Yemen’s Qaeda detains 2 militants for ‘spying for US’

Yemen’s Qaeda members. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2017
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Yemen’s Qaeda detains 2 militants for ‘spying for US’

ADEN: Yemen’s Al-Qaeda has detained two militants accused of being US informants in a district targeted by multiple air raids over the past week, a tribal leader said Wednesday.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) arrested two of its operatives in Mawjan district in the southern Abyan province on accusations they were “spying for the United States,” a tribal leader there said on condition of anonymity.
Abyan has been the target of US air strikes as well as an AQAP attack on the army over the past week.
Washington’s drone war on AQAP has resumed pace since President Donald Trump took office in January.
The US is thought to have launched at least 40 air strikes by warplanes and drones against AQAP since last week, targeting the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa as well as Baida, slightly to the north.
More than two years of civil war between government forces and Shiite rebels who control the capital have created a power vacuum in Yemen, one which AQAP has exploited to consolidate its presence in the south and east.
Washington regards AQAP as the jihadist network’s most dangerous and says it has been plotting attacks on the West in recent months.


Moody’s sees risk of Lebanon debt rescheduling despite budget

Updated 8 min 58 sec ago
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Moody’s sees risk of Lebanon debt rescheduling despite budget

  • The draft budget aims to cut the deficit to 7.6 percent of gross domestic product from 11.5 percent last year
  • Lebanon has long depended on financial transfers from its diaspora to meet the economy’s financing needs
BEIRUT: Slowing capital inflows to Lebanon and weaker deposit growth increase the risk of a government response that will include a debt rescheduling or another liability management exercise that may constitute a default, Moody’s Investors Service said.
This was despite fiscal consolidation measures included in the draft 2019 budget that is being debated in parliament, Moody’s said in a June 25 credit analysis.
Asked about the report, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Thursday “matters are under control.”
The draft budget aims to cut the deficit to 7.6 percent of gross domestic product from 11.5 percent last year, with Lebanese leaders warning the country faces financial crisis without reform.
Lebanon’s public debt is 150 percent of GDP, among the largest in the world. State finances are strained by a bloated public sector, high debt-servicing costs and subsidies for power.
The Moody’s report said: “Despite the inclusion of fiscal consolidation measures in the draft 2019 budget, slowing capital inflows and weaker deposit growth increase the risk that the government’s response will include a debt rescheduling or another liability management exercise that may constitute a default under our definition.”
Lebanon has long depended on financial transfers from its diaspora to meet the economy’s financing needs, chiefly the state budget deficit and the current account deficit of an economy that imports heavily and exports little by comparison.