Gunman opens fire at New York cathedral. KABUL: Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents will resume in early January as the warring sides take a break after reaching agreement on procedural ground rules for sustaining their dialogue to end the war.
The talks between the Afghan sides began in Qatar in September, months after the United States and the Taliban struck a deal on the withdrawal of the remaining 12,000 US troops in exchange for Taliban security guarantees and a commitment to talk peace. Members of the Afghan government delegation said on Monday they would travel back to Kabul from Doha. “We’re taking a break for now and will be ready to discuss the agenda when talks resume,” said a senior Afghan official overseeing diplomatic communications with the Taliban. A Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comment. Despite the peace process, violence in Afghanistan has not ended. Mumbai’s century-old food delivery network betting the farm on new venture. NEW DELHI: For decades they delivered lunch across Mumbai as part of a 130-year-old network, earning themselves the moniker dabbawalas, or the “ones who carry a box.”
The delivery system was the primary source of income for 5,000 men who are mostly semi-literate and earned around 15,000 Indian rupees a month ($200) by lugging more than 200,000 lunch boxes across the city every day, irrespective of rain, thunder or riots. But with India imposing a nationwide lockdown in March, the state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, was forced to shut down all public transport and essential services. “For the first time in years, our life came to a standstill. Red Bull’s Verstappen wins season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sport will be a tool to benefit the people of Saudi Arabia: Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s citizens will become fitter and more active, and enjoy a more dynamic and vigorous economy, under sweeping plans by the government to promote sporting activities in the Kingdom and to stage big international sporting events.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Minister for Sport, told Arab News that his plans — part of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy — would lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs in the multi-billion-dollar global sports industry. It would also help remedy health issues within the Kingdom linked to lack of mobility and obesity. 9 things to watch on Tadawul today. HONG KONG: China’s market regulator on Monday said it fined Alibaba Group and a Tencent Holdings-backed company for failing to seek approval before proceeding with some acquisitions.
It also is launching a review of a merger of two online streaming platforms in the latest tightening of controls over the Internet sector. In a statement, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said Monday that it fined Alibaba 500,000 yuan ($76,500) for increasing its stake in department store company Intime Retail Group to 73.79 percent in 2017 without seeking approval. China Literature, an online publisher and e-book company spun off by Tencent, was fined the same amount for also not seeking approval for its acquisition of New Classics Media. Separately, Shenzhen Hive Box, backed by Chinese courier firm SF Express, was censured over its acquisition of China Post Smart Logistics.
Saudi Arabia launches project to support Yemen’s fisheries sector. Sport will be a tool to benefit the people of Saudi Arabia: Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s citizens will become fitter and more active, and enjoy a more dynamic and vigorous economy, under sweeping plans by the government to promote sporting activities in the Kingdom and to stage big international sporting events.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Minister for Sport, told Arab News that his plans — part of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy — would lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs in the multi-billion-dollar global sports industry. It would also help remedy health issues within the Kingdom linked to lack of mobility and obesity. Lebanon’s battered economy spurs smuggling across Syrian border. BEIRUT: The border region between Lebanon and Syria in Baalbek-Hermel in eastern Lebanon often experiences security tensions that rise and fall depending on the smuggling operations being carried out there.
On Saturday, Syrian army border guards fired at a number of young men at one of the illegal crossings, known as the Arida border crossing, in the border village of Al-Qasr, killing one Lebanese man and wounding another. Smuggling occurs in both directions, but smuggling from Lebanon to Syria has become more common with deteriorating economic conditions in the two countries and the sanctions imposed on Syria. This includes smuggling basic goods subsidized by the Lebanese state such as flour, fuel and medicine.
There are also illegal routes for smuggling stolen cars. Morocco-Israel deal has wide-ranging benefits. The late King Hassan II was indefatigable in his efforts in three main policy areas: Morocco’s claim over the Western Sahara, seeking a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and his kingdom’s relationship with the US.
The three issues have continued to characterize Moroccan foreign policy and it is therefore fitting that a deal was last week secured that included them all. The White House announced on Friday that President Donald Trump and King Mohammed VI had agreed that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural co-operation to advance regional stability.” A more important facet of their agreement was that the US recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara, with plans for a US consulate there, following those that have been opened in recent weeks by the UAE and Jordan.
Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 16,362. MOSCOW: Russia had nothing to do with alleged monitoring by hackers of internal email traffic at the US Treasury and Commerce departments, the Kremlin said on Monday.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters the hackers were believed to be working for Russia and that they feared the hacks uncovered so far may be the tip of the iceberg. nL1N2IT0MC One person familiar with the matter said the hack was so serious it had led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the allegations. “Once again, I can reject these accusations and once again I want to remind you that it was President (Vladimir) Putin who proposed that the American side agree and conclude agreements (with Russia) on cybersecurity,” said Peskov, saying Washington had not responded to the offer.
