Algerians protest bill to boost foreign money in oil sector

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Algerians take part to a protest in front of their parliament against a bill aimed at attracting foreign investment to the oil and gas sector, which underpins the national economy in Algiers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP)
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Algerians take part to a protest in front of their parliament against a bill aimed at attracting foreign investment to the oil and gas sector, which underpins the national economy in Algiers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP)
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Algerians take part to a protest in front of their parliament against a bill aimed at attracting foreign investment to the oil and gas sector, which underpins the national economy in Algiers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP)
Updated 13 October 2019

Algerians protest bill to boost foreign money in oil sector

  • Protesters raised their fists and accused the government of selling out Algeria's resources

ALGIERS: Thousands of Algerians are protesting in front of their parliament against a bill aimed at attracting foreign investment to the oil and gas sector, which underpins the national economy.
Surrounded by police, protesters raised their fists and accused the government of selling out Algeria's resources and threatening their children's futures.
The bill has further angered anti-democracy protesters who have been demonstrating since February.
The government is discussing the bill Sunday. It argues that Algeria needs foreign investment to modernize the sector and make it more globally competitive. State-run gas and oil giant Sonatrach says the bill is needed to simplify Algeria's tax system.
Protest organizers include professor Noureddine Bouderba, who accuses Algeria's provisional government of offering favors to foreign companies in exchange for political support ahead of December's presidential election.


US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

Updated 48 min 13 sec ago

US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

  • The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians
  • The move is the latest by the Trump administration seen as favoring the Israeli position over the Palestinians

WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday backed Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade position that they were “inconsistent with international law.”

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians who say the settlements are the main barrier to their future state.

The shift in US policy follows the Trump administration’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem last year, a move seen as undermining Palestinian claims to the eastern half of the city as a future capital.

Pompeo said US statements about the settlements on the West Bank - which Israel captured during a 1967 war - had been inconsistent, saying Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1978 found they were not consistent with international law and Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981 said he did not view them as inherently illegal.

“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, drawing criticism from a senior Palestinian figure even before his announcement.

“Another blow to international law, justice & peace,” Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said on Twitter ahead of Pompeo’s statement.

The announcement marked the third major instance in which the Trump administration has sided with Israel and against stances taken by the Palestinians and Arab states even before unveiling its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

In 2017 Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel before opening the embassy in the city. US policy had previously been that the status of Jerusalem was to be decided by the parties to the conflict.

In March, Trump recognized Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights in a boost for Netanyahu that prompted a sharp response from Syria, which once held the strategic land.

Trump's move might have been designed to help Netanyahu as he struggles to stay in power. Israeli politics is deadlocked after two inconclusive elections this year. Former military chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party emerged neck and neck with Netanyahu following a September vote, and both leaders have struggled to put together a ruling coalition.

*With Reuters