Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi prepares to erect a national flag in Al-Qaim on November 5, 2017, after troops retook the border town from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.
The fall of Al-Qaim leaves IS fighters in Iraq holding just the smaller neighbouring town of Rawa and surrounding pockets of barren desert along the Euphrates river. / AFP PHOTO / MOADH AL-DULAIMI
Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi prepares to erect a national flag in A -Qaim on November 5, 2017, after troops retook the border town from ISIL. Moadh Al Dulaimi / AFP

Baghdad set to take Kurdish-controlled borders 'without violence'



Iraq’s prime minister Haider Al Abadi called on the Iraqi Kurdistan government to comply with Baghdad’s request to regain control of the country’s northern borders.

Baghdad’s central government imposed strict measures against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) after Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted for independence last September — a move that Baghdad as well as neighbouring Iran and Turkey deemed illegal and unconstitutional.

At his weekly press conference, Mr Al Abadi said that Baghdad is committed to controlling the KRG's borders "without violence".

“We will regain control over the border areas without violence and escalation, Baghdad will not wait forever,” he said.

Baghdad unleashed an economic barrage against the KRG by halting all international flights in and out of the semi-autonomous region and launched a military operation that recaptured the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas. These areas lie outside of the Kurdish region but are claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil, the capital city of Kurdistan region.

“We do not seek confrontation with the Kurdish regional government, we have applied federal authority in disputed areas peacefully and border crossings must come under federal jurisdiction,” said Mr Al Abadi.

The Iraqi armed forces have threatened to resume military operations against the Kurds, accusing them of delaying the handover of control of borders and taking advantage of negotiations to bolster their defences.

“I call on the KRG to co-operate with these measures to improve transparency and accountability,” said Mr Al Abadi late on Tuesday.

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Read more

Iraq Kurds say they respect federal court decision banning independence 

Iraqi premier pushes plan to cut Kurdistan's budget share

UN urges dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil on basis of constitution

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His remarks came after the Kurdistan government said it would respect a ruling by Iraq's federal court that prohibits its push for independence.

The KRG said: “We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes.”

Mr Al Abadi had previously urged the northern semi-autonomous Kurdish region to abide by the court's decision. He welcomed Erbil’s announcement and stressed that “Iraq’s constitution aims to preserve the unity and integrity of country”.

“The constitution ensures security, stability and the implementation of the federal government’s authority on all of its territory which is in the interests of all the people in Iraq, especially the Kurds,” he said.

The Kurdish announcement marks Erbil’s latest attempt to salvage negotiations with Baghdad's central government.

Iraq's vice president Ayad Allawi renewed his call for dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.

"Kurdistan's respect for Iraqi unity would pave the way for a more open and transparent dialogue based on common interests and contribute to finding a solution to all differences," Mr Allawi said.

Meanwhile, Mr Al Abadi said he was determined to pay the "rightful salaries" of government employees in the Kurdistan region.

"We are determined to pay the rightful salaries of state employees in the Kurdistan region. We have no intention of cutting salaries as some have falsely claimed and we will strip away corruption and inefficiency by local authorities,” Mr Al Abadi said.

Regarding the rising tensions in the region, the prime minister said that the cabinet discussed how Iraq will play a positive role in reducing the escalation.

"The escalation in the region is dangerous and benefits no one and harms the interests and the people of the region, Iraq will not be taking sides," he confirmed.

"Our vision is for shared security through cooperative economic development.”

Maestro

Director: Bradley Cooper

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Maya Hawke

Rating: 3/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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

Bahrain GP

Friday qualifying: 7pm (8pm UAE)

Saturday race: 7pm (UAE)

TV: BeIN Sports

Getting there

Given its remote location, getting to Borneo can feel daunting even for the most seasoned traveller. But you can fly directly from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan and Sepilok is only half an hour away by taxi. Sandakan has plenty of accommodation options, while Sepilok has a few nature lodges close to the main attractions.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Mamo

Year it started: 2019 Founders: Imad Gharazeddine, Asim Janjua

Based: Dubai, UAE

Number of employees: 28

Sector: Financial services

Investment: $9.5m

Funding stage: Pre-Series A Investors: Global Ventures, GFC, 4DX Ventures, AlRajhi Partners, Olive Tree Capital, and prominent Silicon Valley investors.

