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Russian troops withdraw from suburbs of Syria's Idlib

 March 2 (– Russia has withdrawn its forces from the city of Saraqib in the suburbs of Idlib, northern Syria, without previously announcing any plan to do so, local media outlets reported.

The Orient Net website quoted "unnamed" sources as saying that the Russian forces "suddenly" withdrew from the city of Saraqib towards the city of Maarat. Other sources added that a number of Russian military tanks and vehicles, in addition to artillery and missile firing systems have also withdrawn from Saraqib.

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IAEA: 'Signs of activities detected at North Korea’s nuclear site'

Vienna, Mar.2.– Signs of activity have recently been detected at some North Korean nuclear facilities, the UN nuclear watchdog chief said Monday, expressing “serious concern” at the reclusive regime’s continued activities.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the board of governors that there was evidence that the regime has continued construction at an experimental light-water reactor at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex, including testing of the infrastructure for cooling water in late 2020.

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Saudi Arabia pledges $430m to UN's Yemen response

  • Kingdom has provided support and assistance to millions of people in need.
  • Saudi Arabia ranks among the top donor countries in providing humanitarian aid.

United Nations, Mar.1.– Saudi Arabia on Monday pledged $430 million toward the UN’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), made the announcement during a virtual pledging conference co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland.

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MBS approved operation to capture or kill Khashoggi: US report

Long-awaited US intelligence report bases the assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decision-making.

Jamal Khashoggi was killed by a Saudi hit squad operating under the command of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), United States intelligence agencies concluded.

A unclassified US intelligence report released on Friday confirms for the first time what role top US intelligence officials believe Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler played in the 2018 killing of the Saudi journalist.

Former US President Donald Trump’s administration held back the long-awaited report despite a 2019 law passed by Congress requiring its release.

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who had been critical of the Saudi government, was slain inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Photo: Mohammed bin Salman. Credit: U.S. Department of State

Saudi officials have denied MBS had any role in the assassination.

White House officials said the Biden administration would announce actions taken in response to the killing of Khashoggi after the report was released.

The US intelligence community based its assessment that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince approved the operation because his “control of decision making in the Kingdom” and the “direct involvement of a key adviser and members or Mohammed bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation”.

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Entry Into Force Of Tromsø Convention on access to Official Documents

A unique opportunity for European governments to reaffirm and strengthen their commitment to transparency.

Feb.20.– Accessing quality information has never been so challenging, despite or maybe, because of our exposure to tremendous amount of information. The entry into force of the Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on Access to Official Documents (Tromsø Convention) on 1 December 2020, in a context of concerning deficit of transparency in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, appears as an opportunity for governments to reinforce transparency culture and restore citizens trust and legitimacy in their institutions, in democracy.

The Nordic European States pioneered the development of the right of access to official documents, with the world’s first law on access to information adopted by Sweden in 1766. It then spread progressively to many other West European countries, before reaching its peak in the 1990s with the creation of legal tools in the new democracies of Eastern and Central Europe. Today, various legal instruments (constitutions, national laws and jurisprudence) across Europe recognize the right of access to official documents. At the international level as well, this right has been increasingly recognized.

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