Macron backs Iraq sovereignty on first Baghdad visit

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New aviation information,

communication station launched

TDT | Manama

T

ransportation and Telecom-munications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, in the presence of Housing Minister Bassem bin Yaqoub Al Hamar, launched yesterday Bahrain’s new aviation information radio communication station.

The Transportation Minister said that the station is part of the ministry’s strategic projects to develop civil aviation systems and services in the Kingdom, and raising its efficiency to ensure the provision of air navigation services at the highest levels of quality and safety, with advanced technology and accurate specifi-cations.

“This project enhances the Kingdom’s pioneering role in providing international air nav-igation services, in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation standards, in ad-dition to supporting the safety

of air traffic for aircraft arriving and departing from the airport,” he said.

The Housing Minister added that the station will contribute to developing East Hidd Town housing projects by enabling the ministry to complete the construction of infrastructure networks in the vicinity of the station’s land, thus providing the opportunity for the beneficiar-ies of the city’s housing to start building their units, which will increase the East Hidd City pro-ject completion rate to about 90 per cent.

The project provides a safe and advanced communication environment for about 8,000 aircraft per month, arriving and departing from Bahrain Inter-national Airport, in addition to more than 600,000 aircraft tran-sitting annually through the ter-ritory of Bahrain, which extends over an area of 83,000 square kilometres.

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BAHRAIN

Foreign Minister

condoles with

Indian ambassador

TDT | Manama

F

oreign Affairs Minister Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani paid a visit to the Indian Embassy to offer condolences on the demise of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Foreign Minister extend-ed the deepest condolences and sympathy of His Majesty the King and the government to Ambassador Piyush Srivastava,

and to the Indian government and people on this great loss.

He recalled the tireless con-tributions and efforts made by the late president in serving In-dia, and enhancing the relations between the two countries, as well as his constant eagerness to advance these relations to what meets common interests.

The Foreign Minister signed a book of condolences at the embassy during his visit.

The Foreign Minister speaking with the Indian Ambassador

Macron backs Iraq

‘sovereignty’ on

first Baghdad visit

AFP | Baghdad

F

rench President

Emma-nuel Macron met Iraqi leaders yesterday on his first visit to Baghdad, where he stressed the war-scarred country must assert its “sovereignty” de-spite being caught up in US-Iran tensions.

Coming straight from a two-day trip to crisis-hit Lebanon, Macron is the most prominent world leader to visit Iraq since Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kad-hemi came to power in May.

The trip aims to “launch an initiative alongside the UN to support a process of sovereign-ty,” Macron said on the eve of his Iraq visit.

In Baghdad, he voiced his sup-port for his Iraqi counterpart Barham Saleh to help fight Is-lamic State group sleeper cells and resist foreign interference.

“Iraq has been going through a challenging time for several years, with war and terrorism” as well as “multiple foreign inter-ventions”, Macron said.

“You have a transition to lead,” he added. “France will be by your side so the international commu-nity can help.”

But there were few details on the much-vaunted “sovereignty” initiative. Iraqi officials told AFP

they were not expecting new fi-nancial or military aid.

President Saleh said he looked forward to a longer visit by Ma-cron in 2021, and Al Kadhemi said he hoped France and Europe as a whole could help “restore stability” to the rocky region.

“We do not want to be an arena for confrontations but a zone of stability and moderation,” the Iraqi premier said, adding that France and Iraq would sign

en-ergy agreements in the future and deepen military cooperation.

France has stressed its signs of support for Iraq in recent months.

Top diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was the only minis-ter to accompany Macron from Lebanon to Iraq, had also visited Baghdad in July and urged the leadership there to “dissociate itself from regional tensions”.

Macron last week insisted that “the fight for Iraq’s sovereignty is essential”.

He said Iraqis, who had “suf-fered so much”, deserved op-tions besides domination by regional powers or Islamist ex-tremists.

Macron and Saleh greet each other with an elbow bump during a press conference. AFP

Iraq has been going through a challenging

time for several years, with war, terrorism

and multiple foreign interventions. France

will be by your side so the international

community can help.

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

Flights to, from UAE allowed over Saudi airspace

AP | Dubai

S

audi Arabia announced yes-terday that flights to and from the UAE “from all countries” will now be able to use its airspace—a statement apparently allowing flyovers by Israel following a deal to normalise UAE-Israel relations.

The vaguely worded statement avoided naming Israel direct-ly. However, the announcement came just days after Saudi al-lowed the first direct Israeli com-mercial passenger flight to use its airspace to reach the UAE.

Any direct flight between the two nations would need to use Saudi airspace to be commer-cially viable.

The statement makes no men-tion of Saudi’s rival Iran, nor

Qa-tar, which Saudi is currently boy-cotting. Flights between those countries to the UAE would, in theory, not need to use the king-dom’s airspace.

The official Saudi Press Agen-cy said the move comes in re-sponse to a “request by the UAE” to open routes to and from the country.

Saudi Foreign Minister Fais-al bin Farhan Al Saud wrote on Twitter that the kingdom’s “firm and established position toward the Palestinian cause and people will not change”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benja-min Netanyahu praised the an-nouncement in an online video, signalling it involved his country.

“For years, I have been work-ing to open the skies between

Is-rael and the East,” he said, hailing the “tremendous breakthrough” that Israeli planes can now fly cheaply and quickly from Isra-el to the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Avoiding Saudi airspace would add around four hours to the journey.

Earlier this week, the US pres-ident’s son-in-law and senior ad-visor Jared Kushner flew with a high-level Israeli delegation to the UAE on the first direct com-mercial passenger flight between the two countries.

The flight traversed Saudi air-space, signalling at least acqui-escence for the breakthrough

US-brokered agreement by the

UAE to normalise relations with Israel.

