- Egypt Independent
DUBAI (Reuters) - Confrontation with America, economic hardship and an airline tragedy have battered Iranians' confidence in their leaders, posing a potential problem for the authorities in a parliamentary election this week. As the Feb. 21 vote nears, Iranians are in a gloomy mood, exhausted by a succession of crises that have helped to shred the hopes for a better life they harbored only four years ago. That does not bode well for leaders seeking a big turnout at the ballot box: In their view, crowded polling stations would signal to arch-foe Washington that Iran is unbowed by sanctions and the killing of a prominent general in a U.S. strike. Allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
- Al Jazeera
Nikita Pearl Waligwa, a Ugandan child actress who starred in a Disney movie on the extraordinary life of a local chess prodigy, has died at the age of 15. The teenage star of Queen of Katwe died of brain tumour, according to Gayaza High School, which she reportedly attended since 2018. Waligwa, who played the role of Gloria, a younger friend of the main character in the 2016 film, was "a darling to many", the secondary school wrote on Twitter. "No words can explain the pain at the moment," it added. Local media reported that Waligwa had first been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016. After making a recovery a year later, another tumour was found. The news prompted an outpouring of grief on
NMC Health Plc, an operator of hospitals in the United Arab Emirates targeted by short seller Muddy Waters, said founder and co-Chairman Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty resigned after he was excluded from board discussions for possibly misrepresenting his holdings in the company. Shetty stepped down with immediate effect, along with Chief Investment Officer Hani Buttikhi and board member Abdulrahman Basaddiq, the company said Monday.
Ivanka Trump lauded close US allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, for embarking on “significant reforms” to advance women's rights, while speaking at a gathering of women entrepreneurs and regional leaders in Dubai. Trump congratulated Saudi Arabia for recent changes in the law that allow women to travel abroad and obtain a passport without the permission of a male relative. In 2018, a ban on women driving cars was lifted.
The head of a leading hospital in China's central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, died of the disease on Tuesday, state television said, becoming the second prominent Chinese doctor to have succumbed to the pathogen. Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died at 10:30 a.m., it said. Earlier this month, millions in China mourned the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was previously reprimanded for issuing an early warning about the coronavirus.
- Egypt Independent
HEBRON, West Bank (AP) - The West Bank city of Hebron is separated from the epicenter of China's virus outbreak by more than 4,000 miles and a ring of Israeli checkpoints. But even here the economic symptoms of the outbreak are starting to appear. Palestinian markets have long been flooded by low-cost Chinese goods. Traders in Hebron, the largest Palestinian city and a commercial hub for the territories, fear that if the outbreak and quarantine efforts continue they will have to switch to more expensive alternatives, passing higher prices on to consumers in an already weakened economy. Their concerns point to the potential for wide-ranging ripple effects from the outbreak in China, the world's
A US Senator held secret meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week, according to an unnamed source briefed by the French delegation to the Munich Security Conference, reported the Federalist. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is the latest Western official to meet Iranian regime officials in the months after Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board. Last week, Zarif met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sparking criticism online.