Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko talks to servicemen at a military camp near the town of Svyatogorsk June 20, 2014 during his first visit to eastern Ukraine since taking office. Mykhailo Markiv / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Reuters
Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko talks to servicemen at a military camp near the town of Svyatogorsk June 20, 2014 during his first visit to eastern Ukraine since taking office. Mykhailo Markiv / Show more

Ukraine declares unilateral one-week ceasefire



KIEV // Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko ordered his forces to cease fire on Friday and halt military operations for seven days against pro-Russia separatists in the country’s east.

It was the first step in what he hopes is a concrete plan to end the conflict that has cost more than 350 lives.

Mr Poroshenko, speaking during his first trip as president to the troubled east, said troops would still return fire if attacked.

“The forces of the anti-terrorist operation will halt military action starting today and through June 27,” he was cited as saying by the interior ministry.

“Combat action will only be of retaliatory character if rebels attack our forces,” he added.

He made announcement while speaking to residents in the town of Sviatohirsk in the Donetsk region. Refugees from the rebel-held town of Slovyansk where some of the worst fighting has taken place were also at the meeting.

Separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have declared independence from his government in Kiev. Rebel leaders have dismissed the plan and it remains to be seen to what extent they would comply.

Mr Poroshenko has said a short ceasefire will give separatists time to lay down their arms and leave the country. Other steps include joint security patrols, new local and parliamentary elections, steps to protect language rights of the many Russian speakers in the area, and a jobs programme.

Mr Poroshenko discussed the details of his peace plan on the phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Thursday, and his office said he emphasised the need for introducing effective border controls and quickly releasing hostages seized by the rebels.

Earlier in on Friday, seven Ukrainian troops were reported killed in overnight fighting as clashes between government forces and pro-Russia rebels flared ahead of the ceasefire.

Separatists were operating tanks in the region, a particular sore point for Ukraine, which accuses Russia of letting the vehicles and other heavy weaponry cross the border.

Mr Putin has voiced concern about the Ukrainian military operation against the rebels but has resisted both the rebels’ pleas to join Russia and repeated calls from Russian nationalists for him to send troops into Ukraine. Nato reported Thursday, however, that Russia was resuming a military build-up at the Ukrainian border.

Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russian officials were surprised at western expressions of concern over the renewed troop buildup, saying it was merely a previously announced measure to tighten border controls.

“This is not a matter of some sort of concentration of forces, but of the strengthening of border controls of the Russian Federation,” Mr Peskov was quoted as saying by the Itar-Tass news agency.

Separately, Mr Putin’s foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, said the Russian president was committed to dialogue on Ukraine and planned to speak by phone with the US president Barack Obama in the coming days.

Mr Ushakov said Mr Putin would meet the chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe during a visit to Austria next week to discuss Mr Poroshenko’s peace plan.

Meanwhile, the US issued new sanctions on riday against seven Ukraine separatists, including self-proclaimed rebel mayors, governors and commanders in chief of cities under siege, for refusing to cede to the central government in Kiev.

The penalties freeze any assets that the separatists have in the United States, and prohibit any American firms or businesses from dealing with them.

* Associated Press

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

Seven Winters in Tehran

Director : Steffi Niederzoll

Starring: Reyhaneh Jabbari, Shole Pakravan, Zar Amir Ebrahimi

Rating: 4/5

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

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
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.

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

if you go

The flights Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, and Royal Jordanian all offer direct, three-and-a-half-hour flights from the UAE to the Jordanian capital Amman. Alternatively, from June Fly Dubai will offer a new direct service from Dubai to Aqaba in the south of the country. See the airlines’ respective sites for varying prices or search on reliable price-comparison site Skyscanner.

The trip 

Jamie Lafferty was a guest of the Jordan Tourist Board. For more information on adventure tourism in Jordan see Visit Jordan. A number of new and established tour companies offer the chance to go caving, rock-climbing, canyoning, and mountaineering in Jordan. Prices vary depending on how many activities you want to do and how many days you plan to stay in the country. Among the leaders are Terhaal, who offer a two-day canyoning trip from Dh845 per person. If you really want to push your limits, contact the Stronger Team. For a more trek-focused trip, KE Adventure offers an eight-day trip from Dh5,300 per person.

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre flat-six twin-turbocharged

Transmission: eight-speed PDK automatic

Power: 445bhp

Torque: 530Nm

Price: Dh474,600

On Sale: Now

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)

WRESTLING HIGHLIGHTS
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

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

SPECS

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

No more lice

Defining head lice

Pediculus humanus capitis are tiny wingless insects that feed on blood from the human scalp. The adult head louse is up to 3mm long, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white in colour. The female lives up to four weeks and, once mature, can lay up to 10 eggs per day. These tiny nits firmly attach to the base of the hair shaft, get incubated by body heat and hatch in eight days or so.

Identifying lice

Lice can be identified by itching or a tickling sensation of something moving within the hair. One can confirm that a person has lice by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs or lice. Head lice are most frequently located behind the ears and near the neckline.

Treating lice at home

Head lice must be treated as soon as they are spotted. Start by checking everyone in the family for them, then follow these steps. Remove and wash all clothing and bedding with hot water. Apply medicine according to the label instructions. If some live lice are still found eight to 12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not re-treat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair using a fine-toothed comb.
After the initial treatment, check for, comb and remove nits and lice from hair every two to three days. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 10 minutes.Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.

Courtesy Dr Vishal Rajmal Mehta, specialist paediatrics, RAK Hospital


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