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  •  Saudi backed Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Hadi on Friday fired a cabinet minister along with the governor of the southern port city of Aden creating anger among pro secession southern politicians and supporters In a presidential decrees Hadi sacked Maj Gen Aidarous Zubaidi as Aden governor and replaced him by Abdulaziz al Mufleihi Yemen s Minister of State Hani Buraik was also fired and forwarded for investigation Observers said that the decrees targeted the two southern officials who are considered as the most powerful figures in Aden and key UAE allied military commanders According to the observers the standoff and odds between Saudi backed Yemen President Hadi and UAE have just reached boiling point UAE backed Governor of Aden Aidarous Zubaidi held an exception meeting with his team hours after Hadi s decree but no details have been revealed yet Suspected UAE fighter jets hovered early Friday over Aden s airspace and sporadic clashes occurred in Aden Citizens in Aden fear further escalations as a result of Hadi s presidential decree Hadi s decisions to remove UAE loyal Aden governor created anger among leading secessionist leaders and supporters who called for anti Hadi demonstrations in the country s southern regions The southern port city of Aden is the headquarters of Yemen s internationally backed Hadi and his government Aden witnessed several well planned assassinations and armed attacks after Saudi backed forces drove the Shiite Houthi rebels out from the strategic city in July 2015 Yemen has been suffering from a civil war and a Saudi led military intervention for close to two years The civil war began after the Houthi militants with support from forces loyal to the former president ousted the UN backed transitional government and occupied capital Sanaa militarily in September 2014 Report says the legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts while the Houthi Saleh alliance controls the other parts including the capital Sanaa The UN has sponsored peace talks between the warring factions several times but the factions failed to reach common ground According to humanitarian agencies the civil war ground battles and airstrikes have already killed over 10 000 people half of them civilians injured over 35 000 others and displaced over two million Edited by Abiodun Oluleye Sadiya Hamza NAN
    Yemeni president sacks key cabinet minister, governor
     Saudi backed Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Hadi on Friday fired a cabinet minister along with the governor of the southern port city of Aden creating anger among pro secession southern politicians and supporters In a presidential decrees Hadi sacked Maj Gen Aidarous Zubaidi as Aden governor and replaced him by Abdulaziz al Mufleihi Yemen s Minister of State Hani Buraik was also fired and forwarded for investigation Observers said that the decrees targeted the two southern officials who are considered as the most powerful figures in Aden and key UAE allied military commanders According to the observers the standoff and odds between Saudi backed Yemen President Hadi and UAE have just reached boiling point UAE backed Governor of Aden Aidarous Zubaidi held an exception meeting with his team hours after Hadi s decree but no details have been revealed yet Suspected UAE fighter jets hovered early Friday over Aden s airspace and sporadic clashes occurred in Aden Citizens in Aden fear further escalations as a result of Hadi s presidential decree Hadi s decisions to remove UAE loyal Aden governor created anger among leading secessionist leaders and supporters who called for anti Hadi demonstrations in the country s southern regions The southern port city of Aden is the headquarters of Yemen s internationally backed Hadi and his government Aden witnessed several well planned assassinations and armed attacks after Saudi backed forces drove the Shiite Houthi rebels out from the strategic city in July 2015 Yemen has been suffering from a civil war and a Saudi led military intervention for close to two years The civil war began after the Houthi militants with support from forces loyal to the former president ousted the UN backed transitional government and occupied capital Sanaa militarily in September 2014 Report says the legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts while the Houthi Saleh alliance controls the other parts including the capital Sanaa The UN has sponsored peace talks between the warring factions several times but the factions failed to reach common ground According to humanitarian agencies the civil war ground battles and airstrikes have already killed over 10 000 people half of them civilians injured over 35 000 others and displaced over two million Edited by Abiodun Oluleye Sadiya Hamza NAN
    Yemeni president sacks key cabinet minister, governor
    Foreign6 years ago

    Yemeni president sacks key cabinet minister, governor

    Saudi backed Yemeni President Abdu-Rabbu Hadi on Friday fired a cabinet minister along with the governor of the southern port city of Aden, creating anger among pro-secession southern politicians and supporters.

    In a presidential decrees, Hadi sacked Maj.-Gen. Aidarous Zubaidi as Aden governor, and replaced him by Abdulaziz al-Mufleihi.

    Yemen’s Minister of State Hani Buraik was also fired and forwarded for investigation.

    Observers said that the decrees targeted the two southern officials who are considered as the most powerful figures in Aden and key UAE-allied military commanders.

    According to the observers, the standoff and odds between Saudi-backed Yemen President Hadi and UAE have just reached boiling point.

    UAE-backed Governor of Aden Aidarous Zubaidi held an exception meeting with his team hours after Hadi’s decree but no details have been revealed yet.

    Suspected UAE fighter jets hovered early Friday over Aden’s airspace and sporadic clashes occurred in Aden.

    Citizens in Aden fear further escalations as a result of Hadi’s presidential decree.

    Hadi’s decisions to remove UAE-loyal Aden governor created anger among leading secessionist leaders and supporters who called for anti-Hadi demonstrations in the country’s southern regions.

    The southern port city of Aden is the headquarters of Yemen’s internationally-backed Hadi and his government.

    Aden witnessed several well-planned assassinations and armed attacks after Saudi-backed forces drove the Shiite Houthi rebels out from the strategic city in July 2015.

    Yemen has been suffering from a civil war and a Saudi-led military intervention for close to two years.

    The civil war began after the Houthi militants with support from forces loyal to the former president ousted the UN-backed transitional government and occupied capital Sanaa militarily in September 2014.

    Report says the legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts, while the Houthi-Saleh alliance controls the other parts including the capital Sanaa.

    The UN has sponsored peace talks between the warring factions several times, but the factions failed to reach common ground.

    According to humanitarian agencies, the civil war, ground battles and airstrikes have already killed over 10,000 people, half of them civilians, injured over 35,000 others and displaced over two million.  

    Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza
    (NAN)

  •  Brussels prosecutors are investigating a deal between Belgian company Semlex and the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC to supply biometric passports a spokesman for the prosecutors office said on Thursday He said the investigation had started in early 2017 but declined to give any further details A Reuters special report on April 14 showed that 60 dollars of the price of every 185 dollars DRC passport is channeled to a company registered in the United Arab Emirates believed to be owned by a close relative of DRC President Joseph Kabila Brussels based Semlex which has become a leader in providing identity and travel documents for African nations over the past 20 years was not immediately available for comment NAN reports that on Tuesday top opposition leaders in DRC called on the new prime minister to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal the UAE registered company which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila The Congolese presidency Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the story Speaking to reporters in the capital Kinshasa Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair He should start by resolving the problem of the scandal taking place in the republic today the scandal of the passports Tshibala should show his independence by resolving this problem and then we will speak Tshisekedi said Claudel Andre Lubaya an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state Kabila s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud roughly three times the annual budget Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December citing delays organising an election to replace him SH
    Brussels prosecutors to investigate DRC passport deal
     Brussels prosecutors are investigating a deal between Belgian company Semlex and the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC to supply biometric passports a spokesman for the prosecutors office said on Thursday He said the investigation had started in early 2017 but declined to give any further details A Reuters special report on April 14 showed that 60 dollars of the price of every 185 dollars DRC passport is channeled to a company registered in the United Arab Emirates believed to be owned by a close relative of DRC President Joseph Kabila Brussels based Semlex which has become a leader in providing identity and travel documents for African nations over the past 20 years was not immediately available for comment NAN reports that on Tuesday top opposition leaders in DRC called on the new prime minister to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal the UAE registered company which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila The Congolese presidency Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the story Speaking to reporters in the capital Kinshasa Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair He should start by resolving the problem of the scandal taking place in the republic today the scandal of the passports Tshibala should show his independence by resolving this problem and then we will speak Tshisekedi said Claudel Andre Lubaya an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state Kabila s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud roughly three times the annual budget Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December citing delays organising an election to replace him SH
    Brussels prosecutors to investigate DRC passport deal
    Foreign6 years ago

    Brussels prosecutors to investigate DRC passport deal

    Brussels prosecutors are investigating a deal between Belgian company Semlex and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to supply biometric passports, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office said on Thursday.

    He said the investigation had started in early 2017 but declined to give any further details.

    A Reuters special report on April 14, showed that 60 dollars of the price of every 185 dollars DRC passport is channeled to a company registered in the United Arab Emirates, believed to be owned by a close relative of DRC President Joseph Kabila.

    Brussels-based Semlex, which has become a leader in providing identity and travel documents for African nations over the past 20 years, was not immediately available for comment.

    NAN reports that on Tuesday, top opposition leaders in DRC called on the new prime minister to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas.

    According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal, the UAE-registered company, which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued, is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi, believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

    The Congolese presidency, Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the story.

    Speaking to reporters in the capital, Kinshasa, Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair.

    “He should start by resolving the problem of the scandal taking place in the republic today, the scandal of the passports.

    “Tshibala should show his independence by resolving this problem, and then we will speak,” Tshisekedi said

    Claudel Andre Lubaya, an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor, also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter.

    The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo “is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals.”

    A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state.

    Kabila’s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud, roughly three times the annual budget.

    Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December, citing delays organising an election to replace him.

    SH

  •  Top opposition leaders in Democratic Republic of Congo have called Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas Documents reviewed by Reuters of a 2015 deal between Congo s government and a Belgian company called Semlex to produce biometric passports show that most of the 185 dollar price for a new passport goes to Semlex and a small company called LRPS in the United Arab Emirates UAE According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal the UAE registered company which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila The Congolese presidency Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the April 14 story Speaking to reporters in the capital Kinshasa Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair He should start by resolving the problem of the scandal taking place in the republic today the scandal of the passports Tshibala should show his independence by resolving this problem and then we will speak Tshisekedi said Claudel Andre Lubaya an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state Kabila s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud roughly three times the annual budget Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December citing delays organising an election to replace him SH
    Congo opposition calls for investigation into expensive passports
     Top opposition leaders in Democratic Republic of Congo have called Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas Documents reviewed by Reuters of a 2015 deal between Congo s government and a Belgian company called Semlex to produce biometric passports show that most of the 185 dollar price for a new passport goes to Semlex and a small company called LRPS in the United Arab Emirates UAE According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal the UAE registered company which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila The Congolese presidency Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the April 14 story Speaking to reporters in the capital Kinshasa Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair He should start by resolving the problem of the scandal taking place in the republic today the scandal of the passports Tshibala should show his independence by resolving this problem and then we will speak Tshisekedi said Claudel Andre Lubaya an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state Kabila s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud roughly three times the annual budget Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December citing delays organising an election to replace him SH
    Congo opposition calls for investigation into expensive passports
    Foreign6 years ago

    Congo opposition calls for investigation into expensive passports

    Top opposition leaders in Democratic Republic of Congo have called Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas.

    Documents reviewed by Reuters of a 2015 deal between Congo’s government and a Belgian company called Semlex to produce biometric passports show that most of the 185 dollar-price for a new passport goes to Semlex and a small company called “LRPS” in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal, the UAE-registered company, which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued, is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi, believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

    The Congolese presidency, Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the April 14 story.

    Speaking to reporters in the capital, Kinshasa, Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair.

    “He should start by resolving the problem of the scandal taking place in the republic today, the scandal of the passports.

    “Tshibala should show his independence by resolving this problem, and then we will speak,” Tshisekedi said

    Claudel Andre Lubaya, an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor, also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter.

    The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo “is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals.”

    A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state.

    Kabila’s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud, roughly three times the annual budget.

    Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December, citing delays organising an election to replace him.