Officials taking part in the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon during yesterday’s launch

Restaurants, cafes

monitoring to be

stepped up

TDT | Manama

M

onitoring campaigns will be stepped up on restaurants and cafés as they begin from today of-fering outdoor dining ser-vices, as part of the second stage of Bahrain’s phased re-opening.

This was revealed last night by Ministry of Indus-try, Commerce and Tour-ism Control and Resources assistant undersecretary Abdulaziz Al Ashraf, who said that the ministry’s in-spection department will be keeping a watchful eye to ensure that all the con-cerned establishments ful-ly adhere to the health and safety requirements issued by authorities, to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Al Ashraf noted that the ministry is working with other relevant bodies to monitor the implementa-tion of these measures.

Zero deaths, 367

new virus cases

TDT | Manama

T

he coronavirus ( COV-ID-19) took zero lives in Bahrain yesterday to keep the number of virus-related casualties in the Kingdom at 190, while 367 new cases were detected out of 9,992 tests conducted.

These included 87 expatri-ate workers, 277 contacts of active cases and three trav-el-related cases. There were also 250 recoveries. The ac-tive cases rose to 2,972 with 34 in critical condition.

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Protecting religious freedom

Interior Minister praises efforts made to ensure Ashura season success

TDT | Manama

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he freedom of practising

religious rituals is protect-ed by the constitution and the law, Interior Minister Gener-al Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said yesterday.

The Interior Minister added that the ministry is dedicated to ensuring that those freedoms are not exploited to break the law or traditions, as it continues to provide the appropriate services for the success of all religious occasions.

The Interior Minister was speaking as he held a virtual meeting yesterday with Jaafari Endowments Council chairman Yousif Saleh Al Saleh.

The meeting—joined by members of General Authority of Hussaini Processions, Heads of Mattams (Community Cen-tres), the Public Security chief and governors—was held on the occasion of the success of Ashura season, which was marked in the midst of precautionary meas-ures to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Interior Minister pointed out that the meeting was in line with the wise approach of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to ensure the safety and comfort of citizens, citing the royal care and support to Ashura season and keenness to mark it in the appropriate way, commensu-rate with its values.

The Interior Minister hailed the efforts of the government, led by His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Sal-man Al Khalifa, and supported by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme

Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, to combat COV-ID-19.

He asserted that the success of Ashura season and the com-mitment to health and safety guidelines reflect public aware-ness and national responsibility. He also hailed the commitment and cooperation of community centres’ heads, as well as that of officials and members of the General Authority of Hussaini Processions. He also thanked the chairman and members of the council for their cooperation.

The Interior Minister ex-pressed thanks and appreci-ation to governors for their efforts, follow-up, and coordi-nation to provide the required services. He also thanked the Public Security chief, officers, commissioned officers, and personnel, especially the

com-munity partnership personnel. He said that this year’s Ashu-ra season had witnessed a com-mitment to religious discourse and social distancing as part of the awareness and sense of national responsibility of the people.

The minister listened to the statements of some community centres’ heads about efforts to ensure the success of Ashura rituals.

Meanwhile, the Jaffari En-dowments Council chairman extended his gratitude to HM

the King for the keynote speech he had delivered marking the end of Ashura season. He also paid tribute to the Interior Min-istry for its efforts to protect security and stability, as well as ensuring the safety of people while marking religious occa-sions.

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

The Interior Ministry is dedicated to

ensuring that religious freedoms are not

exploited to break the law or traditions.

INTERIOR MINISTER GENERAL SHAIKH RASHID BIN ABDULLAH AL KHALIFA

HM the King’s advisor receives

ambassador to Riyadh

TDT | Manama

H

is Majesty the King’s Dip-lomatic Affairs advisor Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa received Bahraini Am-bassador to Saudi Arabia Shaikh Hmood bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

The advisor expressed ap-preciation for the ambassador’s great efforts in implementing the visions of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and his prominent role in strength-ening the deep-rooted historical relations between the two

coun-tries at all levels, wishing him further success.

Shaikh Hmood stressed his keenness to maintain constant communication and coopera-tion in support to the two coun-tries’ achievements and future goals.

HM the King’s advisor with the Bahraini ambassador General Shaikh Rashid during yesterday’s virtual meeting

Protecting environment, Bahraini heritage MoU signed

TDT | Manama

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upreme Council for

Envi-ronment chief executive Dr Mohammed Mubarak bin Dainah and Popular Heritage

Sport Committee head Khalifa Abdullah Al Quood signed a Memorandum of Understand-ing on protectUnderstand-ing the environ-ment and the Bahraini her-itage.

The memo reflects commu-nity partnership between the government and non-govern-ment institutions to boost co-operation in protecting wildlife and the Kingdom’s heritage.

Bin Dainah, left, with Al Quood at the signing

Southern Governor holds virtual Majlis

Community

partnership efforts to

continue to promote

security and social

awareness, take

preventive measures

against COVID-19

TDT | Manama

S

outhern Governor His

Highness Shaikh Khalifa

bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa met yesterday through a vir-tual Majlis with a number of citizens, in the presence of officers and officials from the governorate.

The Southern Governor welcomed the audience, stressing the importance of the virtual Majlis in boosting communication with citizens and reaching out to know their needs, in line with the directives of the wise lead-ership.

He also stressed the gov-ernorate’s keenness to con-tinue the efforts of commu-nity partnership, within the framework of the Interi-or Minister’s directives, to promote security and social awareness and take preven-tive measures to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). He pointed out the governorate’s continuous adoption of a se-ries of initiatives and security programmes, in coordination with all security bodies.

A screenshot of the virtual Majlis taking place

Bahrain’s human rights achievements stressed

TDT | Manama

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ahrain has made important achievements in all fields re-lated to the protection of human rights, including the freedom of opinion and expression and in media and press freedoms, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

These freedoms have received all support, care and attention from His Majesty King Ham-ad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, the For-eign Minister added.

