Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit looks on during the opening of Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, Egypt September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit looks on during the opening of Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, Egypt September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Arab League slams US decision to close Palestinian mission



The Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Tuesday slammed the US administration’s decision to shut down the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s diplomatic mission in Washington.

The Foreign Minister’s meeting on Tuesday was the first since the US made the decision to suspend the PLO’s de facto embassy for Palestine in the American capital on Monday.

Mr Aboul-Gheit said in a statement that the decision comes as part of a long series of US policies towards the Palestinians aimed at derailing their cause.

"Since the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem this May, the current US administration has been showing its full bias to the Israeli agenda," the Cairo-based league said in a statement.

He is also made reference to the US procedures of halting financial aid to the UNRWA and said it was an affront to the Palestinian people.

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The Arab League said it will not allow UNRWA to dissolve or replace it with an alternative organisation during a meeting earlier this week with Mr Aboul-Gheit and the UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl.

Mr Aboul-Gheit said that the Arab League will look at ways to compensate the withheld US contributions and to tackle the UN agency’s deficit.

The Arab League issued a statement that said it rejected the idea that the Palestinians were unwilling to negotiate. The PLO has rejected US mediation since US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir endorsed the statement but also drew attention to Iran’s meddling in Arab affairs.

The Arab League also said that peace in Yemen remains one of its top priorities after peace talks in Geneva last week failed to produce the desired results.

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

J Street Polling Results

97% of Jewish-Americans are concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism

76% of US Jewish voters believe Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism

74% of American Jews agreed that “Trump and the Maga movement are a threat to Jews in America"

Brave CF 27 fight card

Welterweight:
Abdoul Abdouraguimov (champion, FRA) v Jarrah Al Selawe (JOR)

Lightweight:
Anas Siraj Mounir (TUN) v Alex Martinez (CAN)

Welterweight:
Mzwandile Hlongwa (RSA) v Khamzat Chimaev (SWE)

Middleweight:
Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Rustam Chsiev (RUS)
Mohammad Fakhreddine (LEB) v Christofer Silva (BRA)

Super lightweight:
Alex Nacfur (BRA) v Dwight Brooks (USA)

Bantamweight:
Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) v Tariq Ismail (CAN)
Chris Corton (PHI) v Zia Mashwani (PAK)

Featherweight:
Sulaiman (KUW) v Abdullatip (RUS)

Super lightweight:
Flavio Serafin (BRA) v Mohammad Al Katib (JOR)

'Shakuntala Devi'

Starring: Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra

Director: Anu Menon

Rating: Three out of five stars

Challenge Cup result:

1. UAE 3 faults
2. Ireland 9 faults
3. Brazil 11 faults
4. Spain 15 faults
5. Great Britain 17 faults
6. New Zealand 20 faults
7. Italy 26 faults

The specs

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 542bhp
Torque: 770Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Price: From Dh1,450,000
On sale: Now

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

Crops that could be introduced to the UAE

1: Quinoa 

2. Bathua 

3. Amaranth 

4. Pearl and finger millet 

5. Sorghum

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

Company profile

Company: Zywa
Started: 2021
Founders: Nuha Hashem and Alok Kumar
Based: UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $3m
Company valuation: $30m

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft Toronto
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows
​​​​​​​Release Date: April 10

Zakat definitions

Zakat: an Arabic word meaning ‘to cleanse’ or ‘purification’.

Nisab: the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to pay zakat. Traditionally, the nisab threshold was 87.48 grams of gold, or 612.36 grams of silver. The monetary value of the nisab therefore varies by current prices and currencies.

Zakat Al Mal: the ‘cleansing’ of wealth, as one of the five pillars of Islam; a spiritual duty for all Muslims meeting the ‘nisab’ wealth criteria in a lunar year, to pay 2.5 per cent of their wealth in alms to the deserving and needy.

Zakat Al Fitr: a donation to charity given during Ramadan, before Eid Al Fitr, in the form of food. Every adult Muslim who possesses food in excess of the needs of themselves and their family must pay two qadahs (an old measure just over 2 kilograms) of flour, wheat, barley or rice from each person in a household, as a minimum.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Why your domicile status is important

Your UK residence status is assessed using the statutory residence test. While your residence status – ie where you live - is assessed every year, your domicile status is assessed over your lifetime.

Your domicile of origin generally comes from your parents and if your parents were not married, then it is decided by your father. Your domicile is generally the country your father considered his permanent home when you were born. 

UK residents who have their permanent home ("domicile") outside the UK may not have to pay UK tax on foreign income. For example, they do not pay tax on foreign income or gains if they are less than £2,000 in the tax year and do not transfer that gain to a UK bank account.

A UK-domiciled person, however, is liable for UK tax on their worldwide income and gains when they are resident in the UK.

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Know your cyber adversaries

Cryptojacking: Compromises a device or network to mine cryptocurrencies without an organisation's knowledge.

Distributed denial-of-service: Floods systems, servers or networks with information, effectively blocking them.

Man-in-the-middle attack: Intercepts two-way communication to obtain information, spy on participants or alter the outcome.

Malware: Installs itself in a network when a user clicks on a compromised link or email attachment.

Phishing: Aims to secure personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Ransomware: Encrypts user data, denying access and demands a payment to decrypt it.

Spyware: Collects information without the user's knowledge, which is then passed on to bad actors.

Trojans: Create a backdoor into systems, which becomes a point of entry for an attack.

Viruses: Infect applications in a system and replicate themselves as they go, just like their biological counterparts.

Worms: Send copies of themselves to other users or contacts. They don't attack the system, but they overload it.

Zero-day exploit: Exploits a vulnerability in software before a fix is found.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES

Tuesday (UAE kick-off times)

Leicester City v Brighton (9pm)

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United (11.15pm)

Wednesday

Manchester United v Sheffield United (9pm)

Newcastle United v Aston Villa (9pm)

Norwich City v Everton (9pm)

Wolves v Bournemouth (9pm)

Liverpool v Crystal Palace (11.15pm)

Thursday

Burnley v Watford (9pm)

Southampton v Arsenal (9pm)

Chelsea v Manchester City (11.15pm)

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES EPISODE 1: LOT 36

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roche, Elpidia Carrillo
Rating: 4/5

The Crown season 5

Stars: Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West, Elizabeth Debicki, Salim Daw and Khalid Abdalla

Written by: Peter Morgan

Rating: 4/5 stars


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