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Found 36 results

  1. Saudi security guards monitor screens at the National Center for Security Operations in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem/Files LONDON/RIYADH: Saudi Arabian security officials said Monday the country had been targeted as part of a wide-ranging cyber espionage campaign observed since February against five Middle East nations as well as several countries outside the region. The Saudi government?s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) said in a statement the kingdom had been hit by a hacking campaign bearing the technical hallmarks of an attack group dubbed ?MuddyWater? by US cyber firm Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto?s Unit 42 threat research unit published a report last Friday showing how a string of connected attacks this year used decoy documents with official-looking government logos to lure unsuspecting users from targeted organizations to download infected documents and compromise their computer networks. Documents pretending to be from the US National Security Agency, Iraqi intelligence, Russian security firm Kaspersky, and the Kurdistan regional government were among those used to trick victims, Unit 42 said in a blog post. The Unit 42 researchers said the attacks had targeted organizations in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Israel, as well as entities outside the Middle East in Georgia, India, Pakistan, and the United States. The Saudi security agency said in its own statement that the attacks sought to steal data from computers using email phishing techniques targeting the credentials of specific users. The NCSC said they also comprised so-called ?watering hole? attacks, which seek to trick users to click on infected web links to seize control of their machines. The technical indicators supplied by Unit 42 are the same as those described by the NCSC as being involved in attacks against Saudi Arabia. The NCSC said the attacks appeared to be by an ?advanced persistent threat? (APT) group ? cyber jargon typically used to describe state-backed espionage. Saudi Arabia has been the target of frequent cyber attacks, including the ?Shamoon? virus, which cripples computers by wiping their disks and has hit both government ministries and petrochemical firms. Saudi Aramco ? the world?s largest oil company ? was hit by an early version of the ?Shamoon? virus in 2012, in the country?s worst cyber attack to date. The NCSC declined further comment on the source of the attack or on which organizations or agencies were targeted. Unit 42 said it was unable to identify the attack group or its aims and did not have enough data to conclude that the MuddyWater group was behind the Saudi attacks as outlined by NCSC. ?We cannot confirm that the NCSC posting and our MuddyWater research are in fact related,? Christopher Budd, a Unit 42 manager told Reuters. ?There?s just not enough information to make that connection with an appropriate level of certainty.? Palo Alto Networks said the files it had uncovered were almost identical to information-stealing documents disguised as Microsoft Word files and found to be targeting the Saudi government by security firm Malwarebytes in a September report.
  2. French President Emmanuel Macron looks on during a meeting at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, November 20, 2017. AFP/Pool/Michel Euler PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Monday the choice of Paris as the new home of the European Banking Authority (EBA) following Britain's withdrawal from the EU in March 2019. "Paris will welcome the European Banking Authority! It is recognition of the attractiveness and the European commitment to France," Macron tweeted. "Happy and proud for our country," he added.
  3. SANAA: The Saudi-led military coalition carried out two air strikes on the defence ministry in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa late Friday, witnesses said. Warplanes continued to circle in the skies above Sanaa after the strikes, witnesses said. The Huthi rebel media outlet Al-Masirah also reported the two air strikes.
  4. SANAA: The Saudi-led military coalition carried out two air strikes on the defence ministry in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa late Friday, witnesses said. Warplanes continued to circle in the skies above Sanaa after the strikes, witnesses said. The Huthi rebel media outlet Al-Masirah also reported the two air strikes.
  5. Muhammad Ilyas - Photo ISPR A Pakistani sepoy Muhammad Ilyas was martyred during an exchange of fire with terrorists in Khyber Agency. According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release, terrorists opened fire at multiple places at the newly established Pakistani posts in Rajgal Valley, exploiting the absence of any control in Afghan border areas. The ISPR added that the Pakistan Army responded effectively and there were reports of five terrorists killed and four injured.
