Tag Archives: Southwest Asia

IMPROVED-Football-Italy hosted the opener for Euro 2020 with a crowd, said the chairman of the federation | Instant News

(Stadium corrections for friendly matches in the penultimate)

ROME, March 26 (Reuters) – Italy will host the opening matches of the European Championship as planned with the crowd at the stadium, according to Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina.

The tournament, which was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will kick off at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on June 11 when Italy host Turkey.

“I am sure we will open the European Championship in Rome and we will do it with the stadium crowd,” Gravina told a news conference on Friday.

“I still don’t know how many spectators there will be, but there will definitely be a crowd.”

Italy is one of 12 host nations across Europe, and plans for a month-long tournament to go ahead as originally planned have been called into question as COVID-19 continues to spread.

European football governing body Uefa said after a meeting with host nations in January that it had moved the deadline for the federation to submit plans to house fans on the pitch until early April.

“We have invested two years of hard work and we are confident that on April 7 we will have some feedback to pass on to UEFA, who will not be able to ignore it,” added Gravina.

The FIGC announced on Friday that Italy had arranged Euro 2020 warm-up matches against San Marino and the Czech Republic.

The Sardegna Arena in Cagliari will host the match against San Marino on 28 May before the match against the Czechs on 4 June at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara Bologna.

Italy face Euro 2020 Group A rivals Turkey, Switzerland and Wales in Rome, while the Italian capital will also host the quarter-finals. (Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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Germany, Arabia agree to cooperate on hydrogen | Instant News

BERLIN, March 11 (Reuters) – Germany agreed on Thursday to cooperate with Saudi Arabia on the generation, processing and transportation of hydrogen, which is seen as a green fuel when renewable energy sources are used in its production.

Germany has embarked on a large-scale effort to develop environmentally friendly hydrogen to protect key industries while decarbonizing its economy to meet climate protection goals.

However, as future German demand for the element could not be met domestically, Germany sought overseas partnerships to secure imports.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the declaration of intent signed with Saudi Arabia laid the groundwork for close cooperation with important international partners.

“To achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and successfully shape our transition to renewable energy, Germany is dependent on imports of climate neutral hydrogen,” he said in a statement.

The two countries aim to work on a concrete hydrogen project together, such as in one of the Saudi business areas NEOM, the ministry said.

Green hydrogen is produced from water by electrolysis using renewable power. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Alexandra Hudson)


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Germany bans Salafi Muslim groups | Instant News

BERLIN, February 25 (Reuters) – German authorities carried out raids at several locations in Berlin and Brandenburg on Thursday after banning Berlin’s Salafi Muslim group, police said.

Berlin’s senate interior department on Thursday said it had banned the “jihad-salafi” association Jama’atu Berlin, also known as the Berlin Tauhid, and that police had carried out the raid, without providing further details.

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel said the group glorified the battle for “Islamic State” on the internet and called for the killing of Jews, adding that criminal proceedings were awaiting decisions against some of its members.

The newspaper added that the group had been in contact with Anis Amri, a Tunisian asylum seeker who failed with Islamic ties, who hijacked a truck and took it to a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people in 2016.

Salafis – strict Sunni Muslims – include peaceful private individuals, activists seeking to implement Sharia law, and militants who advocate violence to establish a state they perceive to represent true Islam.

The number of Salafis has risen in Germany to an all-time high of 12,150 in 2019, Germany’s domestic intelligence said in its annual report last year, listing them among “Islamic extremists”.

It said the number of Salafis has more than tripled since 2011 and that Salafi groups in Germany are going through a consolidation stage, adding that followers remain a low profile in public. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Philippa Fletcher)


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Croatia has shown interest in F-35 jets, Lockheed executives said | Instant News

WASHINGTON, February 19 (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Co., the United States’ biggest arms maker, has raised interest from Croatia regarding the purchase of stealth F-35 jets, a Lockheed executive said on Friday.

Greg Ulmer, executive vice president of Lockheed’s Aeronautics unit, told reporters “they have shown interest” in buying the jets, which make up a large share of Lockheed’s revenue.

Croatia is evaluating US, French and Swedish bids for fighter jets as it looks set to modernize its air force, which now flies Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from the past in former Yugoslavia.

Croatia wanted to buy 12 second-hand F-16 fighter jets from Israel, but failed after Israel said it here in 2019 could not get approval from the United States for the sale.

Other international customers for the fifth-generation F-35 include Canada, Finland and Switzerland, who are running competitions for future jet purchases. Additional customer prospects for the Lockheed F-35 include Greece, Spain, Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern countries, Ulmer said in a media conference call.

Lockheed has also seen international interest for as many as 300 fourth-generation F-16 fighters on top of its current production stockpile of 128 jets, Ulmer said. (Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, DC; Editing by Dan Grebler)


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Germany is ready for a ‘new chapter’ in transatlantic relations | Instant News

BERLIN, February 19 (Reuters) – Germany is poised for a “new chapter” in transatlantic relations in which the United States and Europe follow a common agenda, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

“In our principles and values, in our belief in democracy and its ability to act, we have a broad and sound basis,” he told the Munich Security Conference via video link.

“There is a lot to be done, and Germany is gearing up for a new transatlantic chapter.”

Big challenges like the pandemic and climate change must be tackled together in multilateralism, he said, and the United States and Europe must have a similar attitude towards Russia.

“It is very important for us to develop a general Russian transatlantic agenda, which on the one hand makes cooperative offers, but on the other hand clearly identifies differences,” he said. (Reporting by Paul Carrel; Written by Maria Sheahan)


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