A picture taken on February 24, 2018, shows the building of the former Diplomat Hotel in Jerusalem, considered one of the options to host the new US embassy headquarters after its relocation from Tel Aviv. 
The United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018 to coincide with Israel's 70th Independence Day according to US officials. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI
A picture taken on February 24, 2018, shows the building of the former Diplomat Hotel in Jerusalem, considered one of the options to host the new US embassy headquarters after its relocation from Tel Show more

Israel says more states eyeing Jerusalem embassy move



Israeli officials say they are on the cusp of persuading more countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem, with Honduras tipped as the next state that may abandon Tel Aviv as a diplomatic base.

In the December UN General Assembly vote condemning US President Donald Trump's announcement that the US recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital - and plans to move its embassy there -Guatemala and Honduras were among seven countries to side with Washington and Israel.

With Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales's announcement on Sunday that he will follow the US by moving his country's embassy to Jerusalem in May, others from Latin America could follow.

"We are optimistic that in the next weeks or months there will be other countries as well," said foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Such moves would be claimed as wins for Israel in its ongoing bid to consolidate the occupation of East Jerusalem and to thwart Palestinian aspirations to establish the capital of an independent state there. The May timetable has been chosen by the US and Guatemala because that is when Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding, an occasion Palestinians recall as the nakba, or catastrophe, of their displacement.

It does not appear that Guatemala's step, by itself, will open the floodgates for Israel but Honduras has political reasons for seeking to please the Trump administration. Several tiny Pacific island nations such as Micronesia and the Marshall islands may also join. The Philippines is treading carefully, anxious to be in Washington's good graces, but wary of adversely affecting any fall out that could endanger the much-needed remittances or status of millions of Filipinos who work in the Middle East.

Some 128 states voted to condemn the US diplomatic move to Jerusalem, with 35 abstentions and 21 absentees.

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Guatemala to move embassy to Jerusalem in May, president says

Canada's opposition would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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The vote showed that, even with threats by the US of reprisals for opposing its stance, the vast majority of the international community still adheres to UN Security Council resolution 478 from August 1980 that condemned an Israeli law declaring Jerusalem to be Israel's "complete and united" capital and called on member states to withdraw embassies from the city.

President Morales announced his decision during a speech in Washington to 18,000 pro-Israel activists pointing up his desire to deploy the goodwill of the Israeli lobby in his dealings with the Trump administration.

Guatemala has a history of strong ties with Israel dating back to its support and lobbying of other countries in 1947 for the UN partition resolution that formed the basis for Israel's establishment. It was the first Latin American country to recognise Israel and until 1980 was one of only 16 countries to put its embassy in Jerusalem. From the 1980s onward, it maintained a close security relationship with Israel.

But international affairs specialist Barak Barfi of the Washington-based New America think tank believes Morales's decision has more to do with bolstering US ties and winning favour with his evangelical Christian political base, for whom the Jerusalem issue resonates, than it does with Israel.

"The Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration and its protectionist trade policies worry Guatemala," Barfi said. "Lining up behind Trump on a crucial foreign policy decision will pay dividends." The return of Guatemalan migrants in the context of a harsh US immigration policy means the end of their remittance payments which make up an estimated 10 percent of GDP. Morales hopes to avert that.

Honduras is also at the mercy of Trump on immigration. Since a 1998 hurricane, the US allowed tens of thousands of Hondurans to remain and work in the US. But in November, a senior administration official said it was possible that Temporary Protected Status for 57,000 Hondurans would be revoked. Following Guatemala's lead could be a way for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to persuade the Trump administration not to do this, Barfi notes.

The US also recognised the controversial recent reelection of Hernandez despite widespread allegations of fraud, with UN ambassador Nikki Haley visiting Honduras in late February to bestow legitimacy upon him and thank him for supporting Israel. "The US is the only country that supported Hernandez and moving the embassy could be a way of repaying this political debt," said Leonard Senkman, a Latin America specialist at the Hebrew University's Truman Institute for International Peace.

Other countries that could see a switch include Canada. Its Conservative Party has vowed that if elected in 2019, it will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The party has in the past made similar statements, seeking to outbid the ruling Liberal party for the votes of Israel supporters. But while the previous pledges were unfulfilled, Trump's move makes it likely that Canada will follow suit if the conservatives are elected. "Canada's conservatives have always been and will always be a strong voice for Israel and the Canadian Jewish community," party leader Andrew Scheer was quoted by CTV news as saying on February 26. The Liberal government has previously said it has no plans to relocate the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv.

Countries within the EU are unlikely to relocate their embassies at this point, an EU diplomat told the National. "There are some doubts about the Czech Republic and Romania but I don't think these doubts will materialise," the diplomat, who asked for anonymity, said. "The EU consensus is still strong enough even though it is eroding as we saw in the abstentions of six member states in the UN vote. It is eroding but not to the extent that countries will move their embassies."

CREW

Director: Rajesh A Krishnan

Starring: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon

Rating: 3.5/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
How Islam's view of posthumous transplant surgery changed

Transplants from the deceased have been carried out in hospitals across the globe for decades, but in some countries in the Middle East, including the UAE, the practise was banned until relatively recently.

Opinion has been divided as to whether organ donations from a deceased person is permissible in Islam.

The body is viewed as sacred, during and after death, thus prohibiting cremation and tattoos.

One school of thought viewed the removal of organs after death as equally impermissible.

That view has largely changed, and among scholars and indeed many in society, to be seen as permissible to save another life.

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 specs

Common to all models unless otherwise stated

Engine: 4-cylinder 2-litre T-GDi

0-100kph: 5.3 seconds (Elantra); 5.5 seconds (Kona); 6.1 seconds (Veloster)

Power: 276hp

Torque: 392Nm

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual/ 8-Speed Dual Clutch FWD

Price: TBC

'HIJRAH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PROPHET'

Edited by: Idries Trevathan
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The specs

Engine: 3.6 V6

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Power: 295bhp

Torque: 353Nm

Price: Dh155,000

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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

Muguruza's singles career in stats

WTA titles 3

Prize money US$11,128,219 (Dh40,873,133.82)

Wins / losses 293 / 149

Brief scores:

Toss: Nepal, chose to field

UAE 153-6: Shaiman (59), Usman (30); Regmi 2-23

Nepal 132-7: Jora 53 not out; Zahoor 2-17

Result: UAE won by 21 runs

Series: UAE lead 1-0

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

Torque: 250Nm 

Price: Dh64,500

On sale: Now

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

How it works

1) The liquid nanoclay is a mixture of water and clay that aims to convert desert land to fertile ground

2) Instead of water draining straight through the sand, it apparently helps the soil retain water

3) One application is said to last five years

4) The cost of treatment per hectare (2.4 acres) of desert varies from $7,000 to $10,000 per hectare 

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

Superliminal

Developer: Pillow Castle Games
Publisher: Pillow Castle Games
Console: PlayStation 4&5, Xbox Series One & X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac
Rating: 4/5

Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Colomba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe
Gordon Corera, Harper Collins

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
'Shakuntala Devi'

Starring: Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra

Director: Anu Menon

Rating: Three out of five stars

Company profile

Name: JustClean

Based: Dubai with offices in other GCC countries

Launch year: 2016

Number of employees: 160+ with 21 nationalities in eight cities

Sector:
online laundry and cleaning services

Funding: $30m from Kuwait-based Faith Capital Holding and Gulf Investment Corporation

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Nomad Homes
Started: 2020
Founders: Helen Chen, Damien Drap, and Dan Piehler
Based: UAE and Europe
Industry: PropTech
Funds raised so far: $44m
Investors: Acrew Capital, 01 Advisors, HighSage Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, Potluck Ventures, Knollwood and several undisclosed hedge funds

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Happy Tenant

Started: January 2019

Co-founders: Joe Moufarrej and Umar Rana

Based: Dubai

Sector: Technology, real-estate

Initial investment: Dh2.5 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 4,000

Four motivational quotes from Alicia's Dubai talk

“The only thing we need is to know that we have faith. Faith and hope in our own dreams. The belief that, when we keep going we’re going to find our way. That’s all we got.”

“Sometimes we try so hard to keep things inside. We try so hard to pretend it’s not really bothering us. In some ways, that hurts us more. You don’t realise how dishonest you are with yourself sometimes, but I realised that if I spoke it, I could let it go.”

“One good thing is to know you’re not the only one going through it. You’re not the only one trying to find your way, trying to find yourself, trying to find amazing energy, trying to find a light. Show all of yourself. Show every nuance. All of your magic. All of your colours. Be true to that. You can be unafraid.”

“It’s time to stop holding back. It’s time to do it on your terms. It’s time to shine in the most unbelievable way. It’s time to let go of negativity and find your tribe, find those people that lift you up, because everybody else is just in your way.”

Spain drain

CONVICTED

Lionel Messi Found guilty in 2016 of of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying €4.1m in taxes on income earned from image rights. Sentenced to 21 months in jail and fined more than €2m. But prison sentence has since been replaced by another fine of €252,000.

Javier Mascherano Accepted one-year suspended sentence in January 2016 for tax fraud after found guilty of failing to pay €1.5m in taxes for 2011 and 2012. Unlike Messi he avoided trial by admitting to tax evasion.

Angel di Maria Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain star Angel di Maria was fined and given a 16-month prison sentence for tax fraud during his time at Real Madrid. But he is unlikely to go to prison as is normal in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying sentence of less than two years.

SUSPECTED

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid's star striker, accused of evading €14.7m in taxes, appears in court on Monday. Portuguese star faces four charges of fraud through offshore companies.

Jose Mourinho Manchester United manager accused of evading €3.3m in tax in 2011 and 2012, during time in charge at Real Madrid. But Gestifute, which represents him, says he has already settled matter with Spanish tax authorities.

Samuel Eto'o In November 2016, Spanish prosecutors sought jail sentence of 10 years and fines totalling €18m for Cameroonian, accused of failing to pay €3.9m in taxes during time at Barcelona from 2004 to 2009.

Radamel Falcao Colombian striker Falcao suspected of failing to correctly declare €7.4m of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while at Atletico Madrid. He has since paid €8.2m to Spanish tax authorities, a sum that includes interest on the original amount.

Jorge Mendes Portuguese super-agent put under official investigation last month by Spanish court investigating alleged tax evasion by Falcao, a client of his. He defended himself, telling closed-door hearing he "never" advised players in tax matters.

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

Race 3

Produced: Salman Khan Films and Tips Films
Director: Remo D’Souza
Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah, Saqib Salem
Rating: 2.5 stars

Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat
SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

Essentials

The flights

Emirates and Etihad fly direct from the UAE to Geneva from Dh2,845 return, including taxes. The flight takes 6 hours. 

The package

Clinique La Prairie offers a variety of programmes. A six-night Master Detox costs from 14,900 Swiss francs (Dh57,655), including all food, accommodation and a set schedule of medical consultations and spa treatments.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Yango Deli Tech
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2022
Sector: Retail SaaS
Funding: Self funded

Suggested picnic spots

Abu Dhabi
Umm Al Emarat Park
Yas Gateway Park
Delma Park
Al Bateen beach
Saadiyaat beach
The Corniche
Zayed Sports City
 
Dubai
Kite Beach
Zabeel Park
Al Nahda Pond Park
Mushrif Park
Safa Park
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Qudrah Lakes 

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,600rpm
Torque: 320Nm at 1,500-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.9L/100km
Price: From Dh119,900
On sale: Now

The specs: 2019 Jeep Wrangler

Price, base: Dh132,000

Engine: 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic

Power: 285hp @ 6,400rpm

Torque: 347Nm @ 4,100rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 9.6L to 10.3L / 100km

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
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  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
  • Double-check the web addresses to reduce exposure to fake sites created with domain names containing spelling errors
While you're here
Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

THE DETAILS

Director: Milan Jhaveri
Producer: Emmay Entertainment and T-Series
Cast: John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee
Rating: 2/5

Navdeep Suri, India's Ambassador to the UAE

There has been a longstanding need from the Indian community to have a religious premises where they can practise their beliefs. Currently there is a very, very small temple in Bur Dubai and the community has outgrown this. So this will be a major temple and open to all denominations and a place should reflect India’s diversity.

It fits so well into the UAE’s own commitment to tolerance and pluralism and coming in the year of tolerance gives it that extra dimension.

What we will see on April 20 is the foundation ceremony and we expect a pretty broad cross section of the Indian community to be present, both from the UAE and abroad. The Hindu group that is building the temple will have their holiest leader attending – and we expect very senior representation from the leadership of the UAE.

When the designs were taken to the leadership, there were two clear options. There was a New Jersey model with a rectangular structure with the temple recessed inside so it was not too visible from the outside and another was the Neasden temple in London with the spires in its classical shape. And they said: look we said we wanted a temple so it should look like a temple. So this should be a classical style temple in all its glory.

It is beautifully located - 30 minutes outside of Abu Dhabi and barely 45 minutes to Dubai so it serves the needs of both communities.

This is going to be the big temple where I expect people to come from across the country at major festivals and occasions.

It is hugely important – it will take a couple of years to complete given the scale. It is going to be remarkable and will contribute something not just to the landscape in terms of visual architecture but also to the ethos. Here will be a real representation of UAE’s pluralism.

Continental champions

Best Asian Player: Massaki Todokoro (Japan)

Best European Player: Adam Wardzinski (Poland)

Best North & Central American Player: DJ Jackson (United States)

Best African Player: Walter Dos Santos (Angola)

Best Oceanian Player: Lee Ting (Australia)

Best South American Player: Gabriel De Sousa (Brazil)

Best Asian Federation: Saudi Jiu-Jitsu Federation

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5


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