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Saudi Arabia opens its air route to Israel



Air India flights headed to Israel has been granted permission to use Saudi Arabia’s  airspace, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

By this decision, flights from New Delhi to Tel Aviv would be shortened by two and a half hours.

The decision is first of its kind and will be implemented in March this year.

Haaretz said the airline would reduce fuel costs and sell cheaper tickets to passengers due to the new route.

For the past 70 years, the Saudi government had banned flights heading to Despite the ban, private jets could fly from Saudi and other Gulf airports to Israel, but could not use the direct route and had to make a stop-over in Amman airport first.

It is believed as a result of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s influence in the region and is also expected to land in the occupied West Bank on February 10. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to go to Israel on an official state visit after visiting the country Last year

The decision is also seen as signifying warmer ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have been linked to having increasingly covert relations over the last years.

This has been credited to the shakeup of Saudi domestic and foreign policy, spearheaded by the young and ambitious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The political changes in Saudi Arabia and the desire to consolidate power is the main reason why these relations with Israel were opened,” Mahjoob Zweiri, an associate professor with the Gulf Studies Program department at Qatar University, previously told Al Jazeera.


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Lithium Discovered In Ghana



Ghana, a nation on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, is known for diverse wildlife, old forts and secluded beaches, such as at Busua. Coastal towns Elmina and Cape Coast contain posubans (native shrines), colonial buildings and castles-turned-museums that serve as testimonials to the slave trade. North of Cape Coast, vast Kakum National Park has a treetop-canopy walkway over the rainforest.

Ghana has discovered a new mineral, Lithium in commercial quantities.

Lithium, which is among the top 10 most expensive minerals in the world was discovered in the Volta Region by the Minerals Commission.

According to the Chief Executive of the Commission, Kwaku Addai Antwi-Boasiako, the mineral was identified during a nationwide exploration exercise.

The mining activities will start but we want to attract investments into the Volta Region, that is where we have the Lithium and all these rare minerals. These are the minerals of the future. Lithium is about green energy and renewable energy. So if you have lithium and all these rare minerals in the Volta Region, you will want to expand the base of mineral production.

The presence of these minerals is as important as having the money to mine them for now, we know we have it,” he told Citi News.

Mr. Antwi-Boasiako added that the Commission was making efforts to ensure that the discovery sites are not encroached upon by illegal miners.

He further noted that the Commission will follow due procedures before it considers issuance of licenses to companies to mine the mineral in the country, noting that it will primarily consider electronic applications from interested investors to avoid issues of corruption.

What is Lithium and  What are its Benefits? 

Lithium can be used for the manufacture of batteries, heat-resistant glass, ceramics, among other things.

Both lithium metal and its compounds have many uses. Lithium stearate is mixed with oils to make all-purpose and high-temperature lubricants.

Lithium hydroxide is used to absorb carbon dioxide in space vehicles

Lithium is alloyed with aluminum, copper, manganese, and cadmium to make high-performance alloys for aircraft.

Bahnmetall consists of lead-containing 0.04% lithium, 0.7% calcium and 0.6% sodium is harder than pure lead and was used for railroad car bearings in Germany.

Compounds such as LiAlH4 and organolithium reagents (LiMe, LiPh, etc.) are very important as reagents in organic chemistry

Lithium metal has the highest specific heat of any solid element and its sometimes used as battery anode material (high electrochemical potential). Lithium compounds are used in dry cells and storage batteries.

Lithium is used in the manufacture of special high strength glasses and ceramics sometimes, lithium-based compounds such as lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) are used as drugs to treat manic-depressive disorders.

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Israeli Government has jailed Seven asylum seekers refusing deportation



The Israeli authorities have transferred seven Eritrean asylum seekers to prison indefinitely after they refused to be deported to Rwanda. An Israeli human right group reported.

The asylum seekers are the first to be placed in indefinite detention since the Israeli government announced it would force tens of thousands of African migrants to choose between deportation to a third country or incarceration for an unspecified length of time.

“This is the first step in a what is a globally unprecedented deportation operation, a move tainted by racism and complete disregard for the life and dignity of asylum seekers,” the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and ASSAF, two Tel Aviv-based refugee rights groups, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The organizations say two of the seven detained asylum seekers are survivors of torture. They were detained on Tuesday and are currently in the Saharonim prison in southern Israel

Meanwhile, hundreds of asylum seekers began a hunger strike late Tuesday in the Holot detention center to protest the imprisonment of the seven Eritreans, Israeli media reported.

600 deportation notices
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has said there are about 27,000 Eritrean and 7,700 Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel.

The Israeli government announced plans to deport the remaining asylum seekers In November last year without their consent.

Israel has issued deportation notices to about 600 people to date, the human rights groups said.

The third countries expected to take in the deportees are widely thought to be Rwanda and Uganda, Israeli media have reported, though both African countries have denied making formal deals with the Israeli government.

“It is mind-boggling that Uganda and Rwanda agree to take part in this deportation plan and enable Israel to treat African asylum seekers – some of them fleeing from genocide and dictatorship – in this manner,” the rights groups said.

In January, the UNHCR urged Israel to reconsider its deportation plan. It said at least 80 asylum seekers deported by Israel between 2015 and 2017 “risked their lives by taking dangerous onward journeys to Europe”.

Along the way, “they suffered abuse, torture, and extortion before risking their lives once again by crossing the Mediterranean to Italy”, said William Spindler, a UNHCR spokesman.

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Chad and Qatar sign MoU to restore diplomatic relations after blockade



Qatar and Chad have signed a peace agreement reuniting the two nations after they cut diplomatic ties in August last year. This was said by Qatar’s foreign minister.

The relationship between the two countries was severed in August after the start of a Saudi-led blockade against Qatar.

A meeting was held between Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatari foreign minister and Cherif Mahamat Zene, Chad’s minister of foreign affairs, Africa integration and international cooperation in Doha where the two nations reached an agreement to reunite.

Both countries discussed ways of developing and boosting bilateral relations between them during the meeting in Doha.
Lolwah al-Khater, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said that both countries would return their ambassadors with immediate effect.

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani congratulated the move on Twitter.

“We welcome the resumption of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Chad and the return of ambassadors between the two friendly countries, a memorandum of understanding was signed today in Doha.”

Chad and Qatar

In August 2017, Chad accused Qatar of destabilizing the country through Libya, its northern neighbor. As a result, Qatar’s embassy in N’Djamena was closed by Chad.

Qatar responded and ordered the embassy to close, and accused the African country of joining a “political blackmail against the State of Qatar”.

The US and the EU have called on the involving countries to engage in dialogue to resolve the crisis which has lasted for more than eight months.

But the Saudi-led quartet issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.

Qatar rejected all the demands, denouncing them as attempts to infringe its sovereignty.

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