Two people wounded as bomb blast rocks popular markets in Baghdad

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Baghdad ( – Two Iraqi people were injured Monday in a bomb blast outside popular markets in Baghdad, the latest in a series of terrorist attacks that target the Iraqi capital on almost a daily basis since the defeat of Islamic State last year.

Speaking to Alghad Press, the source said, “An explosive charge went off outside popular markets in the rural district of al-Taji, north of the capital Baghdad.” “The explosion left two civilians wounded.”

The source added that the injured were moved to a nearby hospital for treatment and a probe was launched into the incident.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over five million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Violence and armed conflicts left 94 Iraqis dead during the month of May, the United Nations said in its monthly casualty count as the the security situations continue to sway after the defeat of Islamic State militants.

In its report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said 163 others were wounded, adding that Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, with 117 civilian casualties (45 killed, 72 injured), followed by Diyala with 9 killed and 35 injured, and Kirkuk with 20 killed and 16 injured.

The organization maintained that the numbers it provides were a “minimum”, saying that hindrances to its works prevent it from setting the exact toll.

Source :  Iraqi News

1,300 bodies of Islamic State members found in Mosul

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Mosul ( – As many as 1,300 bodies of Islamic State (IS) members were found in Mosul city since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced its liberation last year.

“Most of the bodies were belonging to IS leaders and security officials, who were killed at the hands of Iraqi servicemen during a security operation to liberate Mosul city from terrorism,” Colonel Mohamed al- Bujairi told Iraqi website Al-Qurtas News Monday.

He added that the troops buried the IS bodies at remote graveyards in western Mosul.

Last month, the governor of Nineveh province announced that the Old City in Mosul has been declared to be empty of bodies under the rubble.

The total number of recovered bodies since the end of war against Islamic State in Mosul that ended more than ten months ago reached 9,000, according to municipal sources.

In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad on Saturday, December 9, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the end of war against Islamic State after Iraqi troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders.

Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led international coalition, was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.


Source :  Iraqi News

Four Shiite fighters killed in clashes with Islamic State in Iraq’s Salahuddin

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Anbar ( – Four fighters of Saraya Al-Salam militias affiliated with Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr were killed Monday in clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province, a security source was quoted as saying.

“Fierce clashes erupted between Sadr’s Saraya Al-Salam and Islamic State in the Samarra island in Salahuddin province, leaving four pro-Sadr fighters dead,” the source told Alghad Press without giving further details.

Last December, Sadr ordered his fighters to hand state-issued weapons back to the government following the country’s defeat of the Islamic State group.

Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam fighters took up arms against the extremist group in 2014 after the fall of Mosul and are officially part of the government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi.

Sadr called on his fighters to also hand over parts of the territory they control to Iraq’s security forces, however, he stressed that his fighters would remain present as protectors of a holy Shiite shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad.

IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by the US-led international coalition, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.


Source :  Iraqi News

Doctor recalls slain Palestine nurse’s bravery

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Sherouk Zakaria/Dubai
Filed on June 4, 2018 | Last updated on June 4, 2018 at 09.49 pm

Razan was remembered for her speech and the way she always talked about her determination.

Along the fence dividing the Gaza Strip from Israel lie a bunch of tents of volunteers who drag injured demonstrators away from the danger zone to provide necessary help using basic medical tools.

One of the young women in white paramedic’s uniform was Razan Al Najjar, the 21-year-old volunteer emergency medical worker who was recently shot dead as she tried to aid a demonstrator, during the ongoing Palestinian protest campaign.

“Razan was a very outspoken and proud woman. She was sure of her role and what she could do to contribute on ground,” said Dr Marc Sinclair, a Dubai-based paediatric orthopaedic surgeon who founded the Little Wings Foundation charity that treats children in Palestine.

He met Razan during his last visit to Khan Younis in the Southern Gaza strip to provide medical assistance to children who have musculoskeletal deformities in last April.

She was the 119th Palestinian killed since the protests began in March, according to Gaza health officials.

“Razan was remembered for her speech and the way she always talked about her determination to show the world what Arab women can do. She had a quite strong personality that stood out,” said Sinclair.

Razan, he added, had been previously injured during the protests, but it didn’t restrain her from continuing her work until the last breath.

Sinclair added that young female nurses who work with basic medical tools like a saline solution and medical gas supply operate the tents that lie 150 metres away from the fence.

“They have no medicines, antibiotics or blood,” said Sinclair. “They provide emergency aid to demonstrators, pick up the injured, sometimes dead, demonstrators to check their wounds.”

Patients are then sent to Khan Younis hospital that lies 200 metres away from the frontline where about seven ambulances are lined up, ready to pick up the injured closer to the frontline.

The hospital sometimes receives over 170 casualties on an afternoon, placing its resources on an end.

“The enthusiasm of these girls at the borders is inspiring; The way they dedicate their time to help, get out on field confidently despite the risks, as if ready for a battle, to bring wounded demonstrators in.”

The message from Al Najjar’s death, Sinclair said, is that no one is exempted from the risk. “You truly understand the level of danger when you hear about a young paramedic dying while doing her job. You get to understand that everyone is targeted.”

He described the protests by the Gaza border as a “David and Goliath” situation. “On one side, you have kids with slingshots and people who burn tyres, and on other side, there’s sophisticated army of snipers and soldiers,” said Sinclair.

As part of his Dubai-based Little Wings Foundation, Sinclair flies to Gaza twice a year with a team of 10 doctors and nurses from the UAE and abroad to provide medical assistance to children who have musculoskeletal deformities, in partnership with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF).

‘It’s a different life there’

Dubai-based Little Wings Foundation that recently partnered with Al Jalila Foundation, provides medical assistance to up to 150 children, preselected by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) in one week. A team of two surgeons, including Sinclair, dedicates 4-6 days to operate about 30 children during their one-week visit.

Dr Marc Sinclair (left) with a Palestinian kid and her father. -Supplied photo

Since its inception in 2007, the foundation has helped provide aid to 600 war-stricken children or those born with deformities and neuromuscular disorders.

The most common cases found are cerebral palsy, resulting from complicated pregnancies. “These patients need a lot of assistance, surgeries and follow-up on the long term,” said Sinclair.

“We offer medical advice and perform surgeries needed, then follow up with them in every visit. This gives us the chance to know and feel close to the children and their parents,” said Sinclair.

During the rough demonstration times, Khan Younis Hospital sometimes empties its emergency rooms to get ready for the flood of injuries and casualties.

“A lot of injuries come in per day and we mainly see cases of leg amputations. A whole generation of disabled people is created right there.”

Sinclair, who is going to Gaza next November, said the most impactful moment for him as a doctor is watching worried parents wanting to save their children, but without access to resources.

“It’s painful to see that there’s no resources for them to find comfort in treatment, and that’s what kept us coming back. Children are locked and disabled with their parents desperate for help. When you relate to this as a parent, you would want to be there,” said Sinclair.

And during every visit, Sinclair takes a day to clear his mind through strolling the streets of Jerusalem. “We need a day to reflect and think about what we have seen before flying back to Dubai. It’s a strikingly different life that you only realise once you’re there.”


Dubai always cares

Gaza is in crisis and is calling out for help. Its children are victims of war injuries and ailments, and Dubai is reaching out to the stricken strip of land. People in Dubai often look beyond their comfort zone and want to help as best as they can. Gaza’s children deserve healthcare education and access to opportunity. More importantly, they should live be free, and live a life without fear. The yoke of occupation can be eased through Dubai’s acts of kindness. More such efforts are in order to break Gaza’s blockade and oppression.


Source :  The Khaleej Times

Iftar and art come together for a cause at Pakistan association

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Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on June 4, 2018 | Last updated on June 4, 2018 at 09.53 pm

The fund-raising Iftar gathering was hosted by renowned TV and radio presenter Abdul Karim.

To celebrate the spirit of Ramadan and the Year of Zayed, Pakistan Association Dubai, in collaboration with Poetic Strokes, conducted a calligraphic arts exhibition called ‘Silent Prayers’ along with an ‘Iftar for a cause’ to support the upcoming not-for-profit Pakistan Centre on Saturday. Around 200 community members including some seasoned artists participated in the event, contributing their artworks towards the cause of ‘Own a brick’.

