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Amir meets Iraqi Oil Minister


The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani met Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Oil Minister of Iraq Thamir Abbas al Ghadhban at the Amiri Diwan on Sunday. At the outset of the meeting, the minister conveyed the greetings of Iraq President Dr Barham Salih to the Amir and his wishes of further development and prosperity to the Qatari people. The Amir entrusted the minister to convey his greetings to the Iraqi president and his wishes of continued progress and prosperity the brotherly Iraqi people. They reviewed cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of energy. (QNA)

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Public Seminar: Trump’s promise: Time for Europe to lead for peace


EuroPal Forum would like to cordially invite you to this timely seminar titled: “Trump’s promise: Time for Europe to lead for peace”.

The US president’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is an unprecedented step that would lead to alarming repercussions in the region.

Arab, Muslim and European leaders called this recognition as “dangerous” and violates both international law and UN resolutions.

During the Organisation of Islamic Corporations (OIC) emergency summit in Istanbul, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, formally declared that Palestinians will no longer accept the US as a mediator in the Middle East peace process.

On Monday 18th December 2017, U.S. vetoed U.N. resolution condemning move on Jerusalem, despite the fact that 14 council members including France and the UK insisted that the final status of Jerusalem should only be determined in negotiations.

This leads us to question if this will be an opportunity for Europe to play a role in the peace process and potentially become a mediator for peace to end the longest political conflict in modern history.

Join us and take part in the discussion with our distinguished speakers and politicians.

Sign up for Event.

Leading players to attend City Exchange Ria Money QIA Champions League


The Peninsula[hhmc] [contfnewc]

Legendary players from Qatar and India will play each other as part of the inaugural ceremony of the 7th City Exchange Ria Money QIA Champions League to be held on April 5 at Doha stadium.

Around 80 guest players from India, who play for top clubs in ISL, are playing for the 12 teams in the competition. This was announced by the officials of Qatar Indian Association (QIA) at a a press conference held at the Marriott Hotel Doha.

The tournament kicked off with the initial group stage matches on March 21, with the opening match between Tea Time FC and Ansar Tea FC at the Doha Stadium. Eight group matches have been played so far, with ten more set to be played in the coming weeks.

The highlight of the inaugural ceremony will be an exhibition match featuring legendary players from Qatar and India, to mark the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture.

The Indian team will be led by yesteryear stars IM Vijayan, Jopaul Ancheri and Asif Saheer.

On the other side, QIA officials and Qatari authorities have confirmed that the Qatari legends will add to the glamour of QIA Champions League as official brand ambassadors of the tournament.

This years QIA Champions League tournament is being held with the support and patronage of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and the QFA. In addition to this, QIA has partnered this year with Generation Amazing (GA), the CSR programme of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the organisers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“The QIA Champions League has earned an outstanding reputation among the Indian expatriate community since its inception in 2013 and has become a much awaited annual event. We are proud to associate with Generation Amazing and also celebrate Qatar-India Year of Culture,” Abdurrahman E P, President of QIA, said.

Safeer, QIA General Secretary, went on to explain the tournament format. This years event involves 12 participating teams, including those from Bangalore and Tamil Nadu, in addition to prominent teams from Kerala. The teams are split into 3 groups of 4 teams each.

The final is set to take place at Al Arab stadium on May 3 and organisers has promised some big surprise events on the day.

Libya: Detained refugees and asylum-seekers die from suspected tuberculosis and other diseases


PARIS/NEW YORK, June 21, 2019—Conditions in two detention centers in Libya are medically catastrophic and consistent with reports that at least 22 people have died since September from suspected tuberculosisand other diseases, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today, after gaining access to the centers in recent weeks.

The Zintan and Gharyan detention centers, located south of Tripoli in the Nafusa Mountains, hold hundreds of people who are registered as asylum seekers or refugees with the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. Nonetheless, they are stranded in these centers for months or years with virtually no assistance. The reports of death have also been confirmed by United Nations agencies.

MSF staff made their first visit to Zintan detention center in May, finding about 900 detainees, of whom 700 were held in an overcrowded hangar with four barely functioning toilets, no shower and only sporadic access to water, which was not suitable for drinking.

“Healthwise, it was a disaster,” said Julien Raickman, MSF head of mission in Libya. “A tuberculosis outbreak has likely been raging for months in the detention center. The situation was so critical that we immediately arranged lifesaving referrals to hospital during our initial visits.”

In total, MSF staff arranged 16 referrals to hospital between May 25 and June 19. MSF also distributed supplies of food, powdered milk, blankets, and hygiene items. Having been granted access to Zintan detention center by Libya’s Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), MSF is now scaling up its medical and humanitarian response. Medical consultations and referrals are still ongoing and MSF is working on repairing the water supply system.

