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UN talks achieve breakthrough on Yemen
 
 
Hariri hopes for new government by end of year
LONDON: Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri said on Thursday he hoped a new national unity government would be formed by the end of the year after seven months of wrangling over the allocation of ministerial posts. Heavily indebted and with a stagnant economy, Lebanon desperately needs a new government to implement economic reforms to put its public finances on a more sustainable footing and unlock foreign aid.
   
Israel locks down Ramallah after clashes
RAMALLAH: Israeli soldiers raided the city of Ramallah during which a Palestinian was killed. The raid came after two soldiers were killed. In total six people were killed in the most violent 24 hours to hit the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem in months. The army raided the nearby city of Ramallah, home to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Entrances and exits to the city were sealed and the army entered multiple neighbourhood
 
 
SDF smashes Daesh defences in east
BEIRUT: Kurdish-led forces on Thursday moved deep into Hajin, the main village in the last pocket still held by the Daesh group in eastern Syria, a war monitor said. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with support from air strikes conducted by the US-led coalition, deployed across the Euphrates Valley village. “The SDF managed to break the defences of the Daesh group after massing a large number of fighters backed by the
   
Court convicts 7 of helping migrants cross Alps
GAP: A court in southeast France on Thursday sentenced seven people including three foreigners for illegally helping a group of migrants cross into the country over an Alpine pass from Italy. Two Frenchmen who had previous court convictions were given four-month jail terms. The others, who included an Italian woman, a Swiss man and a Swiss-Belgian man, received suspended six-month sentences. The activists, whose supporters
 
 
Ex-militant running for regional presidency held
MOGADISHU: Somalia arrested on Thursday a former militant who seeking election as a regional president, sparking clashes between his supporters and security forces. The arrest of Mukhtar Robow in an area where Al Shabaab militants retain a presence after a long civil war heightened tension between Somalia’s central government and semi-autonomous regions where elections are scheduled over the coming months. The Internal Security
   
Probe delves into Daesh crimes against Yazidis
LONDON: A UN investigation into atrocities committed against Yazidis and others in Iraq will do more than simply gather information that will moulder in an archive, the probe’s leader said on Wednesday, it will help bring perpetrators to justice. The team, led by British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan began its work in August, a year after it was approved the UN Security Council. Speaking on the sidelines of a London event
 
 
2 babies die at camp for displaced on Syria-Jordan border
AMMAN: Two babies have died of illness in the past week at a camp for displaced people on the Syrian border with Jordan, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said Thursday. The deaths prompted UNICEF to reiterate calls for humanitarian access for the thousands of people at Rukban camp, which lies in an inhospitable stretch of desert. “Another sad week for children
   
Pompeo urges UN to get tough on Iran missiles
UNITED NATIONS: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged the United Nations to tighten restrictions on Iran’s missiles, which he warned could strike US allies, but other powers called instead for dialogue. Pompeo headed to New York for a Security Council meeting on Iran, which recently confirmed a medium-range ballistic missile test, arguing it is legal and necessary for its defense.
 
 
Syria’s women hop on climate-friendly bikes
KATOWICE: Two years after Syria’s war began, Sarah Zein found the daily drive to her university classes in Damascus becoming impossible. Heavy traffic and mushrooming checkpoints meant the 15-minute journey now took close to an hour. So Zein did something daring: She pulled her childhood bicycle out of storage. In Syria, a society where taboos about women riding bikes remain strong..., said the 24-year-old. That meant her ride
   
15,000 rebels ready to back Turkish operation
ISTANBUL: Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels are ready to join a Turkish military offensive against US-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, but no date has been set for the operation, a spokesman for the main Turkish-backed Syrian rebel group said on Thursday. President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey will launch the military operation in a few days, targeting a border region east of the Euphrates river which is held by
 
 
21 Daesh militants escape Iraqi jail, most recaptured
BAGHDAD: Twenty one prisoners, most of them members of Daesh jailed on terrorism charges, broke out of a prison in northern Iraq but 15 of them have been recaptured, Kurdish security officials said on Thursday. The fortified jail of Sosa is located near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya and include mainly militants of the hardline group who were captured during the fight against Daesh which started in 2014.
   
Refugee who saved lives shocked at Greek detention
BERLIN: A Syrian refugee lauded for saving migrants from drowning at sea voiced shock Wednesday over her three-month detention in Greece for abetting illegal migration. Sarah Mardini, 23, was released on bail in early December, and has since returned to Berlin. “I’m in shock about the situation and how fast everything happened,” Mardini told AFP. “They arrested me because I’ve been accused of
 
 
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