Iraq’s president warns fight against terrorism far from over

Iraq’s president warns fight against terrorism far from over
Barham Salih, President of Iraq, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. (AP)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Iraq’s president warns fight against terrorism far from over

Iraq’s president warns fight against terrorism far from over
  • The president said he hoped to receive aid to help stop the financing of lawless organizations and extremism
  • He added that low oil prices and the economic consequences of COVID-19 have caused major challenges

LONDON: The fight against terrorism is far from over in Iraq despite the country freeing its cities from Daesh, President Barham Salih said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Salih said that “transnational extremism continues to exist in the forms of sleeping cells scattered across Iraq including the desert regions,” and that the country cannot let its guard down now.
He added that Iraq should not underestimate the danger represented by terrorism and the possibility that it may reemerge.
The president said he hoped to receive aid from friendly countries to help stop the financing of lawless organizations and extremism.
He added that low oil prices and the economic consequences of COVID-19 have caused major challenges to Iraq but that it continues to fight the pandemic.
Iraq has recently recorded several thousand new coronavirus infections each day, and the total now exceeds 300,000.
More than 8,000 people have died in the country so far and doctors are terrified of being attacked by the relatives of those who have died from the disease.
Salih also spoke about another scourge that has ravaged his country for years — endemic corruption.
He said the problem had “contributed to the destruction of Iraq for many years.”
Iraq is trying to tackle corruption and corrupt individuals and elections due to be held next year are a result of the demands of protesters for change, he said.
The elections must be free and fair, Salih said. He added that he hoped the UN would provide technical assistance to ensure transparency.


UAE confirms 3,407 new COVID-19 cases, 7 additional deaths

UAE confirms 3,407 new COVID-19 cases, 7 additional deaths
Updated 19 min 44 sec ago

UAE confirms 3,407 new COVID-19 cases, 7 additional deaths

UAE confirms 3,407 new COVID-19 cases, 7 additional deaths
  • Daily total of cases hits record high for 4th day, recent rises attributed to ‘intensified investigation and increase in testing’
  • Kuwait records 530 cases and 1 death, Bahrain reports 209 cases and 1 death

DUBAI: The UAE recorded 3,407 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the fourth day in a row that the daily total has hit a new high. An additional seven people have died of virus-related causes.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said the total number of cases has reached 246,376, and the death toll stands at 733. A further 3,168 people recovered from the virus in the preceding 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 218,988.
The ministry attributed the sharp rise in the number of cases over the past few days to “intensified investigation and examination procedures and an increase in testing at the state level.”
Officials said that more than 138,000 people were vaccinated in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number that has received the first of the two doses that are required to about 1.66 million. Authorities in the UAE have said that they plan to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by April, with priority given to those over the age of 60 or suffering from chronic diseases.

The Department of Social Services, in cooperation with Sharjah Medical District, said it has received 800,700 applications for the COVID-19 vaccine from senior citizens and individuals with disabilities and mental illnesses, and their families. The vaccinations will be administered in their homes in Sharjah.
Afaf Al-Marri, the head of the department, said officials have been working to launch a number of initiatives designed to protect the health and safety of senior citizens since the pandemic began. He added that the launch of the home-vaccination service is one of the most important initiatives, designed to help some of the most vulnerable people.
During daily inspection tours, Dubai Economy issued fines to nine commercial establishments for failing to adhere to COVID-19 precautions. Inspection teams found 732 businesses to be compliant.
Abu Dhabi Media Office has released guidelines and a video explaining coronavirus precautions that should be taken when camping in the desert.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said it aims to support efforts to overcome the exceptional global effects of the pandemic by “uniting and supporting all segments of society, adopting common humanitarian values and strengthening cooperation with various local and international entities to accelerate the process of digital transformation and automate procedures for customers and employees alike.”

The authority said it is using all of its capabilities and resources to support national efforts to slow the spread of the virus. Its efforts include providing logistical support to the health and community sectors in the emirate, and a large number of employees have volunteered to support those who provide the first line of defense against the disease.
Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, DEWA’s managing director and CEO, said the “contribution of the authority’s employees embodies the highest forms of effective popular participation, cooperation, solidarity and community cohesion that characterizes the UAE.”
Elsewhere, Kuwait reported 530 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 156,964. The death toll rose to 947, with one additional death was reported in the previous 24 hours.

In Bahrain, one death was reported, raising the death toll to 357, while 209 new infected cases were confirmed.