Colonel Mohamed Bashir, director of Libya's Illegal Immigration Control Agency, checks on an African mgirant who was injured after their vehicle was overturned during a truck collision, at a hospital in the town of Beni Walid, 170 kilometres southeast of the capital Tripoli, on February 14, 2018.
At least 19 migrants were killed and more than 100 injured when the truck transporting them crashed in Libya on February 14, a hospital said.
More than 300 migrants, mostly Eritrean and Somali nationals, were on board the vehicle which overturned near the town of Bani Walid. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA
Hundreds of migrants from Eritrea and Somalia pass through Bani Walid, Libya, as they seek better lives in Europe. Many, including this man pictured in February 2018, are injured in the attempt. / AFPShow more

Migrants shot after fleeing secret smuggler jails



More than 100 East African migrants escaped from smugglers holding them captive near the Libyan town of Bani Walid earlier this week, with some of them wounded and reportedly killed in the process, a local source and humanitarian workers said.

The local source in Bani Walid and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the migrants were shot at as they tried to flee. Survivors told MSF that at least 15 people were killed and up to 40, mostly women, had been left behind.

MSF said in a statement it had treated 25 of the migrants at Bani Walid hospital, and that some had severe gunshot wounds and multiple fractures.

The migrants, numbering about 140 and of Eritrean, Ethiopian and Somali nationality, had been held by "notorious trafficker Mousa Diab", according to a separate statement by the UN migration and refugee agencies.

They were mainly teenagers seeking asylum in Europe, and reported being held by traffickers who had sold them multiple times around Bani Walid and the nearby town of Nesma, MSF said.

Bani Walid, about 145 km (90 miles) south of Tripoli, has become a major hub for the smuggling and trafficking of migrants who arrive from sub-Saharan African countries trying to reach Libya's Mediterranean coast.

From there, many seek to travel on towards Italy by boat, though crossings have been sharply reduced since last July when a major smuggling group in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratha struck a deal to halt departures under Italian pressure and was then forced out in clashes.

Libya's EU-backed coastguard has also returned more migrants to Libya after intercepting them at sea.

Migrant community representatives have said smugglers are now operating further inland, especially around Bani Walid where they run clandestine prisons, and that migrants who are frequently tortured or raped in order to extort money from them or their families are being held for longer.

"Kidnapping for ransom remains a thriving business, boosted by European Union-sponsored policies aimed at criminalising migrants and refugees and preventing them from reaching European shores at all cost," MSF said.

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

What is a robo-adviser?

Robo-advisers use an online sign-up process to gauge an investor’s risk tolerance by feeding information such as their age, income, saving goals and investment history into an algorithm, which then assigns them an investment portfolio, ranging from more conservative to higher risk ones.

These portfolios are made up of exchange traded funds (ETFs) with exposure to indices such as US and global equities, fixed-income products like bonds, though exposure to real estate, commodity ETFs or gold is also possible.

Investing in ETFs allows robo-advisers to offer fees far lower than traditional investments, such as actively managed mutual funds bought through a bank or broker. Investors can buy ETFs directly via a brokerage, but with robo-advisers they benefit from investment portfolios matched to their risk tolerance as well as being user friendly.

Many robo-advisers charge what are called wrap fees, meaning there are no additional fees such as subscription or withdrawal fees, success fees or fees for rebalancing.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

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

How tumultuous protests grew
  • A fuel tax protest by French drivers appealed to wider anti-government sentiment
  • Unlike previous French demonstrations there was no trade union or organised movement involved 
  • Demonstrators responded to online petitions and flooded squares to block traffic
  • At its height there were almost 300,000 on the streets in support
  • Named after the high visibility jackets that drivers must keep in cars 
  • Clashes soon turned violent as thousands fought with police at cordons
  • An estimated two dozen people lost eyes and many others were admitted to hospital 
Three trading apps to try

Sharad Nair recommends three investment apps for UAE residents:

  • For beginners or people who want to start investing with limited capital, Mr Nair suggests eToro. “The low fees and low minimum balance requirements make the platform more accessible,” he says. “The user interface is straightforward to understand and operate, while its social element may help ease beginners into the idea of investing money by looking to a virtual community.”
  • If you’re an experienced investor, and have $10,000 or more to invest, consider Saxo Bank. “Saxo Bank offers a more comprehensive trading platform with advanced features and insight for more experienced users. It offers a more personalised approach to opening and operating an account on their platform,” he says.
  • Finally, StashAway could work for those who want a hands-off approach to their investing. “It removes one of the biggest challenges for novice traders: picking the securities in their portfolio,” Mr Nair says. “A goal-based approach or view towards investing can help motivate residents who may usually shy away from investment platforms.”
The biog

Place of birth: Kalba

Family: Mother of eight children and has 10 grandchildren

Favourite traditional dish: Al Harees, a slow cooked porridge-like dish made from boiled cracked or coarsely ground wheat mixed with meat or chicken

Favourite book: My early life by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah

Favourite quote: By Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's Founding Father, “Those who have no past will have no present or future.”

