India cuts Internet, farmers start hunger strike

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Hundreds of Indian farmers gathered in New Delhi on Saturday (January 30) to begin a one-day hunger strike.

Authorities have blocked mobile internet services in several areas around the capital, after a week of violent clashes.

The farmers are angry about new agricultural laws that they say benefit large private food buyers at the expense of producers.

Earlier this week, a planned tractor parade on the Republic Day anniversary turned violent.

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Iran rejects talks after Macron says ‘very short time’ to stop it getting nukes

French leader tells Saudi TV any new nuclear negotiations will be ‘very strict,’ must include Riyadh; Tehran warns France against ‘hasty and ill-considered positions’

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, January 13, 2021. (Francois Mori / POOL / AFP)

Iran on Saturday warned France to avoid “hasty and ill-considered positions,” after French President Emmanuel Macron was reported to say any new nuclear negotiations with Tehran would be “very strict,” and that only a very short time remains to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Macron told Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya TV in an interview that any talks should include the Saudis, a major regional foe of Iran. The French leader reportedly said it was important not to repeat the “mistake” of leaving other countries in the region out of the 2015 nuclear accord.

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Iran rejects new players and new negotiations of nuclear deal

Controversial former Obama aide Malley named Biden’s top envoy on Iran.

FILE PHOTO: Members of the media and officials tour the water nuclear reactor at Arak, Iran December 23, 2019. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran’s foreign ministry rejected any new negotiations or changes to the participants in Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, after French President Emmanuel Macron said new talks should include Saudi Arabia.
The remarks came after the White House confirmed that veteran diplomat Robert Malley was named special US envoy for Iran. A key member of former president Barack Obama’s nuclear negotiating team, Malley is a controversial figure in Israel, where he is viewed as soft on Tehran and tough on Jerusalem.

Terror group claims responsibility for attack on Israeli embassy in India

Letter found at the scene allegedly promises: This is just the beginning

People examine a damaged Israeli embassy car after an explosion in New Delhi in 2012.
A terror organization called Jaish-ul-Hind, believed to be affiliated with Iran, has taken responsibility for Friday’s attack near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, according to Indian media.
An explosion occurred near the embassy, Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday. There were no casualties in the incident, and no damage was caused to the embassy building, the Foreign Ministry said.

For 1st time in months, police use water cannon on anti-Netanyahu protesters

One person hospitalized after being hit in face by water jet; policeman injured during clash; two people arrested; protest group says cannon deployed without warning

Police fire a water cannon against protestors they say tried to break through checkpoint and injured an officer, January 30, 2021 (Screen grab/Twitter)

Police deployed a water cannon against protestors in Jerusalem on Saturday night, the first time the crowd-dispersal method has been used in a number of months at a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protesters had gathered on Saturday in the capital and at bridges and intersections around the country for the 32nd week of demonstrations over Netanyahu’s indictment on graft charges and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Gantz meets top US general in first visit since Israel moved to Central Command

Defense minister, IDF chief meet with Gen. Kenneth McKenzie in Tel Aviv, lauding change that will allow for greater cooperation between Jewish state and Arab neighbors

(L-R) IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, CENTCOM Commander Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv on January 29, 2021. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with the head of the United States military’s Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie in Tel Aviv on Friday for the first time since the Pentagon announced that Israel was moving under CENTCOM’s purview.

Gantz lauded the shift saying it would “afford Israel opportunity to deepen cooperation with new regional partners and broaden operative horizons,” according to a statement from his office.

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UAE to offer citizenship to select expats in rare move for Gulf

Dubai skyline including the world’s tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa GIUSEPPE CACACE AFP

Dubai (AFP)

The UAE announced Saturday it is opening a path to citizenship for select foreigners, in a rare move for the Gulf where the status and its welfare benefits are jealously guarded.

Dubai ruler and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum said “investors, specialised talents and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families” would be eligible for naturalisation under the new amendment.

“The UAE cabinet, local emiri courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under clear criteria set for each category,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship.”

Dubai says trade with Israel has topped $270 million since normalization

‘Expansion of trade and investment will benefit not only business communities in the UAE and Israel, but also in the [wider] Middle East,’ official says

The skyline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at sunset. (Britus/ iStock by Getty Images)

Since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized ties in September, trade between the Jewish state and Dubai has reached 1 billion dirham ($272 million), the Dubai media office said Saturday.

No figure was provided for all trade between the two countries beyond Dubai.

The office said some two-thirds of the sum was exports, while a third was imports.

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Israeli Forces Destroy Nature Reserve, Uproot 10,000 Trees in Jordan Valley

Israeli forces destroy a natural reserve in Jordan Valley. (Photo: via Social Media)

The Israeli army on Wednesday destroyed a natural reserve and uprooted at least 10,000 trees in a military campaign in the northern West Bank in a move that Palestinians termed a “crime”.

Moataz Bisharat, who is responsible for monitoring Israeli settlement activity in the Jordan Valley, told Anadolu Agency that the occupation army pushed military vehicles and dozens of soldiers into the Ainun area in Tubas city in the morning and destroyed a nature reserve built on an area of about 400 dunums (98 acres).

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Iran says it will install 1,000 centrifuges at nuclear plant in next 3 months

New equipment to be set up at Natanz enrichment facility; Iranian official says its scientists have exceeded expected output of enriched uranium

This photo released November 5, 2019, by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, shows centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP, File)

Iran said Thursday it plans to install 1,000 new centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility within three months and that its scientists had exceeded previous goals for uranium enrichment.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the announcement about the centrifuges while Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf visited the Fordo nuclear facility, an underground site near the city of Qom.

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