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Libya repatriates 135 Nigerian migrants
TRIPOLI: Libyan authorities on Thursday repatriated 135 Nigerian migrants, including women and children, who had made failed attempts to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, an official said. “We are organising... the voluntary repatriation of 135 clandestine Nigerian migrants who were rescued offshore by the coastguard,” said Hosni Abu Ayanah of the Libyan government agency tackling illegal migration. The first group of 75 men
 
 
Spain rescues 600 migrants trying to cross Med Sea
MADRID: Spain’s maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year. The service said it rescued 16 migrants early on Thursday in the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow passage that separates Spain from Morocco. On Wednesday, its vessels rescued 601 migrants, including two in a canoe and six in a beach paddle
   
More than one million S.Sudan refugees in Uganda: UN
ARUA: The number of South Sudanese who have fled to Uganda has hit one million, the UN said Thursday, with no end in sight to the war behind the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis. The nearly four-year civil war has pushed an average of 1,800 South Sudanese into neighbouring Uganda every day for the past year, many of them women and children fleeing “barbaric violence”, according to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR).
 
 
Ministers replaced in Algerian cabinet reshuffle
ALGIERS: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika nominated three new cabinet ministers on Thursday, two days after bringing back veteran loyalist Ahmed Ouyahia for a fourth term as prime minister. The reshuffle included the appointment of Youcef Yousfi as minister for industry and mines, Mohamed Benmeradi as trade minister, and Abdelwahid Temmar as housing minister, according to a presidency statement. Energy Minister Mustapha
   
Clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women
TUNIS: Muslim clerics in Tunisia on Thursday voiced opposition to President Beji Caid Essebsi’s plan to introduce legislation granting equal inheritance rights to women. Essebsi has announced the formation of a commission to examine “individual liberties” and “equality in all domains”, including inheritance rights. Touching another raw nerve in Tunisian political and religious debate, the secular leader called for the government
 
 
Bashir aims to ease Egypt concerns over Nile dam
KHARTOUM: Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir said on Thursday that the construction of Ethiopia’s controversial Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile River would not impact water supplies to Egypt as feared by Cairo. Visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, for his part, said the project was a “win-win” for the peoples of all three countries if it was not politicised. Construction of the massive dam on the Blue Nile in
   
Lebanon, Syria vow to improve economic ties
BEIRUT: Lebanese and Syrian ministers pledged to boost economic ties on Wednesday, part of a visit that has challenged the Lebanese state’s policy of neutrality towards Syria’s war. Government ministers from Lebanon’s Hizbollah and the Shi’ite Amal party arrived in Syria for a trade fair, a trip that has ignited a political row in Lebanon. The Lebanese government has refused to sanction the visit as official business, but
 
 
Qatar welcomes decision to open border for Hajj
STOCKHOLM: The Qatari foreign minister on Thursday welcomed Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen the two countries’ border to Muslim pilgrims. “Regardless of the manner in which pilgrims from Qatar or living in Qatar were banned from the pilgrimage... the government of Qatar welcomes the decision and will respond positively,” Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told a press conference in Stockholm. Saudi Arabia has
   
US airstrikes kill 7 Shabaab fighters in Somalia
MOGADISHU: The US military said on Thursday it has killed seven Al-Shabaab fighters in a series of airstrikes in Somalia as the Trump administration steps up efforts against the deadliest extremist group in Africa. A statement from the US African Command said the three airstrikes were carried out Wednesday and Thursday in Jilib, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The airstrikes were
 
 
US forces to stay in Syria for decades
AIN ISSA: Washington’s main Syrian ally in the fight against Daesh says the US military will remain in northern Syria long after the extremists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias dominated by the Kurdish YPG, believes the United States has a “strategic interest” in staying on, SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters.
   
Suicide attack kills guard in Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY: A suicide bomber killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza on Thursday, in a rare extremists attack against the Palestinian group that has run the impoverished enclave for a decade. The attack on the border with Egypt was the first suicide bombing targeting Hamas forces in Gaza, security sources said. While the border remained open after the bombing, Hamas police carried out raids on Salafist extremists, arresting dozens,
 
 
Iran slams Iraq referendum plan
ANKARA: Iran’s Armed Forces chief of staff said Wednesday after talks with Turkey’s president that a referendum on independence in Iraq’s Kurdish region would trigger conflict and negative consequences for the entire region. General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri’s remarks, carried by Iran’s official IRNA news agency, underlined the firm opposition shared in Tehran and Ankara to the poll next month. “Both sides stressed that if the
   
Yemenis will reject Iranian xperience: Hadi
RIYADH: Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi said that the Iranian experience in his country had failed and it would be rejected by his people. During a meeting in Riyadh on Thursday, in the presence of Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen Saleh, Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin Dagher, Presidential Advisor Rashad Al Alimi and Governor of Aden Abdul Aziz Al Maflhi, he said that a victory over the coup militia was looming.
 
 
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