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DIE WELT (Germany) AL ARABIYA (U.A.E)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - Call it the, "high-five heard "round the world." The simple sporty gesture, exchanged between German Parliament Member Claudia Roth and Alireza Sheikhattar, the Iranian Ambassador to Germany, has set off a wave of controversy.

Through a spokeswoman, Roth, co-chair of Germany's Green Party, said she reacted out of politeness to Sheikhattar's raised hand during a pause at the Munich Security Conference earlier this month. But now that a video has emerged of the exchange, both are in hot water over the greeting. According to the Arab news channel Al Arabiya, critics in Iran are accusing Sheikhattar of having offended the laws of Islam for having touched the hand of a woman, Germany's Die Welt reports.

A spokesman for Ambassador Sheikhattar said that the gesture was “a mistake” – the Ambassador had intended to give Roth a friendly wave and was then “taken totally by surprise by her gesture.”

Devout Muslims never shake a woman’s hand, although the Koran does not expressly forbid men and women from doing so. Right after the incident, an embassy spokesman said: "In principle, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ambassador never shakes a woman’s hand, nor has Ambassador Sheikhattar ever shaken Ms Roth’s hand before."

Video of the encounter shows the beaming 60-year-old ambassador not only holding out his hand but accepting Roth’s gesture without discernible irritation.

But the German politician is also facing criticism from her own supporters, Die Welt reports. Roth had explained the gesture by saying she'd been in contact with the ambassador by letter to ask if his government would allow Iranian film director Jafar Panahi to travel to the Berlinale film festival. However, on Internet forum some have accused her of shaking the hand of a “mass murderer” – a reference to Ambassador Sheikhattar’s alleged human rights abuses when he was governor of Iran’s Kurdish areas in the early 1980s.

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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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