Thailand delight boisterous home fans with historic win over Turkey in World Grand Prix

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Breaking News July 22, 2017 21:48

By The Nation

Thailand claimed their second win in the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix after a thrilling 3-0 (25-20 25-22 25-11) victory over Turkey in their second Pool H encounter at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium on Saturday.


Thailand, which stunned defending and 11-time champions Brazil in Sendai, Japan last week, have never beaten Turkey before in the World Grand Prix. They lost to Turkey twice in 2012 in Ningbo, China and in Ankara, Turkey the following year.

The Thai team, currently ranked No.10 at the 12-team overall standing, led from the start in the opening set against Turkey, the team which lost 1-3 to Italy the previous day.

Hard-attacking Ajcharaporn Kongyot punctured the Turkish defence with powerful mid-court attacks to help put Thailand in front 12-9. However, after that, Turkey read the Thai game plan well and started to effectively block Ajcharaporn’s attacks. To improve their tactics, Thailand replaced Ajcharaporn with veteran Wilavan Apinyapong. The host side turned things around to take the first set 25-20.

Their confidence boosted, the Thai team set an early pace in the second set. Wilavan produced lightning-fast spikes and effective drops for the team’s initial 7-2 lead. Playing confidently with determination, Turkey narrowed the margin 11-10, thanks largely to their solid blocks led by Meryem Boz. However, the Thai team proved a cut above the visitors as the world No.14 stormed on, with Wilavan, Chutchu-on Moksri and Pleumjit Thinkaow emerging major forces to be reckoned with for the team. Thailand took the thrilling set 25-22.

The third set became a one-sided affair as Thailand started consistently. Spectacular attacks from Pleumjit, Chutchu-on and Wilavan and Hattaya Bamrungsuk’s solid blocks received great applause and ear-piercing screams from adoring fans inside the packed venue. Thailand captured the comfortable set 25-11 and match.

“I’m glad that we finally won at home. My team played well with good reception and we counter-attacked, our rivals failed in their attempts. However, I would like to thank all Thai supporters who really boosted our team’s morale and confidence. We still have a mountain to climb on our last match on Sunday as we will play Italy. They are very strong and it’s not easy to beat them. We will do our best,” Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul commented after the match.

Meanwhile, Italy stretched their winning streak at the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix to six in a row after a 3-0 rout of Dominican Republic in their second Pool H encounter at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

The hard-fought 25-20 25-22 25 25-15 victory was the Italy’s 22nd time in an official competition between the European giants and the Caribbean counterparts.

Caterina Bosetti and Miryam Fatime Sylla led Italy after similarly scoring a team-high 11 points, while Mambru Casilla topscored for Dominican Republic with 10 points from all deadly attacks of 32 attempts.

Thailand next take on Italy on Sunday at 6pm local time, while Turkey play Dominican Republic in the first match at 3pm.

Following the Saturday’s win, Thailand remain at 10th place of the overall standing with 8 points from 2 wins against 6 losses.


Source  :  The Nation Multimedia

Seventeen IS female members killed, injured as missile shot west of Mosul

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Tal Afar ( Seventeen Islamic State female members were killed and injured as a missile was shot on a building, west of Mosul, a source from Nineveh province said on Saturday.

“An unknown missile targeted a two-storey building, which was the headquarters of the IS al-Khansaa brigade, in Tal Afar town, west of Mosul,” the source was quoted by AlSumaria News as saying. “The brigade included wives and sisters of IS members and leaders as well as foreigners.”

“According to our information, between seven to ten women were killed, while seven others were injured. Most of them were leaders in brigades,” the source said adding the members are working on recovering the bodies from under the rubble.

“Wife of the emir of the so-called soldiers department, known as abu Youssef, were among the killed ones,” the source, who asked to remain unnamed said adding that her identity is still unknown.

Earlier on the day, news reports mentioned that powerful blasts have rocked the western suburbs of Tal Afar west as airstrikes targeted a building with huge amount of explosives inside.

Lt.Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, of the Nineveh Operations Command, had said that the fourth phase of liberation will be launched soon to free Tal Afar and other regions to complete the liberation of the whole province.

Tal Afar is one of the important strongholds still held by IS in Nineveh since August 2014.

Source  :  Iraqi News

Qantas leads all domestic airlines for on-time performance in June

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Australia's domestic carriers at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

Qantas led Australia’s domestic carriers for punctuality for a second straight month in June, new figures show.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) report on domestic on-time performance said Qantas had 89.5 per cent of its flights arrive within 15 minutes of schedule in June, ahead of local rival Virgin Australia at 87.1 per cent.

Qantas also led the local carriers for on-time departures at 90.5 per cent, with its regional wing QantasLink coming in second at 86.4 per cent.

Among the airlines covered in the BITRE report, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) was the only carrier to report an improvement in punctuality in June compared with the previous month, with arrivals up three percentage points to 87.7 per cent and departures rising 2.1 percentage points to 89.1 per cent.

VARA also had the lowest percentage of cancellations, with just three (or 0.4 per cent) of its 737 scheduled flights in the month not operated.

The BITRE report said Jetstar and Qantas jet aircraft used ACARS (Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System) to electronically measure on-time performance, while Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and Qantas’s non-jet fleet recorded on-time performance manually using records from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crews.

Regional airports fared best in terms of punctuality, with Port Lincoln posting 95.5 per cent on-time departures and arrivals.

