Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trial of spies for Iran continues in Yemen

Trial of spies for Iran continues in Yemen

SANA'A- Feb 22, 2011– The Specialized Penal Court continued on Tuesday the trial of three Yemenis facing charges of spying for Iran, charging the first suspect with spying for the Islamic Republic for more than 12 years.

During the hearing, the prosecutors presented evidence against and confessions of Muhammad Al-Hatmi.

Al-Hatmi's confessions revealed that he worked as a spy for a foreign country during 1998-2010, establishing illegal communication with Iranians and receiving financial support and tools to launch intellectual projects to serve illegal Iranian projects in Yemen.

Al-Hatmi also said he had received funds from Iranian bodies inside and outside Yemen and handed them to rebels to face the government in Yemen and expand their rebellion to Saudi lands.

In addition, he confessed that he had gave Iranians oral and written reports on the political, economic, social and war situations in Yemen with the goal of harming the country's image and position.

Hearing this, the court ruled the defendant can bring his lawyer in the next session to complete legal procedures against the three Yemenis facing espionage charges.

The prosecution earlier charged al Hatmi's wife, the second spy, and his son, the third spy, with helping the first spy for Iran through working as communicators between him and Iranian representatives, arranging for their meetings inside and outside Yemen, receiving and transferring money and sending letters.

Source: Saba

Iranian Foreign Ministry Calls to Dialogue

Iranian Foreign Ministry Calls to Dialogue

Sana'a- Feb 22, 2011- The Iranian Foreign Ministry has voiced regret over the death and injury of many people in Yemen during pro-democracy protests.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always reiterated the necessity of talks,” a Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday, according to a statement by the ministry.

The official also urged the Yemeni government to stop violence against the protesters and consider their “legitimate rights.”

The Yemeni government crackdown on demonstrations has killed at least 12 people so far.

On Tuesday, at least five people were injured in fresh clashes in the capital Sana'a after supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh attacked student protesters who have been camping at Sana'a University campus urging the president to resign.

Yemenis, inspired by revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, took to the streets of the capital on February 12 to bring down the 32-year autocratic rule of Saleh.

The president, however, has vowed not to abandon power under pressure.


Yemeni Authorities Arrest Suspected Al-Qaeda Leader

Yemeni Authorities Arrest Suspected Al-Qaeda Leader

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Mareb- Feb 22, 2011- Yemeni authorities arrested on Tuesday Mohammed Abdullah Maouda, an Al-Qaeda leader wanted by Yemeni security for his suspected role in attacking army posts and bombing oil facilities.

Naji bin Ali Al-Zayedi, governor of Mareb province confirmed the arrest of Al-Qaeda member after the troops stopped a car at a checkpoint.

He said that armed men fired from the car when soldiers asked for identification. A firefight ensued, killing three soldiers and two civilians. Nine others were injured.

Business Calls Yemen's Politicians to End Turmoil

Business Calls Yemen's Politicians to End Turmoil

By Abdul-Aziz Oudah

Sana'a- Feb 22, 2011- The private sector has called on all Yemen’s political parties to resort to reason as a means to resolve the current crisis and to ensure that the business fraternity is not dragged into turmoil.

Business leaders have also said that they want to remain neutral at a time when protesters for and against the government have become embroiled in bloody street battles. Hassan al-Kabos, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is based in Sana’a, stressed at a general assembly meeting the necessity of the private sector’s effective contribution to the country’s stability and the role it played to eliminate all sorts of corruption.

Al-Kabos said that business leaders were holding meetings to determine the private sector’s vision for overcoming the current political turmoil.

Mohamed Salah, deputy chairman at the chamber, said that 400 shops in the area between Sana’a University and Al-Tahrir Square in the capital suffered losses totaling nearly YR70-million in the last week because of political demonstrations.

A number of owners of these shops and banks in Sana'a and Aden said that they were forced to close their shops for fear of theft or vandalism. Some even considered closing their shops if demonstrations continued because they were paying rentals between US$300 and US$500 per month while not earning any money.

Shop owners at the chamber›s meeting called for action and deadlines on how to resolve the political crisis. They asked the chamber to take legal action or constitutional measures to protest their business rights. Businessman Ali Saleh al-Ashwal revealed that tax officials had illegally taken from him YR230-million three years ago and that he was still following up on this matter.

He said that they had offered to give him YR28-million but he refused. Businessman Sheikh Saleh Al-Athla meanwhile called for the formation of a neutral committee to hold accountable tax evaders. Participants also called for a meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh to discuss the demands and grievances of the private sector.

One Million of Yemen’s Poorest Women and Children to Receive Health Services in Remote Areas

One Million of Yemen’s Poorest Women and Children to Receive Health Services in Remote Areas

Washington, February 22, 2011- Around a million women and children in the poorest rural and urban slum areas of Yemen will be the first priority of a World Bank-supported effort to decrease child mortality and increase the well being of mothers. Many of these women and children have not before been reached by any health services.

The $35 million Yemen Health and Population Project was approved by the Board of Directors of the World Bank today. It is designed to deliver maternal, neonatal, and child health services to those districts in Yemen where there are high concentrations of poor health indicators. In the first phase these include districts in the governorates of Sana'a, Ibb, Reimah, Al Dahla'a, Al Baydah, and urban slums in Aden before the services roll out to additional rural governorates.

"This project is all about reaching people living in remote areas who have real difficulty getting the services they need for better health and well-being," said Alaa Hamed, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank. "In development language we talk about this as MDGs 4 and 5 – the Millennium Development Goals designed to fight infant mortality and improve the mothers' health. For around one million Yemenis in remote areas this will mean health services reaching them for the very first time."

The child mortality rate in Yemen is 69 deaths for each 1,000 live births, the highest rate in the Middle East and North Africa region. At 58% for children under 5, Yemen also has the second-highest rate in the world of stunting, a measure of child malnutrition for height and age. Maternal mortality is the second highest in MENA after Djibouti with 210 deaths for each 1,000 live births in 2008.

Less than half Yemen's population of 23 million people have access to basic health services, a problem made all the more complicated in rural areas by widely scattered and remote geographical locations. The challenge is to both improve the quality of health services and to get those health services – and the supporting logistics of medical supplies and drugs – to communities not served by fixed health facilities which are unreachable for around half the rural population.

To help tackle this geographical challenge, the Yemeni Government requested the Bank's assistance in designing Outreach Services as an essential element of the health service delivery system. The $35 million project will focus on around one million children and just over a million child-bearing age women, about half of whom currently do not have access to basic health services.

"The government continues to address the challenges and contributes to the design of a national program for better delivery of health and population services. But there remains the pressing need to deliver services through population-based and disease-specific programs, which this project provides," said Dr. Abdul Kareem Rasea, Minister Public Health and Population.

The model designed for the project offers service in three ways. Integrated Outreach Services will deliver a core package of maternal and child health services at temporary sites using mobile teams on a periodic basis of about four times a year. This will be complemented by community-based services focusing on health education, active case finding, and referral, in addition to home-based delivery. The third element of the model comprises referral facilities for management of complicated cases that cannot be treated at the outreach level. All of this is designed to complement the routine delivery of services at existing fixed facilities and is not intended to replace it.

"This is an ambitious project given the geography and a long history of struggling to improve health service delivery," said Benson Ateng, Sana'a-based World Bank Country Manager. "We are combining our efforts with donor partners, namely, WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA, with the shared goal of really making a difference in the health of many poor people in Yemen."

Source: The World Bank Group