A convoy of Islamic State fighters and their families begin to depart from the Lebanon-Syria border zone in Qalamoun, Syria August 28, 2017. REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki
Hizbollah reached a deal with ISIL that involved the transfer of 308 ISIL fighters along with their families from the Syrian-Lebanese borders to the eastern Syrian city of Albu Kamal. Omar Sanadiki /

Lebanon's negotiated ISIL evacuation angers many



Buses carrying hundreds of ISIL militants and their families arrived in eastern Syria on Tuesday following a negotiated evacuation from the Lebanon-Syria border, where the US-backed Lebanese army deployed for the first time in years.

The evacuation agreement, the first such publicised deal reached with the extremist group, angered many Iraqis, who accused Syria and Hizbollah of dumping the militants on the Iraqi border rather than eradicating them.

Some 600 militants were allowed to leave as part of a deal, negotiated by Hizbollah, in exchange for identifying the location of the remains of Lebanese soldiers captured by ISIL in 2014 and later killed. The deal also provoked controversy in Lebanon, as some have voiced opposition to negotiations with the militants.

"Any deals or understandings between the warring parties inside Syria or in the region must take into consideration the security of Iraq and not to lead to anything that poses any threat to our national security," the Iraqi government spokesman, Saad Al Hadithi, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

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Read more:

ISIL fighters leave Syria-Lebanon border zone

Editorial: Is there ever an appropriate occasion to negotiate with terror groups?

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Mr Al Hadithi said the Iraqi government "will firmly face any threat to Iraqi territories."

Meanwhile in northern Syria, US-led coalition forces returned fire after being repeatedly shot at near Manbij where they are patrolling near areas held by Turkish-backed rebels.

"Our forces did receive fire and return fire and then moved to a secure location," coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon told Reuters on Tuesday.

The incident reflects the complexity of the battlefield in northern Syria, where the Russia-backed Syrian army, Kurdish forces aided by the US-led coalition and Syrian rebels supported by Washington's ally Turkey are all operating.

Country-size land deals

US interest in purchasing territory is not as outlandish as it sounds. Here's a look at some big land transactions between nations:

Louisiana Purchase

If Donald Trump is one who aims to broker "a deal of the century", then this was the "deal of the 19th Century". In 1803, the US nearly doubled in size when it bought 2,140,000 square kilometres from France for $15 million.

Florida Purchase Treaty

The US courted Spain for Florida for years. Spain eventually realised its burden in holding on to the territory and in 1819 effectively ceded it to America in a wider border treaty. 

Alaska purchase

America's spending spree continued in 1867 when it acquired 1,518,800 km2 of  Alaskan land from Russia for $7.2m. Critics panned the government for buying "useless land".

The Philippines

At the end of the Spanish-American War, a provision in the 1898 Treaty of Paris saw Spain surrender the Philippines for a payment of $20 million. 

US Virgin Islands

It's not like a US president has never reached a deal with Denmark before. In 1917 the US purchased the Danish West Indies for $25m and renamed them the US Virgin Islands.

Gwadar

The most recent sovereign land purchase was in 1958 when Pakistan bought the southwestern port of Gwadar from Oman for 5.5bn Pakistan rupees. 

What is the FNC?

The Federal National Council is one of five federal authorities established by the UAE constitution. It held its first session on December 2, 1972, a year to the day after Federation.
It has 40 members, eight of whom are women. The members represent the UAE population through each of the emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have eight members each, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah six, and Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain have four.
They bring Emirati issues to the council for debate and put those concerns to ministers summoned for questioning. 
The FNC’s main functions include passing, amending or rejecting federal draft laws, discussing international treaties and agreements, and offering recommendations on general subjects raised during sessions.
Federal draft laws must first pass through the FNC for recommendations when members can amend the laws to suit the needs of citizens. The draft laws are then forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration and approval. 
Since 2006, half of the members have been elected by UAE citizens to serve four-year terms and the other half are appointed by the Ruler’s Courts of the seven emirates.
In the 2015 elections, 78 of the 252 candidates were women. Women also represented 48 per cent of all voters and 67 per cent of the voters were under the age of 40.
 

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

Jumanji: The Next Level

Director: Jake Kasdan

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Nick Jonas 

Two out of five stars 

Arctic Monkeys

Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino (Domino) 

 

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The Kingfisher Secret
Anonymous, Penguin Books

'The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window'

Director:Michael Lehmann

Stars:Kristen Bell

Rating: 1/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Biography

Favourite drink: Must have karak chai and Chinese tea every day

Favourite non-Chinese food: Arabic sweets and Indian puri, small round bread of wheat flour

Favourite Chinese dish: Spicy boiled fish or anything cooked by her mother because of its flavour

Best vacation: Returning home to China

Music interests: Enjoys playing the zheng, a string musical instrument

Enjoys reading: Chinese novels, romantic comedies, reading up on business trends, government policy changes

Favourite book: Chairman Mao Zedong’s poems

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000
The Secret Kingdom

Director: Matt Drummond

Stars: Alyla Browne, Alice Parkinson, Sam Everingham

Rating: 3/5

Other key dates
  • Finals draw: December 2
  • Finals (including semi-finals and third-placed game): June 5–9, 2019
  • Euro 2020 play-off draw: November 22, 2019
  • Euro 2020 play-offs: March 26–31, 2020
'The Lost Daughter'

Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal

Starring: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson

Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

Company Profile

Name: Takestep
Started: March 2018
Founders: Mohamed Khashaba, Mohamed Abdallah, Mohamed Adel Wafiq and Ayman Taha
Based: Cairo, Egypt
Sector: health technology
Employees: 11 full time and 22 part time
Investment stage: pre-Series A

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: ten-speed

Power: 420bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: Dh325,125

On sale: Now

The specs: 2018 Bentley Bentayga V8

Price, base: Dh853,226

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Power: 550hp @ 6,000pm

Torque: 770Nm @ 1,960rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 11.4L / 100km

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

RACECARD

9pm Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (Dirt) 2,000m
9.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 (D) 2,000m
10pm Al Ain Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 2,000m
10.30pm Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,800m
11pm Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,600m
11.30pm Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m
12am Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m

The Kitchen

Director: Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares

Stars: Kane Robinson, Jedaiah Bannerman, Hope Ikpoku Jnr, Fiona Marr

Rating: 3/5 

Expert advice

“Join in with a group like Cycle Safe Dubai or TrainYAS, where you’ll meet like-minded people and always have support on hand.”

Stewart Howison, co-founder of Cycle Safe Dubai and owner of Revolution Cycles

“When you sweat a lot, you lose a lot of salt and other electrolytes from your body. If your electrolytes drop enough, you will be at risk of cramping. To prevent salt deficiency, simply add an electrolyte mix to your water.”

Cornelia Gloor, head of RAK Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Centre 

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can ride as fast or as far during the summer as you do in cooler weather. The heat will make you expend more energy to maintain a speed that might normally be comfortable, so pace yourself when riding during the hotter parts of the day.”

Chandrashekar Nandi, physiotherapist at Burjeel Hospital in Dubai
 

England-South Africa Test series

1st Test England win by 211 runs at Lord's, London

2nd Test South Africa win by 340 runs at Trent Bridge, Nottingham

3rd Test July 27-31 at The Oval, London

4th Test August 4-8 at Old Trafford, Manchester

MATCH INFO

Who: UAE v USA
What: first T20 international
When: Friday, 2pm
Where: ICC Academy in Dubai

8 traditional Jamaican dishes to try at Kingston 21

  1. Trench Town Rock: Jamaican-style curry goat served in a pastry basket with a carrot and potato garnish
  2. Rock Steady Jerk Chicken: chicken marinated for 24 hours and slow-cooked on the grill
  3. Mento Oxtail: flavoured oxtail stewed for five hours with herbs
  4. Ackee and salt fish: the national dish of Jamaica makes for a hearty breakfast
  5. Jamaican porridge: another breakfast favourite, can be made with peanut, cornmeal, banana and plantain
  6. Jamaican beef patty: a pastry with ground beef filling
  7. Hellshire Pon di Beach: Fresh fish with pickles
  8. Out of Many: traditional sweet potato pudding
UAE’s revised Cricket World Cup League Two schedule

August, 2021: Host - United States; Teams - UAE, United States and Scotland

Between September and November, 2021 (dates TBC): Host - Namibia; Teams - Namibia, Oman, UAE

December, 2021: Host - UAE; Teams - UAE, Namibia, Oman

February, 2022: Hosts - Nepal; Teams - UAE, Nepal, PNG

June, 2022: Hosts - Scotland; Teams - UAE, United States, Scotland

September, 2022: Hosts - PNG; Teams - UAE, PNG, Nepal

February, 2023: Hosts - UAE; Teams - UAE, PNG, Nepal

The specs: 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Price, base / as tested Dh97,600
Engine 1,745cc Milwaukee-Eight v-twin engine
Transmission Six-speed gearbox
Power 78hp @ 5,250rpm
Torque 145Nm @ 3,000rpm
Fuel economy, combined 5.0L / 100km (estimate)

UAE squad v Australia

Rohan Mustafa (C), Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Rameez Shahzad, Fahad Nawaz, Amjed Gul, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Muhammad Naveed, Amir Hayat, Ghulam Shabir (WK), Qadeer Ahmed, Tahir Latif, Zahoor Khan

Company info

Company name: Entrupy 

Co-founders: Vidyuth Srinivasan, co-founder/chief executive, Ashlesh Sharma, co-founder/chief technology officer, Lakshmi Subramanian, co-founder/chief scientist

Based: New York, New York

Sector/About: Entrupy is a hardware-enabled SaaS company whose mission is to protect businesses, borders and consumers from transactions involving counterfeit goods.  

Initial investment/Investors: Entrupy secured a $2.6m Series A funding round in 2017. The round was led by Tokyo-based Digital Garage and Daiwa Securities Group's jointly established venture arm, DG Lab Fund I Investment Limited Partnership, along with Zach Coelius. 

Total customers: Entrupy’s customers include hundreds of secondary resellers, marketplaces and other retail organisations around the world. They are also testing with shipping companies as well as customs agencies to stop fake items from reaching the market in the first place. 


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