Nadia, a young villager in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, displays a mortar shell casing claimed to have hit a home at the village in Parla Mohrra on Thursday. Sajjad Qayyum / AFP
Nadia, a young villager in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, displays a mortar shell casing claimed to have hit a home at the village in Parla Mohrra on Thursday. Sajjad Qayyum / AFP

Villagers living near Line of Control in Kashmir grateful for ceasefire



ALONG THE LINE OF CONTROL, KASHMIR // On both sides of the de facto border in Kashmir, villagers living on one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints have special reason to fear the return of tension between India and Pakistan.
The Line of Control that separates Kashmir has been subject to a ceasefire agreed by countries since 2003, offering a semblance of security to the hamlets that dot the snow-capped, mountainous terrain.
Periodic violations and cross-border shelling are a constant menace, but a sharp escalation over the past 10 days following apparent tit-for-tat killings of soldiers by both sides has heightened a sense of dread of more conflict.
In the tiny settlement of Parla Mohrra, located in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and home to around 25 families, local families who eke out an existence on their farms are frightened.
The hamlet scattered over the hills appeared deserted when a reporter visited on Thursday. Nearby shops and schools were also closed as anxious residents refused to venture out of their homes.
Shameer Begum, 55, a widow with 11 children, showed damage to her house and parts of a mortar shell which she said landed in her courtyard on Tuesday night, jolting her out of bed.
"We were so scared and started to pray. We can't live here if the firing carries on. But I'm a widow and I don't have the means to move."
The settlement lies just 450 metres from the de facto border and an Indian army post can be seen across a deep valley perched on the brow of the hill in the distance.
The spike in cross-border firing in Kashmir - a region claimed wholly by both India and Pakistan - has seen five soldiers killed in recent days and threatened to unravel a fragile peace process that had begun to make progress.
Ms Begum, her shawl wrapped tightly around her head and chest against the biting cold, said the timing of mortar rounds and firing was impossible to predict as she pointed to bullet holes scarring the wall of a neighbour's home.
"The children haven't been to school for three days as schools are closed. I don't even let them go outside."
Sardar Shahmim, 45, a labourer, said men were taking on jobs traditionally done by their wives to spare them from venturing outside.
"We're not sending our women to fetch water. We go ourselves now," he said.
"We have enough food for today, but if the firing incidents carry on, our food will run out."
A deal to "de-escalate" tensions and end the cross-border firing was reached during a 10-minute phone call on Wednesday between generals from both sides, which appears to have ended hostilities for the time being.
Across the border, in the Indian-administered village Abdulian, security forces are on high alert, conducting patrols through the night and cleaning out old bunkers used by villagers for protection during earlier outbreaks of violence.
As locals cautiously carry on tending to their cattle and sheep in Abdulian, where the soldiers deployed nearly outnumber the local population, a sense of anxiety is palpable.
The hamlet, which is ringed by barbed-wire fences, has witnessed sporadic firing since the 2003 ceasefire, pushing villagers to ask the government to resettle them in safer areas.
In Charunda hamlet, where three villagers were killed by cross-border shelling last October, residents said their nerves were shredded by the prospect of an escalated conflict.
Nazir Ahmad, whose son suffered severe injuries from fighting in 2011, told the Deccan Herald newspaper he was praying for normality to return.
"We fear that we will face the worst situation again if the ceasefire breaks. We take shelter in the ground floor of our house or bunkers due to the fear of shelling."
* Agence France-Presse

Oppenheimer

Director: Christopher Nolan

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon

Rating: 5/5

 


 

UAE v Gibraltar

What: International friendly

When: 7pm kick off

Where: Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

Admission: Free

Online: The match will be broadcast live on Dubai Exiles’ Facebook page

UAE squad: Lucas Waddington (Dubai Exiles), Gio Fourie (Exiles), Craig Nutt (Abu Dhabi Harlequins), Phil Brady (Harlequins), Daniel Perry (Dubai Hurricanes), Esekaia Dranibota (Harlequins), Matt Mills (Exiles), Jaen Botes (Exiles), Kristian Stinson (Exiles), Murray Reason (Abu Dhabi Saracens), Dave Knight (Hurricanes), Ross Samson (Jebel Ali Dragons), DuRandt Gerber (Exiles), Saki Naisau (Dragons), Andrew Powell (Hurricanes), Emosi Vacanau (Harlequins), Niko Volavola (Dragons), Matt Richards (Dragons), Luke Stevenson (Harlequins), Josh Ives (Dubai Sports City Eagles), Sean Stevens (Saracens), Thinus Steyn (Exiles)

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo
Price, base / as tested: Dh182,178
Engine: 3.7-litre V6
Power: 350hp @ 7,400rpm
Torque: 374Nm @ 5,200rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
​​​​​​​Fuel consumption, combined: 10.5L / 100km

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

England squads for Test and T20 series against New Zealand

Test squad: Joe Root (capt), Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, James Vince

Company profile

Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

Red Sparrow

Dir: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Egerton, Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons

Three stars

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

Meydan Racecourse racecard:

6.30pm: The Madjani Stakes Listed (PA) | Dh175,000 1,900m

7.05pm: Maiden for 2-year-old fillies (TB) Dh165,000 1,400m

7.40pm: The Dubai Creek Mile Listed (TB) Dh265,000 1,600m

8.15pm: Maiden for 2-year-old colts (TB) Dh165,000 1,600m

8.50pm: The Entisar Listed (TB) Dh265,000 2,000m

9.25pm: Handicap (TB) Dh190,000 1,200m

10pm: Handicap (TB) Dh190,000 1,600m.

SRI LANKS ODI SQUAD

Perera (capt), Mendis, Gunathilaka, de Silva, Nissanka, Shanaka, Bandara, Hasaranga, Udana, Dananjaya, Dickwella, Chameera, Mendis, Fernando, Sandakan, Karunaratne, Fernando, Fernando.

The Cairo Statement

1: Commit to countering all types of terrorism and extremism in all their manifestations

2: Denounce violence and the rhetoric of hatred

3: Adhere to the full compliance with the Riyadh accord of 2014 and the subsequent meeting and executive procedures approved in 2014 by the GCC

4: Comply with all recommendations of the Summit between the US and Muslim countries held in May 2017 in Saudi Arabia.

5: Refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of countries and of supporting rogue entities.

6: Carry out the responsibility of all the countries with the international community to counter all manifestations of extremism and terrorism that threaten international peace and security

Sam Smith

Where: du Arena, Abu Dhabi

When: Saturday November 24

Rating: 4/5

Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

if you go

The flights

Air France offer flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Cayenne, connecting in Paris from Dh7,300.

The tour

Cox & Kings (coxandkings.com) has a 14-night Hidden Guianas tour of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It includes accommodation, domestic flights, transfers, a local tour manager and guided sightseeing. Contact for price.

Women’s World T20, Asia Qualifier, in Bangkok

UAE fixtures Mon Nov 20, v China; Tue Nov 21, v Thailand; Thu Nov 23, v Nepal; Fri Nov 24, v Hong Kong; Sun Nov 26, v Malaysia; Mon Nov 27, Final

(The winners will progress to the Global Qualifier)

My Country: A Syrian Memoir

Kassem Eid, Bloomsbury

Ramez Gab Min El Akher

Creator: Ramez Galal

Starring: Ramez Galal

Streaming on: MBC Shahid

Rating: 2.5/5

Wonka

Director: Paul King

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant

Rating: 2/5

SCORES IN BRIEF

Lahore Qalandars 186 for 4 in 19.4 overs
(Sohail 100,Phil Salt 37 not out, Bilal Irshad 30, Josh Poysden 2-26)
bt Yorkshire Vikings 184 for 5 in 20 overs
(Jonathan Tattersall 36, Harry Brook 37, Gary Ballance 33, Adam Lyth 32, Shaheen Afridi 2-36).

Scores in brief:

Boost Defenders 205-5 in 20 overs
(Colin Ingram 84 not out, Cameron Delport 36, William Somerville 2-28)
bt Auckland Aces 170 for 5 in 20 overs
(Rob O’Donnell 67 not out, Kyle Abbott 3-21).

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

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

Rating: 4.5/5

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

In 2018, the ICRC received 27,756 trace requests in the Middle East alone. The global total was 45,507.

 

There are 139,018 global trace requests that have not been resolved yet, 55,672 of these are in the Middle East region.

 

More than 540,000 individuals approached the ICRC in the Middle East asking to be reunited with missing loved ones in 2018.

 

The total figure for the entire world was 654,000 in 2018.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

The Bio

Name: Lynn Davison

Profession: History teacher at Al Yasmina Academy, Abu Dhabi

Children: She has one son, Casey, 28

Hometown: Pontefract, West Yorkshire in the UK

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite Author: CJ Sansom

Favourite holiday destination: Bali

Favourite food: A Sunday roast

Ain Dubai in numbers

126: The length in metres of the legs supporting the structure

1 football pitch: The length of each permanent spoke is longer than a professional soccer pitch

16 A380 Airbuses: The equivalent weight of the wheel rim.

9,000 tonnes: The amount of steel used to construct the project.

5 tonnes: The weight of each permanent spoke that is holding the wheel rim in place

192: The amount of cable wires used to create the wheel. They measure a distance of 2,4000km in total, the equivalent of the distance between Dubai and Cairo.

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

INDIA'S TOP INFLUENCERS

Bhuvan Bam
Instagram followers: 16.1 million
Bhuvan Bam is a 29-year-old comedian and actor from Delhi, who started out with YouTube channel, “BB Ki Vines” in 2015, which propelled the social media star into the limelight and made him sought-after among brands.
Kusha Kapila
Instagram followers: 3.1 million
Kusha Kapila is a fashion editor and actress, who has collaborated with brands including Google. She focuses on sharing light-hearted content and insights into her life as a rising celebrity.
Diipa Khosla
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Diipa Khosla started out as a social media manager before branching out to become one of India's biggest fashion influencers, with collaborations including MAC Cosmetics.
Komal Pandey
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Komal Pandey is a fashion influencer who has partnered with more than 100 brands, including Olay and smartphone brand Vivo India.
Nikhil Sharma
Instagram followers: 1.4 million
Nikhil Sharma from Mumbai began his online career through vlogs about his motorcycle trips. He has become a lifestyle influencer and has created his own clothing line.
Source: Hireinfluence, various

Pad Man

Dir: R Balki

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte

Three-and-a-half stars

BIG SPENDERS

Premier League clubs spent £230 million (Dh1.15 billion) on January transfers, the second-highest total for the mid-season window, the Sports Business Group at Deloitte said in a report.

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices