Tuesday 29 July 2014
 
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A nation in peril - Iraq's struggle to hold together

Salman Khaled has already lived through Baghdad's sectarian disintegration; with Iraq now splintering into Shi'ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish regions, he says this time the survival of the country is at stake. "Things are really tense and it could get worse," said

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Time to be afraid - preparing for big solar storm

The probability of a solar storm striking Earth in the next decade with enough force to do serious damage to electricity networks could be as high as 12 per cent, according to solar scientists. One such storm erupted from the surface of the Sun two years ago, on July 23, 2012. If

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Sisi's bold start on reforms buys Egypt some time

Egypt's new president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has made a head start on tackling the country's economic problems, managing to introduce long-awaited subsidy reform without stirring popular unrest. Sisi's government, formed in June, announced this month it was raising pric

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Saudi opens the door to major inflows to market

Saudi Arabia’s decision to open up its stock market to foreign financial institutions (FIIs) in the first half of next year is a long-awaited step towards its inclusion in the MSCI emerging markets (EM) index, which could mean active net inflows of $13.3 billion to $26.6 billion, says a B

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Purge of minorities re-draws Iraq map

A new map is being drawn across the plains of northern Iraq as Sunni militants of the Islamic State purge the rural landscape of religious and ethnic minorities that have co-existed for hundreds of years. More than half a million people have been displaced across Iraq since June,

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Rise of Islamic State tests Syrian army strategy

The growing power of the ultra-hardline Islamic State means the Syrian army is now having to confront a group it has until now been reluctant to attack for political reasons.   The emergence of the Al Qaeda offshoot, formerl

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Saudi Arabia accelerates reform push with market opening

Saudi Arabia's decision to open its stock market to foreign investors is part of an accelerating series of economic reforms that may culminate in the most far-reaching change yet: higher domestic energy prices. In the past four decades, the economy of the world's top oil

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Ending Gaza bloodshed rests on a face-saving truce

A possible truce to halt bloodshed in Gaza during the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday next week hinges on complex negotiations that have to give Hamas, Israel and regional powers a chance to claim political and military victories. Egypt is trying to broker a temporary humanitarian tru

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Saudi market 'could see $35bn foreign inflow'

Saudi capital market, the largest in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, could draw up to $35 billion once it is opened to direct foreign investments, an analyst has said. The long-awaited move, approved by the cabinet recently, will finally come to pass once the Capi

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Supply, demand shift ‘largest risk to farm sector’

The fundamentals of supply and demand are causing concern, with increased consumption in emerging market, climate change and natural disasters affecting supply, while urbanisation in emerging markets lead to a decline in agricultural workforce, according to a su

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