders Hard

Sudan has been a top producer of peanuts for so long that the nutritious variety is called the "Sudani" -- but a government export ban has left traders reeling. Rimaz Ahmed, commercial director of Abnaa Sayed Elobeid, one of Sudan's major agricultural export companies, was stunned by the sudden d

Singapore Crushes Massive Ivory Haul on Eve of World Elephant Day

Singapore began destroying nine tons of seized ivory Tuesday, the largest such action globally in recent years, including contraband tusks that came from more than 300 African elephants. The destruction by an industrial rock crusher was held on the eve of World Elephant Day, and aims to prevent t

Hamas Escalates and Launches Missiles Towards the Sea

The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas movement, launched a number of test missiles from the Gaza Strip towards the sea coast controlled by Israel, in a new challenge to Tel Aviv which has been monitoring a deliberate escalation in the enclave. The test missile launch coincided with an inte

Lebanese Call for Downfall of President, Other Officials over Beirut Blast

Angry and grieving demonstrators on Tuesday read aloud the names of at least 171 people killed in last week’s explosion at Beirut port and called for the removal of Lebanon’s president and other officials they blame for the tragedy. Gathered near “ground zero”, some carried pictures of the victim

Putin Hails New Sputnik Moment as Russia is First to Approve a COVID-19 Vaccine

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move Moscow likened to its success in the Cold War-era space race. The vaccine, which will be called “Sputnik V” in h

Most Asian Markets Rise With Eyes on Trade Talks, Stimulus

Most Asian markets extended gains Tuesday as concerns about the US-China trade pact eased, while investors remain optimistic that lawmakers in Washington will hammer out a new stimulus for the crippled American economy despite talks struggling. There was also some relief that China did not includ

Tension High between Turkey, Greece in Eastern Mediterranean

Tension remained high Tuesday between Greece and Turkey, both of whom have warships in the eastern Mediterranean after Turkey sent a research vessel to carry out seismic research for energy resources in an area Greece says is on its continental shelf. Ankara announced on Monday that its research

GERD Dam Talks Adjourned for a Week

African Union-sponsored negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been stalled with a new postponement.

Algeria to Reconsider ‘Partnership Deal’ With EU

Algeria announced Monday that it intends to reassess a deal with the European Union (EU) on entering a free trade area with the bloc as of September 1.

Dortmund Says Jadon Sancho Staying amid Man United Links

England winger Jadon Sancho will stay with Borussia Dortmund for the upcoming season amid reported interest from Manchester United, club sporting director Michael Zorc said on Monday. “We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final.

Chris Pratt, Katherine Schwarzenegger Greet Baby Daughter

Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger announced they are “beyond thrilled” and “extremely blessed" after she gave birth to their first child together. The 41-year-old “Avengers” actor and the 30-year-old children’s book author announced the birth of daughter Lyla Maria Schwarzenegger Pratt in

South Africa's Poor Scramble for Anti-HIV Drugs Amid Virus

When her regular clinic ran out of her government-funded HIV medications amid South Africa´s COVID-19 lockdown, Sibongile Zulu panicked.

Germany, France, Italy to Apply EU Sanctions for Libya Arms Embargo Violations

Germany, France, and Italy are moving forward with a plan to apply EU sanctions to those they deem responsible for the in-flow of weapons in Libya despite its arms embargo.

Washington Welcomes GCC Letter to Extend Iran Arms Embargo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed a letter by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) backing an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, just two months before it is set to expire. In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo expressed US keenness on implementing all regulations and sanc

Global COVID-19 Cases Top 20 Million

The number of coronavirus cases topped 20 million on Tuesday, more than half of them from the US, India and Brazil. Health officials believe the actual number is much higher than that tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of those who a

Fernandes in Extra Time Lifts Man United into Europa Semis

Manchester United needed an extra-time penalty from Bruno Fernandes to scrape into the Europa League semifinals after beating Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday. In sweltering heat, United's young team controlled the lion's share of possession but had a hard time creating clear chances until Andreas Bjella

Sudan Loses 40% of Revenues due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Sudan’s revenues dropped 40 percent after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the government continues to subsidize wheat and medicine, estimated at millions of dollars annually. The Sovereign Council and the government approved in a joint meeting the revised budget of 2020 with a decrease

Softbank Drops Operating Profit Measure

SoftBank Group Corp on Tuesday broke with tradition on Tuesday by not reporting operating profit, saying it was “not useful” as a measure of investment performance, and pointed to a first-quarter Vision Fund investment gain of $2.8 billion. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has long pointed to the to

Israel’s High Court Cancels Order to Demolish Palestinian Home

Israel’s High Court of Justice on Monday canceled a decision to demolish the home of a Palestinian accused of killing a soldier, in a ruling condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a number of right-wing ministers.

