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Saudi-Iran breakthrough adds new twist to Israel's Arab outreach

Saudi Arabia's surprise move to restore ties with Iran adds a new, complicated layer to its delicate diplomatic dance with Israel, which craves a breakthrough normalization deal of its own, analysts said.

Riyadh and Tehran announced on Friday that after seven years of severed ties they would reopen embassies and missions within two months and implement security and economic cooperation agreements signed more than 20 years ago.

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Will China's next premier be a moderating influence on Xi?

The pro-business track record of the man poised to become China's top economic official will make his term a test of whether he might moderate President Xi Jinping 's tendency to intervene.

Li Qiang, 63, who is expected to be chosen China's premier on Saturday, will have to grapple with a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, which is dealing with emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, weak global demand for exports, lingering U.S. tariff hikes, a shrinking workforce and an aging population.

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Ambassador for a Day: 12 winners demonstrate huge potential of young girls in Lebanon

The British Embassy Beirut launched the Ambassador for a Day Lebanon competition in January this year. The competition was open to 15-18 year old girls across Lebanon and over 500 girls submitted entries on the International Women’s Day 2023 theme “Embrace Equity”. The creativity, passion and potential in their applications was inspiring.


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A generation of Venezuelan children know only struggles

Valerie Torres' mother has tried to shield her from the worst of Venezuela's protracted crisis — the deadly protests, the sick people begging for help, the malnourished children with protruding ribs. At school, her teachers don't even broach the subject.

But just shy of her 10th birthday this month, the girl is perceptive beyond her years. She knows her fourth-grade classmate lied to their teacher saying he forgot a book at home when in fact he was still saving up to buy it; that neighbors, friends and even her grandmother have all fled the country in search of a better life; that her mother is bringing home fewer groceries.

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Ibrahim begins planning for his political future

Former General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has started “calm planning” for the role that he will play in the coming period, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Friday.

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Why Sara Netanyahu's hair salon trip ended with riot police

The scene signaled a grave national emergency — dozens of riot police charged through the streets of Tel Aviv as crowds of anti-government protesters howled and roared. Their mission: to rescue Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife from a swanky salon where she was getting her hair done.

The protesters' Wednesday night siege of the beauty parlor, accompanied by chants of "shame, shame," cast a spotlight on Sara Netanyahu, a divisive figure long intertwined with her husband's political career.

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With West Bank in turmoil, new Palestinian militants emerge

The stuttering blasts of M-16s shattered the quiet in a West Bank village, surrounded by barley fields and olive groves. Young Palestinian men in Jaba once wanted to farm, residents say, but now, more and more want to fight.

Last week, dozens of them, wearing balaclavas and brandishing rifles with photos of their dead comrades plastered on the clips, burst into a school playground — showcasing Jaba's new militant group and paying tribute to its founder and another gunman who were killed in an Israeli military raid last month.

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What's driving the players behind Israel's legal overhaul?

In Israel's divisive debate over the government's planned legal overhaul, proponents claim that curtailing the power of judges and courts is good for the country.

But, as their opponents often counter, other factors may be in play: Some of the leading politicians clamoring for these changes either face legal problems or believe the courts are obstructing their ideological agendas.

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Abbas Ibrahim: Lebanon's outgoing General Security chief

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, who has mediated the release of Westerners held in Syria and also acted as a mediator within Lebanon, stepped down Wednesday after attempts to extend his term failed.

Ibrahim's term ends Thursday, when he reaches retirement age of 64 in Lebanon. On Wednesday afternoon, he left his office and was replaced by Brig. Gen. Elias Baissary as acting head of the agency.

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Why TikTok is being banned for some government employees

The White House is giving U.S. federal agencies 30 days to delete popular Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices amid growing concerns about security. Canada announced a similar ban.

Congress, the White House itself and more than half of U.S. states had already banned TikTok amid concerns that China could use its legal and regulatory powers to obtain private user data or to try to push misinformation or narratives favoring China. U.S. armed forces have prohibited the app on military devices, and the European Union's executive branch has temporarily banned TikTok from employee phones.

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