Their belief is that freedom of expression and honest opinions are a fundamental right of all the people and a main pillar in building an advanced, developed and prosperous society, the For-eign Minister stressed during an online workshop on the role of the media and the press and the National Action Plan for Human Rights.

The Foreign Minister stressed the right to privacy, especially since social media has led to the emergence of the so-called “citi-zen journalist”.

These rights are not absolute, but may be subject to some re-strictions, such as the rights or reputation of others, or to protect national security, public order,

public health, or public morals, or to confront hatred and to sup-port and perpetuate the values of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and respect for others, he added.

Freedom of opinion and ex-pression in Bahrain is safeguard-ed by its constitution that guar-antees every person the right to express their opinion without prejudice to the foundations of the Islamic faith and the unity of the people, and in a manner that does not provoke division or sectarianism, the minister said.

The workshop, the second in a series organised by the Foreign Ministry, included Information Affairs Minister Ali bin Moham-med Al Rumaihi, and a number of other officials and media figures.

Cables of condolences sent

TDT | Manama

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hura Council chairman Ali bin Saleh Al Saleh sent a cable of condolences to Indian Speaker of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) Shri Om Birla and Council of States chairman (Rajya Sabha)

Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, on the death of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

Al Saleh extended a similar cable of condolences to Indian Ambassador Piyush Srivastava.

Representatives Council Speak-er Fawzia bint Abdullah Zainal

also sent cables of condolences to Speaker Birla and Naidu, and expressed her sincerest condo-lences, wishing the deceased mer-cy and his family patience and consolation.

The Speaker sent a similar ca-ble to Ambassador Srivastava.

Education Ministry opens first grade registration

TDT | Manama

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egistration is now open for children born in September, 2014, for the first grade in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Those wishing to register their children must visit http:// bit.ly/regseptstud, between Tuesday and Thursday next week, and upload: copies of valid

ID smart cards and passports of the child and their parent/ guardian; a copy of the child’s birth certificate; a card reader to verify the address; and a valid residence permit for expatriates.

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Policeman referred for

military trial

TDT | Manama

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he Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in the Public Prosecu-tion announced that it has re-ferred a policeman for military trial, following abuse and torture claims raised by inmates.

Another policeman and 16 oth-er suspects in relation to similar cases were also interrogated by the unit.

This was confirmed by SIU

president and acting attor-ney-general Mohammed Khalid Al Hazza in a press statement issued yesterday.

Al Hazza said: “During the sec-ond-third of this year, the unit received 10 complaints, which varied between torture and ill-treatment by members of pub-lic security forces, and the unit began its investigative procedures in all of these complaints.”

Explaining further, Al Hazza clarified that the unit has heard the testimonies of 10 complain-ants and four witnesses, while it referred one of the accusers to the coroner for physical screening, and another inmate to a psychia-trist for mental examination.

“With regards to what the unit has accomplished during the same period, it has completed its investigations into one of the

complaints alleging abuse, based on the authority granted to it in accordance with the resolution of its establishment and the instruc-tions of its work.

“The investigations re-sulted in the referral of a member of the Public Se-curity forces to the Military Courts Administration at the Interior Ministry, to be subject to the appropriate disciplinary measures, as he was found guilty of transgression that should not be brought to criminal trial.”

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Investigations resulted in the referral of a member of the Public

Security forces to the Military Courts

Administration, to be subject to the appropriate disciplinary measures, as he was found guilty of

transgression.

ACTING ATTORNEY-GENERAL MOHAMMED KHALID AL HAZZA

Woman gets 15

years’ jail for

human trafficking

TDT | Manama

T

he Fourth High Criminal

Court sentenced a Thai woman to 15 years in jail and deportation after finding her guilty of human trafficking.

According to investigations, the defendant forced a fellow Thai woman to practise prosti-tution for around four months, from August to November of 2019.

She recruited the victim by promising a waitressing job with good pay at reputed hotels and night clubs here.

Court files showed that the defendant sent the victim a flight ticket, after completing all formalities for a visit visa to Bahrain, with the assistance of a local documents clearance office.

Horrific Ordeal!

The victim spoke before the court about her ordeal, stating that she was shocked upon her

arrival to Bahrain to know that she will be working in the flesh trade, hopping from one night-club to another to search for customers.

The woman said she was forced to have sex with an av-erage of three customers from different nationalities in a day, and explained that she was forced to offer sex for a short period in return of BD20, while the defendant would collect

BD60 from the customer for a full night of service.

The woman told the judges that she escaped one night with the assistance of a customer, who she said was having dif-ficulties communicating with her.

She said she used translation software to convey to him that she was trapped and forced to practise prostitution.

According to her statements, the customer booked a cab and took the woman to the nearest police station and reported the

matter.

An investigation led to the identification and arrest of the defendant, who was referred to the Public Prosecution for interrogation.

The prosecution charged the defendant with human traffick-ing by restraintraffick-ing the freedom of the victim and forcing her into vice.

The victim was forced

to offer sex for a short

period in return of

BD20, while the

defend-ant would collect BD60

from a customer for a

full night’s service

DON’T MISS IT

Three jailed for assaulting

on-duty security guards

TDT | Manama

T

he First High Criminal Court ordered yesterday to jail three Bangladeshi men to three months and to deport them once they complete serv-ing their sentences.

The three street vendors were seen in footage that went viral in July while assaulting two Bahraini security guards who were employed by the municipality to combat illegal street trade in the capital.

This was confirmed yester-day by Chief Prosecutor

Ad-nan Fakhro, who explained that the three defendants were convicted of assault.

“A video circulated on so-cial media networks was de-tected by the Public Prose-cution,” Fakhro said. “The footage showed a group of Asian individuals assaulting on-duty security guards, who were assigned by the Capital Municipality to report street vendors.”

He added: “Intensified in-vestigations led to the arrest of the suspects and they were interrogated, in accordance

to the results of the investi-gation. The prosecution or-dered to remand the suspects pending further investigation, before charging them with as-sault.

