Ammon News, World

US shooting: 12 wounded at South Carolina nightclub, says sheriff

[7/5/2020 4:41:23 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A shooting at a South Carolina nightclub left 12 people in “various conditions” early Sunday, a sheriff’s official said. A Greenville County sheriff’s deputy noticed a “disturbance” at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and called for backup because of “active gunfire from inside the building,” Lt. Jimmy Bolt said in a statement. Responding officials took victims inside the lounge to the hospital, while others were taken via private vehicles. It’s unclear whether anyone was in custody in relation to the shooting. The names and precise conditions of the victims weren’t immediately released. Further details weren’t immediately available. *AP

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FM, planning minister partake in Brussels conference on Syria

[6/30/2020 2:50:48 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi on Tuesday partook in a conference in Brussels, Belgium, on supporting Syria and the region. Entitled "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region," the EU IV Conference, held in cooperation with the UN, saw the participation of more than 54 foreign ministers and many representatives from international organizations. In his address, Safadi emphasized that it is important for the international community to share the burden of hosting refugees with host countries, saying that the voluntary return of refugees to their countries constitutes the only solution to their plight, which calls for exerting more effort to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis. "The only solution to the Syrian refugees crisis is for them to voluntary and safely return to their country," Safadi said, adding "cooperation to meet their needs until then must continue as the burden of hosting refugees should not be the responsibility of the host countries alone." He said that the needed solution to the crisis should be accepted by the Syrians as it has to maintain Syria's territorial integrity. The solution must also restore the country's stability and security as well as its leading regional role. "We cannot continue to double down on policies that have not delivered the peace that we all seek. We have to make sure that Syrian people and Syrian security come first," he continued. Safadi said "Syria must live in peace, and the great Syrian people have the right to enjoy normal and safe lives. The absurdity of the continuation of the crisis has been proven at a great cost to Syria, to its neighbors, and to the world at large." He pointed out that Jordan will continue working with all its partners to reach a solution to the crisis, adding that until that time, the Kingdom will continue providing all care possible to the refugees. He said "this is a huge challenge. But with your support, we will meet it." "My country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is host to over 1.3 million Syrians. Jordanians have embraced them as brothers," he added. The Kingdom has opened its schools, though already stressed, to over 133,000 Syrian students. Some of the schools are operating at double shifts, he said, adding that over 190,000 work permits have been issued for Syrian refugees, while the unemployment rate was soaring above 19 per cent even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Safadi pointed out that "since the beginning of the pandemic, and in cooperation with the United Nations, the EU and other partners, we have provided our Syrian brethren, of whom only 10 percent live in refugee camps, the same level of protection we give our citizens. Not a single case of Corona was detected in the camps." He emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic fallout necessitates international support to help Jordan to continue meeting the needs of the refugees, pointing out that only 50 percent of Jordan's response plan was funded. "This year the Kingdom rolled out a three-year 6.6 billion dollar Response Plan. I trust we can count on your support. Maintaining our resilience is maintaining our ability to help refugees," he said.

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Saudi Arabia says it forced three Iranian boats out of its waters with warning shots

[6/27/2020 5:23:41 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Saudi Arabia forced three Iranian boats out of its waters on Thursday after firing warning shots, the Kingdom’s border guards said on Saturday. The official spokesperson of Saudi Arabia’s boarder guard said: “On Thursday, Maritime Border Guard patrols detected three Iranian boats that entered Saudi waters. They were immediately followed, and repeated warnings were issued for them to stop, but they refused to respond,” state news agency SPA reported. “According to protocols for such cases where the (trespassing party) refuses to stop, warning shots were fired, which resulted in them being forced to retreat,” the spokesman said. The Saudi official stressed that the border guard will never allow any transgressions in the Kingdom’s waters. Maritime tensions in the Gulf There have been many incidents in recent months when Iranian vessels have come close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, with Washington describing the incidents as "dangerous and provocative." Iran also recently issued a statement claiming it was ready to destroy US warships if they threatened Iranian ships. In 2019, tensions in the region's waters hightened after a series of attacks on oil tankers. One of those involved two Saudi oil tankers which where attacked in the Gulf. The US and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran, while Tehran denied the charge. In June 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he discussed with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. *Al Arabiya

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In historic vote, Washington, D.C., poised to become 51st state in the US

