TOPSHOT - This picture shows US army vehicles supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Hajin, in the Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, on December 15, 2018. Kurdish-led forces seized the Islamic State's main hub of Hajin on December 14, a milestone in a massive and costly US-backed operation to eradicate the jihadists from eastern Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces secured Hajin, the largest settlement in what is the last pocket of territory controlled by IS, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP / Delil SOULEIMAN
US army vehicles supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hajin, eastern Syria.  AFP

US-backed fighters seize east Syria village from ISIS



US-backed Syrian fighters on Tuesday seized a key village from ISIS, further chipping away at their last eastern holdout on the Iraqi border, a UK monitor said.

Backed by air strikes of the US-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces have since September been battling to expel the jihadists from the so-called Hajin pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

In recent weeks, they have whittled it down to just a handful of villages on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River.

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Mosul destroys iconic building used by ISIS for gruesome killings

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On Tuesday, the Kurdish-led alliance seized the largest of these from the extremists after they fled, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

“The SDF took control of Sousa after the withdrawal of ISIS fighters to territory that remains under their control," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

That leaves ISIS battling to defend just 15 square kilometres of land, he added.

ISIS overran large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a "caliphate" in areas under their control.

But they have since lost most of that to various offensives in both countries – even if they retain a presence in Syria’s vast Badia desert, where Russia-backed regime forces have fought them.

According to the Observatory, more than 1,100 ISIS extremists have been killed since the start of the operation on September 10, while more than 600 SDF fighters have also lost their lives.

Around 360 civilians including 130 children have also been killed, the monitor said.

Syria's war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government demonstrations.

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

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

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

RESULTS

Lightweight (female)
Sara El Bakkali bt Anisha Kadka
Bantamweight
Mohammed Adil Al Debi bt Moaz Abdelgawad
Welterweight
Amir Boureslan bt Mahmoud Zanouny
Featherweight
Mohammed Al Katheeri bt Abrorbek Madaminbekov
Super featherweight
Ibrahem Bilal bt Emad Arafa
Middleweight
Ahmed Abdolaziz bt Imad Essassi
Bantamweight (female)
Ilham Bourakkadi bt Milena Martinou
Welterweight
Mohamed Mardi bt Noureddine El Agouti
Middleweight
Nabil Ouach bt Ymad Atrous
Welterweight
Nouredine Samir bt Marlon Ribeiro
Super welterweight
Brad Stanton bt Mohamed El Boukhari

The Greatest Royal Rumble card

50-man Royal Rumble - names entered so far include Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan, Kurt Angle, Big Show, Kane, Chris Jericho, The New Day and Elias

Universal Championship Brock Lesnar (champion) v Roman Reigns in a steel cage match

WWE World Heavyweight ChampionshipAJ Styles (champion) v Shinsuke Nakamura

Intercontinental Championship Seth Rollins (champion) v The Miz v Finn Balor v Samoa Joe

United States Championship Jeff Hardy (champion) v Jinder Mahal

SmackDown Tag Team Championship The Bludgeon Brothers (champions) v The Usos

Raw Tag Team Championship (currently vacant) Cesaro and Sheamus v Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt

Casket match The Undertaker v Rusev

Singles match John Cena v Triple H

Cruiserweight Championship Cedric Alexander v Kalisto

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

match details

Wales v Hungary

Cardiff City Stadium, kick-off 11.45pm

ETFs explained

Exhchange traded funds are bought and sold like shares, but operate as index-tracking funds, passively following their chosen indices, such as the S&P 500, FTSE 100 and the FTSE All World, plus a vast range of smaller exchanges and commodities, such as gold, silver, copper sugar, coffee and oil.

ETFs have zero upfront fees and annual charges as low as 0.07 per cent a year, which means you get to keep more of your returns, as actively managed funds can charge as much as 1.5 per cent a year.

There are thousands to choose from, with the five biggest providers BlackRock’s iShares range, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs, Deutsche Bank AWM X-trackers and Invesco PowerShares.

