Yemeni soldiers defecting, says official



Yemen's ruling family is arresting soldiers who defect from the government forces in an attempt to stop them from joining the anti-regime protest movement, said a senior security official.

The official with the Republican Guards, run by president Ali Abdullah Saleh's eldest son, Ahmed, said that more than 130 soldiers have been arrested and jailed since the beginning of June on claims that they supported the revolution and were linked to the defected military leader, Maj Gen Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar.

The official did not want to be identified, because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

During the past two months, more than 2,000 soldiers from the Republican Guards and central security forces have defected from the government to join the protest movement, according to movement's youth organising committee.

The defections continued after president Saleh left for Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment for injuries he received during the attack on the presidential palace on June 3.

Yesterday, the defence ministry announced that the military forces are loyal to the government and rejected claims that soldiers have been arrested.

"The republican guards are the power that support president Saleh and will continue doing so with no defections under the leadership of General Ahmed," Abdu Ganadi, the government spokesperson said.

A security aide with Gen Ahmed Saleh admits that hundreds of soldiers have defected over the past weeks, but insisted that the general remains the most powerful military leader in Yemen.

"I am not admitting that we arrested soldiers who wanted to defect, but all must understand that any soldier wishing to go against the orders of his seniors will be held accountable by law," said the aide, who declined to provide his name.

Mahmood Junaid, a presidential aide, said he expects the ruling family will lose more soldiers every day.

"Soldiers are living the same life as everyone else. They, too, don't have electricity and petrol and will soon not receive their salaries. Soldiers will soon be asked to use force against the people and when this happens the ruling family with quickly lose ground militarily," he predicted.

A group of more than 80 soldiers with the central security forces, which is controlled by president Saleh's nephew, Yahya, reportedly joined the protest movement this week.

"The ruling family insists that they are the country and the saviours of it, while we see that the country is the 25 million Yemenis," said Mohammed Saleh, a former central security officer who now helps convince other soldiers to put down their arms.

Mohammed Abdul Malik served with the government military for more than 20 years.

"In May, we were ordered to stop a youth protest from expanding, even by the use of force, ," said Mr Malik. "While they were marching, one of them handed me a flower while I was pointing my machine gun in their direction.

"That was enough for me to quit the republican guards and join the revolution."

Ali Jaradi, editor of Ahale newspaper, last week interviewed more than a dozen soldiers who had defected. Most said they quit to join the anti-regime movement and avoid going against the will of the people.

Mr Jaradi said that some of the Republican Guards continue to support the ruling family in fear of imprisonment or that their families will be harmed.

"They are still with the ruling family because they are scared," he said.

Maj Gen Al Ahmar's defection in March has had a strong influence on government soldiers and was a main reason for many soldiers to quit, said Mr. Jaradi.

More than 12,000 soldiers followed his example, according to a senior official in the general's army. That number does not include the 30,000 anti-regime soldiers that are under the general's control.

Opposition forces led by Maj Gen Al Ahmar are said to be attempting to weaken the ruling family's forces outside Sana'a.

Most of the clashes have been in Arhab and Nihm districts, both less than 40km outside the city, and considered the backbone of the ruling family's support.

Tribes loyal to the anti-regime movement have also succeeded in ousting republican guard forces from Taiz city.

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Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
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Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
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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.

Western Clubs Champions League:

  • Friday, Sep 8 - Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Bahrain
  • Friday, Sep 15 – Kandy v Abu Dhabi Harlequins
  • Friday, Sep 22 – Kandy v Bahrain
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).

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Alaan
Started: 2021
Based: Dubai
Founders: Parthi Duraisamy and Karun Kurien
Sector: FinTech
Investment stage: $7 million raised in total — $2.5 million in a seed round and $4.5 million in a pre-series A round

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

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

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Chris Jordan on Sanchit

Chris Jordan insists Sanchit Sharma will make an impact on the ILT20, despite him starting the campaign on Gulf Giants' bench.
The young UAE seamer was an instant success for the side last season, and remained part of the XI as they claimed the title.
He has yet to feature this term as the Giants have preferred Aayan Khan and Usman Khan as their two UAE players so far.
However, England quick Jordan is sure his young colleague will have a role to play at some point.
"Me and Sanchit have a great relationship from last season," Jordan said.
"Whenever I am working with more inexperienced guys, I take pleasure in sharing as much as possible.
"I know what it was like when I was younger and learning off senior players.
"Last season Sanchit kick-started our season in Abu Dhabi with a brilliant man-of-the-match performance.
"Coming into this one, I have seen a lot of improvement. The focus he is showing will only stand him in good stead."

