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Pope Urges More Nations to Join UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

Pope Francis on Wednesday urged more nations to join a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons, saying their prohibition is badly needed to promote peace today. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons goes into effect on Friday and has been signed by 86 states, according to the International C

Washington, Malek and Leto Face off in ‘The Little Things’

Denzel Washington has played some iconic cops over the years, but he doesn’t get hung up on things like that. For him, it’s all about the script. So when John Lee Hancock came to him with “The Little Things,” a 1990-set crime drama about law enforcement and obsession, he was intrigued.

Biden's First Act: Orders on Pandemic, Climate, Immigration

In his first official acts as president, Joe Biden is signing executives orders on a broad range of issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and immigration, to fulfill campaign promises. Highlights of actions Biden is taking Wednesday: THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC MASK REQUIREME

Cairo’s Marsam Al-Qalaa Draws Visitors Passionate about Heritage

In the heart of Historic Cairo, a new art space with an exceptional view of the surrounding Islamic architecture, Marsam Al-Qalaa (Castle Altier), opened its doors a few days ago. The atelier is unique because of its location.

Foreigners Without Face Masks Punished With Push-Ups in Bali

Foreigners caught not wearing face masks on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are being subject to an unusual punishment: push-ups. Video footage circulating on social media this week shows tourists in T-shirts and shorts being made to do the exercise in sweltering tropical heat as masked secu

Egypt Resumes Diplomatic Relations with Qatar

Egypt and Qatar have agreed to resume diplomatic relations in line with the commitments made at AlUla summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this month, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. "Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Qatar exchanged, today, January 20, 2021, two official memoran

Italy Jails Suspected Qaeda Foreign Fighter Caught in Turkey

A 24-year-old Italian suspected of fighting in the Middle East since 2014 with al-Qaeda-affiliated groups was arrested in Turkey and jailed in Italy, police said on Wednesday. The unnamed man, who had lived with his wife and their four children near the Syrian city of Idlib, agreed to hand himsel

Under-Pressure Lampard Unsure if He'll Keep Chelsea Job

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said he expects his position to come under heavy scrutiny after the team lost 2-0 to Leicester on Tuesday for a fifth loss in the last eight games in the Premier League. Chelsea, which spent nearly $300 million on new players ahead of this season, dropped to eighth p

Chechnya Kills Militant Tied to ISIS

Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Wednesday that police had killed Aslan Byutukayev, alleged leader of ISIS in the volatile republic and mastermind of deadly attacks in Moscow. Byutukayev, also known as Amir Khamzat, was designated in 2016 as a "global terrorist" by the US State Dep

Indonesian Leader Promises Compensation for Plane Crash

Indonesia's leader on Wednesday assured relatives of 62 people killed in a Sriwijaya Air plane crash that they will be compensated. President Joko Widodo visited the command center at Jakarta´s international container terminal where tons of plane debris hauled by divers from seafloor were collect

China Labels Pompeo 'Doomsday Clown' Over Genocide Claims

China´s Foreign Ministry described outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday as a "doomsday clown" and said his designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely "a piece of wastepaper." The allegations of abuses against Muslim minority groups

7 Turks Face Trial over Ghosn Escape

An Istanbul court on Wednesday resumed the trial of seven Turkish suspects accused of helping smuggle former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn "in a large musical instrument case" from Japan to Lebanon. The trial is trying to piece together the details of how Ghosn -- a French-Lebanese-Brazilian national

Biden’s Middle East Policy Tied to Fate of Tehran Negotiations

US President-elect Joe Biden’s policy towards the Middle East region will not crystallize in the first months of his term, as observers agree that his current priorities are now directed at the US interior. However, Biden will gradually begin to tackle the region’s outstanding files, mainly the r

South Korea's LG Considering All Options for Loss-Making Mobiles

South Korea’s LG Electronics said on Wednesday it was considering all options for its loss-making mobile division, which analysts said could include shutting its smartphone business or selling off parts of the unit. LG said in a statement that 23 consecutive quarters of losses in its mobile busin

Tiffany Trump Announces Engagement to Lebanese Man

President Donald Trump's youngest daughter, Tiffany, is engaged to be married to a Lebanese man. The 27-year-old recent Georgetown law school graduate announced her good news on Instagram on Tuesday, her father's final full day in office.

New Saudi Supercomputer Can Process World’s Largest Geophysical Datasets

Top Saudi companies launched a new supercomputer, Dammam 7, which can process and image the world’s largest geophysical datasets and is considered among the top ten most powerful in the world. Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Telecom Group (STC) announced the new high-speed computer which presents new

Saudi Arabia to Produce 50% of Power From Renewable Energy by 2030

The President of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, Dr.

