US ambassador to Yemen says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

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Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz, December 21, 2018. (Reuters)
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The US ambassador to Yemen met with the Yemeni foriegn minister. (Saba Net)
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Updated 12 July 2020

US ambassador to Yemen says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

  • US fears the FSO Safer could break up sparking environmental disaster
  • Houthis have previously blocked experts from accessing the ship

RIYADH: The US ambassador to Yemen said Washington is ready to help in solving the crisis of an abandoned oil tanker at risk of exploding in the Red Sea. 

Ambassador Christopher Hensel said the US is keen on helping given that the FSO Safer poses such a threat.

Speaking during a meeting with the Yemeni foriegn minister, he also expressed his appreciation to the efforts by the Yemeni government to reach stability in the region. 

With 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, the Safer is deteriorating badly and could rupture at any time, with disastrous results for Red Sea marine life, UN and other experts have warned.

The 45-year-old ship is anchored off the port of Hodeidah under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which initially blocked UN efforts to send a team of experts to assess its condition. 

Sources on Sunday told AFP that the Houthis gave UN inspectors the green light to inspect the decaying tanker. 

The UN Security Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss the crisis, after water entered the vessel's engine room “which could have led to disaster,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.

*With AFP


Algeria eases coronavirus restrictions, including travel curbs and curfew

Updated 24 min 14 sec ago

Algeria eases coronavirus restrictions, including travel curbs and curfew

  • In June, Algeria resumed some economic activity, mainly in the construction and public works sectors
  • The new measures include lifting a travel ban between 29 provinces until the end of the month

ALGIERS: Algeria said on Saturday it will further ease its coronavirus lockdown, including shortening an overnight curfew, lifting some travel curbs and allowing large mosques to reopen.
The North African country has recorded 34,155 coronavirus infections, with 1,282 deaths.
In June, it resumed some economic activity, mainly in the construction and public works sectors, and allowed the reopening of some businesses.
The new measures include lifting a travel ban on 29 provinces from Aug. 9 until the end of the month. During that period, a curfew will be shortened and will run from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. from the current 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the government said.
Mosques with a capacity of more than 1,000 worshipers can reopen from August 15, though weekly prayers on Fridays, which are usually attended by larger numbers of people, will remain banned throughout the country.
The use of air conditioners in mosques remains banned, as does a prohibition of access for women, vulnerable people and children under 15 years, the government said.
Algeria ended a curfew and travel restrictions for its remaining 19 provinces in July.