The fund-raising Iftar gathering was hosted by renowned TV and radio presenter Abdul Karim, who introduced the audience to the art exhibition that was not only a tribute to Arabic calligraphy but also represented unity, beauty and power as it was derived from the script of the Holy Quran in the form of Quranic supplications written beautifully.

Displaying the work of some master calligraphers, the event also provided a platform to talented, young local artists from the UAE and Pakistan, who needed the encouragement and support to keep the legacy of Arabic calligraphy. From over 30 calligraphy paintings, 14 were bought by people attending the event.

People appreciated and contributed to the noble cause of building the Dh15-million centre through owning table or artwork at the event.

Addressing the audience on the occasion, Dr Faisel Ikram, president of the association, said: “The institution has always worked relentlessly in order to engage, unite and encourage the community to join hands for a cause that will make everyone proud.”

“The Own a Brick campaign and the not for profit Pakistan Medical Centre is a novel cause in the region and we are proud to be the frontrunners,” added Dr Ikram.

The centre will be a first not for profit multispecialty community healthcare facility open to all nationalities.

Ayesha Imtiaz of Poetic Strokes, who spearheaded the setting up of the calligraphic art exhibition, asserted: “It was a heartwarming experience to see the community being so enthusiastic in appreciating art whilst contributing through it for a larger cause.”

The Own a Brick campaign was championed by a six-year-old girl Aiman, who had volunteered to work for the fund raising for the centre. Motivating the audience to own bricks for the cause and help the less fortunate, she walked across the hall with a bowl collecting pledge cards.

“As a volunteer organisation, we wish to inculcate the spirit of volunteering and giving in our younger generation. We want to be in line with the Community Development Authority’s vision of engaging the youth to help build a better society,” noted Dr Ikram.


Source :  The Khaleej Times

Enjoy 90% off across 7 malls for 24 hours in UAE

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Ismail Sebugwaawo
Filed on June 5, 2018 | Last updated on June 5, 2018 at 01.00 am

With more than 500 stores involved, the sale will kick off at 10am on Friday, June 15.

The Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced a citywide shopping experience to give shoppers discounts of up to 90 per cent in seven malls for 24 hours, to mark the first day of Eid.

On Monday, the DCT announced details of both the upcoming Eid Fest celebrations and the annual Abu Dhabi Summer Season: two marquee events for the emirate, aiming to attract more overseas visitors to the Capital.

Both events have been geared to provide both visitors and residents, especially families and bargain hunters, with something to get excited about, with sought-after experiences and fantastic promotional deals for all – making Abu Dhabi the place to be this summer.

The celebrations get off to a spectacular start with a 24-hour mall mega sale, featuring discounts of up to 90 percent, as part of Eid Fest celebrations.

With more than 500 stores involved, the sale will kick off at 10am on Friday, June 15, and run until 10am on Saturday, June 16.

Inspired by the runaway success of last year’s Mega Sale at Yas Mall, seven malls will participate in this year’s super sale: World Trade Centre (WTC) Mall, Al Jimi Mall, Dalma Mall, Hili Mall, Marina Mall and Bawadi Mall, with Yas Mall yet again participating.

In addition, Abu Dhabi will be marking the first day of Eid Al Fitr with a dazzling five-minute fireworks display that will light up the sky on Friday at 9pm, at Abu Dhabi corniche and Hazza bin Zayed stadium in Al Ain.

Aimed at cementing the emirate’s status as a year-round tourism destination, the mega sale will be followed by the much-anticipated Abu Dhabi Summer Season (ADSS) returning in its fifth edition between June 21 and August 18.

Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, executive director of the Tourism Sector, at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “This is an amazing shopping offer that no one should miss. The Eid Fest celebrations and Abu Dhabi Summer Season are annual anchor activations that aim to underpin Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a destination of distinction during the summer, especially for families looking for unmissable experiences and offers.

“Through this summer season, we aim to increase overseas visitors to Abu Dhabi, especially from top source markets including GCC and India, raise the average length-of-stay for visitors and position Abu Dhabi as an attractive destination to visit during the summer,” said Al Dhaheri.

