Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his speech declaring Marawi "liberated" during a ceremony inside the battle area in Marawi on October 17, 2017.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on October 17 symbolically declared a southern city "liberated from terrorists' influence" but the military said the five-month battle against militants loyal to the Islamic State group was not yet over. / AFP PHOTO / Ted ALJIBE
President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his speech declaring Marawi "liberated" during a ceremony inside the battle area in Marawi on October 17, 2017. Ted Aljibe / AFP

Duterte declares Marawi liberated as battle goes on



Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte declared the southern city of Marawi liberated from pro-ISIL militants on Tuesday, although the military said 20-30 rebels were holding about 20 hostages and still fighting it out.

In a rousing address to soldiers a day after the killing of two commanders of the rebel alliance, Mr Duterte said he would never again allow militants to stockpile so many weapons, but Marawi was now free and it was time to heal wounds and rebuild.

"I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from terrorist influence, that marks the beginning of rehabilitation," Mr Duterte, wearing a camouflage cap and dark sunglasses, said during his unannounced visit.

Isnilon Hapilon, who was wanted by the United States and was ISIL's Southeast Asian "emir", and Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers central to the alliance, were killed in a targeted operation on Monday. Their bodies were recovered and identified, authorities said.

The 148-day occupation marked the Roman Catholic-majority Philippines' biggest security crisis in years and triggered concerns that with its mountains, jungles and porous borders, the island of Mindanao could become a magnet for ISIL fighters driven out of Iraq and Syria.

More than 1,000 people, mostly rebels, were killed in the battle and the heart of the city of 200,000 has been levelled by air strikes.

Armed forces chief Eduardo Ano said the remaining gunmen were now a "law enforcement matter", while military spokesman Restituto Padilla described them as "stragglers".

"There is no way that they can get out anymore, there is no way for anyone to get in," Mr Padilla told news channel ANC.

Mr Padilla said the military believed Malaysian operative Mahmud Ahmad was in Marawi, but it could not be certain. He said Mahmud was no threat.

"Dr Mahmud is an academic, he's not a fighter," Mr Padilla said. "We don't feel he is a problem."

But some security experts say otherwise and believe Mahmud, 39, a recruiter and fundraiser who trained at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, could replace Hapilon as ISIL's point-man in Southeast Asia.

Another leader, Abdullah Maute, has yet to be accounted for. Intelligence indicated he died in an August air strike, though no body was found.

Defence officials say the core leadership was key to recruiting young fighters and arranging for extremists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and beyond to join the push to carve out an East Asian "Wilaya", or Islamic State province.

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Hapilon had teamed up with the Maute clan in their stronghold of Lanao del Sur, one of the Philippines' poorest provinces, and brought with him fighters from his radical faction of Abu Sayyaf, a group better known for banditry.

Defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who estimated Marawi operations to have cost 5 billion pesos (Dh357.7m), said reconstruction could start in January.

"There are still stragglers and the structures are still unsafe because of unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices," he said on radio.

The Marawi occupation set alarm bells ringing in the Philippines, with militants surprising security forces with their combat prowess, the volume of arms and ammunition they stockpiled and their ability to withstand intensive air strikes aided by US surveillance drones and technical support.

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

How being social media savvy can improve your well being

Next time when procastinating online remember that you can save thousands on paying for a personal trainer and a gym membership simply by watching YouTube videos and keeping up with the latest health tips and trends.

As social media apps are becoming more and more consumed by health experts and nutritionists who are using it to awareness and encourage patients to engage in physical activity.

Elizabeth Watson, a personal trainer from Stay Fit gym in Abu Dhabi suggests that “individuals can use social media as a means of keeping fit, there are a lot of great exercises you can do and train from experts at home just by watching videos on YouTube”.

Norlyn Torrena, a clinical nutritionist from Burjeel Hospital advises her clients to be more technologically active “most of my clients are so engaged with their phones that I advise them to download applications that offer health related services”.

Torrena said that “most people believe that dieting and keeping fit is boring”.

However, by using social media apps keeping fit means that people are “modern and are kept up to date with the latest heath tips and trends”.

“It can be a guide to a healthy lifestyle and exercise if used in the correct way, so I really encourage my clients to download health applications” said Mrs Torrena.

People can also connect with each other and exchange “tips and notes, it’s extremely healthy and fun”.

