KSA: 3 Iran Revolutionary Guards captured from boat carrying explosives

Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it had captured three Iranian Revolutionary Guards aboard an explosives-laden boat going toward an oil platform in the Arabian Gulf.

The International Communication Center of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information issued a statement on Monday saying: “An official source stated that the Saudi Royal Navy arrested three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who were on board a boat loaded with explosives heading toward an oil platform in the field of Marjan in the Arabian Gulf.”

In another statement, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said: “At 20:28 on Friday, June 21, three small boats, bearing red and white flags, entered Saudi territorial waters in the Arabian Gulf. They headed rapidly toward platforms in the Saudi oil field of Marjan. Immediately, the Saudi naval forces fired warning shots, but the boats did not respond. Consequently, one of the boats was captured and it was loaded with weapons for subversive purposes, but the other two boats escaped. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stresses its determination to combat and eradicate terrorism and its sources, as a part of the country’s permanent objective to protect its national security against any external aggression.”

The ministry stated: “The Saudi authorities are currently questioning members of the three Iranian Revolutionary Guards who were arrested.”


Source  :  Arab News

NW China’s Qinghai province to be powered by clean energy for seven consecutive days

Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg

(People’s Daily Online)    15:42, June 19, 2017

Northwestern China’s Qinghai province is surging toward a new record: coverage of the region’s full electricity consumption by renewable energy for seven consecutive days, set to occur this week.

During a 168-hour period lasting from June 17 to 24, 78.3 percent of Qinghai’s electricity demand, estimated to reach 175 million kWh per day, will be met by hydro power, while the remaining 21.7 percent will be met by solar and other new-energy resources, according to Qinghai Electric Power Company, an affiliate of the State Grid Corporation.

Solar power has been expanding aggressively in the hydroelectricity-rich Qinghai in recent years. Since the beginning of the 12th Five-Year Plan period in 2011, the province has witnessed annual solar growth of 58 percent when measured by installed capacity. Solar power, ranking behind hydro power, has been the second largest energy source for Qinghai.

Portugal achieved its own zero emissions landmark last year in a 107-hour run, during which the entire country was powered by renewable energy.

“This is the first test in China and it is very meaningful to China’s green growth transformation,” said Quan Shengming, general manager of Qinghai Electric Power Company. If everything proceeds smoothly, Qinghai will beat Portugal’s impressive record.

In the long run, Qinghai plans to increase its renewable installed capacity to 61 million kW by 2025, and then provide as much as 11 billion kWh of electricity to central and eastern provinces every year – equivalent to the generation capacity of 50 million tons of raw coal.


Source  :  People’s Daily Online

China’s two supercomputers still world’s fastest as U.S. squeezed out of 3rd place

Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg

(Xinhua)    18:56, June 19, 2017

WUXI, June 20, 2016 (Xinhua) — Photo taken on June 20, 2016 shows Sunway TaihuLight, a new Chinese supercomputer, in Wuxi, east China’s Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiang) (File photo)


WASHINGTON, June 19 — China’s Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 are still the world’s fastest and second fastest machines, but America’s Titan was squeezed into fourth place by an upgraded Swiss system, according to the latest edition of the semiannual T0P500 list of supercomputers released Monday.


Sunway TaihuLight, described by the T0P500 list as “far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet,” maintained the lead since last June, when it dethroned Tianhe-2, the former champion for the previous three consecutive years.

It means that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany for nine times in a row.

What’s more, Sunway TaihuLight, with a performance of 93 petaflops, was built entirely using processors designed and made in China.

“It highlights China’s ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field,” Haohuan Fu, deputy director of the National Supercomputing Center, where Sunway TaihuLight was installed, told Xinhua.

“China is simultaneously developing hardware and software technologies of supercomputers,” Fu said. “It is expected that rapid development in homegrown hardware technologies, supported by homegrown software, will lead to a stronger research and engineering test capacity in many fields, thus promoting an industrial upgrading and, eventually, a sustainable development of China’s homegrown supercomputing industry.”

Tianhe-2, capable of performing 33.9 petaflops, was based on Intel chips, something banned by the U.S. government from selling to four supercomputing institutions in China since 2015.


In the latest rankings, the new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.

Its current performance of 19.6 petaflops pushed Titan, a machine installed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth place. Titan’s performance of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.

“This is the second time in the 24-year history of the TOP500 list that the United States has failed to secure any of the top three positions,” the TOP500 organizers said in a statement.

The only other time this occurred was in November 1996, when three Japanese systems captured the top three spots.

“Nevertheless, the U.S. still claims five of the top 10 supercomputers, which is more than any other nation,” they said.

Fu called the upgraded Swiss system “really a surprise,” saying that “it reflects the increased investment in large-scale supercomputers in Europe.”


