In Wednesday's Middle East papers

06 February 2008 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 Wednesday. ICIS has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. To go to the individual websites, click the links below:


Front Page

Italy looks likely to hold early election
Italy seems likely to call an election by mid-April after the Senate speaker gave up trying to form a temporary government to end a political standoff triggered by Romano Prodi's resignation.

Observers eye Obama, Hillary 'dream ticket'
As Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama chase the nomination to run for US president, observers have raised the prospect of a "dream ticket" uniting them in November's election.


Share prices close lower; volume dives
The market witnessed choppy trading yesterday amidst a 18.4% decline in the volume of shares traded, with the MSM-30 index closing at 9,429 points or 0.08% lower compared to the previous close.

Toyota reports record third-quarter profits
Japan's Toyota Motor said Tuesday that its third-quarter net profit rose 7.5% to a record high on the back of fast-growing sales overseas, particularly in emerging markets.


Front Page

Snow envelops village in Rustaq
It was a rare sight for the residents of this calm and remote village on Tuesday. A large area of Yasab village, located on the Wadi Asshatin mountains in the Wilayat of Rustaq, was enveloped by snow. To the surprise of the local people, rocks, trees and all plants were covered with a thick cover of snow.

Nine Hamas fighters die in Israeli airstrike
Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip killed nine Hamas fighters on Tuesday as the Jewish state went on high alert a day after the first suicide bombing in a year by Palestinian fighters on its soil.


Europe stocks plunge on fresh US fears
Europe's main stock markets plunged on Tuesday on renewed fears of recession in the US after a woeful survey on the service sector in the world's biggest economy.

US services sector shrank in January
The vast services sector of the US economy contracted in January for the first time in nearly five years, a closely watched private survey showed Tuesday.


Front Page

Hillary, McCain score early Super Tuesday wins
Democrat Hillary Clinton scored key "Super Tuesday" victories over rival Barack Obama and Republican John McCain rolled to big wins in the Northeast as 24 US states voted in contests that could help pick the presidential nominees of both parties.

Israel strike kills nine Palestinians
Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip killed nine Hamas militants on Tuesday as the Jewish state went on high alert a day after the first suicide bombing on its soil by Palestinian militants in a year.


Pressure mounts to drop dollar peg
The relentless decline of dollar over the past few months and Federal Reserve's interest rate cuts will force Gulf countries to revalue their currencies within months to stem spiralling inflation, currency analysts and experts said.

Abu Dhabi to tighten rent cap if needed
Abu Dhabi would further tighten curbs on rent increases if necessary after the emirate required landlords to observe a narrower hikes margin in January, a newspaper reported yesterday, quoting government officials.


Front Page

Bangladesh gas worker took $145m in bribes
An employee of Bangladesh's biggest state-owned gas company who earned a mere $100 a month managed to pocket a colossal $145m in bribes over 12 years, an official said Tuesday.

US expats vote Obama in his Indonesian childhood city
Amid balloons and bunting, US presidential hopeful Barack Obama won an early 'Super Tuesday' victory over Hillary Clinton in the Indonesian capital where he spent part of his childhood.


Accept offer: Microsoft to Yahoo
Software giant Microsoft urged Yahoo to accept its 'generous' $44.6bn takeover offer, adding it hoped to get a quick response from the major Internet player.

Gulf Bank’s net profit shoots up 23% to $478m
Gulf Bank, Kuwait’s second largest commercial bank, has reported a record net profit of $477.8m for 2007, an increase of 23% over the previous year’s results.


Front Page

Brewing support for ‘coffee’ victim
After a stressful day that involved an alarming phone call, a flight from Jeddah to Riyadh and a face-off with the virtue commission to get his wife out of prison, Hatim said yesterday was filled with overwhelming calls of support and expressions of sympathy from as far away as Germany.

Voters flock to historic US polls
On a sprawling day of coast-to-coast voting--the biggest ever in a US primary race with 43 presidential nominating contests in 24 states--the presidential contenders in both parties fought hard to win a huge cache of delegates to this summer’s nominating conventions.


Two Saudis to fly to the edge of stratosphere layer
Two Saudi citizens, Mohamad Najjar, 26, and Ibrahim Al-Fadhly, 31, have won the grand prize of the Blue Card campaign launched by American Express (Saudi Arabia), which entitles the winners to a once-in-a-lifetime experience at near space travel.

Four seasons Alexandria--a hotel with a difference
A group of hotel executives from Egypt made a presentation about the new "Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria," a beautiful property with a seafront tower, which has opened in Egypt's coastal resort city. Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Stephan Killinger, general manager of Four Seasons Alexandria, gave an overview of the new hotel, which has been built on a historical site of the ancient city.


Front Page

S Korean archaeologists to track Paleolithic traces in Gilan
Professor Kidong Bae and several outstanding South Korean archeologists are currently in Iran to prepare for a joint summer research project with Iranian experts in Gilan province.

Archaeologists return to Sassanid city threatened by Salman-e Farsi Dam
A team of archaeologists have recently returned to the Sassanid city site in the future location of the reservoir of the Salman-e Farsi Dam in southern Iran’s Fars Province.


Iran’s post-revolution agricultural output up 55m tonne: FAO
According to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Iran witnessed a 55-million-ton rise in the total yield of 100 agricultural products within the three decades as of 1979 (victory of Islamic Revolution), Fars News Agency reported here on Tuesday.

SEC eyes SocGen US board member: Report
The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining stock sales by an American board member of Societe Generale, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

By: Staff Reporter
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