“They were referred to the concerned court, which an-nounced its aforementioned verdict.”

As reported earlier by TDT, the incident occurred on July 4 in Central Manama. The matter stirred public outrage when a video uploaded online showed a group of Bangla-deshi men beating the men in uniform and chasing them down alleys.

Both guards were seen in the beginning of the video in what seemed to be an argu-ment with the group at the entrance of a building. The quarrel quickly turned phys-ical, with both guards being shoved around and yelled at.

One of the guards dispersed part of the crowd after he waved a knife at them and threatened them.

Seconds after he put the knife back in his pocket, sev-eral men suddenly approached him and beat him using wood-en boxes.

More men began hitting both guards and they were seen chasing them down an alley.

A screenshot of the video showing a man hitting one of the guards with a wooden box

Four men jailed for

robbing petrol station

Court sentences

first, second, third

defendants to seven

years behind bars,

fourth defendant

gets five years’ jail

TDT | Manama

T

he Fourth High

Crimi-nal Court punished four Bahraini men with imprison-ment after finding them guilty of mugging a petrol station worker.

The four defendants, aged between 20 and 21, are said to have stolen around BD3,000 from the victim in the Salm-abad area on June 4 earlier this year.

The court sentenced the first, second and third de-fendants to seven years

be-hind bars, while the fourth defendant got five years in jail.

According to the victim’s statements, the attack oc-curred late at night, when the defendants stormed into the office at the petrol station and threatened him using a knife.

The defendants reportedly stabbed the worker in the leg, snatched his handbag, and fled the scene with the money.

The men were arrested by the Northern Governorate Po-lice Directorate within four hours after the incident took place, and they were referred to the Public Prosecution for interrogation.

T h e r e , t h e y a l l c o n -fessed to their crime and informed interrogators that they planned the attack, as one of the them is a former employee at the same station and knows where the money is kept.

Man loses final plea in Tubli

firearms warehouse case

TDT | Manama

T

he Court of Cassation yesterday rejected the fi-nal appeal of a Bahraini man who was previously convict-ed, among others, of storing and possessing firearms in Tubli.

The man was earlier sen-tenced by a first degree court to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The details of the case show that the appellant was in-volved with others in storing rifles, guns and ammunition inside a farm in the village, with the intent of using it in carrying out attacks against Public Security forces.

According to the Public Prosecution’s report, the warehouse was discovered in 2013, and it consisted of five Kalashnikov rifles, more than 3,400 assorted bullets, five sound suppressors (gun silencers) and five handguns. Other materials used in ri-oting and carrying out terror-ist attacks against policemen were also found in the farm.

It was further revealed that the owner of the farm was involved, by leasing it to his brothers who subleased it to the defendants, while acknowledging their intent to use it as a warehouse for firearms and ammunition.

Civil Defence launches

labour camp safety drive

TDT | Manama

A

s part of its strategy to raise awareness, the Gen-eral Directorate of Civil De-fence has launched a labour camp safety campaign.

This is being conducted in

all governorates, and it aims to encourage labourers who live in shared accommodation to follow safety instructions.

The campaign includes visits to the camps and distribution of awareness publications in different languages.

Civil Defence officers inspect gas cylinder connections at a labour camp

Legal steps taken against agency

TDT | Manama

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egal steps have been taken against an unlicensed re-cruitment agency for domestic workers, the Ministry of Inte-rior announced yesterday.

The ministry said that the Criminal Investigation and Fo-rensic Science director-gener-al had reported the case, which

is being pursued in coopera-tion with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority.

A number of female work-ers who were employed by the organisation through an hours-based system have been arrested, having been found in violation of local laws.

No other details were re-leased.

Eighteen arrested for

indecency incitement

The 18 individuals,

who included 13

women, were Arabs,

Asians and Europeans

aged between 23 and 40

TDT | Manama

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ighteen people have been arrested for indecency in-citement, the Ministry of Interior has reported.

The ministry said that the

Criminal Investigation and Fo-rensic Science director-general announced the apprehension of the individuals, who included Arabs, Asians and Europeans, aged between 23 and 40 years old.

Thirteen of them were wom-en.

The director-general said that an investigation into received in-formation led to identifying and arresting the suspects.

Legal proceedings are being tak-en to refer the case to the Public Prosecution, the ministry added.

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Bahraini women’s patriotic, leadership roles hailed

TDT | Manama

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our Shura Council members have highlighted how Bah-raini women have established their national and leadership roles in achieving growth and prosperity in the Kingdom and strengthened diplomatic action, based on their sense of patriotic responsibility and their eagerness to contribute to progress and de-velopment in various fields.

The parliamentarians said that such accomplishments were made possible thanks to the tre-mendous support extended by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ebrahim Al Khali-fa, wife of His Majesty the King and Supreme Council for Women (SCW) president.

The Shura members partici-pated yesterday in a webinar on “Power Parity: Getting to a New Normal in Political Representa-tion”, organised by Women

Po-litical Leaders (WPL) and Women 20 (W20).

The webinar was the first in a

short series of virtual gatherings of eminent political and corpo-rate leaders, who are strong advo-cates of inclusive decision-mak-ing processes and the economic empowerment of women.

The high-level panel discus-sion highlighted the exemplary role female political leaders and health and social workers have played amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how this could translate to more pos-itive perceptions of women in leadership.

It was also an opportunity to cultivate a “new normal”, in which inclusive decision-making pro-cesses become the rule for politi-cal and diplomatic representation. Participating in the webinar were Dr Ebtesam Mohammed Saleh Al Dalal, Dr Jehad Abdullah Al Fadhel, Dr Fatima Abduljabbar Al Kooheji and Mona Yousif Al-moayyed, alongside Shura Coun-cil deputy secretary general for relations, media and research and Equal Opportunity Committee chair Dr Fawzia Al Jeeb.