“Although the U.S. dropped out of the top three, it still has strong strength in high performance computing,” Fu told Xinhua. “If everything goes well, we could see two U.S. systems with a performance of 200 to 300 petaflops in the next rankings at the end of the year.”

Just days before the TOP500 announcement, the U.S. Department of Energy said it has awarded AMD, Cray, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel and NVIDIA a total of 258 million U.S. dollars in funding to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers.

“Continued U.S. leadership in high performance computing is essential to our security, prosperity, and economic competitiveness as a nation,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a recent statement.

The immediate goal of the United States is to develop at least one exascale-capable system by 2021, which will be at least 10 times faster than China’s Sunway TaihuLight.

“Global competition for this technological dominance is fierce,” the U.S. Department of Energy asserted. “However, the U.S. retains global leadership in the actual application of high performance computing to national security, industry, and science.”

In addition, the latest list showed that the United States leads the pack in the total number of TOP500 systems, with 169, while China is a close second with 160. Both countries lost share compared to six months ago, when they each claimed 171 systems.

Besides the United States and China, the most well-represented countries on the list are Japan, with 33 supercomputers, Germany, with 28, France, with 18, and Britain, with 17.

Overall, aggregate performance on the TOP500 rose to 749 petaflops, a 32 percent jump from a year ago.

Such an increase, though, is well below the list’s historical growth rate of about 185 percent per year, said the organizers.

“The slower growth in list performance is a trend that began in 2013, and has shown no signs of reversal,” they said.

When it comes to companies making these systems, the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise claims the number one spot with 143 supercomputers. China’s Lenovo is the second most popular vendor, with 88 systems, and Cray is in third place, with 57.

There are three other Chinese companies in the vendor list: Sugon (No. 4 with 44 systems), Inspur (No. 6 with 20 systems) and Huawei (No. 7 with 19 systems).

The Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the machines’ performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany.


Source  :  Xinhua

Qatar Airways CEO warns of ‘lasting wound’

Flag of Qatar.svg

19 Jun 2017 – 22:19

Qatar Airways CEO warns of 'lasting wound'

Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker speaks in front of a Qatar Airways Boeing 777, as part of the presentation for the new Qsuite business class seating on June 19, 2017 at Le Bourget airport, near Paris, on the opening day of the International Paris Air Show. AFP / Eric Piermont

Associated Press

PARIS: The CEO of Qatar Airways said Monday that the blockade imposed on his country by Gulf neighbors “will leave a lasting wound” and that he expects rapid U.S. diplomatic intervention to resolve the standoff.

“People will not forget,” Akbar Al Baker told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show. “People will have long, long memories and especially the way it has been done, where families are split, where children have been removed from school, when … loved ones have been taken away from their husbands and their wives. I think this generation, this entire generation, will never forget what happened.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar this month and blocked air, sea and land traffic with Qatar over its support for Islamist groups and ties with Iran.

Al Baker said he expects U.S. President Donald Trump will intervene “to make sure that this blockade is lifted soonest and that life in our region comes backs to normal, especially since he knows that we are part of his alliance against terrorism and that we are a major player in his strategy in the region.”

He called the blockade illegal and said customers are returning to Qatar Airways and again using Qatar as an aviation hub after an initial hit to business.

“The impact has not been what our neighbors expected it to be,” Al Baker said at the Paris show, where Qatar Airways unveiled luxurious new seating in business class.

“They don’t want Qatar to have an independent foreign policy. They want Qatar to be subservient to their policies and this is not going to happen,” he added.


Source  :  thepeninsulaqatar.com

QA showcases Qsuite at Paris Air Show

Flag of Qatar.svg

20 Jun 2017 – 1:52

QA showcases Qsuite at Paris Air Show

Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti (second right) and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker (centre) with other officials on the first day of Paris Air Show yesterday.

