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[l] at 2/28/24 1:02am
VATICAN CITY, Feb 28 : Pope Francis skipped readings at his Wednesday weekly audience, delegating the task to an aide and telling the faithful he was still not well. The 87-year-old pontiff, who has had a number of health issues recently, had canceled appointments on Saturday and on Monday due to what the Vatican called a mild flu. On Sunday, however, he addressed crowds in St. Peter’s Square as normal, to deliver his Angelus message.
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[l] at 2/28/24 1:02am
DUBAI: The armed wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas on Wednesday said it launched two missile salvos consisting of 40 Grad missiles from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement on its Telegram channel it had bombed the headquarters of the 769th Eastern Brigade and the airport barracks in Beit Hilal.
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[l] at 2/28/24 1:02am
DUBAI: Following his latest triumph in the UAE, world No. 2 Rory McIlroy had nothing but praise for the region’s longest-standing golf event, the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, a tournament he said allowed him to “reminisce” about his career. The Northern Irishman etched his name in Dubai history after he became the first four-time champion at Emirates Golf Club to cap off the event’s milestone 35th anniversary celebrations in January.
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[l] at 2/28/24 1:02am
RIYADH: Liquidity management in Jordan’s cash market is set to undergo a significant transformation as the country’s central bank introduces new tools for monetary policy.  Aligned with Shariah laws, the Central Bank of Jordan has introduced these instruments in collaboration with Islamic banks operating within the country. The goal is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of liquidity management in the cash market, the Jordan News Agency reported. 
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[l] at 2/28/24 12:02am
Al-Ittihad’s defense of the Saudi Pro League title has largely been one to forget. Despite some early season promise that had them top for the first month, the wheels quickly fell off culminating in a disappointing showing in December’s FIFA Club World Cup and speculation that star signing Karim Benzema wanted out. As recently as round seven they were still top of the table, but just 14 matches later they are now fifth and a whopping 22 points behind league leaders Al-Hilal. Any notion of going back-to-back has long since disappeared.
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[l] at 2/28/24 12:02am
DUBAI: French-Algerian model Loli Bahia is cementing her relationship with the prestigious luxury brand Louis Vuitton. This week, the fashion house unveiled its latest campaign for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, featuring the 21-year-old burgeoning star. In the promotional clip, Bahia showcased the brand’s pieces accessorizing with a vibrant orange Dauphine bag crafted from supple leather.
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[l] at 2/28/24 12:02am
DUBAI: “Shogun,” FX’s latest adaptation of James Clavell’s 1975 bestselling novel set in 1600s feudal Japan, is a far cry from the popular 1980s mini-series, told predominantly from the point of view of its Western protagonist John Blackthorne (played then by Richard Chamberlain, and now by Cosmo Jarvis). While Jarvis’ Blackthorne gets ample screen time in the new iteration of “Shogun,” now streaming on Disney+ in the Middle East, co-creators and husband-wife duo Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo were keen to center the story around its Japanese characters.
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[l] at 2/28/24 12:02am
NEW DELHI: Oil prices pulled back in Asia on Wednesday as the prospect of a delay in Washington’s rate-cutting cycle and a rise in US crude stocks offset a boost on Tuesday from news OPEC and its allies might extend its output cuts, according to Reuters. Brent crude futures fell 30 cents, or 0.36 percent, to $83.35 a barrel by 6:02 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate futures dropped 28 cents to $78.59 a barrel.
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[l] at 2/27/24 11:02pm
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has set the yield for its seven-year dollar-denominated sukuk at 85 basis points above US Treasuries, according to a banking document reported by Reuters on Tuesday. The Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund adjusted the yield from its initial guidance of 115 basis points earlier in the day, following strong demand that led to orders surpassing $17 billion. (With inputs from Reuters)
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[l] at 2/27/24 11:02pm
BLACKBURN: Eddie Howe has revealed Newcastle United penalty shootout hero Martin Dubravka almost missed the Magpies’ FA Cup win through illness. The Slovak keeper was Newcastle’s matchwinner, not only keeping the Magpies in the fifth-round encounter with some goal-saving stops in the 1-1 draw stretched across 120 minutes, but also with two spot-kick saves in the deciding shootout, which the visitors won 4-3.
