(ISLAMABAD) — Afghanistan’s Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive Friday, promising to build their political base in the country while focusing military assaults on coalition and Afghan security forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the launch of the offensive in an email statement that boasted Taliban control over more than half of the country, referencing a February report issued by Washington’s special inspector general for Afghan reconstru...
Air passenger arrivals in the United States fell in the first quarter of the year, while arrivals in Canada and Mexico rose, according to data from travel analysis company ForwardKeys. Travelers from the Middle East and Europe were possibly deterred by uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority nations, as well as the strong dollar, it said on Wednesday. Long-haul arrivals in the U.S. dropped by 4.3% in the first quarter, ForwardKeys, which anal...
New Zealand is considering restrictions on laptops and other large electronic devices on flights from some Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, the country’s prime minister said on Monday. The new rules would follow similar measures introduced last month by the United States, Britain, and Australia. The New Zealand leader elaborated on comments made by transport minister Simon Bridges, who told Reuters in an interview in Dubai on Sunday that the country’s Civil Aviation Auth...
(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday accused Iran of ‘alarming ongoing provocations’ to destabilize countries in the Middle East as the Trump administration launched a review of its policy towards Tehran. Tillerson told reporters the review, which he announced on Tuesday, would not only look at Tehran’s compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal but also its behavior in the region which he said undermined U.S. interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Le...
Emirates, the largest international airline by passenger traffic, said on Wednesday it was cutting flights on five U.S. routes after restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration on some air travel had weakened demand. Since taking office, Trump has twice signed executive orders banning refugees and citizens from some Muslim-majority countries from visiting the United States. Although both moves were blocked by U.S. judges, some travellers have been deterred. The U.S. adm...
A civil-rights activist affiliated with Al Sharpton’s nonprofit is under fire after making racist comments about Middle Easterners. The controversy began when James Johnson, president of the Charleston, South Carolina chapter of National Action Network, held a March 29 news conference responding to video footage that shows local store employees beating a man they said tried to steal from their store. “In a 10-mile radius, we have 34 Arab or foreign stores within our community,” Johnson sai...
When Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Monday, I couldn't help thinking about how Trump's presidency increasingly resembles a Middle East autocracy. That was further reinforced when Trump said of Sisi, "We agree on so many things." On a recent work trip to the Middle East doing research for a book, I was sitting on a couch waiting to interview a top government official on his country's bilateral ties with America. Unexpectedly, the offi...
Now that relatives of the victims of the September 11th attacks have filed their lawsuit in New York, alleging that the government of Saudi Arabia and related Saudi charities gave material support to the mostly Saudi attackers, the Trump administration faces a new complication in its efforts to fashion a U.S. strategy for the volatile Middle East. But the U.S. should be wary of aligning too closely with any particular regional player. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump harshly critic...
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a threat to the House Freedom Caucus in an interview that aired Thursday, warning that if they continue to obstruct President Trump’s agenda he is liable to start cutting deals with Democrats. It’s a remarkable statement from the GOP leader, indicating he doubts the ideological commitment of the Republican President and that he has reached the limit of negotiating with the conservative wing of his conference. Ryan’s interview was followed...
Vice Media is bringing its edgy style of journalism to the Middle East to tap what it believes is an underserved market of young, digital hungry consumers. Vice announced its arrival with a party on Wednesday at the glitzy Armani Hotel in the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, the global trade hub where the New York-based company will set up its regional headquarters. Vice reckons the region’s youthful population coupled with some of the highest smartphone penetration...
Dubai’s Emaar Malls, operator of glitzy Middle East shopping centers, has made an $800 million offer for regional online retailer Souq.com, setting up a potential bidding war with Amazon.com. Emaar Malls' bid has so far not been accepted by Souq.com shareholders, the Dubai-listed firm said in a stock exchange announcement on Monday. Reuters reported last week that Amazon amzn had agreed in principle to buy Souq.com, which was founded 12 years ago by ...
President Trump has appointed his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to head the White House Office of American Innovation, designed to rework the government using inspiration from the private sector. This is quite a big task for a 36-year-old with no former governing experience. But it’s not the first one added to his portfolio. Kushner has been given a litany of tasks, from international diplomacy to daily White House operations. Here’s a look at everything Kushner has be...
Airlines are having some fun responding to the U.S. government’s ban on most electronic devices in the cabin aboard U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa. Carriers such as Royal Jordanian began implementing the ban Friday after the federal government announced a new directive this week notifying the airports that they would have to keep passengers from carrying on devices like laptops, tablets and other devices bigger than a smartphone. Officials didn&rs...
Amazon.com has agreed in principle to buy 100% of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com from its shareholders, sources familiar with the deal said on Wednesday. Souq.com, which sells consumer electronics, fashion, household items and other goods, is one of the best-known names in the Middle East’s online shopping market and lays claim on its website to being the largest e-commerce site in the Arab world. E-commerce in the Middle East is expanding quickly due to the region’s young and...
New rules banning many electronic items from passenger cabins on U.S.-bound flights will force a rethink now on fire safety concerns in consigning them to the hold, and some experts question whether the limited ban can improve passenger security. The regulations shed light on a juggling act between airline safety, where authorities worry about technical risks such as lithium-powered goods catching fire in the hold, and security measures against damage or loss of life by deliberate attacks. The r...
Britain is expected to issue similar limits on electronic devices for travelers from some airports after the United States imposed restrictions on travelers on U.S. bound flights from 10 airports in eight countries. U.S. officials briefed on the plan said there are some differences in the UK rules compared with the new American requirements, which ban passengers from taking electronic devices larger than a cellphone in hand luggage from airports in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, United Ar...
The United States is about to introduce sudden travel restrictions on flights from Middle Eastern countries, preventing passengers on certain flights from carrying laptops and other electronic devices on board with them. The news came as a surprise on Monday night and, since the Trump Administration has yet to formally announce how this will work, travelers are struggling to make sense of exactly what is going on. But based on reports, here’s what we know so far: Which flights are affected...
The Trump administration confirmed Tuesday it is imposing new restrictions on electronic devices carried by travelers coming to the United States from 10 airports mainly in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terror threats. The Department of Homeland Security will require passengers coming to the United States from airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone such as ...
The Trump Administration is banning personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone on flights to the U.S. from 10 overseas airports, the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security announced early Tuesday. The government issued an Emergency Amendment/Security Directive to affected airports and airlines at 3 a.m. Tuesday, giving them 96 hours to ensure compliance. All passenger electronics larger than a smart phone will be required to be placed in checked ba...
DEARBORN, Mich. — Zahraa Ballout isn’t “white,” and she certainly isn’t “some other race.” If the government gives her the choice of checking a new “Middle East/North Africa” box on a census form, would she? Yes, she says, despite some reservations about what it would mean to stand out after Americans elected a president who wants to ban travel from some countries in the region and has spoken favorably of registering Muslims in the U.S. ...