04

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Empowering women

Bahraini Women’s

Day 2020 to celebrate

women in the

diplomatic field

Repatriation efforts

brought home 6,000

citizens by Eid Al Fitr

TDT | Manama

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ahraini women have been

able to give ample evidence that they are not only part-ners in success stories, but also often the ones behind them, For-eign Affairs Ministry undersecre-tary Dr Shaikha Rana bint Isa bin Duaij Al Khalifa has said.

The first undersecretary of a foreign ministry in the region not-ed that the percentage of Bah-raini women diplomats in the Kingdom’s embassies abroad has increased in recent years, which is strong evidence of the progress of national efforts in the field of women’s empowerment.

She added that the diplomatic accomplishments and the suc-cess of Bahrain’s foreign policy are national collective achieve-ments that embody the vision of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and highlighted that Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of HM the King and Supreme Council for Women president, is the lead supporter of women diplomats.

“The tremendous support from

HM King Hamad, HRH the Prime

Minister Prince Khalifa bin Sal-man Al Khalifa, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, and HRH Prin-cess Sabeeka has led women to take up various leadership, diplo-matic and decision-making posi-tions, and to widen their horizons to play their role as partners with men in building the Bahrain that everyone aspires to see,” Dr Shai-kha Rana said during a Bahrain Radio interview.

With regards to the celebration of “Women in the Diplomatic Field” as a theme for Bahraini Women’s Day, Dr Shaikha Rana said the aim is to highlight suc-cess stories and their impact on the course of women’s work in the diplomatic field.

“Bahraini Women’s Day 2020 will shed light on Bahraini wom-en working in the diplomatic corps and families of diplomats,” she said.

Safety and security

Meanwhile, Dr Shaikha Rana stressed that Bahraini citizens’ safety and security are among the Foreign Ministry’s top priorities.

“Bahrain today has become a model and an example of a glob-ally open and civilised state that respects pluralism and that is tol-erant of all people and is open to others,” she said. “Bahrain’s lead-ers and citizens invariably lean towards peace, so diplomacy is a means to achieve a lasting peace.”

The ministry has always been keen to provide security, care and attention to all Bahraini cit-izens wherever they are, and to ensure that their interests are well served, she added.

“The ministry has regular-ly endeavoured to devote all efforts to safeguard citizens’ rights and interests, to take care of them and to preserve their safety in Bahrain and abroad, through the Kingdom’s diplo-matic missions in various

coun-tries,” she said.

Regarding the role of the Foreign Ministry in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pan-demic, Dr Shaikha Rana said that since the end of 2019, the world has witnessed the spread of the disease, which prompted the ministry to form a commit-tee to follow up on the status of citizens abroad and prepare for their safe repatriation, in coop-eration with the National Task-force for Combatting COVID-19. “We have been in constant contact with the diplomatic missions and consulates of the Kingdom abroad in order to fol-low up on citizens’ status and their needs, especially since several citizens faced some difficulties in countries that imposed curfews as well as a shortage of supplies,” she not-ed. “Yet, thanks to the exerted efforts, we were able by Eid Al Fitr to repatriate 6,000 Bah-raini citizens.”

HM the King’s statements

on Saudi Arabia hailed

TDT | Manama

I

nformation Affairs Minis-ter Ali bin Mohammed Al Rumaihi has stressed that the stances expressed by His Maj-esty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, while receiving the US

President’s senior advisor Jared Kushner, reflect the feelings of every genuine Bahrain and Arab citizen towards Saudi Arabia.

Addressing Saudi Press Agen-cy (SPA), the Information Minis-ter affirmed that HM the King’s statements that “GCC solidarity and stability depend, on all is-sues, on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud”, and that “[Bahrain] stands with Saudi through thick and thin in order to achieve stability and

prosper-ity in the region”, emanate from a wise leader and translate the feelings of Bahraini and Arab citizens towards the leading role Saudi plays in safeguarding regional security and stability.

The Information Minister highlighted the shared keen-ness of HM King Hamad and King Salman to develop bilat-eral relations and complemen-tarity across various fields and sectors.

He emphasised that the dis-tinguished, long-standing re-lations between the two King-doms are an international role model for joint ties, as they are based on fraternity, solidari-ty, complementarity and joint keenness, to achieve good and for the prosperity of the re-gion’s countries and peoples.

The Information Minister stressed that Saudi has prov-en, throughout its long history, that it is the symbol of justice and wisdom, as well as the first defender of the causes of Arab and Islamic nations.

“Therefore, standing by sis-terly Saudi Arabia through thick and thin is in fact backing the right positions, supporting good and defeating evil; and these are the foundations on which relations between the two Kingdoms have been built throughout history,” the Infor-mation Minister said.

Al Rumaihi

Women have taken up

various leadership,

diplomatic and

decision-making positions, and

widened their horizons to

play their role as partners

with men in building the

Bahrain that everyone

aspires to see.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY DR SHAIKHA RANA BINT ISA BIN DUAIJ AL KHALIFA

Dr Shaikha Rana during her radio interview

Almoayyed

Dr Al Dalal

Dr Al Kooheji Dr Al Fadhel

Royal Court Minister

congratulates SCIA president

TDT | Manama

R

oyal Court Minister Shai-kh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has congratulated Su-preme Council for Islamic Af-fairs (SCIA) president Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa on be-coming a member of the Muslim Council of Elders.

Earlier this week, Muslim Council of Elders chairman Grand Imam Sheikh Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, Sheikh of Al Azhar, issued an edict appointing Shaikh Abdulrahman as coun-cil member, in recognition of his long-standing efforts and the SCIA’s pioneering role in the Kingdom.

In his congratulatory cable, the Royal Court Minister said that the edict is a top honour for SCIA President for his long experience in Islamic work,

and affirms the SCIA’s major role in Bahrain and efforts to consolidate unity among Mus-lims.

The Royal Court Minister wished the SCIA president fur-ther success, stressing that he deserves to raise the Kingdom’s banners at such a distinguished Islamic institution.

Shaikh Khalid

Citizen, 22, killed in car accident

TDT | Manama

A

22-year-old citizen was killed following a horrific car accident along Arad High-way.

This was reported yesterday by the Ministry of Interior on

social media.

The victim’s vehicle is be-lieved to have hit a road barrier in the incident. No other in-formation was made available. The competent authorities conducted their procedures at the site, the ministry said.

The victim’s car after the accident. Picture courtesy Al Ayam

Saar Interchange lane closures for maintenance work

Lane closure for

southbound traffic to

be effective from 11pm

tonight to 5am Sunday

TDT | Manama

M

aintenance work will be

carried out this weekend on expansion joints at Saar In-terchange on Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway.

This was announced yester-day by the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Ur-ban Planning.

The Works Ministry said that the maintenance will n e c e s s i t a t e t h e c l o s u r e of one lane and two lanes in stages.

This will be done for south-bound traffic, it added.

The closure will be effective from tonight at 11pm. Work is scheduled to continue until Sunday at 5am.

(5)

KNOW BETTER

05

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

BisB, FinTech Bay launch digital marketing challenge

TDT | Manama

B

ahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) announced its collaboration with Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) to launch a programme “Digital Marketing – Tech Minds of To-morrow”.

The move aims at providing local talent and startups with the opportunity to develop a unique future-forward digital marketing tech programme for the Bank’s Marketing division.

As part of the programme, teams of professional market-eers, web and software devel-opers, as well as computer pro-grammers will be challenged to create the ultimate Marketing Automation platform for social

media. The platform will com-bine the power of automated processes, from campaign man-agement, digital platform ana-lytics and social media listening tools, to scheduling, reporting and publishing, with a built-in approval process.

The platform will also offer customers a seamless, efficient and personalized digital expe-rience.

Chief Executive Officer of BisB, Hassan Jarrar, said, “This initiative is a reflection of our brand ethos, going beyond our product offerings by reaching our customers and fulfilling their banking needs.”

Chief Executive Officer of

Bahrain FinTech Bay, Khalid Dannish, said: “Focusing on user experience and harnessing emerging technologies such as

AI will increase personalization and customer engagement, pro-viding more robust digital bank-ing experiences.”

To enter the programme

Participants must be either Bahraini Nationals

or residents, between the ages of 25 and 40.

The teams must have an extensive

understanding of key marketing automation tools.

The participating teams should consist

of a minimum of 2-5 members and must

submit a fully developed business plan

or proposal outlining the solution.

They must also have the ability to implement

the proposal by developing the software with

the help of programmers and developers.

Hassan Jarrar, Chief Executive Officer

of Bahrain Islamic Bank Khalid Dannish, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay

India bans 118

Chinese apps

AFP News

I

ndia yesterday banned 118 more Chinese apps as the backlash intensified against Beijing over an in-creasingly bitter border showdown between the gi-ant neighbours.

The government said the apps -- including the pop-ular video game PUBG and other services provided by Chinese internet giant Ten-cent -- promoted activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, de-fence of India, security of state and public order”.

India had already banned 59 Chinese apps -- including the video-sharing platform TikTok -- after the June bat-tle. Another 47 were added in July. The PUBG mobile app has millions of young users in India. The company said it had been made aware of the government action but had no comment.

PUBG was developed by a South Korean company, but the mobile version that has taken off around the world was developed by Tencent.

Chinese selfies banned

Other apps targeted by India include games, online payment services, dating sites and even software to edit selfies.

The IT ministry accused the apps of stealing user data and moving it abroad.

The “mining and profiling by elements hostile to na-tional security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sover-eignty and integrity of In-dia, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures”, it said.

On top of banning the apps, India has frozen Chi-nese companies out of con-tracts including for its 5G mobile phone infrastructure and blocked Chinese goods at ports and customs posts.

Picture courtesy of reuters

Australia enters first recession

in almost three decades

The economy

shrank 7 per cent in

the second quarter

The widely expected

result is in line with

earlier government

predictions

AFP, France 24

A

ustralia has entered its

first recession since 1991 after the economy shrank 7 per cent in the second quarter, official figures showed Wednesday, as the country reels from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said it was the fastest quarterly contraction on record and ends a three-decade run of economic growth that was undented even by the global financial crisis.

The bureau’s head of national accounts, Michael Smedes, said the pandemic and containment efforts were to blame for the “unprecedented” drop that ex-ceeded previous records “by a

wide margin”.

Australia’s economy shrank 0.3 pc in the previous three months.

The widely expected result is in line with earlier government predictions that gross domestic product would contract seven percent in April-June.

“The June quarter saw a sig-nificant contraction in house-hold spending on services as households altered their behav-iour and restrictions were put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” Smedes said.

Hours worked fell almost 10pc while cash payments of so-cial benefits rose more than 40 pc, both records for the country.

Trade also took a hit during the quarter, with imports of

goods down 2.4 pc and exports of services dropping 18.4 pc, the bureau’s figures showed.

The government has stumped up tens of billions of dollars to fight the economic fallout from pandemic.  Australia’s forced shutdown earlier in the year crippled the economy and a cur-rent lockdown of five million people in Melbourne has com-pounded its problems.

The country was already reel-ing from a prolonged drought and massive bushfires that had rattled the economy before the disease struck.

Australia has now confirmed almost 26,000 cases of Covid-19 and 663 deaths from the virus, the vast majority in Melbourne and its surrounds since July.

The government in July pre-dicted a return to growth in the third quarter as virus restric-tions eased. But the closure of non-essential businesses in Melbourne, the country’s sec-ond-biggest city, could stifle the recovery.

