Saudi Arabia’s senior negotiator Shasly is absent from climate talks in Bonn

Ayman Shasly has been serving as the chair of the Arab Group Climate Change Negotiation at Saudi Energy Ministry since January 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. File
Ayman Shasly has been serving as the chair of the Arab Group Climate Change Negotiation at Saudi Energy Ministry since January 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. File
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Updated 15 June 2022

Saudi Arabia’s senior negotiator Shasly is absent from climate talks in Bonn

Saudi Arabia’s senior negotiator Shasly is absent from climate talks in Bonn

RIYADH: Ayman Shasly, Saudi Arabia’s senior climate negotiator and former Aramco employee, is absent from interim climate talks in Bonn, according to Climate Home News.

Shasly has been serving as the chair of the Arab Group Climate Change Negotiation at Saudi Energy Ministry since January 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

In his absence, Albara Tawfiq, who is an international policy adviser at the Energy Ministry and policy adviser at Saudi Aramco, will be chairing the Arab group’s meetings, Climate Home News reported. 

“We don’t have a clear direction of the chairmanship of the group,” Tawfiq told Climate Home News.

He added that his role as chair was “not yet officially permanent.”

The report said Climate Home News was awaiting Shasly and Saudi Energy Ministry’s comment.


Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan
Updated 7 min 44 sec ago

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan
  • The aid will be delivered to 8,424 beneficiaries across Pakistan

RIYADH: Two additional planes carrying 60 tons of humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Karachi to help those affected by Pakistan’s worst floods in decades.

The 6th and 7th flights to be dispatched by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) delivered tents, blankets, shelters, and food baskets for 8,424 beneficiaries, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The batches of aid were received by the National Disaster Management Authority to be distributed in several regions across Pakistan based on the need.

KSRelief earlier established a Saudi air bridge to deliver urgent aid to Pakistan amid the floods, which drowned third of the country, killing over 1,300 people and displacing millions more. The first two batches of Saudi aid arrived earlier this month.

“The aid reflects the Kingdom’s mission to help people in need across the world in various crises,” read the SPA statement.


6 dead, 20 wounded in school shooting in Russia

6 dead, 20 wounded in school shooting in Russia
Updated 9 min 35 sec ago

6 dead, 20 wounded in school shooting in Russia

6 dead, 20 wounded in school shooting in Russia
  • The school educated children between grades 1 and 11

MOSCOW: A gunman on Monday morning killed six people and wounded 20 others in a school in central Russia, local police said.
Governor of the Udmurtia region, Alexander Brechalov, said in a video statement that the still unidentified shooter got into a school in Izhevsk, the region’s capital, killed a guard and some of the children there. “There are victims among the children, there are wounded too,” Brechalov said.
The school educated children between grades 1 and 11.
According to the governor and local police, the gunman shot himself. The school has been evacuated and area around it has been fenced off, the official said.
No details about the gunman or his motives have been released.
Izhevsk, a city of 640,000, is located west of the Ural mountains in central Russia, about 960 kilometers (596 miles) east of Moscow.


Lebanon expects US mediator offer for maritime border with Israel within days

Lebanon expects US mediator offer for maritime border with Israel within days
Updated 15 min 37 sec ago

Lebanon expects US mediator offer for maritime border with Israel within days

Lebanon expects US mediator offer for maritime border with Israel within days

DUBAI: Lebanon expects a written offer from US mediator Amos Hochstein concerning the demarcation of a maritime border with Israel by the end of the week, Lebanon’s presidency tweeted on Monday.
Lebanon’s deputy speaker of parliament Elias Bou Saab met with Hochstein last week during a visit to New York and briefed President Michel Aoun on the outcome, the presidency added.
Hochstein has been shuttling between Lebanon and Israel — enemy states with a history of conflict — in a bid to forge a compromise over the maritime boundary that would allow both to explore for offshore energy reserves.
A deal would defuse one potential source of conflict between Israel and the heavily armed, Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has warned against any Israeli exploration and extraction in the disputed waters.