Earlier this year, about 50 of the detainees in the poorest health were transferred from Zintan to Gharyan detention center, located about 60 miles to the northeast and on the front line of the current conflict between the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA). With heavy fighting nearby, the situation for the 29 detainees who remain in Gharyan is particularly hazardous. The area can be inaccessible to ambulances because of the fighting, making it difficult to organize lifesaving referrals to a hospital when needed.

People detained in Zintan and Gharyan detention centers are mostly from Eritrea and Somalia and have survived harrowing experiences during their perilous journey. Some were kidnapped in Libya by traffickers who tortured them to extort money from them and their relatives. Some attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety but were brought back by the Libyan Coast Guard, with support from the European Union, and taken to detention centers near the coast. Others who were held by smugglers in Sabratha became caught in the middle of fighting between rival militias in October 2017 and were subsequently taken to detention centers in Tripoli.

Since November 2017, just 3,743 people have been evacuated from Libya by UNHCR, mostly to Niger, where they must then wait for another country to offer them asylum. On June 3, UNHCR relocated 96 people from Zintan detention center to a UNHCR-run facility in Tripoli where they await evacuation from Libya.

“What will happen to the other 625 refugees remaining in Zintan and Gharyan detention centers?” Raickman said. “And what will happen to the people referred from Zintan and Gharyan to hospital after they complete their medical treatment?”

Rather than being given the protection to which they are entitled, these refugees and asylum seekers are condemned to a cycle of violence and detention. This is an all-too-common situation for migrants and refugees across Libya, yet it has not prevented European states from pushing back to Libya those who attempt to flee, in the full knowledge of what lies in store for them and in violation of international law.

The children lost to China’s Muslim crackdown


Tens of thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslim families are being torn apart in a crackdown that’s seen as many as one million people detained, according to the UN. Emily Wither speaks to one mother, now in Istanbul, who has lost her children to the state.

Play Video here:

The post The children lost to China’s Muslim crackdown appeared first on NewswireNow – A Press Release Publishing Service.

Israeli teens tell Netanyahu they won’t serve in IDF, slam occupation of Palestine


Sixty-three Israeli students signed a letter stating they would defy mandatory military service despite the risk of jail. Citing the occupation of Palestine, the letter criticizes the policies of Israel’s “racist government.”[contfnewc]

The letter, signed on Thursday by sixty-three high school students from across Israel, is addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.


The post Israeli teens tell Netanyahu they won’t serve in IDF, slam occupation of Palestine appeared first on News Wire Now.

More than 15 million children and their families in Yemen, Syria and Gaza set to face COVID-19


Save the Children calls for an easing of restrictions on aid for hard to reach areas

Fewer than 730 ventilators and 950 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are available for more than 15 million children and their families in areas that are hard for aid agencies to reach in Yemen, northern Syria and Gaza – meaning they are critically underequipped to respond to an outbreak of COVID-19, Save the Children is warning.

The Gaza Strip has been under blockade for 13 years, Syria has just entered its tenth year of conflict – with the Northern front currently the most active – and Yemen is in its sixth year of war. Healthcare systems across all three areas have been decimated, in some cases to the point of paralysis, and have minimal do not have nearly enough medical resources to respond to ongoing needs, let alone a global pandemic. As of March 29, Syria had confirmed 9 COVID-19 cases and one death, Gaza 9 cases, and Yemen is yet to declare any.

  • In North West Syria, there are a total of 153 ventilators and 148 beds in ICU, while nearly a million recently displaced people are living in overcrowded areas. In North East Syria, there are fewer than 30 ICU beds, only ten adult ventilators and just one paediatric ventilator.
  • In Gaza, there are 70 ICU beds and 62 ventilators for 2 million people. It is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a high proportion of the population living in refugee camps with limited access to water and other basic services.
  • In Yemen, where only half of the hospitals are still fully functional, there are 700 ICU beds, including 60 for children, and 500 ventilators.

The continued support of humanitarian organisations to people in need is vital to slow the spread of coronavirus in this critical phase, but access to children and their families is often hampered by conflict, movement restrictions and other challenges. Preventive measures such as social distancing and hand washing are difficult if not impossible in overcrowded areas like Gaza and displacement camps in Northern Syria. Water sources are unreliable across all three locations, and shortages can occur daily. In Gaza, 96 percent of the available water is unsuitable for human consumption.

Children in Gaza told Save the Children about their fear. Raafat*, 13, said: What Im most afraid of is that Gaza is highly populated and doesnt have enough resources to face the virus. Jood, 11, said: This pandemic affects us, because we have to stay home and there is no income for the family.