WTA Players Adjust to New Normal in Return to Action in US

Marie Bouzkova expected some adjustments for her first tennis tournament in nearly six months. First was the matter of shedding rust from the layoff caused by the coronavirus shutdown.

China Promotes Its 'Heroic' Battle Against Virus in New Exhibition

Chinese workers raise their fists beside a red communist flag in a painting displayed at a Beijing museum, one of nearly 200 works put together for a propaganda exhibition that hails, not the Maoist past, but the "heroic deeds" of frontline medics fighting the coronavirus. Since the discovery of

Egyptians Start Voting for Revived Senate

Egyptians started voting on Tuesday for the Senate, the upper chamber of parliament that was revived as part of constitutional amendments approved in a referendum last year — an election that comes as the country faces an uptick in daily numbers of new coronavirus cases. Authorities have said fac

Sudan Army Says No Disputes with Rapid Support Forces

A Sudanese top military official denied reports claiming that there are disputes between the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by deputy chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti.” The Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration and Guida

Belarusian Opposition Leader Tikhanouskaya 'Safe' in Lithuania after Clashes

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya has joined her children in neighboring Lithuania, its foreign minister said on Tuesday, after two nights of clashes following the contested re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko. The 37-year-old Tikhanouskaya emerged from obscurity a few

Guterres Demands 'Transparent, Credible' Investigation Into Beirut Port Explosion

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for listening to the voices of the Lebanese people that demand a “credible and transparent investigation” into the deadly explosion in Beirut Port last Tuesday.

UN: WFP to send 50,000 T of Wheat Flour to Lebanon

A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released on Tuesday said the World Food Programme would be sending 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Beirut to stabilize Lebanon's wheat supply. A Reuters report on Friday revealed Lebanon's government held no strategic

UK Suffers Biggest Job Losses Since 2009 as COVID Hits

The number of people in work in Britain fell by 220,000 in the three months to June, the most since 2009, as the coronavirus crisis hammered the number of self-employed, Office for National Statistics said. The number of self-employed people fell by a record amount, led by older workers, while th

Oldest Enzyme in Cellular Respiration Isolated

In the first billion years, there was no oxygen on Earth. Life developed in an anoxic environment.

Jordan to Make Wearing Masks Mandatory to Fight COVID-19

Jordan will as of August 15 make it mandatory for people to wear face masks in enclosed public places to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Zalando Reports Big Jump in Brands Using its Services

German online fashion retailer Zalando SE on Tuesday reported a more than doubling of sales on its site from brands seeking to expand their ecommerce presence, helping total second-quarter revenue jump 27%. Zalando said adjusted operating profit more than doubled to 212 million euros ($249 millio

France Provides 'Love Visa' to Reunite Partners Separated Due to Virus

Moroccans, Americans, Canadians, and Latinos who have French partners have been startled by the coronavirus outbreak while outside the country visiting their families. The travel ban prevented many partners who have no marriage or civil engagement license from returning to France.

Gantz: Israel Determined to Prevent Formation of Hezbollah Branch In Syria

Israel bolstered its troops on the northern border with Lebanon and Syria in preparation for any retaliation as Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Penny Gantz delivered Monday strong statements against the Iranian activities in Syria.

Police Body Camera Video of Floyd Arrest Released to Public

Police camera video of Minneapolis officers arresting George Floyd was released to the public Monday and is available for publication. The footage became available Monday after a Hennepin County judge ordered it released.

Arab League Chief Urges Immediate Security Council Intervention over Stranded Safer Tanker

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit urged on Monday the need to address the issue of the Safer oil tanker that has been moored off Yemen’s Ras Issa port for five years. In a statement, he said that a disaster similar to the one that struck Beirut port last week was in the making in Ye

Drawing by Jacinda Ardern Sold for $12,000 at Charity Auction

An original artwork by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sold for NZD $18,050 (USD 12,000) during an open charity auction. According to the German News Agency, the artwork called "The Political Cycle" was displayed on the Trade Me website on Saturday. The drawing, which features a tornado and

Volunteers Rescue Dozens of Dolphins Stranded on Beach

Nearly 50 dolphins were stranded on a beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, over the weekend and needed to be rescued by dozens of volunteers, officials said. The International Fund for Animal Welfare said some 45 dolphins were found stranded by harbor officials in Wellfleet on Sunday morning. Sta

New Machine Learning System That Designs Its Own Code

A team of US researchers is currently working on developing computer programs that develop other programs without human intervention, the German News Agency reported on Saturday. According to the website, Justin Gottschlich, director of the machine programming research group at Intel, an

Iraq PM Pressures Political Blocs to Hold Early Elections

Talks are ongoing in Iraq to hold early parliamentary elections, scheduled by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for June 6, 2021. During the past two days, President Barham Salih met with Kadhimi and former PM Haidar al-Abadi to discuss the polls.

Yemen Urges Security Council to Extend Iran Arms Embargo

Amid mounting fears of the ongoing transfer of smuggled Iranian arms to Houthi militias, the Yemeni legitimate government called upon the UN Security Council Monday to extend an arms embargo on Iran, set to expire after two months. “We warn against lifting the embargo on sale, supply, and transfe

Algeria, Spain Discuss Illegal Immigration Issue

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune received Monday in Algiers Interior Minister of the Kingdom of Spain, Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gomez and the two highlighted efforts between the two countries to develop security cooperation. During his visit, the Spanish minister also met his Algerian coun

Australia's Northern Region to Face Virus Measures Until 2022

Australia's Northern Territory will be closed to visitors from virus hotspots for a further 18 months to protect its large and vulnerable Aboriginal population, authorities said Tuesday. The sparsely populated northern region is home to roughly 250,000 people -- 30 percent of whom are Aboriginal

The Innocent Fun of Joe Root Has Been Lost to the Burdens of England Captaincy

Three years ago, I went to Sheffield to interview Joe Root. It was his first summer as England captain and as he parsed his way through a series of solemn, proportionate answers about New Responsibilities and Exciting Opportunities, I became increasingly fascinated by his demeanour.

US Military Investigating Claim of Iraq-Kuwait Border Blast

The US military said Tuesday it was investigating a militant claim by a newly formed Iraqi militant group of a bombing at the Iraq-Kuwait border. A group, called Ashab al-Kahf, issued a statement overnight claiming it destroyed “equipment and vehicles belonging to the American enemy” in a bombing

Lebanon's Leaders Warned in July about Explosives at Port, Documents Reveal

Lebanese security officials warned the prime minister and president last month that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in Beirut’s port posed a security risk and could destroy the capital if it exploded, according to documents seen by Reuters and senior security sources. Just over two weeks la

The Premier League's Overachievers, Underachievers and Those on Par

League tables may never lie, though everyone knows they can be economical with the truth. By Sunday evening we will have our final Premier League table, after an extraordinarily difficult season is played out to a compromised but fair conclusion.

Israel Closes Gaza Goods Crossing after Balloon Attacks

Israel will close its goods crossing with the Gaza Strip, authorities said Monday, after militants in the Hamas-run territory fired rockets into the Mediterranean and launched incendiary balloons towards the Jewish state. The Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed to all traffic except humanitarian

KSrelief’s Mobile Clinics Provide Services in Yemen

The mobile medical clinics of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) have continued to provide treatment services in Yemen's Hajjah Governorate. This aid comes in partnership with Taybah Development Foundation. During July 2020, the emergency department received 30 beneficia

Man Shot outside White House, Trump Evacuated from Press Conference

US Secret Service agents shot and wounded a man who was apparently armed outside the White House on Monday, President Donald Trump, after being briefly whisked away in the middle of a press conference. A 51-year-old male approached a Secret Service officer standing at the corner of 17th Street an