Saudi-Uzbekistan council signs 10 investment agreements worth $12bn

The agreements cover various sectors and include number of deals between Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and ACWA Power, a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants. 
The agreements cover various sectors and include number of deals between Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and ACWA Power, a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants. 
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Updated 18 August 2022

Saudi-Uzbekistan council signs 10 investment agreements worth $12bn

Saudi-Uzbekistan council signs 10 investment agreements worth $12bn

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have signed over 10 investment agreements, worth over SR45 billion ($12 billion), during the Saudi-Uzbek Business Council in Jeddah on Wednesday.

The agreements cover various sectors and include number of deals between Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and ACWA Power, a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants. 
“Over 10 agreements were signed between the Kingdom and Uzbekistan in several sectors, with a value exceeding SR45 billion,” Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih said. 


Iran students protest, global demonstrations over crackdown since Mahsa Amini death

Iran students protest, global demonstrations over crackdown since Mahsa Amini death
Updated 2 min 36 sec ago

Iran students protest, global demonstrations over crackdown since Mahsa Amini death

Iran students protest, global demonstrations over crackdown since Mahsa Amini death
  • Iranians based abroad and their supporters gathered in cities around the world in solidarity
  • “Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator” chanted in the streets

PARIS: Students demonstrated in Tehran and other Iranian cities Saturday against an ongoing crackdown on dissent over the death last month of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Islamic republic’s notorious morality police.

Iranians based abroad and their supporters gathered in cities around the world in solidarity.

Cities including Auckland, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Stockholm, Sydney and Zurich all witnessed anti-regime demonstrations.

A wave of street violence has rocked Iran since Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Protests have been held nightly for more than two weeks, despite a bloody crackdown that a rights group says has claimed more than 80 lives.
“Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator,” they chanted in the streets of Amini’s hometown of Saqqez, in Kurdistan province.
On Saturday, riot police massed at major road junctions across the capital, as students demonstrated in Enghelab (Revolution) Square near Tehran University in the city center to press for the release of arrested students.
Police clashed with the protesters who were chanting slogans and arrested some of them, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Video footage shared by the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights group also showed student protests in other cities, including second city Mashhad and Karaj, west of the capital.
The protesters were seen chanting and women having removed their headscarves.
Demonstrations of support were called in 159 cities across the globe — from Auckland to New York and Seoul to Zurich, the Iranians for Justice and Human Rights group said.
In Rome, at a rally of about 1,000 people, a half dozen women cut their hair in solidarity.
But in Beirut, the head of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, Hasan Nasrallah, described Amini’s death as a “vague incident” that was being used against Tehran.
“This vague incident was exploited and people took to the streets,” Nasrallah said, adding that the protests do not reflect the true will of the Iranian people.
The protests flared in Iran on September 16, when Amini was pronounced dead three days after falling into a coma following her arrest.
Iran Human Rights group says at least 83 people have been killed in the crackdown. Amnesty International says it has confirmed 52 fatalities, while Iran’s Fars agency has put the death toll at “around 60.”
It is the bloodiest unrest in Iran since a ruthless crackdown on demonstrations in November 2019 over a sudden hike in fuel prices that killed at least 304 people, according to Amnesty.
Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who has been under house arrest for more than a decade, urged security forces to halt the violence, in a message on the Instagram account of opposition group Kaleme.
“I would like to remind all the armed forces of their pledge to protect our land, Iran, and the lives, property, and rights of the people,” he said.
Iran’s intelligence ministry said Friday that “nine foreign nationals,” including from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, were arrested “at or behind the scene of riots,” along with 256 members of outlawed opposition groups.
Unrest also erupted on Friday in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said two of its colonels were killed, bringing the official toll to 20 dead during clashes in the province where three police stations were attacked.
“Several chain stores were looted and set on fire, and a number of banks and government centers were also damaged,” said Sistan-Baluchestan governor Hossein Khiabani.
Poverty-stricken Sistan-Baluchestan is a flashpoint for clashes with drug smuggling gangs, as well as rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremist groups.
Iran has blamed outside forces for the nationwide protests.
On Wednesday, the Revolutionary Guards launched cross-border missile and drone strikes that killed 14 people in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, accusing rebel groups in the region of fueling the unrest.
The US said one of its citizens was killed in the strikes.
On Saturday, Iranian forces mounted a new bombardment of Kurdish rebel bases over the border that caused damage but no casualties, a rebel official told AFP.


