BAGHDAD , IRAQ ? DECEMBER 30:  A handcuffed insurgent suspect is thrown to the ground, kicked, punched and struck with a rifle butt by Iraqi soldiers before being driven off for further detention on December 30, 2006 in Amariyah, Baghdad. The suspect was one of three men found with mortar shells in the boot of their car, who had all been  detained by the joint patrol of Iraqi and US forces. (Photo by Phil Sands/Getty Images)

from Phil Sands: 

The photo with the guy being hit on the head with a rifle has a US soldier on the left hadn side, so that would be the best one to use.

I'd caption it as follows:

A handcuffed insurgent suspect is beaten over the head with a rifle by an Iraqi soldier, as US forces (left) look on. The prisoner had been loaded in the boot/truck of an Iraqi army humvee after being caught in December 2006 in Baghdad. En route to the base, the Iraqi soldiers stopped, took him out, beat him by the side of the road despite him already being handcuffed, and then loaded him up again to take him to their base.  A platoon of US troops, on a joint patrol with the Iraqi forces, watched the whole incident without intervening.
A US soldier, left, stands to the left as a handcuffed suspect is kicked, punched and struck with a rifle butt by Iraqi soldiers.

WikiLeaks defends publishing US military secrets

WASHINGTON // The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday defended the decision by the website to publish nearly 400,000 classified US military documents as an effort to reveal the truth about the war in Iraq.

A spokesman for the site, meanwhile, promised that another batch of 15,000 files on the war in Afghanistan would soon be released.

"This disclosure is about the truth," Mr Assange said at a news conference in London. "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends."

The publication Friday of the 391,832 reports, billed as the largest ever leak of classified military documents, was denounced by the US military as "shameful". A Pentagon spokesman said the leak would endanger American troops in Iraq.

"This is an extraordinary disservice to America's men and women in uniform," Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon's press secretary, said late Friday.

The more than 150,000 US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are already in considerable danger, he said, and that "danger is now exponentially multiplied … because [the leak] gives our enemies the wherewithal to look for vulnerabilities in how we operate and to exploit those opportunities".

The files indicate that 285,000 casualties were recorded between 2004 and 2009, including 109,032 violent deaths. Of those, 66,081, or more than 60 per cent, were civilians, 23,984 were "enemy", 15,196 were members of the Iraqi security forces, and 3,771 were US and allied soldiers. The numbers, said WikiLeaks, show the Iraq war to have been five times as lethal as the war in Afghanistan.

The logs document the killing of as many as 681 civilians at US checkpoints. Improvised explosive devices placed by insurgents killed 31,780 civilians and soldiers. The reports also record numerous instances of torture by Iraqi security forces of detainees that US troops often ignored.

The revelations have caused the UN and human rights groups to call on the US administration to investigate possible violations of international conventions on torture.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement reiterating its concern that "US authorities committed a serious breach of international law when they summarily handed over thousands of detainees to Iraqi security forces who, they knew, were continuing to torture and abuse detainees on a truly shocking scale".

Manfred Nowak, the UN's chief investigator on torture, yesterday told the BBC that if "authorities hand over detainees knowing there is a serious risk of them being subjected to torture, they violate article 3 of the UN convention that precludes torture".

If Iraqi security forces are found to have abused detainees with the knowledge of the American military, the US would be in contravention of those conventions, Mr Nowak said. He added that a failure to investigate would be a failure to recognize US obligations to international law, Mr Nowak said.

The Pentagon rejected accusations of human rights violations and defended its record on civilian deaths.

"It has been a driving force for us, a guiding principle for us over the last seven years of this conflict to do everything in our power - perhaps more than any other military in the history of the world has ever done - to minimize civilian casualties," the Pentagon said in a statement Friday.

The Pentagon has established a 120-man strong task force to deal with the release, which was first reported last week, and the military was keen to focus on the potential danger of the leak to US forces.

