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    Former President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has reportedly been reaching out to some of the connections he built during his father-in-law's administration for investment in a new firm. Kushner has reached out to leaders in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other Persian Gulf states to try and get backing for Affinity Partners, Kushner's new company, according to The New York Times.  The former Director of the Office of American Innovation and senior advisor to his wife's father, Donald Trump, has purportedly not been entirely successful in his efforts, which seek to raise an amount 'in the low billions of dollars' by early next year, The Times said. Rulers in both Qatar and the UAE have reportedly declined to invest in Affinity. However, Kushner has purportedly found interest from Saudi Arabia and the kingdom's $450 billion Public Investment Fund.    The Times reported that the Saudi PIF is currently in negotiations with Kushner over a 'sizable investment.' Jared Kushner (pictured right), son-in-law and former senior advisor to ex-President Donald Trump, is attempting to line up Middle Eastern investment in a...
    (CNN)The United Arab Emirates' de facto ruler landed Wednesday in Turkey's capital as part of a diplomatic spree to end regional rifts that have defined the Middle East for over a decade. The Ankara meeting brings together two regional powerhouses that have long viewed one other as ideological foes: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The rivalry between the UAE and Turkey has played out on some of the most lethal battlefields in the region over the past decade, reshaping the Middle East in the process. A détente between the former foes could have a similarly transformational effect. The roots of the recent feud go back to MBZ's campaign to stamp out the conservative Muslim Brotherhood movement across the region. Erdogan, for his part, has been the Islamist group's most powerful supporter.MBZ has long been a key backer of Egypt's military, which overthrew the country's first democratically elected president -- Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsy -- in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2014, then installed former general...
    In this article LCID Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday that the start-up has plans to build factories outside the U.S. The California-based electric vehicle maker's flagship facility is in Casa Grande, Arizona, where the company started commercial production in September. Initial deliveries of the "Dream Edition" of Lucid's Air sedan began late last month, an important milestone for the company in the increasingly competitive EV market. "Mid-decade, we plan to have plants in the Middle East and China, as well," Rawlinson said in an interview on "Mad Money." China is home to the world's largest auto market, and electric-vehicle pioneer Tesla opened a factory in the country in 2019. A number of Chinese EV start-ups, such as Xpeng, Li Auto and Nio, are working to capture consumer attention, as well. Rawlinson's comments come one day after Lucid reported its first quarterly results as a public company. Its market capitalization surpassed that of Ford Motor on Tuesday as investors reacted to management confirming production plans for 2022 and signaling that refundable vehicle reservations had increased. Lucid expects to...
    VIDEO2:4102:41World needs a market mechanism that incentivizes development of low-carbon tech: WoodMacSquawk Box Asia Australia and the Middle East have the greatest potential to be major exporters of "green" hydrogen in the coming years, according to an analysis by energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. It can be used as a clean power source for sectors such as manufacturing and transportation — but it is expensive to produce and difficult to transport. Still, an expected surge in demand for low-carbon hydrogen — which includes green hydrogen — has prompted several countries to announce plans to build hydrogen exporting capabilities. Nearly 60% of such projects are in Australia and the Middle East, Wood Mackenzie said in a report.Australia vs. Middle EastBoth Australia and the Middle East are near potential major importers in Northeast Asia and Europe, said Prakash Sharma, the consultancy's head of markets and transitions in Asia-Pacific. "The proximity is going to help ... Australia is close to the Northeast Asian market but also Middle East could go anywhere in both...
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    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Four hundred fifty men and women from the Florida National Guard are deploying on a year-long mission to the Middle East. “Today we are saying goodbye to our soldiers who are heading overseas for an awesome mission,” said Bailey Burnside. READ MORE: Police Investigating Hialeah Middle School Social Media Threat National Guard deployment on Oct. 8, 2021 (CBS4) She will stay home and hold down the fort as her husband, Capt. Curtis Burnside, leaves for a year.  He’s deployed before, but he’s never left behind a wife and three little ones. He’s not sure what’s to expect. “I’ve never gone and had to do that, so I can’t really tell you that right now.  I guess we’ll figure that out in about an hour and a half,” he said. One thing he does know is there’s a lot he will miss. “Mostly kissing them, hanging out with them, you know what I mean, seeing them play football, she just started walking.  The milestones you miss when you’re overseas,” he said. READ MORE: BSO Investigating Body Found...
    (CNN)Across the globe, electronic waste is piling up. In 2019, over 53 million metric tons of electronics ended up in the trash, and that number is expected to double by 2050. But less than 20% of used electronics are currently recycled. This means a lot of valuable resources are literally going to waste. Among the components are bits of silver, copper, gold and steel. In total, scraps of electronic devices represented $57 billion-worth of resources in 2019, of which $47 billion-worth wasn't recycled.Africa holds the lowest rate of formal e-waste recycling in the world -- only 1% of binned devices are redirected to recycling plants. But Enviroserve, one of the world's largest electronics recyclers, see this as an opportunity. With e-waste on the rise globally, the company has built a plant in Dubai capable of processing 14 times more e-waste than it does today. It processes waste from 10 countries across the Middle East and Africa and can recycle up to 98% of the material from an electronic device into raw materials, which are then sold to manufacturers in the...
