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Ethiopia Bans Foreign Adoptions To Prevent Child Abuse

Ethiopian government has banned foreign adoptions in order to “prevent crimes against children.”  Spokesman at the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Solomon Asfaw, said on Wednesday that the ban was aimed at protecting Ethiopian children and avoid mistreatment in the future.  “We also want to avoid cases wherein some children are stolen and then are sold before taken abroad,” he said. Lawmakers approved the bill to prohibit foreign nationals from adopting Ethiopian children on Tuesday. Some had raised concerns that the ban comes amid a shortage of local orphanages…

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Egypt’s President Attends Coptic Christmas Mass Amid Tight Security

In a show of solidarity with Egypt’s embattled Christians, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi made a symbolic appearance Saturday at an Orthodox Christmas Mass in a new cathedral as tens of thousands of soldiers and police were deployed outside churches across the country. The tight security was ordered in anticipation of possible attacks by Islamic militants on the Christian holy day. ‘‘We, with the grace of God, are offering a message of peace and love from here, not just to Egyptians or to the region, but to the entire world,’’ Sissi told…

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Israel Offers African Migrants $3500 To Leave, Or Jail

Israel on Wednesday said it would pay thousands of African migrants living illegally in the country to leave, threatening them with jail if they are caught after the end of March.   Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in public made the remarks at a cabinet meeting on the payment program in Jerusalem.   Netanyahu said a barrier Israel completed in 2013 along its border with Egypt had effectively cut off a stream of “illegal infiltrators” from Africa after some 60, 000 crossed the desert frontier.   The vast majority came from…

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Pakistan Summons US Envoy Over Trump’s Angry Tweet

Pakistan summoned the United Sttes Ambassador, David Hale, in protest against  President Donald Trump’s angry tweet about Pakistan’s “lies and deceit”, while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt. Ambassador Hale was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office on Monday to explain Trump’s tweet, reports said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the meeting took place. In a withering attack, Trump on Monday said the United States had “foolishly” handed Pakistan more than $33bn in aid in the last 15 years and had…

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Palestinians Celebrate Christmas Amidst Tension

Palestinian scouts played the drums and bagpipes during Christmas celebrations in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, but this year, tourists have kept away. Ongoing protests across the West Bank and Gaza Strip against US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s  capital have been met with tear gas and live ammunition by Israeli forces. In a Christmas message on Monday, Pope Francis called for a negotiated two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hundreds of Palestinians and tourists gathered in Bethlehem’s Manger Square as temperatures dropped, to watch the annual scout parade under…

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Trump Cuts Funding To UN After Anti-Jerusalem Vote

The United States will cut its 2018 contribution to the United Nations by $285m—nearly 25 percent—an announcement that comes days after more than 120 nations criticized the United States for its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ambassador Nikki Haley made the announcement Sunday, but specifically blamed the world body for its budgetary excesses without making a specific reference to last week’s vote on President Donald Trump’s controversial Jerusalem decision. “The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people…

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UN Imposes New Sanctions On North Korea For Missile Test

The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday for its November 29 intercontinental ballistic missile test, seeking to limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers abroad. A Security Council resolution adopted 15-0 seeks to ban nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum product exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year and, in a last-minute change, demands the repatriation of North Koreans working abroad within 24 months, instead of 12 months as first…

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Saudi Arabia Assures Palestinians Of Claim To Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reassured Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in their meeting that the kingdom continues to support Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, a government statement said. The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported that King Salman on Wednesday reiterated to Abbas Saudi Arabia’s support for “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital city.” The meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was attended by a number of senior princes and Palestinian officials. The meeting, however, did not include the king’s son…

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US Threatens To Withdraw Aid From Countries That Reject Jerusalem

President Donald Trump of the United States has threatened to withhold “billions” of dollars of US aid from countries which vote in favour of a United Nations resolution rejecting the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel His comments came after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, wrote to about 180 of 193 member states warning that she will be taking names of countries that vote for a general assembly resolution Thursday critical of the announcement which overturned decades of US foreign policy. Speaking at a cabinet…

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Zimbabwean President Set To Name Military Chief As VP

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave his clearest signal yet that he would appoint as vice president the military leader who led the de facto coup that ousted former leader Robert Mugabe last month. At a ceremony marking Constantino Chiwenga’s retirement and handover of the military reins to Phillip Sibanda at an army barracks near Harare’s international airport, Mnangagwa lauded Chiwenga for his consistency and steadfastness. “I therefore urge you to maintain the same loyalty, robustness and dedication to duty as you move to your next assignment which is quite prominent,”…

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