Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Dec. 5


By Liu Lu

TEHRAN -- The COVID-19 epidemic has claimed 50,016 lives in Iran as of Saturday, with the total cases to 1,028,986 in the country, according to the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

The ministry's spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari reported at daily briefing that 12,151 new COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in the past 24 hours with 321 new fatalities. Of the newly infected, 1,562 had to be hospitalized. (Iran-COVID19)

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ADEN, Yemen -- Unknown gunmen opened fire and killed a well-known Yemeni academician in the country's southern province of Dhalea on Saturday, a security official told Xinhua.

"Two masked gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire from their rifles and assassinated Khaled Humaidi, dean of the Education College in the city," according to the local security source who asked to remain anonymous. (Yemen-Assassination)

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BEIRUT -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that Lebanon does not mind resorting to international arbitration if the country fails to reach a fair agreement with Israel on maritime border demarcation, al-Akhbar local newspaper reported on Saturday.

The indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel started on Oct. 14. (Lebanon-Israel-Border Demarcation)

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The Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) endorsed on Saturday the parliament-ratified "Strategic Action to Lift Embargoes" law, intended to reduce international monitoring of Iran's nuclear program if embargoes on the country are not lifted in two months.

"The aforementioned law does not create a specific issue that damages national interests," a statement by the SNSC quoted by Tasnim news agency said. (Iran-IAEA-Inspection)

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