Qatar ruler reshuffles cabinet

DOHA, Qatar Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on Tuesday ordered a cabinet reshuffle that included the creation of an environment and climate change ministry.The lineup saw the appointment of Ali bin Ahmad Al Kawari as finance minister, a role he held in an acting capacity since May.Two women were appointed to lead the ministries of education and social development, joining Health Minister Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, who had been the only woman in the cabinet.Lieutenant General Salem bin Hamad was also appointed chief of staff of the armed forces, replacing Ghanem bin Shaheen Al-Ghanim, who was given the ministry of endowments.The cabinet reshuffle also saw the appointment of Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani as minister of environment and climate change, while there was no change in the foreign affairs, defense, health and justice portfolios.Prime Minister Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz retained the interior ministry in reshuffle, which came more than two weeks after the country’s first legislative elections.* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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Haitian gang asking for $17M for kidnapped US missionaries: report

WASHINGTONThe gang that kidnapped a group of American and Canadian Christian missionaries in Haiti last weekend is demanding a $17 million ransom, according to a report.The Wall Street Journal, citing Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Quitel, reported Monday that $1 million is being asked per person in the group.Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries confirmed Sunday the kidnapping of 17 missionaries by a Haitian gang while they were visiting an orphanage Saturday. The group includes 16 US citizens and one Canadian national. Five are children.Haitian officials identified the group responsibly for the abductions as the 400 Mawozo gang, which is based in the capital, Port-au-Prince.The White House confirmed on Monday that the FBI is actively working to rescue the missionaries.”We are trying to get them released without paying any ransom,” Quitel told the Journal and said when the ransom is paid, “the money is going to be used for more guns and more munitions.”Quitel said the same group abducted a group of Catholic priests and nuns in April and authorities are seeking a similar outcome to what followed that abduction.The group freed five priests, two nuns and three of their relatives at the end of the month and ransom was paid for two priests, said Quitel.”That would be the best outcome,” he said.

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S&P 500, Nasdaq open higher to continue rally

ANKARA The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq opened higher in the US on Tuesday, poised to extend their winning streaks to a fifth consecutive day.The S&P 500 was up 16 points, or 0.37%, to 4,503 at 9.33 a.m. EDT, while Tesla’s stock price increased 0.45%.The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 39 points, or 0.26%, to 15,061 with Coinbase and Alibaba each adding more than 3%.The Dow Jones rose 133 points, or 0.38%, to 35,390 despite the blue-chip index closing lower Monday, ending a three-day winning streak. Investment banking majors Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan were up around 0.4% apiece.Despite ending the previous session higher, the VIX volatility index, known as the fear index, was down by 1.1% to 16.13.The dollar index fell 0.3% to 93.70, while the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes rose 1.6% to 1.609%.Oil prices were down for the second day in a row — shedding 0.55%. International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $83.87 and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $81.25.Precious metals reversed course with gold rising 0.74% to $1,778 per ounce and silver adding 3.5% to $24.01.After hitting $60,000 on Friday for the first time in six months since April 18, the price of Bitcoin was trading around $62,900, a 1.7% gain.US-based ProShares, which provides specialized exchange-traded products, announced Monday that it plans to launch the much-anticipated first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Its ticker is BITO.BITO was up 3.2% at 9.47 a.m. EDT.”BITO will offer investors an opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin returns conveniently, through a brokerage account. BITO can be bought and sold like a stock and eliminates the need for an account at a cryptocurrency exchange and for a crypto wallet,” the company said in a statement.ETFs, which are similar to mutual funds, are types of investment funds that can be traded on stock exchanges, and they can hold assets such as stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities.

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Israeli Scuba Diver Discovers Ancient Crusader Sword

Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, holds a yard-long sword, that experts say dates back to the Crusaders, in the Mediterranean seaport of Cesarea, Israel, on Oct. 19, 2021. (Ariel Schalit/AP Photo)
JERUSALEM—An Israeli scuba diver has salvaged an ancient sword off the country’s Mediterranean coast that experts say dates back to the Crusaders.
Israel’s Antiquities Authority said Monday the man was on a weekend dive in northern Israel when he spotted a trove of ancient artifacts that included anchors, pottery, and a yard-long sword.
The diver was about 170 yards off the coast in 5.5-yard-deep water when he made the discovery.
Experts say the area provided shelter for ancient ships and is home to many archaeological treasures, some dating back 4,000 years. But such discoveries can be elusive because of the constantly shifting sands.
Fearing his discovery might be buried, the diver took the sword ashore and delivered it to government experts, the authority said. The weapon is estimated to be 900 years old.
“It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but is apparently made of iron,” said Nir Distelfeld, an inspector in the authority’s robbery prevention unit. “It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor, and swords.”
The sword is to be cleaned and further analyzed, while the diver, identified as Shlomi Katzin, was given a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.