    SH

  •  Turkey is negotiating with international aviation authorities on easing the conditions of a ban barring passengers from carrying large carry on electronics on U S and Britain bound flights Turkish Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan made this known on during an interview with broadcaster NTV on Friday The U S Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that passengers travelling from specific airports including Istanbul could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets laptops and cameras In a related development the United Arab Emirates one of the world s top aviation hubs has said it was surprised by the ban on laptops in plane cabins bound for the U S because UAE security was already tight but it pledged to cooperate with U S authorities Washington announced the new measure on Tuesday prohibiting electronic devices larger than smart phones in cabins on flights from 10 airports in countries including the UAE Qatar and Turkey That will hit Gulf carriers Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways but not U S airlines none of which fly to those airports The Gulf airlines have been battling a lobbying campaign in Washington by U S carriers that accuse them of receiving unfair subsidies charges that the Gulf carriers deny In the UAE s first official response to the ban Sultan bin Saeed al Mansouri Minister of Economy and chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority said it was surprising because the UAE aviation sector and airports had proven themselves safe The UAE is the number one ranked country worldwide by the International Civil Aviation Organization regarding the UAE s compliance with international security and safety standards he said in a statement late on Thursday Mansouri also noted differences between the U S ban and a similar step by Britain The British restrictions do not include the UAE or Qatar but will affect other carriers including Turkish Airlines However the UAE s statement said its aviation authority and airlines would continue cooperating with authorities in the U S and around the world to ensure safety Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Sadiya Hamza NAN
    Turkey says negotiating with U.S. aviation authorities on electronics ban
     Turkey is negotiating with international aviation authorities on easing the conditions of a ban barring passengers from carrying large carry on electronics on U S and Britain bound flights Turkish Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan made this known on during an interview with broadcaster NTV on Friday The U S Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that passengers travelling from specific airports including Istanbul could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets laptops and cameras In a related development the United Arab Emirates one of the world s top aviation hubs has said it was surprised by the ban on laptops in plane cabins bound for the U S because UAE security was already tight but it pledged to cooperate with U S authorities Washington announced the new measure on Tuesday prohibiting electronic devices larger than smart phones in cabins on flights from 10 airports in countries including the UAE Qatar and Turkey That will hit Gulf carriers Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways but not U S airlines none of which fly to those airports The Gulf airlines have been battling a lobbying campaign in Washington by U S carriers that accuse them of receiving unfair subsidies charges that the Gulf carriers deny In the UAE s first official response to the ban Sultan bin Saeed al Mansouri Minister of Economy and chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority said it was surprising because the UAE aviation sector and airports had proven themselves safe The UAE is the number one ranked country worldwide by the International Civil Aviation Organization regarding the UAE s compliance with international security and safety standards he said in a statement late on Thursday Mansouri also noted differences between the U S ban and a similar step by Britain The British restrictions do not include the UAE or Qatar but will affect other carriers including Turkish Airlines However the UAE s statement said its aviation authority and airlines would continue cooperating with authorities in the U S and around the world to ensure safety Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Sadiya Hamza NAN
    Turkey says negotiating with U.S. aviation authorities on electronics ban
    Foreign6 years ago

    Turkey says negotiating with U.S. aviation authorities on electronics ban

    Turkey is negotiating with international aviation authorities on easing the conditions of a ban barring passengers from carrying large carry-on electronics on U.S. and Britain-bound flights.

    Turkish Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan made this known on during an interview with broadcaster NTV on Friday

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that passengers travelling from specific airports, including Istanbul, could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets, laptops and cameras.

    In a related development, the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s top aviation hubs, has said it was surprised by the ban on laptops in plane cabins bound for the U.S. because UAE security was already tight, but it pledged to cooperate with U.S. authorities.

    Washington announced the new measure on Tuesday, prohibiting electronic devices larger than smart phones in cabins on flights from 10 airports in countries including the UAE, Qatar and Turkey.

    That will hit Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways but not U.S. airlines, none of which fly to those airports.

    The Gulf airlines have been battling a lobbying campaign in Washington by U.S. carriers that accuse them of receiving unfair subsidies, charges that the Gulf carriers deny.

    In the UAE’s first official response to the ban, Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said it was surprising because the UAE aviation sector and airports had proven themselves safe.

    “The UAE is the number one ranked country worldwide by the International Civil Aviation Organization regarding the UAE’s compliance with international security and safety standards,” he said in a statement late on Thursday.

    Mansouri also noted differences between the U.S. ban and a similar step by Britain. The British restrictions do not include the UAE or Qatar, but will affect other carriers including Turkish Airlines.

    However, the UAE’s statement said its aviation authority and airlines would continue cooperating with authorities in the U.S. and around the world to ensure safety.

    Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Sadiya Hamza
    (NAN)

  •  A ban on laptops and other electronic devices in plane cabins bound for the U S from some cities could deal a blow to the big fast growing Gulf airlines a report said on Wednesday It said most of the Gulf airlines depend on business class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far flung destinations The U S announced the new measures on Tuesday and Britain following a suit prompted by reports that militant groups wanted to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets The U S restrictions apply to flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the United Arab Emirates UAE Qatar and Turkey The report said the ban would impact major international carriers including Emirates Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines but not U S based carriers as none of which flew to those airports The British restriction however did not include the UAE or Qatar but would affect Turkish Airlines and UK based carriers including British Airways easyJet and Monarch EasyJet said the UK restriction affected it from Wednesday The restrictions are especially unfortunate for the Gulf carriers since a large proportion of their revenue comes from passengers who change planes at their hubs and have other options that avoid affected airports Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major U S carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies charges the Gulf carriers deny Tim Clark the President of Emirates the world s largest long haul carrier questioned why his airline s hub was on the list To suggest that Dubai doesn t have the equal capabilities or better than the Europeans the Americans and the Asians in terms of search interdiction and surveillance I find amazing he told CNN In an e mail to Reuters he played down the impact on the company s business saying yes this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards but I am optimistic we ll get through this He said the airline was looking at whether passengers could hand in their devices just before boarding so that they could use them until the last possible moment and minimize disruption Business travelers paying top prices for flat beds and other perks may balk at stowing their laptops on long trips According to the Washington DC based Global Business Travel Association GBTA around 49 per cent of business travelers prefer to stay connected and get work done while flying GBTA said that many companies advise staff traveling on business to keep their devices close because they may contain sensitive information The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue It s sending the message that we can t travel on these airlines because we can t do the work so we might choose another airline travel project manager Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor said Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said the restrictions could potentially benefit European carriers This according to him includes British Airways and Iberia parent IAG Air France KLM and Lufthansa which offer alternative routes between the U S and Asia Africa or the Middle East However it is not clear the route networks are there to maximize the benefits of traffic switching Also the ban is another aviation security scare which could have a wider dampening effect on air travel demand he said A day after the new restrictions some rival airlines were already trying to poach business by boasting that they are not affected by the new rules Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Hadiza Mohammed Aliyu NAN
    Ban on devices hit airlines in battle for business travellers
     A ban on laptops and other electronic devices in plane cabins bound for the U S from some cities could deal a blow to the big fast growing Gulf airlines a report said on Wednesday It said most of the Gulf airlines depend on business class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far flung destinations The U S announced the new measures on Tuesday and Britain following a suit prompted by reports that militant groups wanted to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets The U S restrictions apply to flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the United Arab Emirates UAE Qatar and Turkey The report said the ban would impact major international carriers including Emirates Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines but not U S based carriers as none of which flew to those airports The British restriction however did not include the UAE or Qatar but would affect Turkish Airlines and UK based carriers including British Airways easyJet and Monarch EasyJet said the UK restriction affected it from Wednesday The restrictions are especially unfortunate for the Gulf carriers since a large proportion of their revenue comes from passengers who change planes at their hubs and have other options that avoid affected airports Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major U S carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies charges the Gulf carriers deny Tim Clark the President of Emirates the world s largest long haul carrier questioned why his airline s hub was on the list To suggest that Dubai doesn t have the equal capabilities or better than the Europeans the Americans and the Asians in terms of search interdiction and surveillance I find amazing he told CNN In an e mail to Reuters he played down the impact on the company s business saying yes this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards but I am optimistic we ll get through this He said the airline was looking at whether passengers could hand in their devices just before boarding so that they could use them until the last possible moment and minimize disruption Business travelers paying top prices for flat beds and other perks may balk at stowing their laptops on long trips According to the Washington DC based Global Business Travel Association GBTA around 49 per cent of business travelers prefer to stay connected and get work done while flying GBTA said that many companies advise staff traveling on business to keep their devices close because they may contain sensitive information The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue It s sending the message that we can t travel on these airlines because we can t do the work so we might choose another airline travel project manager Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor said Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said the restrictions could potentially benefit European carriers This according to him includes British Airways and Iberia parent IAG Air France KLM and Lufthansa which offer alternative routes between the U S and Asia Africa or the Middle East However it is not clear the route networks are there to maximize the benefits of traffic switching Also the ban is another aviation security scare which could have a wider dampening effect on air travel demand he said A day after the new restrictions some rival airlines were already trying to poach business by boasting that they are not affected by the new rules Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Hadiza Mohammed Aliyu NAN
    Ban on devices hit airlines in battle for business travellers
    Foreign6 years ago