  6. The death of the teenager in a Chinese hospital on Friday has shone a light on the murky world of western models in China SHANGHAI: The Chinese agency representing a 14-year-old Russian model who died after taking part in Shanghai Fashion Week has denied allegations that she was overworked and exhausted. The death of the teenager in a Chinese hospital on Friday has shone a light on the murky world of western models in China, many of whom are from the former Soviet Union. Vlada Dzyuba began feeling dizzy and started being sick last Tuesday and was taken to a Shanghai hospital the next day, but died on Friday after her condition quickly deteriorated. English-language The Siberian Times alleged that Dzyuba died of meningitis compounded by severe exhaustion. "We feel sorry that we lost an angel," ESEE Model Management in Shanghai said in a statement on Weibo, China´s equivalent of Twitter, pointing out that Shanghai Fashion Week ended on October 18 but she fell ill six days later. ESEE´s chief executive Zheng Yi separately told the state Global Times that she had worked a legal eight hours a day during her two months in China before her death. "Dzyuba had 16 different jobs during her two-month stay in China, she had regular breaks while working," Zheng told the newspaper on Sunday. "Most of her work was completed within eight hours. Her workload was moderate compared with other models." After the Shanghai event Dzyuba travelled to Yiwu, a city south of Shanghai, but a model shoot was cancelled because she began feeling unwell and she returned to Shanghai. Dzyuba´s tender age -- she was to turn 15 on November 8 -- also highlights a piece of Chinese law that says children under 16 can be employed in certain industries with official permission. There was no immediate reply from Shanghai Fashion Week or Russian officials in China. However, the Global Times quoted a representative for the event saying it was investigating and cited a medical report saying that she had septicopyemia, a type of blood poisoning.
  7. file photo KHYBER AGENCY: Two terrorists from across the border were killed on Sunday in a shootout with the Aman lashkar (peace force) in Khyber Agency?s Zakha Khel. According to security sources, the terrorists from across the border attacked checkposts of Aman lashkar. Due to retaliatory fire, two terrorists died and others fled. Sources said that the terrorists attacked through mortar shells and rocket launcher. The bodies of the terrorists are in the possession of the Aman lashkar.
  8. PESHAWAR: At least seven people were killed and six others injured when a roof caved in at a house in Bajaur Agency on Monday, Geo News reported. According to Levies force personnel, the incident took place early morning when the high wall of a house in Khar collapsed onto the roof of surrounding houses, killing seven and injuring six others, including women and children. Locals came to the rescue of the injured and moved them to Khar Headquarter Hospital.
  9. Pakistani security officials in the border areas. Photo: AFP/File KURRAM: Three landmine explosions in Kurram Agency resulted in the deaths of three security personnel. Officials of the political administration in Kurram Agency said the explosions, caused by landmines, occurred in the border town of Kharlachi as the Frontier Corps troops were on a patrol. Bodies of the martyred officials and the injured were taken to a hospital in the agency's headquarters, Parachinar. A search operation was launched by security forces after the incident. Four security officials injured in roadside blast in Kurram Agency The officials were on routine patrol near the Afghan border when the incident occurred On September 27 this year, four security personnel were injured when two roadside bombs exploded near their vehicle close to the Afghan border in Kurram Agency. Officials of the political administration said the incident occurred in Shorki, Lower Kurram. Kurram Agency borders three provinces of Afghanistan and witnesses several cross-border attacks.
  10. RAWALPINDI: A soldier of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom after terrorists fired from across the Afghan border on an Army border post, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations said on Tuesday. The incident occurred at the recently cleared area around Mustil pass, an important passage from Afghanistan into Rajgal, in Khyber Agency. The martyred soldier was identified by ISPR as Naib Subedar Azher Ali, whose funeral prayers will be offered at Peshawar Garrison. Deceased has been identified as naib subedar Azher Ali. Photo: ISPR The "jasde khaki of shaheed will be taken to his native town where shaheed will be laid to rest with full military honour," said the Pakistan Army's media cell. On September 23, a 22-year-old soldier of the Pakistan Army, Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, was martyred during firing by terrorists from across the border in Rajgal, Khyber Agency, according to ISPR. Terrorists fired from across the border on the newly established Pakistani border post in Rajgal, martyring Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, who was commanding the post when he got hit, the ISPR had said. On Sunday, the army chief discussed regional security, among other issues, with President Ashraf Ghani during his day-long visit to Kabul. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said both sides reviewed the prevailing security environment in the region and the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The army chief offered Pakistan?s complete support in achieving shared interests in the war against terrorism, including training and capacity building of the Afghan security forces.
