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FIFA Picks Nov. 21 as Kickoff for 28-Day World Cup in Qatar

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will start on Monday, Nov. 21, kicking off a 28-day tournament that will finish on Sunday, Dec. 18.

FIFA's executive committee confirmed the 2022 dates on Friday, six months after picking Dec. 18 — Qatar's national holiday — for the final.

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Qatar Cabinet Backs Changes to Controversial Labour Law

Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar has agreed changes to its controversial "kafala" sponsorship system for foreign  workers, which critics have likened to modern-day slavery, state media reported on Wednesday. 

At its weekly meeting, the cabinet backed draft legislation and took "measures to issue a law regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates," the official QNA news agency reported. 

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Qatar Emir Promises Geagea to Exert All Efforts to Free Captive Servicemen

Qatar's Emir vowed during talks with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea on Monday that Doha would exert all efforts to resolve the case of the captive servicemen.

The LF leader, his wife MP Sethrida Geagea and the accompanying delegation met with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha in the presence of the Qatari Foreign Minister, Khalid al-Attiyah.

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Geagea Travels to Qatar for Official Visit

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea traveled Sunday to Qatar for an official visit, state-run National News Agency reported.

He was accompanied by his wife MP Sethrida Geagea and an LF delegation comprising ex-minister Tony Karam, foreign affairs officer Pierre Bou Assi and Gulf dept. official Fadi Salameh, NNA said.

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Report: Ibrahim Revives Hostages File

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has resumed contacts with mediators to press for the release of Lebanese servicemen taken hostage by jihadists in August last year, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Friday.

Ibrahim asked the involved parties to swiftly resolve the case, it said.

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Hariri Slams 'Baseless Rumors' on Alleged Qatari Role in Protests

Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri stressed Wednesday that “rumors implicating the name of the State of Qatar in the current Lebanese events are definitely baseless.”

“Qatar is a brotherly state that cares about Lebanon's stability and it did not hesitate to help the country under all circumstances,” Hariri tweeted.

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Qatar to Enforce Key Labor Reform from November

Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar will begin enforcing a law that ensures migrant workers get paid on time from early November, labor ministry officials said on Wednesday.

The Wage Protection System (WPS) -- trumpeted by the government as a "significant" reform -- has been delayed from an initial start date of August 18 to allow companies more time to prepare for the change.

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Qatar to Launch Major Labour Reform for Migrant Workers

Qatar on Tuesday officially launches one of its most "significant" labor reforms to guarantee migrant workers' wages, but rights groups are concerned over implementation of the new regulations.

The Wage Protection System (WPS) aims to ensure that migrant laborers, many working on 2022 World Cup-related projects, will finally receive their pay on time.

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U.S. to Push Ahead with Vexed Syria Training Mission

President Barack Obama's administration vowed to press ahead with a half-billion-dollar mission to train Syrian opposition fighters Tuesday, despite fears that its initial failures have dented U.S. credibility. 

After the routing of a 54-strong U.S.-trained force by al-Qaida allied rebels, Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith told Agence France Presse there was no plan to pause or scale back the program.

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Qatar Backs Turkey over Bombing Raids in Northern Iraq

Qatar has broken ranks with the Arab League to give close ally Turkey its full support for air strikes in northern Iraq, according to an official foreign ministry statement.

On Tuesday, the Arab League condemned Turkey's actions and called on Ankara to recognize the sovereignty of Iraq.

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