    The silhouette of a bride and groom locked in a tender embrace is undeniably romantic. Interestingly enough, people in the Arab world somehow felt that same romantic connection while eating grilled meat and pita sandwiches — so much so, they named this popular sandwich Arayes, which means “bride and groom” in Arabic. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious. Arayes pita sandwiches are ubiquitous in street stalls across the Middle East, where pita bread is stuffed with a thin layer of seasoned ground meat, brushed with olive oil and then cooked on a grill until crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. But why the name? The dish’s colors — the white of the pita bread and the dark hues of the meat — are rather like a bridal gown and a tuxedo locked in a sandwich embrace. Or perhaps it’s simply a marriage of deliciousness. The meat filling is basically kofta, or ground meat seasoned with onions, garlic, herbs and spices. The sprightly blend of fresh parsley and allspice, sometimes with a hint of pomegranate molasses, adds freshness...
    Diamonds used for Meghan Markle's mysterious pinky ring were also turned into earrings she wore at Trooping the Colour, after being gifted from the Middle East, reports claim. Interest in the jewellery continues to overshadow the Duchess of Sussex's appearance on the cover of Time magazine earlier this week. Many were intrigued by a growing mystery surrounding the ring on her right pinky finger. Initially, Harry and Meghan denied claims that the ring, made by celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz and reportedly worth an estimated £45,000 ($62,000), was fashioned with diamonds gifted to the couple by a mystery donor in the Middle East.  They said the ring was sourced by a stylist on the shoot directly from the designer and that there was no link to a mystery donor in the Middle East.  But in a spectacular U-turn, they later rolled back the denial, and clarified that they were referring only to a ring on Meghan's  left hand - a £380 ($525) pinky ring from Shiffon, which is meant to represent women's empowerment. There was no further mention made of the Lorraine Schwartz...
    Apple threatened to remove Facebook's apps from the App Store in 2019, following a BBC report that showed human traffickers set up 'slave markets' to sell women to the highest bidder, according to The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ obtained internal documents from the social media firm that detail how its own employees were searching for human traffickers in the Middle East. Facebook investigators found these groups posted advertisements for domestic workers as a front for selling women off as slaves or sex workers. The WSJ found that Facebook does remove some of these pages, but it has yet to design a system that stops offenders from reposting under a new account. Apple threatened to remove Facebook's apps from the App Store in 2019, following a BBC report that showed human traffickers set up 'slave markets' to sell women to the highest bidder, WSJ reports On the other hand, fixing this system does not put money in Facebook's pocket and the company would rather spend its time retaining users, helping business partners and 'at times placating authoritarian governments,' according...
    Questions about Meghan Markle's jewelery look set to overshadow her appearance on the cover of Time magazine, amid a growing mystery surrounding the ring on her right pinky finger. Yesteday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle denied claims that the ring, reportedly made by celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz and worth an estimated $62,000, was fashioned with diamonds gifted to the couple by a mystery donor in the Middle East.  They said the ring was sourced by a stylist on the shoot directly from the designer and that there was no link to a mystery donor in the Middle East.  But in a spectacular u-turn, they later rolled back the denial, and clarified that they were referring only to a ring on Meghan's  left hand - a $525 pinky ring from Shiffon, which is meant to represent women's empowerment There was no further mention made of the Lorraine Schwartz ring in question on her right hand, begging the question of whether Meghan has something to hide about the provenance of the diamond.   Meghan sported a staggering $445,000 worth of jewelry while posing for the cover...
    Meghan Markle sported a staggering $384,000 worth of jewelry while posing for the cover of Time's most influential people issue alongside her husband Prince Harry - including a $62,000 emerald cut pinky ring made with 'gifted diamonds from the Middle East.'  The Duchess of Sussex, 40, donned several of her favorite pieces from her luxurious collection - including a $23,000 gold Cartier Tank watch that once belonged to Princess Diana and was gifted to her by her husband in the early years of their relationship, which she paired with a $6,900 Cartier Love bangle.  However, one item that has raised questions is the royal's pinky ring which is reportedly a custom Lorraine Schwartz design, and a jewelry expert has estimated to be worth a whopping $62,039 (£45,000).' Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Alexandra Michell Gemologist Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4's Posh Pawn commented: 'It's a simple emerald cut diamond on band, which is usually high clarity due to the cut. I'm estimating this as 1.50cts high colour (D) high clarity (internally flawless) and to be worth around $62,039 (£45,000).'  According to Page...
    Former President Donald Trump issued a scathing statement on Monday tearing into former President George W. Bush over his speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks where he condemned 'violent extremists' - both at home and abroad. 'So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the “right” are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America, and that are pouring into our Country right now,' Trump said shortly after noon on Monday. 'If that is so, why was he willing to spend trillions of dollars and be responsible for the death of perhaps millions of people? He shouldn’t be lecturing us about anything.' He went on to lambast Bush's legacy and invoked the twin towers collapse that killed more than 2,600 people that day.  'The World Trade Center came down during his watch. Bush led a failed and uninspiring presidency. He shouldn’t be lecturing anybody!' Trump wrote.  But Bush's speech...
    A student senator at Washington University is being accused of snatching up 2,977 American flags to commemorate the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks on the 20th anniversary before throwing them in trash bags.  Fadel Alkilani, who serves as chairman of the student senate finance committee at the St Louis, Missouri university, is allegedly seen filling blue trash bags with the minature flags used as part  of the 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial.  A video posted to Twitter by the Young Americans for Freedom, show as the cameraman confronts Alkilani. 'Who are you?' Alkilani asks the cameraman, identified as Nathaniel Hope, a member of the university's College Republicans. A student senator at Washington University is being accused of snatching up 2,977 American flags to commemorate the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks on the 20th anniversary before throwing them away in the trash Fadel Alkilani, who serves as chairman of the student senate finance committee at the St Louis, Missouri university, is allegedly seen filling blue trash bags with the minature flags used as part of the 9/11: Never...
    “We’ve been a nation too long at war. If you’re 20 years old today, you have never known an America at peace.” – Joseph R. Biden, August 31st 2021 President Joe Biden, like any politician worth his salt, is trying to sell you something. He’s not selling hoodies like AOC or ghostwritten books like the ones that built Bernie’s lakehouse. No, he’s bottled up a different kind of snake oil: comfort and reassurance. Biden tells us we can leave Afghanistan with no real plan for protecting ourselves. That we can choose to finally embrace peace after a generation of conflict. That, in fact, the youth of today were robbed of knowing an America at peace. Biden even tells us that he can keep us safe with only drone strikes, despite the fact that the CIA just evacuated most of their informants from the country. And, oh, the CIA director and the Secretary of Defense both admit we’re about to be blind. As we approach a sacred anniversary on Sept. 11, let’s stop and recognize a few truths as Biden seeks...
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    (CNN)Afghanistan may not be part of the Middle East but its geopolitical fate has for decades been inextricably linked to that of the nearby region. In 2001, the fall of the Taliban was the first major milestone in America's so-called "war on terror" that ultimately transformed both the country and the Middle East. Twenty years later, the group's return to power in Kabul has thrust the region, still limping from the unspeakable damage of that war, into uncharted waters. If the US invasion of Afghanistan prompted intensified American intervention in the Middle East, then its exit from the country also signals an accelerated drawdown from a region that has long served as a gravitational center of political tension. The dramatic scenes from Afghanistan have sounded alarm bells throughout the Middle East, raising the specter of a hasty undoing of an economic and political order that has hinged on, or sought to counter, a large US presence in the region. A flurry of diplomatic and military activity preceded the withdrawal from Afghanistan. A year ago, a wave of normalization agreements between...
    Glenn explained that despite the Taliban's designated deadline for evacuations on Aug. 31, the window for getting people out appears to be closing even sooner. "Two nights ago, when I was flying over here, I was told that we had maybe 72 hours. Last night, I was told we had 24 hours, and today I am hearing, we are hours away from [losing] any access and the opening of any gates. The Americans that are being left behind ... those people will be killed. It's shocking, what is happening," Glenn said. Though the Nazarene Fund has already been able to rescue hundreds of Afghan Christian families, Glenn expressed frustration the United States government "making a bad situation much, much worse by having them cut our deadline." He also reacted to Politico's report that "U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city's airport." "Please tell me, dear God, that no one...
    The Middle East is not well included in international genetic studies, so many aspects of the genetic variation of the people living there were not previously known. AlgeriaDr. Mark Heber, a Lebanese researcher, is the chair of a research team at the Institute of Cancer and Genetic Sciences at the University of Birmingham in the UK and is one of the international team involved in the exciting study of the genetics of the Middle Eastern population. The results were released on August 4 in Cell. (Cell) Published in the journal Press Release About the study. Although researchers have important information about the ancestry of people living in the Middle East, Mark Haber did not hide the fact that there are many questions that concern them, and confirmed that these questions are subject to future scrutiny in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net via email: Your specialty is to study people’s genes to understand how diseases have evolved throughout history. Are there more explanations for this feature? Human DNA is the result of past biological and demographic events...