    Ban on devices hit airlines in battle for business travellers

    A ban on laptops and other electronic devices in plane cabins bound for the U.S. from some cities could deal a blow to the big, fast-growing Gulf airlines, a report said on Wednesday.

    It said most of the Gulf airlines depend on business-class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far-flung destinations.

    The U.S. announced the new measures on Tuesday and Britain following a suit prompted by reports that militant groups wanted to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets.

    The U.S. restrictions apply to flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Turkey.

    The report said the ban would impact major international carriers, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, but not U.S.-based carriers, as none of which flew to those airports.

    The British restriction, however, did not include the UAE or Qatar but would affect Turkish Airlines and UK-based carriers, including British Airways, easyJet and Monarch.

    EasyJet said the UK restriction affected it from Wednesday.

    The restrictions are especially unfortunate for the Gulf carriers, since a large proportion of their revenue comes from passengers who change planes at their hubs and have other options that avoid affected airports.

    Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major U.S. carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies, charges the Gulf carriers deny.

    Tim Clark, the President of Emirates, the world’s largest long-haul carrier, questioned why his airline’s hub was on the list.

    “To suggest that Dubai doesn’t have the equal capabilities or better than the Europeans, the Americans and the Asians in terms of search, interdiction and surveillance, I find amazing,” he told CNN.

    In an e-mail to Reuters, he played down the impact on the company’s business, saying “yes, this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards but I am optimistic we’ll get through this.”

    He said the airline was looking at whether passengers could hand in their devices just before boarding, so that they could use them until the last possible moment and minimize disruption.

    Business travelers paying top prices for flat beds and other perks may balk at stowing their laptops on long trips.

    According to the Washington DC-based Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), around 49 per cent of business travelers prefer to stay connected and get work done while flying.

    GBTA said that many companies advise staff traveling on business to keep their devices close because they may contain sensitive information.

    “The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue.

    “It’s sending the message that we can’t travel on these airlines because we can’t do the work, so we might choose another airline,” travel project manager Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor said.

    Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said the restrictions could potentially benefit European carriers.

    This according to him includes British Airways and Iberia parent IAG, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, which offer alternative routes between the U.S. and Asia, Africa or the Middle East.

    “However, it is not clear the route networks are there to maximize the benefits of traffic switching.

    “Also, the ban is another aviation security scare which could have a wider dampening effect on air travel demand,” he said.

    A day after the new restrictions, some rival airlines were already trying to poach business by boasting that they are not affected by the new rules.

    Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
    (NAN)

