Italian Health ministry steps up anti-dengue measures


ROME: The Italian Heath Ministry on Friday told regional authorities to plan new measures to monitor and combat the spread of dengue fever amid an exponential rise in cases, particularly in the Americas.

In a circular, the ministry asked regions to strengthen surveillance, carry out decontamination, train health workers and inform the public about the mosquito-borne illness that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

In particular, the ministry instructed the authorities to identify all sites that are potentially at risk of introducing new species of invasive mosquitoes and to step up public awareness campaigns. The new circular has been issued in view of the upcoming tiger mosquito season.

Mild dengue fever causes a high fever and flu-like symptoms. The severe form of dengue fever, also called dengue hemorrhagic fever, can cause serious bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure and death.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Egypt Condemns Moscow Terror AttackPresident of UAE receives written message from King of Bahrain

Egypt has strongly condemned the shooting incident that took place at a music concert hall near the Russian capital, Moscow, resulting in the loss of many lives and injuries.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed its condolences to the victims as well as profound sorrow over the loss of lives caused by the attack and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Source: State Information Service Egypt

ABU DHABI: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has received a written message from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, on further strengthening the privileged relations between the two fraternal countries.

The message was handed over to His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, during his meeting today at Qasr Al Watan here with the Ambassador of Bahrain to the UAE, Sheikh Khaled bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, who conveyed the regards of the King of Bahrain to President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and his wishes for more progress and prosperity for the UAE leadership and people. H.H. Sheikh Mansour reciprocated the greetings.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed aspects of bilateral relations and ways to advance cooperation at various levels, particularly in areas of economy, investment and development.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Egypt Condemns Moscow Terror Attack

Egypt has strongly condemned the shooting incident that took place at a music concert hall near the Russian capital, Moscow, resulting in the loss of many lives and injuries.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed its condolences to the victims as well as profound sorrow over the loss of lives caused by the attack and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Source: State Information Service Egypt

Egypt, UAE Continue Airdropping Humanitarian Aid onto Northern Gaza Strip

In collaboration with Egypt, the UAE conducted the 11th humanitarian aid and relief airdrop over the northern Gaza Strip, as announced by the UAE Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defense in a statement.

The airdrops targeted isolated and inaccessible areas in the northern Gaza Strip, with two planes delivering 24 tons of food and relief aid, the Command reported. With this 11th airdrop, the total aid dropped since the inception of Operation “Birds of Goodness” has reached 462 tons of food and relief aid.

Operation “Birds of Goodness” is part of “Operation Gallant Knight 3,” aimed at supporting the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

During the holy month of Ramadan, the UAE has intensified its efforts, with aid being provided through the collective initiatives of charitable institutions in the country. These include the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Works, the Zayed Bin Sultan Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works,
and other humanitarian and charitable organizations in the UAE.

Source: State Information Service Egypt

Sisi Performs Friday Prayers to Mark Anniversary of 10th of Ramadan War Victory

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi performed Friday prayers on 22/3/2024 alongside high-ranking state and military officials at El-Moshir Tantawy Mosque in New Cairo to mark the 6th of October 1973 war victory, which occurred on the 10th of Ramadan on the Islamic Hijri Calendar.

The Friday prayers were attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Defense and Military Production General Mohamed Zaki, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Osama Askar, Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik as well as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb and Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam, and Minister of Awqaf Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa.

Source: State Information Service Egypt

India elected Co-Chair of ITU Digital Innovation Board


NEW DELHI: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has chosen the Global Innovation Centre in India to coordinate the work of Network Acceleration Centres around the globe.

This decision was taken by the Digital Innovation Board of the ITU in Geneva, which also unanimously elected India as Co-Chair of the Board, according to an announcement yesterday by the Indian Ministry of Communications.

The ITU has selected 17 organisations from around the world to host Network of Acceleration Centres, all of which, will now be coordinated from New Delhi, where a Global Innovation Centre is already functioning at the ITU Area Office in the India’s national capital.

India’s election as Co-Chair of the Digital Innovation Board is significant because the ITU has recently launched an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development ‘to respond to the needs of ITU members in the area of innovation.’

The Alliance will have three main vehicles – a Digital Transformation Laboratory, Network of Acceler
ation Centres and the Digital Innovation Board.

‘The Alliance has mandated the Digital Innovation Board to provide strategic guidance, expertise and advocacy regarding its mission of building critical local enablers and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in digital development, to create a more inclusive and equitable digital future for all,’ according to the Indian Ministry’s announcement.

The Ministry has nominated Dr. Neeraj Mittal, Secretary of India’s Department of Telecommunications, to function as the Board’s Co-Chair.

The new initiatives fall under the aegis of the ‘Kigali Action Plan’ adopted two years ago at the World Telecommunication Development Conference and the Outcomes of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2022. The ITU is the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Dr. Mittal offered to host the next meeting of Digital Innovation Board in India, alongside a World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) to be held lat
er this year.

Dr. Mittal also chaired a review meeting at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in Geneva. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Arindam Bagchi, led senior officers at the meeting.

‘It reviewed progress on critical milestones and efforts to increase participation of India in ITU activities with greater engagement of academia and industry members from India,’ the Ministry’s announcement concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency

SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2024

10:00 am His Beatitude Patriarch Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian, Catholicos of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of Cilicia, presides over the Palm Sunday Mass at the Savior’s Church in Bourj Hammoud, delivering a sermon in Arabic followed by the procession.

11:00 am Palm Sunday Mass at the Parish of St. John the Golden-Mouthed, Beirut for the Syriac Catholics of the Maronite Archeparchy of Beirut, celebrated by the Bishop of the Eparchy, Bishop Georges Bacouni.

12:30 pm Agricultural meeting with the Agricultural Program Manager at the “Capacity Development in Rural Areas” Association, Engineer Heba Fawaz, on “Understanding Organic Farming,” hosted by the Saïd and Saadé Fakhry Development Foundation, at the foundation’s building in Zrarieh – Hay Al-Beidar. The meeting includes a presentation on the details of the support project for farmers under the “Best” program and how to benefit from it.

Source: National news agency – Lebanon

UFM EMPHASISES IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABLE WATER MANAGEMENT COOPERATION IN DROUGHT-STRICKEN EURO-MEDITERRANEAN REGION

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) aims to draw attention not only to the grave water crisis on World Water Day, but to the resource’s potential to serve as a catalyst for cooperation among governments, organisations and individuals. A climate change hotspot warming at a rate 20% faster than the global average, the Mediterranean region is home to a staggering 180 million people who are water poor and another 60 million who face varying degrees of water stress. The UfM firmly believes water-related issues will continue to worsen unless the issue is tackled in a collaborative and environmentally conscious manner by a diverse range of public and private sector actors.

The UfM promotes this strategy by supporting the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems Nexus, an approach that highlights the interdependence of these elements, in its Member States. To this effect, the UfM has identified projects that address water scarcity by contributing to broader socio-economic development and regional stability and transferred Sw
edish International Development Cooperation Agency funds to them. These include the MENA Water Matchmaker 2, which has allowed farmers in Jordan and Palestine to reuse treated wastewater, or the WEFE Nexus for Sustainable Development in MENA, which enhances environmental sustainability in Egypt and Jordan by fostering the adoption of the WEFE Nexus approach among policymakers and bolstering food and water resilience among targeted communities. The UfM is also a founding member of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership, a coalition that aims to mobilise at least pound 1 billion in sustainable blue economy investments in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions.

The UfM will soon be bringing the Mediterranean water perspective to the UN Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona as well as the 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens and the 10th World Water Forum in Bali. It will also be organising online capacity-building sessions for public officials on the sustainable blue economy and blue transformation in addition to hosti
ng the UfM Regional Water Platform and the Sustainable Blue Economy Working Group meetings allowing stakeholders to exchange information on water-related projects and to support the implementation of the 2021 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Blue Economy.

