Basildon’s Essex appeal attracts City boys

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Saudi Ramadan TV dramas invite scrutiny of Israel ties

first_imgA young character in Exit 7, which depicts the journey of a middle-class family through a rapidly modernizing Saudi Arabia, raised eyebrows when he befriended an Israeli boy through an online video game.In another controversial scene, one of the Saudi characters justifies establishing trade ties with Israel, arguing that Palestinians are the real “enemy” for insulting the kingdom “day and night” despite decades of financial support.Another show called Umm Haroun, or the mother of Haroun, portrays a Jewish community in a village in Kuwait during the 1940s. Social media imploded with scathing criticism of the shows, with multiple Twitter users saying their aim was to promote “normalization with Israel”. The shows are produced by the influential Arab satellite network MBC, effectively under Saudi government control after its founder —- media mogul Waleed al-Ibrahim —- was detained with other elite businessmen at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in a 2017 anti-corruption campaign.They stand in contrast to The End, a popular Egyptian sci-fi drama that provoked fury in Israel after it predicted the collapse of the Jewish state.MBC said its shows were among the most popular during Ramadan, garnering top ratings.”The Middle East has been stereotyped for decades as a region of fear, bloodshed, hatred, extremism,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek told AFP.”The shows have sought to project another image of the region that embodies hope, tolerance, inter-religious dialogue. The accusation of ‘normalization’ is a bit outdated in the context of globalisation and hyper connectivity.”‘Gauging tool’Observers, however, say the shows may be an attempt to normalize the debate on normalization.”These shows are useful for the Saudi state to understand where people stand on Israel and Palestine,” said Aziz Alghashian, a lecturer at Essex University specialising in the kingdom’s foreign policy towards Israel.”These shows function as a gauging tool and feel out peoples’ reactions.”This is hardly the first such attempt.Earlier this year, the kingdom announced the screening of a Holocaust-themed film for the first time at a movie festival, before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.Multiple Saudi media columnists have shrugged off the MBC controversy, reiterating the kingdom’s official stance that a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a precondition for normalising ties.But relations appear to be warming regardless, in a shift spearheaded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The cooperation saw Riyadh welcome US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan –- skewed in favour of Israel –- even as many others in the Arab world rejected it.Saudi Arabia quietly opened its airspace in 2018 for the first time for an Israel-bound passenger plane.Other Gulf states appear to be adopting a similar approach, with Oman hosting Netanyahu in October 2018 in the first visit of its kind in more than two decades.The United Arab Emirates flew its first publicly announced flight to Israel on Tuesday when Etihad Airways transported medical supplies to Palestinians.’Revolutionary moment’A surge in tensions between Tehran and Riyadh and Saudi attempts to attract foreign investment to fund its ambitious Vision 2030 economic reforms appear to be pushing the kingdom closer to Israel than ever.”The Saudis recognise the important role that Israel plays in the region,” said Marc Schneier, an American rabbi with close ties to the kingdom and the Gulf.”Just a couple of years ago, [Prince] Khalid bin Salman told me that the kingdom knows that Israel is an integral part of their achieving their 2030 economic plan. That is a major statement and really shows the warming of the ties,” Schneier told AFP.Saudi authorities did not respond to a request for comment and an interview with Prince Khalid, the younger brother of the crown prince.In recent years, Saudi Arabia has pursued a bold outreach to Jewish figures, but the kingdom appears wary of a public backlash.In February, the Saudi king hosted a Jerusalem-based rabbi in Riyadh for the first time in modern history.Israeli media published a photograph of rabbi David Rosen with Saudi King Salman, hailing it as a “revolutionary moment”.But the official Saudi Press Agency omitted Rosen’s name from its dispatch and the photograph published on its website cropped out the rabbi.”This is a region of the world where change like this takes time,” said Schneier.”We are seeing evolutionary signs of a warming, but it may take longer before we see more dramatic diplomatic moves.”Topics : Two Ramadan television dramas on a Saudi-controlled network have stirred controversy as they test public perceptions of quietly warming relations between the Gulf kingdom and Israel.Arab states including Saudi Arabia have no official diplomatic ties with Israel, but both sides are pursuing what one think tank calls a “tepid dance” to furtively build relations on the basis of shared animosity towards Iran.Now, two taboo-busting series during the holy fasting month —- the peak television season —- have fuelled speculation that Riyadh is trying to openly normalize closer ties with the Jewish state.last_img read more

European Commission must assess impact of ‘deeply flawed’ IFRS 9

first_imgThe chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), Roberto Gualtieri, has warned that the European Commission must honour its responsibility to assess the impact of a new financial instruments accounting standard.The warning comes as the Commission prepares to endorse International Financial Reporting Standard 9, Financial Instruments (IFRS 9) for use across the 28-nation bloc.In a 19 June letter, Gualtieri wrote: “We understand that the European Commission is about to suggest to the European Parliament and the Council to endorse the international financial reporting standard on financial instruments IFRS 9.”The new standard will then be subject to the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee own scrutiny processes. “However, given the relatively short scrutiny period ahead,” Gualtieri said, “we would like to already express our concern on whether the adoption of IFRS 9 is fully in line with the Commission’s better regulation approach.”The European Parliament recently passed a motion that was highly critical of both IFRS more generally and of the activities of the IFRS Foundation in particular.In the 16 June letter seen by IPE, the ECON chair notes that “IFRS 9 has not been subject to an impact assessment on its macroeconomic consequences and its effects on long-term investment.“Equally, there is no proper analysis of its consequences for crucial long-term investment.”The comments echo the concerns of many long-term UK investors and pension funds.Sven Giegold, a leading IFRS critic and Green Party MEP, told IPE: “The IFRS 9 standard is deeply flawed. It makes accounting of financial instruments even more complex and more pro-cyclical.“The EU commission has now to prove that IFRS 9 will not harm macroeconomic stability and long-term investment. In particular, a proper economic impact assessment has to be provided.“The Commission has to defend European interests in accounting rules rather than to follow a rubber-stamp approach.”The letter also calls on the Commission to set out the basis for the Commission’s adoption of the new standard.“In concrete terms,” it adds, ”we are wondering whether IFRS 9 will remedy the causes of the financial crisis, as mentioned in the De Larosiere report and fulfil the changes required by the G20 in 2009.“As IFRS 9 is said to extend the volume of financial assets measured at fair value, the new standard might even increase pro-cyclicality.“Additionally, in the course of fair value measurement, unrealised gains are also considered in the Profit and Loss Account, thus raising concern as to whether IFRS 9 is fully compliant with the Accounting Directive and the Capital Maintenance Directive.”MEPs have repeatedly complained that the Commission’s failure to conduct a full impact assessment of IFRS 9 means the effects of its new impairment rules remain unclear.The IASB launched its IFRS 9 project in 2009.The move came in response to calls for the board to reduce complexity in financial reporting and also to fix impairment.Critics of the board’s existing impairment rules in IAS 39 argue that, because they measure incurred losses rather than an expected lose, they lead to too-little-too-late recognition of losses on impaired assets.Despite the criticisms of the new standard, academics from the University of Mannheim Business School hailed it as an improvement to financial reporting.ECB chairman Mario Draghi subsequently admitted the European Systemic Risk Board had yet to conduct a financial stability assessment of IFRS 9 and would only do so during the course of 2017.MEPs have now urged the Commission to conduct their own assessment by no later than June 2019.The ECON committee questions, however, whether IFRS 9 does in fact add up to a simplification of accounting rules for financial assets.ECON chairman Gualtieri wrote: “[W]e would like to know how the Commission wants to solve the problem of the new standard IFRS 9 being even more complex than its predecessor IAS 39.”In particular, the lawmaker questioned the extent to which the new standard was compatible with the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme and its commitment to reduce regulatory burdens and simplify existing laws.last_img read more

