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Islamic State restructures regional branches in Syria, Iraq

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New York, July 24 :The Islamic State (IS) has made changes to the way it refers to its regional branches in Syria and Iraq, in a likely indication that the outfit has made internal structural changes after losing territory in 2017.

The Islamic State dropped the term “Wilayah”, meaning official branch or “province”, to refer to areas within Syria and Iraq which had previously held the status of separate “provinces” — such as Damascus, Raqqa, Kirkuk and northern Baghdad, BBC citing SITI reported.

The term “Wilayah” is now being used to describe the larger territories of Syria and Iraq — the “Wilayah of Sham (Syria)” and the “Wilayah of Iraq”, regional designations that the IS had not used before.

The changes were first spotted in the latest edition of the group’s weekly Arabic-language newspaper al-Naba on July 20. But there was no fanfare and the IS made no announcement of the changes.

Since then, claims of attacks within Syria and Iraq have been attributed to “Wilayah of Sham” or “Wilayah of Iraq”.

In a video released by the IS in July 2016, the group set out the administrative structure of what it termed as caliphate. It said the Wilayat (plural of Wilayah) were established following the group’s expansion in order to “create effective ways to administer and supervise its territory”.

The report said that the latest changes to the official status of the regions reflected a restructuring following territorial setbacks in 2017, with each of the regions within Syria and Iraq no longer requiring its own governor or ministry offices.

It was not clear whether countries such as Libya, Yemen or Saudi Arabia underwent a similar restructuring process.

The group did, however, continue to refer to its Egypt branch as the “Wilayah of Sinai” and for the first time described its affiliate in Southeast Asia as a Wilayah — effectively upgrading its status, possibly as compensation for the downgrading of regions in Syria and Iraq.

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450 jobless Indian workers forced to begin Saudi, shifted to detention centres

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

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jobless Indian workers in Saudi

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

The workers are mainly from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The work permits of these workers have now expired and thus they have to beg as their situation is worse.

These workers are now being shifted to detention centres. Videos have gone viral where the workers are being taken to the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah. Among the workers 39 belong to the state of Uttar Pradesh, 10 belong to Bihar, 5 are from Telangana and four each from the state of J and K, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Workers said that they have not committed any crime but had to beg as they had lost their jobs and were helpless.

Social worker and MBT leader Amjed Khan told TOI that the workers with an expired work permit were taken to detention centres .

A total of 2.4 lakh Indians were reported to return to the country but only 40,000 have made it so far.

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Families affected by Beirut blasts to be given $300 monthly

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The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) announced on Saturday that it will provide $300 for seven months for 10,000 families affected by August 4 Port of Beirut explosions.

“We will also make assessments about the families that are very much in need for this amount after the first month,” Xinhua news agency quoted George Kettaneh, secretary general of the LRC, as saying.

Kettaneh said that LRC will cooperate with other associations and the Lebanese army to make sure that support is distributed fairly among all families, while it will continue to provide medicines for chronic diseases.

Two explosions rocked the port destroying a big part of the capital city.It killed around 190 people and wounding at least 6,000 others.

The explosions, caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate detonating at a warehouse in the port, also led to at least 300,000 people being homeless, while plunging more into poverty.

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Vietnam resumes int’l flights after 5 months

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Vietnam on Saturday resumed international flights after a five-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Saturday morning, a Vietnam Airlines carrying 60 passengers on board took off for Tokyo from the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Most of the passengers are Vietnamese students and workers going back to Japan to continue studying and working.

The flight also carried a number of Japanese nationals, according to state-media.Passengers exiting Vietnam must have a certificate of negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test result issued within 72 hours before departure.

In September, Vietnam Airlines is expected to carry out three more flights to Japan, while the reverse route from Tokyo to Hnaoi will be arranged later.Vietnam suspended all international flights in late March.

The country has recorded 1,068 Covid-19 cases and 35 deaths as of Saturday morning. No local transmission has been recorded nationwide in more than two weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

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