Iraqi shout slogans during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily
Iraqis shout slogans during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq on July 16, 2018. Reuters

Iraqis protest at entrance to Zubair oilfield



Iraqi police wielded batons and rubber hoses to disperse about 250 protesters gathered at the main entrance to the Zubair oilfield near Basra on Tuesday as unrest across southern cities over poor basic services gathered pace.

Since demonstrations began nine days ago, protesters have attacked government buildings, branches of political parties and powerful Shi'ite militias and stormed the international airport in the holy city of Najaf.

Officials and industry sources said the protests have not affected output at Zubair, run by Italy's Eni, and the other major oilfields including Rumaila developed by BP and West Qurna 2 managed by Lukoil.

Many Iraqis believe their leaders do not share the country's oil wealth. Some demonstrators said foreign labourers were robbing them of employment at oil companies. Three protesters have been killed, including one at West Qurna 2.

"We the people of Basra hear about the Iraqi oil and its huge revenues, but we never enjoy its benefits," said 24-year-old protester Esam Jabbar.

"Strangers have decent jobs at our oilfields and we dont have the money to pay for a cigarette. Thats wrong and must be stopped." Jabbar said he was unemployed.

At the gate of Zubair field, police beat protesters on their backs and legs with batons and rubber hoses.

Blood ran down one policeman's face after protesters hurled stones. Policemen also threw sand to put out tyres that the protesters had set ablaze.

Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia.

Crude exports account for 95 percent of state revenue and any disruptions could badly damage its already limping economy at a time when Iraq needs tens of billions of dollars to rebuild after the three-year war with Islamic State.

Prolonged instability in the south could drive up global oil prices. Production at the Zubair field was 475,000 bpd, an Iraqi oil official said in May.

Iraq exported an average of 3.566 million barrels per day from its southern oilfields so far in July, said senior oil officials, levels confirming that the troubles have not disrupted crude shipments from the region.

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Demonstrators, who have endured sweltering heat to press their demands, show no sign of letting up. They have vented anger in Basra, the biggest city in the south, Samawa, Amara, Nassiriya, Najaf, Kerbala and Hilla.

"We had orders not to use live fire but we also have orders not to allow anyone to disrupt operations at oilfields and we will take necessary measures to keep the protesters away from the fields," said a policeman at the scene.

Protests over the same issues have occurred in the past. The unrest this time is more widespread and is politically sensitive.

Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi is seeking a second term after a May 12 parliamentary election tainted by allegations of corruption.

Politicians are struggling to form a coalition government. Populist Shi'ite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, whose political bloc won the majority in the poll, may now be in a stronger position to influence the choice of prime minister.

He defeated Iranian-backed rivals by promising to generate jobs, help the poor and eradicate corruption.

The Shi'ite heartland south has long been neglected despite its oil wealth, first by Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein and then Shi'ite-led governments after him, including Abadi's.

Fetid piles of garbage can be seen on many Basra streets. Stagnant water with sewage has caused health problems and tap water is sometime contaminated with mud and dust. Electricity is cut off for seven hours a day.

Murtadha Rahman, 22, ran barefoot on the scorching pavement to try and escape a charge by police outside the Zubair field.

"I live in a place which is rich with oil that brings billions of dollars while I work in collecting garbage to desperately feed my two kids. I want a simple job, thats my only demand," said Mr Rahman, who said he was beaten by police. "I wont go even if you kill me I will stay her. I want a job."

In a meeting with government officials carried on state television, Mr Abadi promised to allocate funds for water and electricity and create jobs in Basra, once dubbed the Venice of the Middle East for its network of canals.

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

The End of Loneliness
Benedict Wells
Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins
Sceptre

 

 

Kathryn Hawkes of House of Hawkes on being a good guest (because we’ve all had bad ones)

  • Arrive with a thank you gift, or make sure you have one for your host by the time you leave. 
  • Offer to buy groceries, cook them a meal or take your hosts out for dinner.
  • Help out around the house.
  • Entertain yourself so that your hosts don’t feel that they constantly need to.
  • Leave no trace of your stay – if you’ve borrowed a book, return it to where you found it.
  • Offer to strip the bed before you go.
RESULTS

 

Catchweight 63.5kg: Shakriyor Juraev (UZB) beat Bahez Khoshnaw (IRQ). Round 3 TKO (body kick)

Lightweight: Nart Abida (JOR) beat Moussa Salih (MAR). Round 1 by rear naked choke

Catchweight 79kg: Laid Zerhouni (ALG) beat Ahmed Saeb (IRQ). Round 1 TKO (punches)

Catchweight 58kg: Omar Al Hussaini (UAE) beat Mohamed Sahabdeen (SLA) Round 1 rear naked choke

Flyweight: Lina Fayyad (JOR) beat Sophia Haddouche (ALG) Round 2 TKO (ground and pound)

Catchweight 80kg: Badreddine Diani (MAR) beat Sofiane Aïssaoui (ALG) Round 2 TKO

Flyweight: Sabriye Sengul (TUR) beat Mona Ftouhi (TUN). Unanimous decision

Middleweight: Kher Khalifa Eshoushan (LIB) beat Essa Basem (JOR). Round 1 rear naked choke

Heavyweight: Mohamed Jumaa (SUD) beat Hassen Rahat (MAR). Round 1 TKO (ground and pound)

Lightweight: Abdullah Mohammad Ali Musalim (UAE beat Omar Emad (EGY). Round 1 triangle choke

Catchweight 62kg: Ali Taleb (IRQ) beat Mohamed El Mesbahi (MAR). Round 2 KO

Catchweight 88kg: Mohamad Osseili (LEB) beat Samir Zaidi (COM). Unanimous decision

Temple numbers

Expected completion: 2022

Height: 24 meters

Ground floor banquet hall: 370 square metres to accommodate about 750 people

Ground floor multipurpose hall: 92 square metres for up to 200 people

First floor main Prayer Hall: 465 square metres to hold 1,500 people at a time

First floor terrace areas: 2,30 square metres  

Temple will be spread over 6,900 square metres

Structure includes two basements, ground and first floor 

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allen, Kevin Durand

Rating: 3.5/5

MATCH INFO

CAF Champions League semi-finals first-leg fixtures

Tuesday:

Primeiro Agosto (ANG) v Esperance (TUN) (8pm UAE)
Al Ahly (EGY) v Entente Setif (ALG) (11PM)

Second legs:

October 23

Name: Peter Dicce

Title: Assistant dean of students and director of athletics

Favourite sport: soccer

Favourite team: Bayern Munich

Favourite player: Franz Beckenbauer

Favourite activity in Abu Dhabi: scuba diving in the Northern Emirates 

 

'Manmarziyaan' (Colour Yellow Productions, Phantom Films)
Director: Anurag Kashyap​​​​​​​
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal​​​​​​​
Rating: 3.5/5

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz

Director: Kushan Nandy

Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami

Three stars

MATCH INFO

What: Brazil v South Korea
When: Tonight, 5.30pm
Where: Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.ae

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
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The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888