Ammon News, Jordan News

Cold weather today, unstable conditions forecast for weekend


[1/16/2020 10:22:01 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Cold weather conditions are expected to prevail on Thursday in most areas of the kingdom, while it will be pleasant in the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley and Aqaba with clouds at various altitudes, the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said. A slight chance for scattered showers is expected across the country with southeasterly moderate to brisk winds, the JMD added. Daytime temperatures expected for today in Amman and the northern areas will hover around 14 degrees Celsius, dropping down at night to 7 and 6 respectively, while it will reach a high of 15 and a low of 5 in the southern areas. The weather will be warmer in the port city of Aqaba with highs reaching 24 degrees Celsius and lows standing at 13 degrees at night. An analysis of surface and upper atmosphere maps by the Department indicated the Kingdom will be affected by unstable weather conditions with rainfall on Friday afternoon, says JMD Director General Hussein Momani. "Rain showers are also forecast nationwide, which might be heavy at night in the western regions, making flash floods in valleys and low-lying areas, along with northwesterly moderate to brisk winds, stirring dust at times," Momani noted. Cold and cloudy conditions are expected to prevail on Saturday with heavy showers across the country, accompanied by thunder at times in the western areas, and causing floods in valleys and low-lying areas. Winds will be westerly moderate to brisk with occasional dusts, the JMD added. Momani urged the public to take extra precautions, by staying away from water assembly point and low-lying areas where flash floods can form, and to keep up to date with weather forecasts by checking updates on www.jmd.gov.jo, calling the Weather Forecast Directorate at the numbers 4916190 and 4916191, or through the JMD’s Facebook page and app "JMDWEATHER". He also warned of slippery roads, poor visibility due to dust, especially in the southern and eastern Badia regions, and low horizontal visibility in the highlands due to fog formation.

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King delivers address to European Parliament


[1/15/2020 8:30:40 AM]

AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday delivered an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, covering a number of regional and international concerns. Addressing parliamentary representatives of the European Union’s member states, King Abdullah stressed the importance of leadership, noting that leaders have a responsibility to safeguard their people’s long-term interests and welfare. His Majesty highlighted developments in the region and the world over the past decade. "The defining feature of the past decade has been people finding their voices. Millions across the world have poured into the streets, marched, occupied, sat down, sat in, tweeted, podcast, hashtagged what they want loud and clear," the King said. Posing a number of hypothetical "what-if" questions to enable a better assessment of how to overcome obstacles in the region and around the world, His Majesty warned of the consequences of failure to create the prospects and job opportunities that young Arabs need. "Can we afford to let the region’s young people live without hope?" the King asked. His Majesty also underscored the need to ensure regional stability. "A more peaceful world is not possible without a stable Middle East. And a stable Middle East is not possible without peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis," the King said. His Majesty warned that over 70 years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have played havoc with hopes for justice. "What if Jerusalem, a city that is close to my heart personally and of great historic significance to my family, remains disputed?" the King asked. His Majesty also called for maintaining stability in Iraq, saying, "I, for one, will not abandon our brothers and sisters there." "Let this reflection upon ‘what-if’ scenarios be a productive exercise, one that can pre-empt countless tragedies and safeguard our people along their journey," the King said. Stressing that leadership demands reflection, wisdom, and the long view, His Majesty said, "There is always a better and much more united version of us around every corner." "My father, the late King Hussein, taught me that peace making is always the harder but the higher path," the King added, calling for working with Europe to "reach the future that both our peoples aspire for, and that they and our whole world deserve." Speaking after His Majesty’s speech, European Parliament President David Maria Sassoli described the King as a friend and partner for the European Union and the European Parliament. Sassoli thanked His Majesty for his patient approach towards peace through dialogue, and highlighted the need to work together in the days ahead, citing the recent developments at the start of the year. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Khasawneh, and Jordan’s Ambassador to Belgium and the EU Yousef Bataineh attended the speech. Following is the full text of the King’s address to the European Parliament: "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, Mr President, Honourable Members, Your Excellencies, My friends: Thank you all. It is an honour to speak before the European Parliament once again. As I look around this historic Chamber, I see it holds many hundreds of people. But in truth, there are with us today millions more, from different countries, histories, and perspectives. So we, who are gathered here, have two things in common. First, is our responsibility to these millions the people who have entrusted us with their hopes and fears. And second, we are all very fortunate for a life spent in the service of others, is a life fully lived. But only if we live up to the expectations of the millions of people with us in this hall today. If we falter, the most vulnerable pay the highest price the young men and women who look to their future and see nothing; bewildered refugee mothers, clutching their children, with no place to call home; or anxious fathers who cannot find jobs to provide for their loved ones; and the many who feel sidelined, their identity under threat. The defining feature of the past decade has been people finding their voices. Millions across the world have poured onto the streets, marched, occupied, sat down, sat in, tweeted, podcast, hashtagged what they want loud and clear. And they all want the same thing a fair chance, a fighting chance. Dear friends, People around the world have voiced their desired destination, but are looking to us to guide them along the path; looking to us to foresee and prepare for the obstacles ahead. This calls for several "what-if" questions. And these questions are not merely a whimsical or theoretical exercise, especially in my region, where worst-case scenarios do not lay comfortably within the realm of the hypothetical, but often wander too closely to the borders of our reality. Furthermore, what happens in the Middle East has a way of making itself felt everywhere around the world. So, let me start with our region’s deepest wound. What if the world gives up on the two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Seventy-plus years of conflict have played havoc with hopes for justice. Today, one-staters are actively seeking to impose an unthinkable solution on the region and the world one state, propped up by structural inequalities, with Palestinians as second-class subjects; one state, turning its back on its neighbourhood, perpetuating divisions among peoples and faiths worldwide. Five years ago, I stood in this Chamber and spoke of the dangers of failing to move forward with peace. And today, I must say frankly that the dangers have grown violence continues; settlement-building continues; disregard for international law continues. I have said it countless times, and in countless ways, but I will say it again and again. A more peaceful world is not possible without a stable Middle East. And a stable Middle East is not possible without peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. What if Jerusalem, a city that is close to my heart personally and of great historic significance to my family, remains disputed? Can we afford to rob Christians and Muslims alike of the spirituality, peace, and coexistence that this city symbolises, and instead allow it to descend into political conflict? Now, fast forward to the most recent standoff between the United States and Iran. What if, next time, neither side steps away from the brink, dragging us all towards untold chaos? An all-out war jeopardises the stability of the entire region. What's more, it risks massive disruptions of the entire global economy, including markets, but threatens a resurgence of terrorism across the world. And I ask you another "what-if"; what if Iraq fails to realise the potential and aspirations of its people and slips back into an erratic, seventeen-year cycle of recovery and relapse, or worse yet, conflict? Iraq is home to 12 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves. But, more importantly, it is home to over 40 million people, who have suffered through four decades of war, crippling sanctions, occupation, sectarian conflict, and the terror of ISIS. Today, their future rests on a fragile peace. And I, for one, will not abandon our brothers and sisters there. Now, what if Syria remains hostage to global rivalries and spirals back into civil conflict? What if we see a re-emergence of ISIS, and Syria becomes a staging ground for attacks against the rest of the world? Syria may be out of the headlines, with its suffering out of sight and out of mind, but the crisis is far from over. Over the past nine months, more than half a million people have been displaced, many of them already refugees. Do any of us, in this hall, want to see another Syrian refugee crisis unfold, with all its horror and heartbreak? Or another innocent child washed up on your shores? I know I speak for everyone when I say, absolutely not. And let me ask you, what if Libya collapses into an all-out war, and ultimately, a failed state? What if Libya is the new Syria, just much closer to the continent you all call home? And let me say again, what if Arab governments fail to create the more than 60-million jobs our youth will need in the coming decade? And if we fail, wouldn't we in fact be creating a perfect setting for extremist groups? We make their job of recruitment easier if we leave behind a trail of vulnerability and hopelessness. Can we afford to let the region’s young people live without hope? My friends, Let this reflection upon "what-if" scenarios be a productive exercise, one that can pre-empt countless tragedies and safeguard our people along their journey. My faith in God reinforces my optimism and my belief in the strength and resilience of humanity. There is always a better and much more united version of us around every corner. The Holy Quran teaches us that "Those who endure [in patience] and put their trust in their Lord" will enjoy the greatest rewards. Patience is hard in a world that never seems to slow down, where people make split-second decisions and expect instantaneous results. Leadership, however, demands the very opposite reflection, wisdom, and the long view. More than ever, we need patient politics. Because we all have a responsibility to safeguard our people’s long-term interests and welfare; to react to rapidly unfolding events with measured responses, not knee-jerk reactions; because politics is not a game where the fastest win. Sometimes, the faster we go, the farther away we end up from the finish line. My father, the late King Hussein, taught me that peace making is always the harder but the higher path. And a tough road is best walked with our friends, friends like you and the people of Europe, so that together, we can reach the future that both our peoples aspire for, and that they and our whole world deserve. Thank you very much."

