I would like to wish you happy new year with the hope that it this year it will bring peace in Middle East, prosperity in North Africa and Europe and beyond. May the coming year bring more happiness to people who lost the smile the previous years. To the other WordPress bloggers i wish that all of brings you good luck and success in your causes .A new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hand, to take your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year.
United Arab Emirates
- Firefighters were working Friday to douse the embers of a fire that engulfed a 63-story luxury hotel in Dubai on New Year’s Eve, injuring 14 people.
After more than 12 hours, firefighters were still on the scene at the Address Downtown, one of the most upscale hotels and residences in Dubai.
— CNN (@CNN) December 31, 2015
The Associated Press reported that at one point Friday firefighters could only watch after losing the use of a water hose from a ladder truck. They later regained water pressure and began spraying the building. Restaurants nearby opened for business, but served limited menus as civil defense officials cut natural gas to the area.
By Friday afternoon, the fire had largely died down, but its embers still sent smoke into the air.
- Turkey’s Erdogan says Hitler’s Germany exemplifies effective presidential system (Reuters)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is pushing for executive powers, cites Hitler’s Germany as an example of an effective presidential system, in comments broadcast by Turkish media on Friday.
Erdogan wants to change the Turkish constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the United States, France or Russia.
Asked on his return from a visit to Saudi Arabia late on Thursday whether an executive presidential system was possible while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, he said: “There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany.
Two men who were detained on Dec. 30, 2015, on suspicions that they were going to detonate themselves on New Year’s Eve in Ankara on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were reportedly receiving orders from a man identified as “Ebu Enes,” according to police.
The two left Ankara in 2013 to join ISIL and re-entered Turkey in September 2015 through Kilis with the help of smugglers before traveling to Ankara by bus and renting an apartment with cash.
- Snowstorm Hits Lebanon, Cutting off Roads and Villages
A snowstorm engulfed Lebanon on the first day of the new year, cutting off mountain roads, isolating villages and worsening living conditions for tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.
Many refugees, living in tents and huts in the eastern Bekaa Valley, only came briefly out of their shelters on Friday to clear the snow so their dwellings would not collapse.
State-run National News Agency said dozens of cars were stuck on the road leading to the mountain resort of Ehden, adding that people were calling on the army to help them.
Lebanon hosts more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees — equivalent to a quarter of the country’s entire population.
- More than 55,000 died in Syria in 2015 as Isil claims twin attacks in Syrian Christian neighbourhood
More than 55,000 people were killed in Syria during 2015, a leading casualty monitor said on Thursday, as Isil claimed responsibility for twin bombings in a Christian neighbourhood in north Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented 55,219 deaths during 2015, the fifth year of Syria’s conflict, including more than 2,500 children.
The bitter war has claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people, displacing more than half the country’s pre-war population and forcing the flight of more than 4 million refugees.
The regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, remains the largest killer, followed by the militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
On Thursday, Isil claimed responsibility for twin bombings in the predominantly Kurdish city of Qamishli the previous night, carpeting the floors of two restaurants with blood and glass.
Posters hung in a local church said at least 13 of the dead were Christian. 35 people were also wounded.
Oman’s government will hike fuel prices and charges for public services in the face of falling oil prices, the official ONA agency reported on Wednesday.
Non-OPEC Oman is the latest Gulf state to announce austerity plans amid falling oil revenues that have led to big budget deficits.
The country’s budget for 2016 also introduces measures to boost the country’s non-oil sector and raise corporate taxes.
“The council of ministers has approved a number of measures to face the consequences from the drop in oil prices and to ensure fiscal sustainability,” ONA cited a cabinet statement as saying.
“These measures include reducing government spending and boosting non-oil revenues through raising taxes on corporate profits, increasing charges on some public services and amending fuel prices to be in line with international levels as from mid-January,” the statement said.
- 2 killed, several hurt in Tel Aviv bar shooting
Two people were killed and at least five were injured Friday after a gunman opened fire in a popular bar in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, police said.
The motive behind the shooting wasn’t immediately clear and a massive manhunt was underway in central Tel Aviv for the shooter.
Israel welcomes 2016 with 8,462,000 citizens
Figures show that 176,700 babies were born in Israel in 2015, 74 percent of whom were Jewish, 32 percent Arab, and three percent “other”.
Israel said goodbye to 2015 and ushered in 2016 with 8,462,000 citizens, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) . Between the Jewish new year in mid-September and the Gregorian new year, some 68,000 new Israelis joined the fold.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday evening urged Israel to “get out of our lives and our land.”
In an address at an event commemorating what was described as the 51st anniversary of the “Palestinian revolution,” Abbas berated the Israeli government and praised Palestinian steadfastness. (The PLO was founded in 1964, and its main Fatah faction declared a start to actions against Israel on December 31 that year.)
“Your government is deceiving you,” he said in remarks directed at Israelis at the event. “They don’t want peace for you, or for us. They are simply trying in any way possible to continue the occupation and the settlement of our land.”
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly approved a draft resolution“Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” (Document A/70/480).
It was adopted by 164 to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 10 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).