The Peninsula

Qatar Airways captured the spotlight on the first day of the Paris Air Show, where it showcased the first of its aircraft fitted with its spectacular state-of-the-art and award-winning Business Class seat, Qsuite.
A senior Qatari delegation led by Qatar’s Minister of Transport and Communications, H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, joined Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, to reveal the first Boeing 777 equipped with the airline’s new and unique seat design in a ribbon cutting ceremony, close to its luxurious chalet at Le Bourget Airport.
The airline also hosted other notable dignitaries, officials and guests of honour at the ceremony, including the Qatari Ambassador to France, Khalid Bin Rashid Al Mansouri; Managing Director and CEO of Qatar Rail, Eng. Abdulla T Al Subaie and Vice-Chairman of the Boeing Company, Ray Conner.
Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti said: “I am very proud to see the national carrier of the State of Qatar showcasing the unique Qsuite to the whole world as it continues to expand and innovate in every single way. I am also very pleased to see the national carrier of the State of Qatar proceed with its expansion plans more than expected, with endless ambition.”
Al Baker said: “We are tremendously excited to showcase the first aircraft fitted with our revolutionary new Qsuite here in Paris. This product will transform premium travel by bringing a First Class experience to the Business Class cabin. With this innovative offering – which features the first-ever double bed in Business Class – we have set a new standard for the industry, one which demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the finest possible experience for our passengers. We look forward to the debut of Qsuite on our Doha – London Heathrow route this weekend.”
Vice-Chairman of the Boeing Company, Ray Conner said, “All of us at Boeing are proud that the Boeing 777 has been selected to debut Qatar Airways’ new and innovative Business Class interior. With Qsuite, Qatar Airways is introducing a new level of innovation that will make flying a truly remarkable experience.” Qsuite, patented by Qatar Airways, features the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class, with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room. Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats allow colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialise together.
These new features provide the ultimate customisable travel experience that enables passengers to create an environment that suits their own unique needs.
Immediately after the Paris Air Show the first destination to feature the Qsuite will be London from 24 June, followed by service to Paris and New York, with the airline’s fleet retrofitted at the rate of one plane per month.
The Paris Air Show, taking place this week at Le Bourget Airport, is one of the world’s most anticipated aerospace events, providing the global aviation community the opportunity to demonstrate the very best and latest advances in the industry.
Qatar Airways will operate a five-times weekly service to Nice, France, served by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, complementing the airline’s triple daily offering to the French capital, Paris. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways officially opened its new and luxurious Premium Lounge at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.


Source  :  thepeninsulaqatar.com

Pilot of Syrian aircraft dropped by US-led coalition found in Raqqa

Flag of Syria.svg

Pilot of Syrian aircraft dropped by US-led coalition found in Raqqa

Raqqa (Syria News) The Syrian army troops, on Monday, found the pilot of the aircraft that was shot down by the US-led international coalition, in the countryside of Raqqa, north of Syria.

Sputnik News reported that the Syrian army found Captain Ali fahd, alive in the village of Shuwaihat in the countryside of al-Rasafa, north of Tabqa in southern Raqqa, while added that the pilot landed using his parachute, after the US air force shot down his Sukhoi Su-22 aircraft, yesterday, in the Syrian Badiyah.

Yesterday, international coalition shot down a Sukhoi 22 warplane, belonging to the Syrian regime, in the city of Tabqa, west of Raqqa, however, they did not identify the reasons behind bringing down the warplane.


Source  :  Syria News

Syrian regime forces recapture Rasafa area near Raqqa

Flag of Syria.svg

Syrian regime forces recapture Rasafa area near Raqqa

Raqqa (Syria News) The Syrian government forces, on Monday, managed to recapture al-Rasafa area, south of Raqqa, after fierce battles with the Islamic State group.

Qasioun News reported that the Syrian army managed to recapture the area of Rasafa, south of Raqqa, after violent battles with the Islamic State, using light and heavy weapons, leaving casualties among the ranks of the two sides.

It is noteworthy that the government forces were able, yesterday, to advance into new areas in the southern countryside of Raqqa, including Ja’edin Village, south of Raqqa, after clashes with the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Meanwhile, Syrian Badiyah is witnessing ongoing battles, where the government forces, backed by Russian troops, advanced into the southern entrance of the city of Raqqa.


Source  :  Syria News

Uzbek Govn’t directs US$500 million to recapitalize commercial banks

Flag of Uzbekistan.svg

Uzbek Govn’t directs US$500 million to recapitalize commercial banks

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — Government of Uzbekistan will direct US$500 million for recapitalization of commercial banks of the country.

On 16 June 2017, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a corresponding resolution.

The resolution is aimed at maintaining the level of capitalization of commercial banks, enhancing financial stability of the banking system and expanding their participation in financing investment projects and entrepreneurship.

According to the document, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development (FRDU) will allocate US$500 million in 2017 to increase the state share in the authorized capitals of commercial banks of Uzbekistan.

Commercial banks will use the funds, received from the FRDU to form and increase state stake in their authorized capital, to finance and co-finance programs of social-economic development of the regions of Uzbekistan in 2017-2018 and financial support for business entities, the resolution said.

Uzbek leader instructed the Central Bank to introduce a mechanism for providing loans to commercial banks with acute shortage of liquidity. The credits will be provided for up to three months and without collateral, the document added.

The resolution noted that banks should use these funds only to maintain liquidity in order to ensure the continuity of payments. The banks do not have the right to use these resources for providing loans.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also granted the right to the Central Bank to introduce a guardianship regime over a commercial bank, which did not ensure uninterrupted payment for customers after receiving the loan without collateral from the regulator.


Source  :  UzDaily