"Potentially what one could mine from a huge data base like this are vulnerabilities in terms of how we operate, our tactics, our techniques, our procedures, the capabilities of our equipment, how we respond in combat situations, response times - indeed how we cultivate sources," Mr Morrell said.

When WikiLeaks posted 70,000 documents related to the war in Afghanistan in July, the Pentagon suggested the same dangers applied. Two weeks ago, however, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, acknowledged that the first leak had not disclosed any sensitive intelligence sources or methods.

Scott Stewart, an intelligence analyst with Stratfor, a Texas-based think tank, said the nature of the Iraq documents was likely similar.

The leak "is significant, but none of the stuff we saw last time [with the Afghan document leak] was really sensitive source-reporting type material," said Mr Stewart, who spoke before the Iraq documents were released. "As far as we know, this latest batch of material will not be any different in nature."

Mr Stewart said the very reason the leak had likely happened - that the information contained in the documents had already been widely disseminated electronically across the US military and security system - also suggested that the material was "low-level".

A Virginia-based military analyst, Bradley Manning, 22, is under arrest and charged with being the source of the leaks.

UAE squad

Rohan Mustafa (captain), Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabber, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Boota, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Naveed, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan

In numbers: China in Dubai

The number of Chinese people living in Dubai: An estimated 200,000

Number of Chinese people in International City: Almost 50,000

Daily visitors to Dragon Mart in 2018/19: 120,000

Daily visitors to Dragon Mart in 2010: 20,000

Percentage increase in visitors in eight years: 500 per cent

Keep it fun and engaging

Stuart Ritchie, director of wealth advice at AES International, says children cannot learn something overnight, so it helps to have a fun routine that keeps them engaged and interested.

“I explain to my daughter that the money I draw from an ATM or the money on my bank card doesn’t just magically appear – it’s money I have earned from my job. I show her how this works by giving her little chores around the house so she can earn pocket money,” says Mr Ritchie.

His daughter is allowed to spend half of her pocket money, while the other half goes into a bank account. When this money hits a certain milestone, Mr Ritchie rewards his daughter with a small lump sum.

He also recommends books that teach the importance of money management for children, such as The Squirrel Manifesto by Ric Edelman and Jean Edelman.

Paris Agreement

Article 14

1. [The Cop] shall periodically take stock of the implementation of this Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals (referred to as the "global stocktake")

2. [The Cop] shall undertake its first global stocktake in 2023 and every five years thereafter 

Most polluted cities in the Middle East

1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Manama, Bahrain
3. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4. Kuwait City, Kuwait
5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
6. Ash Shihaniyah, Qatar
7. Abu Dhabi, UAE
8. Cairo, Egypt
9. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
10. Dubai, UAE

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report


1. Chad
2. Iraq
3. Pakistan
4. Bahrain
5. Bangladesh
6. Burkina Faso
7. Kuwait
8. India
9. Egypt
10. Tajikistan

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

Most wanted allegations
  • Benjamin Macann, 32: involvement in cocaine smuggling gang.
  • Jack Mayle, 30: sold drugs from a phone line called the Flavour Quest.
  • Callum Halpin, 27: over the 2018 murder of a rival drug dealer. 
  • Asim Naveed, 29: accused of being the leader of a gang that imported cocaine.
  • Calvin Parris, 32: accused of buying cocaine from Naveed and selling it on.
  • John James Jones, 31: allegedly stabbed two people causing serious injuries.
  • Callum Michael Allan, 23: alleged drug dealing and assaulting an emergency worker.
  • Dean Garforth, 29: part of a crime gang that sold drugs and guns.
  • Joshua Dillon Hendry, 30: accused of trafficking heroin and crack cocain. 
  • Mark Francis Roberts, 28: grievous bodily harm after a bungled attempt to steal a+£60,000 watch.
  • James+‘Jamie’ Stevenson, 56: for arson and over the seizure of a tonne of cocaine.
  • Nana Oppong, 41: shot a man eight times in a suspected gangland reprisal attack. 

Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A

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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