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Qatari "emir" to step down

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 61, has informed members of the ruling family of his decision to transfer power to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, according to Express Tribune.

Qatar’s royal court said that the emir would address his people on Tuesday morning.

The "emir" came to power in a coup when he overthrew his own father Sheikh Khalifa in June 1995.

Diplomats said that over the past three years the emir has increasingly handed over military and security responsibilities to Tamim, who like his father was educated at the British military academy Sandhurst.

Analyst Neil Partrick, an expert on the Gulf, ruled out major changes in Qatar when Tamim, who was born in 1980, succeeds his father.

Qatar took part in the armed intervention in Libya and is actively supporting "rebel forces" in Syria.


UN concerned over rising food insecurity in Palestine

Two UN agency heads Friday expressed concern at the deteriorating food security in the West Bank and Gaza where one in three Palestinian households now struggle to feed their families, a statement read. 

Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the UN World Food Programme and Filippo Grandi, the commissioner-general of UNRWA visited a Bedouin village between Jerusalem and Jericho where a food distribution carried out jointly by the two agencies was taking place.

“High food prices and low wages mean that 1.6 million Palestinians don’t know from where their next meal is coming,” said WFP’s Ertharin Cousin.

“Yet food security is security. Food security is a vital component for sustained peace across the region.”

Cousin also welcomed a new agreement with UNRWA that will strengthen cooperation in Palestine and throughout the region and address the urgent needs of the population, the statement read.

High unemployment, poor economy leading to food insecurity

In 2012, a total of 1.6 million people – 34 percent of households in Palestine – were food insecure, a dramatic rise from 27 percent in 2011, according to preliminary results of a joint UN survey carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, WFP, UNRWA and the Food and Agriculture Organization, found that

Contributing factors include high unemployment rates, stagnant economic growth, the financial problems of the Palestinian Authority, the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, the statement read.

In Jericho, Cousin met shoppers using electronic vouchers from WFP to buy olive oil, salt and other groceries, most of which are produced locally in Palestine.

In the past three years WFP has injected more than $100 million into the Palestinian economy through local purchase and the redemption of electronic food vouchers. "This investment supports local businesses and generates employment," the statement read.

During the visit to the village of Khan al Ahmar, the two agency heads signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in an agreement which will deepen and expand ties between the two agencies.

“As well as cooperating more in the fields of food security and nutrition, we can share expertise in logistics, supply chain management and other initiatives, not just in Palestine, but regionally, particularly as we face up to the challenge of the Syria crisis,” said Commissioner-General Grandi.


Source: Ma'annews



Anti-Morsi campaign gathers 15 million signatures

15 million signatures have been collected by the Tamarod (“rebellion” in Arabic) campaign demanding Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation and calling for early presidential elections. Opponents of Morsi accuse him of stealing the 2011 uprising that resulted in the collapse of Hosni Mubarak's regime and plan to stage a rally against him June 30, one year after Morsi’s election,according to Voice of Russia.

“The Muslim Brotherhood" listens to the people when they need their votes and then they forget about us,” says a young woman, who confessed she voted for Morsi a year ago, but now she is disappointed, because “nothing has changed.”

The Tamarod campaign was launched in early May by a group of young people – including a few members of Kefaya, one of Egypt’s oldest opposition movements, – all disturbed by the current situation in the country.

The campaign claiming that Morsi has lost the trust of Egyptians has received a widespread support across the country.

Over the past few weeks volunteers have been collecting signatures at traffic intersections, markets and metro stations in Cairo and other Egyptian cities and towns.

The campaigners say almost 15 million Egyptians have already signed the petition, which is 2 million more than the 13 million voters who supported Morsi in June 2012 election.

Mohamed Abdel Aziz, a member of the campaign's central committee, said Tamarod will soon hold a press conference to announce the total number of petitions gathered.

Meanwhile Tamarod is planning to hold a press-conference on Thursday as part of preparations for mass protests scheduled for 30 June.

Egypt's defence minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has warned that the army will intervene if violence breaks out during the rallies on the first anniversary of Morsi’s election. The official has said it was the army’s duty to act to prevent chaos.


Ahmadinejad: Crisis in Syria Part of Enemies' Scenario for Hegemony over Region

TEHRAN - Enemies plot to dominate the entire region through different scenarios like the crisis in Syria, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned, underlining that the problems in Syria should merely be settled through negotiations and national unity.

"The enemies are seeking to dominate the whole region and the Syrian issue is just part of a bigger scenario, therefore, all people should be vigilant in order not to be fooled by the game of the enemy," Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with the visiting Lebanese Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour, in Tehran on Sunday,according to FNA.

He also referred to the situation in Syria, and stressed that national unity and understanding is the only way to improve the current conditions in the country.

"Violence doesn’t solve any problem and the two sides should negotiate and agree with each other and administer their country through sympathy and solidarity," Ahmadinejad continued.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.



Iran Blames Supporters of Armed Groups for Massacre of Syrian People

TEHRAN -The Iranian foreign ministry took the supporters of "rebel groups" and those countries which send weapons to the terrorists in Syria for the killing of innocent Syrian people, according to FNA.

"Those sides which support arms supply to Syria should be blamed for the massacre of innocent people and insecurity in the region," Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told FNA on Sunday.

He expressed the pleasure that Syria has passed the stage of security crisis and defeated terrorists, and added, "But certain foreign sides are pursuing their own special goals by persuading the dispatch of equipment and weapons as well as terrorist acts in the country again."

Amir-Abdollahian called on the West, specially the US, to opt for a proper political solution to the crisis in Syria and stop support and arms supplies to terrorist groups, cautioning that such moves would yield no results but massacre of the civilians.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.