Kazakh official: Syrian opposition to attend extended talks

File photo: The Syrian opposition is expected to attend extended talks in Astana.
Updated 15 March 2017
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Kazakh official: Syrian opposition to attend extended talks

MOSCOW: Kazakhstan says peace talks in the capital, Astana, over ending the fighting in Syria have been extended and will be attended by representatives of Syrian opposition forces.
“We expect the arrival of representatives from the Northern and Southern fronts of the armed Syrian opposition,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Onuar Zhainakov said Wednesday, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
The Syrian opposition had previously boycotted this third summit in Astana, citing the regime’s continued bombardment of opposition-held areas in Homs and Damascus.
A regimen delegation led by Syria’s UN ambassador, Bashar Al-Jaafari, began meetings Tuesday with Russian officials in Astana.
Talks in Astana are running parallel to political talks in Geneva between the regime and the opposition. The Astana talks are centered on cease-fire and humanitarian efforts, but have brought few results.


Emiratis investigate joke video of baby government employee

Updated 45 min 17 sec ago
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Emiratis investigate joke video of baby government employee

DUBAI: Prosecutors are investigating a United Arab Emirates government agency’s release of an online video that was meant as a joke and that suggested an 8-month-old baby is its youngest employee.
The Abu Dhabi public prosecutor’s office tweeted on Wednesday that it was investigating after the release of the video by the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority.
The video shows an 8-month-old baby in traditional clothing described as the agency’s “happiness executive.”

. بالفيديو.. "الطيران المدني" تعين أصغر موظف سعادة في العالم عمره 8 أشهر الطفل محمد الهاشمي الذي ينشر البهجة والسعادة لكل من يراه ويلقاه، عينه المدير العام للهيئة العامة للطيران المدني، سيف محمد السويدي كأصغر تنفيذي سعادة في الهيئة بهدف نشر الإيجابية والسعادة. وقالت الهيئة لـ"الإمارات اليوم"،إن الطفل محمد الهاشمي الذي يبلغ من العمر 8 أشهر وابن احدى موظفات الهيئة يزور مكاتب الهيئة العامة يومياً في أوقات الدوام الرسمية ليبث روح السعادة والإيجابية. وذكرت الهيئة أن لديها مبادرات عديدة لزيادة السعادة والإنتاجية بين الموظفين منها صحية، رياضية واجتماعية وذلك بهدف نشر السعادة والإيجابية داخل الهيئة.

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The child was enrolled at the agency’s daycare program for staff, but after the video was posted, complaints started to roll in. The agency later removed the video.
Prosecutors said in their tweet they launched the investigation because of their “responsibility to protect children.”