Ammon News, Gotcha

Ministry confirms Jordanian watermelons safe

[5/24/2018 9:12:10 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Ministry of Municipality and Environment said the results of the lab tests of the Jordanian watermelon samples, which were taken on May 10 from a commercial complex, proved that they are in conformity with standards and specifications and they are safe for human consumption. The Ministry's competent authorities, within its keenness on health and safety of foodstuffs, took samples of Jordanian watermelons after a video clip on social media sites in which a customer uses an electronic device to measure watermelon contamination. Following this, samples of Jordanian watermelon were sent to the central laboratory to ascertain their conformity with standards and specifications and ensure that they are fit for human consumption. On this occasion, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment called on all consumers to resort to the competent municipal authorities when they have any inquiries or complaints about the safety of foodstuffs, and not take information from unreliable sources.

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US embassy denies appointment of new charge d'Affaires

[5/21/2018 12:42:57 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Spokesperson of the US Embassy in Amman Eric Barbee dismissed reports that a new U.S. charge d'Affaires was appointed at the embassy in Amman. The spokesperson said in a press statement on Monday that the US Charge d'Affaires Henry Wooster is currently in the United States and is expected to return to Jordan soon to complete his term.

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Citizens must be informed on nature of services provided to them, says PM

[5/9/2018 4:06:52 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister, Hani Mulki, stressed the need to clarify the nature of services provided to citizens in different sectors as well as showing figures and facts about the treasury's expenditure for providing services to citizens. "Jordan is not an oil-rich country, but the level of services provided to citizens in different sectors is greater than that offered by many countries that live in similar circumstances," Mulki said during a meeting on Wednesday with several members of the ministerial team. "The Jordanian man is our true wealth and our goal is to serve the citizen and community," he added. He pointed out that funds that are generated from taxes and revenues are spent in order to improve the level of various services, as services offered today in the sectors of health, education, transport, communications, information technology, infrastructure and other sectors have considerably developed, compared with other countries whose economic conditions are similar to Jordan. Despite difficult economic conditions, however, spending on services in the Kingdom didn't stop or decline, the prime minister emphasized, noting that many service projects have been implemented in various sectors in all governorates, including major projects that must be presented to the public, stressing that Jordan will continue to progress. The premier instructed the concerned ministers to inform citizens of details of services provided by each ministries' sectors, as well as highlighting digital facts about each sector. He also underlined the need to communicate with various stakeholders to highlight this aspect, calling for a dialogue based on an objective assessment of the nature of services, and their volume of spending, according to available resources. He also pointed to the need to continue to improve services, within existing capabilities in order to enhance their continuous development; to serve citizens.

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Minister denies Syrian territory bombed from inside Jordan

[4/30/2018 1:54:02 PM]

AMMONNEWS - State Minister for Media Affair Mohammad Momani dismissed as baseless and unfounded reports that Syrian sites had been bombed from inside Jordanian territory. Momani, who is also the government spokesman, said such untrue and fabricated reports are designed to tarnish Jordan's stances and are made up by those who seek to deepen the Syrian crisis and sustain the spiral of violence and chaos. The minister reiterated Jordan's firm call and support for all efforts exerted to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis to maintain Syria's territorial integrity and sovereignty and bring about security and stability to its people. He said it was in the best interest of Jordan, which continues to hold enormous burdens arising from the Syrian crisis, to arrive at a political endgame to the crisis. He referred to Jordan's efforts to establish the de-escalation zones in southern Syria and its call for establishing similar zones across Syria.

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Israel arrests Jordanian attending funeral in W. Bank

[4/25/2018 3:43:49 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Israeli forces have detained a Jordanian citizen while crossing to the West Bank for his mother’s funeral, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Yasin Ararawi was arrested by Israeli forces as he crossed King Hussein bridge that connects Jordan with the West Bank to take part in his mother’s funeral in the city of Jenin, the ministry said in a statement. According to the statement, his wife and children were allowed to enter the West Bank. “When the family tried to return to Jordan, they were prevented by Israeli authorities,” the ministry said. The ministry said it was coordinating with the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv to find out the circumstances of the detention of the Jordanian national. There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the issue. *Anadolu

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Ride-Sharing App Careem Banned in Jordan

[4/23/2018 6:50:56 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Popular pan-Arab taxi hailing app Careem has been banned in Jordan, following a surprise decision by a West Amman court earlier this week to suspend the service. The Dubai-based company must obtain relevant licences in order to operate again in the kingdom, after several lawsuits were filed on behalf of taxi drivers hit hard by the service. Lawyer Mahmoud Kharabsheh, acting on behalf of the taxi drivers, told Jordan Times the ruling means "those who work with Careem" will be barred from operating in the country, while the app itself will be blocked in Jordan. Kharabsheh said Careem is costing taxi drivers customers, while the price of taxis themselves have fallen from 60,000 Jordanian dinars ($85,000) to as little as 40,000 dinars ($63,500). This has hit taxi drivers hard who were already living on the breadline in the relatively pricey capital, Amman. They complain that unlike unlicensed Careem drivers they struggle to cope with expensive red tape and taxes and new regulations are needed to set a level playing field. "This is a fair decision as owners of yellow taxis are investors who paid millions for their investments and they pay income tax and they pay... registration fees and other investment fees as registered companies unlike drivers with Careem and other apps," the lawyer told Jordan Times. Careem is a ride-sharing app widely used across the Middle East. Like Uber, it allows customers to hail taxi services via their mobile phones, from drivers registered with the app and who use their own vehicles. The service is popular in Amman where public transport is lacking and many prefer the more stringent in-house regulations Careem provides, over conventional yellow cabs in the city. Tens of thousands of Careem drivers are likely to be affected by the ban, along with many more customers. Many customers have said the decision is out-of-step with the rest of the region, where technology and services like Careem have been embraced. They also say it provides money for Jordanian drivers, where unemployment is high and the cost of starting an official taxi service is costly. "Regulations and @careem in not fair, too bad our governments can’t learn as fast as needed, we need to step up and keep up with the world, every country is moving faster towards technology and innovation and if we keep pushing it away, it might be too late to grow," one Jordanian wrote on Twitter. Careem and Uber were briefly banned in Egypt, after taxi drivers held protests against the companies. The Cairo government said it is working on new regulations that would bring the two companies in-line with taxi services in the country. * The New Arab

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Former Iraqi director of Rafidain bank detained in Jordan

[4/16/2018 2:46:51 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Iraq’s Commission of Integrity said Monday (April 16) the former director of Rafidain Bank was detained in Jordan’s capital of Amman after a court issued three decisions against him. The Commission of Integrity said in a letter that Dhya al-Khywn, the former director-general of Rafidain Bank, was detained by Jordanian authorities. Iraqi Courts of Misdemeanors and Offenses issued three decisions against the former director of Rafidain Bank, sentencing him to 12 years in prison, according to the commission of integrity. On January 25, Interpol handed over to Iraq a former trade minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani arrested in Beirut over a conviction of corruption. It was the first such collaboration with the international police body. Sudani, who is now aged 70 and also holds citizenship of Britain where he studied, served as trade minister from 2006 to 2009, following the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. In 2012, the former minister, who belongs to the Dawa party of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, was sentenced in absentia to seven years imprisonment for corruption. He was linked to a scandal over the import of adulterated tea products during his mandate. Iraqi authorities have cracked down on former ministers and government officials accused of corruption since current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi presented a comprehensive reform package to cabinet ministers. In 2015, widespread public anger over corruption and poor services led to weeks of protests, pushing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to announce a series of reforms aimed at streamlining the government and combatting graft. *NRT

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