  11. Nahakki Tunnel on the Ghalanai-Mamad Gat Road. Photo: Twitter/Government of Pakistan GHALANAI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) inaugurated Ghalanai-Mohmand Gat road and Nahakki tunnel, Mohmand Agency, on Wednesday, according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). In the first phase of the project, 14 kilometres of the 41-km road has been completed, while work on remaining portion is in progress. The completed project besides facilitating locals/interagency travellers, trade also is a potential trade route with Afghanistan through Nawa pass. The project is being undertaken by Frontier Works Organization. COAS appreciated professional undertaking and quality of work done by the FWO. Speaking at the occasion, COAS thanked local tribesmen for their great support to Pakistan Army in getting rid of terrorists. He said the development projects are the actual prong towards achieving enduring peace and stability. Tribal elders thanked COAS for the provision of security and ongoing development projects. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zaffar Jhagra, Commander Peshawar Corps, and director general FWO were also present at the occasion. COAS inaugurated Army Public School and College (APS&C) at Kanju Garrison, Swat Cantt on Wednesday. Photo: ISPR Earlier in the day, COAS had visited Swat and inaugurated Army Public School and College (APS&C) at Kanju Garrison, Swat Cantt. "A state of the art infrastructure with a present capacity of 3,600 students, computer and science labs, auditorium, and sports stadium is a gift from Pakistan Army for resilient people of Swat in recognition of their contributions and sacrifices in defeating terrorism," the press statement by Army's media cell had stated.
  12. Photo: File KURRAM: Four personnel were injured on Wednesday when two roadside bombs exploded near a security forces vehicle close to the Afghan border in Kurram Agency. Officials of the political administration said the incident occurred in Shorki, Lower Kurram. Four security forces personnel were injured and their vehicle badly damaged as a result of the blasts caused by landmines, said officials. The vehicle was said to be on routine patrol near the Afghan border when the incident occurred.
  13. SYDNEY: Australia on Monday committed to creating a national space agency as it looks to cash in on the lucrative $420 billion and fast-evolving astronautical sector. The announcement came at a week-long Adelaide space conference attended by the world´s top scientists and experts including SpaceX chief Elon Musk. It brings Canberra -- which already has significant involvement in national and international space activities -- into line with most other developed nations, which already have dedicated agencies to help coordinate the industry and shape development. "The global space industry is growing rapidly and it´s crucial that Australia is part of this growth," acting science minister Michaelia Cash said in statement. "A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry." According to the government, the global space sector -- encompassing innovation, defence, and telecommunications -- has been growing annually since the late 1990s at almost 10 percent, driving revenue each year of US$323 billion. Thousands of the world´s top scientists and space experts are attending the week-long International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide. SpaceX chief Musk is set to give an update on his ambitious vision of establishing a Mars colony. Also among those presenting is defence giant Lockheed Martin, which is working with NASA on plans to reach the Red Planet. Lee Spitler, from Macquarie University´s astronomy department in Sydney, said Australia´s space industry currently operated "as a grassroots movement across a small number of companies, university groups and the defence sector". "It will help bring to the forefront all the great work that has been going on in Australia in the space sector, and increase the potential for our country to play a key role in the international space scene in the future," said Spitler. Australia´s commitment to an agency follows the government in July ordering a review of the country´s space industry capability, with a fuller strategy to underpin the work of the new body to be unveiled next year. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Australia launching its first satellite, the only country at the time to achieve the feat after the United States and Russia. It has played a vital part in many space missions in the decades since then, with its Deep Space Communication Complex outside Canberra one of only three sites in the world capable of tracking NASA´s deep space assets. Australian National University´s Penny King, who worked on the Mars "Curiosity Rover", mission, said the agency would improve opportunities for local scientists. "Australians will be on the world stage, asking questions such as: How can we best care for Earth? How should we look for life beyond Earth? Where should we go?," she said.
  14. Lieutenant Arsalan Alam shaheed RAWALPINDI: An officer of Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom during firing by terrorists from across the border in Rajgal, Khyber Agency, a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Saturday. Terrorists fired from across the border on the newly established Pakistani border post in Rajgal, martyring Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, who was commanding the post when he got hit, the ISPR said. Lieutenant Arsalan Alam was 22 years old, the statement said.
  15. ISLAMABAD: A suspected US drone strike on Friday killed three militants in one of Pakistan´s federally administered areas near its border with Afghanistan, a senior regional official said. Baseer Khan Wazir, the most senior administrator in the Kurram Agency region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), said the drone strike took place close to the border with Afghanistan. "Two missiles were dropped on the home of Maulvi Mohib and three people have been killed," Wazir said. US drone attacks inside Pakistan have become rare over the past few years. In its last high-profile attack inside Pakistan, the United States last May killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in the southwestern province of Balochistan.
  16. Rocket launchers and Kalashnikov rifles were among ammo recovered during police operation PESHAWAR: At least 86 suspects were rounded up and heavy ammunition recovered during a police search operation in Khyber Agency area of FATA late Thursday night, police officials said. According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Peshawar Sajjad Khan, police seized 27 rocket launchers, 24 rockets, 16 Kalashnikov rifles during the operation. 16 hand grenades, 28 pistols and nine other rifles were also recovered during the operation, the SSP said.
  17. MOHMAND AGENCY: A man and his son were among the three people who died when a mine exploded in the Shati Maina area of Tehsil Ambar, political administration said. Two others were injured in the explosion and were shifted to Bajaur hospital, the political administration said. In February, at least five people, including three security forces personnel were martyred, while many others were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself at the main gate of Mohmand Agency headquarters, Ghallanai. The Inter-Services Public Relations had said that two suicide bombers were on a motorbike. One blew himself up while the other was killed by firing of security forces. A school teacher and a passerby where also killed in the suicide attack.
  18. BAJAUR AGENCY: At least two people were killed and 25 injured in a remote-controlled bomb blast which hit the town of Nawagai in Bajaur Agency of FATA on Friday, Geo News reported. The blast occurred in Chahrmang area of Nawagai, sources said. The injured were being taken to Agency Headquarter Hospital at the time of filing of this report. Security forces cordoned off the site of the incident and started a search operation in the area, sources added. This is a developing story
  19. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow, Russia, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kommersant Photo/Yury Martyanov MOSCOW: The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 US presidential election counted Russia's FSB security service among her clients for years, Russian court documents seen by Reuters show. The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB's interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in north-west Moscow between 2005 and 2013. The FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB service, was headed by Vladimir Putin before he became Russian president. There is no suggestion that Veselnitskaya is an employee of the Russian government or intelligence services, and she has denied having anything to do with the Kremlin. But the fact she represented the FSB in a court case may raise questions among some US politicians. The Obama administration last year sanctioned the FSB for what it said was its role in hacking the election, something Russia flatly denies. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has raised concerns about why Veselnitskaya gained entry into the United States. Veselnitskaya represented a Russian client accused by US prosecutors of money laundering in a case that was settled in May this year after four years. Veselnitskaya did not reply to emailed Reuters questions about her work for the FSB. But she later posted a link to it on her Facebook page on Friday. "Is it all your proof? You disappointed me," she wrote in a post. "Dig in court databases again! You'll be surprised to find among my clients Russian businessmen... as well as citizens and companies that had to defend themselves from accusations from the state..." Veselnitskaya added that she also had US citizens as clients. The FSB did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters could not find a record of when and by whom the lawsuit ? which dates back to at least 2003 ? was first lodged. But appeal documents show that Rosimushchestvo, Russia's federal government property agency, was involved. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Veselnitskaya and her firm Kamerton Consulting represented "military unit 55002" in the property dispute, the documents show. A public list of Russian legal entities shows the FSB, Russia's domestic intelligence agency, founded the military unit whose legal address is behind the FSB's own headquarters. Reuters was unable to establish if Veselnitskaya did any other work for the FSB or confirm who now occupies the building at the centre of the case. 'Mass hysteria' over meeting President Donald Trump's eldest son eagerly agreed in June 2016 to meet Veselnitskaya, a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic White House rival Hillary Clinton, according to emails released by Trump Jr. Veselnitskaya has said she is a private lawyer and has never obtained damaging information about Clinton. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, has said she had "nothing whatsoever to do with us". Veselnitskaya has also said she is ready to testify to the US Congress to dispel what she called "mass hysteria" about the meeting with Trump Jr. The case in which Veselnitskaya represented the FSB was complex; appeals courts at least twice ruled in favour of private companies which the FSB wanted to evict. The FSB took over the disputed office building in mid-2008, a person who worked for Atos-Component, a firm that was evicted as a result, told Reuters, on condition of anonymity. The building was privatised after the 1991 Soviet collapse, but the Russian government said in the lawsuit in which Veselnitskaya represented the FSB that the building had been illegally sold to private firms. The businesses were listed in the court documents, but many of them no longer exist and those that do are little-known firms in the electric components business. Elektronintorg, an electronic components supplier, said on its website that it now occupied the building. Elektronintorg is owned by state conglomerate Rostec, run by Sergei Chemezov, who, like Putin, worked for the KGB and served with him in East Germany. When contacted by phone, an unnamed Elektronintorg employee said he was not obliged to speak to Reuters. Rostec, responding to a request for comment, said that Elektronintorg only had a legal address in the building but that its staff were based elsewhere. When asked which organisation was located there, an unidentified man who answered a speakerphone at the main entrance laughed and said, "Congratulations. Ask the city administration."
  20. Men stand near an artwork depicting Qatar?s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani after it was unveiled by Qatar Airways in Doha, Qatar, July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon DOHA: Qatar's ruler has amended the country's anti-terrorism laws in a royal decree issued on Thursday, state news agency QNA reported, in a move that appears aimed at countering charges the Gulf Arab state supports terrorism. The move comes less than a week after Doha signed an accord with the United States to bolster measures aimed at curbing terrorism financing. Qatar has been under pressure from four Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt, over allegations it supports terrorism ? a charge it denies. QNA ? citing a decree issued by the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani amending a 2004 anti-terrorism law ? said the amendments set rules for defining terrorism, acts of terrorism, freezing funding, and terrorism financing. It also creates two national terrorism lists and set rules for listing individuals and groups on each list. Qatar has been struggling to dispel charges it supports terrorism since the four Arab countries imposed sanctions on it last month. Last week, Qatar signed an accord with the United States that provided for measures to work together to fight terrorism financing. Details of the accord had not been released but sources said it provides for the United States to post officials at Qatar's state prosecutor's office.
  21. RAWALPINDI: Inter Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor held a press conference on Sunday. Addressing the media, he said a follow-up operation, Khyber-4, has been launched in Khyber Agency's Rajgal Valley today. The ISPR DG said the area, next to the Afghan border, is being used by Daesh and other local militant groups. A division-plus size force will take part in the operation, he informed, hoping they plan to unilaterlly secure the int border, eliminate hideouts, and complete physical hold on Khyber Agency. The army spokesperson also gave a country-wide breakdown of the operations taken as part of Operation Raddul Fasaad (RuF), stating that the security situation of the country has improved after the launch of RuF. Talking about the situation on the Line of Control, he said so far 580 ceasefire violations have occurred to-date this year ? the highest in any year. "This indicates the Indian aim of diverting attention from political upheaval in Indian Occupied Kashmir," he claimed. The ISPR DG lamented that the Indian army has the choice of opening fire on civilian areas whereas the Pakistan Army cannot do that to Kashmiris across the LoC. "There will never be any foreign boots on our ground," said Maj Gen Ghafoor when talking about collaborative efforts against terrorism on the Pak-Afghan border. Referring to the ongoing phase-1 of fencing the Pak- Afghan border, he said on average there is a fort or check post every 1.5 kilometres. Talking about the military courts, he said at present 40 cases are under process at the moment. Regarding the 17 terrorists nabbed in Parachinar, he said there case in the military court will be fast-tracked. He ended the presser by relaying a message from the army chief: We are building peace in our country, brick by brick. Replying to a question on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, DG ISPR said the army chief is reviewing the proceedings of the case and will take a decision on his appeal on merit. When asked to comment on reports that the army is part of a conspiracy to remove the government, he said "I don't think it merits a response. I have shown you what the army is doing". In response to another question, Maj Gen Ghafoor stressed that there is no organised Daesh infrastructure in Pakistan and nor will one be allowed. ?However, Daesh is getting stronger in Afghanistan but is still far from making a base the way it did in the Middle East.? He added that splinter groups of TTP adopting the bandwagon of Daesh in Pakistan are already being taken care of by the security forces. ?It is the duty of every Pakistani to ensure the supremacy of the law and Constitution,? he said when asked about the ongoing political crisis in the country.
  22. One suspected suicide bomber was killed in retaliatory fire while the other blew himself up. Photo: File TIRAH: Two personnel of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) were injured in Khyber Agency when a suicide bomber blew himself up while attempting to target a security check post on Friday morning. Security officials said two suicide bombers attempted to attack the FC post in Tirah from the main gate but were shot at by guards. As a result, one suspected suicide bomber was killed in the firing while the other blew himself up, injuring two officials. In March this year, two FC were martyred in an attack on an FC check post in the tribal agency. Pakistan Army effectively responded to the aggression and killed six terrorists in retaliatory fire, the military?s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement later. Two FC personnel embraced martyrdom in the attack which was carried out from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the ISPR stated. Pakistan has repeatedly protested that terrorists are taking advantage of the turmoil in Afghanistan and using Afghan soil to orchestrate terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The Pakistan Army last month also launched multiple strikes across the border targetting terrorist hideouts in retaliation to the aggression. 2 FC personnel martyred, 6 terrorists killed in attack on checkpost from Afghanistan Terror plot from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border foiled by Pakistan Army
  23. The use of electric cars is set to grow in the coming years, but this will not spell the end of demand for oil, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. IEA executive director Fatih Birol told Agence France-Presse in an interview that the growth of electric cars was starting from a very small base and oil would still be needed for ships, planes and trucks. Focus on the game-changing potential of electric cars has increased dramatically in the last weeks. France said it will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and Volvo Cars plans to start phasing out production of conventional petrol-only cars from 2019, with all new models to be electric or hybrid from that date. "Today, many people talk about electric cars -- rightly so because electric car sales are increasing. Last year we have seen a record in the sale of electric cars," said Birol, whose inter-governmental organisation seeks to ensure a reliable energy supply for its member states. But even on these record sales, the number of electric cars today has only reached two million, just 0.2 percent of the global car fleet. "It will grow but it will not bring us the end of the oil era," he said on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. "Oil demand will be driven by trucks, it is going to be driven by aviation, by jets, by ships and, very importantly, the petrochemical industry." 'For years to come' "So it is very difficult to substitute oil in these sectors at least in the short and medium term," he said. The oil industry has over the last years been buffeted by the low price of crude and also pressure for a reduction of emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on fighting climate change. Meanwhile, interest in renewable energy has surged, raising questions over whether demand for oil will run out even before resources are exhausted. And while the IEA is forecasting a slight recovery this year of around six percent in oil and gas investment that has suffered badly under the low oil prices, Birol said the spending was uneven across the world. It is the booming un-conventional source of shale oil and gas in the US that accounts for most investment and not traditional markets. '$100/barrel unlikely' "The big chunk of the investments are going in US shale and shale is changing the entire picture," said Birol, noting that investments were not being made in the Middle East, Africa and Russia. But he said that oil demand growth will slow down but still grow. "Even in a world which is constrained by climate... we see that oil and gas will be still needed," said Birol. The price of crude is still floundering at around $45 a barrel, a far cry from the high of $145 seen in 2008. The price crisis has prompted a rare cooperation between OPEC and non-members of the cartel in a bid to push up prices. "At the end of the day, if the demand is healthy, we expect that in the second half of the year we may see the rebalancing of the markets," said Birol. Warning against over-optimism on the part of oil producers, he added: "But expecting prices such as hundred dollars (a barrel) and above is not something that we subscribe to."
  24. An illustration picture shows a laptop on the screen of an X-ray security scanner, April 7, 2017. Photo: Reuters A three-month-old ban on taking electronic devices such as laptops onto aircraft cabins on flights from Turkey to the United States was lifted on Wednesday, the private Dogan news agency reported. On March 25, the United States banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from cabins on direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Dogan said flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THYAO.IS) accepted passengers with electronic devices onto its 6:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday) flight from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday morning. State-run Anadolu news agency on Tuesday reported Turkey's Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan as saying the ban on the devices on flights from Istanbul to the United States would be lifted on Wednesday. US and British officials carried out inspections of security measures at Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, Dogan reported. The ban was imposed at the 10 airports in eight countries - Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey - to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices. On Sunday, the ban was lifted on flights from Abu Dhabi. Emirates says laptop ban on US flights lifted Emirates [EMIRA.UL], the Middle East's largest airline, said on Wednesday the in-cabin ban on laptops and other large electronic devices on its flights to the United States had been lifted "effective immediately." Emirates aircraft are seen at Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates May 10, 2016. Photo: Reuters "Emirates has been working hard in coordination with various aviation stakeholders and the local authorities to implement heightened security measures and protocols that meet the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security?s new security guidelines for all US bound flights," an Emirates spokeswoman said in a statement. Emirates flies to 12 US cities.
  25. Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, has taken a lead role in defence, economic affairs of the Kingdom. Photo: Reuters RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef has been relieved of his post and replaced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a royal decree published by state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday. Salman, 31, is the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and has been the Kingdom's defence minister and deputy crown prince since 2014. The young prince has taken a central role in Saudi Arabia's efforts to build its economy beyond the oil industry. He holds primary responsibility for the kingdom's military and energy sector.