3.2 million-year-old human fossil on display at Katara

28/02/2015 (The Peninsula – Qatar):DOHA: The 3.2 million-year-old human fossil nicknamed Lucy is at Katara as the highlight of an exhibition, Ethiopian Cultural Day, a first-of-its-kind event organised by the Ethiopian embassy in Doha.“We have brought here the oldest human fossil on Earth, so this is a significant exhibition for us. This is only the second time we are exhibiting Lucy internationally; the first time was at Natural Science Museum in the US,” Ethiopian Ambassador Mesganu Arga Moach told this daily.Moach and Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager, Katara, opened the exhibition visited by representatives of diplomatic missions and the Ethiopian community. Exhibited at Katara Building No. 13, the skeleton which is said to be the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor yet discovered in the world was found in Afar Depression in Ethiopia 40 years ago.With the scientific name Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy was named after the popular Beatles song Lucy in the sky with diamonds but Ethiopians prefer to call it “Dinknesh” (wonderful)…



UN: Turkey hosts the most refugees in the world

28/02/2015 (Sabah – Turkey): Turkey has become the country hosting the largest number of refugees in the world amid a “staggering” growth in displacement from Syria, the UN high commissioner for refugees said Thursday.In a briefing to the United Nations Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria, the high commissioner, Antonio Guterres, said the Syrian refugee crisis had overwhelmed existing response capacities, with 3.8 million refugees registered in neighboring countries.”Lebanon and Jordan have seen their populations grow, in the space of a few years, to a point they were prepared to reach only in several decades,” said Guterres. “And Turkey has now become the biggest refugee-hosting country in the world.”..



Turkey resolute to conclude solution process: Deputy PM

28/02/2015 (Anadolu Agency)Turkey is determined to conclude the solution process, which refers to efforts to end the conflict with the outlawed PKK, with full support of the Turkish people, deputy prime minister said Saturday.Yalcin Akdogan gave the remarks to media after he and Interior Minister Efkan Ala met with pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party, or the HDP leaders, including the party’s deputy chairs, Pervin Buldan and Idris Balukan, and Istanbul Deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder at the Prime Ministry’s Dolmabahce office in Istanbul.He said that the government valued HDP’s statements on the issue of disarmament of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or the PKK.  “The government sees HDP’s statements on acceleration of disarmament process as important,” he said. “Laying down arms will further develop democracy,” he added.About the government’s resolve to pursue the solution process, Akdogan said, “We are determined to conclude this (solution) process with full support of the public.”The deputy premier also underlined that Turkey was at a very important phase in the ongoing process…



21-month slump in deposits, reserves


p style=”text-align:justify;”>_money-riyals.jpg28/02/2015 (Arab News – KSA): The government’s reserves and deposits with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) dropped at the end of January to SR1.39 trillion, the lowest level in 21 months.

This was a 2 percent change on a monthly basis compared to December, and 8 percent change on an annual basis compared to January last year.

“The reserves and deposits of the government is part of the liabilities in SAMA’s financial statements, which amounts to SR2.79 trillion, equal to its assets,” Al-Eqtisadiah reported.

The assets include investments in security bonds, deposits with banks abroad, cash, foreign exchange, gold, and other assets. “The government reserves and deposits are divided into three categories, the general reserve of the government, allocations for government projects and government’s current account.”




Solar Impulse 2 soars over Abu Dhabi on its first test flights

Solar Impulse 2 flies over Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on a test flight in Abu Dhabi28/02/2015 (7 Days – UAE): Solar Impulse 2 soared across the skies of Abu Dhabi as it successfully completed its first test flights in the emirate.The single-seater solar aircraft will be used for an attempt at a solar-powered flight around the world beginning this March from Abu Dhabi.Si2, the first airplane able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, took its maiden flight in the capital on Thursday. For four hours, professional test pilot Markus Scherdel tested the aircraft’s performance in the skies in the early morning.Following the initial test flight, Solar Impulse co-founder, CEO and pilot Andre Borschberg took to the skies of Abu Dhabi with Si2 for a full day test flight.They soared above Abu Dhabi landmarks including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Corniche and Eastern Mangroves…