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[l] at 2/27/24 6:02pm
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha on Tuesday met his Qatari counterpart Mohammed Al-Mannai in Doha, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The parties discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the countries in digital government and the digital economy, and techniques to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship system.
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[l] at 2/27/24 6:02pm
WASHINGTON: Worries about political extremism or threats to democracy have emerged as a top concern for US voters and an issue where President Joe Biden has a slight advantage over Donald Trump ahead of the November election, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed. Some 21 percent of respondents in the three-day poll, which closed on Sunday, said “political extremism or threats to democracy” was the biggest problem facing the US, a share that was marginally higher than those who picked the economy — 19 percent — and immigration — 18 percent.
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[l] at 2/27/24 6:02pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: A rocket exploded late Tuesday night off the side of a ship traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, authorities said, the latest suspected attack to be carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The attack comes as the Houthis continue a series of assaults at sea over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip and as the US and its allies launch airstrikes trying to stop them.
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[l] at 2/27/24 6:02pm
WASHINGTON: Operatives from Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah are working inside Yemen to support Houthi insurgents’ attacks on international shipping, a US official said Tuesday. Tim Lenderking, the US special envoy for Yemen, told a Senate subcommittee that Iran’s clerical state was “equipping and facilitating” the Houthi attacks, which have triggered retaliatory US and British strikes on Yemen. “Credible public reports suggest a significant number of Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives are supporting Houthi attacks from inside Yemen,” Lenderking said.
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[l] at 2/27/24 6:02pm
MADRID: More than two decades later, Mallorca are back in the Copa del Rey final. The Spanish club partly owned by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and former NBA great Steve Nash defeated Real Sociedad 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday to make it to the final 21 years after they won the competition for the only time.
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[l] at 2/27/24 5:02pm
WASHINGTON: The US Army is slashing the size of its force by about 24,000, or almost 5 percent, and restructuring to be better able to fight the next major war, as the service struggles with recruiting shortfalls that made it impossible to bring in enough soldiers to fill all the jobs. The cuts will mainly be in already-empty posts — not actual soldiers — including in jobs related to counterinsurgency that swelled during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars but are not needed as much today. About 3,000 of the cuts would come from Army special operations forces.
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[l] at 2/27/24 5:02pm
DEARBORN, Michigan: President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won the Michigan primaries on Tuesday, further solidifying the all-but-certain rematch between the two men.
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[l] at 2/27/24 4:02pm
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet approved on Tuesday new regulations that govern the railways in the Kingdom. The decision “supports achieving the goals of the National Transport & Logistics Strategy, and contributes to the governance of the railway sector and regulates the relationship between the infrastructure owner, the operator and the beneficiary,” Minister of Transport and Logistic Services Saleh Al-Jasser said.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
WASHINGTON: The United States called Tuesday for a focus on diplomacy to resolve tensions over Lebanon, after Israel warned it would pursue Hezbollah even if it achieves a ceasefire in Gaza. “We do not want to see either side escalate the conflict in the north,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters. “The government of Israel has said publicly, and they have assured us privately, that they want to achieve a diplomatic path,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to continue to pursue and, ultimately, that would make military action unnecessary.”
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
Wesam Al-Ghamdi is CEO at NEOM Green Hydrogen Co., spearheading the growth and execution of the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, which is set to commence in 2026. Once fully operational, the plant will also be managed under his leadership. Under his direction, the company will progress from its construction phase to full functionality for the supply of green hydrogen to the local and global markets for the heavy industry and transportation sectors.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al-Ibrahim on Tuesday met Mexico’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Anibal Gomez Toledo in Riyadh. The two sides discussed economic and investment opportunities between their countries and others topics of common interest. Separately, Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar met Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Yahya Lawal at his office in Al-Hukm Palace to mark the end of the envoy’s tenure. The governor thanked him for his service and wished him success in his future endeavors.    