IPE’s 20th anniversary celebrations

first_imgOn 28 March 2017, staff and friends of IPE gathered at Drapers’ Hall, London, to toast the magazine’s 20th anniversary.IPE would like to thank all our readers, sponsors, and staff past and present who have supported us during this period.In the April edition of IPE, we feature contributions from Keith Ambachtsheer, Theo Kocken, Saker Nusseibeh, Amin Rajan, and others looking back at some of the most important developments in the investment and pensions sectors during the last two decades.Special Report: IPE at 20last_img read more

‘Competition to improve service, lower prices’

first_img“No one can dictate what I should door say, only my people. Majority of the Ilonggos are fed up with the service ofPECO. That’s what I have been hearing all this time. That’s what the Ilonggoshave been telling me. I am their voice in the halls of Congress and what I didwas to tell Congress what the Ilonggos think.” ILOILO City – Panay Electric Co.(PECO) took to task Cong. Julienne Baronda for what it described as herflip-flopping stand on power distribution. Baronda dismissed insinuations her stand was due to her membershipwith the National Unity Party which is reportedly supported by MORE Power ownerbusinessman Enrique Razon. According to PECO, promotingcompetition improves service and lower prices, thus it found the shift inBaronda’s stand strange. According to the congresswoman, herparamount consideration on this issue is the general welfare of her fellowIlonggos. Instead of trying to guess whether theincumbent provider or a new, inexperienced utility group will do a better job,get both and let them fight for their share of Ilonggo customers, PECOstressed. “And frankly, we are a little tired ofpoliticians who speak for public good when they need votes and jump in thepocket of powerful Manila interests when the time comes to do the right thing,”PECO added. “All distribution utility franchisesare impressed with public interest, including Republic Act 11212 [MORE Power’sfranchise],” stressed Baronda, and that “utility franchises are for the benefitof the people. Hence, the outcome of this issue should benefit the city ofIloilo.” Baronda assured the public she wouldremain vigilant and invoke the power of Congress to exercise its oversightfunction should MORE Power fail to deliver on its commitment of better andcheaper electricity./PN “She declared during the electioncampaign that multiple power franchises instead of a single monopoly is thebest way to ensure that Ilonggo citizens get the best prices and services,”according to PECO in a statement. On Sept. 11 during the hearing ofPECO’s franchise application with the House Committee on LegislativeFranchises, Baronda as member voted to reject the application. She alsostressed that MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) which secured a powerdistribution franchise for Iloilo City should be given a chance to operate.last_img read more

Mason Parris 3-Peats As Wrestling State Champ

first_imgCongrats to Mason Parris of Lawrenceburg for capturing The State Wrestling Crown for the third year in a row in the 220# weight class.Bryer Hall-South Dearborn (126) wins first match at the State Finals. Loses in the Quarterfinal Round, and placed Top 10.Stevie Browning-Franklin County (152) lost his first round match and finishes his Senior season season at 35-7.Michael Bowman-Franklin County (195) lost his first round match and finishes his Senior season at 44-7.Kudos to all of our area grapplers on a job well done from WRBI.Photo courtesy of Indiana Mat.last_img read more

