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Iran claims launch of satellite carrying rocket into space

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space, the country’s state media reported Thursday, in what is likely the most significant step yet for the launch vehicle. A confirmed launch of the “Simorgh” rocket would mark another step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program, but is likely to …

Dubai website, magazine banned over ‘false news’ allegation

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates banned a popular Mideast website and magazine on Wednesday for publishing what the authorities alleged was “false news.” The move against Arabian Business magazine comes as the seven-state UAE federation and three allies are locked in a bitter diplomatic dispute with fellow Gulf state Qatar. A …

Saudi Arabia: 453 pilgrims dead in hajj stampede

MINA, Saudi Arabia – At least 453 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a stampede Thursday on the outskirts of Mecca, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades. It was the second major disaster during this year’s hajj season, raising questions about the adequacy of measures …

Nuclear deal has companies eyeing Iranian opportunities

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The nuclear deal is done. Now it’s time to talk business. While it will likely be months before sanctions on Iran ease, business and political leaders are wasting no time in trying to tap into a large and what they hope will be a lucrative Iranian market. Germany is dispatching …

Neighborhoods: Skyscrapers and Shorelines in Dubai Marina

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — First-time visitors are often surprised to discover that beyond Dubai’s atmospheric creekside bazaars and rows of skyscrapers leading up to tallest-of-them-all Burj Khalifa lies yet another dense cluster of ultra-high architecture shimmering like a mirage in the distance. That waterfront city within a city, known as Dubai Marina, is …

Qatar bars US couple from leaving after acquittal

DOHA, Qatar — An American couple cleared Sunday by a Qatari appeals court of wrongdoing in the death of their adopted daughter has been barred from leaving the Middle Eastern country just hours after they were told they were free to go. Matthew and Grace Huang were stopped from exiting the conservative Gulf nation and …

Amnesty International criticizes Qatar for lagging behind on addressing migrant worker reforms

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Amnesty International said Wednesday that 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar is lagging behind on addressing concerns about the abuse of migrant workers six months after it laid out plans for labour reforms. The wealthy OPEC nation has come under increasing scrutiny over its labour practices since world football governing body FIFA …

Dubai airport boss aims to keep pace with rapid growth in flight toward top rung

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Now that he’s had a taste of running the world’s busiest air hub for international passengers, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths is determined to hang on to the honour while setting his sights on an even bigger prize: beating Atlanta for the title of busiest airport on the planet. Dubai International Airport …

Dubai’s stock market tumbles 6.7 per cent after builder fires staff in wake of CEO departure

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Dubai’s stock market plunged 6.7 per cent Tuesday after the construction giant that helped raise the Mideast commercial hub’s record-breaking Burj Khalifa skyscraper confirmed it has fired staff following the departure of its CEO last week. The rout, the steepest since August, accelerated a sharp sell-off in the Dubai Financial Market this …

Iraq PM calls for state of emergency

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s prime minister has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency over a militant attack in Mosul. Nouri al-Maliki made the call in a televised news conference Tuesday. Militants effectively seized of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday. Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts and militants overran the provincial government headquarters …