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Libya interim leader tasked with forming new cabinet

Libya's parliament tasked the interim prime minister on Tuesday with forming a new cabinet, weeks after ousting his predecessor for failing to rein in the lawlessness gripping the country. Prime minister Abdullah al-Thani, defence minister under ousted premier Ali Zeidan, will face the daunting task of bringing former rebel brigades to heel following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ended Moamer Kadhafi's four-decade rule.

Doha Goals Forum opens with Ministers of Summit

DOHA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Doha GOALS, the world's leading platform focusing on sport as a driver of social and economic change, opened here on Monday morning with a Ministers of Sport summit. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, also participated in the summit. Doha GOALS is a call to action for policymakers, NGOs, corporations and athletes alike.

Qatar says had no contact with Syrian govt

Qatar has stressed it has had no direct or indirect contact with Syria's regime, as the head of Lebanon's pro-Syria Hezbollah movement said he had received an envoy from Doha. "Qatar does not have any direct or indirect contacts with the Syrian regime," said the foreign ministry in a statement late Tuesday, stressing support for the armed opposition. Doha's "sole link is with the legitimate representative of the (Syrian) people, which is the National Coalition," it said in a statement carried by QNA state news agency.

Emir of Qatar's sister named biggest player in art world

The sister of the Emir of Qatar was named the most influential figure in the art world in a "power list" published by Britain's ArtReview magazine on Thursday. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bint al-Thani has around $1 billion a year to spend on art as head of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), according to ArtReview -- 30 times more than New York's Museum of Modern Art. "No wonder, then, that whenever Sheikha Al-Mayassa is in town, everyone from government ministers to mayors queue up to pay their respects," the magazine said as it published its annual "Power 100" ranking.

Qatari poet sentenced to 15 years in prison for insulting emir

DOHA (Reuters) - A Qatari court on Monday upheld a 15-year jail sentence handed down to a poet convicted of criticizing the former emir and attempting to incite revolt, a relative said. In his verses, Muhammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami praised the Arab Spring revolts that toppled four authoritarian leaders. He also criticized Qatar's former absolute monarch, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and mocked "sheikhs playing on their PlayStations".

Jordan holds journalists over video that 'offends' Qatar royal

Two Jordanian journalists were detained on Wednesday after posting on their news website a video deemed offensive to the brother of Qatar's emir. Jafra news publisher Nidal Faraaneh and editor Amjad Maalla "are accused of posting a video that offends Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad al-Thani," a judicial official told AFP. Sheikh Jasim is the brother of Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim. "They were charged with carrying out acts that the government does not approve and that would expose Jordan and its citizens to the risk of acts of aggression," the official said.

Qatar's new emir in Saudi for first foreign trip

Qatar's new emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Friday landed in Saudi Arabia on his first foreign foray since acceding to the throne in June, state news agency SPA said. Sheikh Tamim flew in to the port city of Jeddah and will meet King Abdullah and perform the omra pilgrimage to nearby Mecca, Islam's holiest site, the agency said. The Saudi monarch is also currently in Mecca where he will celebrate the Eid feast marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy fasting month, SPA said.

Qatar's new emir in Saudi for first foreign trip

Qatar's new emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was to visit Saudi Arabia on Friday on his first foreign foray since acceding to the throne in June, state news agency SPA said. Sheikh Tamim "will meet King Abdullah and perform the omra" pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam's holiest site, the agency said. The Saudi monarch is also currently in Mecca where he will celebrate the Eid feast marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy fasting month, SPA said.

Analysis: Setbacks to bring quieter Qatar foreign policy but no U-turn

By Regan Doherty, Amena Bakr and William Maclean DOHA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar may tone down its pushy foreign policy, chastened by setbacks in Syria and Egypt, but is likely to keep supporting Arab Spring revolts and bankrolling Islamist influence, albeit a little more quietly. The tiny state provided much of the armed muscle behind the Arab rebellions, while its aid for Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt alarmed neighboring Gulf monarchies who see the Islamist movement as a threat to their own hereditary authority.

New Qatar ruler will keep backing Syria opposition: rebel envoy

DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar's new emir will keep helping Syrian rebels until President Bashar al-Assad's rule ends, Syria's opposition envoy to Doha said on Wednesday, seeking to dampen speculation the rich Gulf state had scaled back its role in supporting the revolt. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has not made a detailed statement of foreign policy priorities following his accession last month, and some analysts have speculated the country is rethinking its backing for Arab Spring rebellions.
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