National 3×3 teams set for FIBA Africa Cup

first_imgRelatedPosts Armed men kidnap two contract employees of MTN in Uganda Federation to appoint para-badminton coaches Nigeria Para Badminton players return home with 19 medals The National 3×3 teams on Wednesday at 1pm departed the shores of Nigeria for Kampala, Uganda aboard a Rwanda Air flight from Abuja for the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup.Kano Pillars duo of Godwin David and Lucky Subel alongside Agu Ibeh (Gombe Bulls) and Victor Koko (Rivers Hoopers) made the final men’s team released by the Team’s head coach, Chris Acha.For the Women, Women Basketball League winner, Okah Chinwe of Air Warriors of Abuja, will team up with Gloria Umeh (Plateau Rocks), Dangosu Theresa (Customs) and 2019 Africa Games gold medalist, Ifunaya Okoro (First Bank).Despite all four making their debut at the senior level, the team will hope to go a step further and surpass her silver medal finish at the 2017 edition.The men’s team won the inaugural edition in 2017 and settled for the bronze medal at the 2018 edition hosted in Lome, Togo.The U-18 boys team comprises of Oyedokun Olamilekan (Flygerian Academy), Akomolafe Olamilekan (Kwara Falcons), Mustapha Oyebanji (Kwara Falcons) and Kanyinsola Odufuwa (Hoops and Read).Ezebilo Grace (MFM) tops the list of the u-18 girls team alongside John Grace (First Bank), Ubi Majomary (Dolphins) and Godgift Joseph (MFM).Meanwhile the Technical crew headed by Acha will consist of Christopher Okoh, Juliana Akhere, Nnorom Mark, while Simon Evbuoman will be the accompanying referee.The 12 teams registered for the men’s competition will be divided into four pools of three teams and will play a round-robin phase leading to a single elimination as of quarter-final games.The U-18 boys and girls competition starts on November 7, while the men and women’s events will commence on November 8.Nigeria is grouped alongside Niger Republic, Uganda and Burundi in Group B, while the girls will battle Egypt, Mali and Kenya in Group A in the u-18 category. Tags: Kampalalast_img read more

Smart prospects set for Punchestown

first_imgGigginstown House Stud’s squad of crack novices will give their owners a strong chance of further success at the Punchestown Festival. Gigginstown aim to send a big team that includes several young recruits who are likely to be spread between the Grade One Herald Champion Novice Hurdle over two miles on April 23, the three-mile Grade One Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle on April 24 and the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles on April 26. “The plan is for Un Atout to run and he could go over two or two and a half miles, we’ll keep the options open,” said Gigginstown’s racing manager Eddie O’Leary. “Rule The World ran very well at Cheltenham and it will be two and a half or three miles for him. Don Cossack will hopefully go for the three-mile Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle. Road To Riches may also run if he is OK after Aintree, while Midnight Oil, who won on Monday, could also line up, as could Cops And Robbers.” If underfoot conditions are suitable, soft ground-loving Tofino Bay, trained by Dessie Hughes, will go for the Grade One Growise Champion Novice Chase on April 23 after finishing second in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. The Tony Martin-trained Dedigout is another Gigginstown novice chaser with Punchestown in his sights. “If the ground is right Tofino Bay will run in the Growise Champion Novice Chase and Dedigout is also likely to go there but I’m not sure of his target,” said O’Leary. Gigginstown are also eyeing the meeting’s bumpers, with the Willie Mullins-trained unbeaten Outlander in line for the Grade One Betdaq The Peoples Exchange Champion INH Flat Race on April 24. The Goffs Land Rover Bumper on April 23 is likely to feature the Gordon Elliott-trained Wrath Of Titans and Metaurus, who scored between the flags for Pat Doyle at Rathmorrissey last month. “Hopefully, we will run Outlander in the Grade One and although he looks exciting, we will find out next week, and we plan to run Metaurus and Wrath Of Titans in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper,” said O’Leary. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Assam win 14 medals in 16th National ITF Taekwon-Do Championship

first_imgGUWAHATI: Assam team won 14 medals including 5 gold medals in the recently concluded 16th National ITF Taekwon-Do Championship at Zonal Sports Complex, CTAE College Ground, University Campus, Udaipur, organized by Universal Taekwon-Do Foundation (UTF) affiliated to International Taekwon-Do Federation, Spain.The medal winner are: Gold: Akankhya Bharadwaj, O Pirtamjit Singha, L Gaurav Singha, Mamta Sonowal, Tanishka Dutta; Silver: Monigriv Gogoi, Mehnaz Akhter, Hrishita Das, Manash Pratim Borah; Bronze: Krrish Kashyap Medhi, Deeptangshu Jyoti Dutta, Sibanga Dutta, Pranay Gogoi, Krrish Kashyap.The officials of the team are Dr. Hirak Das (Team Head), Rabijit Rajkumar (Team Manager) and Binod Baishya (Team Coach). This is stated in a release.Also Read: Assam team win 11 medals in 34th National ITF Taekwon-do ChampionshipAlso Watch: State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addresses media LIVE from Janata Bhawan, Guwahatilast_img read more

Indian Premier League Sam Curran takes 18th hat-trick in IPL history, gives Kings XI Punjab unlikely win

first_imgSam Curran became the first England player to take a hat-trick in IPL 2019.Curran became the third Kings XI Punjab player to take a hat-trick in IPL.Curran is the sixth overseas player to take a hat-trick in the IPL.   For all the Latest Sports News News, Indian Premier League News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Laxmipathy Balaji is the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the Indian Premier League, having achieved the feat against Kings XI Punjab for Chennai Super Kings in the 2008 edition of the tournament. Yuvraj Singh became the first bowler to take two hat-tricks in the same edition of the tournament. Playing for Kings XI Punjab in the 2009 IPL in South Africa, Yuvraj took a hat-trick against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers. However, the record for the most hat-tricks in the IPL belongs to legspinner Amit Mishra. Playing for Delhi Daredevils in the 2008 edition, Mishra secured his first hat-trick against the Deccan Chargers. In 2011, playing for the Deccan Chargers, Mishra matched Yuvraj’s feat and took a hat-trick against Kings XI Punjab. Mishra created history while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad when he took a hat-trick against Pune Warriors in the 2012 edition of the IPL, making him the first player to take a hat-trick of hat-tricks. Curran became the third Kings XI Punjab player after Yuvraj and Axar Patel to take a hat-trick. The Gujarat left-arm spinner took three consecutive wickets against Gujarat Lions in the 2016 IPL. Curran is the sixth overseas player and the first England player to take a hat-trick in the IPL. Makhaya Ntini was the first foreign player to take a hat-trick playing for Chennai Super Kings against Kolkata Knight Riders in the first IPL. Sunil Narine, playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, took a hat-trick against Kings XI Punjab in the 2013 IPL while Shane Watson, playing for Rajasthan Royals, achieved the feat against Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2014. Samuel Badree and Andrew Tye took hat-tricks for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions respectively in the 2017 IPL. The unique thing was that the feat was achieved on the same day. Curran’s feat has only enhanced his reputation as one of the most promising youngsters in the game currently. New Delhi: Delhi Capitals were cruising towards victory in the game against Kings XI Punjab at the IS Bindra stadium in Mohali. However, Mohammed Shami picked up two wickets to give Kings XI Punjab some hope. It was Sam Curran, though, who changed the entire complexion of the game. He picked up the wicket of Colin Ingram for 39 and snapped up Harshal Patel (0). When Shami sent back Hanuma Vihari for 2, the collapse was well and truly on for Delhi Capitals. With Curran picking up the wickets of Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane, the 20-year-old England all-rounder picked up the 18th hat-trick in the history of the IPL. Curran became the youngest to take a four-wicket haul in the IPL and his spell of 4/11 helped Kings XI Punjab secure an unlikely 14-run win against Delhi Capitals at Mohali. The defeat of Delhi Capitals led to many social media users trolling the team mercilessly. Some commented that the presence of many South African players in the side resulted in this epic choke. One user went to the extreme to say this was not the first time Delhi had choked because of Punjab, in reference to the stubble burning in Punjab which led to increased pollution levels in Delhi. However, all the attention was on Curran, who had impressed for England in the five-Test series against India in 2018 which England won 4-1.  highlightslast_img read more