Residents struggle to get oxygen amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
India saw almost 4,000 deaths and more than 412,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, both new records.
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TUNIS: A Tunisian court on Tuesday released media mogul and former presidential candidate Nabil Karoui after he spent more than six months in custody on money laundering and tax evasion charges, his lawyer and party said.
Karoui, the owner of Nessma television channel and head of the Heart of Tunisia political party, the second largest in parliament, was detained in December for a second time for alleged money laundering and tax fraud.
Video footage broadcast by local radio Mosaique FM showed Karoui leaving Mornaguia prison, where he found his family and party members waiting outside.
In 2019, Karoui beat most candidates to reach a run-off for the presidency despite spending most of the campaign behind bars. He ultimately lost in a landslide to President Kais Saied.
His Heart of Tunisia party, which came second only to the moderate Islamist Ennahda in a parliamentary election the same year, has joined with it in giving narrow majority support to Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi’s government, which has been locked in a power struggle with the president.
BUDAPEST: Cristiano Ronaldo set the record for most goals at the European Championship with two of them Tuesday in Portugal’s 3-0 victory over Hungary at a packed Puskas Arena.
Ronaldo scored his 10th goal at the tournament from the penalty spot in the 87th minute and then added a second in injury time. He has now scored 11 goals over five continental tournaments. He entered the match even with Michel Platini at nine goals.
Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro scored the opening goal three minutes before Ronaldo’s first with a shot that deflected off a defender and wrong-footed goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
Ronaldo had missed an easy chance near the end of the first half when he hit a shot over the crossbar from close range.
It was the first match of the tournament to be played in front of a full crowd amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 67,215-capacity Puskas Arena went wild with celebration after 80 minutes when substitute Szabolcs Schon cut inside from the right and planted a low shot into the corner of the net. But the goal was ruled out because Schon was offside when he ran onto the pass.
Ronaldo is now only three behind former Iran striker Ali Daei’s men’s record of 109 international goals.
ALGIERS: Algeria's FLN, long the country's biggest political party, won the most seats in Saturday's parliamentary election, the head of the electoral authority said on Tuesday.
However, its 105 seats were far short of the 204 needed to secure a majority in the 407-seat parliament, with the Islamist MSP winning 64 seats and independent candidates winning 78 seats.
ROME: The Italian island of Lampedusa is struggling to cope after more than 600 migrants landed on its shores in less than 24 hours.
Eight boats carrying 634 people, including a five-month-old baby, from North Africa have arrived at the Mediterranean island, south of Sicily, since early Tuesday, overwhelming migrant facilities and leaving services on the brink of collapse.
More than 380 migrants of various nationalities were crowded onto one fishing boat alone.
“We intercepted a boat at dawn with 85 people on board. A small boat carrying 13 Tunisians landed later, followed by another with 12 men from Morocco and Sudan,” Admiral Roberto Isidori, commander of the Sicilian Coast Guard, told Arab News.
“All those on board were in very bad condition.”
Four other boats carrying at least 100 people reached the island — viewed as a gateway to Europe by migrants — in quick succession.
These groups were in addition to the 442 people who landed on Monday.
Lampedusa’s mayor, Salvatore Martello, told Arab News that almost 1,370 people are now staying at the Imbriacola migrant reception center, a facility designed for 250 occupants.
“The conditions facing migrants are very hard as we are experiencing a heatwave,” he added.
Agrigento authorities have arranged for 100 migrants who have been identified and tested negative for COVID-19 to be transferred by ferry to Porto Empedocle, an industrial port in the south of Sicily.
“From there we will try to send them to other reception centers, although all the facilities in Sicily and Calabria are already full beyond capacity,” Isidori said.
Other migrants could also be transferred on quarantine ships and patrol boats.
“In Lampedusa, the situation is unsustainable, both for the migrants and the local population, which is showing generosity to those people who endured a long, dangerous trip reach the island,” Urania Papatheu, a Forza Italia senator, told Arab News.
“What is happening is intolerable and unacceptable. It’s time for the EU to take action and hear to the calls for help from the Italian government. Enough with words from the EU. The time has come for facts and solidarity — Italy cannot be left alone.”
About 40 migrants from Algeria who landed on the southern coast of Sardinia also have been transferred to the migrant reception center in Monastir where they will be kept in quarantine.
CAIRO: Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Tuesday held talks with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who visited Doha to deliver a message from Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
The Qatari news agency reported: “The emir received a written message from the president of Egypt on enhancing relations between the two countries and means of strengthening bilateral relations in a way that serves the interests of the two brotherly countries and peoples.”
Shoukry arrived in Doha on Sunday carrying El-Sisi’s message on the positive developments in Egyptian-Qatari relations following the AlUla Declaration.
The declaration “strengthens the bonds of friendship and brotherhood among our countries and peoples in order to serve their aspirations,” Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the GCC Summit when the AlUla Declaration was signed on Jan. 5.
El-Sisi said in his letter that Egypt looks forward to taking more measures during the upcoming period to enhance bilateral cooperation in a way that serves the interests of both peoples and countries, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.
Shoukry also held talks with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani as they discussed the re-activation of bilateral cooperation and means of settling all the outstanding issues between both countries.
Hafez said the meeting also covered the most prominent challenges facing the Arab countries and the region.
Both ministers also discussed the Arab League meeting held on Tuesday about the most prominent regional issues and ways to deal with external interventions harmful to Arab national security, Hafez said.
They highlighted the importance of stressing Arab solidarity with Egypt and Sudan during a session scheduled to be held on the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, he said.
Shoukry will attend the meeting, following a request from Egypt and Sudan.