Lebanese banks reopen partially after weeklong closure

Lebanese banks reopen partially after weeklong closure
Updated 13 min 24 sec ago

Lebanese banks reopen partially after weeklong closure

Lebanese banks reopen partially after weeklong closure
  • Lebanon’s talks with the International Monetary Fund on a bailout have progressed sluggishly

BEIRUT: Banks in crisis-hit Lebanon partially reopened Monday following a weeklong closure amid a wave of heists in which assailants stormed at least seven bank branches earlier this month, demanding to withdraw their trapped savings.
The Association of Banks in Lebanon said last Monday it was going on strike amid bank holdups by depositors and activists — a sign of growing chaos in the tiny Mideast nation.
Lebanon’s cash-strapped banks had last closed for a prolonged period back in October 2019, for two weeks, during mass anti-government protests triggered by the crisis. That year, the banks imposed strict limits on cash withdrawals, tying up the savings of millions of people.
The country’s economy has since spiraled, with about three-quarters of the population plunged into poverty. The Lebanese pound has lost over 90 percent of its value against the dollar.
The frustrations boiled over this month, with angry and desperate depositors — including one armed with a hunting rifle — started holding up the banks. One of them, Sali Hafez, broke into a Beirut bank branch with a fake pistol and retrieved some $13,000 in her savings to cover her sister’s cancer treatment.
However, only a handful of bank branches opened Monday — accepting only customers with prior appointments for corporate transactions. The partial reopening was to continue indefinitely, until banks can secure the safety of their employees.
Crowds of anxious Lebanese gathered around ATM machines.
“I’ve been here for three hours, and they won’t let me in or schedule an appoint,” Fadi Al-Osta told The Associated Press outside a bank branch in Beirut. “The security guards can let us in one at a time and check for weapons. Isn’t that their job?”
George Al-Hajj, president of Lebanon’s Federation of Bank Employees Syndicates, said branches have downsized, to have a larger number of security guards per branch.
“Our goal isn’t to harm anyone, but we want to go to work feeling safe and secure,” Al-Hajj said. “We’re also human beings.”
Tensions were simmering in the southern city of Sidon, where State Security forces armed with assault rifles stood outside some bank branches. Some police officers and army soldiers, whose salaries have lost over 90 percent of their value, unsuccessfully tried to break into a bank branch to collect small cash bonus recently granted by the government.
Lebanon’s talks with the International Monetary Fund on a bailout have progressed sluggishly, with authorities failing to implement critical reforms, including restructuring the banking sector and lifting banking secrecy laws. Last week, a visiting IMF delegation criticized the government’s slowness to implement desperately-needed financial reforms.


Bahraini culinary star Tala Bashmi celebrates The Best Chef Awards ranking in Madrid

Bahraini culinary star Tala Bashmi celebrates The Best Chef Awards ranking in Madrid
Tala Bashmi is the chef patronne at Fusions by Tala in the Gulf Hotel, Manama. (Supplied)
Updated 24 min 46 sec ago

Bahraini culinary star Tala Bashmi celebrates The Best Chef Awards ranking in Madrid

Bahraini culinary star Tala Bashmi celebrates The Best Chef Awards ranking in Madrid
  • ‘I always saw a gap for a different version of Middle Eastern and Khaleeji cuisine,’ Bashmi previously told Arab News

DUBAI: Bahraini chef Tala Bashmi appeared in Madrid over the weekend to celebrate her ranking among the top 100 chefs in the world.

The culinary star ranked 93rd and is the only Arab on this year’s Best Chef Awards list, as well as one of just 18 women.

The gala dinner was held at the Crystal Gallery of the Palacio de Cibeles in Madrid and saw Spain’s Dabiz Muñoz named the best chef in the world for the second consecutive year.

“I do not feel like the best chef in the world, far from it. But I believe I have the best team in the world,” he said accepting the prize on the stage.

Chef patronne at Fusions by Tala in the Gulf Hotel, Manama, Tala Bashmi hit the red carpet at the event.

Bashmi grew up in Bahrain, and began her career at the Gulf Hotel, before heading to Switzerland to train at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois and the Michelin-starred Prisma. 

She returned to Bahrain in 2014 and worked her way up through the ranks at the Gulf Hotel to eventually head Fusions by Tala, where she’s determined to reinvent Gulf cuisine. She was recently named Best Female Chef in the Middle East and North Africa by 50 Best.

“I always saw a gap for a different version of Middle Eastern and Khaleeji cuisine,” Bashmi told Arab News earlier this year. “I want to compete on a global scale by elevating our cuisine technically, visually, and flavor-wise,” she said.