Authorities expect national unemployment to peak at 9.3 percent in December and the budget deficit to blow out to al-most a tenth of GDP by mid-2021.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said it was the fastest quarterly contraction on record

A recession is defined

as two consecutive

quarters of

contrac-tion.

Saudi leads Gulf gains; Egypt eases

Saudi index was

supported by oil

giant Aramco and

Al Rajhi Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank

(FAB) was up 0.5pc

Qatar index lost 0.4pc

Reuters

S

audi Arabian shares end-ed higher yesterday, out-performing other Gulf peers, buoyed by gains in banking shares, while Egypt’s blue-chip index extended losses.

The kingdom’s benchmark index advanced 1.5 per cent, boosted by a 2.1pc gain in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 1.7pc rise in Al Rajhi Bank.

In August, the total value of shares traded on the Saudi stock

exchange (Tadawul) amounted to 150.41 billion riyals ($40.10 billion), a 35.02pc increase com-pared to the previous month.

The biggest gainer on the benchmark index was Emaar The Economic City, up 9.9pc, extending gains to a second straight session.

On Tuesday, the developer en-tered a subscription agreement with Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s main sov-ereign wealth fund. The

com-pletion of the deal is subject to several conditions.

Dubai’s main share index add-ed 0.3pc, helpadd-ed by a 1.4pc rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.3pc increase in Emirates Integrated Tele-communications.

In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.5pc, with telecoms firm Etis-alat rising 0.9pc and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) was up 0.5pc.

FAB, the United Arab Emir-ates’ largest lender, said on Tuesday it would open discus-sions with Israel lenders Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi, af-ter the signing of a memoran-dum of understanding between the UAE central bank and the Israeli prime minister’s office.

The Qatari index lost 0.4pc, pressured by a 1.5pc fall in Qatar Fuel Company.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index slipped 0.2pc, hurt by a 0.8pc decline in top lender Commercial Internation-al Bank.

Picture courtesy of Nasdaq/Reuters

Closing Bell

SAUDI  1.5pc to 8,013 pts ABU DHABI  0.5pc to 4,547 pts DUBAI  0.3pc to 2,260 pts QATAR  0.4pc to 9,812 pts EGYPT  0.2pc to 11,214 pts BAHRAIN  0.5pc to 1,398 pts OMAN 0.3pc to 3,769 pts KUWAIT 0.3pc at 5,874 pts

Intel launches new

laptop chips

Reuters

I

ntel Corp yesterday un-veiled ‘Tiger Lake’, the 11th generation version of its flagship chip for laptops.

US to cut $100

million in aid to

Ethiopia

Reuters | Washington

T

he United States had

decided to cut $100 million in aid to Ethiopia amid a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over a megadam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile.

“State has decided to cut assistance” due to Ethio-pia’s position on GERD ne-gotiations, a source said via email. “Up to $100M or so will be affected, of which $26M is funding that ex-pires at the end of the (fi-nancial year),” the email said.

Ethiopia says the $4 billion dam will generate electricity and help lift its population of 109 m people out of poverty.

The dam, when finished, will have an installed ca-pacity of 6,450 megawatts - more than doubling Ethio-pia’s existing capacity - and is the centerpiece of the country’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power ex-porter.

United Airlines to

cut 16,370 jobs

Reuters | Chicago

U

nited Airlines said yes-terday it is preparing to furlough 16,370 workers on Oct. 1 as the coronavi-rus pandemic continues to devastate the airline industry.

Chicago-based United had over 90,000 employ-ees before the pandemic brought the industry to a near standstill in March and had warned in July that 36,000 jobs were at risk of involuntary fur-loughs as demand remains weak.

It reduced the final num-ber of forced cuts thanks to demand for voluntary departures or temporary leaves.

(6)

Classifieds

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

06

(7)

Beijing pillories Pentagon report on military ambitions

AFP News

C

hina yesterday condemned

a Pentagon report for claim-ing Beijclaim-ing wants to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads within a decade as it seeks to deter the United States from any intervention linked to Taiwan.

The Pentagon’s annual study on China’s military power is-sued Tuesday said it has already matched or outstripped the US

military in several areas of de-fence.

It added that the People’s Lib-eration Army aims to be ready to win any conflict with the US

over self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its ter-ritory.

China’s defence minis-try called the report “utterly wrong” and a misinterpretation

of Beijing’s “defence policy and military strategy”.

The report “defamed China’s military modernisation, defence expenditure, nuclear policy and other issues”, the ministry said in a statement.

Beijing said the report was the

latest example of US scaremon-gering to justify its own mili-tary spending -- the highest in the world.

“China has always pursued a defensive national defence policy and everyone knows that China is a builder of world

peace,” foreign ministry spokes-woman Hua Chunying told re-porters on Wednesday.

The Pentagon report said Chi-na is determined to project its power eastward into the Pacific beyond Taiwan and to squeeze the United States out of the re-gion.

07

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020 18,288,660

26,031,651

863,566

18,288,660

Deaths

Recovered:

New cases

New deaths

+139,600

+3,242

Covid-19 Cases:

Country Total

cases new cases Total deaths New Deaths Total recovered Active cases Serious, Critical Tot cases/1m pop

Egypt 99,115 5,440 73,828 19,847 41 966 Saudi Arabia 317,486 +816 3,956 +27 292,510 21,020 1,523 9,096 UAE 71,540 +735 387 +3 62,029 9,124 7,219 Kuwait 86,478 +667 535 +1 78,209 7,734 92 20,200 Oman 85,928 689 81,024 4,215 154 16,758 Qatar 118,994 198 115,895 2,901 65 42,380

