Asif Ali Zardari, husband of slain politician Benazir Bhutto, touches her photo during his speech to the twenty-third Congress of the Socialist International at the Lagonissi Grand Resort, Greece.
Asif Ali Zardari, husband of slain politician Benazir Bhutto, touches her photo during his speech to the twenty-third Congress of the Socialist International at the Lagonissi Grand Resort, Greece.

Zardari elected Pakistani president



ISLAMABAD // The widower of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto will succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan after winning a landslide victory in today's election. Partial results announced by officials after separate votes in the federal and provincial assemblies show that Asif Ali Zardari won an overwhelming majority of the votes. Pro-Zardari lawmakers, some in tears, shouted "Long live Bhutto!" as the results came in. The couple's two teenage daughters, one carrying a portrait of their late mother, smiled from the gallery. But today also brought a brutal reminder of the threats to the nuclear-armed nation's stability when a suicide car bomber killed 16 people and wounded 40 others in the northwestern city of Peshawar. At least five of the dead were policemen.

Voting was unaffected and no politicians were among the dead or injured. In recent weeks, the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for a string of suicide bombings they have called revenge for military offensives in the region, which borders Afghanistan. The US has pushed Pakistan to crack down on insurgents. A deadly American-led ground attack in Pakistani territory on Wednesday sparked outrage and embarrassed Mr Zardari's party. Mr Zardari faced off against Mushahid Hussain, a senator from the pro-Musharraf party routed in February and Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, a former judge put forward by the opposition party of another ex-prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.

Legislators in the four provincial assemblies were eligible to vote in the secret ballot. With this win, Mr Zardari, the head of Pakistan's main ruling party, has become one of the most powerful civilian leaders in Pakistan's 61-year history. Like his late wife, Mr Zardari is generally considered a pro-West liberal, and he is not expected to change Pakistan's commitment as an ally in the US war on terrorism despite the recent raid and suspected US missile strikes along the border.

Mr Zardari and senior party lieutenants have matched Mr Musharraf's tough line against terrorism, insisting the battle against Islamic militants is Pakistan's war. But while that plays well in Washington, the test will be how much clout Mr Zardari wields over the military, whose stop-start battles with militants have failed to halt the rising strength of the Taliban. Mr Zardari and his party also have promised to trim the powers of the presidency - enhanced by constitutional changes under Mr Musharraf - to bring it more in balance with the parliament and the prime minister. The president can dissolve parliament and appoint army chiefs, and chairs the joint civilian-military committee that controls Pakistan's nuclear weapons. A horse-loving aristocrat who has spent more years in prison than in politics, Mr Zardari has impressed and surprised many with his ability to concentrate power since his wife was killed in a December and he inherited the leadership of her party.

Until his arranged marriage to Ms Bhutto in 1987, Mr Zardari was the unremarkable son of a landowning businessman and tribal chief from the southern province of Sindh. Like many of this Muslim country's elite, he attended Christian missionary schools and a top boarding school on the banks of the Indus River near Hyderabad. He has claimed to hold a bachelor's degree from a business school in London, but his party has been unable to produce a certificate or establish what he studied.

Mr Zardari was quickly accused of meddling in the affairs of Ms Bhutto's party and sidelining party stalwarts in favour of cronies. He served as minister for the environment and investment in the second of her two governments, each of which was dismissed before the end of its term for corruption and misrule. Foes and many ordinary Pakistanis still refer to him as Mr 10 Per cent, because of allegations that he pocketed commissions on government contracts for everything from a license to import gold to the purchase of 8,000 Polish tractors.

Mr Zardari endured about 11 years in jail in two spells as well as marathon court proceedings. But he was never convicted at home or in corruption and money-laundering investigations in Britain, Spain and Switzerland. Mr Zardari insists the cases were politically motivated attempts - first by archrival Mr Sharif, later by Mr Musharraf and the military-dominated establishment he represented - to demonise his wife and prevent her return from self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.

When she did return home in October, it was under an ill-fated power-sharing deal with Mr Musharraf, who ordered an amnesty covering all corruption cases pending from Ms Bhutto's terms of office. Mr Zardari did not initially follow her home. He spent much of the time after his release from jail in 2004 in New York and reportedly received treatment for ailments including heart and back problems that his aides attributed to his prolonged incarceration.

In a court case in London, his lawyers even argued he had suffered stress-induced mental illness - though supporters insist he has made a full recovery and is fit to be president. Having rushed home to bury Ms Bhutto, Mr Zardari revealed his political steel in taking the reins of her party and leading it to victory in February parliamentary elections. By outmanoeuvring Mr Sharif, who last month quit the ruling coalition after accusing Mr Zardari of duplicity, Mr Zardari showed a shrewdness that has impressed many, and some are willing to wait and see whether he can stabilise Pakistan - and whether he has learnt from any sins in his past.

Meanwhile, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake jolted Pakistan and Afghanistan this morning, briefly interrupting the voting process as lawmakers fled an assembly building when the quake hit, officials and witnesses said. The lawmakers who fled an assembly building in Pakistan's northern city of Peshawar returned quickly after realising the tremor was moderate, witnesses said. *Agencies

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Bharat

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Starring: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

BIGGEST CYBER SECURITY INCIDENTS IN RECENT TIMES

SolarWinds supply chain attack: Came to light in December 2020 but had taken root for several months, compromising major tech companies, governments and its entities

Microsoft Exchange server exploitation: March 2021; attackers used a vulnerability to steal emails

Kaseya attack: July 2021; ransomware hit perpetrated REvil, resulting in severe downtime for more than 1,000 companies

Log4j breach: December 2021; attackers exploited the Java-written code to inflitrate businesses and governments

German plea

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the German parliament that. Russia had erected a new wall across Europe.