The Associated Press
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Poland rejects EU’s 'threatening language, blackmailing'

BRUSSELS Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday strongly reacted to the EU Commission president’s criticism of Poland’s rule of law, saying that the threatening language was uncalled for and that the country cannot be bullied by EU politicians.Morawiecki spoke during the European Parliament’s Plenary Session on “The Crisis of the Rule of Law in Poland and the Rule of EU Law.”A new issue of contention has emerged within the union with the ruling of Poland’s Constitutional Court on Oct. 7, which said the country’s national laws take precedence over some EU legislation.The prime minister reacted to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen decrying the Polish Constitutional Court’s decision to count Article 7 of the EU agreement, which provides for financial punishment and suspension of the member state’s rights by not using EU funds among the EU’s options.”I reject the threatening language. I will not allow the EU politicians to blackmail Poland. Blackmail should not be a method in policies aimed at a member state,” he stated.Responding to criticism of the rule of law for Poland, Morawiecki stressed that the EU is the most successful international union in history, but it is not “a state” and the states within the EU have sovereign rights.”I see that the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Poland has become an object of misunderstanding,” Morawiecki said, noting that EU law is superior to national law “in some areas.””The supreme law of Poland is the constitution. Our Constitution comes on top of all kinds of laws and the principle is protected by the Polish government.The Constitutional Court of Poland has never ruled that the terms of the EU agreements are irreconcilable with Polish law. On the contrary, Poland complies with EU agreements,” he stressed.”Lies such as Poland leaving the EU, and Polexit should not be spread,” Morawiecki said, arguing that comparable decisions have been made in other EU countries such as Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, and Spain.”We never agree to receive instructions from member states or to have something dictated to. There are similarities and differences between us. If we are going to cooperate, we need to accept that there are such differences.The EU will not collapse just because our legal systems are different. We’ve been going on like this for decades. Perhaps in the future, we will harmonize our legal systems, but for this to happen, sovereign decisions of sovereign states are necessary,” he continued.He noted that his country fought for European freedom, and they protected Paris and Berlin from Soviet attacks in 1920. They fought against Nazi Germany in 1939, and that in 1981 the anti-totalitarian communist movement in Poland was the only hope, he added.Expressing that Poland “did not come empty-handed” when joining the EU, Morawiecki noted that Poland, along with Lithuania and Latvia, protects the EU’s eastern borders, that his country brought economic gains to the EU, and the majority of Poles supported EU membership.EU’s options against PolandSpeaking before Morawiecki, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said they have been worried about the rule of law in Poland for some time, and that the Constitutional Court’s recent ruling has made matters worse.Noting that the EU Commission is currently considering the decision of Poland’s Constitutional Court of Poland, von der Leyen said: “This decision has caused the foundations of the EU to be questioned. This decision is a direct test of the unity of the legal order of the EU.”She said it was the first time a member state court had ruled that EU treaties were incompatible with the national constitution, adding that the EU Commission has several options as a result of its assessment.Von der Leyen outlined these options are to start the EU’s legal process against Poland, not to allow it to utilize the funds, and to start the process under Article 7 of the EU agreements, which allows for the suspension of a member state’s rights.”We will not allow our common values to be compromised,” she stated and added, “I am deeply saddened to find ourselves in such a situation. I have always advocated and will defend dialogue. This is a situation that needs to be resolved and can be resolved. We want a strong Poland in a united Europe.”Warsaw-Brussels tensionA new tension has arisen with the decision of Poland’s Constitutional Court on Oct. 7, after the rule of law discussions that have been ongoing for some time between Warsaw and Brussels.The court announced its decision that the country’s national laws precede some EU laws.”The efforts of the European Court of Justice to intervene in the Polish justice system violate the principle of the rule of law, the principle of the supremacy of the Polish constitution, as well as the principle of the protection of sovereignty in the process of European integration,” the court’s decision read.Poland’s practices on issues such as the rule of law, freedom of the press, and judicial independence have been criticized within the EU in recent years.According to the EU Commission’s “Rule of Law 2021” study, Poland’s judiciary’s independence is under assault, which is a cause for concern.The European Court of Justice also criticizes the disciplinary committee set up against judges in the Polish Supreme Court and the method of their appointment.* Writing by Merve Berker