Middle East

Country Total cases new cases Total

deaths New Deaths 1 USA 6,269,800 +12,229 189,251 +351 2 Brazil 3,961,502 +8,712 122,941 +260 3 India 3,823,449 +57,341 67,155 +695 4 Russia 1,005,000 +4,952 17,414 +115 5 Peru 657,129 29,068 6 South Africa 628,259 14,263 7 Colombia 624,069 20,052 8 Mexico 606,036 +6,476 65,241 +827 9 Spain 479,554 +8,581 29,194 +42 10 Argentina 428,239 8,971 +52 11 Chile 414,739 +1,594 11,344 +23 12 Iran 378,752 +1,858 21,797 +125 13 UK 338,676 +1,508 41,514 +10 14 Bangladesh 317,528 +2,582 4,351 +35

G l o b a l

C o u n t r i e s w o r s t a f f e c t e d

Figures as of closing

News in brief

u More than 600 Islamic school students in Indonesia have tested positive for the coronavirus, a health ministry official said, marking the latest outbreak as classrooms reopen across the country. The Darussalam Blokagung boarding school in East

Java’s Banyuwangi regency has initiated a two-week quarantine of some 6,000 students after at least 664 pupils were infected. Most of the cases involved mild or no symptoms but the local police and the military have blocked access to the school.

u There is no sign North Korea reprocessed spent fuel from its main nuclear reactor into plutonium in the past year, but it seems to have continued to enrich uranium,

the other potential fuel for atom bombs, the U.N. atomic watchdog said.The International Atomic Energy Agency has not had access to North Korea since the secretive communist state expelled its inspectors in 2009. Pyongyang pressed ahead with its nuclear weapons programme and soon resumed nuclear testing. Its last detonation of a nuclear weapon was in 2017.

u Fourteen people accused of helping jihadist gunmen storm the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket went on

trial Wednesday, five years after three days of terror sent shock waves through France. Hearings began under heavy security as eleven

of the suspects appeared in the courtroom,

facing charges of conspiracy in a terrorist act or association with a terror group. Three others, including the wife of one of the gunmen, fled to IS-held territory in Syria days before the attacks and are being tried in absentia. Hooded gunmen faced police officers near the offices of Charlie Hebdo during the attack.

u Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga formally announced his bid to become the country’s next prime minister yesterday, with growing party support making him the race’s clear

favourite. Suga unveiled his candidacy following days of speculation about his plans and shortly after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party set a September 14 vote on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s successor.A parliamentary vote will follow two days later, with lawmakers expected to endorse the new LDP leader as prime minister.

u India’s novel coronavirus infections rose to almost 3.8 million yesterday, as states continued to relax rules on movement despite the surge in cases. The country reported 78,357 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to federal health data, taking total infections to 3,769,523. Some 66,333 people have died.

India’s total cases lag only the United States and Brazil, which it will overtake in days based on current trends.

No sign

North Korea

reprocessed

plutonium in past

Trial

opens over

Charlie

Hebdo terror

attacks

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Navalny is victim of murder

attempt using Novichok: Merkel

An agent of the

same family was used

two years ago to poison

a Russian defector

living in Britain

Reuters | Berlin

A

lexei Navalny is the

vic-tim of a murder attempt with the nerve agent Novichok, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednes-day, adding that Russia must answer “difficult questions” re-lated to the attack against Presi-dent Vladimir Putin’s critic.

“This is disturbing informa-tion about the attemped mur-der through poisoning against a leading Russian opposition figure,” Merkel said. “Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group. This poison could be identified unequivocally in tests.”

Tests conducted at a German military laboratory produced “unequivocal evidence” that Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, had been poisoned with

Novi-chok, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in an emailed statement.

An agent of the same family

was used two years ago to poi-son a Russian defector living in Britain.

“The federal government will

inform its partners in the EU and

NATO of the results of the inves-tigation,” Seibert added. “It will discuss an appropriate joint re-sponse with the partners in the light of the Russian response.

Russia is already under West-ern sanctions after its annexa-tion of Crimea from Ukraine six years ago, and another stand-off with European nations or the United States may hurt its econ-omy further.

Russian prosecutors said last Thursday they saw no need for a criminal investigation as they had found no sign that any crime had been committed.

Navalny, 44, was airlifted to Germany late last month af-ter collapsing on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow, which had to make an emergency landing in Omsk.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Russia to investigate Navalny’s poison-ing now that clinical tests had shown he had been attacked with a chemical nerve agent.

“This makes it all the more urgent that those responsible in Russia be identified and held accountable,” Maas told report-ers. “We condemn this attack in the strongest terms.”

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, center, attends a rally in Moscow, Russia.

China has condemned a Pentagon report for claiming Beijing wants to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads within a decade

Trump overtakes Biden as

favorite to win in November

AFP News

U

S President Donald Trump has over-taken Democratic rival Joe Biden to stand as the favourite to win the 2020 US Pres-idential election on Europe-based betting exchange Bet-fair, the exchange said yesterday.

Trump’s odds, reflect-ing wagers matched on the peer-to-peer betting network, stood at evens, Betfair Exchange said, versus 21-20 for Biden.

Betfair Exchange said four bets of over 10,000

pounds ($13,362) were placed on the platform overnight, of which three were on Trump, while the biggest stake of the campaign so far, a 50,000-pound b e t , wa s p l a c e d o n t h e R e p u b l i -can nominee over the weekend.

These bets in part aid-ed Trump to take the lead, after being neck-and-neck with Biden earlier this week, com-pleting a stunning re-covery in the betting markets.

“In August, Trump had the worst odds for re-election of any sitting President in history and defeat to Biden was look-ing increaslook-ingly likely,” Darren Hughes, spokesperson at Flut-ter EnFlut-tertainment unit Betfair Exchange, said.

A Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll on Wednesday showed 40 per cent of regis-tered voters support Trump, compared with 47pc who said they will vote for Biden.

Biden’s lead is largely un-changed over the past three weeks, during which both parties held conventions to nominate their candidates Trump and Biden for the presidency.

KNOW WHAT

A novichok agent was used in the March 2018 attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil. The U.K.’s allies joined in a concerted expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats in retaliation, which led to a sharp escalation of tensions.

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