Middle East & North Africa

Iran Registers Significant Fall In Air Traffic In Three Months Due To COVID-19

TEHRAN, July 14 (NNN-IRNA) – Iran’s Airport Company announced that, during the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year, the country’s air traffic experienced a significant decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 44,918 takeoffs and landings, during the first quarter of the current Iranian year registered a 51 percent decrease, compared with the similar period last year, Financial Tribune daily reported on Monday.

During the time span under review, more than 4.04 million passengers were transported, indicating a 64 percent decline year-on-year.

Saudi Arabia’s Flagship Red Sea Project Awards Biggest Contract For Airport Infrastructure

RIYADH, July 14 (NNN-SPA) – The Red Sea Project, Saudi Arabia’s flagship international tourism project, awarded the contract for construction of the airport infrastructure to a joint venture between Saudi contractors Nesma & Partners Contracting Co. Ltd and Almabani General Contractors.

This is the biggest contract in terms of value that has been awarded by the flagship project to date, said the Red Sea Development Company, the developer behind the high-profile tourism project, in a statement.

Bahrain adds $470M in coronavirus impact spending to 2020 budget

14 July 2020; MEMO: Bahrain will add around 177 million dinars ($470 million) to its 2020 state budget in emergency spending on fighting the new coronavirus pandemic, state news agency BNA said on Monday, reporting a royal decree.

To this end, $450 million will be taken as a one-time deduction from the Future Generations Fund (FGF), a fund set up in 2006 to reinvest hydrocarbon revenues, and allocated to this year’s state budget, another new decree said.

Ex-financial chief says bankers smuggled $6bn out of Lebanon

14 July 2020; MEMO: The former in the Lebanese Ministry of Finance, Bifani said Monday that Lebanese bankers have smuggled nearly $6 billion out of the country since October despite financial regulations imposed to save the country from the worst financial crisis in 30 years, a former Ministry of Finance official revealed yesterday.

Yemen’s Houthis: We bombed military installations in Saudi

14 July 2020; MEMO: Houthi drones have been used to bomb Saudi military installations in Jizan, Najran, Asir, Khamis Mushayt and Abha, the group’s spokesperson said yesterday.

Yahya Sarea said the bombs came in response to the crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen; the latest of which has been the massacre committed in Hajjah governorate and the ongoing blockade.

Israel’s Annual Budget Deficit May Double To 13 Percent Of GDP: Central Bank Governor

JERUSALEM, July 13 (NNN-MA’AN) – Bank of Israel Governor, Amir Yaron, warned that, the state’s annual budget deficit may reach 13 percent of GDP by the end of the year.

Israel’s annual budget deficit recently reached a record 88.4 billion new shekels (25.6 billion U.S. dollars), according to a report issued by the Ministry of Finance earlier in July.

The deficit figure, between July, 2019 and June, 2020, accounted for 6.4 percent of Israel’s GDP, way above the government target of three percent.

Lebanon: Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn says helping everyone who stood by him

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn is helping everyone who stood by him, he said in an interview broadcast on Saturday, though he declined to comment on cases of people accused of helping him flee to Lebanon from Japan.

Ghosn, the ex-chairman of an automaking alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp was arrested in Japan in late 2018 on charges of underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purpose - charges he denies.

Bahrain top court upholds death sentences against two activists

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain’s highest court upheld death sentences against two activists for bombing a convoy and killing a police officer, after convictions that human rights groups say were based on confessions extracted through torture.

Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa lost their final appeal on Monday against death sentences that were initially handed down by a criminal court in December 2014.

Iran's army aviation to be soon equipped with new missiles: commander

TEHRAN, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Iranian army aviation will be soon equipped with missiles with ranges of 20 km and 100 km, Iranian Army Aviation Chief Yousof Ghorbani announced Sunday.

The Iranian army aviation has gained salient achievements in defense and security sections, including precision-guided missiles, Ghorbani was quoted as saying by Tehran Times daily.

The Iranian army aviation offers aerial emergency services to 18 out of 31 Iranian provinces, Ghorbani noted. 

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