epa07161409 Libya Chief of Staff Marshall Khalifa Haftar arrives at the Conference on Libya in Palermo, Sicily island, Italy, 12 November 2018. Many of Libya's leading factions meet on Monday and Tuesday in Palermo, in an effort to reunite the country’s institutions and find a new path to elections.  EPA/MIKE PALAZZOTTO
Khalifa Haftar arrives at the conference on Libya in Palermo, Sicily, on November 12, 2018. EPA

Libya's key political players commit to UN plan after Palermo talks



An international summit on Libya closed on Tuesday, with the country’s key political leaders committing to a UN-led political process that aims to hold elections in the North African country by June of next year.

Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who controls east of the country, and his political rival, Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), have both expressed backing towards a UN action plan that calls for a national conference early next year prior to elections.

The commitment marks a major diplomatic breakthrough that could potentially kick-start a stalled political process and trigger elections after nearly eight years of strife.

"[Mr] Haftar is committed to the political process," UN special envoy Ghassan Salame told reporters at the end of a reconciliation conference in Palermo on Tuesday, saying that he was informed of this commitment by one of the general’s representatives.

Mr Serraj's spokesman said on Twitter that the prime minister was also committed to the UN plan, which Mr Salame first announced last week, after scrapping an earlier roadmap agreed upon in Paris in May which called for elections to be held in December.

Tuesday’s outcome came after Mr Haftar and Mr Serraj held a rare meeting on the side-lines of the summit- their first in over five months.

During talks, Mr Haftar said that he would be happy if prime minister Serraj were to stay in power until elections are planned, an Italian diplomatic source told The National.

“We don't have to change the horse midstream," the head of the east Libyan faction was quoted as saying on Tuesday, referring to the country's need to reach elections unscathed. Talks of continuation indicates that General Haftar too is likely to retain his position as head of the LNA.

The two leaders talked “a lot, alone” after the meeting with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the Italian diplomatic source said, saying the pair walked off to the side of the room to discuss matters.

Mr Conte shared photos of the meeting on Twitter, showing both Mr Haftar and Mr Serraj smiling alongside Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the EU’s Donald Tusk, Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi, and Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, among other leaders. In one photo, the pair appear to be sharing an embrace with the Italian PM.

The meeting was not welcomed by Turkey’s delegation to Palermo, which pulled out of the conference, saying it was “deeply disappointed” at being left out.

Following the meeting, Mr Salame told delegations at Palermo that Libyans should be at the helm of the peace process and, to that end, the next step should be a meeting on Libyan soil.

“There are no military but only political solutions, and Libyans have to find them. Delaying the political solution only negatively impacts current and future Libyan generations,” he said.

The representatives of two other key Libyan factions were also present on Tuesday. Ageela Saleh, leader of the Libyan House of Representatives; and Khaled Meshri, head of the State Council, an advisory body to the GNA, also met Mr Conte and Mr Salame, who shuffled between numerous delegations.

Frederic Wehrey, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that “Italy has certainly achieved a good photo op,” following talks.

However, Rome still lacks the clout to forge a real international, regional and Libyan consensus, he told The National.

“The abrupt departure of Turkey, a key player in Libya, demonstrates this, as does a French Foreign Ministry statement which barely disguises the rivalry with Italy and tries to portray the Palermo meeting as a continuation of the Paris summit,” he said.

Italy has been trying to reassert control over the Libyan peace process after French President Emmanuel Macron convened a surprise summit in Paris in May in a bid to push for Libyan elections on December 10.

The summit in Palermo was largely read by analysts as an attempt by Rome to regain diplomatic leadership over the Libyan dossier.

Although Mr Haftar met Mr Serraj, the general poured scorn on the summit. “I will not take part in the summit even if it takes 100 years,” he told Libyan Tv. He said he had come to Italy only to have bilateral meetings with leaders of neighbouring countries, casting a shadow over the talks.

A QUIET PLACE

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Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia

Results

57kg quarter-finals

Zakaria Eljamari (UAE) beat Hamed Al Matari (YEM) by points 3-0.

60kg quarter-finals

Ibrahim Bilal (UAE) beat Hyan Aljmyah (SYR) RSC round 2.

63.5kg quarter-finals

Nouredine Samir (UAE) beat Shamlan A Othman (KUW) by points 3-0.

67kg quarter-finals

Mohammed Mardi (UAE) beat Ahmad Ondash (LBN) by points 2-1.

71kg quarter-finals

Ahmad Bahman (UAE) defeated Lalthasanga Lelhchhun (IND) by points 3-0.

Amine El Moatassime (UAE) beat Seyed Kaveh Safakhaneh (IRI) by points 3-0.

81kg quarter-finals

Ilyass Habibali (UAE) beat Ahmad Hilal (PLE) by points 3-0

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MEDIEVIL (1998)

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Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
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Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Price, base / as tested Dh99,000 / Dh132,000

Engine 3.6L V6

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Power 275hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque 350Nm @ 3,700rpm

Fuel economy combined 12.2L / 100km

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Mr Payne asks for the sticker to be placed directly on each item, rather than face the temptation of filling one of the two-kilogram capacity plastic bags on offer.

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July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

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1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

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How Alia's experiment will help humans get to Mars

Alia’s winning experiment examined how genes might change under the stresses caused by being in space, such as cosmic radiation and microgravity.

Her samples were placed in a machine on board the International Space Station. called a miniPCR thermal cycler, which can copy DNA multiple times.

After the samples were examined on return to Earth, scientists were able to successfully detect changes caused by being in space in the way DNA transmits instructions through proteins and other molecules in living organisms.

Although Alia’s samples were taken from nematode worms, the results have much bigger long term applications, especially for human space flight and long term missions, such as to Mars.

It also means that the first DNA experiments using human genomes can now be carried out on the ISS.

 

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All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

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Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 715bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh1,289,376

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Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

RESULT

Argentina 0 Croatia 3
Croatia: 
Rebic (53'), Modric (80'), Rakitic (90'+1)