Two killed, 75 wounded by twin mosque bombing in Benghazi

Image Caption : Members of the self-styled Libyan National Army, loyal to the country's east strongman Khalifa Haftar, patrol the roads leading into the eastern city of Benghazi on February 7, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 09 February 2018
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Two killed, 75 wounded by twin mosque bombing in Benghazi

BENGHAZI: One person was killed and 75 wounded by a twin bombing inside a mosque in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday, medics said.
The blasts took place during Friday prayers, residents said. The devices appear to have been activated remotely using a mobile phone, one military source said. 
Two weeks ago, around 35 people were killed by a twin bombing at a mosque in the same city.
Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar. The LNA was battling Islamists, including some linked to Islamic State and al Qaeda, as well as other opponents until late last year in the Mediterranean port city.
Haftar, a possible contender in national elections that could be held by the end of 2018, has built his reputation on delivering stability in Benghazi and beyond, promising to halt the chaos that developed after a NATO-backed uprising ended Muammar Gaddafi’s long rule nearly seven years ago.
Haftar launched his military campaign in Benghazi in May 2014, in response to a series of bombings and assassinations blamed on Islamist militants.
In past months there have been occasional, smaller scale bombings apparently targeting LNA allies or supporters.


UAE announces ownership, visa reforms to lure foreign investors

Updated 50 min 31 sec ago
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UAE announces ownership, visa reforms to lure foreign investors

  • The UAE has announced plans to permit full ownership and visa incentives to foreigners, hoping to attract investors and innovators.
  • The decision will allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of companies, coupled with 10-year residence permits for them and their families.

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates has announced plans to permit full ownership and visa incentives to foreigners, hoping to attract investors and innovators to boost its slowing national economy.
The main goal of the decision taken by the UAE cabinet Sunday night, is to lure “international investments and exceptional talent,” according to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum.
The new measures come amid signs of an economic slowdown in the oil-rich Gulf state on the back of lower oil prices, with reports showing the vital real estate and tourism sectors of Dubai struggling.
The decision will allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of companies, coupled with 10-year residence permits for them and their families, according to a cabinet statement cited by WAM news agency.
The measures will be enforced by the end of 2018, the statement said.
The UAE leads all Arab countries in terms of foreign direct investment, attracting $11 billion last year, a jump of 22 percent on 2016, according to the International Institute of Finance.
Although it is the most diversified and open economy in the Middle East, foreigners can only own up to 49 percent of companies unless they are established in special free trade zones.
The new measures also grant 10-year long residence permits to professionals in the medicine, science, research and technical fields.
Like other energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, foreigners working in the UAE must have their residence permits made by a national sponsor known as kafeel.
The International Monetary Fund earlier projected that UAE economic growth would fall from 3.0 percent in 2016 to 1.3 percent in 2017.
Capital Economics, a London-based think tank, however, has said that the UAE economy grew by just 0.5 percent last year.
It said that the economy of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates making up the UAE and the richest in oil, shrank by 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent in the third and fourth quarters of last year, respectively.
In Dubai, sales and rents in the real estate sector slowed by five to 10 percent in 2017. The downturn is expected to continue through 2019, before picking up in 2020 when it will host the World Expo trade fair.