Italian PM Conte Works to Cement Majority after Narrow Vote

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte worked to solidify his majority in parliament Wednesday after narrowly winning a Senate confidence vote after a junior coalition ally yanked his support over Conte’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Conte was expected to brief President Sergio Mattarella on his

UN Chief Intends to Invite Cyprus Rivals to Meet Soon

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he intends to invite the rival leaders on Cyprus to an informal meeting “as soon as practicable,” but he warns that this meeting must be different and help clarify “the true extent" of their common vision “and outline steps necessary to chart a way forward.

UN Chief Urges Foreign Fighters Leave Libya by Saturday

The UN chief is urging the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya by Saturday as called for in the Oct.

140 Prominent Speakers to Participate in Future Investment Initiative

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute will headline more than 140 prominent speakers next week at its fourth edition. It is a multi-hub conference linking tech pioneers, investors and policy makers as they rethink the global economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outreach by Tunisian Leaders Fails to Quell Youth Unrest

Tunisian youth clashed with police overnight, maintaining their protests and riots over economic difficulties despite efforts by the president and the prime minister to calm tensions. "Your voice is heard, and your anger is legitimate, and it is my role and the role of the government to work to r

Google Investigates Ethical AI Team Member over Handling of Sensitive Data

Alphabet Inc's Google is investigating a member of its ethical AI team and has locked the corporate account linked to that person after finding that thousands of files were retrieved from its server and shared with external accounts, the company said on Wednesday. Axios, which first reported the

Sudan Kicks off Diplomatic Efforts to Push GERD Talks Forward

Sudan has kicked off intense diplomatic efforts to resume the stalled negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to mobilize regional and international support for its position. Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas held three separate meetings with the a

Syria to Receive Russian, Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines in April

The Chinese and Russian coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in Syria in April, announced the head of the Syrian Doctors Syndicate, Kamal Assad Amer. Amer stated that the government has devised a plan to start administering the vaccine next April, and additional quantities will be ordered

Lebanon: Diab’s Political Tour Will Not Achieve Breakthrough in Govt Formation Process

Recent visits conducted by caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab to President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and Speaker Nabih Berri will not move the process of forming the government forward, political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat. Reviving the consultations to form a strong

Britain's Burberry Says COVID-19 Closures Drag Q3 Sales Down 9%

British luxury brand Burberry said underlying sales fell 9% in the three months ended December as the COVID-19 pandemic closed shops and meant fewer tourists visiting its European stores. Comparable store sales in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa declined 37% in the quarter, the third of

3 Killed in Fire, Blast at Western Libya Ammunition Warehouse

A fire, followed by an explosion at an ammunition warehouse at a naval academy in western Libya killed three people, including two officers, a Libyan spokesman said Wednesday. It was not clear what caused the overnight blaze at the academy in the town of Janzur, about 24 kilometers west of the ca

Cartier and Asia Help Richemont Quarterly Sales Rise 5%

Richemont, maker of brands Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, on Wednesday posted a 5% increase in quarterly sales led by strong growth at its jewelry brands in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Luxury watches sales have contracted sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the jewelry category led b

Egypt Asserts That Water Crisis Is a Political Priority

Egypt considers its water crisis a “political priority” especially as the dispute with Ethiopia escalates over the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Cairo fears will affect its water share. Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohammed Abdel Aaty discussed the necessary arrangements for the

Top British Musicians Hit Out at Brexit Impact on Tours

More than 100 leading musicians on Wednesday criticized the government's Brexit deal with the European Union writing in an open letter that performers had been "shamefully failed". Leading musical lights including Elton John, The Who's Roger Daltry and classical conductor Simon Rattle wrote in Th

Iranian MP Accuses Zarif of Meeting Israeli Officer before Soleimani’s Killing

The Iranian parliament rebuked Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for his attempts to negotiate with the US administration, just three weeks after the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of foreign operations in the Revolutionary Guards, in a US drone strike in Baghdad early last year. A spo

EU Pledges to Help Make Palestinian General Elections a Success

The European Union (EU) has pledged to provide “all that is necessary” to hold “transparent Palestinian elections,” scheduled for later this year.

SWCC, WTTCO Eye $16 Bln Investment in Water Storage Systems in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and the Water Transmission and Technologies Co.