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
LONDON: Three men arrested in an investigation into right-wing extremism were charged Tuesday in a London court with preparing to commit a terrorist act, authorities said. They were arrested on Feb. 21, Counter Terrorism Policing North East said. Prosecutors said the men had joined extreme right-wing online chat forums, had right-wing text messages and distributed information on guns and ammunition.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
RIYADH: The Saudi Cultural Development Fund recently took part in the 74th Berlin International Film Festival. At the event, the fund joined the Saudi pavilion alongside various government agencies to help attract top firms to the Kingdom. The fund also held meetings with filmmakers and investors to discuss cooperation in the film industry. Officials showcased financing and investment opportunities the fund offers to both local and foreign enterprises.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet called for an end to the escalation in military operations in Gaza and the dire humanitarian crisis that it is causing, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday. The Cabinet also reviewed the outcomes of the Kingdom’s participation in a two-day meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro and its vision regarding the group’s role in dealing with existing international tensions and restructuring global governance.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
RIYADH: Saudi artist Dr. Sami Almarzoogi’s solo exhibition at L’Art Pur Foundation in Riyadh “Is This a Gold Bar?” demonstrates the benefits of never giving up on your passion. Presented in collaboration with Hafez Gallery, the showcase presents Almarzoogi’s diverse body of work, encompassing paintings, drawings and mixed-media pieces, which delve deep into his exploration of materials, techniques and themes. He invites viewers to immerse themselves in the emotions he seeks to capture with each stroke of his brush.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
MAKKAH: Ali Shaker Al-Ghamdi is one of the most prominent performers of the southern Saudi ardah, a dance he described as showcasing strength while uniting communities. Performed on special occasions such as Saudi Founding Day, the ardah highlights the Kingdom’s heritage through poetry and dance. Al-Ghamdi had to undergo surgery after tearing a tendon in his foot while dancing at an Al-Janadriyah festival in Riyadh and feared being unable to perform again.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
UNITED NATIONS: At least 576,000 people in the Gaza Strip — one quarter of the population — are one step away from famine, a senior UN aid official told the Security Council on Tuesday, warning that widespread famine could be “almost inevitable” without action.
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[l] at 2/27/24 1:02am
BERLIN: Bundesliga boss Hans-Joachim Watzke said Tuesday the rejection of a planned investor deal, shelved after widespread fan protests, was “bad for the league.” Last week the German Football Leagues (DFL) which runs the Bundesliga abandoned a planned billion-euro investment deal, which had previously been approved by the necessary two-thirds majority of clubs, due largely to fan protests resulting in long delays at matches.
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[l] at 2/20/24 9:02pm
RIYADH: On the second day of the Saudi Media Forum, international speakers and creatives reflected on the industry’s future in the region.  Dick Roberts​, executive vice president of entertainment studios at Allen Media Group, gave a masterclass titled “Straight from Hollywood!” He elaborated on marketing from the Hollywood perspective, its importance, and how it is changing as we transition globally from broadcasting content to streaming it.
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[l] at 2/20/24 8:02pm
RIYADH: The future of diplomacy, AI, entertainment and fashion were hot topics in Riyadh on Wednesday as the Saudi Media Forum marked its closing day. The forum, together with the accompanying FOMEX exhibition, saw packed audiences, and featured ambassadors, entertainment officials, TV hosts as well as distinguished journalists. A panel involving the Thai, British, Belgian, Djiboutian and Egyptian ambassadors to Saudi Arabia saw discussion on the future of diplomacy.

As of 2/28/24 4:52am. Last new 2/28/24 3:46am.

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