  •  A ban on laptops and other electronic devices in plane cabins bound for the U S from some cities could deal a blow to the big fast growing Gulf airlines a report said on Wednesday It said most of the Gulf airlines depend on business class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far flung destinations The U S announced the new measures on Tuesday and Britain following a suit prompted by reports that militant groups wanted to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets The U S restrictions apply to flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the United Arab Emirates UAE Qatar and Turkey The report said the ban would impact major international carriers including Emirates Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines but not U S based carriers as none of which flew to those airports The British restriction however did not include the UAE or Qatar but would affect Turkish Airlines and UK based carriers including British Airways easyJet and Monarch EasyJet said the UK restriction affected it from Wednesday The restrictions are especially unfortunate for the Gulf carriers since a large proportion of their revenue comes from passengers who change planes at their hubs and have other options that avoid affected airports Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major U S carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies charges the Gulf carriers deny Tim Clark the President of Emirates the world s largest long haul carrier questioned why his airline s hub was on the list To suggest that Dubai doesn t have the equal capabilities or better than the Europeans the Americans and the Asians in terms of search interdiction and surveillance I find amazing he told CNN In an e mail to Reuters he played down the impact on the company s business saying yes this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards but I am optimistic we ll get through this He said the airline was looking at whether passengers could hand in their devices just before boarding so that they could use them until the last possible moment and minimize disruption Business travelers paying top prices for flat beds and other perks may balk at stowing their laptops on long trips According to the Washington DC based Global Business Travel Association GBTA around 49 per cent of business travelers prefer to stay connected and get work done while flying GBTA said that many companies advise staff traveling on business to keep their devices close because they may contain sensitive information The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue It s sending the message that we can t travel on these airlines because we can t do the work so we might choose another airline travel project manager Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor said Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said the restrictions could potentially benefit European carriers This according to him includes British Airways and Iberia parent IAG Air France KLM and Lufthansa which offer alternative routes between the U S and Asia Africa or the Middle East However it is not clear the route networks are there to maximize the benefits of traffic switching Also the ban is another aviation security scare which could have a wider dampening effect on air travel demand he said A day after the new restrictions some rival airlines were already trying to poach business by boasting that they are not affected by the new rules Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Hadiza Mohammed Aliyu NAN
    Ban on devices hit airlines in battle for business travellers
     A ban on laptops and other electronic devices in plane cabins bound for the U S from some cities could deal a blow to the big fast growing Gulf airlines a report said on Wednesday It said most of the Gulf airlines depend on business class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far flung destinations The U S announced the new measures on Tuesday and Britain following a suit prompted by reports that militant groups wanted to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets The U S restrictions apply to flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the United Arab Emirates UAE Qatar and Turkey The report said the ban would impact major international carriers including Emirates Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines but not U S based carriers as none of which flew to those airports The British restriction however did not include the UAE or Qatar but would affect Turkish Airlines and UK based carriers including British Airways easyJet and Monarch EasyJet said the UK restriction affected it from Wednesday The restrictions are especially unfortunate for the Gulf carriers since a large proportion of their revenue comes from passengers who change planes at their hubs and have other options that avoid affected airports Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major U S carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies charges the Gulf carriers deny Tim Clark the President of Emirates the world s largest long haul carrier questioned why his airline s hub was on the list To suggest that Dubai doesn t have the equal capabilities or better than the Europeans the Americans and the Asians in terms of search interdiction and surveillance I find amazing he told CNN In an e mail to Reuters he played down the impact on the company s business saying yes this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards but I am optimistic we ll get through this He said the airline was looking at whether passengers could hand in their devices just before boarding so that they could use them until the last possible moment and minimize disruption Business travelers paying top prices for flat beds and other perks may balk at stowing their laptops on long trips According to the Washington DC based Global Business Travel Association GBTA around 49 per cent of business travelers prefer to stay connected and get work done while flying GBTA said that many companies advise staff traveling on business to keep their devices close because they may contain sensitive information The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue It s sending the message that we can t travel on these airlines because we can t do the work so we might choose another airline travel project manager Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor said Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said the restrictions could potentially benefit European carriers This according to him includes British Airways and Iberia parent IAG Air France KLM and Lufthansa which offer alternative routes between the U S and Asia Africa or the Middle East However it is not clear the route networks are there to maximize the benefits of traffic switching Also the ban is another aviation security scare which could have a wider dampening effect on air travel demand he said A day after the new restrictions some rival airlines were already trying to poach business by boasting that they are not affected by the new rules Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Hadiza Mohammed Aliyu NAN
    Ban on devices hit airlines in battle for business travellers
    Foreign6 years ago

    Ban on devices hit airlines in battle for business travellers

    A ban on laptops and other electronic devices in plane cabins bound for the U.S. from some cities could deal a blow to the big, fast-growing Gulf airlines, a report said on Wednesday.

    It said most of the Gulf airlines depend on business-class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far-flung destinations.

    The U.S. announced the new measures on Tuesday and Britain following a suit prompted by reports that militant groups wanted to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets.

    The U.S. restrictions apply to flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Turkey.

    The report said the ban would impact major international carriers, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, but not U.S.-based carriers, as none of which flew to those airports.

    The British restriction, however, did not include the UAE or Qatar but would affect Turkish Airlines and UK-based carriers, including British Airways, easyJet and Monarch.

    EasyJet said the UK restriction affected it from Wednesday.

    The restrictions are especially unfortunate for the Gulf carriers, since a large proportion of their revenue comes from passengers who change planes at their hubs and have other options that avoid affected airports.

    Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major U.S. carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies, charges the Gulf carriers deny.

    Tim Clark, the President of Emirates, the world’s largest long-haul carrier, questioned why his airline’s hub was on the list.

    “To suggest that Dubai doesn’t have the equal capabilities or better than the Europeans, the Americans and the Asians in terms of search, interdiction and surveillance, I find amazing,” he told CNN.

    In an e-mail to Reuters, he played down the impact on the company’s business, saying “yes, this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards but I am optimistic we’ll get through this.”

    He said the airline was looking at whether passengers could hand in their devices just before boarding, so that they could use them until the last possible moment and minimize disruption.

    Business travelers paying top prices for flat beds and other perks may balk at stowing their laptops on long trips.

    According to the Washington DC-based Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), around 49 per cent of business travelers prefer to stay connected and get work done while flying.

    GBTA said that many companies advise staff traveling on business to keep their devices close because they may contain sensitive information.

    “The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue.

    “It’s sending the message that we can’t travel on these airlines because we can’t do the work, so we might choose another airline,” travel project manager Nadejda Popova at Euromonitor said.

    Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said the restrictions could potentially benefit European carriers.

    This according to him includes British Airways and Iberia parent IAG, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, which offer alternative routes between the U.S. and Asia, Africa or the Middle East.

    “However, it is not clear the route networks are there to maximize the benefits of traffic switching.

    “Also, the ban is another aviation security scare which could have a wider dampening effect on air travel demand,” he said.

    A day after the new restrictions, some rival airlines were already trying to poach business by boasting that they are not affected by the new rules.

    Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
    (NAN)

