Category Archives: World

Tourist bus blast in Egypt

A tourist bus explosion in near site of Giza Pyramids in Egypt reported by a number of leading news agencies. According to reports there are dead and wounded. There are pictures claimed to be from the scene of the explosion.

Details to follow.

AMENDED: Two dead and 14 wounded reported by local media.

AMENDED: officials qualify the blast as a terrorist attack, highly likely perpetrated by militants of Islamic State (ISIS). However no terrorist group claimed the attack so far.

AMDENDED:  The bus was carrying 12 Vietnamese tourists when an homemade device placed near a wall along the Mariyutiya street, near the Giza Pyramids, went off. 2 people died, 10 were injured as well as the bus driver and the tour guide, both Egyptian.

Giza explosion

UAE reopens Embassy in Damascus

The United Arab Emirates reopens its embassy in Damascus on December 27, the Syrian Information ministry said, a move that would mark an achievement of Syrian diplomacy, and President Bashar al-Assad.

The embassy has been shut since the early months of the Syrian conflict which erupted in 2011, and  Arab state have chosen to support opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

Press has been invited  to cover the event at 1:30 p.m. (1130 GMT) at the embassy located in the capital’s Abu Rummaneh district.

Japanese support graduate return of Kuril Islands

The majority of Japanese believe that the country’s government in negotiations with Russia should focus on the return of the two southern islands of the Kuril archipelago in the first place, and decide the fate of the two remaining ones in the course of further consultations. The public opinion was published on December 16, quoting data from a survey conducted by the Japanese agency Kyodo. (Image: Kuril from space).

Thus, according to the survey, 53.2% of respondents agreed that the Japanese government in negotiations with the Russian Federation should focus on “the return of two islands, and continue negotiations on the remaining two islands.” At the same time, 28.6% of respondents stressed that it is necessary to seek the return of all four islands at once.

The 1956 declaration said that the peace treaty between Russia and Japan could be concluded after the delivery of Khabomai and Shikotan islands to Japan. Japan had refused to sign the declaration because of the wish to receive more than just two islands.

In 2017, the Russian government established an advanced economic development zone on Shikotan Island and assigned Shikotan to the territory of special economic cooperation between Russia and Japan.

Ankara requests suspects of Khashoggi assassination extradition

Turkey has instructed Saudi Arabia to extradite all suspects in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, including two key allies of crown prince – de facto ruler of the country Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

Istanbul’s chief prosecutor has filed warrants for the arrest of a top aide of de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman and the deputy head of foreign intelligence on suspicion of planning Khashoggi’s murder.

The prosecutor’s office has announced there is “strong suspicionSaud al-Qahtani and General Ahmed al-Asiri, who were removed from their positions in October, were among the planners of the 2 October killing of the jounalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two Turkish officials told Reuters.

Saudi women protest against abaya

Saudi campaigners have urged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to abandon rules for the Kingdom’s rigid dress code for women, launching a social media action posting photos, wearing their abayas inside out in protest.

Women in Saudi Arabia have for decades been required to wear the abaya — a loose, all-covering black garment — in public, a dress code strictly enforced by police.

Prince Mohammed said in March that women needed only to dress “modestly” and were not required to wear abayas. But Saudi women  see  that in practice nothing has changed, and they are demanding the promised freedom.

I’ve started wearing my compulsory hijab called abaya (this black robe) turned inside out to express my objection on Sharia law violating Saudi women’s freedom to clothe,” tweeted one, referring to the Islamic law that effectively governs the kingdom.

‘”I’ve started wearing my compulsory hijab called abaya (this black robe) turned inside out to express my objection on Sharia law violating Saudi women’s freedom to clothe,” tweeted one, referring to the Islamic law that governs the Kingdom.

Taliban captures Tarinkot base

Taliban group stormed and seized a military base located in Tarinkot, the administrative center of the province of Uruzgan. Reportedly a unit of the Afghan National Army was stationed at the base, sharing it with representatives of the  police.

According to the Afghan media, a total of 25 soldiers and police were stationed in the base, 13 among them were killed in the attack.

According to information published by Taliban in social media, they killed 10 miliary and took 13 hostages. The authorities of Uruzgan Province and a representative of the Afghan Ministry of Defense confirmed the seizure of the military base without specifying the total number of casualties.

 

UK to expand diplomatic network

British Foreign Office is strengthening its network with 1,000 diplomatic staff as it is preparing to develop its relations with countries around the world in solo after Brexit – Secretary Jeremy Hunt intends to announce, according to Reuters News Agency.

Diplomatic service will comprise 335 new positions overseas, 328 in London and 329 new local staff around the world.

“Our democratic values are arguably under greater threat than at any time since the fall of the Berlin Wall … we can use our influence, reach and power to defend our values,” Hunt will say in the speech entitled “Britain’s role in the world after Brexit,” Reuters quotes its sources. “We must reinvigorate and expand British diplomacy.

The Foreign Office will also boost language training, he will say, increasing the number of languages taught at the department to 70, from 50, including the addition of Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Gujarati.

Among Britain’s top diplomatic jobs some will to be opened up to experts who are not civil servants as part of a push to recruit “under-represented groups”, as the UK expands its overseas diplomacy  network  Hunt is to announce.

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