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Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait offer $2.5 bn in aid to crisis-hit Jordan

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA:  Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have offered $2.5 billion in aid for Jordan to ease its economic crisis following a wave of anti-austerity protests, the Saudi Arabian state media announced early Monday. Jordan has been rocked in recent days by mass protests against price rises and a proposed tax hike as the government pushes measures to slash the country's debt, leading to the prime minister's resignation. A four-nation summit in the holy city of Mecca, hosted by Saudi King…

Tech firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, vow not to aid government cyber attacks

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft, Facebook and more than 30 other global technology companies on Tuesday announced a joint pledge not to assist any government in offensive cyber attacks. The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which vows to protect all customers from attacks regardless of geopolitical or criminal motive, follows a year that witnessed an unprecedented level of destructive cyber attacks, including the global WannaCry worm and the devastating NotPetya attack. “We recognize that we live in a new world,” Microsoft President…

Japan grants $27.37mn aid to Pakistan for airport security, social, economic uplift

ISLAMABAD: The government of Japan has granted aid worth Japanese Yen 2,892,000,000 (about US$ 27.379 million) to Pakistan for airport security improvement and economic and social development. The official notes for the grants were exchanged here on Tuesday. Secretary Economic Affairs Division Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jillani and Charge d'Affaires Ad Interim at the Embassy of Japan Takashi Harada signed the Exchange of Notes and Record of Discussion on behalf of their governments. Grant agreement for the project for…

Aid reaches Ghouta but retreats after shelling; Syria presses assault

BEIRUT/GENEVA: Aid trucks reached Syria’s eastern Ghouta region on Monday for the first time since the start of one of the war’s deadliest assaults, but the government stripped some medical supplies from the convoy and pressed on with its air and ground assault. The convoy of more than 40 trucks pulled out of Douma in darkness after shelling on the town, without fully unloading supplies during a nine-hour stay. All staff were safe and heading back to the capital Damascus, aid officials said. The Russian-backed Syrian…

40,000 displaced Yemenis stranded without aid in Aden: UN

ADEN, YEMEN: The UN expressed concern on Wednesday for more than 40,000 displaced Yemenis who had sought refuge in second city Aden, only to find themselves caught in deadly fighting between troops and separatist militia. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said it had been unable to distribute aid since the southern separatists overran most of the city at the weekend opening up a new front in Yemen's devastating three-year civil war. "UNHCR emergency aid distributions and humanitarian assessments planned this week for…

Trump says Palestinians ‘disrespected’ US, aid on hold

DAVOS: President Donald Trump on Thursday accused Palestinians of disrespecting the United States and threatened to withhold aid worth hundreds of millions of dollars until they accede to US-brokered talks. In a significant sharpening of his rhetoric against the leadership in Ramallah, Trump said the Palestinians had "disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them." "We give them hundreds of millions," Trump said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Davos,…