U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. From left are U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump addressing a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss healthcare at the White House in Washington, on July 19, 2017. Left to right: Senators Shelley Moore Capito,(WShow more

No summer holiday for US Republicans unless they can agree on healthcare



It is crunch time for the Republicans on health care. They must thrash out a way of rescuing an unpopular push to repeal Obamacare before they leave for their August holiday - or they won't be leaving.

President Donald  Trump has made it clear they must come up with a deal  "or nobody leaves town." So instead of winding down for the summer holiday, Republican senators are in virtual lockdown, trapped in a series of crisis meetings.

They were bussed in on a coach  on Wednesday, like schoolchildren on an excursion and then met long into the night but broke up without reaching agreement.

It marks the latest twist in Mr Trump’s erratic efforts to overhaul America’s healthcare system.

Critics say it highlights how a political novice in the White House is struggling to find a way to get his agenda through Congress. In response, Mr Trump and his allies are laying the blame on Republicans intent on sabotaging an outsider president.

The latest Senate proposal would simply repeal Obamacare – dropping a promise to replace it with a new system – and would mean as many as 32 million people would lose their coverage during the next decade, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Hours before their late-night meeting, Mr Trump stepped up the pressure on his senators to pass a bill before their August holiday.

"For seven years you promised the American people that you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option and frankly I don't think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan," he told the 49 senators at a White House meeting.

His intervention came a day after a Republican healthcare bill to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act sank in the Senate. With only a slim  majority of 52-48, Republicans could not afford the slew of defectors who said the plans went either too far or not far enough.

At first, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, indicated he was ready to put aside healthcare, leave Obamacare to collapse under its own weight, and move on to other issues such as tax reform.

Mr Trump had other ideas. He invited  senators to lunch at the White House and, beneath the portrait of  Abraham Lincoln in the State Dining Room, he turned the issue into one of personal loyalty.

With cameras rolling, he delivered a clear threat to the man seated to his right, Dean Heller, one of the dissenters.

"Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? And I think the people of your state, which I know very well, I think they're gonna appreciate what you hopefully will do," Mr Trump said, delivering his words in jocular fashion.

“Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you're fine with Obamacare.”

A Trump-aligned super political action committee has already begun running anti-Heller TV adverts in his home state of Nevada, and Mr Trump has let it be known he is encouraging candidates to run against another healthcare dissenter.

Mr Trump’s gamble is that he can get senators to repeat last year’s repeal vote when Republicans passed a bill they knew would be doomed once it arrived at the White House for Mr Obama’s signature.

If it fails this time, he can at least say to the American public that he did his bit but was let down by disloyal senators. The vote will also give him a tally of who is with him and who is against.

After nearly two hours of lunchtime discussion, the group agreed to meet lhat night . But  that second meeting produced no breakthrough either.

Ted Cruz, senator for Texas, said afterwards: "We still have some issues that divide us.”

Among Trump supporters, there is growing anger that Congressional Republicans are failing to heed a mandate delivered in the presidential election.

“Republicans don’t really want this to be repealed and don’t really want Trump to win,” Rush Limbaugh, a hardline talk show host, told his listeners. “They never sell the plan.”

However, establishment Republicans insist the blame lies with the president whose political inexperience means threats are his only tool.

“Right now, nobody’s afraid of Trump, and that’s a real problem,” Rob Jesmer, the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told The New York Times.

Democrats highlighted what they said was an inevitable result of electing a president who delighted in being a Washington outsider.

Richard Durbin, a Democratic senator from Illinois, said: “He has limited experience in government and politics, he lacks a deep and experienced team, and his poll numbers are disastrous.”

The proposals have also failed to win over insurers, doctors and hospitals which lobbied against straight repeal citing the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)figures. Opinion polls also suggest a majority of Americans are in favour of Obamacare for the first time since it was introduced.

“CBO projects half the country would have no insurers in the individual market by 2020 under the new repeal bill. That's a true death spiral,” tweeted Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a healthcare research group.

Charles Schumer, Democratic leader in the Senate, said: "President Trump and Republicans have repeatedly promised to lower premiums and increase coverage, yet each proposal they offer would do the opposite."

The specs: 2017 Dodge Viper SRT

Price, base / as tested Dh460,000

Engine 8.4L V10

Transmission Six-speed manual

Power 645hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 813Nm @ 5,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 16.8L / 100km

The Limehouse Golem
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth
Three stars

MATCH INFO

Fixture: Thailand v UAE, Tuesday, 4pm (UAE)

TV: Abu Dhabi Sports

Tips from the expert

Dobromir Radichkov, chief data officer at dubizzle and Bayut, offers a few tips for UAE residents looking to earn some cash from pre-loved items.