In Yemen, Moneer*, 17, from Taiz said: I have heard about Corona. People in my family said that it was very dangerous and we wouldnt survive it if it came to Yemen. Every day, my mother walks for 15 minutes to the well to fill the container with water and then walks back for another 15 minutes. The water doesnt look clean, but it is the nearest source for us. We use it for cooking, drinking, and washing. We try to use as little as possible so we dont have to go fetch it again.

Jeremy Stoner, Save the Children’s Regional Director, said: In places where medical care is scarcely available, prevention is critical. Yet measures like social distancing are hugely challenging in countries in conflict. If people need to stay two metres apart, for Palestinians living in Gaza to comply with this, the territory would have to be ten times larger than it currently is; for Syrians living in displacement camps, families would need to spread out in numerous tents currently unavailable; and for Yemenis, of whom about 2 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, the priority would be getting food.’

Many children in Gaza, Syria, and Yemen suffer from pre-existing health concerns caused by childhoods consumed with war. They will be malnourished, injured, or will not have been properly vaccinated. The same is true for their parents, many of whom have little or no family support and cannot afford to become ill. It is literally a matter of life and death to support these areas in their efforts to contain a COVID-19 outbreak, he added.

Save the Children is calling on the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the de-facto authorities in Gaza to uphold their international responsibilities by ensuring the right to health is fully provided to children in the West Bank including Jerusalem, and Gaza. Restrictions on humanitarian and medical relief items entering Gaza must be lifted, and people in need of medical care must be afforded access to it.

We are also calling on warring parties in Syria to observe a complete ceasefire in the North West to allow for the full and unhindered access to people in need. In Yemen, all warring parties must fully and truly implement the recently announced ceasefire to help the country prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak. As an aid agency, Save the Children is already facing a slowdown in its response because of closure of international borders, grounding of flights, and new limitations to movements in country. Teams on the ground need to be able to reach people in need with existing humanitarian aid, and distribute for example hygiene products, awareness sessions, sim cards, and cash without any impediments.

Harvey Weinstein’s Wife’s Fashion Label Marchesa Is in Big Trouble


It was once the go-to fashion house for every aspiring actress on the red carpet.

However the 2018 Golden Globes may have sounded the death knell for Georgina Chapman’s fashion label Marchesa, after not a single actress wore a stitch of the brand founded by Harvey Weinstein’s estranged wife to this year’s ceremony.

In the course of several months of damaging revelations it has emerged that not only did Weinstein finance his wife’s brand he also pressured actresses to wear the clothes on the red carpet.

And apart from one statement in which she confirmed she was leaving her husband, and expressed sympathy for his victims, Chapman has said nothing publicly about the scandal.

This silence may, of course, be based on strict legal advice and a noble desire to protect her two children with Weinstein, but her incredibly low profile has done nothing to put clear blue water between her brand and her husband’s behavior.

Indeed, it has increasingly appeared from many accounts that Marchesa was just one more vector used by Weinstein to assert control over the careers (and bodies) of women. It’s hard to believe that Chapman had no idea her husband had anything to do with the stars such as Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez and Renee Zellweger who showed up at her studio for fittings to wear her dresses on the red carpet.

“He was the mastermind behind Marchesa—orchestrating deals and using his influence in terms of the celebrity connections for her on behalf of the brand,” an L.A. fashion publicist told the Hollywood Reporter of Weinstein. “They both benefited from the relationship, but she certainly knew about his bad behavior.”

The Hollywood Reporter claimed Weinstein pressured Felicity Huffman to wear his wife’s label when publicizing her 2005 movie, Transamerica. Huffman later confirmed that Weinstein threatened to pull financial support for the film if she didn’t wear the brand to the 2005 ceremony. She showed up in a flowing white Marchesa gown that year.

The Daily Mail reported that Sienna Miller was similarly pressured to wear Marchesa in 2007, the year she made another Weinstein movie, Factory Girl. Weinstein himself admitted to “maybe” helping Renee Zellweger pick a Marchesa dress for the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

The future of Chapman’s once red carpet-friendly label, named after the Marchesa Luisa Casati, an eccentric 20th-century Italian heiress, and famed for its focus on intricate featherwork and fantastical detailing, now seems bleak.

Israel adopts zero tolerance policy against Gaza demonstrations


Fears of escalating bloodshed are rising ahead of planned protests in Gaza later today after Israeli authorities announced a “zero tolerance” policy towards demonstrations along the Israel/Gaza fence, said Amnesty International.

The organization is calling on the Israeli government to rein in its armed forces, which have routinely used unnecessary or excessive force during Gazas weekly “Great March of Return” demonstrations.