Participating malls

>World Trade Centre (WTC) Mall

>Al Jimi Mall

>Dalma Mall

>Hili Mall

>Marina Mall

>Bawadi Mall

>Yas Mall

Source :  The Khaleej Times

Man who abused Malcolm Turnbull at Brisbane pub charged with attempted murder

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By Lucy Stone

A man who was fined for abusing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a Brisbane pub has been charged with attempted murder.

Nicholas John Gordon, 26, was charged after the alleged attack on a woman in her 30s at a Carina Heights home just after midnight on Sunday.

Nicholas John Gordon, 26, has been charged with attempted murder.

Nicholas John Gordon, 26, has been charged with attempted murder. Photo: Facebook

Police alleged they were called to a house on Chataway Street after a disturbance and found a woman in her 30s with “significant” injuries to her face and cuts to her hands.

Mr Gordon was arrested at a Chataway Street address nearby.

Mr Gordon made no application for bail with his matter briefly mentioned at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.

Mr Gordon, who occupation was listed as a butcher, has been charged with attempted murder and other charges.

He was remanded in custody with his matter to appear before Brisbane Magistrates Court for a mention on July 2.

Mr Gordon previously made national headlines last month after hurling abuse at Mr Turnbull during a “politics in the pub” event in Carindale.

Originally from Pambula on the New South Wales South Coast, Mr Gordon was later fined $756 for the incident with the prime minister.

Former Labor senator Sam Dastyari started a GoFundMe after the Carindale Hotel incident, raising money for Mr Gordon “to buy him a beer”. The campaign has raised more than $1000.

-with AAP

Source :  The Brisbane Times

Brisbane millionaire gets approval to build a helipad at his home

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By Ruth McCosker

The owner of a multimillion-dollar mega-mansion in Brisbane’s south has been given the green light to have a helipad built in his backyard.

John Bell, who purchased the Rochedale mansion in March 2017 for $5.2 million, said Brisbane City Council officers had told him his application to build a helipad was a Brisbane first.

A development application to build a helipad and hangar a property in Rochedale has been approved.

A development application to build a helipad and hangar a property in Rochedale has been approved.

Photo: Synergy

The house sits on a 12-hectare lot on Rochedale Road. The property has a pool, tennis court and a dam, but has now been given the tick of approval to build a helipad and hangar at the back of the house.

The council would not confirm how many applications of this kind they had assessed before, but a search of the council’s online property development application search tool, PD Online, revealed this was the only air services application of its kind lodged since at least 2000.

The development application was first lodged with the council on June 30 last year.

An assessment report submitted as part of the application said the helipad was for private purposes, but could also be used for community and emergency purposes, such as for hospital helicopters to land.

It also listed five different types of helicopters that would use the site.

A helicopter landing at the Rochedale property during a testing day.

A helicopter landing at the Rochedale property during a testing day.Photo: Urbicus

The council was required to assess the application for the helipad and the hangar, but once the aircraft was in the air it would be beyond planning control and managed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Air Services Australia.

The council requested further information on potential noise and air impacts to neighbours but was satisfied with the responses provided in reports.

Three submissions were made by residents, with two against and one in favour of the helipad.

The development was given its final approval on Wednesday.

Mr Bell, who said he would mainly use the helipad on weekends, requested to be able to do six flight movements a day.

But a council spokesman said the helipad would be limited to four flight movements a day between 7am and 7pm, which would be extended until 8pm between December and February, and would only be for non-commercial uses.

“All helicopters using the helipad will also need to operate under approved flight paths, complying with CASA restrictions,” the spokesman said.


Source :  The Brisbane Times

‘There’s no one’: pilot sickness, faults stretch Qantas

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By Matt O’Sullivan


First published at 

Qantas’ fleet of A330 aircraft has been stretched to cover services over the past few days after two of the twin-aisle plane types suffered engine and flight control faults.

And in a sign of the pressure on crewing, a Qantas 747-400 jumbo bound for the Chilean capital of Santiago from Sydney with a full load of passengers narrowly avoided being cancelled on Sunday when a replacement for a sick pilot was found in the nick of time.

Qantas flight QF23 bound for Bangkok was forced to return to Sydney Airport on Friday.

