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World - Row over plan to merge Asia`s top posts

Prince Ali bin Al Hussein has savaged plans to hand his current role as FIFA vice-president to Asia`s football boss in a row which threatens to plunge regional soccer into a fresh round of infighting. In an open letter, the Jordanian royal `strongly opposed` the proposal backed by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, which will be put to the vote in June. `I stand firm by my conviction that all sport... should be free from politics and completely devoid of politicos and self-interest individuals and groups that exploit the sport and all its stakeholders for their own personal gains,` Prince Ali wrote. Four of football`s six global confederations combine the role of regional president and FIFA vice-president, with the AFC and South America`s CONMEBOL the two exceptions.

Thursday, April 17, 2014  19:22


World - Yemen`s foreign minister says will push donors for promised billions in aid

By Mohammed Ghobari SANAA (Reuters) - The Yemeni foreign minister said on Thursday he would use a meeting in London this month to push donor countries to release billions of dollars in promised aid that Yemen desperately needs to address its ailing economy and volatile security situation. The Friends of Yemen group pledged around $7.9 billion in aid in 2012, but most of the funds have been delayed because of technical issues and lagging approvals by donor heads of state, a Yemeni government minister previously told Reuters. Yemen`s economy nearly collapsed during the year-long revolt that toppled former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Stability in Yemen is seen as key by Washington and Gulf countries because of the country`s location next to the world`s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and on the important Red Sea oil shipment route.

Thursday, April 17, 2014  15:39


World - Tunisia MPs slam `light` verdicts for Ben Ali officials

Tunisian lawmakers on Monday condemned as excessively lenient appeal sentences handed to top security officials in Zine El Abidine Ben Ali`s ousted regime for their part in repressing protests during the 2011 uprising. The military court in Tunis ruled on Saturday in several appeals trials of officials implicated in the bloody crackdown on protesters that left more than 300 people dead in Tunis and Sfax during the revolt that ousted Ben Ali and ignited the Arab Spring. The former head of presidential security, Ali Seriati, was given a three-year prison sentence, as was Rafik Belhaj Kacem, the interior minister at the time. Former chief of Tunisia`s special brigades, Jalel Boudriga, originally jailed for 10 years for pre-meditated murder, also saw his sentence reduced to three years, after the allegations against him were re-defined as non-assistance to people in danger.

Monday, April 14, 2014  19:54


World - Tunisia police use tear gas to break up Salafist demo

Siliana (Tunisia) (AFP) - Police in northern Tunisia Friday used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the arrest of a group of Salafists, the interior ministry told AFP. Around 100 Salafist Islamists gathered in front of a police station in Rouhia in the northern province of Siliana to demand the release of 16 men from the town`s mosque who were arrested on Monday, a security source said. Interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told AFP the 16 `radicals` arrested included `three self-declared imams, one of whom had come back from Syria`. Tunisia has seen a rise in jihadist activity since the ouster of long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a 2011 popular uprising, and the government recently vowed to take control of mosques run by radical Islamists.

Friday, April 11, 2014  19:01


Most Recent - Asif Ali Zardari Fast Facts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  16:05


World - Iranian negotiators reject hardline criticism of nuclear talks

By Michelle Moghtader ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Iranian hardliners stepped up criticism of Tehran`s negotiations with world powers over its nuclear program on Wednesday, but negotiators defended the planned deal that could lead to an end to economic sanctions. The hardliners, unsettled by the shift to a more moderate foreign policy since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August, have repeatedly criticized the talks in recent months but Iran`s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backs them. Iran and six world powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China - struck an interim deal in November under which Tehran agreed to limit some of its nuclear work in return for the easing some sanctions imposed on Iran for its disputed atomic program.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  19:52


World - Egypt clamps hold over mosques to control message

CAIRO (AP) — In his weekly sermon, Muslim cleric Ali Abdel-Moati preached to his congregation in a southern Egyptian city about the evils of making hasty judgments. That prompted a complaint to authorities from a judge, who accused him of criticizing a recent mass death sentence issued against supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  07:40


World - Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote, opponents warn of fraud

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika urged Algerians to defy boycott calls and vote in Thursday`s election, as his rival Ali Benflis said an `army` of supporters would monitor the poll and warned against fraud. The ailing 77-year-old incumbent is widely expected to clinch a fourth term in office, but he faces the damaging possibility of low voter turnout, with opposition parties and a youth protest group urging Algerians to snub the poll. `I call on all citizens to participate in the presidential election and express their choice,` Bouteflika said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  22:52


World - Benflis vows to monitor Algeria vote, protest any fraud

Algiers (AFP) - Presidential hopeful Ali Benflis said Tuesday that thousands of his supporters would monitor Algeria`s election, vowing to protest if it is rigged in favour of ailing incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is seeking re-election.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  19:27


World - Iraq Kurds dig trench on Syria border to block militants

Arbil (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraq`s autonomous Kurdish region is digging a trench along its border with Syria to prevent the infiltration of militants and smuggling from the war-racked country, officials say. `The trench is designed to prevent the infiltration of members of terrorist groups and stop smugglers,` Halkurd Mullah Ali, the spokesman for the Kurdish region`s peshmerga security ministry, told AFP. The trench is 17 kilometres (10 miles) long, two metres (yards) deep and three metres wide, and is `part of an Iraqi (federal) government strategy` to protecting the country`s 600 kilometre border with Syria.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  14:55

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