A ‘Female Taxi’ service, to be operated by female drivers only, will be launched on a trial basis in Muscat Governorate from January 20, 2022. It is expected to benefit female passengers, students and children.

The service will be launched on a trial basis in the Governorate of Muscat from Thursday, January 20, 2022 to be followed by the rest of the governorates.

At least two people were killed and several others wounded Thursday in three separate blasts, including a suicide bombing, in Turkish-held areas of northern Syria.

One blast took place in a marketplace in the town of Al-Bab, in an area of war-torn Syria that in recent years has turned into a de facto Turkish protectorate. Dozens of people were wounded in the explosion.

All three towns are located in the northern province of Aleppo, and under the control of Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies.

Mossad Director David Barnea and Libyan prime minister Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba recently met in Jordan to discuss normalization and security cooperation, Saudi and Libyan media outlets reported.

In November, Haaretz reported that Saddam Haftar, son of Libyan warlord Gen. Khalifa Haftar, flew to Ben Gurion Airport for meetings with Israeli officials regarding potential normalization.

It is unclear whether any of the above Libyan officials could substantively carry out normalization with Israel given the ongoing chaos the country has been in for years.

Jerusalem is becoming more accessible to visitors with disabilities, allowing even more people to discover its historic alleyways and sites just as the country starts welcoming American tourists again.

To help people get around, the city has installed ramps to make its stone streets wheelchair accessible and made improvements to nearly four miles of Jerusalem’s alleyway.

Bluetooth devices known as beacons have also been installed for those who are visually impaired.

The improvements, years in the making, have been the brainchild of the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, Israel Ministry of Tourism along with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem Development Authority, and the East Jerusalem Development Company.

The Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday he was deeply saddened by reports that more than 50 civilians were killed and injured in an airstrike in northern Ethiopia, last Friday.

According to Mr. Guterres, the UN and its humanitarian partners are working with authorities to urgently mobilize emergency assistance in the area, despite continuing challenges due to severe shortages of fuel, cash and supplies across Tigray.

The UN Chief is deeply concerned about the impact the conflict continues to have on civilians in Ethiopia.

And over the past few months, killings, looting and destruction of health centres and farming infrastructure, including irrigation systems that are vital to production, have caused humanitarian needs to surge.

According to UN humanitarians, the situation in the northern part of the country remains unpredictable and volatile.

Labourers often call their loss a ‘slipping death’ because workers can appear fine one day, but ‘slip away’ in the night after working long hours in the hot sun. Healthy and hard-working, these young men simply slip away in the night.

Barun Ghimire, a human rights lawyer, accepts that people die in huge construction projects, but it is the sheer scale of deaths, their circumstances and the refusal of the Qatari government or FIFA to take responsibility for them that appals him.

‘It is a blood-stained cup,’ said Ghimire, who lives in Nepal, which has recorded 1,641 deaths of its young citizens in Qatar in the last decade.

A senior Taliban official has confirmed that suicide bomb squads will be incorporated into the country’s military to combat the threat from the rival Islamic State chapter in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has in the past often suicide bombers, called “martyrdom seekers”, to fight Western and allied forces. However, it was unclear whether the suicide squad members will be used as suicide bombers or as regular members of the army.

China has faced criticism for its lending practices to poorer countries, accused of leaving them struggling to repay debts and therefore vulnerable to pressure from Beijing.

China is one of the world’s largest single creditor nations.

Its loans to lower and middle-income countries have tripled over the past decade, reaching $170bn (£125bn) by the end of 2020.

Much of the debt owed to China relates to large infrastructure projects like roads, railways and ports, and also to the mining and energy industry, under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Violent protests in Kazakhstan in recent days have seen the government resign and the declaration of a state of emergency as troops from a Russian-led military alliance head to the Central Asian country to help quell the unrest.

Local media reported eight police officers and national guard personnel were killed and more than 300 officers injured. It is unclear to what extent civilians have been killed or injured. The country’s Interior Ministry said more than 200 people have been arrested.

Authorities declared a nationwide state of emergency with a curfew and movement restrictions until January 19, local media reported. Internet cuts have been reported nationwide and President Tokayev said military personnel had been deployed.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s military secretary Brig. Gen. Avi Gil was spotted at a large New Year’s party that did not follow the state’s COVID regulations — and was seen partying alongside senior executives at the embattled NSO Group.

Channel 12 news reported Tuesday evening that Gil was seen at a gathering organized by the OTD event production company. Gil was criticized for partaking in a large event where masks were not being worn as the Omicron variant has sent daily case rates skyrocketing.

Chloe Ann Rayner

Lost in my own thoughts | Freelance writer | Dream pursuer | Coffee addict | Travel | Lifestyle Blogger

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