In numbers

Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

UAE tour of the Netherlands

UAE squad: Rohan Mustafa (captain), Shaiman Anwar, Ghulam Shabber, Mohammed Qasim, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Chirag Suri, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Mohammed Naveed, Amjad Javed, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

Fixtures: Monday, first 50-over match; Wednesday, second 50-over match; Thursday, third 50-over match

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

Company name: NutriCal

Started: 2019

Founder: Soniya Ashar

Based: Dubai

Industry: Food Technology

Initial investment: Self-funded undisclosed amount

Future plan: Looking to raise fresh capital and expand in Saudi Arabia

Total Clients: Over 50

Bert van Marwijk factfile

Born: May 19 1952
Place of birth: Deventer, Netherlands
Playing position: Midfielder

Teams managed:
1998-2000 Fortuna Sittard
2000-2004 Feyenoord
2004-2006 Borussia Dortmund
2007-2008 Feyenoord
2008-2012 Netherlands
2013-2014 Hamburg
2015-2017 Saudi Arabia
2018 Australia

Major honours (manager):
2001/02 Uefa Cup, Feyenoord
2007/08 KNVB Cup, Feyenoord
World Cup runner-up, Netherlands

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY S24 ULTRA

Display: 6.8" quad-HD+ dynamic Amoled 2X, 3120 x 1440, 505ppi, HDR10+, 120Hz

Processor: 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 64-bit octa-core

Memory: 12GB RAM

Storage: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: Android 14, One UI 6.1

Main camera: quad 200MP wide f/1.7 + 50MP periscope telephoto f/3.4 with 5x optical/10x optical quality zoom + 10MP telephoto 2.4 with 3x optical zoom + 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2; 100x Space Zoom; auto HDR, expert RAW

Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, full-HD@30/60/240fps, full-HD super slo-mo@960fps

Front camera: 12MP f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh, fast wireless charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC

I/O: USB-C; built-in Galaxy S Pen

Durability: IP68, up to 1.5m of freshwater up to 30 minutes; dust-resistant

SIM: Nano + nano / nano + eSIM / dual eSIM (varies in different markets)

Colours: Titanium black, titanium grey, titanium violet, titanium yellow

In the box: Galaxy S24 Ultra, USB-C-to-C cable

Price: Dh5,099 for 256GB, Dh5,599 for 512GB, Dh6,599 for 1TB

Tightening the screw on rogue recruiters

The UAE overhauled the procedure to recruit housemaids and domestic workers with a law in 2017 to protect low-income labour from being exploited.

 Only recruitment companies authorised by the government are permitted as part of Tadbeer, a network of labour ministry-regulated centres.

A contract must be drawn up for domestic workers, the wages and job offer clearly stating the nature of work.

The contract stating the wages, work entailed and accommodation must be sent to the employee in their home country before they depart for the UAE.

The contract will be signed by the employer and employee when the domestic worker arrives in the UAE.

Only recruitment agencies registered with the ministry can undertake recruitment and employment applications for domestic workers.

Penalties for illegal recruitment in the UAE include fines of up to Dh100,000 and imprisonment

But agents not authorised by the government sidestep the law by illegally getting women into the country on visit visas.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allen, Kevin Durand

Rating: 3.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: PlanRadar
Started: 2013
Co-founders: Ibrahim Imam, Sander van de Rijdt, Constantin Köck, Clemens Hammerl, Domagoj Dolinsek
Based: Vienna, Austria
Sector: Construction and real estate
Current number of staff: 400+
Investment stage: Series B
Investors: Headline, Berliner Volksbank Ventures, aws Gründerfonds, Cavalry Ventures, Proptech1, Russmedia, GR Capital

This is an info box
  • info goes here
  • and here
  • and here
Story behind the UAE flag

The UAE flag was first unveiled on December 2, 1971, the day the UAE was formed. 

It was designed by Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah, 19, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi. 

Mr Al Maainah said in an interview with The National in 2011 he chose the colours for local reasons. 

The black represents the oil riches that transformed the UAE, green stands for fertility and the red and white colours were drawn from those found in existing emirate flags.

Company info

Company name: Entrupy 

Co-founders: Vidyuth Srinivasan, co-founder/chief executive, Ashlesh Sharma, co-founder/chief technology officer, Lakshmi Subramanian, co-founder/chief scientist

Based: New York, New York

Sector/About: Entrupy is a hardware-enabled SaaS company whose mission is to protect businesses, borders and consumers from transactions involving counterfeit goods.  

Initial investment/Investors: Entrupy secured a $2.6m Series A funding round in 2017. The round was led by Tokyo-based Digital Garage and Daiwa Securities Group's jointly established venture arm, DG Lab Fund I Investment Limited Partnership, along with Zach Coelius. 

Total customers: Entrupy’s customers include hundreds of secondary resellers, marketplaces and other retail organisations around the world. They are also testing with shipping companies as well as customs agencies to stop fake items from reaching the market in the first place. 

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5


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