  •  Dubai Tourism on Wednesday said its hospitality sector saw a 12 per cent year on year growth in the first two months of 2017 mostly propelled by tourists from China and Russia The government controlled Dubai Tourism authority said it welcomed more than three million visitors nearly four times the rate compared to the previous year Dubai s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Dubai Tourism said China and Russia in particular increased the volumes Dubai Tourism has witnessed a 60 per cent growth due to overnight tourists from China with January alone peaking at a dramatic 102 per cent attracting a total of 157 000 Chinese visitors in just the first two months The United Arab Emirates UAE had exempted Chinese travelers in November 2016 from the visa in advance scheme Since then tourists from China who are particularly attracted to Dubai s warm climate its shopping malls and sightseeing spots get a visa on arrival at Dubai International Airport and at Dubai s second hub Al Maktoum International Airport Report said Russian nationals received similar privileges in February It added that Russian visitors increased by 84 per cent over the same period in 2016 with February recording a massive 140 per cent volume increase bringing it to a total of 65 000 travelers in the first two months Consequently both countries moved up in their rankings as key source markets for inbound tourism to Dubai with China entering the top four for the first time and Russia moving to just outside the top 10 up four places from 15 Ultimately our collective aim is to make it as easy and as seamless as possible for any prospective tourist from our diversified base of source markets to visit and revisit The emirate has progressively improved its China Readiness throughout the city across all aspects of the tourist journey Dubai Helal Almarri Director General of Dubai Tourism said Almarri had earlier in February said the number of visitors from China to Dubai in 2016 stood at 540 000 up by 20 per cent from the previous year Edited by Abiodun Oluleye Ese E Ekama NAN
    Dubai tourism gets a boost following visits by tourists from China and Russia
     Dubai Tourism on Wednesday said its hospitality sector saw a 12 per cent year on year growth in the first two months of 2017 mostly propelled by tourists from China and Russia The government controlled Dubai Tourism authority said it welcomed more than three million visitors nearly four times the rate compared to the previous year Dubai s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Dubai Tourism said China and Russia in particular increased the volumes Dubai Tourism has witnessed a 60 per cent growth due to overnight tourists from China with January alone peaking at a dramatic 102 per cent attracting a total of 157 000 Chinese visitors in just the first two months The United Arab Emirates UAE had exempted Chinese travelers in November 2016 from the visa in advance scheme Since then tourists from China who are particularly attracted to Dubai s warm climate its shopping malls and sightseeing spots get a visa on arrival at Dubai International Airport and at Dubai s second hub Al Maktoum International Airport Report said Russian nationals received similar privileges in February It added that Russian visitors increased by 84 per cent over the same period in 2016 with February recording a massive 140 per cent volume increase bringing it to a total of 65 000 travelers in the first two months Consequently both countries moved up in their rankings as key source markets for inbound tourism to Dubai with China entering the top four for the first time and Russia moving to just outside the top 10 up four places from 15 Ultimately our collective aim is to make it as easy and as seamless as possible for any prospective tourist from our diversified base of source markets to visit and revisit The emirate has progressively improved its China Readiness throughout the city across all aspects of the tourist journey Dubai Helal Almarri Director General of Dubai Tourism said Almarri had earlier in February said the number of visitors from China to Dubai in 2016 stood at 540 000 up by 20 per cent from the previous year Edited by Abiodun Oluleye Ese E Ekama NAN
    Dubai tourism gets a boost following visits by tourists from China and Russia
    Foreign6 years ago

    Dubai tourism gets a boost following visits by tourists from China and Russia

    Dubai Tourism on Wednesday said its hospitality sector saw a 12 per cent year-on-year growth in the first two months of 2017, mostly propelled by tourists from China and Russia.

     

    The government-controlled Dubai Tourism authority said it welcomed more than three million visitors, nearly four times the rate compared to the previous year.

     

    Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) said China and Russia in particular increased the volumes.

     

    Dubai Tourism has witnessed a 60 per cent growth due to overnight tourists from China, with January alone peaking at a dramatic 102 per cent, attracting a total of 157,000 Chinese visitors in just the first two months.

     

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had exempted Chinese travelers in November 2016 from the visa-in-advance scheme.

     

    Since then, tourists from China who are particularly attracted to Dubai’s warm climate, its shopping malls and sightseeing spots, get a visa on arrival at Dubai International Airport and at Dubai’s second hub Al-Maktoum International Airport.

     

    Report said Russian nationals received similar privileges in February.

     

    It added that Russian visitors increased by 84 per cent over the same period in 2016, with February recording a massive 140 per cent volume increase bringing it to a total of 65,000 travelers in the first two months.

     

    Consequently, both countries moved up in their rankings as key source markets for inbound tourism to Dubai with China entering the top four for the first time and Russia moving to just outside the top 10, up four places from 15.

     

    “Ultimately, our collective aim is to make it as easy and as seamless as possible for any prospective tourist from our diversified base of source markets to visit and revisit.

     

    “The emirate has progressively improved its “China Readiness” throughout the city across all aspects of the tourist journey,’’ Dubai Helal Almarri, Director-General of Dubai Tourism said.

     

    Almarri had earlier in February, said the number of visitors from China to Dubai in 2016 stood at 540,000, up by 20 per cent from the previous year.

    Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Ese E. Ekama
    (NAN)

     

