Escalating trade dispute looms: What do Trump and Xi want?

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet on Saturday for some dinner diplomacy on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. The US-China trade war tops their agenda, but the two leaders also have other topics they hope to tackle, including Taiwan, the South China Sea…

Malaysia detains Hassan Al Kontar after removing him from airport

Syrian refugee Hassan Al Kontar was arrested on Monday by Malaysian police for remaining in a "forbidden area" of Kuala Lumpur International Airport's terminal two. Al Kontar, 37, had been living inside KLIA's domestic transfer lounge since March, after being denied entry to Cambodia and sent back to Malaysia. The Syrian refused to seek asylum…

Young tech-savvy Afghans switch to online shopping

Kabul, Afghanistan - It is a bright and chilly Sunday morning with barely any traffic in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and Abdul Waheed is already busy at work. Two years ago, 30-year-old Waheed and 11 of his friends founded one of the first online shops in Afghanistan, Entekhab Man. With most Afghans preferring to shop at…

Egypt arrests British student over military helicopter video

Egyptian authorities have arrested a 19-year-old British tourist over a cellphone video that showed a military helicopter in the background, according to his family. Muhammed Fathi Abulkasem's arrest took place shortly after he arrived in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria on November 21, his cousin Shareen Nawaz told the Associated Press news agency on Friday.…

French police fire tear gas at ‘yellow vest’ protesters in Paris

French police have fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon to disperse "yellow-vest" protesters trying to breach security cordons on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. The clashes on Saturday broke out soon after hundreds of protesters wearing the high-visibility yellow vests began gathering near the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the…

Iraq: Adel Abdul Mahdi named prime minister

Newly elected Iraqi President Barham Salih has named independent Shia candidate Adel Abdul Mahdi as prime minister-designate, ending months of deadlock after an inconclusive national election in May. The presidency, traditionally occupied by a Kurd, is a largely ceremonial position, but the vote for Salih in parliament on Tuesday was a key step towards forming…

Ex-US Justice official pleads guilty in 1MDB lobbying scandal

A former US Justice Department official has pleaded guilty to banking violations as part of an attempt to lobby Washington to drop an investigation into a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered billions from Malaysia's 1MDB investment fund. George Higginbotham, 46, admitted on Friday to lying to US banks while transferring tens of millions…

The Reformist project in Iran is dead

Iran is facing growing domestic and international pressure as US sanctions on oil exports are about to take effect amid increasingly visible public discontent with the ruling elite. Since last December, waves of strikes and protests have hit the country, while the Iranian government has struggled to contain the economic and political fallout of the…

The crisis in Cameroon can still be resolved peacefully

Speaking recently on the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, UN Special Adviser on Genocide Prevention Adama Dieng said, "there is always a solution when people accept genuinely to sit together and discuss in good faith." We agree. This is why we, a Francophone daughter and anglophone son of Cameroon, have come together on the eve of…

Conflicting Saudi, Turkish claims on Jamal Khashoggi whereabouts

Saudi and Turkish officials have made conflicting statements on the whereabouts of a prominent journalist who has reportedly gone missing while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident critical of the country's crown prince, entered the consulate's premises at around 1pm (10:00 GMT) on Tuesday in what seemed to be a routine visit to…

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