The UfM has long been committed to promoting regional cooperation in this domain, and last month alone it held both the 2nd Regional Roundtable on the WEFE Nexus for the Mediterranean at the

5th Mediterranean Water Forum in Tunis, with participants discussing how to improve the integration of policy and management frameworks with the WEFE Nexus Strategy in the Mediterranean Source to Sea Continuum, and the 2nd UfM Stakeholder Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy in Athens, where over 350 people took part in workshops on topics ranging from marine research and innovation to sustainable tourism or the blue finance process.

‘Access to safe drinking water and sanitation are internationally-recognised human rights. Lack of access to water is a significant obst
acle to development as it is essential for eradicating poverty and building peaceful and prosperous societies. The Union for the Mediterranean, driven by its mission to foster regional cooperation, is committed to enabling collective action in this field by providing Member States and partners with a platform to discuss the development of initiatives, recommendations, and policies,’ said Almotaz Abadi, the UfM Deputy Secretary General in charge of Water, Environment and Blue Economy.-UfM

Source: National news agency – Lebanon

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2024

10:00 am Celebration hosted by the “Al-Iffa Wal-Tawfik” Association for Child and Elderly Welfare, honoring children marking child day, at the public hall of Ain Anoub town – Aley district.

11:00 am Panel discussion organized by the “Taqaddom” Party on “Women’s Struggle and Their Leadership Role in Society,” at their office in Jdeideh, featuring governance expert Josephine Zgheib, and journalist and writer Badia Fahs.

12:00 pm Official opening of the “Hybrid Operating Room Conference: Ensuring Safety in Complex Operations – Interventions in Hybrid OR, where Complexity meets Safety,” organized by the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine at the Lebanese American University (LAU), with the support of the Lebanese Society of Cardiology and the Lebanese Society of Vascular Surgery, at LAU Medical Center – Rizk Hospital, to discuss innovative modern approaches to treating heart and vascular patients. The conference starts at 8:30 am.

1:00 pm Caretaker Minister of Agr
iculture, Dr. Abbas El-Hajj Hassan, visits the Agriculture Department in Akkar, at the department’s building, holding a series of meetings with department employees and farmers and visiting some potato fields.

6:00 pm Iftar for Social Welfare Institutions – Islamic Orphanage – Bekaa for men and women, at the hall of Al-Nibras Agricultural Complex at Al-Nibras Care and Development Complex – Khirbet Rouha.

Source: National news agency – Lebanon

BLINKEN RETURNS TO ISRAEL FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF TOUGH CONVERSATIONS WITH NETANYAHU AS DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS RAMP UP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel Friday as part of an intensive diplomatic push to reach a ‘sustained and immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza and deter an Israeli offensive into Rafah.

The stop in Tel Aviv caps Blinken’s sixth round of shuttle diplomacy in the region since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. He arrived in the country just before 10 a.m. local time, and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli war cabinet as the stakes around the ongoing war mount.

Blinken’s visit coincides with the resumption of talks in Doha aimed at securing a deal for a ceasefire tied to the release of the hostages held by Hamas as well as a vote at the UN on a US-sponsored Security Council resolution calling for an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in the Gaza conflict.

Relations between the Biden administration and the Netanyahu government have frayed in recent weeks, and domestic US frustrations about the war continue to mount. Partisan divides have grown on Capitol Hill, exe
mplified by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call last week for an election in Israel and Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson on Thursday stating his intention to invite Netanyahu to address Congress.

Blinken’s meetings are expected to be tense with Netanyahu vowing to carry out an Israeli military incursion into Rafah, where more than a million Gazans have been forced to flee, despite US and international criticism of such a plan.

‘Our position, which is very clear, is that a major military operation in Rafah would be a mistake, something we don’t support,’ Blinken reiterated at a press conference Thursday. ‘There is no place for the many civilians who are massed … in Rafah … to go to get out of harm’s way. And for those that would inevitably remain, it would be a humanitarian disaster.’

The matter is expected to be discussed in Blinken’s meetings in Tel Aviv, and Israeli officials will travel to Washington next week to hear the US ‘views on how to deal with the problem differently,’ he
noted Wednesday.

With ceasefire talks resuming in Doha, CIA Director Bill Burns is expected to travel to the Qatari capital to meet with counterparts from Israel, Qatar and Egypt. In recent days, Blinken voiced cautious optimism that an agreement can be reached but conceded ‘there’s still real challenges.’

Along with the work in the region, the US will put forward a United Nations Security Council resolution Friday ‘that will unequivocally support ongoing diplomatic efforts aimed at securing an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal, which would get hostages released and help enable a surge in humanitarian aid,’ said Nate Evans, the spokesperson for the US Mission to the UN.

‘This Resolution is an opportunity for the Council to speak with one voice to support the diplomacy happening on the ground and pressure Hamas to accept the deal on the table,’ Evans said.

All of these diplomatic efforts are set against the backdrop of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where ‘100% of the population … is ex
periencing severe levels of acute food insecurity,’ Blinken said.

The top US diplomat is again expected to press Israel on the urgent need for more humanitarian assistance to reach people in the war-torn strip.

‘Israel needs to do more,’ he said Thursday.

‘We’ve seen some improvement over the last couple of weeks in getting humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, but it’s not enough,’ Blinken noted.

In an interview Wednesday, Blinken called on Israel ‘to open up more access points to Gaza’ as administration officials and international aid workers repeatedly stress the need for a ‘flood’ of aid.

The most effective way to get assistance to those in need is via overland crossings, but sustained pressure from the US has failed to push the Israeli government to act beyond opening one additional crossing. Amid the ongoing Israeli government resistance earlier this month, the US announced it was turning to air drops and the US military construction of a maritime pier.–agencies

Source: National news agency –
Lebanon

ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCES IMPEDE ACCESS OF WORSHIPERS TO AL-AQSA MOSQUE ON SECOND FRIDAY OF RAMADAN

Hundreds of worshipers today were blocked by Israeli occupation forces from reaching the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem to perform the second Friday prayer of the holy month of Ramadan.

Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli forces significantly increased their military presence around checkpoints in Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, Al-Zaytouna, east of Jerusalem, and Bethlehem to the south. The forces turned back hundreds of worshipers, citing a lack of necessary entry permits.

Simultaneously, the Israeli occupation forces deployed thousands of their police officers in the alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem and the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, both of which have been under tight siege for nearly six months.

Checkpoints like Qalandia experienced relatively light traffic compared to previous years due to the restrictions imposed by the occupation authorities.–WAFA

Source: National news agency – Lebanon

AIA: TO REGULARLY UPDATE VEHICLES’ SYSTEMS FOR ROAD SAFETY AND INVESTMENT PROTECTION

The Association of Automobile Importers (AIA) reminds Lebanese consumers of the manufacturers’ guidelines. These guidelines include the regular update of the vehicles’ systems in the case of need, or when the manufacturer requires it through its official representative, or when it is communicated to the consumer via the regular communication means, and in all cases each time the vehicle undergoes maintenance or repairs. It allows to fulfill the dual objective of maintaining the vehicle and ensuring road safety.

This system update is extremely important and applies to all categories of vehicles, including hybrid and electric ones. It guarantees consumers’ safety, and allows them to maintain their vehicle’s performance at its original level. Furthermore, the update ensures the adoption of the latest improvements implemented by the manufacturer on their vehicle systems. This system update finally contributes to protecting the consumers’ investment by maintaining the condition and value of their vehicle.

In co
nclusion, the association notes that the manufacturer’s warranty includes performing these updates on a regular basis. In this regard, AIA emphasizes the need to carry out update procedures at maintenance centers affiliated with authorized dealerships exclusively. Only the latter are in capacity of representing global manufacturers, and conducting recall campaigns requested by manufacturers, and ensuring that consumers receive qualified maintenance and continuous monitoring of systems according to the latest manufacturer’s standards.

AIA brings together authorized representatives of all global automotive manufacturers in Lebanon. The association aims to raise awareness among Lebanese consumers about their rights, especially the request of a manufacturer’s warranty at the time of purchase. Since 1923, it has responsibly acted for regulating the market and importation of new vehicles in Lebanon, leveraging the experience of its member companies to serve consumers, ensuring their protection and safety while con
tributing to sector development.

Source: National news agency – Lebanon