Minister Asks Iranian Companies to Strengthen Role in Iraq’s Reconstruction

Minister Asks Iranian Companies to Strengthen Role in Iraq's Reconstruction21/02/2015 (Fars News – Iran): TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi Minister for Reconstruction and Housing Tariq al-Khikani urged Iranian firms to play a bigger role in his country’s reconstruction, specially in the housing sector.”Given the friendly relations between the two Muslim, brotherly and neighboring countries of Iran and Iraq and the continued and close ties between the Iranian and Iraqi leaderships, we hope to witness transfer of Iranians’ experience to Iraq,” Khikani told FNA on Saturday.”To this end, we need to witness the extensive presence of the Iranian companies Iraq’s reconstruction,” he added.Noting that Iraq needs construction of 2.5 housing units, Khikani said that this provides the ground for the presence of foreign companies in the country and “we are willing to see Iranian companies sign contracts with us and accomplish this task”.Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.In December, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani in a meeting with Iraqi Transportation Minister Baqir Jabr al-Zubeidi underlined that further development of economic cooperation set a priority for the two Muslim neighboring states…

Turkish men wear skirts in protest for victimized women

21/02/2015 (Hurriyet – Turkey): “I would walk around in Taksim wearing a skirt, if you can do that…”For many Turkish men, this is a common phrase they use when they want to assert a claim or make a bet. It has turned into reality when a group of men went to Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square wearing skirts, keeping their word they have been pledging for the past few days on social media.On Feb. 17, Erkan Doğan had donned a skirt in Istanbul’s Asian side neighborhood of Kadıköy to demonstrate in memory of slain 20-year-old student Özgecan Aslan. Doğan’s individual action had inspired social media calls for a massive “skirt-wearing” march over the weekend to show Turkish men’s support for the women who were victimized by the recent wave of male violence in Turkey.The burned body of Özgecan Aslan was discovered on Feb. 13 in a riverbed in the southern Turkish province of Mersin, triggering a public debate in which a woman’s attire had also stressed as a factor in sexual assault and harassment cases by several conservative critics…



First GCC statement over Qatar-Egypt spat unilateral: Gulf official

21/02/2015 (Asharq Al-Awsat— UK):The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) statement backing Qatar in a recent row with Egypt was issued without consulting all member states and “does not represent the full view” of the organization, a Gulf official toldAsharq Al-Awsat.Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, a senior Gulf official said the statement, in which the GCC dismissed Egypt’s accusations that Qatar supports terrorism, was “unilaterally issued.”The dispute between Egypt and Qatar unfurled after Egypt’s envoy to the Arab League, Tariq Adel, said Qatar “supports terrorism” during a meeting of the league on Wednesday, after Doha’s foreign ministry official expressed reservations about Egypt’s airstrikes on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions in Libya.Qatar responded by recalling its ambassador to Cairo for consultations, a step that threatened to rekindle tensions between the two countries.Qatar and Egypt only recently reconciled their differences over the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.In an official statement on Thursday GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the organization “rejects accusations by Egypt’s permanent envoy at the Arab League that Qatar supports terrorism.”..



Grand Mosque imam: Promote values through new media

1424454448472991000.jpg21/02/2015 (Arab News – KSA): Imam and Khateeb at the Grand Mosque Sheikh Saleh Bin-Humaid called on the believers to employ the new media to promote virtue, humanitarian sentiments and values, love for others and encourage good and charitable deeds and cooperation in good deeds and piety.”The new media has brought about various kinds of positive and negative social changes some of which are good, some bad, useful or harmful. It is a significant media platform that transcends geographical borders as people can come into contact from all corners of the world, cutting across distances of space and time. Its role is immense in the lives of individuals, families and nations and it has made giant strides in the world of communication,” Bin-Humaid said while addressing the congregation at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday…