Hariri receives Schenker
09 Sep 2019
Lebanon - The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri received this evening at the Center House the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, accompanied by the US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, in the presence of former Minister Dr. Ghattas Khoury.
Discussions focused on the developments in Lebanon and the region, and the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Sayyid Fahd receives heads of GCC bodies responsible for financial supervision and integrity
Muscat: Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers received here on Monday the heads of the bodies responsible for financial supervision and integrity in the GCC countries taking part in the 5th meeting being hosted by the Sultanate.
Welcoming the guests, Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said reviewed the achievements of the GCC march in response to the aspirations of the Gulf leaders and peoples.
He stressed that the Sultanate, under the leadership of His Majesty the Sultan, supports the important role played by the Gulf authorities and bodies, including financial supervision and integrity bodies, which operate according to a common mechanism to keep pace with the requirements of the modern era, which is positively reflected on the countries of the region.
He also pointed to the development witnessed by the financial and administrative control system in the Sultanate and the government’s attention to this system to contribute to the overall development in the
During the meeting, they reviewed the most important aspects related to supporting and developing the supervisory authorities, upgrading their efficiency, improving the level of performance, and encouraging researches and studies, in addition to enhancing
communication between the Gulf bodies and their counterparts in other countries.
Alawi meets Swiss official
Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdallah, met on Monday Pascale Baeriswyl, state secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland in Geneva.
The meeting discussed international and regional issues, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Drug users on welfare 'to receive taxpayer funded rehab'
People on welfare who test positive to drugs could receive tens of thousands of dollars for rehab under the Morrison Government’s proposed plan. The government revealed welfare recipients who fail drug tests twice could receive up to $65,000 of taxpayer funded rehab. The government hoped the new details might sway key Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was “really puzzled by the level of opposition to the government trying to tackle the problem of drug addiction for people who aren’t in work”. “Helping them get over it with referral to proper services, and funding those services, that seems like a good plan,” he said. The government committed $10 million towards rolling out the trial in three areas across the nation.
Trump declares peace talks with Taliban are 'dead'
The US President says talks with the Taliban, which are aimed at ending an 18-year war with Afghanistan, are dead. Donald Trump cancelled secret plans to host a Taliban delegation in the US at the weekend, after the militant group admitted to killing a US soldier. The Taliban said the US would "lose the most" for cancelling talks.
UK parliament rejects early election call
September 10, 2019
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suffered another humiliating Commons defeat after his second bid for a snap general election was rejected by MPs.
Mr Johnson said he wanted to head to the polls next month to break the political deadlock, as he accused opposition parties of making "outrageous excuses" to delay.
But Labour and other opposition MPs refused to back the bid - which needed a two-thirds majority in the Commons - while the risk of a no-deal remained.
MPs voted 293 to 46, short of the 434 needed - marking the new prime minister's sixth Commons defeat.
Mr Johnson said Jeremy Corbyn had become the first leader of the opposition in the country's history to "show his confidence" in the government "by declining the opportunity to have an election with a view to removing the government".
NSW firefighters on high alert
Firefighters in New South Wales remain on high alert, despite the downgrading of a fast-moving bushfire burning in the north of the state. Several blazes are burning out of control, but the immediate threat has eased for Shark Creek, north of Coffs Harbour. The blaze has burnt through nearly 8,000 hectares and there are concerns a wind change could push the fire towards Yamba on Tuesday. Crews are also honing their resources on blazes at Drake near Tenterfield and Bees Nest near Armidale — fires which have been burning for days.
ALMOST $50M for Emergency Drought Initiatives in New England Region
10 September 2019
The Liberals & Nationals Government is investing close to $50 million for water initiatives to help drought-affected communities in the New England region.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey, Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson, announced the investment would go to communities facing water shortages and water restrictions in the New England area.
Ms Pavey said the NSW Government has now invested over $130 million in water infrastructure projects since the beginning of the drought, including the allocation of $5.3 million in emergency funding to construct temporary weirs on the Peel River and pre-construction planning for a pipeline from Chaffey Dam.
“More than 50,000 people rely on the town water supply in Tamworth and they have been doing it particularly tough during this drought,” Ms Pavey said.
The package includes:
• Almost $39 million to deliver long-term water security solutions at Tamworth; This involves WaterNSW constructing a pipeline from Chaffey Dam to the existing Dungowan to Tamworth pipeline to help protect the city against future droughts;
• $3.5 million for WaterNSW to accelerate detailed option analysis to secure town water for the Upper Namoi including the communities of Barraba and Manilla.
• $1.45 million for off-stream storage infrastructure at Tamworth Regional Council’s Calala water treatment plant. This new 120ML storage will assist Council effectively and efficiently manage water supplied from the Peel River and through the pipeline from Dungowan Dam. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2020;
• $1.5 million for the detailed planning for Walcha’s long term security and to immediately construct infrastructure including pipeline to connect the town water supplies with an existing off-river storage. This infrastructure is also the Phase 1 of the longer term plan to build a new town water dam, as an off-river storage.
Mr Anderson said the Macdonald River had ceased flowing nine times in the past year and the small size of the current off-stream water storage meant Walcha residents were currently experiencing level 4 water restrictions.
Morrison 'not a role model' for NZ oppn
September 10, 2019
New Zealand opposition leader Simon Bridges has blundered on foreign affairs, describing Australian prime minister Scott Morrison as a friend but "not a role model".
Mr Bridges, who leads the conservative National party, returned to Wellington on Tuesday after a 12-day trip to India and China.
Back at parliament, he wasted no time continuing his attacks on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, taking aim at the Kiwi leader's pursuit of an international agreement to end extremist content online.
Unfortunately for Mr Bridges, that's also a major policy aim of Mr Morrison's government.
UK's Speaker John Bercow to step down
September 10, 2019
Britain's House of Commons Speaker John Bercow says he will step down by the end of next month after a decade in the job.
Bercow has told MPs that if parliament votes on Monday in favour of an early election, he will quit before the campaign.
If they don't, as is more likely, he will quit on October 31 - the day Britain is due to leave the EU.
He says he will quit both as Speaker and as a Member of Parliament.
"At the 2017 election, I promised my wife and children that it would be my last," Bercow told the House of Commons as his wife Sally looked on from the gallery.
Extremist attacks kill 29 in Burkina Faso
September 10, 2019
Suspected extremists have carried out two attacks in Burkina Faso, killing a total of 29 people in the West African nation, the government says.
The Ministry of Communications says one attack on Sunday on the Dablo-Delbo road killed at least 14 civilians.
The ministry said another 15 people were killed when a truck hit an explosive device on the road between Barsalogho and Guendbila in Sanmatenga province. Six people were injured in that explosion.
The ministry said on Monday the attacks come when "significant security efforts are under way in this region".
Burkina Faso is part of a five-nation regional force against extremism, known as the G5 Sahel.
Parramatta aquatic leisure centre design revealed
10 September 2019
City of Parramatta Council has revealed the concept design for the new aquatic and leisure centre, following an announcement that the State Government and Council will co-fund the project.
The winning design for the aquatic centre – by Andrew Burges Architects, Grimshaw Architects, and McGregor Coxall – was chosen from a shortlist of four exceptional entries following a high-calibre international Design Excellence Competition.
“Congratulations to the consortium on their successful submission. I’m excited to see this project progressing and I look forward to working to ensure this first-class facility is delivered for the Parramatta community as soon as possible,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said.
“I’d also like to thank Mr Sidoti and the State Government for their valuable contribution to this significant project – an aquatic centre that meets the current and future needs of our rapidly growing population.
“The aquatic and leisure centre offers a rare opportunity to consider a new form of social space for Parramatta, the simple joys of swimming and playing, and gathering with family and friends.