"It's not a Berlin Wall -- it is a Wall in central Europe between freedom and bondage and this Wall is growing bigger with every bomb" dropped on Ukraine, Zelenskyy told MPs.

Mr Zelenskyy was applauded by MPs in the Bundestag as he addressed Chancellor Olaf Scholz directly.

"Dear Mr Scholz, tear down this Wall," he said, evoking US President Ronald Reagan's 1987 appeal to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

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

Zombieland: Double Tap

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone

Four out of five stars 

Expert input

If you had all the money in the world, what’s the one sneaker you would buy or create?

“There are a few shoes that have ‘grail’ status for me. But the one I have always wanted is the Nike x Patta x Parra Air Max 1 - Cherrywood. To get a pair in my size brand new is would cost me between Dh8,000 and Dh 10,000.” Jack Brett

“If I had all the money, I would approach Nike and ask them to do my own Air Force 1, that’s one of my dreams.” Yaseen Benchouche

“There’s nothing out there yet that I’d pay an insane amount for, but I’d love to create my own shoe with Tinker Hatfield and Jordan.” Joshua Cox

“I think I’d buy a defunct footwear brand; I’d like the challenge of reinterpreting a brand’s history and changing options.” Kris Balerite

 “I’d stir up a creative collaboration with designers Martin Margiela of the mixed patchwork sneakers, and Yohji Yamamoto.” Hussain Moloobhoy

“If I had all the money in the world, I’d live somewhere where I’d never have to wear shoes again.” Raj Malhotra

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League quarter-final, second leg (first-leg score):

Manchester City (0) v Tottenham Hotspur (1), Wednesday, 11pm UAE

Match is on BeIN Sports

BACK TO ALEXANDRIA

Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

Libya's Gold

UN Panel of Experts found regime secretly sold a fifth of the country's gold reserves.

The panel’s 2017 report followed a trail to West Africa where large sums of cash and gold were hidden by Abdullah Al Senussi, Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief, in 2011.

Cases filled with cash that was said to amount to $560m in 100 dollar notes, that was kept by a group of Libyans in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

A second stash was said to have been held in Accra, Ghana, inside boxes at the local offices of an international human rights organisation based in France.

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

Traits of Chinese zodiac animals

Tiger:independent, successful, volatile
Rat:witty, creative, charming
Ox:diligent, perseverent, conservative
Rabbit:gracious, considerate, sensitive
Dragon:prosperous, brave, rash
Snake:calm, thoughtful, stubborn
Horse:faithful, energetic, carefree
Sheep:easy-going, peacemaker, curious
Monkey:family-orientated, clever, playful
Rooster:honest, confident, pompous
Dog:loyal, kind, perfectionist
Boar:loving, tolerant, indulgent  

TOURNAMENT INFO

Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier

Jul 3- 14, in the Netherlands
The top two teams will qualify to play at the World T20 in the West Indies in November

UAE squad
Humaira Tasneem (captain), Chamani Seneviratne, Subha Srinivasan, Neha Sharma, Kavisha Kumari, Judit Cleetus, Chaya Mughal, Roopa Nagraj, Heena Hotchandani, Namita D’Souza, Ishani Senevirathne, Esha Oza, Nisha Ali, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 715bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh1,289,376

On sale: now

The winners

Fiction

  • ‘Amreekiya’  by Lena Mahmoud
  •  ‘As Good As True’ by Cheryl Reid

The Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award

  • ‘Syrian and Lebanese Patricios in Sao Paulo’ by Oswaldo Truzzi;  translated by Ramon J Stern
  • ‘The Sound of Listening’ by Philip Metres

The George Ellenbogen Poetry Award

  • ‘Footnotes in the Order  of Disappearance’ by Fady Joudah

Children/Young Adult

  •  ‘I’ve Loved You Since Forever’ by Hoda Kotb 
The specs: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Price, base / as tested Dh220,000 / Dh320,000

Engine 3.5L V6

Transmission 10-speed automatic

Power 421hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque 678Nm @ 3,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 14.1L / 100km

Empty Words

By Mario Levrero  

(Coffee House Press)
 

Timeline

1947
Ferrari’s road-car company is formed and its first badged car, the 125 S, rolls off the assembly line

1962
250 GTO is unveiled

1969
Fiat becomes a Ferrari shareholder, acquiring 50 per cent of the company

1972
The Fiorano circuit, Ferrari’s racetrack for development and testing, opens

1976
First automatic Ferrari, the 400 Automatic, is made

1987
F40 launched

1988
Enzo Ferrari dies; Fiat expands its stake in the company to 90 per cent

2002
The Enzo model is announced

2010
Ferrari World opens in Abu Dhabi

2011
First four-wheel drive Ferrari, the FF, is unveiled

2013
LaFerrari, the first Ferrari hybrid, arrives

2014
Fiat Chrysler announces the split of Ferrari from the parent company

2015
Ferrari launches on Wall Street

2017
812 Superfast unveiled; Ferrari celebrates its 70th anniversary

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.