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

Story behind the UAE flag

The UAE flag was first unveiled on December 2, 1971, the day the UAE was formed. 

It was designed by Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah, 19, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi. 

Mr Al Maainah said in an interview with The National in 2011 he chose the colours for local reasons. 

The black represents the oil riches that transformed the UAE, green stands for fertility and the red and white colours were drawn from those found in existing emirate flags.

Visa changes give families fresh hope

Foreign workers can sponsor family members based solely on their income

Male residents employed in the UAE can sponsor immediate family members, such as wife and children, subject to conditions that include a minimum salary of Dh 4,000 or Dh 3,000 plus accommodation.

Attested original marriage certificate, birth certificate of the child, ejari or rental contract, labour contract, salary certificate must be submitted to the government authorised typing centre to complete the sponsorship process

In Abu Dhabi, a woman can sponsor her husband and children if she holds a residence permit stating she is an engineer, teacher, doctor, nurse or any profession related to the medical sector and her monthly salary is at least Dh 10,000 or Dh 8,000 plus accommodation.

In Dubai, if a woman is not employed in the above categories she can get approval to sponsor her family if her monthly salary is more than Dh 10,000 and with a special permission from the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai.

To sponsor parents, a worker should earn Dh20,000 or Dh19,000 a month, plus a two-bedroom accommodation

 

 

 

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

SPEC SHEET: NOTHING PHONE (2a)

Display: 6.7” flexible Amoled, 2412 x 1080, 394ppi, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro, 4nm, octa-core

Memory: 8/12GB

Capacity: 128/256GB

Platform: Android 14, Nothing OS 2.5

Main camera: Dual 50MP main, f/1.88 + 50MP ultra-wide, f/2.2; OIS, EIS, auto-focus, ultra XDR, night mode

Main camera video: 4K @ 30fps, full-HD @ 60fps; slo-mo full-HD at 120fps

Front camera: 32MP wide, f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh; 50% in 30 mins w/ 45w charger

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Google Pay)

Biometrics: Fingerprint, face unlock

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP54, limited protection from water/dust

Cards: Dual-nano SIM

Colours: Black, milk, white

In the box: Nothing Phone (2a), USB-C-to-USB-C cable, pre-applied screen protector, SIM tray ejector tool

Price (UAE): Dh1,199 (8GB/128GB) / Dh1,399 (12GB/256GB)

'My Son'

Director: Christian Carion

Starring: James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Tom Cullen, Gary Lewis

Rating: 2/5

Champions parade (UAE timings)

7pm Gates open

8pm Deansgate stage showing starts

9pm Parade starts at Manchester Cathedral

9.45pm Parade ends at Peter Street

10pm City players on stage

11pm event ends

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

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

Final results:

Open men
Australia 94 (4) beat New Zealand 48 (0)

Plate men
England 85 (3) beat India 81 (1)

Open women
Australia 121 (4) beat South Africa 52 (0)

Under 22 men
Australia 68 (2) beat New Zealand 66 (2)

Under 22 women
Australia 92 (3) beat New Zealand 54 (1)

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 201hp at 5,200rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

Price: Dh133,900

On sale: now

Uefa Nations League: How it works

The Uefa Nations League, introduced last year, has reached its final stage, to be played over five days in northern Portugal. The format of its closing tournament is compact, spread over two semi-finals, with the first, Portugal versus Switzerland in Porto on Wednesday evening, and the second, England against the Netherlands, in Guimaraes, on Thursday.

The winners of each semi will then meet at Porto’s Dragao stadium on Sunday, with the losing semi-finalists contesting a third-place play-off in Guimaraes earlier that day.

Qualifying for the final stage was via League A of the inaugural Nations League, in which the top 12 European countries according to Uefa's co-efficient seeding system were divided into four groups, the teams playing each other twice between September and November. Portugal, who finished above Italy and Poland, successfully bid to host the finals.