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Kremlin 'extremely concerned' about Nord Stream gas leaks

The Kremlin said Tuesday it was "extremely concerned" about reported leaks on Russia's Nord Stream gas pipeline to Europe through the Baltic Sea and its twin pipeline Nord Stream 2. 

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Parliament approves 2022 state budget with 63 votes

Parliament on Monday approved the 2022 state budget with 63 MPs voting for it, 37 voting against it and 6 abstaining out of 106 lawmakers present in the session.

The budget includes a three-fold wage hike for public sector employees and the armed forces as well as for retirees.

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Denmark reports gas leak near Nord Stream 2 route

Denmark's maritime traffic agency reported a gas leak in the Baltic Sea on Monday near the route of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

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Ship with Ukrainian corn, vegetable oil docks in Lebanon

A ship carrying thousands of tons of corn and vegetable oil from war-ravaged Ukraine docked in northern Lebanon on Monday, the first such vessel since Russia's invasion of its neighbor started seven months ago.

AK Ambition, registered in Panama and loaded with 7,000 tons of corn and 20 tons of vegetable oil, arrived in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon's second-largest, with Ukraine Embassy officials waiting at the port.

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'I need my salary': Anger as Lebanese banks reopen

Depositors scuffled and long lines formed at Lebanese banks Monday as they partially re-opened after a week-long closure following a slew of heists by customers desperate to access their money.

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Lebanese banks reopen partially after weeklong closure

Banks in crisis-hit Lebanon partially reopened Monday following a weeklong closure amid a wave of heists in which assailants stormed at least seven bank branches earlier this month, demanding to withdraw their trapped savings.

The Association of Banks in Lebanon said last Monday it was going on strike amid bank holdups by depositors and activists — a sign of growing chaos in the tiny Mideast nation.

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Saudi Arabia's triumphant week reclaims the West's embrace

Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. The kingdom is once again being enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, and it is no longer as frowned upon to seek Saudi investments or accept their favor.

Saudi Arabia's busy week of triumphs included brokering a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, holding a highbrow summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, marking the country's national day with pomp and pageantry, hosting the German chancellor and discussing energy supply with top White House officials.

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Lebanon's banks to reopen as of Monday

The Association of Banks in Lebanon announced Sunday that the country’s banks will resume operations as of Monday, following a one-week closure prompted by a wave of bank “heists” that were carried out by depositors demanding their savings.

In a statement, ABL said it held a meeting in which it discussed “the need to secure the continuity of services for clients while taking into consideration the difficult security situations and the need to preserve the safety of clients and employees alike, in the absence of sufficient protection from the state.”

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Lebanese banks decide to stay shuttered over security fears

Lebanon's banks will remain closed indefinitely after rejecting a proposed government security plan, a senior official with the country's commercial banks association said on Thursday, amid a wave of protests and heists targeting its failing financial system.

The Association of Banks in Lebanon initially announced a three-day strike, after at least seven bank branches were stormed last week, where assailants demanded they withdraw their trapped savings. Among them is Sali Hafez, who broke into a Beirut bank branch with a fake pistol and retrieved some $13,000 in her savings to cover her sister's cancer treatment.

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Turkish lira hits record low before central bank meeting

Turkey's currency fell to a record low against the dollar before a central bank meeting on interest rates Thursday.

The lira traded at a low of 18.38 against the dollar, past the previous record low of 18.36 in December, before recovering to about 18.36.

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