Yemeni government agrees to extend UN-brokered truce for two months

Yemeni government agrees to extend UN-brokered truce for two months
Updated 12 min 36 sec ago

Yemeni government agrees to extend UN-brokered truce for two months

Yemeni government agrees to extend UN-brokered truce for two months
  • “The government does not object to the renewal, but it does have some reservations,” the Yemeni government official told Arab News, preferring anonymity

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s internationally recognized government has agreed to extend the UN-brokered truce for two months, as the global community makes last-ditch efforts to persuade the Iran-backed Houthis to do the same.

An official familiar with behind-the-scenes negotiations said that the Yemeni government is willing to extend the ceasefire by two months and discuss thorny issues, such as opening Taiz’s roads and paying public employees in areas controlled by the Houthis, later.

“The government does not object to the renewal, but it does have some reservations,” the Yemeni government official told Arab News, preferring anonymity. “As such, we would prefer to renew it under the same terms as before and to engage in discussions about the new UN proposal to expand it.”

The UN-mediated ceasefire, which came into force on April 2 and was twice extended for two months, ends on Sunday. The Houthis said last week that they would extend the truce only if the Yemeni government paid public servants in their areas.

UN Yemen envoy Hans Grundberg gave the Yemeni government and the Houthis a fresh draft of a new proposal in an effort to convince them to extend the ceasefire.

It suggested extending the truce for six months; adding Doha, Muscat and Mumbai flights to the Sanaa airport flight schedule; the Houthis initially opening minor roads in Taiz; and the militia paying public employees in areas under their control using fuel sales, with any shortfall being covered by the Yemeni government.

The proposal was met with reservations on both sides. The Houthis demanded that the Yemeni government fully pay public employees in their territory, and also lift the “blockade” of Hodeidah port and Sanaa airport.

The government demanded the Houthis open at least one major road in Taiz, and pay all government employees in Sanaa and other militia-controlled areas.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Saturday urged the Houthis not to deprive Yemenis of another chance at peace, accusing the militia of attempting to jeopardize efforts to end the fighting by refusing to comply with the UN Yemen envoy’s bid to extend the truce.

“We call on the Houthis to engage constructively with UN special envoy Hans Grundberg’s efforts to broker an extension to the truce, so that serious dialogue about achieving a peaceful, inclusive and Yemeni-led future can take place,” Cleverly said in a statement.

“Yemen must not return to conflict. The truce expires tomorrow, but the Houthis continue to endanger the talks and deny Yemenis a peaceful future.”

On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Yemen’s government and the Houthis to accept his envoy’s proposal to halt hostilities in the country for longer periods and to engage in talks to reach a long-term peace settlement.

“I strongly urge the Yemeni parties not only to renew but also to extend the truce’s terms and duration, in line with the proposal presented to them by my special envoy, Hans Grundberg,” Guterres said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who spoke with Grundberg on Friday to express his support for the envoy’s efforts to renew the truce, criticized the Houthis for breaking the ceasefire, and thanked the Yemeni government for agreeing to pay public employees and facilitate the flow of fuel across Yemen.

“We are ready to support Yemen’s peace and recovery if only the Yemeni parties choose peace and extend the truce,” the US State Department said in a statement.

International aid organizations working in Yemen, such as Save the Children, have added their voices to calls for an extension of the ceasefire, citing a 60 percent decrease in the number of displaced families from 4,950 between January and March to 2,052 between April and June.

“Children in Yemen deserve a safe home and lasting peace. It’s time to #StopTheWarOnChildren,” Save the Children tweeted on Saturday.


Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event

Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event
Updated 49 min 5 sec ago

Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event

Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event
  • Besides earning her first career title, Sherif also notched her first win over a top-10 opponent

PARMA, Italy: Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian to win a WTA Tour event by beating top-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3 at the Parma Ladies Open on Saturday.
Besides earning her first career title, Sherif also notched her first win over a top-10 opponent.
Along with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals this year, Sherif is raising the profile of tennis in North Africa.
The 74th-ranked Sherif actually had to win two matches on Saturday, first overcoming sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals, which were postponed a day due to rain.
The seventh-ranked Sakkari beat Danka Kovinic 7-5, 6-2 in her semifinal earlier Saturday.


Smalling heads Roma to win at struggling Inter Milan

Smalling heads Roma to win at struggling Inter Milan
Updated 01 October 2022

Smalling heads Roma to win at struggling Inter Milan

Smalling heads Roma to win at struggling Inter Milan
  • Inter started strongly and were effectively camped in Roma's half for most of the first half
  • The hosts thought they had taken the lead with 10 minutes gone

MILAN: Chris Smalling headed Roma to a 2-1 win at Inter Milan on Saturday which kept them in touch with Serie A leaders Napoli following their 3-1 win over Torino.
England defender Smalling perfectly met Lorenzo Pellegrini’s free-kick with 15 minutes remaining to complete Roma’s comeback from going behind to Federico Dimarco’s fine first-half strike.
Jose Mourinho’s side, who levelled through Paulo Dybala six minutes before half-time, are four points behind Napoli in fourth place after a win which also leaves Inter further back in the title race.
Simone Inzaghi’s seventh-placed team are eight points off the pace after losing for the fourth time in their eight matches, hardly the best preparation for the crucial Champions League visit of Barcelona on Tuesday.
Inter started strongly and were effectively camped in Roma’s half for most of the first half, the away side not able to do anything more than sit back and try to hold off waves of attack.
The hosts thought they had taken the lead with 10 minutes gone, Edin Dzeko punishing dreadful defending from his former team by spinning and hitting a low shot past Rui Patricio.
However the Bosnian had strayed offside in the build up and Inter had to wait until the half-hour mark for the goal their play deserved.
Inter academy product Dimarco followed up on his goal against Hungary which helped put Italy in the Nations League final four by sweeping home Nicolo Barella’s nicely-weighted pass.
The hosts looked heavy favorites for the three points but the goal woke Roma, who were level nine minutes later.
Starting up front in place of Tammy Abraham, Dybala had just been denied by a Samir Handanovic double save which also kept out Leonardo Spinazzola when he thrashed in his brilliant leveller from the Italy left-back’s deep cross.
The Argentina forward was replaced by Abraham just before the hour and Inter responded, Hakan Calhanoglu hitting a free-kick off the bar before Kristjan Asllani, stepping in for Marcelo Brozovic, flashed a curling effort just wide.
However Roma settled and Smalling tipped the result in the away side’s favor with his second of the season to give Mourinho a precious win against his old club.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa scored his maiden Serie A goals in Napoli’s home win over spirited Torino, his brace in the first 12 minutes setting up the hosts for their sixth win on the bounce in all competitions.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s fifth of his first Serie A season eight minutes before half-time will also keep Napoli in first place unless Atalanta beat Fiorentina by five goals on Sunday.
“I’m very happy, I don’t want to lie, it’s the first time for me in Serie A,” Anguissa told DAZN.
“It’s important to score but I just want to do my job. If the goals come, I’m happy but the first thing for me is my team, for my team to win.
“So, if we can win all the games, even if I don’t score, I don’t care. I just want to win.”
Napoli go into next week’s trip to Ajax in high spirits knowing they could take a big step toward the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Luciano Spalletti’s side have also netted 18 times in their eight league fixtures despite having to do without starting center-forward Victor Osimhen for their last three matches.
Torino, who scored through Antonio Sanabria just before the break, stay ninth after losing their third straight game and are level on 10 points with local rivals Juventus who host Bologna on Sunday.
Ivan Juric’s side have been unlucky to collect no points from their last three fixtures, with their previous two defeats coming late and after decent performances.


Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing

Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing
Updated 01 October 2022

Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing

Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing
  • A Miguel Almiron double and strikes from Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff complete a 4-1 win after a run of draws
  • Due to a number of injury issues, head coach Eddie Howe was forced into changes to his usual defensive and midfield lines

LONDON: It’s amazing what three points earned can do for the outlook on Tyneside.
While many began to question whether Newcastle United’s one win in their opening seven games, even with just one defeat, was a positive or negative start to the season, doubters have been silenced thanks to their dominant display against Fulham.
All three points were secured in southwest London thanks to a special Miguel Almiron double, as well as strikes from Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff, in a 4-1 win.
Bobby Decordova-Reid netted a late consolation for the hosts, who had Nathaniel Chalobah dismissed after just eight first-half minutes.
Due to a number of injury issues, head coach Eddie Howe was forced into changes to his usual defensive and midfield lines.
Joelinton and Matt Targett, both failing to be passed fit to start, found themselves benched with Longstaff and Sven Botman recalled. Jacob Murphy and Wilson were also restored to the Newcastle line-up, with Ryan Fraser and the injured Alexander Isak replaced.
And it was Wilson, back after a five-game lay-off, who could have opened the scoring within minutes of the off. A Dan Burn shot was brilliantly saved by the impressive Bernd Leno but the rebound was poked wide with the goal gaping by last season’s top-scorer Wilson.
The game was turned on its head after just seven first half minutes when Chalobah’s late challenge on Longstaff was deemed to be a red card after a VAR check. While home complaints were vociferous, it was the right call by referee Darren England, with Chalobah late and high on the United midfielder’s ankle.
Wilson made no mistake on 11 minutes, however — even if the goal, his third of the season, was a little cheeky, and much to the dismay of teammate Joe Willock.
A searching Willock cross-field pass found Kieran Trippier, whose ball in was headed goalwards by the former Arsenal man — and just as the ball was about to nestle into the far corner, Wilson popped up to turn in. To say Willock looked a little bemused in the celebrations is an understatement.
Newcastle and Wilson were just getting started. The frontman should have netted his and Newcastle’s second just before the half hour when Murphy teed up Willock to cross and Wilson on the turn flipped over Leno’s bar.
Often, when teams sit in this season, United have struggled to break down the opposition, but this time out the Cottagers’ backline crumbled under the pressure.
And it was orchestrator-in-chief Bruno Guimaraes, playing in a slightly freer, more advanced role, who unlocked the door — and created the Magpies’ second.
A one-two, which saw the Brazilian chip quite delightfully over the top, unleashed Almiron, who produced another goal-of-the season contender with a wonderfully controlled volley past the helpless, and rather isolated, Leno.
The floodgates were well and truly open for Newcastle — and they seemed in no mood to take their foot off the pedal.
On the stroke of half time, a looping Botman header looked set to ripple the net but for the acrobatics of Leno — the only man standing between Newcastle and an absolute rout — only for Longstaff to then smash home the rebound when it ricocheted back off the post.
Down and seemingly out, Marco Silva’s men were buoyed somewhat by some second-half changes, but the die was cast as United’s marauding frontline continued their rampage.
Willock, unlucky not to be on the scoresheet, was again denied by one-man wall Leno before Almiron added his second of the game just before the hour.
Again Willock was involved as he centered for the Paraguayan forward at the back post, who made it 4-0.
He was denied a memorable hat-trick by the offside flag before substitute Fraser also saw a deft chip chalked off for the same reason.
Three defensive changes, with Howe looking to rest bodies, saw Newcastle’s resolve loosen slightly and open the door and an all-too-willing Decordova-Reid, who headed home a late consolation to make things, from a scoreline perspective at least, a little less one-sided.
All-in-all, though, this was as one-sided as they come.
It’s onwards and upwards for the Magpies now, with just one loss in their opening two months of the campaign.
While a few more wins would have been welcomed by Howe and co, it’s hard to find fault with a team who are establishing themselves as one of the hardest teams to better in the English top-flight.