TOPSHOT - Iraqis shout slogans during ongoing protests in the southern city of Basra on August 5, 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. / AFP PHOTO / Haidar MOHAMMED ALI
Basra residents protest in the southern Iraqi city on August 5, 2018. AFP

Basra politician presses demand for autonomy



A prominent politician from Iraq’s southern oil hub of Basra has threatened to take the government to court to push forward growing demands for autonomy in a region that has seen widespread protests over lack of public services and poor governance.

"We presented our request for secession from Baghdad's central government in 2015 with over 68,000 signatures," Mohamed Al Tai, a former member of parliament for Basra, told The National.

"Our request was passed by the electoral commission, as Article 119 of the Iraqi constitution allows individual provinces to transform into federal regions," he said.

Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi's office has not acted on their appeal so far.

According to Iraq's constitution, any of its 19 provinces can hold a referendum on autonomy if it is supported by signatures from 10 per cent of voters.

Mr Al Tai said he would file a complaint to the supreme federal court as the lack of a action "has delayed our demands for a referendum which was passed by the electoral commission".

More than a dozen members of Basra's provincial council have also called for establishing a federal province.

Citizens of Basra see themselves as marginalised by successive governments since the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003, even though its port accounts for more than 90 per cent of Iraq's oil export revenues.

“Since 2003, the situation in Basra has deteriorated, it has gone from bad to worse. Twenty-five per cent of Basrans are living below the poverty line, people are spending one dollar a day," Mr Al Tai said.

Residents of Basra and other southern provinces have been protesting for more than a month over political corruption and the government's failure to provide clean water, reliable power supply and jobs. The unrest has spread north to Baghdad.

"We want to get rid of corruption, inadequate public services," Haider Ali, a resident of Basra, told The National. "The only way forward is to have independence from the central government. What have they done for us so far?"

Mr Al Abadi's government said in July that it would release funds to improve water supply, electricity and health services in Basra. Residents say they have seen no improvements.

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Read more:

Abadi sacks Iraq's electricity minister after protests

Protests undermine Iranian influence in Iraq

Iraq protests persist with government slow to offer solutions

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Lack of transparency and unreliable governance has been at the heart of Iraq’s woes, made worse by the effects of a costly three-year war against ISIS that coincided with a dip in oil prices.

Iraq is ranked 169 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perception index, with the lowest state being the most corrupt.

The calls for autonomy come at a delicate time for Iraq as newly elected politicians try to form a governing coalition. The results of the May 12 election were only ratified by the supreme court on Sunday after allegations of fraud forced a partial recount of votes.

Mr Al Abadi is heading a fragile caretaker government until the new government is formed.

The recount confirmed the surprise electoral win for populist cleric Moqtada Al Sadr whose coalition campaigned on an anti-corruption platform. Mr Al Abadi's coalition came in third, behind a group led by Hadi Al Ameri, leader of the Hashed Al Shaabi paramilitary.

Visit Abu Dhabi culinary team's top Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Yadoo’s House Restaurant+& Cafe

For the karak and Yoodo's house platter with includes eggs, balaleet, khamir and chebab bread.

Golden Dallah

For the cappuccino, luqaimat and aseeda.

Al Mrzab Restaurant

For the shrimp murabian and Kuwaiti options including Kuwaiti machboos with kebab and spicy sauce.

Al Derwaza

For the fish hubul, regag bread, biryani and special seafood soup. 

US federal gun reform since Sandy Hook

- April 17, 2013: A bipartisan-drafted bill to expand background checks and ban assault weapons fails in the Senate.

- July 2015: Bill to require background checks for all gun sales is introduced in House of Representatives. It is not brought to a vote.

- June 12, 2016: Orlando shooting. Barack Obama calls on Congress to renew law prohibiting sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

- October 1, 2017: Las Vegas shooting. US lawmakers call for banning bump-fire stocks, and some renew call for assault weapons ban.

- February 14, 2018: Seventeen pupils are killed and 17 are wounded during a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

- December 18, 2018: Donald Trump announces a ban on bump-fire stocks.

- August 2019: US House passes law expanding background checks. It is not brought to a vote in the Senate.

- April 11, 2022: Joe Biden announces measures to crack down on hard-to-trace 'ghost guns'.

- May 24, 2022: Nineteen children and two teachers are killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

- June 25, 2022: Joe Biden signs into law the first federal gun-control bill in decades.

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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

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

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

The biog

First Job: Abu Dhabi Department of Petroleum in 1974  
Current role: Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding since 2008
Career high: Regularly cited on Forbes list of 100 most powerful Arab Businesswomen
Achievement: Helped establish Al Maskari Medical Centre in 1969 in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region
Future plan: Will now concentrate on her charitable work

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)

UAE set for Scotland series

The UAE will host Scotland for a three-match T20I series at the Dubai International Stadium next month.
The two sides will start their Cricket World Cup League 2 campaigns with a tri-series also involving Canada, starting on January 29.
That series will be followed by a bilateral T20 series on March 11, 13 and 14.

