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AL-ARABIYA (Saoudi Arabia) / SANA (Syria)

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had commissioned a regime insider to form the next government according to the al-Arabiya news channel. Riad Hijab, who served as minister of agriculture in the previous government, was appointed to replace outgoing Prime Minister Adel Safr.

The formation of the new cabinet comes days after the opening of the new parliament, where Assad gave a speech about why he refuses to negotiate with the "terrorists' seeking to destroy the country.

The new prime minister is 56 years old and comes from the eastern, largely tribal province of Deir a-Zor, one of regions rising against the regime. He holds a Ph.D in agricultural engineering, and served as secretary of the Baath Party in Deir a-Zor from 2004 until 2008, Hijab was then appointed as governor of the Qunautra and Azqah provinces.

As the cabinet is reshuffled, fighting continues across Syria between rebels and the army, with 51 people reported killed on Tuesday. Syria expelled diplomats from several countries, a list of which is found on the Syrian official news agency website, SANA, which declared "diplomacy an important tool to communicate and to resolve pending disputes and problems."

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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