US couple remains jailed in Qatar over daughter’s death

Updated 02 October 2013
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US couple remains jailed in Qatar over daughter’s death

DOHA: A judge in Qatar on Tuesday ordered an American couple to remain jailed pending trial on charges of starving to death their 8-year-old adopted daughter. The couple claims the girl died in January from medical problems complicated by anorexia-like bouts.
The case has brought legal support and other aid from groups from California, where the couple lived until 2012.
Judge Abdullah Al-Emady ordered Matthew and Grace Huang to remain in detention until at least their next hearing on Nov. 6.
The prosecution alleges the couple denied food to their daughter Gloria, who was born in Ghana and adopted at age 4.
The couple says the girl had various medical problems and also erratic eating habits, including periods of binging and self-starvation. They say she was not allowed from her room at night because of bizarre behavior during eating sprees, including rummaging through garbage for food.
Officials in Qatar also have raised questions about the adoption procedures, including payments to an adoption agency.
This is likely because adoption is virtual unknown in traditional Gulf Arab societies, where extended families would provide care.
In addition, an investigative report by Qatari police raised questions about why the Huangs would adopt children who did not share their “hereditary traits” and raised concerns that the children were part of a human trafficking operation or were “bought” for organ harvesting, according to the family’s website.


Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

Updated 21 May 2019
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Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.
The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.
The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.
The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.
“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.
“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”
The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.
Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.