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Boat with 8 Syrians capsizes off Lebanese coast; 5 missing

KHARTOUM: The spokesman for Sudan’s military council said on Monday that the structure of transitional bodies had been agreed with opposition groups and their make-up would be addressed in further talks a day later.”We discussed the structure of the transitional authority and agreed on it completely, and we also agreed on the system of governance…

Boat with 8 Syrians capsizes off Lebanese coast; 5 missing

KHARTOUM: The spokesman for Sudan’s military council said on Monday that the structure of transitional bodies had been agreed with opposition groups and their make-up would be addressed in further talks a day later.”We discussed the structure of the transitional authority and agreed on it completely, and we also agreed on the system of governance in the transitional period,” said Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi, the spokesman for the Transitional Military Council (TMC).

Sudanese protesters resumed negotiations with the army earlier on Monday while calling for renewed demonstrations to press the generals to hand over power to a civilian government.

Meanwhile, Sudan charged ousted president Omar Al-Bashir and others with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, the public prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.Earlier this month, the public prosecutor ordered Bashir to be interrogated on charges of money laundering and financing terrorism.There has been no comment from Bashir since his ousting and arrest on April 11.The military removed President Omar Al-Bashir from power in April after four months of mass protests, but the demonstrators have remained in the streets, demanding the dismantling of his regime. In recent weeks they have threatened a general strike and civil disobedience.Lt. Gen. Shams Al-Deen Al-Kabashi, a spokesman for the military council, said Monday’s meeting between army rulers and protest leaders, the first in over a week, was held “in a more optimistic atmosphere.”The protesters are represented by the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a coalition of opposition groups led by the Sudanese Professionals Association , which has spearheaded the protests since December.The protesters said late Sunday that they hope to secure commitments to a swift transfer of power in the three-day talks.The military agreed last month to recognize the FDFC as the uprising’s only legitimate representative in a victory for the protesters. But the generals have called for other political parties — with the exception of Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party — to be included in the transition.The opposition has vowed to continue protests, centered on a sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. It has called for a series of nationwide protests, including another march to the main sit-in, for the coming week.The two sides remain divided over what role the military, which is dominated by Al-Bashir appointees, should have in the transition period until elections can be held. The military wants to play a leading role in a transition lasting up to two years, while the protesters have demanded an immediate transition to a civilian-led authority.The protesters fear the army will cling to power or select one of its own to succeed Al-Bashir. They also fear that Islamists and other factions close to the deposed leader, who is now jailed in Khartoum, will be granted a role in the transition.

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Middle East News

Britain says war with Iran would strengthen militants

BRUSSELS: The EU’s diplomatic chief on Tuesday condemned Turkish “interference” in Libya after Ankara sent troops to support the UN-backed Tripoli government, warning this complicates the crisis in the oil-rich state.After emergency talks on the situation with the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany and Italy, Josep Borrell said the Turkish intervention was “something that we…

Britain says war with Iran would strengthen militants

BRUSSELS: The EU’s diplomatic chief on Tuesday condemned Turkish “interference” in Libya after Ankara sent troops to support the UN-backed Tripoli government, warning this complicates the crisis in the oil-rich state.After emergency talks on the situation with the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany and Italy, Josep Borrell said the Turkish intervention was “something that we reject and which increases our worries about the situation in Libya”.

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US warns ships in Middle East waterways of possible Iran action

LONDON: Britain on Tuesday called for calm after the United States killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and said a war with Iran would only benefit Islamist militants across the Middle East.“What we’re looking to do is to de-escalate the tensions with Iran and make sure in relation to Iraq that we don’t lose the…

US warns ships in Middle East waterways of possible Iran action

LONDON: Britain on Tuesday called for calm after the United States killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and said a war with Iran would only benefit Islamist militants across the Middle East.“What we’re looking to do is to de-escalate the tensions with Iran and make sure in relation to Iraq that we don’t lose the hard-won gains that we secured against Daesh,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said the US killing of Soleimani was state terrorism, and that Iran would ‘respond proportionately.’“We are concerned that if we see a full-blown war it would be very damaging and actually the terrorists, in particular Daesh, would be the only winners,” the British foreign secretary said.“We’re working with our US partners, our EU partners, that is why I’m travelling out to Brussels today, to make sure we send a very clear and consistent message on the need for de-escalation and to find a diplomatic route though.”

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Arab League reaffirms rejection of foreign interference, calls for Libya solution

CAIRO: Egypt’s recent decision to transport ancient Pharaonic artifacts to a traffic circle in the congested heart of Cairo has fueled fresh controversy over the government’s handling of its archaeological heritage.Cairo has some of the worst air pollution in the world, according to recent studies. Archaeologists and heritage experts fear vehicle exhaust will damage the…

Arab League reaffirms rejection of foreign interference, calls for Libya solution

CAIRO: Egypt’s recent decision to transport ancient Pharaonic artifacts to a traffic circle in the congested heart of Cairo has fueled fresh controversy over the government’s handling of its archaeological heritage.Cairo has some of the worst air pollution in the world, according to recent studies. Archaeologists and heritage experts fear vehicle exhaust will damage the four ram-headed sphinxes and an obelisk, currently en route to their new home in Tahrir Square.Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has weighed in to say that similar obelisks are displayed in Western cities, according to a statement late Monday.But Dr. Monica Hanna, a heritage expert, said Egyptian artifacts in cities like London, Paris and New York are themselves endangered by being outdoors.“The sphinxes are made of sandstone, they are part of the dry environment in Luxor, when they would be moved to Tahrir Square with all the pollution, they will deteriorate as a result of the reactions with the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the air,” Hanna told The Associated Press.She and a member of parliament are part of a lawsuit to block the artifacts’ move, filed recently by a local rights group.Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the government “will do everything” to protect the artifacts.Tahrir Square was the epicenter of Egypt’s so-called Arab Spring uprising in 2011. The square also contains the Egyptian Museum.The decision to move the artifacts as part of a larger renovation of Tahrir Square was taken without debate in parliament. The controversy only surfaced after archaeologists objected.Since coming to power in 2013, El-Sisi has touted a number of megaprojects aimed at rebuilding and expanding infrastructure. Those include an expansion of the Suez Canal and a new Egyptian museum near the Giza Pyramids.A centerpiece of the new museum is a towering statue of Ramses II. It once stood in a busy square near Cairo’s main railway station, but was removed in the 1990s due to preservation concerns.Waziri, the antiquities chief, said the four sphinxes are not part of the famed avenue of sphinxes in the city of Luxor. They were among several located behind the first edifice of the temple of Karnak.The obelisk was recently moved to Cairo from the San el-Haggar archaeological site in the Nile Delta, the ministry said.But Hanna, the heritage expert, stressed that the obelisks in Western capitals had been moved during the colonial era. “We really had no say in their shipment.”

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