TOP 10 MOST POLLUTED CITIES

1. Bhiwadi, India
2. Ghaziabad, India
3. Hotan, China
4. Delhi, India
5. Jaunpur, India
6. Faisalabad, Pakistan
7. Noida, India
8. Bahawalpur, Pakistan
9. Peshawar, Pakistan
10. Bagpat, India

Source: IQAir

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Brief scores:

Manchester City 2

Gundogan 27', De Bruyne 85'

Crystal Palace 3

Schlupp 33', Townsend 35', Milivojevic 51' (pen)

Man of the Match: Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)

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

Company Profile 

Founder: Omar Onsi

Launched: 2018

Employees: 35

Financing stage: Seed round ($12 million)

Investors: B&Y, Phoenician Funds, M1 Group, Shorooq Partners

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

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

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Favourite things

Luxury: Enjoys window shopping for high-end bags and jewellery

Discount: She works in luxury retail, but is careful about spending, waits for sales, festivals and only buys on discount

University: The only person in her family to go to college, Jiang secured a bachelor’s degree in business management in China

Masters: Studying part-time for a master’s degree in international business marketing in Dubai

Vacation: Heads back home to see family in China

Community work: Member of the Chinese Business Women’s Association of the UAE to encourage other women entrepreneurs

Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

First match: November 20
Final 16 round: December 3 to 6
Quarter-finals: December 9 and 10
Semi-finals: December 13 and 14
Final: December 18

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

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

Porsche Macan T: The Specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo 

Power: 265hp from 5,000-6,500rpm 

Torque: 400Nm from 1,800-4,500rpm 

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto 

Speed: 0-100kph in 6.2sec 

Top speed: 232kph 

Fuel consumption: 10.7L/100km 

On sale: May or June 

Price: From Dh259,900  

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The National selections

6pm: Barakka
6.35pm: Dhahabi
7.10pm: Mouheeb
7.45pm: With The Moonlight
8.20pm: Remorse
8.55pm: Ottoman Fleet
9.30pm: Tranquil Night

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.”

Everton Fixtures

April 15 - Chelsea (A)
April 21 - N. Forest (H)
April 24 - Liverpool (H)
April 27 - Brentford (H)
May 3 - Luton Town (A)
May 11 - Sheff Utd (H)
May 19 - Arsenal (A)

The specs

Price: From Dh529,000

Engine: 5-litre V8

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Power: 520hp

Torque: 625Nm

Fuel economy, combined: 12.8L/100km

Bio

Born in Dubai in 1994
Her father is a retired Emirati police officer and her mother is originally from Kuwait
She Graduated from the American University of Sharjah in 2015 and is currently working on her Masters in Communication from the University of Sharjah.
Her favourite film is Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

SPEC SHEET: NOTHING PHONE (2)

Display: 6.7” LPTO Amoled, 2412 x 1080, 394ppi, HDR10+, Corning Gorilla Glass

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2, octa-core; Adreno 730 GPU

Memory: 8/12GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: Android 13, Nothing OS 2

Main camera: Dual 50MP wide, f/1.9 + 50MP ultrawide, f/2.2; OIS, auto-focus

Main camera video: 4K @ 30/60fps, 1080p @ 30/60fps; live HDR, OIS

Front camera: 32MP wide, f/2.5, HDR

Front camera video: Full-HD @ 30fps

Battery: 4700mAh; full charge in 55m w/ 45w charger; Qi wireless, dual charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Google Pay)

Biometrics: Fingerprint, face unlock

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP54, limited protection

Cards: Dual-nano SIM

Colours: Dark grey, white

In the box: Nothing Phone (2), USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price (UAE): Dh2,499 (12GB/256GB) / Dh2,799 (12GB/512GB)

Three ways to boost your credit score

Marwan Lutfi says the core fundamentals that drive better payment behaviour and can improve your credit score are:

1. Make sure you make your payments on time;

2. Limit the number of products you borrow on: the more loans and credit cards you have, the more it will affect your credit score;

3. Don't max out all your debts: how much you maximise those credit facilities will have an impact. If you have five credit cards and utilise 90 per cent of that credit, it will negatively affect your score.

How champions are made

Diet
7am - Protein shake with oats and fruits
10am - 5-6 egg whites
1pm - White rice or chapati (Indian bread) with chicken
4pm - Dry fruits
7.30pm - Pre workout meal – grilled fish or chicken with veggies and fruits
8.30pm to midnight workout
12.30am – Protein shake
Total intake: 4000-4500 calories
Saidu’s weight: 110 kg
Stats: Biceps 19 inches. Forearms 18 inches

Other simple ideas for sushi rice dishes

Cheat’s nigiri 
This is easier to make than sushi rolls. With damp hands, form the cooled rice into small tablet shapes. Place slices of fresh, raw salmon, mackerel or trout (or smoked salmon) lightly touched with wasabi, then press, wasabi side-down, onto the rice. Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Easy omurice
This fusion dish combines Asian fried rice with a western omelette. To make, fry cooked and cooled sushi rice with chopped vegetables such as carrot and onion and lashings of sweet-tangy ketchup, then wrap in a soft egg omelette.

Deconstructed sushi salad platter 
This makes a great, fuss-free sharing meal. Arrange sushi rice on a platter or board, then fill the space with all your favourite sushi ingredients (edamame beans, cooked prawns or tuna, tempura veggies, pickled ginger and chilli tofu), with a dressing or dipping sauce on the side.

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