Negrao penalty puts Ulsan in Asian Champions League final. Sport will be a tool to benefit the people of Saudi Arabia: Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s citizens will become fitter and more active, and enjoy a more dynamic and vigorous economy, under sweeping plans by the government to promote sporting activities in the Kingdom and to stage big international sporting events.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Minister for Sport, told Arab News that his plans — part of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy — would lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs in the multi-billion-dollar global sports industry. It would also help remedy health issues within the Kingdom linked to lack of mobility and obesity. UK and EU ditch deadline and pursue Brexit talks. BRUSSELS: British and European negotiators were sent back to work Sunday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen agreed to abandon their supposed make-or-break deadline.
The pair had said last week they would decide whether an agreement was possible by the end of Sunday, but after a cross-Channel crisis call they agreed to “go the extra mile.” “We had a useful phone call this morning. We discussed the major unresolved topics,” von der Leyen said in a video message, reading out a joint statement agreed with Johnson. “Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days.” The EU’s Michel Barnier and Britain’s David Frost held talks late on Saturday and early on Sunday. Saudi FM receives Sudan president’s security adviser. JEDDAH: Saudi health officials declared victory over the coronavirus on Sunday and said COVID-19 was under control.
The Kingdom recorded only 139 new cases of infection, the first time the figure has been under 150 since the pandemic began to take hold in March. The Ministry of Health’s weekly confirmed COVID-19 case map shows that almost all of the Kingdom’s regions are in the “safe zone,” recording numbers below 50 throughout the past week and more. Pakistani police arrest 2 members of ‘Iran-backed’ Zainabiyoun. EU and UK give each other until Sunday to save Brexit talks. 7 things to watch on Tadawul today. RIYADH: The total value of mortgage loans surged 88 percent to SR105.52 billion ($28.142 billion) in the first 10 months of this year, according to figures from the Saudi Central Bank.
The huge increase in demand for mortgages is part of the Saudi government’s aim to increase homeownership in the Kingdom to 70 percent as part of the Vision 2030 targets, up from 50 percent in 2018. A breakdown of mortgage loans in October showed that mortgages to buy villas made up the bulk of loans, representing 81 percent, with the remainder being used to purchase apartments and land plots. The source of mortgages saw some fluctuations in October, with the number of contracts signed with banks and retail clients increasing 22 percent, while those prepared by financial firms declined 39 percent compared to last year.
Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University jumps 59 places in global rankings. MAKKAH: They are among the region’s most striking natural wonders, formed over millions of years by ancient rivers — and still home to mysterious secrets. Now Saudi Arabia’s caves, sinkholes and caverns are becoming hidden gems for the adventurous or merely curious to seek out and explore. More than 230 caves — deep and shallow, and formed of limestone, gypsum and other minerals — have been discovered in the Kingdom’s deserts. As the mysteries of Saudi Arabia gain wider recognition, these natural treasures are the subject of growing interest. Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Shanti, a specialist in caves and dunes at the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), told Arab News that caves are a valuable natural asset, and attract explorers, researchers and others interested in the field.
The SGS has launched an exploration project to determine the location, types and origins of the Kingdom’s caves. Iran faces UN probe into dissident massacres covered up for 30 years. JEDDAH: Iran faces a UN investigation into massacres of imprisoned dissidents that the regime in Tehran has tried to cover up for more than 30 years. Thousands of mainly young people were executed without trial in Iran in 1988, as the war with Iraq was ending. Those killed were mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which had backed Baghdad in the conflict.
A group of seven special UN rapporteurs wrote to the Iranian government to say they were “seriously concerned by the continued refusal to disclose the fate and whereabouts” of those killed. EU and UK give each other until Sunday to save Brexit talks. Hail Rally 2020 gets underway in opener of Baja events. HAIL: The first of two back-to-back Baja events running under the Hail Rally Toyota 2020 banner gets underway at Al-Maghwat, on the outskirts of Hail city, on Thursday evening.
The three-day event will mark the fourth round of the 2020 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and finishes on Saturday afternoon. The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation has confirmed that, subject to technical checks and last-minute changes, 54 FIA cars, 27 motorcycles, 25 quads and one truck will take part in the main event, with 35 additional vehicles competing in a National Rally.
Airbnb, DoorDash IPOs cap busy year for startups. SAN FRANCISCO: Airbnb and DoorDash make their stock market debut this week as part of a “unicorn parade” capping a busy year for hot startups going public. The startups known as unicorns — valued in the billions — are poised to take advantage of a market hungry for young businesses promising fast growth, with some taking advantage of lifestyle changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
IBM opens its first ever security operations center in Saudi Arabia. LONDON: Britain’s economic recovery almost ground to a halt in October as a surge in coronavirus cases hammered the hospitality sector, adding to the chances that the economy will shrink over the final three months of 2020. Iran faces UN probe into dissident massacres covered up for 30 years. Oil falls after Saudi Arabia cuts prices, China slows imports. US Navy searches for missing Nimitz sailor in Arabian Sea. Assad seeks Russian investment as US sanctions hammer economy. Saudi Arabia court sentences 8 for Khashoggi murder. King Salman and Putin discuss oil partnership, vaccine production. Committed to working with Pakistan to expand ties, Saudi envoy tells defence minister
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to assess damages caused by recent rains in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa provinces and compensate the public in coordination with provincial governments, state run media reported on Tuesday. The PM chaired a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on floods on Monday and called for a joint strategy by the federal and provincial governments to compensate people for damages caused by floods.
COVID-19 contact tracers reveal how virus hunt continues in Pakistan. LAHORE: In June, during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan, Dr. Virus-weary Saudi citizens at risk of succumbing to ‘pandemic fatigue’ Saudi cabinet reviews COVID precautions as workers return to offices. Macron’s Lebanese ‘faux pas’ Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia ‘aimed at stopping coalition airstrikes’ Price of oil ‘will hit $65 next year,’ say energy analysts. Hamas, Israel agree to cease-fire over border violence. Iraq must assert sovereignty despite US-Iran tensions, stresses Macron. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and Kushner discuss resuming Palestinian-Israeli talks.
Saudi foreign minister discusses ‘growing relations’ with Iraq PM. New Zealand serves justice with life sentence for mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant. Forget other models. Aramco should carry on being ... Aramco. Arab American on FBI’s Most Wanted list captured in Texas. Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan under fire over Turkey visit. Pompeo: Iran sanctions will snap back at midnight on Sep. 20. Arabnews. Global aid for Lebanon depends on ‘very serious’ reforms: Canadian FM.
Can Lebanon avoid the Venezuela meltdown scenario? Lebanese businesses rebel against lockdown. Italy PM Conte to visit Lebanon ‘in coming days’ Optimism in Egypt despite strict virus protocols. First Saudi cycling championship crowns four female winners. A museum at home: Son follows father’s will request to house 1,000 artifacts.
UN should build on Libyan cease-fire announcements. HRW: Qatar failing to protect workers’ rights ahead of World Cup. Experts skeptical about Turkey’s latest gas discovery. New Zealand mosque attacks survivors describe hiding under corpses. Libya’s GNA targeted by demonstrations for second day. Pompeo hopes other Arab states open relations with Israel. Huawei suffers under US pressure. NBA great LeBron James pumps up Goodyear after Trump attacks company. Lebanon judge issues two new arrest warrants over Beirut blast. Hook urges UN to heed US call for ‘snapback’ of sanctions on Iran. Saudi Arabia will not approve vaccine until completely safe, says health minister
Saudi FM meets Latvian president, other officials. Pakistan's Punjab province pushes crackdown on publishers. 80% Pakistanis believe coronavirus ‘under control’, no need for precautions — Gallup. Paws for thought: Egypt’s grand mufti rules on purity of dogs. Italy gives Tunisia €11m to stem migrant flow. Saudi cabinet welcomes Kingdom’s aid efforts for Lebanon. Arab streamers on the price of being a professional. Museum to be set up in memory of late Saudi maestro.
There is no role for Hezbollah in Lebanon’s future. Israel’s Mossad spy chief visits UAE for security talks. Rumors swirl about ex-president as potential Erdogan challenger. 90% of COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia recover as infection rate passes 300,000 mark. Hariri verdict builds case for Hezbollah’s accountability. Lebanon tribunal convicts Hezbollah member Salim Jamil Ayyash for Hariri assassination.
Bling no longer king in India as gold loses its shine. Saudi Arabia’s PIF trades its way to profits on stock market resilience. GCC secretary-general denounces Iran’s ‘threats’ against UAE. GCC secretary-general denounces Iran’s ‘threats’ against UAE. Saudi health ministry says pandemic not over yet. Saudi king orders promotion of 62 judges. As tourism reopens, Pakistanis head north to reconnect with nature, escape summer’s heat. Lights, camera, TikTok, as parks in Pakistan's Karachi become prime filming locations.
US-China trade review delayed as Beijing lifts farm, oil spending. Algeria reopens mosques, beaches after 5-month lockdown. Iran threatens to attack UAE over Israel deal. Students in Saudi Arabia to continue remote learning in September. KSRelief continues relief operations for victims of Beirut’s Aug. 4 blast. General Bajwa, Bill Gates discuss Pakistan’s anti-polio campaign The Austrian who held Pakistan’s first passport — and helped seal ties with Saudi Arabia. Ethiopia says Renaissance Dam negotiations resuming Monday. Saudi Arabia working on coronavirus vaccine with Chinese company. Akiba Cafe: Your manga escape in Saudi Arabia. Erdogan’s foreign policy illusions. US blasts Houthis over ‘ticking time bomb’ tanker in Red Sea.
Alexandra Najjar: The face of Beirut’s man-made tragedy Saudi bridge continues to aid stricken in Lebanon. Lebanese government expected to resign after Beirut blast. Turkey drives Muslim Brotherhood campaign against Egyptian and Greek maritime demarcation. BP said to be considering sale of Mideast ‘stranded assets’