In Thursday's Middle East papers

23 April 2009 05:00  [Source: ICIS news]


Front page

Pakistan has abdicated to Taliban: Hillary
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday Pakistan’s government had abdicated to the Taliban by agreeing to Sharia law in part of the country and that the nation posed a “mortal threat” to world security even as she said the US President Barack Obama’s administration is prepared for tough sanctions against Iran if dialogue fails.

100,000 flee as Lanka, Tigers fight final battle
Thousands more civilians surged out of Sri Lanka’s war zone on Wednesday while soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels fought the apparent endgame of Asia’s longest-running war.


Japanese export slump eases to 46% in March
Japan’s export slump eased last month, government data showed on Wednesday, raising hopes that the world’s second largest economy may be through the worst of its deepest recession since World War II.

Khonji meets Sultanate’s honorary consul to Croatia
Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) Chairman HE Khalil Bin Abdullah Al Khonji on Wednesday met Shtifania Balogh, the honorary consul of the Sultanate to the Republic of Croatia.


Front page

Biggest phase of Indian elections gets underway
India’s month long staggered general election entered its second and biggest phase on Thursday with an expected 200m more voters going to the polls amid tight security arrangements to prevent attacks by Maoist insurgents.

Taliban extend hold, advance near Pakistan capital
Taliban militants have extended their grip in northwestern Pakistan, pushing out from a valley where the government has agreed to impose Islamic law and patrolling villages as close as 60 miles from the capital.


Dubai’s economy records 2% growth
Dubai’s economy recorded 2% growth in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2008, sending a clear signal that the emirate has weathered the worst phase of the financial crisis gripping the world, a top government official said on Wednesday. 

House prices could plunge by 70%: UBS
House prices in Dubai could plunge by as much as 70% this year from their peak levels in 2008, as most investors do not see headwinds easing, UBS Bank said.


No new updates


Front page

No proof of terrorism against IIROSA: Basha
Courts in the United States looking at accusations that the International Islamic Relief Organisation-Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) supports terrorism have no evidence, said the organisation’s Secretary-General Adnan Khalil Basha.

Olmert charged with war crimes
A group of Norwegian lawyers filed a complaint yesterday accusing 10 Israelis of war crimes in Gaza under the country’s new universal jurisdiction law, officials said. 


Optimistic growth forecast for UK
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling yesterday unveiled in the House of Commons a budget for 2009 aimed at “helping the British people through the global recession and prepare Britain for the opportunities of the future.”

Plan to ensure food security on right path
In 2008, food prices were fast-rising in Saudi Arabia, in the GCC as well as the rest of the world.


Front page

Iran officially welcomes nuclear talks
In a statement released on Wednesday Iran officially announced it welcomes “constructive and fair” talks on its nuclear program with the 5+1 group.

Austrian festival to host Iran’s Nour Ensemble
The Nour Ensemble from Iran is invited to perform concerts during Voice Mania Music Festival which will be held in Austria in June 2009.


Tehran, Ankara chambers of industry ink MOU
Ankara Chamber of Industry Chairman Nurettin Özdebir signed an MOU here on Tuesday with Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Mines (TCCIM) Chairman Yahya Al-e Es’haq to expand bilateral private sector ties.

SAIPA listed in ME’s 100 top companies
Iran’s No 2 giant automaker was listed in the 100 top companies of the Middle East.


Front page

Trapped in 'catastrophic' war zone 
Tens of thousands of civilians are stranded under "catastrophic" conditions in Sri Lanka's conflict zone, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

Early lead for ANC in S Africa vote 
South Africa's ruling ANC party has taken the early lead in the country's general election that is expected to make its leader, Jacob Zuma, president.


No new updates


Front page

More parties announce electoral lists as elections race intensifies
Lebanon's constitutional deadline for withdrawing electoral candidacies passed at midnight on Wednesday, with Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud holding a news conference to announce the final list of candidates.

Jumblatt says his remarks on Maronites were 'unintentional'
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt said his controversial remarks regarding the Christian confession were "unintentional," and came as part of "a longer and private" discussion with Druze figures.


Lebanon expects to receive approval for WTO accession, 'but much work remains'
Lebanon is expected to be approved for its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2010, Economy and Trade Minister Mohammad Safadi said on Wednesday.

US and Lebanese officials open Chamber of Commerce
US Ambassador Michele J Sison and the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Lebanon mission director, Denise A Herbol, joined officials from North Lebanon to open a branch of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture.


Front page

Homes for all vow
Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa yesterday urged work on the Shakhoora housing project to be stepped up.

Glittering start to Heritage Festival
Bahrain's annual Heritage Festival got off to a glittering start last night, opening the doors to a golden era.


Batelco profit up
Batelco had a strong start to the year and managed to post a first-quarter net profit of BD26.3m ($69.8m) on gross revenues that were up 7% to BD83.7m ($222m).

ABC registers net profit of $32m in first quarter
Arab Banking Corp (ABC) has sprung back from a difficult year to post a first quarter profit of $32m.

By: Staff Reporter
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