  •  The ban on electronic devices in the hand luggage on direct flights from 10 international airports in eight countries of the Middle East and North Africa has triggered confusion and public outrage in the United Arab Emirates UAE a close U S ally in the Gulf Emirati Professor of Political Science Abdulkhaleq Abdulla tweeted Not what you expect from a friendly country The U S bans electronics on flights from MENA airports Israel excluded Shilps C a travel blogger from Dubai tweeted Such ridiculous bans The move sparked also outrage outside the region What s the rationale behind it asked Olivier Guitta the managing director of security consultancy Global Strat Local media reported the U S started on Tuesday banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin luggage on certain flights originating from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa The biggest carrier in the Middle East Emirates Airline from Dubai said in an e mailed statement the directive comes into effect on March 25 and is valid until Oct 14 Emirates added it can confirm that as per the new security directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration electronic devices larger than a cell phone smart phone excluding medical devices cannot be carried in the cabin of the aircraft The new rule which took effect on Tuesday applies to nonstop U S bound flights from 10 international airports in the cities of Cairo in Egypt Amman in Jordan Kuwait City in Kuwait Others are Casablanca in Morocco Doha in Qatar Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia Istanbul in Turkey and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates German daily Die Welt quoted a U S security officer who spoke on the television channel NBC saying the move follows an adaptation of the analysis of threats NAN reports that on March 6 Trump signed a revised executive order barring citizens from Iran Libya Syria Somalia Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days Two federal judges have halted parts of the ban saying it discriminates against Muslims Trump has vowed to appeal up to the Supreme Court if necessary A senior government officials said the he airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day The carriers Royal Jordanian Airlines Egypt Air Turkish Airlines Saudi Arabian Airlines Kuwait Airways KA UL Royal Air Maroc Qatar Airways Emirates and Etihad Airways have until Friday to comply with the new policy which took effect early on Tuesday and will be in place indefinitely The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports officials said Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave the United States The rules do apply to U S citizens traveling on those flights but not to crew members on those foreign carriers Homeland Security will allow passengers to use larger approved medical devices SH
    U.S. ban on electronic devices from Mideast airports sparks confusion,outrage
     The ban on electronic devices in the hand luggage on direct flights from 10 international airports in eight countries of the Middle East and North Africa has triggered confusion and public outrage in the United Arab Emirates UAE a close U S ally in the Gulf Emirati Professor of Political Science Abdulkhaleq Abdulla tweeted Not what you expect from a friendly country The U S bans electronics on flights from MENA airports Israel excluded Shilps C a travel blogger from Dubai tweeted Such ridiculous bans The move sparked also outrage outside the region What s the rationale behind it asked Olivier Guitta the managing director of security consultancy Global Strat Local media reported the U S started on Tuesday banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin luggage on certain flights originating from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa The biggest carrier in the Middle East Emirates Airline from Dubai said in an e mailed statement the directive comes into effect on March 25 and is valid until Oct 14 Emirates added it can confirm that as per the new security directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration electronic devices larger than a cell phone smart phone excluding medical devices cannot be carried in the cabin of the aircraft The new rule which took effect on Tuesday applies to nonstop U S bound flights from 10 international airports in the cities of Cairo in Egypt Amman in Jordan Kuwait City in Kuwait Others are Casablanca in Morocco Doha in Qatar Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia Istanbul in Turkey and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates German daily Die Welt quoted a U S security officer who spoke on the television channel NBC saying the move follows an adaptation of the analysis of threats NAN reports that on March 6 Trump signed a revised executive order barring citizens from Iran Libya Syria Somalia Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days Two federal judges have halted parts of the ban saying it discriminates against Muslims Trump has vowed to appeal up to the Supreme Court if necessary A senior government officials said the he airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day The carriers Royal Jordanian Airlines Egypt Air Turkish Airlines Saudi Arabian Airlines Kuwait Airways KA UL Royal Air Maroc Qatar Airways Emirates and Etihad Airways have until Friday to comply with the new policy which took effect early on Tuesday and will be in place indefinitely The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports officials said Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave the United States The rules do apply to U S citizens traveling on those flights but not to crew members on those foreign carriers Homeland Security will allow passengers to use larger approved medical devices SH
    U.S. ban on electronic devices from Mideast airports sparks confusion,outrage
    Foreign6 years ago

    U.S. ban on electronic devices from Mideast airports sparks confusion,outrage

    The ban on electronic devices in the hand luggage on direct flights from 10 international airports in eight countries of the Middle East and North Africa has triggered confusion and public outrage in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close U.S. ally in the Gulf.

    Emirati Professor of Political Science, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, tweeted “Not what you expect from a friendly country.

    The U.S. bans electronics on flights from MENA airports Israel excluded.” Shilps C., a travel blogger from Dubai, tweeted “Such ridiculous bans!”

    The move sparked also outrage outside the region.

    “What’s the rationale behind it?” asked Olivier Guitta, the managing director of security consultancy Global Strat.

    Local media reported the U. S. started on Tuesday banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin luggage on certain flights originating from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

    The biggest carrier in the Middle East Emirates Airline from Dubai said in an e-mailed statement the directive comes into effect on March 25, and is valid until Oct. 14.

    Emirates added it can confirm that as per the new security directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration, electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone, excluding medical devices, cannot be carried in the cabin of the aircraft.

    The new rule, which took effect on Tuesday, applies to nonstop U.S.-bound flights from 10 international airports in the cities of Cairo in Egypt, Amman in Jordan, Kuwait City in Kuwait.

    Others are Casablanca in Morocco, Doha in Qatar, Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Istanbul in Turkey, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

    German daily Die Welt quoted a U.S. security officer who spoke on the television channel NBC saying the move follows “an adaptation of the analysis of threats.”

    NAN reports that on March 6, Trump signed a revised executive order barring citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days.

    Two federal judges have halted parts of the ban, saying it discriminates against Muslims. Trump has vowed to appeal up to the Supreme Court if necessary.

    A senior government officials said the he airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day.

    The carriers – Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways [KA.UL], Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways, have until Friday to comply with the new policy, which took effect early on Tuesday and will be in place indefinitely.

    The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports, officials said.

    Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave the United States.

    The rules do apply to U.S. citizens traveling on those flights, but not to crew members on those foreign carriers.

    Homeland Security will allow passengers to use larger approved medical devices.

    SH

  •  The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday arrested political activist Ahmed Mansoor on charges of spreading sectarianism and hatred on social media State news agency WAM reported that Mansoor an electrical engineer and poet had used social media to publish false information and rumors as well as promoting a sectarian and hate incited agenda According to the report his posts harmed national unity and social harmony and damaged the country s reputation A trade and tourism hub the UAE is an absolute monarchy which tolerates little public criticism of its ruling system and has prosecuted Mansoor and other pro democracy activists for what it called insulting the country s leaders Mansoor was among five activists convicted of those charges in 2011 amid the Arab Spring protests calling for reform in other Arab states Amnesty International decried his arrest and the rights group s regional director of research Lynn Maalouf called Mansoor a courageous and prominent human rights defender We believe Ahmed Mansoor was detained for the peaceful expression of his conscientiously held beliefs Maalouf added in a statement SH
    UAE arrests prominent activist for incitement: state news
     The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday arrested political activist Ahmed Mansoor on charges of spreading sectarianism and hatred on social media State news agency WAM reported that Mansoor an electrical engineer and poet had used social media to publish false information and rumors as well as promoting a sectarian and hate incited agenda According to the report his posts harmed national unity and social harmony and damaged the country s reputation A trade and tourism hub the UAE is an absolute monarchy which tolerates little public criticism of its ruling system and has prosecuted Mansoor and other pro democracy activists for what it called insulting the country s leaders Mansoor was among five activists convicted of those charges in 2011 amid the Arab Spring protests calling for reform in other Arab states Amnesty International decried his arrest and the rights group s regional director of research Lynn Maalouf called Mansoor a courageous and prominent human rights defender We believe Ahmed Mansoor was detained for the peaceful expression of his conscientiously held beliefs Maalouf added in a statement SH
    UAE arrests prominent activist for incitement: state news
    Foreign6 years ago

    UAE arrests prominent activist for incitement: state news

    The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday arrested political activist Ahmed Mansoor on charges of spreading sectarianism and hatred on social media.

