Murder of Yemeni-American in Lahj sparks outrage 

Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani, a Yemeni expatriate living in the US, was reportedly attacked, robbed and later murdered by soldiers loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Tour Al-Baha district. (Supplied)
Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani, a Yemeni expatriate living in the US, was reportedly attacked, robbed and later murdered by soldiers loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Tour Al-Baha district. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 September 2021

Murder of Yemeni-American in Lahj sparks outrage 

Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani, a Yemeni expatriate living in the US, was reportedly attacked, robbed and later murdered by soldiers loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Tour Al-Baha district. (Supplied)
  • Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed ordered the authorities in Lahj to launch an urgent probe into the killing

AL-MUKALLA: The death of a Yemeni-American man in the war-torn country’s province of Lahj has prompted outrage from senior politicians and ordinary citizens.

Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani, a 30-year-old Yemeni expatriate living in the US, was reportedly attacked, robbed and later murdered by soldiers loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Tour Al-Baha district.  

Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed ordered the authorities in Lahj to launch an urgent probe into the killing of Al-Sanabani, official news agency SABA reported, adding he had spoken Lahj Gov. Ahmed Al-Turki to bring the killers to justice. 

Attorney General Ahmed Al-Mosai, meanwhile, issued orders to the chief of the Specialized Criminal Court in Aden to take action against those responsible 

Al-Sanabani had returned to Yemen via Aden airport last week to visit his family in Dhamar province. 

On Wednesday, Al-Ayyam newspaper, an Aden-based media outlet affiliated with the STC, first reported that soldiers at Tour Al-Baha arrested a suspected Houthi figure allegedly taking pictures of military sites. 

An image attached to the story showed three soldiers in civilian clothes handcuffing the man who, it later transpired, was Al-Sanabani. 

Following strong criticism of the paper’s coverage of the case, the newspaper on Saturday published an apology to his family for describing him as a member of the group. 

STC leader Aidarous Al-Zubaidi also ordered a committee to look into the death of Al-Sanabani and suspended the soldiers who were manning the checkpoint at the time of the incident, separatist media said. 

Al-Sanabani’s death triggered anger from inside and outside Yemen, as people from all walks fo life called for the killers to Brough to justice, and for the the unification of military units under state control, and an end to harassment of travelers at checkpoints.

Abdul Nasir Al-Muwadea, a Yemeni commentator, said the killing of Al-Sanabani had united Yemenis in calling for tough punishment against the perpetrators. 

“Public condemnations of the murder of Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani from all Yemenis are a living testimony to the strong collective spirit that binds (them),” Al-Muwadea said. 

Brig. Khaled Al-Nasi, a Yemeni military analyst, called for the revamping and unification of security units in the liberated provinces, and for prosecutions to be brought against commanders of checkpoints who allowed or encouraged harassment. 

“What happened to Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani is a condemned terrorist act and the leaders must be held accountable before the soldiers. What happened was systematic errors, not individual errors,” Al-Nasi said on Twitter.


Beirut blast probe judge cleared to continue investigation

Beirut blast probe judge cleared to continue investigation
Updated 6 sec ago

Beirut blast probe judge cleared to continue investigation

Beirut blast probe judge cleared to continue investigation
  • A Beirut court rejected the last of the suits preventing Tarek Bitar from questioning top officials
BEIRUT: The probe into last year’s deadly Beirut port blast has been cleared to resume after being suspended for more than a month on legal claims against its lead investigator, judge Tarek Bitar, a judicial source said.
A Beirut court rejected the last of the suits preventing Bitar from questioning top officials on Tuesday.
“They have reversed the decision that had led to the suspension of the probe and he can now resume his work for sure,” Nizar Saghieh, head of the Legal Agenda, a research and advocacy organization, told Reuters.
The resumption could be temporary should further legal complaints be filed, he said.
The investigation into the Aug. 4, 2020, blast that killed more than 215 people, injured thousands and destroyed large swathes of the city has made little headway amid pushback from powerful factions, some of whom lead smear campaigns and filed multiple suits against Bitar.
The leader of the Iranian-backed, armed Shiite Muslim political movement Hezbollah has repeatedly said he wanted Bitar removed from the case and the row over him has spilled over into government, with Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s cabinet unable to meet since Oct. 12.
Many Lebanese are angry that more than one year on from the blast no senior official has been held accountable for the country’s worst peace-time disaster as it slips into political and economic meltdown.
Bitar has sought to question senior politicians, including former ministers and members of parliament, since July but nearly all have spurned him.
He is the second judge to take charge of the investigation after a legal complaint against the partiality of his predecessor Fady Sawan saw him removed in February.