  1. Sellers should focus on providing high-quality used goods at attractive prices to buyers.
  2. It’s important to use clear and appealing photos, with catchy titles and detailed descriptions to capture the attention of prospective buyers.
  3. Try to advertise a realistic price to attract buyers looking for good deals, especially in the current environment where consumers are significantly more price-sensitive.
  4. Be creative and look around your home for valuable items that you no longer need but might be useful to others.
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

RESULTS

6.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group 1 (PA) Dh119,373 (Dirt) 1,600m
Winner: Brraq, Adrie de Vries (jockey), Jean-Claude Pecout (trainer)

7.05pm: Handicap (TB) Dh102,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Taamol, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

7.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Turf) 1,800m
Winner: Eqtiraan, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

8.15pm: UAE 1000 Guineas Trial (TB) Dh183,650 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Soft Whisper, Pat Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor.

9.50pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Hypothetical, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer.

9.25pm: Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1,000m
Winner: Etisalat, Sando Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Men’s singles 
Group A:
Son Wan-ho (Kor), Lee Chong Wei (Mas), Ng Long Angus (HK), Chen Long (Chn)
Group B: Kidambi Srikanth (Ind), Shi Yugi (Chn), Chou Tien Chen (Tpe), Viktor Axelsen (Den)

Women’s Singles 
Group A:
Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn), Pusarla Sindhu (Ind), Sayaka Sato (Jpn), He Bingjiao (Chn)
Group B: Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe), Sung Hi-hyun (Kor), Ratchanok Intanon (Tha), Chen Yufei (Chn)

HEY MERCEDES, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?

Mercedes-Benz's MBUX digital voice assistant, Hey Mercedes, allows users to set up commands for:

• Navigation

• Calls

• In-car climate

• Ambient lighting

• Media controls

• Driver assistance

• General inquiries such as motor data, fuel consumption and next service schedule, and even funny questions

There's also a hidden feature: pressing and holding the voice command button on the steering wheel activates the voice assistant on a connected smartphone – Siri on Apple's iOS or Google Assistant on Android – enabling a user to command the car even without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

End of free parking

- paid-for parking will be rolled across Abu Dhabi island on August 18

- drivers will have three working weeks leeway before fines are issued

- areas that are currently free to park - around Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Maqta Bridge, Mussaffah Bridge and the Corniche - will now require a ticket

- villa residents will need a permit to park outside their home. One vehicle is Dh800 and a second is Dh1,200. 

- The penalty for failing to pay for a ticket after 10 minutes will be Dh200

- Parking on a patch of sand will incur a fine of Dh300

Final scores

18 under: Tyrrell Hatton (ENG)

- 14: Jason Scrivener (AUS)

-13: Rory McIlroy (NIR)

-12: Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP)

-11: David Lipsky (USA), Marc Warren (SCO)

-10: Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Chris Paisley (ENG), Matt Wallace (ENG), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR)

Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

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

RESULTS

6.30pm: Emirates Holidays Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (Dirt) 1,900m
Winner: Lady Snazz, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).

7.05pm: Arabian Adventures Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Zhou Storm, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

7.40pm: Emirates Skywards Handicap (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Rich And Famous, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer.

8.15pm: Emirates Airline Conditions (TB) Dh 120,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Rio Angie, Sam Hitchcock, Doug Watson.

8.50pm: Emirates Sky Cargo (TB) Dh 92,500 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Kinver Edge, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

9.15pm: Emirates.com (TB) Dh 95,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Firnas, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer.

Walls

Louis Tomlinson

3 out of 5 stars

(Syco Music/Arista Records)

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

Date started: January, 2014

Founders: Mike Dawson, Varuna Singh, and Benita Rowe

Based: Dubai

Sector: Education technology

Size: Five employees

Investment: $100,000 from the ExpoLive Innovation Grant programme in 2018 and an initial $30,000 pre-seed investment from the Turn8 Accelerator in 2014. Most of the projects are government funded.

Partners/incubators: Turn8 Accelerator; In5 Innovation Centre; Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme; Dubai Future Accelerators; FHI 360; VSO and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3)

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

THE BIO

Born: Mukalla, Yemen, 1979

Education: UAE University, Al Ain

Family: Married with two daughters: Asayel, 7, and Sara, 6

Favourite piece of music: Horse Dance by Naseer Shamma

Favourite book: Science and geology

Favourite place to travel to: Washington DC

Best advice you’ve ever been given: If you have a dream, you have to believe it, then you will see it.

Key 2013/14 UAE Motorsport dates

October 4: Round One of Rotax Max Challenge, Al Ain (karting)

October 1: 1 Round One of the inaugural UAE Desert Championship (rally)

November 1-3: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Formula One)

November 28-30: Dubai International Rally

January 9-11: 24Hrs of Dubai (Touring Cars / Endurance)

March 21: Round 11 of Rotax Max Challenge, Muscat, Oman (karting)

April 4-10: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (Endurance)

Married Malala

Malala Yousafzai is enjoying married life, her father said.

The 24-year-old married Pakistan cricket executive Asser Malik last year in a small ceremony in the UK.

Ziauddin Yousafzai told The National his daughter was ‘very happy’ with her husband.

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


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