(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 10, 2020, then UN special representative for Libya Ghassan Salame arrives to attend the EU foreign ministers emergency talks on Iran at the Europa building in the Belgian capital Brussels. Salame says he has higher hopes than ever of bringing an end to a decade of violence in the North African country, in a Zoom interview with AFP a day after rival military forces concluded their latest UN-led meetings to fill in the details of a landmark October ceasefire deal. / AFP / Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD
Ghassan Salame, the former UN special representative for Libya, left the role in March. AFP

Delayed UN Libya peace envoy appointment nears



South Africa’s UN ambassador on Tuesday described progress towards the long-delayed appointment of a UN peace envoy to Libya and the potential deployment of ceasefire monitors to the war-torn country.

Speaking with reporters in New York, Jerry Matjila urged the UN to break a months-long impasse and appoint Nikolay Mladenov as the new Libya peace envoy to replace Ghassan Salame, who quit in March due to stress.

African countries had slowed down the appointment of Mr Mladenov, a Bulgarian diplomat and the favoured candidate of the United States, arguing that an African was best suited to resolving conflict in one of the continent’s top oil exporters.

“The Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres] can go ahead and appoint who he appoints, and the Africans will oblige,” Mr Matjila said at a briefing to mark South Africa holding the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of December.

The South African envoy expressed frustration that two African candidates had been rebuffed but noted that the UN’s new envoy to Libya would have an African deputy and consult extensively with the African Union.

Speaking separately, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that “everyone would like to see the slot filled in Libya” and that Mr Guterres, the UN chief, was “working very hard to close that process”.

Mr Matjila also discussed a possible UN deployment of European troops to monitor a fragile truce and foreign weapons flows to Libya, even though the proposal has been met with “suspicion” from some Libyan military chiefs, he said.

“We hope that, during our presidency, there will be a solution found on a robust monitoring of the ceasefire that was agreed in Libya, including the verification that foreign fighters have left Libya,” said Mr Matjila.

Libya descended into chaos after the Nato-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. A ceasefire agreed in October and the prospect of national elections next year have raised hopes of lasting peace between the two rival administrations in the east and west of the country.

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

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

Education reform in Abu Dhabi

The emirate’s public education system has been in a constant state of change since the New School Model was launched in 2010 by the Abu Dhabi Education Council. The NSM, which is also known as the Abu Dhabi School Model, transformed the public school curriculum by introducing bilingual education starting with students from grades one to five. Under this new curriculum, the children spend half the day learning in Arabic and half in English – being taught maths, science and English language by mostly Western educated, native English speakers. The NSM curriculum also moved away from rote learning and required teachers to develop a “child-centered learning environment” that promoted critical thinking and independent learning. The NSM expanded by one grade each year and by the 2017-2018 academic year, it will have reached the high school level. Major reforms to the high school curriculum were announced in 2015. The two-stream curriculum, which allowed pupils to elect to follow a science or humanities course of study, was eliminated. In its place was a singular curriculum in which stem -- science, technology, engineering and maths – accounted for at least 50 per cent of all subjects. In 2016, Adec announced additional changes, including the introduction of two levels of maths and physics – advanced or general – to pupils in Grade 10, and a new core subject, career guidance, for grades 10 to 12; and a digital technology and innovation course for Grade 9. Next year, the focus will be on launching a new moral education subject to teach pupils from grades 1 to 9 character and morality, civic studies, cultural studies and the individual and the community.

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

The specs

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Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
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The biog

Name: Sari Al Zubaidi

Occupation: co-founder of Cafe di Rosati

Age: 42

Marital status: single

Favourite drink: drip coffee V60

Favourite destination: Bali, Indonesia 

Favourite book: 100 Years of Solitude 

GRAN TURISMO

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Stars: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe, Darren Barnet

Rating: 3/5

Ramez Gab Min El Akher

Creator: Ramez Galal

Starring: Ramez Galal

Streaming on: MBC Shahid

Rating: 2.5/5

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 217hp at 5,750rpm

Torque: 300Nm at 1,900rpm

Transmission: eight-speed auto

Price: from Dh130,000

On sale: now

'HIJRAH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PROPHET'

Edited by: Idries Trevathan
Pages: 240
Publisher: Hirmer Publishers
Available: Now

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

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)

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

Duminy's Test career in numbers

Tests 46; Runs 2,103; Best 166; Average 32.85; 100s 6; 50s 8; Wickets 42; Best 4-47

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

The Specs

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Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
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Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
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A meeting of young minds

The 3,494 entries for the 2019 Sharjah Children Biennial come from:

435 – UAE

2,000 – China

808 – United Kingdom

165 – Argentina

38 – Lebanon

16 – Saudi Arabia

16 – Bangladesh

6 – Ireland

3 – Egypt

3 – France

2 – Sudan

1 – Kuwait

1 – Australia
 

Hotel Data Cloud profile

Date started: June 2016
Founders: Gregor Amon and Kevin Czok
Based: Dubai
Sector: Travel Tech
Size: 10 employees
Funding: $350,000 (Dh1.3 million)
Investors: five angel investors (undisclosed except for Amar Shubar)