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Company Profile

Company: Astra Tech
Started: March 2022
Based: Dubai
Founder: Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Industry: technology investment and development
Funding size: $500m

The Roundup : No Way Out

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

The bio:

Favourite film:

Declan: It was The Commitments but now it’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Heidi: The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Favourite holiday destination:

Declan: Las Vegas but I also love getting home to Ireland and seeing everyone back home.

Heidi: Australia but my dream destination would be to go to Cuba.

Favourite pastime:

Declan: I love brunching and socializing. Just basically having the craic.

Heidi: Paddleboarding and swimming.

Personal motto:

Declan: Take chances.

Heidi: Live, love, laugh and have no regrets.

 

'The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey'

Rating: 3/5

Directors: Ramin Bahrani, Debbie Allen, Hanelle Culpepper, Guillermo Navarro

Writers: Walter Mosley

Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Dominique Fishback, Walton Goggins

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".

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

The biog

Mission to Seafarers is one of the largest port-based welfare operators in the world.

It provided services to around 200 ports across 50 countries.

They also provide port chaplains to help them deliver professional welfare services.

Results

3pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,000m; Winner: Dhafra, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Eric Lemartinel (trainer)

3.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Al Ajayib, Antonio Fresu, Eric Lemartinel

4pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: Ashtr, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, Majed Al Jahouri

4.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: Falcon Claws, Szczepan Mazur, Doug Watson

5pm: Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Cup – Prestige Handicap (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: Al Mufham SB, Al Moatasem Al Balushi, Badar Al Hajri

5.30pm: Sharjah Marathon – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 2,700m; Winner: Asraa Min Al Talqa, Al Moatasem Al Balushi, Helal Al Alawi

The bio

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite travel destination: Maldives and south of France

Favourite pastime: Family and friends, meditation, discovering new cuisines

Favourite Movie: Joker (2019). I didn’t like it while I was watching it but then afterwards I loved it. I loved the psychology behind it.

Favourite Author: My father for sure

Favourite Artist: Damien Hurst

SPECS

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 625 bhp
Torque: 630Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh974,011

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

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

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

How to join and use Abu Dhabi’s public libraries

• There are six libraries in Abu Dhabi emirate run by the Department of Culture and Tourism, including one in Al Ain and Al Dhafra.

• Libraries are free to visit and visitors can consult books, use online resources and study there. Most are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays, closed on Fridays and have variable hours on Saturdays, except for Qasr Al Watan which is open from 10am to 8pm every day.

• In order to borrow books, visitors must join the service by providing a passport photograph, Emirates ID and a refundable deposit of Dh400. Members can borrow five books for three weeks, all of which are renewable up to two times online.

• If users do not wish to pay the fee, they can still use the library’s electronic resources for free by simply registering on the website. Once registered, a username and password is provided, allowing remote access.

• For more information visit the library network's website.

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.

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Start-up hopes to end Japan's love affair with cash

Across most of Asia, people pay for taxi rides, restaurant meals and merchandise with smartphone-readable barcodes — except in Japan, where cash still rules. Now, as the country’s biggest web companies race to dominate the payments market, one Tokyo-based startup says it has a fighting chance to win with its QR app.

Origami had a head start when it introduced a QR-code payment service in late 2015 and has since signed up fast-food chain KFC, Tokyo’s largest cab company Nihon Kotsu and convenience store operator Lawson. The company raised $66 million in September to expand nationwide and plans to more than double its staff of about 100 employees, says founder Yoshiki Yasui.

Origami is betting that stores, which until now relied on direct mail and email newsletters, will pay for the ability to reach customers on their smartphones. For example, a hair salon using Origami’s payment app would be able to send a message to past customers with a coupon for their next haircut.

Quick Response codes, the dotted squares that can be read by smartphone cameras, were invented in the 1990s by a unit of Toyota Motor to track automotive parts. But when the Japanese pioneered digital payments almost two decades ago with contactless cards for train fares, they chose the so-called near-field communications technology. The high cost of rolling out NFC payments, convenient ATMs and a culture where lost wallets are often returned have all been cited as reasons why cash remains king in the archipelago. In China, however, QR codes dominate.

Cashless payments, which includes credit cards, accounted for just 20 per cent of total consumer spending in Japan during 2016, compared with 60 per cent in China and 89 per cent in South Korea, according to a report by the Bank of Japan.


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