Ammon News, Gotcha

US Embassy in Amman issues warning to citizens in Jordan

[1/8/2020 3:56:27 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The US Embassy in Amman has issued a warning to its citizens in the Kingdom on Wednesday, January 8, after Iran launched a missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of the day in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. "There have been confirmed missile attacks against U.S. military installations in Iraq, and regional tension remains high. Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy is advising U.S. government personnel to avoid non-essential movements outside the home on January 8, including keeping children home from school. The Embassy remains open," the Embassy published on its official website and on its Twitter official account.

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US stops sending sniffer dogs to Egypt, Jordan after seven died of 'negligence'

[12/24/2019 8:23:50 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The United States announced on Monday it has stopped sending counter-terrorism dogs to Egypt and Jordan after several of the animals died over lack of care. "Any death of a canine in the field is an extremely sad event and we will take every measure possible to prevent this from happening in the future," a US State Department spokesperson told reporters on Monday. The dogs "play a critical role in our CT (counter-terrorism) efforts overseas and in saving American lives," the spokesperson added. Reports of canine mistreatment in 2017 have prompted the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to investigate the well-being of the animals, leading to findings that some 135 dogs have suffered from negligence. The dogs included Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, Labradors, and other sniffer dogs sent to nearly a dozen countries as part of counterterror cooperation. The OIC first report, issued in September, recommended that the US stop sending dogs to Jordan, the biggest recipient of the US animals, after one dog died from a heat stroke while working at the Syrian border, and another had to be euthanized in the US after he had been returned from Jordan for treatment of a tick-borne disease. According to the September report, a veterinarian told the Inspector General's office that "heat injuries are cases of negligence and improper care and are not accidental" and that dogs who die of heat stroke "suffer a terrible death." However, the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, in charge of the program, refused to comply. A new report released last Friday found that two more dogs died in Jordan in June and September of “unnatural causes”, one due to heat stroke and the other poisoned by pesticides sprayed by Jordanian police in or near the dog's kennel. The deaths were avoidable, the report said. In Egypt, three of ten US dogs died prematurely, one from lung cancer, the second from gallbladder disease, and the third from heat stroke. The new report reiterated its recommendation to the US government not to send dogs to Jordan, and added Egypt to the black list. The US State Department has complied with the recommendations in the new report. "We concur with the OIG recommendations to cease temporarily providing additional canines to Jordan and Egypt until those countries implement our requirements to ensure the canines' health and welfare," the State Department official said. *MEE

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Health minister meets with Mexican, Sudanese Ambassadors

[11/23/2019 6:07:09 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Health Dr. Saad Jaber, on Thursday, met with Mexico's Ambassador to Jordan Roberto Rodriguez. The Ambassador, on behalf of the Mexican government, commended the minister's efforts in treating Monica, the Mexican tourist who was recently stabbed in Jerash city, northern Amman, the ministry said in a statement. The statement added that the Mexican press talked about the Jordanian Minister of Health who personally treated the tourist and conducted the surgery to save her life. In turn, Jaber lauded the Mexican ambassador's gesture, and welcomed a Mexican medical team which will visit Jordan later to check on some Jordanian hospitals, medical centers and the advanced level of Jordan's health sector. On the other hand, the Health Minister met Sudan's Ambassador to the Kingdom, Fadel Abdullah Fadel, accompanied by the Medical Attaché at the embassy. Jaber lauded ties with Sudan, and expressed the Health Ministry's readiness to train Sudanese medical cadres in Jordan, activate medical tourism and provide facilities for Sudanese patients who are coming to Jordan to receive medical care, as well as enhancing health cooperation between the two countries. Both officials also agreed to prepare a draft executive program for health cooperation between the two countries and to sign it after being agreed upon between the two sides.

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44% of Jordanians believe government can carry out economic stimulus package

[11/3/2019 2:59:12 PM]

AMMONNEWS - 44% of Jordanians believe that the government would be able to carry out the national economic stimulus plan launched by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz during a press conference last month, an opinion poll revealed on Sunday. The poll, conducted by the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) was carried out from last 28 and 30 of October also tackled pressing issues and challenges. Half of the respondents, 51 percent, believe the government's decision to cut 50 percent of land registration and transfer costs will help stimulate investment, the poll found. Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe that the government's decision to exempt apartments less than 150 meters from registration fees will help stimulate the housing sector, the survey revealed. 61% of respondents said government incentives for successful institutions, factories and sectors would help stimulate investment, and 38 percent said the government would succeed in reviewing the role of independent bodies and assessing their feasibility, it showed. According to the poll's results, 62% of Jordanians said the government would succeed in passing a system that cuts compulsory education from the age of six to five, while 58 percent believe the government will succeed in passing a law guaranteeing comprehensive health insurance for all citizens in 2023, and 53 percent believe the government will improve services. Also, 51% believe that the government will succeed in improving the educational services provided to students in public schools, 45% believe that the government will succeed in linking wages and salaries in the performance of career paths, while 42% believe that the government will succeed in revising the civil service system to achieve justice among all government employees. Meanwhile, the problems of unemployment and difficult economic conditions facing Jordan topped the most important local issues according to the survey results, where the percentage of those who believe that difficult economic conditions is the most pressing issue hit 27.1 %, while 26.6 % think unemployment is the most pressing issue facing Jordan today.

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Monitoring use of public vehicles top priority, says premier

[10/24/2019 9:44:21 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister, Omar Razzaz, said the government attaches great importance to controlling the use of government vehicles and stopping their misuse during the official working hours and holidays. Razzaz made the remarks as he chaired a meeting on Thursday of the Ministerial Committee and the Technical Committee to control movement of government vehicles, adding the measures the government is going to implement "strictly" in this regard not only have "positive," financial and administrative effects, but also send a strong message to the citizens on the government's seriousness to monitor this matter to save public money. Razzaz stressed the need to ensure the strict implementation of the electronic tracking system for government vehicles, which has so far covered 5,000 in the first phase, and expected to expand to more 8500 in the second stage currently being implemented, bringing to the number to 13,500, which is the total government vehicles linked to the system. The premier commended the efforts made by the Ministerial Committee and the Technical Committee, instructing them to study and develop a plan for joint management of the government vehicle fleet to ensure proper use and dodge violations.

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Gov't says open to dialogue with teachers as strike enters 3rd week

[9/21/2019 1:53:56 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The government on Saturday urged the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) to sit for dialogue as the only means to address the teachers' demand and end a nationwide teacher strike, now in its third week. State Minister for Media Affairs Jumana Ghuneimat said on Saturday the government came forward with a "generous proposal opening the door for dialogue over whatever the JTA wants to discuss." Speaking following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz to follow up on the JTA's strike, Ghuneimat said the proposal presented to the syndicate on Thursday is designed to improve the teachers' living conditions and upgrade the overall educational process. In response to a question about the government's initiative, the minister said "the proposal is not vague, but provided an ample avenue for the teachers' syndicate to engage in dialogue on many issues of interest to the teacher." Ghuneimat reiterated that the "government is open to dialogue and that its channels are still open as the only way to reach an agreement on the JTA's demands", pointing that the government is committed to improving the living and financial conditions of teachers and developing the educational process. "What is more important now is to end the strike and allow the students to return to their schools. The government is open to dialogue and to sit down with the teachers' syndicate to discuss various details, leading to a healthy relationship between the government and the syndicate," she said. The minister emphasized that the government proposal is still on the table, adding that the government is under pressure by parents who want an end to the strike to allow their children to return to schools until all issues are resolved. Ghuneimat explained that the government's proposal calls for the formation of a joint team from the government and the JTA as a key partner in the process to formulate a "vision towards a new model that serves the goals of improving the living conditions of the teacher and developing the educational process." During today's meeting, the prime minister was briefed by the directors of the education directorates on the latest developments on the ground and the complaints lodged by parents and students over the harm the strike causes to their right to education. The meeting looked into steps many teachers will take to resume education at schools and stop the detrimental effect of the strike on the educational process. The prime minister ordered the educational directors to continue to follow up on developments at schools and focus on facilitating the students' access to schools as the mainstay of the whole educational process.

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Education ministry keen on serious dialogue on teachers' strike, says minister

[9/18/2019 6:22:12 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Education Walid Maani said that the ministry's doors are still open for dialogue on teachers' strike. In a press statement, the minister said on Wednesday the government looks forward to "serious" and "unconditional" dialogue with the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) and the ministerial team, which was assigned by the prime minister. Maani reiterated the ministry's keenness to ensure suitable educational opportunities for all students, the stability of the educational process at schools, in addition to improving teachers' living conditions. He also praised the efforts of various mediators to bring the two sides closer to end the crisis.

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