Israel PM takes control of economy ministry
JERUSALEM • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take control of the Economy Ministry to fast-track a plan to develop huge offshore natural gas deposits after a minister who had been holding up the plan stepped down on Sunday.
Economy Minister Aryeh Deri, who had opposed waiving antitrust laws to give rapid approval to a framework deal to develop the gas fields off Israel's Mediterranean coast, said he had offered his resignation.
Saudi prince charged with drug trafficking
BEIRUT • The Lebanese authorities yesterday charged a Saudi prince and nine others with drug trafficking, a week after a record drug bust, a judicial source said.
Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four others were detained by airport security on Oct 26 after nearly two tonnes of Captagon capsules and cocaine were found waiting to be loaded onto their private plane at Beirut airport. Five individuals still at large were included in the charges, said the source.
China aims to boost air force ties with Iran
BEIJING • China wants to step up cooperation with Iran's air force, the Chinese air force chief told his Iranian counterpart yesterday.
General Ma Xiaotian told Brigadier-General Hassan Shah Safi that ties between the two air forces had developed smoothly. Gen Ma said he hoped the cooperation could "go up another level", said a statement issued by China's Defence Ministry.