Motorcycle explosion in southern Iraqi city kills at least 4

Motorcycle explosion in southern Iraqi city kills at least 4
Updated 07 December 2021

Motorcycle explosion in southern Iraqi city kills at least 4

Motorcycle explosion in southern Iraqi city kills at least 4

BASRA: At least four people were killed and 20 wounded in an explosion in Iraq's southern city of Basra, police and hospital sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
Police are still investigating the cause of the blast, which took place in the city centre, near a main hospital. The explosion set fire to at least one vehicle and damaged a minibus.
One police source said that an initial investigation showed that a motorcycle rigged with explosives could have been the cause of the blast. 


UAE government switches weekend to Saturday-Sunday starting 2022

UAE government switches weekend to Saturday-Sunday starting 2022
Updated 07 December 2021

UAE government switches weekend to Saturday-Sunday starting 2022

UAE government switches weekend to Saturday-Sunday starting 2022
  • The decision is aimed at boosting productivity and improving work-life balance, WAM reported

DUBAI: The UAE government will transition to a four-and-a-half-day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend starting Jan. 1, 2022 for all federal departments, state news agency WAM reported. 
The new system will be applied in all federal government entities with working hours from 7:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m., it added.
Working hours on Fridays will start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 12 noon, with the possibility of flexible working hours or work from home options during those days. Friday sermons and prayers will be after 1:15 p.m. all year long in the UAE. 
The decision is aimed at boosting productivity and improving work-life balance, WAM reported.


UAE’s new 50-dirham banknote features Sheikh Zayed

UAE’s new 50-dirham banknote features Sheikh Zayed
Updated 07 December 2021

UAE’s new 50-dirham banknote features Sheikh Zayed

UAE’s new 50-dirham banknote features Sheikh Zayed
  • It is the first polymer banknote to be circulated in the country
  • The current 50- dirham note will continue to be used

DUBAI: UAE rulers witnessed the launch of a new 50-dirham banknote on Tuesday, in celebration of the country’s 50th National Day. 
The initiative comes in honor of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, and the country’s first generation of rulers to commemorate their dedication and historical role in uniting the country.
It is the first polymer banknote to be circulated in the country.
“We see in this issuance the new phase that UAE will enter, and a renewed pledge to continue its growth path. The occasion also allowed us to express our appreciation and gratitude to our founding fathers by issuing a new AED50 banknote to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the UAE,” said Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of the UAE. 
The front of the new banknote features a portrait of the late Sheikh Zayed on the right, and the memorial picture of the founding fathers after signing the union document. 
Meanwhile, the back side includes a picture of the late Sheikh Zayed signing the union agreement as well as illustration of the Etihad Museum, which witnessed the establishment of the union and the raising of the UAE flag for the first time.
According to state news agency WAM, the new banknote will be available in Central Bank branches and ATMs ‘in the near future’.
The current 50- dirham note will continue to be used.
Polymer banknotes are said to be more durable and sustainable than traditional cotton paper banknotes, lasting two or more times longer in circulation. They can also be completely recycled, thus reducing their environmental footprint.


Syria says fires extinguished at Latakia’s port following Israeli ‘aggression’

 Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jets fly over the Mediterranean Sea. (REUTERS file photo)
Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jets fly over the Mediterranean Sea. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 07 December 2021

Syria says fires extinguished at Latakia’s port following Israeli ‘aggression’

 Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jets fly over the Mediterranean Sea. (REUTERS file photo)
  • Israel has mounted frequent attacks against what it has described as Iranian targets in Syria

CAIRO: Fires caused by an Israeli “aggression” at Syria’s Latakia port on Tuesday had been extinguished, leaving material damage, but the status of any casualties was unclear, Syria’s state media reported.

Five explosions rocked the port city after an Israeli “aggression” hit the port’s container yard, sending fire trucks racing to the site, Syrian state TV said.

Israel has mounted frequent attacks against what it has described as Iranian targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have deployed over the last decade to support President Bashar Assad.

The Mediterranean port of Latakia is the country’s main port, through which food and other crucial supplies flow into war-torn Syria, and is close to Russia’s main air base of Hmeimim.