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The two countries signed an agreement to link their power grids on Tuesday. The deal was inked via video conference by the Saudi energy minister and Iraqi Acting Minister of Electricity Adel Karim, in the presence of Secretary-General of Iraq’s Council of Ministers Hamid al-Ghazi.

The power grid link between Saudi Arabia and Iraq is expected to produce one gigawatt of energy during the initial phase, the Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud

Iraq has been witnessing a chronic power shortage since the US-led invasion in 2003, as the country’s electricity plants and electricity imported from neighbouring Iran reached over 20 gigawatts, far less than the actual demand of over 30 gigawatts.

The World Bank blasted Lebanon’s ruling class on Tuesday, January 25, for “orchestrating” one of the world’s worst national economic depressions due to their exploitative grip on resources.

Fueled by massive debt and the unsustainable way it was financed, the crisis has slashed Lebanon’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 58.1% since 2019, plummeting to an estimated $21.8 billion in 2021, the World Bank said.

“This elite commands the main economic resources, generating large rents and dividing the spoils of a dysfunctional state,” the World Bank said.

Cyprus’ president has scrapped plans to grant free-of-charge, around-the-clock use of state-financed luxury vehicles to top civil servants amid a public outcry over a perceived waste of taxpayers’ money.

The decision to grant vehicle use to officials including the permanent secretaries of government ministries was made following a deal with trade union officials to gradually re-instate the privilege that was cut amid fiscal belt-tightening following a 2013 financial crisis that nearly bankrupted the country.

The decision had angered Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides who had posted on his Twitter feed that he considered it “scandalous” for civil servants to use a “state limousine for family trips.”

Turkey has detained a well-known television journalist for comments she made on air about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The crime of insulting the president carries a jail sentence of one to four years in Turkey.

Sedef Kabaş faces imprisonment for saying a proverb, with colleagues condemning arrest as attempt to intimidate media

A Rawalpindi court has given death penalty to a Pakistani woman on blasphemy charge under section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The judge said the accused is also convicted under section 295-A of PPC and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 50000, read The Nation.

The accused failed to prove her innocence and is to be hanged by her neck till she is dead.

In case of default in payment of fine the convict shall undergo imprisonment of six months.

The government of Cyprus says that it has already received more than 700 applications for asylum so far this year. The island nation, which has seen a spike in irregular arrivals in recent years, says it is encountering a “migration crisis”, propelled by Turkey.

The Greek-administered part of the island, which is part of the EU and has a population of 1.2 million, had one of the highest numbers of asylum applications per capita in the entire EU in 2020, according to the bloc’s official statistics.

The Cypriot immigration authorities say they are overstretched and struggle to deal with the unabatated flow of migrants to the island.

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he is considering re-designating Yemen’s Houthi militia as an international terrorist organization days after the Iran-backed group killed three people in a drone strike in its recent attack outside Yemen.

Biden officially delisted the Houthi militia as a “foreign terrorist organization,” a designation put in place by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Egyptian women will be entitled to a maximum of three maternity leaves after the Senate on Sunday passed an amendment to the country’s labour law, local news outlets have reported.

The previous law article gave women only 90 days of paid maternity leave and an hour for breastfeeding when mums returned to work, provided they had worked at that workplace for at least 10 months prior to childbirth.

The new article on maternity leave is believed to conform with the state’s policy of birth control.

Based on confidential information received by Avatoday, nine missiles in an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ missile site in Hamedan’s Asadabad were exploded on Sunday morning.

Several unidentified stealth drones reportedly entered Iran’s airspace in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Flights were cancelled for several hours in western Iran on Sunday morning following these incidents, passengers reported.

According to the information, IRGC suspects insiders’ role in the attacks and has already started investigation.

Gagnoncharlotte

Gagnoncharlotte

News, stories, and updates from Middle East and from the world. Critical researcher on migrant governance and human rights in Turkey and in the Mid East.