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Tesco Launches First Checkout-Free High Street Store

Tesco is launching its first checkout-free high street store where shoppers can pick up their groceries and leave without the need for a till.
It is the latest retail giant to open a store where checkouts are replaced by high-tech cameras designed to track the items shoppers place in their baskets.
The firm’s high street store trial, which it has called GetGo, launches in High Holborn in London on Tuesday.
Amazon launched its first Amazon Go grocery shop in the UK in February, before expanding to five more sites, while Aldi opened its own till-free shop last month.
Tesco had already been testing its “frictionless” technology at a trial site within the supermarket group’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City since 2019.
The retailer said the technology had now been lifted from the trial site after a lengthy period of testing and improvements.
To use the store, shoppers will need to use the Tesco.com app, scanning in as they enter the store.
They will then pick up the items they wish to buy and walk straight out of the store, receiving a receipt and being charged for the products once they have left.
It will register the items people pick up using cameras as well as weight sensors to recognize when items are taken off shelves.
The new model of shopping is taking place in a Tesco Express it launched as a cashless store in 2018.
It stressed that the move away from cashiers will not reduce the number of staff employed in stores, with the High Holborn site continuing to employ 22 workers, which it says is in line with other convenience stores.
There is also a section in the store specifically for age-restricted products, with a separate exit where staff will check ID.
Kevin Tindall, managing director of Tesco Convenience, said: “This is a really exciting moment for Tesco as we launch GetGo with customers.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the shopping experience and our latest innovation offers a seamless checkout for customers on the go, helping them to save a bit more time.
“This is currently just a one-store trial, but we’re looking forward to seeing how our customers respond.”
By Henry Saker-Clark

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Russia says not considering to recognize Taliban

MOSCOW Russia is not considering recognizing the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the country’s foreign minister reiterated on Tuesday.Speaking at a news conference in Sochi, Sergey Lavrov said Moscow is in contact with the Taliban and encourages them to fulfill their commitments, including forming an inclusive government.”Russia has already stated its position on the Taliban: we are in contact with them, and we encourage them to carry out the statements they made when they came to power, including ensuring the inclusiveness of the government not only by ethnic but also by political principle so that the whole spectrum of political beliefs of society is reflected in the composition of the government. Official recognition has not been discussed, and this has been publicly stated,” he said.Lavrov had made similar remarks at the UN in September, saying: “The question of international recognition of the Taliban at the present juncture is not on the table.”A Moscow format meeting on Afghanistan is scheduled on Wednesday, which, according to the Foreign Ministry, will focus on the developing political and military situation in the country.Participants of the talks – representatives of 10 countries and the Taliban – plan to make a joint statement after the session, it added.Separately, a Kremlin statement said President Vladimir Putin discussed Afghanistan and other matters in a telephone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

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Report says UK has 'institutional failings' in child sex abuse probe

LONDON A new report published on Tuesday found “institutional failings” in the UK to seriously investigate claims of child sex abuse against the now-deceased Labour peer Lord Janner.The report was carried out by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Its aim was not to determine whether Janner was innocent or guilty, but rather to examine the handling of complaints against him.The report was scathing and found that Leicestershire police committed a “serious and inexcusable failure” to investigate properly the allegations against Janner.The report particularly criticized a decision by the Leicestershire police not to pass on statements by two anonymous witnesses, called JA-A19 and JA-A6, onto the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2002.The report said there was a “culture of disbelief” at the Leicestershire police during that period, and that the failure to pass on the statements to the CPS could have been due to “complacency, incompetence or undue deference to a prominent public figure.”Prof. Alexis Jay, the inquiry’s chair, said the original police investigation “insufficiently investigated JA-A19 and JA-A6’s complaints. The police were too quick to dismiss JA-A19 as someone who lacked credibility and put too little emphasis on looking for evidence that might support his allegations. JA-A6’s complaint was shut down without any proper investigations being carried out. The decision not to submit JA-A19 and JA-A6’s statements about Lord Janner to the Crown Prosecution Service was a significant and unjustifiable failing.”The report also condemned Leicestershire country council saying its staff were aware and had concerns about Janner’s association with a child in its care, “such that further inquiries about the nature of the association were necessary.”Janner was not initially arrested, and the panel said further inquiries should have been made as to whether he should have been arrested.Janner was eventually charged in 2015 with 22 offenses of indecent assault and buggery relating to nine separate complainants, concerning events that took place between the 1960s and 1980s, against children aged between eight and 16.He died later in 2015, which closed the criminal case against him.Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police Simon Cole said: “On behalf of Leicestershire Police, firstly, I would like to reiterate the wholehearted apology I gave in February 2020 to any complainant whose allegations during earlier police investigations into Lord Janner were not responded to as they should have been.”It is fair and correct to say that the allegations could and should have been investigated more thoroughly, and Lord Janner could and should have faced prosecution earlier than 2015.”

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Turkish machinery exports hit $17B in year's first 9 months

ISTANBUL Turkey’s machinery exports totaled $17 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to figures released by a sectoral association on Tuesday.The industry’s exports rose 30.2% year-on-year in January-September, climbing 18.8% versus the same period in 2019 — before the coronavirus pandemic struck — the Machinery Exporters’ Association said in a press release.The sector is expected to close this year with an export figure of $23 billion, said the press release.Noting that global trade had increased on a value basis due to inflation, Kutlu Karavelioglu, the head of the association, stressed: “We are on the brink of a world that will become more and more expensive.”Had the costs of limiting carbon emissions been shouldered on time without the problems accumulating, the world would not be under such an uncertain burden today, Karavelioglu said.He added that the effort towards sustainability would increase costs at levels of the production chain, causing significant rises in product prices.”We see it as an important advantage that Turkey has increased its renewable energy resources to over 50%,” said Karavelioglu.The Turkish machinery sector has no any reservations on complying with the EU’s carbon emission goals but expects government support that its competitors will receive in other countries, he added.​​​​​​​

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Russian defense minister, Iranian military chief meet in Moscow

MOSCOWRussian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu met Mohammad-Hossein Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, in Moscow on Tuesday.Opening the meeting, Shoygu praised Russian-Iranian military cooperation, saying, “the relations are developing very dynamically and have a multifaceted nature.””We are ready to continue to make every effort to maintain the pace of development of our relations,” he said.Russia and Iran, Shoygu said, “are actively countering international terrorism” in Syria and the two countries could expand this cooperation to other regions, including to Afghanistan.”We certainly have things to discuss to work in this direction. Today I propose to consider the most significant issues of Russian-Iranian cooperation in the military field,” he said.

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UK secures $13.4B in foreign direct investment: Johnson

LONDONThe United Kingdom has secured £9.7 billion ($13.4 billion) in foreign investments, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, as he opened the Global Investment Summit in London.Johnson welcomed almost 200 business leaders to the summit, which is being held at the Science Museum. The investments will create at least 30,000 jobs in Britain.Speaking ahead of the summit, Johnson said: “The world’s top investors have seen the massive potential in the UK for growth and innovation in the industries of the future.“The fantastic £9.7bn of new investment we have secured today will power our economic recovery, creating thousands of jobs and helping to level up across the country.“This is just the start. We will see new partnerships for green growth forged at today’s Global Investment Summit, as we look ahead to COP26 and beyond.”The summit comes two weeks before COP26 in Glasgow, and the British government wants to use the Global Investment Summit to highlight green investment opportunities in Britain, as well as enhance the private sector’s role in reducing carbon emissions.Bill Gates attended the summit, and took part in a panel discussion with Johnson about the global transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and the role of business in tackling the climate crisis. On Monday, Gates also attended a dinner in 10 Downing Street alongside Johnson, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and over a dozen other business leaders.The £9.7 billion investment is comprised of 18 deals covering everything from wind and hydrogen power to carbon capture. £6 billion ($8.3 billion) alone is a Spanish energy company’s investment in offshore wind in Britain.The summit is being backed by the Queen, and both the Royal Family and herself hosted a reception at Windsor on Tuesday for delegates to the summit.ChinaJohnson also spoke to Bloomberg ahead of the summit about Chinese investment in the British economy, considering recent strains on the Sino-British relationship due to repression in Hong Kong and against the Uyghurs.”I’m not going to tell you the UK government is going to pitchfork away every overture from China,” he told Bloomberg.”China is a gigantic part of our economic life and will be for a long time – for our lifetime. But that does not mean that we should be naive in the way we look at our critical natural infrastructure – you mention nuclear power, you mention 5G technology – those are all legitimate concerns for any government.”We should be cautious about how we handle our CNI (Critical National Infrastructure) and about how we handle FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) from China… That is why we have brought in some of the legislation that we have.””I am no Sino-phobe, very far from it. China is a great country, a great civilisation,” he added.”In spite of all the difficulties, in spite of all the difficult conversations about the Dalai Lama or Hong Kong or the Uighurs – where we will continue to stick to our views – trade with China has continued to expand for a very long time.”

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