Saturday 24 August 2019
News ID: 56079
Publish Date: 08 August 2018 - 21:48
RIYADH (Reuters) -- Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it had stopped all medical treatment programs in Canada and was working on the transfer of all Saudi patients from hospitals there, in an escalating row after Ottawa urged it to free rights activists.
Saudi Arabia froze new trade and investment with Canada and expelled the Canadian ambassador this week, pushing Canada to seek help from the United Arab Emirates and Britain to try to defuse the dispute.
Since rising to power in 2015, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has courted Western allies to support his reform plans, offering billions of dollars of arms sales and promising to fight radicalism in the kingdom. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments were discussed during his trips to the United States and Europe.
The dispute with Canada has shed light on scores of political and rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia over the last two years.
State news agency SPA said Riyadh had stopped sending patients to Canadian hospitals and "is coordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals ... according to directives by the leadership."

BANGSAL, Indonesia (AP) -- Aid began reaching isolated areas of the Indonesian island struggling after a powerful earthquake that killed at least 131 people, while rescuers Wednesday doubled down on efforts to find the dead, pulling another body from the rubble.
Volunteers and rescue personnel were erecting more temporary shelters for the tens of thousands of people left homeless on Lombok by the magnitude 7.0 quake on Sunday evening. Water, food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks.
The military said five planes carrying food, medicine, blankets, field tents and water tankers left Jakarta for the island early Wednesday.
A woman's body was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed mosque on Wednesday morning in Bangsal district in the north of the island.
The national disaster agency's spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll had risen to 131 from 105 announced Tuesday.
He told a news conference that there are reports of other deaths but they still need to be verified. The toll is expected to increase, he said.
Nearly 2,500 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries and more than 156,000 people are displaced due to the extensive damage to thousands of homes.

LONDON (Guardian) -- Pressure on Boris Johnson over his controversial remarks about women in burqas is mounting across the Conservative party a day after the former foreign secretary was rebuked by Theresa May.
A Conservative peer said Johnson should have the whip withdrawn, while a cabinet member called on him to retract his words and use language more carefully, as the row started by the man seen as a possible party leader continued into a third day.
The prime minister criticized Johnson over his claim that Muslim women in burqas resemble letterboxes and bank robbers, urging him to apologize after he defied an order to do so by Tory chiefs.
She said she agreed with the Conservative party chairman, Brandon Lewis, that Johnson should say sorry for his remarks, which she acknowledged had caused offence in the Muslim community.
May urged people to be "very careful” about the language they used to discuss sensitive issues such as women wearing the burqa, but stopped short of saying Johnson’s comments were Islamophobic or that he should lose the Tory whip, meaning he would no longer represent the party in parliament.


BERLIN (AP) -- Germany says it has reached an agreement with Spain for that country to take back previously registered migrants who show up at the German border, a first step toward implementing a deal to defuse a domestic political dispute over migration.
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Eleonore Petermann said Wednesday that, under the agreement taking effect Saturday, migrants picked up at German border controls who previously registered in Spain will be returned there within 48 hours. She said Spain didn't ask for anything in return.
Petermann said talks with Greece and Italy, which have been bigger sources of migration to Germany, are ongoing.
In June, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer threatened to turn back previously registered migrants unilaterally at the German-Austrian border. Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Germany must reach agreements with other countries.


KINSHASA (Reuters) -- Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila will not stand in December's presidential election, a spokesman said Wednesday, announcing that former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary would be the ruling coalition's candidate.
The announcement by spokesman Lambert Mende at a news conference puts an end to years of speculation about whether Kabila would defy term limits to run for a third term.

NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -- Authorities have shut off Internet access in eastern Ethiopia amid an outbreak of violence there, residents said Wednesday, a sign of the challenges facing reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in containing ethnic tensions in parts of the country.
The residents, one speaking from Oromia region and the other from the city of Harar, said the connection had been down for three days - the first time access has been cut off since parliament lifted a state of emergency in June.
Violence broke out on Saturday in Jijiga, the capital of Ethiopia's Somali region, with mobs looting properties owned by ethnic minorities. Security officials shot dead four people, a witness told Reuters.
The government said unrest had been stoked by regional officials.

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