Perth was the only capital city airport in the top 10, sitting seventh for departures with 92.5 per cent of flights pushing back from the gate within 15 minutes of schedule.

On-time arrivals for June 2017

Qantas 89.5% (-1.3)
Virgin 87.1% (-1.0)
Virgin Australia Regional 87.7% (+3.0)
QantasLink 86.5% (-3.2)
Rex 81.3% (-5.0)
Jetstar 80.7% (-1.6)
Tigerair 73.2% (-6.8)

Qantas network 87.9% (-2.3)
Virgin network 87.1% (-0.8)
Figures in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month

On-time departures for June 2017

Qantas 90.5% (-0.8)
QantasLink 86.4% (-3.8)
Virgin 88.2% (-0.4)
Rex 83.8% (-4.4)
Virgin Australia Regional 89.1% (+2.1)
Tigerair 74.1% (-4.9)
Jetstar 77.2% (-0.6)

Qantas network 88.2% (-2.3)
Virgin network 88.2% (-0.3)
Figures in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month

Source: BITRE



Australian Aviation

Etihad Aviation Group offloads stake in Swiss regional carrier

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Etihad has invested in eight airlines around the world, including Virgin Australia, since 2011. (Etihad)

Etihad Aviation Group’s ongoing review of its airline investments has led to the disposal of its shareholding in Swiss-based Darwin Airline.

The move to sell its one-third stake in the Lugano-headquartered regional airline comes at a time of leadership change at Etihad, with James Hogan departing as chief executive at the start of July and a permanent successor yet to be appointed.

While Darwin Airline, which operates as Etihad Regional, is the first investment the company has decided to sell as part of the strategic review, in 2015 Etihad relinquished its stake in Aer Lingus when the Irish flag carrier was acquired by International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

Etihad Aviation Group chief strategy and planning officer Kevin Knight said in a statement: “The decision to sell this minority stake in Darwin is a result of the on-going strategic review of our investments and a decision to concentrate on our other partnerships.”

“We wish everyone at Darwin well in the future.”

The review of the business comes at a tricky time for not just Etihad but all the Gulf-based carriers, given the slowdown in the region amid difficult trading conditions and overcapacity.

In recent times, Etihad has indicated it was looking at new ways to improve it financial position. The airline has signed a codeshare agreement with German flag carrier Lufthansa, which although small in scope to begin with, had the potential to grow into something bigger.

The strategy of spending billions of dollars to buy up stakes in foreign carriers that began in 2011 was a hallmark of Hogan’s time as in charge of Etihad.

The Australian-born executive, who was recognised for his achievements in aviation in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours list by being admitted as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), was chief executive of Etihad Airways between 2006-2016, before stepping away from the day-to-day stewardship of the airline in May 2016 to spearhead the wider Etihad Aviation Group following a corporate restructure.

While some investments have found a degree of success, others have been continued to suffer hefty losses, such as airberlin, or are on the brink of financial collapse, such as Alitalia.

Etihad, which serves Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from its Abu Dhabi hub, owns about 20 per cent of alliance partner Virgin Australia.

The company is currently being led by an interim chief executive, Ray Gammell. In May, Etihad Aviation Group said an announcement for a new boss was expected “in the next few weeks”.

Etihad and the other existing owners have sold their stakes in Darwin Airlines to Slovenia-based Adria Airways.

Darwin Airline will be rebranded Adria Airways Switzerland and maintain its own air operator’s certificate (AOC) and stay headquartered in Lugano.

“Adria Airways, with its extensive expertise, its strong route network, especially in the Southeast European market, will be very beneficial not only to the future of Darwin but also to the Ticino region we serve, which needs good connections with the rest of Switzerland and throughout Europe,” Darwin Airline chairman Emilio Martinenghi said in a statement.

“Darwin Airline SA is well capitalized and solvent and able to honour all its obligations towards its creditors.”

The terms of the sale were not disclosed.


Source :  Australian Aviation

Riyadh, Seoul review progress of nuclear project

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea have reviewed the System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor Technology (SMART) project, which aims to design and develop compact nuclear reactors so the Kingdom can diversify energy sources in line with Vision 2030.
The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) is developing the project in association with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and other Korean firms specializing in atomic energy.
KACARE and KAERI are mandated to achieve energy self-reliance via nuclear technology in their respective countries.
The third meeting on the SMART project was held in South Korea to review activities in connection with the initial engineering design, Korean Embassy spokesman Youngjae Kim said on Thursday.
The basis of this cooperation is a memorandum of understanding signed in 2015 during the visit to the Kingdom by then-South Korean President Geun-Hye Park, the spokesman added.
“SMART is a better option in terms of safety than large units,” he said, adding that the Saudi-Korean cooperation may lead to commercializing and promoting SMART to other countries.
KACARE said in a statement that the meeting reviewed progress “to ensure project completion on time, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with the Korean stakeholders.”
KACARE is laying down engineering designs so the Kingdom can produce electricity and desalinated water, and potentially export atomic energy.


Source :  Arab News

Mock counterterrorism drill held in Jazan

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JEDDAH: Security patrols in Jazan carried out a mock security exercise on Thursday to prepare for dealing with terror attacks.
Patrols participated in coordination with various government bodies.
The director of Jazan police, Maj. Gen. Nasser bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, thanked all participating units that ensured the success of the exercise.
He said all sectors are complementary to one another, and success comes only through unity.


Source  :  Arab News