A handout picture released by Dalati & Nohra show Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (C ), heading a meeting to "the future” parliamentary block with former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora (L) and his aunt MP Bahia Hariri (R ) in his home, in Beirut, 20 September 2010, which offer "to the overall political developments in the country." The PM returned from Saudi Arabia earlier on Monday and reportedly plans to attend Tuesday’s cabinet session.  EPA/DALATI & NOHRA / HO  EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Saad Hariri, Lebanon's prime minister, centre, met Fouad Siniora, the former prime minister, and Bahia Hariri, an MP, in Beirut yesterday.

PM Hariri enters crisis mode over 2005 killing



BEIRUT // Saad Hariri returned home yesterday to confront the worst political crisis of his year as prime minister, as his supporters traded insults and accusations with the Hizbollah-led opposition over an international tribunal investigating the assassination of Mr Hariri's father in 2005.

Arriving from Saudi Arabia, Mr Hariri immediately went into consultations with the members of his Future Movement and its allies in the March 14 movement on a week-old crisis instigated by a former security official held in prison for four years on suspicion of helping orchestrate the 2005 car bombing that killed the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, in 2005. The former director of general security, Jamil Sayyed, has exchanged waves of insults over whether Mr Hariri conspired to have him framed for his father's murder in an effort to implicate Mr Sayyed's Syrian patrons.

Prosecutors issued a summons last week after Mr Sayyed held a press conference at which he threatened to obtain justice through the streets if he failed to gain it in the courts. Upon his arrival on Saturday from Paris, Mr Sayyed continued to accuse Mr Hariri of criminal conduct and avoided arrest with the protection of more than a dozen Hizbollah guards, who took temporary control of Beirut's airport to escort him home.

Mr Sayyed remains in violation of the order to appear before prosecutors for questioning, which judicial sources said would probably be upgraded to an arrest warrant for his intransigence. But he is under the protection of Hizbollah's security forces, meaning any attempt to arrest the former general would possibly spark a violent showdown between the Lebanese authorities and the Shiite militant group that many have called "state within a state".

As Mr Hariri arrived home, a key member of his coalition once again used the local media to denounce Mr Sayyed. In a press conference, Okab Saqr, a member of parliament, accused Mr Sayyed of leaking information from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to antagonise Hizbollah into believing the group faced possible indictment for the murder. Since the publication of that possibility last year, Hizbollah's leadership has embarked on an overt campaign to discredit the tribunal and has thrown its support behind Mr Sayyed's claims that someone - most likely supporters of Mr Hariri - paid witnesses to implicate Syria and its allies for killing Rafik Hariri.

"What was published ? was fabricated by Jamil Sayyed," Mr Saqr said. "We don't want an apology from Hizbollah but we want the Lebanese to know ? who spread the rumour," he added. Repeating his claim from last week that Mr Sayyed had demanded US$15 million (Dh55m) from the Hariri family in compensation - a charge he has denied - Mr Saqr suggested that Hizbollah pay half that amount to end this standoff, a wry suggestion that appears to have infuriated Mr Sayyed and his supporters. But Mr Saqr also took the extraordinary step of warning Hizbollah not to reject Mr Hariri's appeals to end the matter.

"We hope that Hizbollah meets [Mr Hariri's] extended hand because one blow will be met with 10 this time," Mr Saqr said. Mr Sayyed responded by calling Mr Saqr a "grasshopper" and that his issue was with Mr Hariri, who should return his supporters like Mr Saqr to "their cages" at Hariri's residence. But in addition to the personal attacks, which exceed in tone anything Lebanese politics have seen in years, Lebanese security forces remain furious that Hizbollah used its military wing to protect Mr Sayyed from arrest. They maintain that the protection is a violation of what they claim is a promise by the group to never use its weapons against the Lebanese after its violent takeover of Beirut to expel militias loyal to Mr Hariri in 2008.

Gen Asraf Rifi, the head of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces, criticised both Hizbollah and Mr Sayyed's conduct and repeated claims that Mr Sayyed was in part responsible for Rafik Hariri's assassination. @Email:mprothero@thenational.ae

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Rafia Zakaria
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A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Saturday's results

Brighton 1-1 Leicester City
Everton 1-0 Cardiff City
Manchester United 0-0 Crystal Palace
Watford 0-3 Liverpool
West Ham United 0-4 Manchester City

Alita: Battle Angel

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Keean Johnson

Four stars

Four-day collections of TOH

Day             Indian Rs (Dh)        

Thursday    500.75 million (25.23m)

Friday         280.25m (14.12m)

Saturday     220.75m (11.21m)

Sunday       170.25m (8.58m)

Total            1.19bn (59.15m)

(Figures in millions, approximate)

MATCH INFO

Syria v Australia
2018 World Cup qualifying: Asia fourth round play-off first leg
Venue: Hang Jebat Stadium (Malacca, Malayisa)
Kick-off: Thursday, 4.30pm (UAE)
Watch: beIN Sports HD

* Second leg in Australia scheduled for October 10

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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.

EXPATS

Director: Lulu Wang

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sarayu Blue, Ji-young Yoo, Brian Tee, Jack Huston

Rating: 4/5

Three ways to limit your social media use

Clinical psychologist, Dr Saliha Afridi at The Lighthouse Arabia suggests three easy things you can do every day to cut back on the time you spend online.

1. Put the social media app in a folder on the second or third screen of your phone so it has to remain a conscious decision to open, rather than something your fingers gravitate towards without consideration.

2. Schedule a time to use social media instead of consistently throughout the day. I recommend setting aside certain times of the day or week when you upload pictures or share information. 

3. Take a mental snapshot rather than a photo on your phone. Instead of sharing it with your social world, try to absorb the moment, connect with your feeling, experience the moment with all five of your senses. You will have a memory of that moment more vividly and for far longer than if you take a picture of it.

Top 10 most competitive economies

1. Singapore
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3. Denmark
4. Ireland
5. Hong Kong
6. Sweden
7. UAE
8. Taiwan
9. Netherlands
10. Norway

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
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Correspondents

By Tim Murphy

(Grove Press)

Graduated from the American University of Sharjah

She is the eldest of three brothers and two sisters

Has helped solve 15 cases of electric shocks

Enjoys travelling, reading and horse riding

 

Sinopharm vaccine explained

The Sinopharm vaccine was created using techniques that have been around for decades. 

“This is an inactivated vaccine. Simply what it means is that the virus is taken, cultured and inactivated," said Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chair of the UAE's National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee.

"What is left is a skeleton of the virus so it looks like a virus, but it is not live."

This is then injected into the body.

"The body will recognise it and form antibodies but because it is inactive, we will need more than one dose. The body will not develop immunity with one dose," she said.

"You have to be exposed more than one time to what we call the antigen."

The vaccine should offer protection for at least months, but no one knows how long beyond that.

Dr Al Kaabi said early vaccine volunteers in China were given shots last spring and still have antibodies today.

“Since it is inactivated, it will not last forever," she said.

Ways to control drones

Countries have been coming up with ways to restrict and monitor the use of non-commercial drones to keep them from trespassing on controlled areas such as airports.

"Drones vary in size and some can be as big as a small city car - so imagine the impact of one hitting an airplane. It's a huge risk, especially when commercial airliners are not designed to make or take sudden evasive manoeuvres like drones can" says Saj Ahmed, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research.

New measures have now been taken to monitor drone activity, Geo-fencing technology is one.

It's a method designed to prevent drones from drifting into banned areas. The technology uses GPS location signals to stop its machines flying close to airports and other restricted zones.

The European commission has recently announced a blueprint to make drone use in low-level airspace safe, secure and environmentally friendly. This process is called “U-Space” – it covers altitudes of up to 150 metres. It is also noteworthy that that UK Civil Aviation Authority recommends drones to be flown at no higher than 400ft. “U-Space” technology will be governed by a system similar to air traffic control management, which will be automated using tools like geo-fencing.

The UAE has drawn serious measures to ensure users register their devices under strict new laws. Authorities have urged that users must obtain approval in advance before flying the drones, non registered drone use in Dubai will result in a fine of up to twenty thousand dirhams under a new resolution approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Mr Ahmad suggest that "Hefty fines running into hundreds of thousands of dollars need to compensate for the cost of airport disruption and flight diversions to lengthy jail spells, confiscation of travel rights and use of drones for a lengthy period" must be enforced in order to reduce airport intrusion.