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Palestinian fishermen decry Israel's ban on Gaza exports as collective punishment

Israel closed the main commercial crossing in the Gaza Strip, effectively banning exports from the coastal territory after saying it had uncovered explosives in a shipment of clothes to the occupied West Bank. Gaza's fishermen, with their perishable exports, were among the first to feel the pain.

The new restrictions choke off the territory's already ailing economy. They come on top of the punishing 16-year blockade that Israel and Egypt have maintained since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized control of the enclave in 2007.

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'Invasive examinations' part of reason Qatar Airways was refused flights to Australia

Australian Transport Minister Catherine King said on Thursday that invasive gynecological examinations conducted on passengers at Doha's international airport in 2020 were part of the reason she refused to allow Qatar Airways to double its services to Australia.

King has faced intense questioning over why she decided on June 10 not to allow the airline to double its current 28 flights per week to Australia.

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Australia, China open first high-level dialogue in 3 years in sign of slight thaw

Australia and China opened their first high-level dialogue in three years Thursday in a sign of a slight thaw to relations between countries that have clashed on everything from human rights to COVID-19 origins to trade.

"I welcome the recent positive developments in the bilateral relationship, but we know that there is more work to do," said Craig Emerson, the head of the Australian delegation and a former trade minister.

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Govt. agrees to replacing Sayrafa platform with Bloomberg-based one

The caretaker Cabinet on Thursday approved a decision by the country’s financial authorities to replace the Sayrafa currency exchange platform with one based on the international Bloomberg platform.

Asked whether the new platform “has been requested by the international community,” caretaker Information Minister Ziad Makari told reporters that no such move has been requested from Lebanon.

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Greek shipper pleads guilty to smuggling Iranian crude oil

A Greek shipping company has pleaded guilty to smuggling sanctioned Iranian crude oil and agreed to pay a $2.4 million fine, newly unsealed U.S. court documents seen Thursday by The Associated Press show.

The now-public case against Empire Navigation, which faces three years of probation under the plea agreement, marks the first public acknowledgement by U.S. prosecutors that America seized some 1 million barrels of oil from the tanker Suez Rajan.

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Romania hosts summit to boost connectivity between 12 EU countries and partners

A two-day summit in Romania began on Wednesday that brings together 12 European Union member states situated between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, as the grouping of mostly formerly communist countries aim to boost ties and connectivity amid Russia's war in Ukraine.

The Three Seas Initiative, which is being held in the capital, Bucharest, brings together high-ranking officials from EU countries as well as representatives from partner countries and aims to improve interconnectivity in the transportation, energy, and the digital fields.

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War sanctions against Russia highlight growing divisions among Group of 20

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is facing growing skepticism from some leading rich and developing nations as the residual impact of sanctions against Russia is deepening divisions among the Group of 20 countries.

With world leaders and finance ministers meeting this week in India for the G20 summit, fractures have came into the open, and alliances are tightening among some nations that have long been resistant to the U.S.-led efforts to exact economic punishment on Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

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Art of Living Exhibition 2023 to be held at Forum de Beyrouth

The annual “Art of Living Exhibition”, a pioneer in interior home design and innovation projects, is taking place at the Forum de Beyrouth from 15 till 19 November 2023.

“We decorate the future. Our main goal is to give you the best solutions with expert designers” and “a place to turn your ideas into decoration,” a press release said.

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Oil prices spike as Saudi and Russia extend oil cuts through December

Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed Tuesday to extend their voluntary oil production cuts through the end of this year, trimming 1.3 million barrels of crude out of the global market and boosting energy prices.

The dual announcements from Riyadh and Moscow pushed benchmark Brent crude above $90 a barrel in trading Tuesday afternoon, a price unseen in the market since November.

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New Delhi got a makeover for the G20 summit. The city's poor say they were simply erased

New Delhi's crowded streets have been resurfaced. Streetlights are illuminating once dark sidewalks. City buildings and walls are painted with bright murals. Planted flowers are everywhere.

Many of the city's poor say they were simply erased, much like the stray dogs and monkeys that have been removed from some neighborhoods, as India's capital got its makeover ahead of this week's summit of the Group of 20 nations.

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