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Full list of Emmy 2020 nominations

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
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Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

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The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
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Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
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Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
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Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
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Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere

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Little Fires Everywhere
Mrs. America
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Unorthodox
Watchmen

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Curb Your Enthusiasm
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Insecure
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Schitt’s Creek
What We Do In The Shadows

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
Killing Eve
The Mandalorian
Ozark
Stranger Things
Succession

 

Where to buy art books in the UAE

There are a number of speciality art bookshops in the UAE.

In Dubai, The Lighthouse at Dubai Design District has a wonderfully curated selection of art and design books. Alserkal Avenue runs a pop-up shop at their A4 space, and host the art-book fair Fully Booked during Art Week in March. The Third Line, also in Alserkal Avenue, has a strong book-publishing arm and sells copies at its gallery. Kinokuniya, at Dubai Mall, has some good offerings within its broad selection, and you never know what you will find at the House of Prose in Jumeirah. Finally, all of Gulf Photo Plus’s photo books are available for sale at their show. 

In Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi has a beautiful selection of catalogues and art books, and Magrudy’s – across the Emirates, but particularly at their NYU Abu Dhabi site – has a great selection in art, fiction and cultural theory.

In Sharjah, the Sharjah Art Museum sells catalogues and art books at its museum shop, and the Sharjah Art Foundation has a bookshop that offers reads on art, theory and cultural history.

Key changes

Commission caps

For life insurance products with a savings component, Peter Hodgins of Clyde & Co said different caps apply to the saving and protection elements:

• For the saving component, a cap of 4.5 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 90 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term). 

• On the protection component, there is a cap  of 10 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 160 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term).

• Indemnity commission, the amount of commission that can be advanced to a product salesperson, can be 50 per cent of the annualised premium for the first year or 50 per cent of the total commissions on the policy calculated. 

• The remaining commission after deduction of the indemnity commission is paid equally over the premium payment term.

• For pure protection products, which only offer a life insurance component, the maximum commission will be 10 per cent of the annualised premium multiplied by the length of the policy in years.

Disclosure

Customers must now be provided with a full illustration of the product they are buying to ensure they understand the potential returns on savings products as well as the effects of any charges. There is also a “free-look” period of 30 days, where insurers must provide a full refund if the buyer wishes to cancel the policy.

“The illustration should provide for at least two scenarios to illustrate the performance of the product,” said Mr Hodgins. “All illustrations are required to be signed by the customer.”

Another illustration must outline surrender charges to ensure they understand the costs of exiting a fixed-term product early.

Illustrations must also be kept updatedand insurers must provide information on the top five investment funds available annually, including at least five years' performance data.

“This may be segregated based on the risk appetite of the customer (in which case, the top five funds for each segment must be provided),” said Mr Hodgins.

Product providers must also disclose the ratio of protection benefit to savings benefits. If a protection benefit ratio is less than 10 per cent "the product must carry a warning stating that it has limited or no protection benefit" Mr Hodgins added.

Which products are to be taxed?

To be taxed:

Flavoured water, long-life fruit juice concentrates, pre-packaged sweetened coffee drinks fall under the ‘sweetened drink’ category

Not taxed

Freshly squeezed fruit juices, ground coffee beans, tea leaves and pre-prepared flavoured milkshakes do not come under the ‘sweetened drink’ band.

Products excluded from the ‘sweetened drink’ category would contain at least 75 per cent milk in a ready-to-drink form or as a milk substitute, baby formula, follow-up formula or baby food, beverages consumed for medicinal use and special dietary needs determined as per GCC Standardisation Organisation rules

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Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

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