Iran Says 'Ball in America's Court' on Nuclear Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday hailed the White House departure of "tyrant" Donald Trump, saying that "the ball is in America's court" to return to a landmark nuclear deal and lift sanctions on Tehran. Trump is due to leave office later in the day making way for President-elect Joe

Disney Cuts Bonuses for Top Executives in Pandemic Fallout

Walt Disney Co said on Tuesday it had eliminated performance-based bonuses last year for top executives, including Executive Chairman Bob Iger, as the media company looks to soften the impact of the COVID-19 fallout. The pandemic dealt a major blow to the company’s theme parks and movie studio bu

PA Threatens Legal Action against US Ambassador to Israel

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is threatening to sue outgoing US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in international courts for recognizing the City of David settlement project in the city of Jerusalem. Known as the Silwan neighborhood, the area has been witnessing massive political and settler

Yemen Asks UNESCO for Help to Recover Stolen, Smuggled Antiquities

Yemen's internationally recognized government on Tuesday renewed its request for UNESCO to help recover stolen and smuggled antiquities, and reiterated its warning against Houthification attempts targeting the national social fabric.

Lebanon Returns Two Stolen 18th-Century Icons to Greece

Lebanon handed back two 18th-century religious icons of Jesus and Mary to Greece on Tuesday after they were seized during an auction, a judicial source said told AFP. The paintings were stolen from an exhibition in Athens in 2016, and Greece put out an international notice calling for their retur

Netanyahu Courts Arab Voters in Election-Year Turnabout

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has spent much of his long career casting Israel's Arab minority as a potential fifth column led by terrorist sympathizers, is now openly courting their support as he seeks reelection in the country's fourth vote in less than two years. Few Arabs are likely

Chef Jose Andres Steps in to Feed Washington Inauguration Troops

Jose Andres has fed hurricane and earthquake victims and some of the millions of Americans left hungry by coronavirus shutdowns.

Gantz Obstructs Nentayahu’s Move to Legalize Outposts

Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz has blocked PM Benjamin Netanyahu's attempt to legalize the settlement outposts. Gantz refused to include the proposal on the government’s agenda, saying that discussing such an important issue a day before the inauguration of US P

US Charges Iran Expert with Being Government Agent

The United States on Tuesday charged a renowned Iran expert with being an Iranian government agent. Lotfolah Kaveh Afrasiabi was arrested at his home near Boston on Monday, the Department of Justice said in a statement. He is accused of "acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent" o

Outbreak of Seasonal Colds Sweeps Sanaa

Medics based in the Houthi-run Yemeni capital, Sanaa, have reported a massive outbreak of colds and chest infections in the city.

Abu Dhabi Calls for Speeding up Sustainable Development through Practical Initiatives

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit got underway on Tuesday as part of ADSW 2021, the global platform for accelerating the pace of sustainable development. Hosted by Masdar, the event is being held virtually this year due to restriction in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheikh Haz

Palestinian-Russian Talks Push for Summit in Cairo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed with a senior Palestinian official in Moscow Tuesday the latest developments and means to enhance the peace process. During the meeting, Moscow signaled willingness to support an international gathering in Cairo to discuss the mechanism of reviving

Najha Cemetery Exposes Extent of Pandemic Outbreak in Damascus

Scenes at the Najha cemetery in Damascus’ southern countryside reveal the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Syrian capital. Asharq Al-Awsat bore witness to the frequent burials of virus victims at the cemetery, which belies the official data about the pandemic. Cemeteries in Damascus are

Incoming US Defense Chief Says Iran is a ‘Destabilizing Element in the Region’

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be the next defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said Tuesday that Iran remained a "destabilizing element in the region" and that it would be dangerous if the Iranian regime had access to nuclear weapons.

Egypt and Jordan to Bolster Trade, Economic Cooperation

Jordan and Egypt have affirmed their efforts to bolster bilateral economic and trade cooperation within the framework of the tripartite cooperation mechanism that includes Iraq.

China Triumphant One Year After Wuhan Lockdown

\"People Supremacy, Life Supremacy" reads the sign at a Wuhan exhibition, where visitors are greeted by a paean to China's triumph over the pandemic and the agility of its communist leadership in a crisis. Saturday marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese

Israel Issues Tenders for 2,500 New Settler Homes

Israel has issued tenders for 2,500 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, a watchdog said Wednesday, on the eve of Joe Biden's swearing-in as US president. On Sunday, Israel approved 780 new settler homes in the West Bank ahead of a March poll where Prime Minister Benjam

Report: Pandemic Leads to Drop in Palestinian Attacks against Israel in 2020

The number of Palestinian operations against Israel in 2020 has decreased, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed a report published this week by the Israeli General Security Service (Shin Bet). However, the security agency said it fears that 2021 would see a noticeable increase in securit

EU Warns Iran Deal at Critical Juncture

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has warned the Iran nuclear deal is at a "critical juncture", as Tehran's moves to breach it threaten efforts to get the US back on board. "We have seen very concerning developments on the nuclear side as well as new rounds of US sanctions," Borrell wrote to

Netflix Keeps Growing in Pandemic

Netflix on Tuesday topped subscriber growth expectations in the past quarter, keeping ahead of new streaming rivals competing for viewers stuck in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The streaming television leader added some 8.5 million paid subscribers in the quarter to reach 203 milli

Conflicting Reports over Recent Attack Spark Confusion between US, Militias in Iraq

Conflicting reports over the strike that targeted the Jurf al-Sakhar region south of Baghdad overnight on Monday have stirred confusion in Iraq between the United States, Iran-aligned militias and official authorities. Located in the Babel region south of Baghdad, the region is mostly controlled

UN: Pandemic, Surging Food Prices Leave Many in Asia Hungry

United Nations agencies are warning that more than 350 million people in the Asia-Pacific region are going hungry as the coronavirus pandemic destroys jobs and pushes food prices higher. The report issued Wednesday by four agencies says the pandemic is making it difficult for 1.9 billion people t

Syrians Rummage in Trash to Survive

Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, clothes, sometimes spaghetti.

Beetle Preserves Offspring's Food in Goop to Slow its Decay

A new study published in the latest issue of the journal The American Naturalist, revealed an unfamiliar behavior adopted by a species of beetles known as "burying beetles" to feed their offspring.

US Secretary of State Nominee Suggests More Sanctions Needed against Turkey

President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state on Tuesday referred to US NATO ally Turkey as a “so-called strategic partner” and raised the possibility of imposing more sanctions on it for purchasing a Russian air defense system. The United States imposed sanctions on Turkey on Dec.

Israeli Tanks Attack Hamas Positions after Rocket Attack

Israeli tanks fired on Hamas positions in Gaza on Tuesday night after a rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave towards Israel, the military said. "Late in the evening a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory," the army said in a statement on WhatsApp. "In respons

Biden to Assume US Presidency amid Deep Division and Raging Pandemic

Democrat Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, assuming the helm of a country beset by deep political divides and battered by a raging coronavirus pandemic. Biden, 78, will become the oldest US president in history at a scaled-back ceremony in Washing

Man Lived 3 Months in Chicago Airport over Fear of COVID-19 Infection

A man has been living in a secure section of Chicago's international airport for three months, apparently telling police he was too afraid of the coronavirus to return home to Los Angeles, according to The Guardian. The 36-year-old man, Californian Aditya Singh, was arrested and charged with crim

US Is Some Ways from Decision on Resuming Iran Nuclear Deal, Says Blinken

The United States does not face a quick decision on whether to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal abandoned by US President Donald Trump, two of President-elect Joe Biden’s top national security nominees said on Tuesday. Biden, who takes office on Wednesday, has said that if Tehran resumed strict compl

Australian Open Cluster Grows as More Players Test Positive

Two more Australian Open players have tested positive for the coronavirus, authorities revealed Wednesday, taking the number of cases linked to the tennis tournament to 10. It is the latest blow to preparations for the year's first Grand Slam in Melbourne -- which has already be delayed by three

Saudi Arabia Reiterates Support for Political Solutions in Yemen, Syria, Libya

The Saudi government reiterated on Tuesday the Kingdom’s support for achieving security and stability in the region. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chaired the cabinet session that was held virtually in Neom due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The cabinet rene

WHO: UK Coronavirus Strain Detected in at Least 60 Countries

The UK coronavirus strain has been detected in at least 60 countries, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, 10 more than a week ago. With the global death toll now well past two million, and new variants of the virus causing deep concern, countries across the world are grappling with how

In Farewell Address, Trump Wishes Luck to Next Administration without Mentioning Biden

US President Donald Trump, in a farewell address released on Tuesday, touted his legacy and wished luck to the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden but without acknowledging his successor by name. Trump has refused to offer a full concession to Democrat Biden, who won the Nov.

In Parting Shot, Trump Administration Accuses China of 'Genocide' against Uighurs

The Trump administration has determined that China has committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" by repressing Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, in an embarrassing blow to Beijing a day before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take off

Syrian Mothers Count Days to Biden, Visas to See children

Syrian mother Dahouk Idriss says she can't wait for US President-elect Joe Biden to be inaugurated Wednesday, so she can finally visit her son for the first time in four years.