    Lake Urmia, Iran (CNN)The ferries that once shuttled tourists to and from the little islets in Iran's Lake Urmia sit rusty, unable to move, on what is rapidly becoming a salt plain. Just two decades ago, Urmia was the Middle East's biggest lake, its local economy a thriving tourist center of hotels and restaurants."People would come here for swimming and would use the mud for therapeutic purposes. They would stay here at least for a few days," said Ahad Ahmed, a journalist in the former port town of Sharafkhaneh as he showed CNN photos of people enjoying the lake in 1995.Lake Urmia's demise has been fast. It has more than halved in size -- from 5,400 square kilometers (2,085 square miles) in the 1990s to just 2,500 square kilometers (965 square miles) today -- according to the Department of Environmental Protection of West Azerbaijan, one of the Iranian provinces where the lake is located. There are now concerns it will disappear entirely. Such problems are familiar in many parts of the Middle East -- where water is simply running out....
    The Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan is exactly what happens virtually any time a major power pulls out of a country in the Middle East and leaves a vacuum. President Joe Biden stated with confidence just weeks ago that a Taliban takeover of the country was not “inevitable.” Even a cursory glance at history, from Iraq to Lebanon to Libya, reveals that more often than not, doing what the U.S. did in Afghanistan results in extremists coming to power. Vacuums of power are inevitably filled by the biggest power available. The U.S. has been the greatest power in Afghanistan since 2001. The American people were led to believe that the main purpose of the mission in Afghanistan, at least in later years, was to train the Afghan National Army and equip it to a point where it could defend itself against the Taliban. This would effectively take the burden off of Washington for serving as the primary security force in the country. Instead, the Taliban went from controlling just 19% of Afghanistan’s districts in April to over 80% as of...
    A major movie mystery could soon be solved. Not on screen, but in the real world of stolen art. In a theft fitting of a spy thriller, one of the two gadget-filled 1964 Aston Martin DB5s featured in the James Bond films "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" disappeared from a hangar at Boca Raton airport in 1997. Actor Sean Connery, the original James Bond, is pictured here on the set of Goldfinger with one of the fictional spy's cars, a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. The silver coupe was spirited away without a trace, leading some investigators to believe it had been flown away by a cargo plane or even a small drug-running plane that quickly dropped in to pick it up. The car had been purchased at auction in 1986 for $275,000 by real estate developer Anthony Pugliese, but was insured for $4.2 million at the time of the heist, which is roughly what the other car was auctioned for in 2010. An identical DB5 used on screen was auctioned in 2010 for $4.1 million. (Oli Scarff/Getty...
    AFP via Getty Taliban fighters stand on a vehicle along the roadside in Kandahar on August 13, 2021. In the 19th century, the phrase “The Great Game” was used to describe competition for power and influence in Afghanistan, and neighbouring central and south Asia territories, between the British and Russian empires. Neither side prevailed in what became known as the “graveyard of empires”. Two centuries later, an American superpower has been reminded of a similar reality. The Afghanistan debacle, in which a 300,000-strong US-trained and equipped Afghan army collapsed in hours serves as a reminder of the limits of American power in the wider Middle East. Read more: As the Taliban returns, 20 years of progress for women looks set to disappear overnight US President Joe Biden may be enduring the sharpest criticism for a disastrously executed withdrawal. But there is plenty of blame to go around, dating back to the original ill-fated decision to “nation build” a country that has resisted outside interference for thousands of years. After the fall of Kabul...
    DONALD Trump slammed George Bush's decision to send troops to the Middle East, saying the region is "worse" than it was before. Trump slammed the situation unfolding as US troops pull out of Afghanistan during an appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News show on Tuesday. 1Trump said going to the Middle East was 'the worst' decision in US history "I believe it was the worst decision in the history of our country when we decided to go into the Middle East," Trump said. "We've destroyed the Middle East. "It's cost us trillions of dollars, millions and millions of lives. It's worse than what it was." Trump has been highly critical of President Joe Biden's decision to continue pulling US forces out of Afghanistan. In recent weeks, the Taliban has swiftly taken back control of the country. Trump referred to the situation as "the greatest embarrassment in the history of our country." Most read in NewsKABUL CARNAGE Horror as Taliban thugs 'attack women & children with whips' at Kabul airportSEEING RED What you need to know about Gov. Greg...
    Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik said Sunday that the Middle East under President Joe Biden has “Islamic terrorists on the march.” The congresswoman tweeted that under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. “crushed the Islamic Terrorists like Soleimani, protected American citizens & embassies around the world, and delivered historic peace to the Middle East.” Under Trump: The US crushed the Islamic Terrorists like Soleimani, protected American citizens & embassies around the world, and delivered historic peace to the Middle East. Under Biden: Islamic Terrorists on the march, capturing an entire country & releasing their prisoners. — Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 15, 2021 Under Biden, Stefanik wrote, “Islamic Terrorists [are] on the march, capturing an entire country & releasing their prisoners.” “American lives are at risk. A world in crisis because of Joe Biden,” she continued. (RELATED: Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul After Afghan President Flees) The Taliban quickly took over major cities throughout Afghanistan within the past week and breached the capital, Kabul, early Sunday, The Associated Press (AP) reported. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the...
    By Ron Bousso LONDON, Aug 5 (.) – Oil prices rose to $ 71 a barrel on Thursday due to mounting tension in the Middle East, while new movement restrictions imposed by countries to counter a surge in COVID- cases. 19 threatened the recovery of demand. * At 0951 GMT, Brent was up 50 cents, or 0.71%, at $ 70.88 a barrel after falling below $ 70 for the first time since July 21. West Texas Intermediate added 66 cents, or 1%, at $ 68.81. Both benchmarks fell more than $ 2 a barrel on Wednesday. * Israeli jets attacked what its military said were rocket launch sites in Lebanon on Thursday in response to two rockets fired at Israel from Lebanese territory, in an escalation of cross-border hostilities amid heightened tensions with Iran. * The exchange came after an attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman last Thursday, in which Israel blamed Iran and in which two crew members, a British and a Romanian, were killed. Iran denied any involvement. * The mounting tensions come as...
    Thomas Barrack, founder and chairman of Colony Capital LLC, listens during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on July 18, 2016.Chris Goodney | Bloomberg | Getty Images The arrest Tuesday of a key Trump ally, who is accused of lobbying illegally for the United Arab Emirates, helps illustrate how deeply the oil-rich Middle Eastern country had ingratiated itself with the United States during the Trump administration. Between arms deals and diplomatic accords, the UAE, a relatively small crescent of land nestled between Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, played a major part in former President Donald Trump's policy in the region. An indictment filed Tuesday in New York federal court alleges that Tom Barrack, a longtime friend and business associate of Trump's, worked for years to develop that relationship by secretly furthering UAE interests through his influence with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and his administration. Barrack, a 74-year-old private equity billionaire who was chairman of Trump's 2017 inaugural fund, was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning. The seven-count indictment also accuses Barrack of obstruction of justice and making...
    A massive 20-foot sinkhole opened up in the middle of an Upper East Side street on Thursday, just days after a sinkhole nearly devoured two cars on the city's West Side. Thursday's ground collapse, which occurred just before 9am at East 89th Street and York Avenue, is about 15 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep, according to the NYC Emergency Management agency. Cities nationwide remain on heightened alert of infrastructure issues following the deadly building collapse on June 24 in Surfside, Florida. At least 94 people were confirmed dead at the building as of Monday. No injuries or evacuations were reported on the Upper East Side, according to Citizen.    The Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation and Emergency Management agency responded. Con Edison was notified to inspect infrastructure at the sinkhole site. The DOT is responsible for overseeing the city's 6,300 miles of streets, with the department currently resurfacing the pavement throughout the five boroughs. While the exact cause of Thursday and Sunday's sinkholes has yet to be revealed, they typically occur when a water main or sewer collapsed due to...
    Never-before-seen photographs of Winston Churchill touring the Middle East with his wife Clementine and the writer T.E. Lawrence are expected to reach £4,000 when they go on sale at auction in London.  Churchill, then aged in his late 40s, visited on a diplomatic mission in 1921 after being appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies. He attended the Cairo Conference in Egypt alongside T.E. Lawrence - the hero of the Arab Revolt in the First World War.  The images, which were taken by Captain Maxwell Coote who was Churchill's aide-de-camp at the conference, are being sold a century later by his descendants with London-based Forum Auctions who expect the archive to fetch £4,000. Never-before-seen photographs of Winston Churchill touring the Middle East are expected to reach £4,000 at auction. Pictured: Churchill making a speech at a British military cemetery In one of the images Churchill can be seen painting on an easel at a monastery with a trademark cigar in his mouth The images were taken by Captain Maxwell Coote who was Churchill's aide-de-camp at the conference. Pictured: The...
    Two women in face masks walk along a shopping area on April 19, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Francois Nel | Getty Images News | Getty Images Vaccination campaigns in several Middle East nations raced ahead of the rest of the world at the beginning of 2021. Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain topped the list when it came to doses administered per 100 people at the start of the year. Six months later, all three are still among the top 10 most vaccinated countries — but charts show their Covid infection trends have varied greatly. As of June 29, 57.8% of Bahrain's population were fully vaccinated and 59.7% of Israel's residents received both doses of the Covid vaccine, according to Our World in Data. The UAE's data on fully vaccinated individuals was last updated on April 20, when the figure stood at 38.8%.IsraelIsrael's new daily cases plummeted as its vaccination program ploughed on, and data showed that infections remained largely in the low double-digits for more than a month since the end of April. That was so until...
    Hardline conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi was declared the winner of Iran’s June 2021 presidential election in a contest that was widely viewed as predetermined and will have major implications beyond Iran’s borders. President-elect Raisi is the chief justice of Iran’s judiciary and a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Raisi, who will be inaugurated in August, will succeed two-term reformist President Hassan Rouhani. Raisi won an uncompetitive race with 62 percent of the vote against his more moderate opponent and former head of the central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati. Iran’s Guardian Council, the body that vets presidential candidates, disqualified almost all of the non-conservative candidates. The election of Raisi comes at a delicate time for Iran, as the country struggles to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and revive a shattered economy that was badly bruised by harsh economic sanctions. The poor performance of the economy was one of the foremost issues among Iranian voters, and U.S. sanctions are in large part responsible for the economic stagnation.  The U.S. under former President Trump in 2018 withdrew from the 2015 Iran...
    VIDEO2:3902:39Careem CEO anticipates an increase in billion-dollar start-ups in the Middle EastEvolve The Middle East could be seeing more and more billion-dollar start-ups in the coming months, according to the CEO of ride-hailing company Careem. It comes from a "magical combination" of top talent in the region choosing to build start-ups, and investors realizing that funding these entrepreneurs is a big opportunity, Mudassir Sheikha told Hadley Gamble as part of the virtual CNBC Evolve Global Summit. The change came as a result of acquisitions by large U.S. companies and an acceleration in digital adoption spurred by the pandemic, he said. U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon bought UAE-based online retailer Souq.com in 2017. Meanwhile, Careem became the Middle East's first unicorn — a start-up with a valuation of at least $1 billion — when Uber purchased the company for $3.1 billion in 2019. There are 16 unicorns in the Middle East and North Africa as of April this year, according to data from Statista.We're not very far from having a few more unicorns in the region … the momentum in the ecosystem...
    The month of June has become known as “pride month,” which serves to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June 1969 and to celebrate the gay community. Many pride events are held across the world during the month. Former presidents, such as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump all in some way celebrated the gay community, particularly during pride month. Corporations big and small have also increasingly participated in pride month, such as by temporarily changing their branding to reflect rainbow colors. Love is love even if they hit you with a Draw 4 card. Get UNO Play With Pride here: https://t.co/Qs9fddl3bM. pic.twitter.com/Zf1FC1uii3 — UNO (@realUNOgame) May 13, 2021 For the most part, many of the corporations that have divisions in areas of the world where the gay community still faces discrimination, avoid changing their branding for those locations. This first came to prominence in June 2020 when Maryland-based video game publisher Bethesda Softworks found themselves going viral on the internet after they changed most of their Twitter avatars to rainbow colors to celebrate pride and left...
    She was the glamorous last empress of Iran who was known as Jackie Kennedy of the Middle East and befriended the likes of Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.  But many are divided over the legacy of Farah Pahlavi, 82, and consider her a modern-day Marie Antoinette who represented the worst excesses of the shah's regime before the 1979 revolution.  The most lavish lavish parts of her legacy include an extravagant three-day party thrown in the Persepolis in October 1971 by her husband, with the couple flying in in eighteen tons of food to celebrate Iran's 2,500th anniversary.     Meanwhile Farah was also patron of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, in which she amassed an art collection, gathering modern pieces which would now be valued at $3billion.  Now her legacy has been thrown under the spotlight again with the release of a controversial new book by American curator Donna Stein, 78, The Empress and I: How an Ancient Empire Collected, Rejected, and Rediscovered Modern Art.  Detailing her time working for Her Imperial Majesty's Private Secretariat between 1975 to 1977, she claims that male colleagues stole credit for her work...
    Former President Donald Trump released a statement ahead of Memorial Day weekend saying he was 'sorry' to hear that Americans would be confronted with higher than average gas prices, noting it was one of the 'biggest automobile days of the year.'   'Remember as you’re watching the meter tick, and your dollars pile up, how great of a job Donald Trump did as President,' Trump said. 'Soon Russia and the Middle East will be making a fortune on oil, and you will be saying how good it was to have me as your President.'  CNBC reported Thursday that gas prices over Memorial Day, the un-official start to summer, would be the highest for the holiday weekend in seven years.  Former President Donald Trump sent out a statement Thursday saying he was 'sorry' to hear gas prices were so high going into Memorial Day weekend  Around the country gas is averaging around $3 a gallon going into Memorial Day weekend, something former President Donald Trump brought up in a statement Thursday The current average price of gas is $3.04 a...
    (CNN)Egypt worked around the clock over the past two weeks to end the deadly fighting between our Palestinian and Israeli neighbors. Since the early hours of the conflict, Egyptian mediators led de-escalation talks with both Hamas and Israeli leadership. We supported humanitarian efforts on the ground, including by opening the Rafah border crossing for the provision of immediate medical care to the injured in Gaza. Ultimately, in close partnership with the United States and others, we were able to broker a ceasefire. On Thursday, President Joe Biden called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reiterated the vital role mutual coordination between the US and Egypt can have in the region. Egypt will spare no resource in bringing about peace in there, whenever violence erupts. This was true during the 2014 war, when we were instrumental in forging a truce. It was true during the conflict this May. And it will be true at any point in the future. JUST WATCHEDIsrael Hamas ceasefire: View from the West BankReplayMore Videos ...MUST WATCHIsrael Hamas ceasefire: View from the West Bank 08:22However, we...
    Former President Donald Trump angrily rejected reports that social media bans had sent him sliding into irrelevance, insisting Monday that he was staying out of the headlines so attention would stay on President Joe Biden's troubles with inflation, the border and the Middle East. His comments come as his lieutenants plan a new social media platform to propel Trump back into the daily conversation. And a new poll suggests the former president retains his grip on Republicans, with a majority of the party still proclaiming Trump to be the 'true president.' But in a statement published on his website, Trump hit back at media reports that his online presence was no longer making an impact. Former President Trump, pictured during a visit to Trump Tower in New York Monday, issued a statement saying he had not been doing many media interviews in order to keep attention on President Biden's crises. He blasted claims that his website was struggling for attention and said a new social media platform was coming soon Trump published his statement on 'From the Desk...
    Antony Blinken is headed to the Middle East this week to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an effort to build on the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The secretary of State is attempting to lay the groundwork to eventually resume long-stalled peace talks in the region by visiting Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt. 'Following up on our quiet, intensive diplomacy to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, I have asked my Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, to travel to the Middle East this week,' President Joe Biden released in a statement Monday morning on the upcoming trip. 'Secretary Blinken will meet with Israeli leaders about our ironclad commitment to Israel's security,' the president wrote. 'He will continue our Administration's efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and leaders, after years of neglect.' 'And he will engage other key partners in the region, including on the coordinated international effort to ensure immediate assistance reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people there and not Hamas, and on reducing the risk...
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a news conference following meetings at the Danish Foreign Ministry, Eigtved's Warehouse, in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 17, 2021.Saul Loeb | Reuters U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will head to the Middle East this week on the heels of nearly two weeks of violence between Israel and Palestinians, a White House statement said Monday. "Following up on our quiet, intensive diplomacy to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, I have asked my Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, to travel to the Middle East this week," the statement from President Joe Biden read, emphasizing that part of the trip would involve Blinken meeting with Israeli leaders "about our ironclad commitment to Israel's security."
    The Biden administration is set to travel to the Middle East this week as Israel and Hamas continue to obey a cease-fire after 11 days of fighting. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi in a phone call Thursday that he plans on traveling to the region "in the coming days" to meet with his Israeli, Palestinian and regional counterparts, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a readout of the conversation.  "The Foreign Minister welcomed Secretary Blinken’s planned travel to the region," the readout stated. It added that the sides will "discuss recovery efforts," and work "together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians." Blinken has insisted that the administration wants to ensure an equal peace between Israel and the Palestinians. FAST FACTS On Sunday, hundreds of municipal workers and volunteers started a one-week campaign to clear rubble from Gaza City’s streets Critics – both foreign and domestic – have questioned President Biden on his stance after he reiterated his full support of Israel "It's vitally important that the Palestinians feel hope and have...
    Dua Lipa is speaking out after being accused of anti-Semitism due to her support of Palestinians in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The singer is taking an organization to task after it paid for a full-page ad in The New York Times that called her anti-Semitic for her support of Palestinians, saying it used her name "shamelessly" to "advance their ugly campaign with falsehoods and blatant misrepresentations." In the rambling ad, which appeared in Saturday's newspaper in the main section, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the head of the World Values Network, named Lipa, and the models Bella and Gigi Hadid as three "mega-influencers" who have "accused Israel of ethnic cleansing" and "vilified the Jewish State." Bella Hadid has previously shown her support for the Palestinian people on social media. BELLA HADID JOINS PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS IN NYC AFTER CONTROVERSIAL INSTAGRAM POSTS Dua Lipa spoke out after she was accused of anti-Semitism. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) Lipa took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to "reject the false and appalling allegations" and said the World Values Network twisted what she stands for. ...
    NEW YORK (WABC) -- "The Countdown" is here to get you caught up with all of the day's political news.You can watch it online, on the ABC7NY app or on our Connected TV apps for Fire, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. Click here to learn more.Thursday, May 20Israel, Hamas agree to cease-fire to end bloody 11-day warIsrael and Hamas announced a cease-fire Thursday, ending a bruising 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a standstill.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. Hamas quickly followed suit and said it would honor the deal.Biden signs bill aimed at addressing rise in anti-Asian hate crimesPresident Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday that's aimed at countering a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that's come during the coronavirus pandemic.Biden has previously urged Congress to pass the legislation, called the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. The bill will create a new position at the Justice Department to expedite review of...
    As conflict intensifies between Israel and Hamas, a terrorist organization working out of Gaza, President Joe Biden and his administration seem to be undermining former President Donald Trump’s accomplishments in the Middle East.
    President Joe Biden was slammed after joking about running over a journalist who wanted to ask him a thorny question about Israel.  While test-driving the Ford F-150 Lightning at the carmaker's factory in Dearborn, Michigan, Biden pulled up alongside a group of reporters to show off his driving skills.  'Mr. President, can I ask you a quick question on Israel before you drive away since it's so important?' a reporter asked. 'No you can't. Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it,' Biden replied. His remarks were blasted on Twitter by political observers who said if his predecessor Donald Trump had said the same thing he would have been vilified. Former Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian said: 'Joe Biden just threatened to run a reporter over with a car for wanting to ask a question about Israel.  'If President Trump had done this, he would have been impeached. Jokingly or not, this rhetoric is completely unbecoming of the President.' Conservative podcast host Stephen L Miller wrote: 'Biden joking about running down a reporter for...
    NEW YORK (WABC) -- "The Countdown" is here to get you caught up with all of the day's political news.You can watch it online, on the ABC7NY app or on our Connected TV apps for Fire, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. Click here to learn more.Tuesday, May 18Andrew Giuliani, son of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announces run for New York governorAndrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced Tuesday that he is running for governor, joining Lee Zeldin and Rob Astornio as Republican challengers to third term incumbent Andrew Cuomo. Giuliani, 35, told ABC News said last month that he was "strongly considering" a run and that he would be meeting with New York Republican county chairs in the coming weeks.Biden announces US will share more COVID-19 vaccines globallyPresident Joe Biden said Monday that his administration will share millions more doses of COVID-19 vaccines with other countries in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine he has already committed to sharing by July 4.Biden said the US will share at...
    NEW YORK (WABC) -- "The Countdown" is here to get you caught up with all of the day's political news.You can watch it online, on the ABC7NY app or on our Connected TV apps for Fire, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. Click here to learn more.Tuesday, May 18Andrew Giuliani, son of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announces run for New York governorAndrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced Tuesday that he is running for governor, joining Lee Zeldin and Rob Astornio as Republican challengers to third term incumbent Andrew Cuomo. Giuliani, 35, told ABC News said last month that he was "strongly considering" a run and that he would be meeting with New York Republican county chairs in the coming weeks.Biden announces US will share more COVID-19 vaccines globallyPresident Joe Biden said Monday that his administration will share millions more doses of COVID-19 vaccines with other countries in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine he has already committed to sharing by July 4.Biden said the US will share at...
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the Trump administration didn't do 'anything constructive' to bring peace to the Middle East. 'Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don't think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East,' Psaki told reporters on board Air Force One on Tuesday.  The plan she was referring to was the one put together by former President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and introduced in January 2020, which was embraced by Israel but considered a non-starter by the Palestinians, who felt it too biased in favor of the Jewish state.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki, photographed Monday, said Tuesday that the Trump administration didn't do 'anything constructive' to help peace in the Middle East, saying the Trump peace proposal was 'dead on arrival'  Psaki was critical of a Middle East peace plan created by Jared Kushner (left) and rolled out in January 2020 that was considered to be too biased toward Israel. Kushner was photographed...
    Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group controlling Gaza, in a Tuesday statement after continued airstrikes. Pelosi joined dozens of lawmakers in calling for the cease-fire, saying both Republicans and Democrats need to work together to end the violence and fight for peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. Pelosi said Israel has “a right to defend” itself after Hamas began launching rockets at them. “Israel is our friend and ally in the Middle East with whom we have shared values. It is in the U.S. national security interest to support security in Israel. Hamas exploited a volatile situation to initiate hostilities against Israel, launching more than 3,000 rockets, and as always, Israel has a right to defend herself. Now, after more than a week of hostilities, it has become even more apparent that a ceasefire is necessary,” Pelosi said in a statement. “There must be a serious effort on the part of both parties to end the violence and respect the rights of both the Israeli and Palestinian...
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the Trump administration did not help Middle East peace processes during a press conference Tuesday. “The president has reinstated humanitarian assistance and security assistance to the Palestinians. That’s something that was stopped back in 2018, and we felt that was not a constructive action by the prior administration,” Psaki said during an Air Force One press briefing. “Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don’t think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.” The Trump administration organized the Abraham Accords between Israel and Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which normalized relations between Israel and the three Arab states. Israel and Morocco also normalized relations, although that agreement was not part of the Abraham Accords. (RELATED: Report: First Commercial Flight Between Israel And UAE To Take Off Monday) In exchange for their official recognition of Israel, the countries received certain benefits from the U.S. The White House removed Sudan from its list...