Author: Kulthum el-Akram

Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian has been elected as Iran’s new president, beating his hardline conservative rival Saeed Jalili. The vote was declared in Dr Pezeshkian’s favour after he secured 53.3% of the more than 30 million votes counted. Mr Jalili polled at 44.3%. The run-off came after no candidate secured a majority in the first round of the election on 28 June, which saw a historically low voter turnout of 40%. The election was called after Iran’s previous president Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash in May, in which seven others also died. The leaders of China, India and Russia have all congratulated…

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CAIRO – 19 June 2024: Egypt’s agricultural exports of vegetables and fruits, during the 6-month period from September 2023 to February 2024, showed that Egypt succeeded in exporting 45 thousand tons of strawberries at a value of $129 million. Egypt’s exports of strawberries represented 2 percent of the amount of Egyptian exports and 6 percent of the value of exports. Egypt’s agricultural exports of vegetables and fruits during the 6-month period from September 2023 to February 2024 amounted to about 2.82 million tons, worth about $2 billion. Saudi Arabia, Russia and Britain came at the top of the countries importing Egyptian…

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The country’s most important archaeological find has been compared to Machu Picchu. Here’s how to see it At first glance, it doesn’t look like much, just a rectangular meadow in the Pamir foothills of central Tajikistan. But there was a time when this ground reverberated with the thunder of hooves. Occupying a broad saddle, high above the mighty Panj River, this meadow is believed to be an ancient arena for the Central Asian sport of buzkashi, or dead goat polo. The playing field was a centerpiece of a once sprawling settlement, a political and religious capital inhabited for centuries but since lost to…

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Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiraling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking. In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin Kahhorzoda revealed…

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While much of the speculation about the potential for future conflict between China and the United States and its allies is focused on Taiwan and its surrounds, increasing Chinese antagonism in the South China Sea begs the question, which one is more dangerous? There is no escaping that the western Pacific and north Asia, in particular, are a hotbed of geopolitical and strategic competition. At the core of this is Beijing’s increasing belligerence and acts of hostility towards regional neighbours ranging from established powers like Japan and South Korea to emerging powers including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and, of…

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The Joe Biden-Xi Jinping meeting in San Francisco on the occasion of the APEC summit did not signify any meaningful breakthrough in their increasingly adversarial relationship. To alter the dynamics behind the deterioration of their ties, a redefinition of their interests and policies is needed. This is not on the cards. The US sees China as a rival, the only real one that can counter US global power, politically, economically and technologically. If the Chinese political and economic system was compatible with that of the West and China was seen as willing to become a part of the West dominated…

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The UAE canceled the licenses of two domestic worker recruitment agencies for failing to comply with regulations around employment rights. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) announced the suspension of licenses of Emirates International Centre for Domestic Workers and Al Shamsi Domestic Workers Services, on Friday. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the government agency said it took action against the agencies “to settle the status of their workers, fulfill their obligations, and pay any fines that were due until the date of license cancellation.” The two firms reportedly did not implement the rights awarded to domestic helps under…

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MANILA: Japan and the Philippines have fortified their military alliance, as both nations seek to resist a more aggressive Beijing in the East and South China Seas. Standing beside President Ferdinand Marcos Jr in Manila on Friday night, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his country will begin formal talks to forge a reciprocal access agreement (RAA) that would allow both nations to hold joint military drills for the first time on Philippine shores. Japan is also giving the Philippine Navy a 600 million yen (S$5.4 million) grant for a coastal radar system to bolster its maritime domain awareness capabilities.…

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Ten UAE aid lorries arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, loaded with more than 247 tonnes of food for thousands of Palestinians in the besieged enclave. The convoy – carrying 16,520 food parcels – is part of the UAE’s continuing humanitarian support for civilians caught up in the Israel-Gaza war. The crucial supplies were delivered on the third day of a four-day pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip. More than 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have faced heavy and continuous Israeli air strikes and ground assaults since the October 7 attack by Hamas. The group killed about 1,200 Israelis and took about 200 hostage. Israel’s retaliatory attacks have…

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Toronto, Atlanta (28/11 – 20) A wise old expression intones “Behind every bad borrower is a bad lender”. Like many such cute, amusing aphorisms, it is accurate as far as it goes … but what if? What if a loan approval is held up, then granted, after a couple of phone calls from the office of the Vice President? What if the borrower is a crony or relative of Mr. Big, which is what practically bankrupted Indonesia, when the Soeharto vampire children took out multi-hundred-million-dollar “loans” (wink wink) for projects whose profit-making potential was near zero? What is the potential…

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