Iraqis shout slogans during ongoing protests in the southern city of Basra on August 24, 2018. - Iraq has been gripped by protests over power outages, unemployment, state mismanagement and a lack of clean water. The demonstrations erupted in the neglected southern province of Basra, home to Iraq's only sea port, before spreading north including to Baghdad. (Photo by Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP)
Iraqis shout slogans during protests in the southern city of Basra on August 24, 2018. AFP

Basra governor wants oil firms to build water plants



The governor of the Iraq's Basra province has said major oil companies must set up water desalination plants for residents if they want to continue operating there.

The oil-rich province last week saw a surge in illnesses blamed on a lack of safe drinking water, which residents and local politicians say is part of a breakdown in public services caused by corruption and years of neglect by the government in Baghdad.

"The federal government must address this issue, otherwise we will take all necessary measures to protect our people in Basra," Governor Assad Al Edani told the Al Hurra TV channel at the weekend.

"Every major oil company that is working in the province has to set up a desalination and sterilisation treatment plant if it wishes to continue working," Mr Al Edani said.

He said an agreement had been reached with the director of Basra Oil Company, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, to ensure that oil companies abide by the condition.

The state-run company, which oversees the development of Iraq's southern oilfields, last week signed an agreement with Chevron to start oilfield development, and earlier this month awarded a $370 million (Dh1.35 billion) engineering, procurement and construction contract to Petrofac, listed in London, to expand crude processing facilities associated with the Majnoon field.

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Read more:

Basra politician presses demand for autonomy

Protests undermine Iranian influence in Iraq

Iraq protests persist with government slow to offer solutions

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Mr Al Edani said hospitals in Basra had seen more than 1,500 cases of water-related diseases in the past week, a number he described as “very high and dangerous".

Along with a lack of safe water, Basra and the surrounding region suffers from chronic power cuts, a stagnant economy, widespread corruption, chronic unemployment and an agriculture sector devastated by drought.

Mr Al Edani said Basra was not receiving its fair share of state funding to address its problems, even though even its port accounts for more than 90 per cent of Iraq's oil export revenues.

"Since I assumed office last year, Basra hasn’t received any money from the central government,” he said.

After weeks of demonstrations over poor services, in which several people were killed, Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi's caretaker government said in July that it would release funds to improve water supply, electricity and health services. Residents say they have seen no improvements yet.

Minister of Water Hasan Al Janabi promised at the weekend to "address the problem of drinking water and the increase of salinity in the Shatt Al Arab", the river that is the main source of fresh water in the province.

The ministry will hold a workshop on September 5 in cooperation with the University of Basra to study the water crisis, he said.

Iraqi Vice President Ayyad Allawi, a former prime minister, said the crisis highlighted serious mismanagement and corruption.

"A comprehensive rescue plan, accountability and proper planning could proffer a solution," Mr Allawi said on Twitter.

No.6 Collaborations Project

Ed Sheeran (Atlantic)

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Warlight,
Michael Ondaatje, Knopf 

CREW

Director: Rajesh A Krishnan

Starring: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon

Rating: 3.5/5

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

CRICKET WORLD CUP QUALIFIER, ZIMBABWE

UAE fixtures

Monday, June 19

Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club

Wednesday, June 21

Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Friday, June 23

Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Tuesday, June 27

Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East
Orlando Crowcroft
Zed Books

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

Brief scoreline:

Manchester United 0

Manchester City 2

Bernardo Silva 54', Sane 66'

Australia World Cup squad

Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

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

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)

The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra by Eliot Weisman and Jennifer Valoppi
Hachette Books

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Sav
Started: 2021
Founder: Purvi Munot
Based: Dubai
Industry: FinTech
Funding: $750,000 as of March 2023
Investors: Angel investors

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

SHAITTAN

Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5

Fanney Khan

Producer: T-Series, Anil Kapoor Productions, ROMP, Prerna Arora

Director: Atul Manjrekar

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Rajkummar Rao, Pihu Sand

Rating: 2/5 

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League last 16, first leg

Liverpool v Bayern Munich, midnight, Wednesday, BeIN Sports

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

UAE PREMIERSHIP

Final: Dubai Hurricanes v Jebel Ali Dragons
Saturday, 8.15pm, Al Ain Amblers

Semi-final results
Dubai Exiles 20-26 Dubai Hurricanes
Dubai Tigers 32-43 Jebel Ali Dragons

Table
1 Dubai Tigers, 33 points
2 Dubai Exiles, 24 points
3 Dubai Hurricanes, 18 points
4 Jebel Ali Dragons, 14 points
5 Abu Dhabi Harlequins, 14 points

LAST-16 FIXTURES

Sunday, January 20
3pm: Jordan v Vietnam at Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
6pm: Thailand v China at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
9pm: Iran v Oman at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Monday, January 21
3pm: Japan v Saudi Arabia at Sharjah Stadium
6pm: Australia v Uzbekistan at Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
9pm: UAE v Kyrgyzstan at Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, January 22
5pm: South Korea v Bahrain at Rashid Stadium, Dubai
8pm: Qatar v Iraq at Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Nick's journey in numbers

Countries so far: 85

Flights: 149

Steps: 3.78 million

Calories: 220,000

Floors climbed: 2,000

Donations: GPB37,300

Prostate checks: 5

Blisters: 15

Bumps on the head: 2

Dog bites: 1

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2.0L TSI
Transmission: Dual clutch 7-speed
Power: 320HP / 235kW
Torque: 400Nm
Price: from $49,709
On sale: now

What is tokenisation?

Tokenisation refers to the issuance of a blockchain token, which represents a virtually tradable real, tangible asset. A tokenised asset is easily transferable, offers good liquidity, returns and is easily traded on the secondary markets. 

WITHIN SAND

Director: Moe Alatawi

Starring: Ra’ed Alshammari, Adwa Fahd, Muhand Alsaleh

Rating: 3/5