Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to MPs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to MPs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey. AP

Turkey says it will establish safe zone in northern Syria



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Ankara will establish a 30-kilometre safe zone inside northern Syria following a "historic" agreement with his US peer Donald Trump.

Mr Erdogan's speech to parliament comes one day after he spoke with Mr Trump over the phone, in what seemed an effort to douse tensions after the American leader threatened Ankara with economic ruin if it attacked Kurdish groups in Syria.

The Turkish leader said he held a "quite positive" telephone conversation with Mr Trump late on Monday, where he reaffirmed that "a 20-mile (30km) security zone along the Syrian border... will be set up by us."

Since early in the conflict, Ankara has called for a safe area backed up by a no-fly zone on its border with Syria to protect civilians from air and ground attacks.

But the support for the proposal has waned ever since.

Mr Erdogan on Tuesday said that the plan could be revived if Washington provides logistics and financial support.

"We could create such a safe zone if coalition forces especially America provide logistical and financial support," Mr Erdogan said.

"That would also entirely prevent an influx (of refugees)."

The Turkish leader dismissed any presence of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in that zone.

Commenting on Mr Trump's tweet on Sunday that the US would "devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds", Mr Erdogan said the remark "saddened me and my friends", but added that the two leaders reached an agreement during Monday's phone conversation.

"We have reached an agreement of understanding that is of historic importance," he said.

Mr Erdogan said Turkey would solve issues with a "spirit of alliance" with Mr Trump as long as his country's sensitivities were taken into account.

Mr Trump on Monday said that he spoke to Mr Erdogan to advise him on where the US stands on issues including battles against ISIS, the establishment of a 30-km safe zone and economic development between the US and Turkey.

However, the American president stuck to his emphasis on protecting Washington's Kurdish partners in the battles against ISIS, despite Mr Erdogan's known objection to such protection guarantees.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement after the call that "the president expressed the desire to work together to address Turkey’s security concerns in northeast Syria while stressing the importance to the United States that Turkey does not mistreat the Kurds and other Syrian Democratic Forces with whom we have fought to defeat ISIS."

Mr Trump gave no details about the safe zone proposal, but members of his administration said that Washington wanted to provide security for those who have fought ISIS and to prevent any attack on Turkey from Syria.

"If we can get the space and the security arrangements right it would be a good thing for everyone in the region," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday, while on a tour of the Middle East.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Ankara was not against the idea of a secure zone along the border.

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Tensions between Ankara and Washington have soured over threats by Mr Erdogan to attack territory controlled by US-backed Kurdish groups in Syria.

Turkey views the YPG – Washington’s primary partner in the battle against ISIS in Syria– as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organisation by both Turkey and the US.

Mr Erdogan has signalled that a cross-border operation against the YPG in northeastern Syria will happen soon. Ankara has carried out two military campaigns in northern Syria against ISIS and the YPG since 2016.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin addressed Mr Trump on Twitter saying that “terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honour our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda.”

ACC T20 Women’s Championship

UAE fixtures
Friday, June 17 v Oman
Saturday, June 18 v Singapore
Monday, June 20 v Malaysia
Wednesday, June 22 v Qatar
Friday, June 24, semi-final
Saturday, June 25, final

UAE squad: Chaya Mughal (captain), Esha Oza, Indhuja Nandakumar, Kavisha Kumari, Khushi Sharma, Lavanya Keny, Priyanjali Jain, Rithika Rajith, Samaira Dharnidharka, Sanchin Singh, Siya Gokhale, Suraksha Kotte, Theertha Satish, Vaishnave Mahesh

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

Indika

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

'Panga'

Directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Starring Kangana Ranaut, Richa Chadha, Jassie Gill, Yagya Bhasin, Neena Gupta

Rating: 3.5/5

The 12

England

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Italy
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Spain
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

Super 30

Produced: Sajid Nadiadwala and Phantom Productions
Directed: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pankaj Tripathi, Aditya Srivastav, Mrinal Thakur
Rating: 3.5 /5

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

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

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

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

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Essentials

The flights
Emirates, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines all fly direct from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur and on to Penang from about Dh2,300 return, including taxes. 
 

Where to stay
In Kuala Lumpur, Element is a recently opened, futuristic hotel high up in a Norman Foster-designed skyscraper. Rooms cost from Dh400 per night, including taxes. Hotel Stripes, also in KL, is a great value design hotel, with an infinity rooftop pool. Rooms cost from Dh310, including taxes. 


In Penang, Ren i Tang is a boutique b&b in what was once an ancient Chinese Medicine Hall in the centre of Little India. Rooms cost from Dh220, including taxes.
23 Love Lane in Penang is a luxury boutique heritage hotel in a converted mansion, with private tropical gardens. Rooms cost from Dh400, including taxes. 
In Langkawi, Temple Tree is a unique architectural villa hotel consisting of antique houses from all across Malaysia. Rooms cost from Dh350, including taxes.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

Top 10 most competitive economies

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

Company profile

Company name: amana
Started: 2010
Founders: Karim Farra and Ziad Aboujeb
Based: UAE
Regulator: DFSA
Sector: Financial services
Current number of staff: 85
Investment stage: Self-funded

The specs: 2018 Maxus T60

Price, base / as tested: Dh48,000

Engine: 2.4-litre four-cylinder

Power: 136hp @ 1,600rpm

Torque: 360Nm @ 1,600 rpm

Transmission: Five-speed manual

Fuel consumption, combined: 9.1L / 100km

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2-litre
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Power: 252 brake horsepower
Torque: 352Nm
Price: from Dh146,700
On sale: now

Safety 'top priority' for rival hyperloop company

The chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Andres de Leon, said his company's hyperloop technology is “ready” and safe.

He said the company prioritised safety throughout its development and, last year, Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurance companies, announced it was ready to insure their technology.

“Our levitation, propulsion, and vacuum technology have all been developed [...] over several decades and have been deployed and tested at full scale,” he said in a statement to The National.

“Only once the system has been certified and approved will it move people,” he said.

HyperloopTT has begun designing and engineering processes for its Abu Dhabi projects and hopes to break ground soon. 

With no delivery date yet announced, Mr de Leon said timelines had to be considered carefully, as government approval, permits, and regulations could create necessary delays.

How to get there

Emirates (www.emirates.com) flies directly to Hanoi, Vietnam, with fares starting from around Dh2,725 return, while Etihad (www.etihad.com) fares cost about Dh2,213 return with a stop. Chuong is 25 kilometres south of Hanoi.
 

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Juliot Vinolia’s checklist for adopting alternate-day fasting

-      Don’t do it more than once in three days

-      Don’t go under 700 calories on fasting days

-      Ensure there is sufficient water intake, as the body can go in dehydration mode

-      Ensure there is enough roughage (fibre) in the food on fasting days as well

-      Do not binge on processed or fatty foods on non-fasting days

-      Complement fasting with plant-based foods, fruits, vegetables, seafood. Cut out processed meats and processed carbohydrates

-      Manage your sleep

-      People with existing gastric or mental health issues should avoid fasting

-      Do not fast for prolonged periods without supervision by a qualified expert

'Downton Abbey: A New Era'

Director: Simon Curtis

Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan

Rating: 4/5

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

The specs: 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price, base / as tested Dh57,000

Engine 1,170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin four-stroke engine

Transmission Six-speed gearbox

Power 110hp) @ 7,750rpm

Torque 116Nm @ 6,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 5.3L / 100km

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

ARGYLLE

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, John Cena

Rating: 3/5