    State news agency WAM reported that Mansoor, an electrical engineer and poet, had used social media “to publish false information and rumors as well as promoting (a) sectarian and hate-incited agenda.”

    According to the report his posts “harmed national unity and social harmony and damaged the country’s reputation”.

    A trade and tourism hub, the UAE is an absolute monarchy which tolerates little public criticism of its ruling system and has prosecuted Mansoor and other pro-democracy activists for what it called insulting the country’s leaders.

    Mansoor was among five activists convicted of those charges in 2011 amid the “Arab Spring” protests calling for reform in other Arab states.

    Amnesty International decried his arrest, and the rights group’s regional director of research Lynn Maalouf called Mansoor “a courageous and prominent human rights defender”.

    “We believe Ahmed Mansoor was detained for the peaceful expression of his conscientiously held beliefs,” Maalouf added in a statement.

    SH

  •  The UN on Monday called for an investigation into an airstrike that targeted a refugee boat off the western coast of Yemen killing 42 people Over 40 lives have been lost in this unwarranted attack on helpless civilians fleeing violence and conflict UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said The boat was struck off Yemen s western Hodeidah province last week while allegedly heading to Sudan with more than 140 migrants on board from Yemen and Somalia The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR condemned the attack and urged warring parties in the region to do everything possible to protect civilians Many questions remain unanswered on the circumstances of this horrific event We call on all parties to the conflict to make proper inquiries to ensure accountability and to prevent this from happening again Grandi said The conflict in Yemen has escalated since March 2015 This was when Saudi Arabia began an air campaign against the mostly Shiite rebels as Saudis fear that rebels will give their regional rival Iran a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula The United Arab Emirates UAE denied targeting the boat and welcomed an independent international investigation into the incident The Gulf country is a member of the Saudi led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels who seized control of the capital Sana a and other parts of Yemen in 2014 The UAE Armed Forces did not target the Somali refugee boat which was travelling from the coast of Yemen to Sudan the report said Citing preliminary investigations into the incident the report said the armed forces clearly recognised the non military nature of the boat which was carrying a large number of civilians However the Houthi rebel forces that controlled most of Hodeidah province was blamed As the situation in Yemen worsens because of the war Yemenis and foreigners are increasingly fleeing the country Yemen hosts more than 255 000 Somali refugees according to the UN In 2016 more than 117 000 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen Yemen is immersed in a humanitarian crisis and is at risk of famine according to the UNHCR Out of the 3 million Yemenis displaced by the conflict 1 million have returned to their homes under precarious conditions and 2 million remain displaced Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Felix Ajide NAN
    UN calls for probe into attack on refugee boat
     The UN on Monday called for an investigation into an airstrike that targeted a refugee boat off the western coast of Yemen killing 42 people Over 40 lives have been lost in this unwarranted attack on helpless civilians fleeing violence and conflict UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said The boat was struck off Yemen s western Hodeidah province last week while allegedly heading to Sudan with more than 140 migrants on board from Yemen and Somalia The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR condemned the attack and urged warring parties in the region to do everything possible to protect civilians Many questions remain unanswered on the circumstances of this horrific event We call on all parties to the conflict to make proper inquiries to ensure accountability and to prevent this from happening again Grandi said The conflict in Yemen has escalated since March 2015 This was when Saudi Arabia began an air campaign against the mostly Shiite rebels as Saudis fear that rebels will give their regional rival Iran a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula The United Arab Emirates UAE denied targeting the boat and welcomed an independent international investigation into the incident The Gulf country is a member of the Saudi led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels who seized control of the capital Sana a and other parts of Yemen in 2014 The UAE Armed Forces did not target the Somali refugee boat which was travelling from the coast of Yemen to Sudan the report said Citing preliminary investigations into the incident the report said the armed forces clearly recognised the non military nature of the boat which was carrying a large number of civilians However the Houthi rebel forces that controlled most of Hodeidah province was blamed As the situation in Yemen worsens because of the war Yemenis and foreigners are increasingly fleeing the country Yemen hosts more than 255 000 Somali refugees according to the UN In 2016 more than 117 000 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen Yemen is immersed in a humanitarian crisis and is at risk of famine according to the UNHCR Out of the 3 million Yemenis displaced by the conflict 1 million have returned to their homes under precarious conditions and 2 million remain displaced Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Felix Ajide NAN
    UN calls for probe into attack on refugee boat
    Foreign6 years ago

    UN calls for probe into attack on refugee boat

    The UN on Monday called for an investigation into an airstrike that targeted a refugee boat off the western coast of Yemen, killing 42 people.

    “Over 40 lives have been lost in this unwarranted attack on helpless civilians fleeing violence and conflict,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.

    The boat was struck off Yemen’s western Hodeidah province last week while allegedly heading to Sudan with more than 140 migrants on board from Yemen and Somalia.

    The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) condemned the attack and urged warring parties in the region to do everything possible to protect civilians.

    “Many questions remain unanswered on the circumstances of this horrific event.

    “We call on all parties to the conflict to make proper inquiries to ensure accountability and to prevent this from happening again,” Grandi said.

    The conflict in Yemen has escalated since March 2015.

    This was when Saudi Arabia began an air campaign against the mostly Shiite rebels, as Saudis fear that rebels will give their regional rival, Iran, a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) denied targeting the boat and welcomed an independent international investigation into the incident.

    The Gulf country is a member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels, who seized control of the capital Sana’a and other parts of Yemen in 2014.

    “The UAE Armed Forces did not target the Somali refugee boat which was travelling from the coast of Yemen to Sudan,” the report said.

    Citing preliminary investigations into the incident, the report said the armed forces “clearly recognised the non-military nature of the boat which was carrying a large number of civilians.”

    However, the Houthi rebel forces that controlled most of Hodeidah province was blamed.

    As the situation in Yemen worsens because of the war, Yemenis and foreigners are increasingly fleeing the country.

    Yemen hosts more than 255,000 Somali refugees, according to the UN.

    In 2016, more than 117,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen.

    Yemen is immersed in a humanitarian crisis and is at risk of famine, according to the UNHCR.

    Out of the 3 million Yemenis displaced by the conflict, 1 million have returned to their homes under precarious conditions and 2 million remain displaced.

    Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Felix Ajide
    (NAN)

     

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