DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran
The U.S. military command that oversees the Mideast has confirmed an explosion outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and says there are no U.S. or coalition casualties.
A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, Bill Urban, says in a statement that Iraqi Security Forces are investigating Sunday’s incident.
A State Department spokesman says that “a low-grade rocket” landed within the International Zone near the U.S. Embassy and that there was no significant damage or impact on any U.S.-inhabited facility. Continue reading IRAN CRISIS: Saudi Arabia won’t hesitate to defend itself
War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says//Crimson Tazvinzwa
BRUSSELS — With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
Initially, not even pro-American Britain would go along with the Trump administration, with officials defending a senior British general in the coalition fighting the Islamic State who said that there was no enhanced threat from Iran in Iraq and Syria.
But that brought an American rebuttal, and soon the Europeans, reluctant to confront Washington directly, softened the criticism. Britain officially rowed back, saying that it now agreed with the Americans, while Germany and the Netherlands suspended their troop training in Iraq, citing the American warnings. (Germany subsequently said it was planning to resume the training exercises.) Continue reading US National Security Adviser John Bolton: “To Stop Iran’s BOMB, BOMB Iran”
The flow of news continues from the Persian Gulf at a rapid pace. On Tuesday, sites connected to the oil industries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were reportedly hit for the second time this week. And according to a New York Times report, the White House is considering military plans against Iran, one of which includes the dispatch to the region of a huge taskforce of 120,000 soldiers. (U.S. President Donald Trump denied the report on Tuesday.) Iran’s choice of targets is already causing unusual volatility in the oil market and is of concern to the Trump administration. Continue reading Analysis Iran Threatens the Saudi-U.S. Axis Without Taking Direct Responsibility
CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!Inflation in the Middle East is typified by the same economic factors affecting most Sub Saharan AFRICAN countries.
Across the world, surging international food prices have become a major cause for concern and topic of debate. This is especially so in the Arab world, which is home to some of the largest food importers and where rising food prices have been one of the factors in recent political unrest.
In the context of ongoing political developments, governments across the region are responding to the rise in commodity prices with hikes in fuel and food subsidies, civil service wage and pension increases, additional cash transfers, tax reductions, and other spending increases. These measures will help poor households maintain their purchasing power and limit further increases in domestic food prices.
Continue reading Middle East’s ’empty broken shopping baskets’ —they looked at the wrong numbers
It’s been seven months since Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and dissident, was brutally murdered inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul. His dismembered body has still not been found. The Saudi Royal Family remains the chief suspect.
Yet for globetrotting capitalists in search of opportunity in Riyadh, it’s back to business as usual.
BlackRock founder, Larry Fink, recently told The New York Times he wants to engage the Saudis rather than shun them for whatever internal troubles led to the killing of a respected member of the press and columnist for The Washington Post. Other companies, including Google, Softbank, and HSBC, are also planning business ventures with the Saudis, The Times reported. Continue reading Jamal Khashoggi’s death highlights need for unity on World Press Freedom Day