Afghan leader blames ‘sudden’ US withdrawal for worsening security

President Ashraf Ghani unveils plan to bring fast-deteriorating security situation under control in six months, but no details released

Israel to offer third Pfizer shot to over-60s in battle against Delta variant

First booster campaign in the world turns the country into a testing ground for a third dose before approval by FDA

Biden and Iraq leader announce end to US combat mission though most troops to remain

Agreement formally ends mission in Iraq by the end of 2021 after more than 18 years there

Lebanese president names billionaire businessman Mikati to form new government

It will be the third attempt in less than a year to form a new government as the country scrambles to escape a spiralling economic crisis

Saudi Aramco confirms data leak after $50m cyber ransom

World’s largest oil producer says some company files were leaked but operations were not affected

Iran opens oil terminal to bypass Strait of Hormuz

Move will allow it to avoid using the strategically vulnerable shipping route that has been a focus of regional tension for decades

Saudi Arabian women stand guard in Islam’s holiest site

First group of women soldiers help secure the hajj  pilgrimage

Saad Hariri steps down as Lebanon prime minister-designate as crisis deepens

Hariri says President Michel Aoun rejected his latest cabinet line-up

Iranian commander ‘urged’ Shi’ite militias to step up action against US forces at Iraq meeting

Several attacks follow visit by delegation led by Revolutionary Guards intelligence chief Hossein Taeb

Israel offers third Covid-19 booster shot as new cases surge

Third dose of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine to be given to patients with weakened immune systems, says health ministry

Efficacy rate of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine slips in Israel

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says people will ‘likely’ need a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated

Afghans worry about security as US troops leave

There are fears of looming chaos as peace talks in Qatar make no headway and many of country’s districts having fallen to the Taliban

Saudi Arabia plans second national airline in move away from oil

Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 strategy aims to turn world’s second-biggest exporter into a logistics hub

UN chief urges Biden to lift all Iran sanctions

Antonio Guterres’s appeal comes amid talks to revive the nuclear deal under which Iran accepted curbs on its atomic programme UN chief calls for US to implement

Civilians join Afghan army battling Taliban advance in northern Afghanistan

UN warns Taliban has overrun more than 50 northern districts with US withdrawal under way

Iran’s hardline president-elect urges end to US sanctions

Ebrahim Raisi rules out meeting with President Joe Biden and demands Washington guarantee it will not pull out of the nuclear accord again

Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.