Israel opens new airport to boost Eilat tourism, provide wartime back-up

TIMNA, Israel, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Israel opened a new international airport outside its Red Sea resort of Eilat on Monday, hoping to boost winter tourism from Europeans and provide an alternative for times of conflict to its main gateway in Tel Aviv. Abutting the Jordanian border some 19 km (12 miles) north of Eilat, Ilan and Asaf Ramon Airport cost $500 million and will replace the city's cramped municipal airport as well as Ovda, an Israeli desert airbase that also accommodates civilian traffic. Named after an Israeli astronaut lost in the 2003 space shuttle disaster and his eldest son, who died in a 2009 air force accident, the single-runway Ramon is designed for wide-body planes and an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers. Jordan and Egypt, Red Sea neighbours which both have peace treaties with Israel, may also benefit from transit tourists landing there, Israeli officials say. "It (Ramon) is going to be a regional airport and if some of our tourists are going to Aqaba and Taba, that´s great," Chanan Moscowitz, head of Eilat-area airport operations, told Reuters, referring to the Jordan and Egyptian border terminals.

Zimbabwe president cuts short foreign tour over protests

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa broke off a foreign tour Sunday, saying he wanted his country "calm, stable and working again" as criticism grew over a brutal crackdown in response to protests. Mnangagwa appeared to take a more conciliatory approach than his spokesman George Charamba, who said the crackdown was "just a foretaste of things to come", as allegations mount up of shootings, beatings and abductions of opposition figures, activists and ordinary people. The security forces' operation has underlined fears of a return to the violent repression of Robert Mugabe, who was ousted from power by the military 14 months ago.

Belarusian model who claimed Donald Trump secrets detained in Moscow: Ifax

A model from Belarus who claimed to have evidence of Russian interference in U.S. President Donald Trump's election was detained in an airport in Moscow on Thursday after being deported from Thailand, Interfax cited the police as saying. Anastasia Vashukevich, 27, and three others were detained upon arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and have been transferred to a police station, Interfax cited the Interior Ministry as saying. They were deported by Thai authorities after their arrest during a "sex training seminar" in Thailand and pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy and soliciting.

Former US marine held by Russia denies reports of Russia visit

MOSCOW/NEW YORK: The brother of ex-US Marine Paul Whelan, who is being held in Moscow on suspicion of spying, denied on Tuesday a Russian media report that said his family planned to visit Russia in an effort to free him. “Those reports are false,” David Whelan, the ex-Marine’s twin brother, said in an email to Reuters. “Neither his parents nor his siblings are flying to Russia, and we have no plans to fly to Russia.”

Trump rejects report that he hid details of Putin meetings, seized translator’s notes

President Donald Trump has rejected a Washington Post report that he has refused to share details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin with top U.S. government officials. Trump, in a telephone interview late Saturday with Fox News, dismissed as “ridiculous” the Post story that alleged he went to great lengths to hide the content of his talks with Putin, even confiscating the notes of his interpreter and ordering that person to not discuss what was said. Trump said he had “a great conversation” with Putin in Helsinki in July 2018. When asked why not release details of the nearly two-hour conversation, Trump said: “I would, I don’t with care.

Russians nervous as Mueller’s investigation creeps ever closer to involvement with Trump: ex-DOD official

During an MSNBC panel discussion on Donald Trump’s close relationship with Russia — that also delved into the GOP going along with the president — a former Defense Department official pointed out that Russia is likely unnerved at special counsel Robert Mueller’s success at linking them to the Trump campaign. Speaking with AM Joy host Joy Reid, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Evelyn Farkas said the Kremlin is watching the investigation revelations with great concern.