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AND foils attempt to smuggle 100,000 narcotic pills


[1/15/2020 7:10:39 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) foiled an attempt to smuggle 100,000 narcotic pills to a neighboring country, nabbing three suspects involved, an official stated Wednesday. The Public Security Department said the AND personnel, following a tip-off, gathered information and identified the traffickers, who planned to smuggle the illegal substances in a freight vehicle. Two suspects were caught red-handed, while the third was identified and apprehended in a separate raid, the spokesman added.

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Rise in temps expected, cold weather prevails


[1/15/2020 7:07:52 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Temperatures will slightly rise on Wednesday, but cold conditions will continue to prevail in most areas of the Kingdom, while it will be pleasant in the Jordan Valley and Aqaba with southeasterly moderate to brisk winds, the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said. Thursday is expected to bring in similar weather conditions, with clouds at various altitudes and a chance of light and scattered showers in various areas of the country. Winds will be southeasterly moderate to brisk, blowing dust at times, the JMD added. On Friday, the Kingdom will be affected by a weak state of unstable weather, pushing thermometers down and bringing cold and rainy conditions nationwide with clouds at various altitudes and northwesterly moderate to brisk winds, stirring dust at times, the JMD further said. Daytime temperatures expected for today in Amman and the northern areas will hover around 15 degrees Celsius, dropping down at night to 8 and 5 respectively. The weather will be warmer in the port city of Aqaba with highs reaching 24 degrees Celsius and lows standing at 12 degrees at night.

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King meets NATO secretary general


[1/14/2020 10:37:13 AM]

AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah met on Tuesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and discussed military and training cooperation between Jordan and NATO, in addition to the latest regional and international developments. Moreover, it was agreed to renew the Jordan–NATO cooperation agreement, in addition to the capacity building programme package, and the advanced status partnership programme. In remarks at the top of the meeting, King Abdullah noted the deep-rooted, historic friendship between Jordan and NATO, stressing that cooperation and coordination increase every year. His Majesty expressed appreciation for NATO’s support for Jordan in military training and capacity building, noting that despite challenges in the region, Jordan and NATO have stood shoulder to shoulder on various occasions, and will continue to do so. For his part, Stoltenberg expressed appreciation for the close partnership between Jordan and NATO, commending the King’s "strong commitment and your strong leadership". "Jordan and NATO, we have been working together for more than 25 years, and we appreciate your contributions to our missions, operations in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and elsewhere, and also the fact that we are now training now together, working more together. That’s good for NATO, and, hopefully also good for Jordan," he added. With "all the turmoil we see in the region, you are an island of stability in that region, and you have been at the forefront fighting terrorism," the secretary general continued. "We think that the partnership between Jordan and NATO is even more important now, because the fight against Daesh is not over, and, therefore, we have to stand together," he added. The importance of continued coordination and consultation between Jordan and NATO on various issues of mutual concern was stressed in the meeting. Discussions also covered regional and international efforts in the fight against terrorism within a holistic approach, and the importance of the Aqaba Process meetings in this regard. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, His Majesty's Adviser for Communication and Coordination Bisher Khasawneh, and Jordan’s Ambassador in Brussels Yousef Bataineh attended the meeting.

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Senate finance committee meets private sector representatives


[1/14/2020 10:31:03 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Senate’s Finance and Economy Committee, headed by Senator Umayya Toukan, on Tuesday met with representatives of the private sector, in light of the committee's previous discussion of the 2020 draft state budget and the budgets of government units currently being debated at the Lower House. The panel held a series of meetings with various ministries and government departments, financial institutions, governorate councils and other entities over the draft budget law, said Toukan. He added that economic, political and institutional reforms implemented by the Kingdom call for optimism regarding the performance of the national economy in the upcoming stage. He said increasing productivity through training and qualifying manpower is a key driver of economic growth, and also stressed raising awareness on the importance of digital economy and pursuing sound and stable economic policies. The meeting was attended by President of the Jordanian Businessmen Association Hamdi Tabaa, members of the association's board of directors and Director General of the Jordan Chamber of Industry, Maher Mahrouq.

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Cabinet endorses investor’s journey project


[1/14/2020 10:28:56 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, on Tuesday, approved proposals of the Steering Committee for the investor’s journey project and recommendations for sectoral licenses recommended to be canceled. In a statement after the meeting, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply, Tariq Hammouri, said the ministry started working on the investor’s journey project several months ago. The project, Hammouri added, aims to streamline procedures for all Arab and foreign investors, owners of small or large enterprises. He pointed out that the project includes all stages that any investment in the world goes through, regardless of its type, explaining that stages included registration, licensing, inspection, amendment, and finally the announcement. He added, "We started working in the registration stage, in which we've made significant progress," noting that the cabinet today made important decisions about the licensing ecosystem, which required licensing some businesses with specific licenses and mechanisms, which consume time and effort.

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