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Top headlines you shouldn't miss: Global unity vital to beat Covid-19: Sheikh Mohamed; Swimming pools in Dubai reopen; UAE targets return of 200,000 residency visa holders

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on June 12, 2020 | Last updated on June 12, 2020 at 04.20 pm

A quick look at some of the important headlines that made news over the last 24 hours.

Global cooperation, leadership vital in fight against coronavirus: Sheikh Mohamed

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has stated that "Our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, laid out a pioneering vision for the UAE, grounded in the values of cooperation, human development and sustainability.''

Sheikh Mohamed said that this vision and UAE's role as a globally engaged nation has never been more critical as the international community comes together to confront the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Global cooperation and leadership must take precedence as we work together to recover from the health and economic impact caused by the coronavirus. The challenges society now faces underscores the belief that global investors such as Mubadala Investment Company perform an even more vital role in driving positive change through investing at home and internationally for a sustainable future," said Sheikh Mohamed in his foreword to the Mubadala's 2019 Annual Review.

Dubai reopens swimming pools, resumes water sports; Covid-19 safety guidelines issued

Dubai announced the resumption of water sports activities and reopening of public and private swimming pools on Friday.

Based on the directives of Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Municipality have announced the reopening of swimming pools and water sports activities in the emirate.

Dubai Sports Council has issued a detailed list of conditions, developed in cooperation with relevant authorities, that need to be met by aquatic centres, academies, and swimming pools to resume operations.

Covid-19 impact: UAE may see V- and U-shaped recovery

UAE's economy will probably see a combination of V- and U-shaped recovery following the impact of coronavirus pandemic, Abdullah Al Nuaimi, UAE's Minister for Infrastructure Development, said on Thursday.

"My guess is it would be a combination of V- and U-shaped recovery. This pandemic is a worldwide issue and for the economy to get back (onto the track), the whole world has to recover. Now we have seen recovery in many countries. We also have seen similar things in UAE where more coronavirus cases are recovering and that is a good sign for us," Al Nuaimi said while talking to Bloomberg TV.

As the coronavirus cases in the country are on the decline and some of the key sectors have also been opened to some extent, the UAE Central Bank on Wednesday said it expects economic recovery to begin in the second-half of this year.

UAE targets return of 200,000 residency visa holders

The UAE has launched on Thursday an initiative to allow residency visa holders to return to the country.

The country said it targets the return of approximately 200,000 residency holders, in cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

Earlier, the UAE had approved the returning of 31,000 people between March 25 and June 8.

Khaled Abdullah Belhoul, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said that the next phase will focus on the returning of families.

PIA app to book tickets from UAE to Pakistan, airfares fixed

There is a new policy for issuance of tickets for special repatriation flights to Pakistan from the UAE, the Embassy of Pakistan in Abu Dhabi has said.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has introduced new measures for stranded nationals in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to book tickets in a hassle-free manner.

"People can obtain tickets through authorised travel agents, PIA website www.piac.com.pk and PIA App instead of visiting the embassy or the PIA office," the mission said.

Trump may suspend H-1B, other visas: Report

US President Donald Trump is considering suspending a number of employment visas including the H-1B, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, in view of the massive unemployment in America due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media report.

The proposed suspension could extend into the government's new fiscal year beginning October 1, when many new visas are issued, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, quoting unnamed administration officials.

That could bar any new H-1B holder outside the country from coming to work until the suspension is lifted, though visa holders already in the country are unlikely to be affected, the daily reported.

Coronavirus: Singapore, Japan and Azerbaijan F1 grands prix cancelled for 2020

Formula One's Singapore, Japan and Azerbaijan grands prix were cancelled on Friday over logistical problems caused by the coronavirus, officials said, in a new blow to the disrupted season.

Formula One was thrown into chaos in March when the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix was cancelled hours before practice was to begin, as the virus spread around the world.

With lockdowns being eased in some places, organisers last week unveiled plans to start the season with two races behind closed in Austria in July, followed by six other grands prix in Europe.

Two-thirds of sponsors unsure about 2021 Olympics

Two-thirds of Tokyo 2020's corporate sponsors are undecided on whether to continue supporting the Games now the event has been pushed to 2021, according to a new survey.

In the poll published late Thursday by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, 65 percent of the sponsors surveyed said they had not made up their minds about whether to extend their financial backing for another year.

According to NHK, some companies voiced concerns that their promotional activities around the Games could be curtailed due to crowd-reduction measures imposed against the coronavirus.

Four killed, many injured in Kabul mosque blast during Friday prayers

A blast in a Kabul mosque during Friday prayers killed at least four people and wounded many more, Afghanistan's interior ministry said on Friday.

"Explosives placed inside the Shir Shah-E-Suri Mosque exploded during Friday prayers," said a Ministry of Interior statement, adding that the West Kabul mosque's mullah was among those killed.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Coronavirus may force IPL out of India, chairman says

The Indian Premier League could be moved out of the country if the coronavirus pandemic does not ease in the next two months, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told AFP on Friday.

"Let us first see, we will try to stage it in India and if the situation does not allow then we will certainly look at other options," Patel told AFP on Friday.

"We will see how the situation is in the next month or two and then take a call accordingly," said Patel, adding that options included staging the cash-rich tournament abroad.

Covid-19: India surpasses UK, now 4th worst-hit country

India on Friday became the fourth worst-affected country due to the pandemic as it added around 10,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day and surpassed the UK's tally to record 2,97,535 Covid-19 cases so far.

With a record highest single day spike of 10,956 cases, according to data released by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India tipped UK which has 2,92,860 cases.

A total of 396 people died in the last 24 hours taking the total toll to 8,498, the Health Ministry data said.

For the fourth consecutive day, the number of recoveries (1,47,194) remained higher than the active ones (1,41,842).

Study warns of poverty surge to over 1 billion due to coronavirus

Global poverty is set to rise above 1 billion people once again as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is reducing the income of the world's poorest by $500 million a day, according to new research published Friday.

The research by King's College London and the Australian National University points to poverty increasing dramatically in middle-income developing countries, where millions of people live just above the poverty line.

Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines, are considered to be particularly vulnerable to the pandemic's economic shockwaves with lockdowns severely curtailing activity.

"The pandemic is fast becoming an economic crisis for developing countries," said Andy Sumner, a professor of international development at King's College London and one of the report's co-authors.

Lebanese protesters shut down roadways with fires as currency collapses

Lebanese cut roadways with burning tyres and rubbish bins across Beirut and other cities on Thursday in renewed protests sparked by a rapid fall in the pound currency and mounting economic hardship.

The pound slid to about 5,000 to the dollar on Thursday and has lost 70 per cent of its value since October, when Lebanon descended into a financial crisis seen as the biggest threat to stability since the 1975-90 civil war.

Lebanon is holding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure billions in aid.

A prolonged economic downturn was the major grievance that sparked unprecedented mass protests in October last year against the political class, accused of corruption and incompetence.

Video shows black man pleading 'I can't breathe' during 2019 arrest in US

Police in Oklahoma have released body camera footage showing the 2019 arrest of a man who said "I can't breathe," to which an officer responded "I don't care" just minutes before the suspect became unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The arrest of Derrick Scott, 42, in Oklahoma City was investigated, and the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office found that the officers involved acted appropriately. All officers were cleared of wrongdoing.

The body camera footage of the officers involved was released this week at the demand of Black Lives Matter protesters.

Death toll in migrant ship disaster off Tunisia rises to 50

The death toll from a ship packed with African migrants that sank off the Tunisian coast this week has risen to 50 after Tunisia recovered more bodies on Thursday, a civil protection official said.

On Tuesday 20 bodies were found off Tunisia's Mediterranean coast near Sfax on Tuesday. A total of 53 people had set out on the boat at the weekend aiming to reach Italy.

Last year, 86 African migrants drowned after their boat capsized having set off for Europe from Libya, in one of the worst such accidents in Tunisia.

$10 trillion spent to combat coronavirus pandemic, far more needed: IMF

Governments around the world have spent $10 trillion in fiscal actions to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, but significant further efforts are needed, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said new estimates suggested that up to 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis, and further spending should focus on minimizing job losses and preventing a rise in inequality.


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