“Given Israeli forces horrific track record of using deadly force against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza, as well as journalists, medics and others, the announcement of a zero tolerance policy is deeply alarming,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

The exact details of what “zero tolerance” means have not been disclosed, but there are fears it will lead to more Palestinian deaths along the Gaza/Israel border.

“There are serious fears that this policy will further sanction the use of deadly force against unarmed protesters during todays demonstrations, and that Israeli forces will be given carte blanche authorization to carry out large-scale, unlawful killings escalating the bloodshed. Israel has repeatedly used lethal force unnecessarily and excessively against unarmed protesters in shameless violation of international law,” said Saleh Higazi.

There are serious fears that this policy will further sanction the use of deadly force against unarmed protesters during todays demonstrations, and that Israeli forces will be given carte blanche authorization to carry out large-scale, unlawful killings escalating the bloodshed[contfnewc] Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International

Protesters are due to gather today for “Great March of Return” protests, which have taken place every Friday since 30 March demanding the lifting of the 11-year unlawful blockade on Gaza and the return of Palestinian refugees to their villages and towns.

Since the protests began, more than 150 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 30 children, and thousands of others have been injured.

The new Israeli government policy announcement came on Thursday 18 October after the Israeli security cabinet met in Jerusalem to discuss their response to a rocket from Gaza that hit and damaged a residential home in Beersheba in southern Israel. Amnesty International has consistently condemned attacks by Palestinian armed groups on civilians and civilian objects. According to Israeli media reports, Palestinian demonstrators will have to remain farther away from the border fence, otherwise soldiers will open fire. Israeli authorities have also stated that incendiary balloons and kites launched from Gaza will be met with greater force.

It is now time the international community shows zero tolerance towards Israels flagrant contempt for Palestinian lives and disregard for its obligations under international law.[contfnewc] Saleh Higazi

Israels Housing Minister and former Commander of the Israeli armys Southern Command, Yoav Gallant, was quoted in Israeli media stating that “the rules of the game are about to change”, hinting that Israel will be stepping up its response against armed groups in the Gaza strip and raising fears of full-scale military action.

“The three armed conflicts between Israel and Hamas have had catastrophic consequences for the population of Gaza, which continues to suffer from 11 years of living under a brutal blockade,” said Saleh Higazi.

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council presents first-ever Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2018


Recognising excellence in medical travel journalism – Calls for global media entries

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 October 2018 – Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), is calling for participation from both international and local journalists, as well as media agencies for the inaugural Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2018. The prestigious global medical travel journalism award, supported by Supernewsroom, introduced five categories to honour and recognise media organisations and journalists who have contributed towards building awareness of Malaysias medical travel industry.

Speaking at the launch of MTMA 2018, Chief Executive Officer of MHTC, Sherene Azli said the award is part of the agencys purview to raise Malaysias profile as a leading global destination for healthcare.

MTMA 2018 is part of Malaysia Healthcares campaign journey to pave the way towards Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT2020). Malaysia Healthcare aims to position the nation as the Asian hub for fertility and cardiology, as well as the leading global destination for healthcare travel. This is in line with the countrys aim of achieving RM2.8 billion in revenue with an estimated economic impact of RM10 billion towards the total GDP contribution.

Malaysia is already recognised internationally as a preferred medical travel destination due to its easily accessible, and competitively affordable world-class quality healthcare. Malaysias cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities in the fields of cardiology and fertility have propelled the country into a hub for both these treatments.

“The media has played a significant role through its reporting on Malaysias medical travel industry. MHTC recognises and acknowledges the support given by the media fraternity not only in Malaysia but around the world in our initiative to position Malaysia as a leading global healthcare destination. The awards aim to honour the best in medical travel journalism in categories covering print, television, radio and online,” said Sherene.

A total of five categories will be contested at the Medical Travel Media Awards 2018. The categories are:

  • Medical Travel Media Award (Best Print Feature)
  • Medical Travel Media Award (Best Broadcast Feature)
  • Medical Travel Media Award (Best Online Feature)
  • Medical Travel Journalist of the Year
  • Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year

For the first three categories, each winner will receive a cash prize of RM8,000 and a trophy. The award criteria will be based on the reporters journalistic flair in providing engaging, thought-provoking feature and insightful reporting. The key element that should be present is the reach or share-ability of the feature on social media platforms.

For the fourth category, Medical Travel Journalist of the Year, the winner will receive a cash prize of RM8,000 and a trophy. This award will be presented to a journalist who has provided the most timely, accurate and original news reporting on Malaysias medical travel industry in any print, broadcast or online media.

Additionally, the winner will also receive a grand prize of a 3-day-2-night Malaysia Healthcare Experience whereby the journalist will get a chance to experience first-hand Malaysia Healthcares services and hospitality.

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