Blinken set to see Israelis, Arabs wary about Iran, Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will try to use his three-nation tour of the Middle East and North Africa to reassure wary Israelis and Arabs that the Biden administration is committed to the region’s security at a time when Washington is confronting multiple foreign policy challenges.
Sheikh Mohammed’s $730M divorce from Princess Haya among most expensive splits in British history
A British court has ordered the ruler of Dubai to pay his ex-wife and their children close to 550 million pounds ($730 million), in one of the most expensive divorce settlements in British history. A High Court judge said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum must pay 251.5 million pounds to his U.K.-based sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, and make ongoing payments for their children Jalila, 14, and Zayed, 9, underpinned by a bank guarantee of 290 million pounds.mlive.com
Dubai ruler must pay ex-wife $700M in divorce settlement
A British court on Tuesday ordered the ruler of Dubai to pay his ex-wife and their children close to 550 million pounds ($730 million), in one of the most expensive divorce settlements in British history. The High Court said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum must pay 251.5 million pounds to his sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, and make ongoing payments for their children Al Jalila, 14, and Zayed, 9, underpinned by a bank guarantee of 290 million pounds. The settlement includes 11 million pounds a year to cover security costs for Princess Haya and the children while they are minors.news.yahoo.com
Emirati mall, supermarket billionaire Majid Al Futtaim dies
Emirati billionaire Majid Al Futtaim, who rose from working as a bank clerk to creating an eponymous business empire most known for its massive Dubai mall with an indoor ski slope, died on Friday. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced Al Futtaim’s death in a post on Twitter, praising him as one of the sheikhdom’s “most important merchants.” “May God have mercy on him and place him in his spacious gardens,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote.news.yahoo.com
Essential Quality takes late lead, wins Belmont Stakes
NEW YORK — Favorite Essential Quality won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday to give trainer Brad Cox his first victory in a Triple Crown race — maybe. But Cox was able to enjoy this one with Essential Quality being Hot Rod Charlie by 1 1/4 lengths. Essential Quality showed in the Belmont why he has long been considered one of the top 3-year-olds in the country. He predicted last summer that Essential Quality would be his horse for the Belmont. Essential Quality had plenty of stamina to beat a tough field of seven other horses.mlive.com
Photos show Dubai princess, focus of UN concern, at malls
Photos on social media appear to show a missing Dubai princess who months earlier described herself in a video as being held against her will out at two major malls in the city-state. The government's Dubai Media Office did not acknowledge the release of the images. The photos' pedestrian captions belie the fact that United Nations experts and human rights activists had called on Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to provide information on his daughter.news.yahoo.com
Missing Princess Latifa appears in new photo posted online
A photo has emerged on social media appearing to show Princess Lafita, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, alive after claims she had been detained by the royal family. Tapes were released in February in which she said she feared for her life while “held hostage” by her father, but she has not been seen or heard from in months. A photo, posted to Instagram this week and first published widely by Sky News on Saturday, appears to have been taken in the Mall of the Emirates’ VOX Cinema. As of yet it remains unverified, and it is not clear when it was taken. However, an advertisement for the film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, which was released on May 13 2021, can be seen in the background. The face masks on the table also indicate that the photo was taken during the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, David Haigh, co-founder of the Free Latifa campaign group, told the BBC: "We confirm that there have been several potentially significant and positive developments in the campaign. “We do not intend to comment further at this stage, a further statement will be issued at the appropriate time." The two women in the photo have other social media accounts. One of them commented on the Instagram post: "Lovely evening at MoE [Mall of the Emirates] with friends.” Both women have not responded to requests from The Telegraph for further information. In February 2018 Princess Latifa, one of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s 25 children, attempted to escape from Dubai. She was forcibly captured by armed men eight days after setting sail across the Indian Ocean. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum claims Princess Latifa is safe and well.news.yahoo.com
Viola's Known Agenda prevails in Florida Derby at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Known Agenda owner Vincent Viola kept asking trainer Todd Pletcher the same question over the last few days. “Do you think we really have a shot in the Florida Derby?" Known Agenda ran away from the field in the Florida Derby on Saturday, and might keep on going all the way to Churchill Downs to start the Triple Crown season. Pletcher won the Florida Derby for a record sixth time, and Known Agenda covered the 1 1/8 miles on the dirt in 1 minutes, 49.45 seconds. Viola had to be talked out of a plan to send Known Agenda to the Santa Anita Derby, simply because he didn't think the horse was ready for the Florida Derby.
At Dubai airport, travelers' eyes become their passports
A woman enters the face and iris-recognition gate to board a plane, during a media tour at Dubai Airport, in the United Arab Emirates, Sunday, March 7, 2021. In recent years, airports across the world have accelerated their use of timesaving facial recognition technology to move passengers to their flights. ”But in a democratic country, if the surveillance technology is used transparently, at least there’s an opportunity to have a public conversation about it." Iris scans, requiring people to stare into a camera as though they're offering a fingerprint, have become more widespread worldwide in recent years as questions have arisen over the accuracy of facial recognition technology. AdDespite concerns about overzealous surveillance in the UAE, the country's vast facial recognition network only shows signs of expanding.
4 men convicted in 1993 WTC bombing have had sentences cut
In the last year, four men implicated in the 1993 bombing have won reductions to their sentences after one part of their convictions was dropped to be consistent with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Nidal Ayyad, 53, Mohammad A. Salameh, 53, and Mahmud Abouhalima, 61, could be freed if they each live to be 100. AdThe bombers who had their sentences reduced were arrested in the intense FBI probe that followed the blast. In a 2012 memorandum, Duffy called Yousef “a cold-blooded killer, completely devoid of conscience.”AdIn a second trial, he was convicted as the mastermind of the 1993 bombing. Eyad Ismoil, 49, also convicted in the 1993 attack, is serving a 210-year sentence.
UN asks Emirates for 'proof of life' for missing princess
FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attends the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, FILE)BERLIN – The U.N. human rights office said Friday that it has asked the United Arab Emirates for evidence that an Emirati princess held against her will for almost three years is still alive. “We requested more information and clarification about Sheikha Latifa’s current situation.”Ad“We did ask for proof of life,” she added. The 35-year-old princess is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the hereditary ruler of Dubai who also serves as prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates. Throssell stressed that it was standard practice for the U.N. human rights office to inquire about individual cases within its mandate.
U.N. to speak to UAE about missing Princess Latifa after troubling videos emerge
I don't really know if I'm going to survive this situation," al-Maktoum said in one of the phone videos. The two met at the home of another royal family member, al-Maktoum's stepmother Princess Haya, who later fled the country herself with her two children. Princess Haya told Robinson that Latifa was having mental health difficulties. "I was misled, initially by my good friend princess Haya, because she was misled. I really don't know.cbsnews.com
Dubai princess' backers seek Biden help to win her freedom
FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attends the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Sheikha Latifa was detained by commandos off the coast of India in 2018 after she tried to flee Dubai in a yacht. The 35-year-old princess is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the hereditary ruler of Dubai who also serves as prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Mohammed is the founder of the successful Godolphin horse-racing stable and is on friendly terms with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. In the videos, the princess says she is “worried about my safety and my life.”“They want propaganda from me.
Israel's Netanyahu: Vaccination campaign to begin Dec. 27
Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu welcomed the first shipment of doses of the Pfizer vaccine, calling it a “big day of celebration” for the country. In an evening news conference, Netanyahu said a public vaccination campaign would begin on Dec. 27, with the capacity to innoculate 60,000 people a day. While questions remain about the Sinopharm shot, already at least one country outside China plans to roll it out in a mass-vaccination campaign. The Sinopharm vaccine has been approved for emergency use in a few countries and the company is still conducting late-stage clinical trials in 10 countries. Morocco is gearing up for an ambitious COVID-19 vaccination program, aiming to vaccinate 80% of its adults in an operation starting this month that’s relying initially on the Sinopharm vaccine.
Saudi Arabia says end to yearslong Qatar boycott 'in reach'
DUBAI – Saudi Arabia's top diplomat said Friday that an end to the yearslong boycott of Qatar by the kingdom and three other Arab nations “looks in reach” for all involved, though he offered no details on how this feud would be resolved. The boycott has torn apart the typically clubby Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation group comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Kushner and other American officials have traveled in the waning days of the Trump administration to Saudi Arabia and Qatar over the crisis. Sheikh Mohammed, speaking earlier to the Mediterranean Dialogues, similarly said that “this needless crisis needs to come to an end." Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut ties to Qatar on June 5, 2017, just after a summit in Saudi Arabia in which Gulf leaders met with Trump.
Muslims call for French goods boycott to protest caricatures
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday challenged the United States to impose sanctions against his country while also launching a second attack on French President Emmanuel Macron. The beheading earlier this month of a French teacher who had shown caricatures of the prophet in class has once again ignited a debate over such depictions — which Muslims consider blasphemous. French President Emmanuel Macron has vigorously defended such depictions as protected by the right to free speech. Qatar University postponed its French cultural week indefinitely, saying its administration views insults to Islam and its symbols as unacceptable. One held up a caricature of the French president with footprints stamped over his face.
