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Turkish exports to Qatar up 84% since Arab rift

The value of Turkish exports to Qatar has increased by 84 per cent during the last three months compared to the same period last year, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported. The agency reported data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) saying the value of Turkish exports to Qatar reached $165 million. The value of Turkish exports to Qatar increased in August by 75 per cent compared to the same period last year to reach $65 million. Read: A prolonged crisis and growing losses A majority of Turkey’s exports to Qatar included marine and animal products to the value of $8.6 million while exports in the electrical and electronic services sector reached $8 million. The head of Turkey’s Federation of Fisheries Exporters, Sinan […]

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Israel extends detention of Raed Salah

A magistrates’ court in Haifa today ruled to extend the detention of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, “until the end of legal proceedings against him”. The decision comes after the prosecution filed an indictment against Salah, accusing him of inciting violence and terrorism in a statement he after two Israeli occupation soldier were killed in Jerusalem on 14 July. Last week the court agreed to extend Salah’s detention until today, noting that he had told the judge that he “sleeps and prays and eats in the prison’s toilet and bathroom”. The judge had requested the prosecution and the prison authority respond to his statements today. Salah was arrested on 14 August after his house in […]

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Merkel tells voters: ‘Don’t experiment’ with the left

Paul Carrel | Reuters
Thu, 2017-09-07 02:00

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel warned German voters on Wednesday not to risk allowing an untested left-wing alliance to take power after this month’s national election, urging them to stick with her in “turbulent times.”
Less than three weeks before the Sept. 24 vote, politicians and media in Germany are turning their attention to the possible coalitions that could form after the election, from which no single party is expected to emerge with a clear majority.
Merkel, 63, leads a “grand coalition” of her conservatives and the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) — a tie-up neither wants to repeat after the vote. Seeking a fourth term, Merkel is stressing her credentials as a global stateswoman.
“Our country can’t afford experiments — especially in these turbulent times,” she told a rally in Torgau, some 70 miles (120 km) south of Berlin in the state of Saxony.
Merkel spoke above a cacophony of jeers and whistles from some protesters — a feature at many of her rallies as resentment persists at her decision in 2015 to open Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war in Syria and Iraq.
That decision helped the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which punished her conservatives in regional votes last year.
She has since bounced back, but the national election is likely to return a more fractured parliament due to the rise of the AfD — set to enter the Bundestag for the first time — and the expected return of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).
This could make coalitions harder to form.
Merkel wants to avoid being outflanked by a coalition of the SPD, the far-left Linke and the environmentalist Greens, who have held exploratory talks about the possibility of joining forces in a so-called ‘Red-Red-Green’, or ‘R2G’, coalition.
“I say Red-Red-Green would be bad for our country,” she told the rally. “In the future too, we will need stability and security.”
In a televised debate with SPD leader Martin Schulz on Sunday, Merkel challenged him to rule out a coalition with the Linke party, which he refused to do.
A Red-Red-Green combination is untested at federal level, though the three parties have teamed up to take control of Berlin’s city government.
An opinion poll released on Wednesday put support for Merkel’s conservatives at 38.5 percent, ahead of the SPD on 24 percent. The Greens were on 7.5 percent, the Free Democrats on 10 percent and the Linke and the AfD each on 8 percent.
Resentment at Merkel’s open-door policy runs particularly high in eastern Germany, but she has also been booed at rallies in the west — such as in Ludwigshafen, 45 miles (70 km) south of Frankfurt, last week.
“We are Germans. She needs to be taking care of us,” Vincent Raap, an 18-year-old starting an apprenticeship as a machine operator, said at the Ludwigshafen rally.
“Three times, an apprenticeship for which I had applied was given to foreigners instead,” he said, holding a sign saying “Merkel must go.”

Main category: 
Germany is at a crossroads now, says Merkel
‘Let’s get emotional,’ says Germany’s Social Democrats, struggling to oust Merkel
Merkel has no regrets over refugee policy despite political cost

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Tunisian President raises doubts about Ennahda

Tunisia President Beji Caid Essebsi has called for an investigation into the nature of the opposition Ennahda party. In an interview with Tunisia’s official local newspaper Al-Sahafa, Essebsi described the Islamist movement as “not civic”. “The outlawed group paralyses the state from carrying out its duties and achieving development,” Essebsi stressed. Read: The hidden battle between Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes The party’s media office is yet to respond to Essebsi’s remarks. Ennahda is the predominant party in the Tunisian government with 69 seats in the parliament, the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, while Essebsi’s party, Nidaa Tounes, has 58 parliamentary seats. The government also includes the secular party of Afek Tounes which holds ten parliamentary seats.

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Egypt power lines begins serving Gaza again

One of the Egyptian power lines feeding the Gaza Strip resumed operation yesterday after being cut off for about two months, Gaza’s electricity company said. Muhammad Thabet, head of public relations at the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company, said that the “Gaza 2” electricity line that powers districts in southern Gaza with ten megawatts was back in operation and providing electricity. Egyptian authorities fixed “Gaza 1” last week, after it had fallen into disrepair for some 50 days, he added. Now that both power lines resumed operating, Thabet said he expected the electricity distribution in the besieged coastal enclave to improve. Most Palestinians in Gaza are being supplied with only four hours of electricity a day. The power lines from Egypt […]

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Turkish police kill Daesh militant set to attack police station

Turkish police shot dead a Daesh militant who was set to carry out a suicide bomb attack on a police station in the Mediterranean city of Mersin today, the interior ministry said. The assailant, wearing a vest packed with explosives, was killed outside the police station in the Yenisehir district, which security sources said is located next to the regional headquarters of Turkey’s MIT national intelligence agency. “One member of the Daesh terrorist organisation, wearing a suicide bomb vest, was captured dead in front of the Mersin Yenisehir district’s … central police station,” the interior ministry said in a statement. Police officers spotted the suspect behaving suspiciously some 50 metres from the police station at around 8:15am (0515 GMT), the […]

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The Single Most Important KPI For Oil & Gas Companies

It is no secret that the CEOs, owners, shareholders and creditors are curious to know how a company is progressing. If there was only one KPI that could measure the overall performance of a multinational Oil & Gas company, which one would those with a stake in the company choose? In every organization, there are a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which help to assess its financial health, physical performance, operational excellence and health, safety and environment (HSE). It is often seen that management develops a series of KPIs…

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Court: EU states must take in refugees

The EU’s highest court today ruled that member states must take in a share of refugees who reach Europe. The Mediterranean migrant crisis which prompted mandatory quotas in 2015 for relocating asylum seekers from Greece and Italy has receded, easing immediate pressure to force compliance on nationalist leaders who are making electoral capital from lambasting the EU while benefiting from Brussels’ subsidies. But defiant rejection from some ex-communist states that the EU accuses of slipping on democratic standards – Hungary called the judgment a political “rape” of EU law – indicated no let-up in tensions that are testing the Union’s internal cooperation. In Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is fighting for re-election against opponents who criticise her for taking in […]

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Azerbaijan, BP Extend Deal For Caspian Oil Field Until 2050

Azerbaijan will sign in the coming days a new deal with BP to continue the development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oil field in the Caspian Sea until 2050, extending the existing contract that is set to expire in 2024, Azeri media quoted President Ilham Aliyev as saying on Wednesday. ACG was Azerbaijan’s first offshore oil Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) contract with Western majors. The country and a consortium of foreign oil companies signed back in 1994 a 30-year deal to develop the field. Foreign partners in the venture—alongside…

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SemGroup restores Texas Gulf Coast terminal operations

SemGroup Corp., Tulsa, has restored full operations at subsidiary Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Co.'s (HFOTCO) 16.8 million-bbl terminal following a temporary shutdown in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.The post SemGroup restores Texas Gulf Coast terminal ope...