Mia Man’s tips for fermentation

- Start with a simple recipe such as yogurt or sauerkraut

- Keep your hands and kitchen tools clean. Sanitize knives, cutting boards, tongs and storage jars with boiling water before you start.

- Mold is bad: the colour pink is a sign of mold. If yogurt turns pink as it ferments, you need to discard it and start again. For kraut, if you remove the top leaves and see any sign of mold, you should discard the batch.

- Always use clean, closed, airtight lids and containers such as mason jars when fermenting yogurt and kraut. Keep the lid closed to prevent insects and contaminants from getting in.

 

ASSASSIN'S CREED MIRAGE

Developer: Ubisoft Bordeaux
Publisher: Ubisoft
Consoles: PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox Series S&X
Rating: 3.5/5

UAE v United States, T20 International Series

Both matches at ICC Academy, Dubai. Admission is free.

1st match: Friday, 2pm

2nd match: Saturday, 2pm

UAE squad: Mohammed Naveed (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Amjad Gul, CP Rizwan, Mohammed Boota, Abdul Shakoor, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Sultan Ahmed, Zahoor Khan, Amir Hayat

USA squad: Saurabh Netravalkar (captain), Jaskaran Malhotra, Elmore Hutchinson, Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Ali Khan, Jannisar Khan, Xavier Marshall, Monank Patel, Timil Patel, Roy Silva, Jessy Singh, Steven Taylor, Hayden Walsh

Mane points for safe home colouring
  • Natural and grey hair takes colour differently than chemically treated hair
  • Taking hair from a dark to a light colour should involve a slow transition through warmer stages of colour
  • When choosing a colour (especially a lighter tone), allow for a natural lift of warmth
  • Most modern hair colours are technique-based, in that they require a confident hand and taught skills
  • If you decide to be brave and go for it, seek professional advice and use a semi-permanent colour
if you go

The flights

Direct flights from the UAE to the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, are available with Air Arabia, (www.airarabia.com) Fly Dubai (www.flydubai.com) or Etihad (www.etihad.com) from Dh1,200 return including taxes. The trek described here started from Jomson, but there are many other start and end point variations depending on how you tailor your trek. To get to Jomson from Kathmandu you must first fly to the lake-side resort town of Pokhara with either Buddha Air (www.buddhaair.com) or Yeti Airlines (www.yetiairlines.com). Both charge around US$240 (Dh880) return. From Pokhara there are early morning flights to Jomson with Yeti Airlines or Simrik Airlines (www.simrikairlines.com) for around US$220 (Dh800) return. 

The trek

Restricted area permits (US$500 per person) are required for trekking in the Upper Mustang area. The challenging Meso Kanto pass between Tilcho Lake and Jomson should not be attempted by those without a lot of mountain experience and a good support team. An excellent trekking company with good knowledge of Upper Mustang, the Annaurpuna Circuit and Tilcho Lake area and who can help organise a version of the trek described here is the Nepal-UK run Snow Cat Travel (www.snowcattravel.com). Prices vary widely depending on accommodation types and the level of assistance required. 

THE SPECS

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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

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

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

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Series info

Test series schedule 1st Test, Abu Dhabi: Sri Lanka won by 21 runs; 2nd Test, Dubai: Play starts at 2pm, Friday-Tuesday

ODI series schedule 1st ODI, Dubai: October 13; 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi: October 16; 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi: October 18; 4th ODI, Sharjah: October 20; 5th ODI, Sharjah: October 23

T20 series schedule 1st T20, Abu Dhabi: October 26; 2nd T20, Abu Dhabi: October 27; 3rd T20, Lahore: October 29

Tickets Available at www.q-tickets.com

Stat Fourteen Fourteen of the past 15 Test matches in the UAE have been decided on the final day. Both of the previous two Tests at Dubai International Stadium have been settled in the last session. Pakistan won with less than an hour to go against West Indies last year. Against England in 2015, there were just three balls left.

Key battle - Azhar Ali v Rangana Herath Herath may not quite be as flash as Muttiah Muralitharan, his former spin-twin who ended his career by taking his 800th wicket with his final delivery in Tests. He still has a decent sense of an ending, though. He won the Abu Dhabi match for his side with 11 wickets, the last of which was his 400th in Tests. It was not the first time he has owned Pakistan, either. A quarter of all his Test victims have been Pakistani. If Pakistan are going to avoid a first ever series defeat in the UAE, Azhar, their senior batsman, needs to stand up and show the way to blunt Herath.

'Saand Ki Aankh'

Produced by: Reliance Entertainment with Chalk and Cheese Films
Director: Tushar Hiranandani
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha, Vineet Singh
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

FA Cup semi-finals

Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, 8.15pm (UAE)
Sunday: Chelsea v Southampton, 6pm (UAE)

Matches on Bein Sports

Teams

India (playing XI): Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami

South Africa (squad): Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second

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)

Formula One top 10 drivers' standings after Japan

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 306
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 247
3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes 234
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull 192
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari 148
6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull 111
7. Sergio Perez, Force India 82
8. Esteban Ocon, Force India 65
9. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso 48
10. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault 34

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative