A woman sits on a wheelchair near a damaged building, as a boy follows another one riding a bicycle in the rebel-controlled town of Maaret Al Numan in Syria's Idlib province on April 1, 2016. Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
A woman sits on a wheelchair near a damaged building, as a boy follows another one riding a bicycle in the rebel-controlled town of Maaret Al Numan in Syria's Idlib province on April 1, 2016. Khalil AShow more

US military says it has begun training dozens of Syrian rebels



WASHINGTON // The US military said on Friday it had started training dozens of Syrian opposition fighters to battle ISIL as part of a revamped programme that aims to avoid the mistakes of its first training effort in Turkey last year.

Training for the first group of recruits includes how to identify targets for US-led coalition air strikes to allow aircraft to better strike ISIL from the air.

“That allows us to bring significantly more fires into play in any of these skirmishes, battles, and firefights that are taking place throughout Syria,” said US army colonel Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the coalition.

Col Warren said no Syrian fighters had yet graduated from the programme.

The Pentagon has declined to say where the training is being conducted, but US officials said it is in Turkey.

The failure of the original programme, which sought to train thousands of fighters, has been a concern for president Barack Obama, whose strategy depends on local partners combating ISIL militants in Syria and Iraq.

The 2015 programme was problematic from the start, with some of the first class of Syrian fighters being attacked by Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al Nusra in their battlefield debut. At one point, a group of US-trained rebels handed over ammunition and equipment to Al Nusra.

Instead of trying to pull entire units from the fight for training, as the Pentagon sought to do last year, the new programme will take small groups of fighters from the front-lines for training.

“If it works we’ll do more. And if it doesn’t, we’ll shift again,” Col Warren said.

The US announcement came as France accused the Syrian government of violating a fragile truce in the five-year war that has devastated the country.

The French foreign ministry also accused president Bashar Al Assad’s regime of trying to undermine efforts by the international community to resolve the conflict.

A spokesman said civilians had been targeted in the government’s aerial bombardment of the Deir Al Asafir district, south-east of Damascus, on Thursday.

The death toll from the strikes rose to more than 30 on Friday. Most of those killed were women and children.

“This attack, which deliberately targeted civilians, shows that the regime is pursuing its actions and violating the ceasefire,” spokesman Romain Nadal said.

“This abject act was intended to terrorise the Syrian people and undermine the efforts of the international community to find a political solution.”

Air strikes continued in the area on Friday. Two strikes hit the outskirts of Deir Al Asafir and at least seven hit the village of Bala, just north of the district, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

UN-led talks on a peace deal are due to resume in Geneva soon, but the sides are deadlocked over the fate of Mr Al Assad, whom the opposition insists must leave power before a transitional government is agreed.

* Reuters, with additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

If you go

Flying

Despite the extreme distance, flying to Fairbanks is relatively simple, requiring just one transfer in Seattle, which can be reached directly from Dubai with Emirates for Dh6,800 return.

 

Touring

Gondwana Ecotours’ seven-day Polar Bear Adventure starts in Fairbanks in central Alaska before visiting Kaktovik and Utqiarvik on the North Slope. Polar bear viewing is highly likely in Kaktovik, with up to five two-hour boat tours included. Prices start from Dh11,500 per person, with all local flights, meals and accommodation included; gondwanaecotours.com 

MATCH SCHEDULE

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Tuesday, April 24 (10.45pm)

Liverpool v Roma

Wednesday, April 25
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid (10.45pm)

Europa League semi-final, first leg
Thursday, April 26

Arsenal v Atletico Madrid (11.05pm)
Marseille v Salzburg (11.05pm)

The biog

Name: Capt Shadia Khasif

Position: Head of the Criminal Registration Department at Hatta police

Family: Five sons and three daughters

The first female investigator in Hatta.

Role Model: Father

She believes that there is a solution to every problem

 

Eyasses squad

Charlie Preston (captain) – goal shooter/ goalkeeper (Dubai College)

Arushi Holt (vice-captain) – wing defence / centre (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Olivia Petricola (vice-captain) – centre / wing attack (Dubai English Speaking College)

Isabel Affley – goalkeeper / goal defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Jemma Eley – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Alana Farrell-Morton – centre / wing / defence / wing attack (Nord Anglia International School)

Molly Fuller – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Caitlin Gowdy – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Noorulain Hussain – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai College)

Zahra Hussain-Gillani – goal defence / goalkeeper (British School Al Khubairat)

Claire Janssen – goal shooter / goal attack (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Eliza Petricola – wing attack / centre (Dubai English Speaking College)

Your rights as an employee

The government has taken an increasingly tough line against companies that fail to pay employees on time. Three years ago, the Cabinet passed a decree allowing the government to halt the granting of work permits to companies with wage backlogs.

The new measures passed by the Cabinet in 2016 were an update to the Wage Protection System, which is in place to track whether a company pays its employees on time or not.

If wages are 10 days late, the new measures kick in and the company is alerted it is in breach of labour rules. If wages remain unpaid for a total of 16 days, the authorities can cancel work permits, effectively shutting off operations. Fines of up to Dh5,000 per unpaid employee follow after 60 days.

Despite those measures, late payments remain an issue, particularly in the construction sector. Smaller contractors, such as electrical, plumbing and fit-out businesses, often blame the bigger companies that hire them for wages being late.

The authorities have urged employees to report their companies at the labour ministry or Tawafuq service centres — there are 15 in Abu Dhabi.

The specs: 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Price, base: Dh138,000 (estimate)
Engine: 60kWh battery
Transmission: Single-speed Electronic Precision Shift
Power: 204hp
Torque: 360Nm
​​​​​​​Range: 520km (claimed)

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

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: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

FA CUP FINAL

Manchester City 6
(D Silva 26', Sterling 38', 81', 87', De Bruyne 61', Jesus 68')

Watford 0

Man of the match: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Race card

6.30pm: Emirates Holidays Maiden (TB), Dh82,500 (Dirt), 1,900m
7.05pm: Arabian Adventures Maiden (TB), Dh82,500 (D), 1,200m
7.40pm: Emirates Skywards Handicap (TB), Dh82,500 (D), 1,200m
8.15pm: Emirates Airline Conditions (TB), Dh120,000 (D), 1,400m
8.50pm: Emirates Sky Cargo (TB), Dh92,500 (D)1,400m
9.15pm: Emirates.com (TB), Dh95,000 (D), 2,000m

The biog

From: Upper Egypt

Age: 78

Family: a daughter in Egypt; a son in Dubai and his wife, Nabila

Favourite Abu Dhabi activity: walking near to Emirates Palace

Favourite building in Abu Dhabi: Emirates Palace

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Gold
Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Silver
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Bronze
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

Greatest Royal Rumble match listing

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

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

From September 18-25, Abu Dhabi . The two finalists advance to the main event in South Africa in February 2023

Group A: United States, Ireland, Scotland, Bangladesh
Group B: UAE, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea

UAE group fixtures:
Sept 18, 3pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium – UAE v Thailand
Sept 19, 3pm, Tolerance Oval - PNG v UAE
Sept 21, 7pm, Tolerance Oval – UAE v Zimbabwe

UAE squad: Chaya Mughal (captain), Esha Oza, Kavisha Kumari, Rinitha Rajith, Rithika Rajith, Khushi Sharma, Theertha Satish, Lavanya Keny, Priyanjali Jain, Suraksha Kotte, Natasha Cherriath, Indhuja Nandakumar, Vaishnave Mahesh, Siya Gokhale, Samaira Dharnidharka

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder
Power: 153hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 200Nm at 4,000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 6.3L/100km
Price: Dh106,900
On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Switch Foods
Started: 2022
Founder: Edward Hamod
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Plant-based meat production
Number of employees: 34
Funding: $6.5 million
Funding round: Seed
Investors: Based in US and across Middle East

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Company profile

Company: POPC
Started: 2022
Founders: Amna Aijaz, Haroon Tahir and Arafat Ali Khan
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: art and e-commerce
Funds raised: undisclosed amount raised through Waverider Entertainment

Tips for job-seekers
  • Do not submit your application through the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn. Employers receive between 600 and 800 replies for each job advert on the platform. If you are the right fit for a job, connect to a relevant person in the company on LinkedIn and send them a direct message.
  • Make sure you are an exact fit for the job advertised. If you are an HR manager with five years’ experience in retail and the job requires a similar candidate with five years’ experience in consumer, you should apply. But if you have no experience in HR, do not apply for the job.