Qantas flight QF23 bound for Bangkok was forced to return to Sydney Airport on Friday. Photo: Seven News

“Scheduling is desperately seeking a first officer or suitably qualified [right-hand seat] captain to crew the QF27,” a Qantas manager of base operations wrote in an “urgent request” to pilots fewer than three hours before the jumbo was due to depart Sydney.

“All standby crew have been used and SMS messages sent plus management pilots contacted. There’s no one. The flight is likely to be cancelled.”

The urgent email request was sent about 2½ hours after the company fired off a text message to well over 100 pilots to see if anyone was available to step in.

The Qantas jumbo eventually took off on the 12-hour flight to Chile about 45 minutes late.

While a sign of strong demand for flights, pilots say the airline’s high utilisation of aircraft is placing pressure on crewing. And it also raises the likelihood of disruptions to flights when aircraft encounter significant technical problems.

All standby crew have been used and SMS messages sent plus management pilots contacted. There’s no one.

Qantas manager of base operations

On Friday, a Qantas A330 bound for Bangkok turned back to Sydney Airport shortly after take off when one of its two engines suffered a “high vibration event”.

The plane circled Sydney before landing safely about an hour after departing. Passengers on QF23 were later put on a replacement plane bound for Bangkok, but the affected A330 remains grounded at Sydney to allow for the engine to be replaced.

And late on Friday night, another Qantas A330-300 bound for Hong Kong was forced to remain on the ground at Brisbane Airport due to a flight-control malfunction, resulting in a three-hour delay.

“Due to the increased utilisation and complexity in the A330 network, I would expect there to be ongoing delays for the next few days due to these two events,” Qantas’ deputy manager for Airbus fleet operations told pilots in an email on Saturday.

The email sent to Qantas staff just hours before the flight was due to depart.
The email sent to Qantas staff just hours before the flight was due to depart.

Photo: Supplied

“This is unfortunately going to result in some roster disruptions.”

The senior manager said the A330 engine’s “high vibration event” above Sydney on Friday bore similarities to an engine problem on an aircraft departing Brisbane recently.

“We will be investigating the cause and provide information to you as soon as possible,” he said in the note.

At the weekend, six international flights were delayed by an average of about three hours.

Qantas Flight 23 circled above Sydney on Friday after one of its engine suffered a 'high vibration event'
Qantas Flight 23 circled above Sydney on Friday after one of its engine suffered a ‘high vibration event’

Photo: FlightAware

Qantas said in a statement that airline schedules were finely tuned and, while it had a level of redundancy to help recover quickly if an aircraft had unexpected technical issues or crew suddenly became unwell, it sometimes did cause delays.

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“Qantas is undertaking one of the largest pilot recruitment programs in its history, with
150 pilots to be recruited into Qantas and QantasLink in the next financial year,” it said.

Qantas plans to open a pilot academy next year capable of training up to 500 pilots annually.


Source :  The Brisbane Times

People detained for undermining Saudi Arabia’s security confess their crimes

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Public Prosecution

Saudi Gazette report

Jeddah — Those accused of violating the security of the Kingdom admitted their contact with hostile individuals and organizations and the recruitment of persons in a sensitive government body, the Public Prosecution said in a statement.

The accused admitted that they had:

1. Communicated and cooperated with individuals and organizations hostile to the Kingdom;

2 – Recruited persons in a sensitive government entity to obtain confidential information and official documents to harm the higher interests of the Kingdom;

3. Provided financial and moral support to hostile elements abroad.

A total of 17 individuals have been arrested in this case. Temporary release orders were issued for eight suspects, five women and three men, until the completion of their procedural review.

Nine individuals, five men and four women, are still under arrest due to sufficient evidence against them, as well as, their confession to the charges brought forth, which require their continued detention.

The Public Prosecution said it is committed to complete the investigation procedures in a manner that achieves justice without undermining the security and safety of the country, its regulations and interests.

It said that it is also committed to continue due process of the accused in a manner that ensures their dignity, guarantees their rights, provides access to their families and prepares appropriate places for their detention and provides them with the necessary health and social care, as stipulated in Article (26) of the Basic Law of Governance and Article (36/1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which ensures all guarantees and fundamental rights are provided to all accused in such cases.


Source :  Saudi Gazette