[6/26/2020 3:58:09 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Four decades after launching its drive for US statehood, Washington, D.C., was poised to take a step toward becoming the 51st state as the House of Representatives on Friday approved its admission. The initiative passed in the Democratic-controlled House by a vote of 232-180, with no Republicans supporting it. The Republican-controlled Senate is not expected to consider the legislation, and Republican President Donald Trump has publicly opposed the move, noting that statehood would result in electing more Democrats to Congress. Indeed, voters in the city of Washington have elected only Democratic mayors. Creating a state out of Washington would likely make it more difficult for Republicans to win majorities in the Senate. On the House floor ahead of the vote, Republican lawmakers argued that making the district into a state was a political ploy by Democrats and would require an amendment to the US Constitution. Some also said Washington was not equipped to be a state and should be absorbed back into Maryland. Proponents say Washington’s 700,000 inhabitants - more than Vermont and Wyoming - have no voice in the federal government, despite paying federal taxes. That status is protested with a slogan on Washington’s automobile license plates that screams: “Taxation without representation.” Currently, legislation passed by the district’s local government is subject to congressional review. “Congress has two choices: It can continue to exercise undemocratic, autocratic authority over the 705,000 American citizens who reside in our nation’s capital ... or Congress can live up to its nation’s promise and ideals,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s congresswoman. Norton is not able to vote on legislation. Local anger over the district’s status flared up most recently during the coronavirus pandemic. Washington received $500 million for its pandemic response, compared with the $1.2 billion the federal government accorded to each of the 50 states. Amid nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who died after a police officer kneeled against Floyd’s neck, Trump sent National Guard troops to the district, over the objection of the district’s mayor, to quell protests against racism and police brutality. The state would be named Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, after George Washington, the first US president, and Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person turned famed abolitionist. It would include the district’s residents, but not major federal buildings, the National Mall, memorials and the museums, which would be housed in a federal enclave. For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app The last time the United States expanded was 1959, when Congress approved admitting Alaska and Hawaii as the 49th and 50th states, respectively, following congressional votes and the support of the president. The US Constitution gives Congress the power to admit new states without specifying a process. Washington, dubbed a “Chocolate City” by the funk band Parliament, has been recorded as a majority-Black city since the 1960 Census. Black Americans now make up 46 percent of the district’s population, the same percentage of White Americans. *Reuters

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Safadi to hold talks with Iraqi officials

[6/24/2020 1:13:06 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi on Wednesday arrived in Baghdad to hold talks with a number of Iraqi officials. "Safadi will meet the Iraqi President and the Prime Minister, as well as the Speaker of the Council of Representatives," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said on its Twitter account, adding that he will also hold discussions with his counterpart, Fuad Hussein. Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan, Haidar Al Athari, stressed that the visit reflects the historical and deep-rooted relations between the two countries.

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Saudi Arabia supports Egypt’s ‘right to protect western borders’ from terrorism

[6/21/2020 8:26:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Saudi Arabia says it supports Egypt’s “right to protect its western borders” with Libya from “terrorism,” according to a statement from the Kingdom’s foreign ministry. “The Kingdom’s government affirms that the security of the Arab Republic of Egypt is an integral part of the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the entire Arab nation, and the Kingdom stands with Egypt in its right to defend its borders and people from extremist tendencies and terrorist militias and their supporters in the region,” read the foreign ministry statement. Saudi Arabia’s announcement of support comes one the same day Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that advances by Turkey-backed forces in Libya could prompt an Egyptian military intervention in the neighboring country. "Any direct intervention by Egypt has become internationally legitimate, whether under the UN charter on self-defense or based on the sole legitimate authority elected by the Libyan people: the Libyan parliament," Sisi said. Saudi Arabia said it would support Sisi and Egypt in its “right to protect its western borders from terrorism.” Egypt’s Sisi launched a political initiative earlier this month, which he called the “Cairo initiative,” in the hopes of paving a path toward normalcy in Libya and warned against using military tactics to resolve the crisis. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls on the international community to fulfill its responsibilities and respond to the calls and initiative of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to reach a comprehensive solution that affirms the safety and security of Libyan lands, restore institutions and eliminate terrorism and extremist militias, and put an end to illegal foreign interventions that fuel terrorism in the region,” the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry statement concluded. * Al Arabiya

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Trump warns China that US has economic option to ‘decouple’

[6/18/2020 5:50:40 PM]

AMMONNEWS - US President Donald Trump warned Thursday that “complete decoupling” between the deeply intertwined US and Chinese economies remains a potential policy. “The US certainly does maintain a policy option, under various conditions, of a complete decoupling from China. Thank you!” Trump tweeted. He wrote that he was responding to comments by his trade representative Robert Lighthizer, who has been at the forefront of trade war negotiations with Beijing. On Wednesday, Lighthizer told a congressional committee that China was so far living up to the terms of an agreement easing the dispute and that decoupling the two economic giants was now impossible. “That was a policy option years ago, but I don't think it's a policy or reasonable policy option at this point,” he said. *AFP

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