In Monday's Middle East papers

24 December 2007 04:30  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--These were the top stories at 4:30 GMT in the following Middle-East newspapers’ online versions on Monday. ICIS has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. To go to the individual websites, click the links below:

THE TIMES OF OMAN

Front Page

Thailand votes in first polls since coup
Thais went to the polls Sunday in an election meant to restore democracy more than a year after the military ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whose shadow looms large over the balloting.

Turkey stages new air attack on Kurd rebels in Iraq
Turkey's military said it attacked Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq Saturday for the third time in less than a week, bombing and shelling positions and warning more will follow.

Business

BHP Billiton seeks talks with rival Rio Tinto
The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton has responded to a deadline from British authorities on its proposed takeover bid for Rio Tinto by saying it is still seeking discussions with its rival.

Mandala to go ahead with Airbus deal: CEO
Indonesia's Mandala Airlines will push ahead with a deal to purchase 30 Airbuses despite a minister urging carriers here to boycott EU planes, the company's CEO said Friday.

OMAN TRIBUNE

Front Page

Israel unveils plan to build 740 homes
Israel unveiled plans on Sunday to build 740 new homes on land near Occupied Jerusalem next year, drawing protests from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the eve of renewed peace talks.

Modi leads BJP to victory
Controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi swept back to power in the religiously divided Gujarat state on Sunday in what was called a national victory over the rival Congress party.

Business

EU braces for end of Chinese textile quotas
EU is bracing for the expiry of import quotas on Chinese textiles at the end of the year amid fears of a new wave of T-shirts and trousers bearing ‘Made in China’ labels flooding in.

Gulf shouldn’t rush to revalue, says Bahrain
Gulf Arab countries should not rush to decide on revaluing their dollar-pegged currencies because volatility in the US currency is normal, Bahrain’s central bank governor is quoted by a magazine as saying.

KHALEEJ TIMES

Front Page

Ahmadinejad on defensive as Iran inflation soars
A sudden jump in Iran’s inflation has increased domestic criticism of President Mamhoud Ahmadinejad ahead of key elections, forcing him into a televised defence to deflect the growing complaints.

India’s Hindu nationalists win Gujarat poll
Controversial Hindu nationalist party leader Narendra Modi swept back to power in India’s religiously divided Gujarat state Sunday in what was called a national victory over the rival Congress Party.

Business

GDP set to grow at 7% per annum
The UAE's real gross domestic product will grow at an annual average of 7% over five years between 2008 and 2012 while inflation is seen to gradually drop and will average five per cent for the same period.

Property prices may slow on revaluation
The UAE real estate price growth may slow in 2008 if the central bank boosts the value of the dirham against the dollar, raising costs for foreign investors, EFG-Hermes Holding said.

ARAB TIMES

Front Page

Bahrain hit by protests by majority Shiites
Bahrain has been hit by rioting in majority Shiite areas for a fifth consecutive day in demonstrations that have seen the death of one protester, local press reports said on Sunday.

'Mr Bean' dings other driver's car in US ski resort town Aspen
British comedian Rowan Atkinson, known for playing the bumbling television and movie character Mr Bean, made a mistake of his own when he backed an SUV into an Aspen woman's car.

Business

Top three US banks abandon plan for Super-SIV
The three top US banks said they have abandoned a government-supported plan for a fund to bail out structured investment vehicles after Citigroup and others launched independent rescues, making the fund unnecessary.

Blair raised Saudi fraud probe fears
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair raised fears over a probe into an alleged corrupt arms deal between Saudi Arabia and BAE Systems days before it was dropped, according to a letter released Friday.

ARAB NEWS

Front Page

Pre-Haj swoop netted 28 suspects: Interior ministry
The Interior Ministry said yesterday that 28 people were arrested in Kingdom-wide sweep that began 14 December in the provinces of Makkah and Madinah, as well as the northern border region and Riyadh. Twenty-seven of the suspects are Saudis, the ministry said. The nationality of the 28th suspect was not released.

Olmert rejects Hamas’ offer of cease-fire
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday rejected Hamas’ offer of a cease-fire ("hudna") in the Gaza Strip, saying the government would not hold talks with the Islamist group until it recognizes Israel. "The State of Israel has no interest in negotiating with entities that do not recognize the Quartet demands," said Olmert during the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Business

Oil, property and inflation: a volatile mix
The price of crude oil is hovering at the $90/bbl-$100/bbl, up almost $40 since last year, but energy addicts are not always put off by high prices. Sometimes the cost of a drug makes the craving more dangerous.

Leveraging experience to achieve best results
For the successful implementation of mega projects, the impact on the community of the project is crucial.

TEHRAN TIMES

Front Page

Aggressive music discussed at Fajr festival
The development of an aggressive style of music and its social and psychological effects were discussed at a second meeting held on the sidelines of the 23rd Fajr International Music Festival here on Saturday.

Baba Ali to make storytelling tour by camel
A storyteller from Bandar Abbas is planning to travel around Iran on a camel to narrate his native tales to children.

Business

VimpelCom to buy golden telecom for $4.3bn
Russia's OAO VimpelCom agreed to buy Golden Telecom for $4.3bn to create the country's first wireless and fixed-line company.

Sony Online denies firm for sale report
Sony Online Entertainment on Sunday denied an Indian media report that said Zapak Digital Entertainment, part of the Anil Ambani-led ADAG group, was buying Sony Online and said the company was not up for sale.


By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214



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