United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024
Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter that his country plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024. Already, an Emirati space probe is hurtling through space on its way to Mars while last year it sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station. Sheikh Mohammed said the rover would be named “Rashid,” the same name of his late father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Sheikh Rashid was one of the original founding rulers of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. ___Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.
Pakistan's top court accepts appeal by Daniel Pearl's family
But the Supreme Court will rule on that next week, Siddiqi said. “Today the court admitted the appeal and next week it will decide if Sheikh stays in jail” until the appeal is decided. The acquittal stunned the U.S. government, Pearl's family and journalism advocacy groups. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that it is watching the case closely and “stands with the Pearl family during this arduous and painfull process." The Pearl family launched a foundation in Daniel's name following the killing, said his father.
US eyes building on Arab-Israel deals to end Gulf crisis
President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington. From left, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, Jared Kushner and U.S. special envoy for Iran Brian Hook. "The Trump administration is eager to see this dispute resolved and to open Qatar’s air and land borders currently blocked by other Gulf states. The four countries cut ties to Qatar on June 5, 2017, just after a summit in Saudi Arabia in which Gulf leaders met with President Donald Trump. They say the crisis stems from Qatar’s support for extremist groups in the region, charges denied by Doha.
With Kushner in UAE, Iran's leader decries Israel-UAE ties
An official stands at the door of an Israeli El Al airliner after it landed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. King Hamad praised the steadfast, historic stances of the United Arab Emirates in ensuring Palestinian rights, BNA said. Kushner has expressed optimism that other Arab countries will soon follow the UAE in establishing official ties with Israel, even in the absence of a peace deal with the Palestinians. The United Arab Emirates committed treachery against either the Islamic world or Arab nations and regional countries, as well as Palestine," Khamenei said. The treason will not last for long.Both the UAE and Israel share a mutual suspicion of Iran.
UAE orders government shakeup as virus erodes economic gains
Kayakers race in front of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, June 19, 2020. Competitions held Friday at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club were among the first events to be held. As part of the shakeup, the ministries of energy and infrastructure were merged and will be led by current Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei. The UAE is home to airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways, port operator DP World, and the worlds tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. Dubai's plans to host the EXPO, or World Fair, this year and spur economic growth were delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus.
Long-haul carrier Emirates says it fires staff amid virus
Dubais long-haul carrier Emirates said Sunday, May 31, 2020, that it fired an undisclosed number of employees as the coronavirus pandemic has halted global aviation. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)DUBAI Dubai's long-haul carrier Emirates said Sunday it fired an undisclosed number of employees as the coronavirus pandemic has halted global aviation, becoming the latest Mideast airline to shed staff over the outbreak. The carrier said it would treat fired staff with fairness and respect, without elaborating. Previously, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways similarly fired staff as countries shut down their airspace as the virus spread. Dubai International Airport, the worlds busiest for international passengers that's home to Emirates, has been operating at a fraction of its usual pace.
Sept. 11 convict now says he renounces terrorism, bin Laden
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The only man ever convicted in a U.S. court for a role in the Sept. 11 attacks now says he is renouncing terrorism, al-Qaida and the Islamic State. In a handwritten court motion Moussaoui filed with the federal court in Alexandria last month, Moussaoui wrote, I denounce, repudiate Usama bin Laden as a useful idiot of the CIA/Saudi. At his final sentencing hearing, he told the judge God save Osama bin Laden you will never get him." Bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces on a compound in Pakistan in 2011. In particular, he says he wants either Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz to represent him as a lawyer, so he can testify in a civil trial filed by victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Emirates inks $9 billion order for 30 Boeing 787 jets, will restart plans to expand airline by early 2020s
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates Airline finalized a deal to purchase 30 of Boeing's 787-9 Dreamliner jets, executives of both companies announced Wednesday at the Dubai Air Show. The order is valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, but a steep discount is typically negotiated by airlines. Clark in October revealed lofty plans to expand the Emirates fleet by 30% by the end of 2025. In addition to its order of 30 Boeing jets Wednesday, it announced an order of 50 Airbus A350-900 jets on Monday at a value of $16 billion at list prices. The A350 order had been revised to cancel a prior order of A330neo jets from the French plane-maker, favoring a larger order of the lighter and slightly wider-body A350.cnbc.com