Lebanese police fired in the air and used tear gas on Sunday to repel protesters trying to storm the premier's office in Beirut, amid calls for him to quit after a top security official was killed by a car bomb blamed on Syria.
Sunday's funeral of General Wissam al-Hassan had been billed as a protest against Syrian meddling in Lebanon, but quickly turned into anger at Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose government is dominated by pro-Syria parties.
Tension was also rife in the northern city of Tripoli, Mikati's hometown, where clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime killed a 9-year-old girl and wounded eight people, security and medical officials said.
About 100 protesters and 11 police officers were injured as Kuwaiti police used tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes with demonstrators, according to witnesses and officials
Tens of thousands of people had gathered across the capital, Kuwait City, to march on the Seif Palace, which houses offices for the emir, crown prince and prime minister, as part of a protest against changes to the electoral law, which the opposition has described as a "coup against the constitution".
But several groups taking part in the so-called Dignity March were quickly surrounded by riot police who used tear gas and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse them, witnesses said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he didn't know about any US plans to talk bilaterally with Iran, saying tougher sanctions and a "credible military option" were the best ways to peacefully halt Tehran's nuclear program.
The White House had earlier denied a New York Times report that Washington and Tehran had agreed in principle to hold bilateral negotiations to halt what the West fears is a plan by the Islamic Republic to develop nuclear weapons.
Addressing reporters at a civil defense drill to rehearse for a possible earthquake, Netanyahu accused Iran of having used talks with world powers in the past as a ruse "to drag its feet and to gain time to advance its nuclear weapons program."
Lebanon’s leading private sector alliance called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati over the weekend to step down, as hotels in the capital reported cancellations following Friday’s killing of Intelligence Chief Wissam al-Hasan. “The Economic Committees unanimously agreed to call on President Michel Sleiman to accept the resignation of the Cabinet, which has failed to provide security and stability, the very reason for its formation,” a statement read by head of the Chambers of Commerce Mohammad Choukeir said.
The Economic Committees’ statement called on Sleiman to proceed with consultations to form what they described as “a National Contingency Cabinet” to avert the country’s plunge into a risky political vacuum.
“[Only] such a government can be in charge of providing security, a prerequisite to reassuring socioeconomic and financial stability,” said the statement, which followed an urgent meeting held Saturday evening.
Dubai's indebted property developer Nakheel said on Sunday that net profit for the first nine months of the year nearly doubled, helped by property handovers and growing business in its retail and leasing segment.
Nakheel, whose developments at the height of Dubai's property boom contributed to the emirate's debt woes, has been slowly recovering from the crippling real estate collapse.
Net profit for the nine months ended September 30 was AED1.1bn ($299.5m), up from AED600m in the year-ago period, Nakheel said in a statement sent by email. The company did not provide any quarterly numbers.
The targeting of Iraq's well-respected central bank chief appears to be a move by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to consolidate power and sends a bad message to international investors, experts and diplomats say.
Sinan al-Shabibi was last week replaced as governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) while he was overseas, and arrest warrants have since been issued for him and other bank officials over allegations of currency manipulation.
The moves are the latest that appear to undermine CBI independence, after a supreme court ruling early last year put the bank under the supervision of Iraq's cabinet rather than parliament.
US rap star Snoop Dogg is to headline the New Year’s Eve concert at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse, a source has confirmed.
The event, part of Alchemy Project’s Atelier music series, will be Snoop Dogg’s second appearance in the UAE, following his concert in Abu Dhabi in May 2011 when he raised eyebrows by arriving on stage wearing an Emirati-style khandoura.
A spokesperson confirmed Snoop Dogg will headline the concert and said full details will be announced in a press release later this week.