David Mackenzie, founder of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones Middle East

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 110 horsepower

Torque: 147Nm

Price: From Dh59,700

On sale: now

RESULTS

2.15pm: Al Marwan Group Holding – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: SS Jalmod, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)

2.45pm: Sharjah Equine Hospital – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: Ghallieah, Sebastien Martino, Jean-Claude Pecout

3.15pm: Al Marwan Group Holding – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: Inthar, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

3.45pm: Al Ain Stud Emirates Breeders Trophy – Conditions (PA) Dh50,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: MH Rahal, Richard Mullen, Elise Jeanne

4.25pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup – Prestige Handicap (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: JAP Aneed, Ray Dawson, Irfan Ellahi

4.45pm: Sharjah Equine Hospital – Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Edaraat, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, second leg

Roma 4
Milner (15' OG), Dzeko (52'), Nainggolan (86', 90+4')

Liverpool 2
Mane (9'), Wijnaldum (25')

The five types of long-term residential visas

Obed Suhail of ServiceMarket, an online home services marketplace, outlines the five types of long-term residential visas:

Investors:

A 10-year residency visa can be obtained by investors who invest Dh10 million, out of which 60 per cent should not be in real estate. It can be a public investment through a deposit or in a business. Those who invest Dh5 million or more in property are eligible for a five-year residency visa. The invested amount should be completely owned by the investors, not loaned, and retained for at least three years.

Entrepreneurs:

A five-year multiple entry visa is available to entrepreneurs with a previous project worth Dh0.5m or those with the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.  

Specialists

Expats with specialised talents, including doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, and creative individuals working in the field of culture and art are eligible for a 10-year visa, given that they have a valid employment contract in one of these fields in the country.

Outstanding students:

A five-year visa will be granted to outstanding students who have a grade of 95 per cent or higher in a secondary school, or those who graduate with a GPA of 3.75 from a university. 

Retirees:

Expats who are at least 55 years old can obtain a five-year retirement visa if they invest Dh2m in property, have savings of Dh1m or more, or have a monthly income of at least Dh20,000.

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

Racecard

5pm: Al Maha Stables – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

5.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m

6pm: Emirates Fillies Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m

6.30pm: Emirates Colts Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m

7pm: The President’s Cup – Group 1 (PA) Dh2,500,000 (T) 2,200m

7.30pm: The President’s Cup – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 1,400m

SPECS

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 625 bhp
Torque: 630Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh974,011

 

 

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This can occur through blood transfusions, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injecting drugs. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common.

People infected with hepatitis C experience few or no symptoms, meaning they can live with the virus for years without being diagnosed. This delay in treatment can increase the risk of significant liver damage.

There are an estimated 170 million carriers of Hepatitis C around the world.

The virus causes approximately 399,000 fatalities each year worldwide, according to WHO.

 

Company profile

Company: Zywa
Started: 2021
Founders: Nuha Hashem and Alok Kumar
Based: UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $3m
Company valuation: $30m

The specs: 2019 Mini Cooper

Price, base: Dh141,740 (three-door) / Dh165,900 (five-door)
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder (Cooper) / 2.0-litre four-cylinder (Cooper S)
Power: 136hp @ 4,500rpm (Cooper) / 192hp @ 5,000rpm (Cooper S)
Torque: 220Nm @ 1,480rpm (Cooper) / 280Nm @ 1,350rpm (Cooper S)
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Fuel consumption, combined: 4.8L to 5.4L / 100km

PROFILE OF HALAN

Started: November 2017

Founders: Mounir Nakhla, Ahmed Mohsen and Mohamed Aboulnaga

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport and logistics

Size: 150+ employees

Investment: approximately $8 million

Investors include: Singapore’s Battery Road Digital Holdings, Egypt’s Algebra Ventures, Uber co-founder and former CTO Oscar Salazar

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Yango Deli Tech
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2022
Sector: Retail SaaS
Funding: Self funded

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 715bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh1,289,376

On sale: now

Recipe: Spirulina Coconut Brothie

Ingredients
1 tbsp Spirulina powder
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (full fat preferable)
1 tbsp fresh turmeric or turmeric powder
½ cup fresh spinach leaves
½ cup vegan broth
2 crushed ice cubes (optional)

Method
Blend all the ingredients together on high in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy.