Jordan's king fills 3 vacant Cabinet posts

Jordan's King Abdullah II swore in three new Cabinet ministers Sunday, filling posts left vacant by resignations over the past two months, a royal palace statement said. Hamad al-Kassassbeh became the country's finance minister, replacing Ziad Fariz, a renowned economist and former deputy prime minister who resigned in August over a Cabinet decision not to raise fuel prices, according to the statement. Al-Kassassbeh was formerly the Finance Ministry's secretary general. Health Ministry official Salah al-Mawajdeh and university professor Mohammed al-Shatnawi took over the health and water portfolios, respectively, the statement said. Their predecessors, Water Minister Thafer al-Alem and Health Minister Saad al-Kharabsheh, left the Cabinet in July after the outbreak of a nonfatal parasitic disease in northern Jordan allegedly caused by contaminated water.