Ammon News, Panorama

Egypt resumes restoration of historic al-Zahir Baybars mosque

[10/17/2018 3:36:12 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Egypt has resumed the restoration of Cairo’s monumental 13th century al-Zahir Baybars mosque, a sign that vital cultural work is finally getting back under way after seven years of political turmoil. Workers removed dried weeds from inside the mosque and restored fittings. The mosque was built by the Mamluk Sultan al-Zahir Baybars bin Abdullah Al-Bindakari between 1266 and 1268. Work to restore the mosque began in 2007, but stopped in 2011, the year protesters took to the streets and toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Egypt has struggled to fund restoration projects since then, as years of street unrest, political upheaval and militant attacks drove away tourists and foreign investors. Cairo has a wealth of historic buildings of architectural interest, from the ancient era of the pharaohs through the flowering of Islamic civilization. But many monuments are crumbling due to lack of funding and neglect. The Antiquities Ministry said it expected to complete the 100 million Egyptian pound ($5.57 million) restoration project in 12 to 18 months. *Reuters

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Abu Dhabi to implement fine of up to $2700 for illegal adverts, posters

[10/17/2018 3:34:46 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Authorities of the UAE's capital warned on Monday of implementing a new fine worth 10,000 AED ($2,700) on individuals and companies caught placing illegal posters and adverts in the city. Abu Dhabi has been carrying out several campaigns against random posters and adverts on the streets, lighting poles, bus stops, public and private facilities, and roundabouts, according to the emirate’s municipality. The municipality said that since the beginning of 2018, it has issued 717 warnings and registered 33 offences against the unlicensed posters and adverts, and removed 33 unlicensed adverts. A statement by the municipality said that there were 214 warnings and offences in the first quarter of this year, 220 in the second quarter, whereas the third quarter has seen 283 warnings and offences. “Adverts have to be licensed by the competent authorities. The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities - Abu Dhabi City Municipality urged the public to contribute towards preserving the general appearance of cities, promoting values of social responsibility, and supporting the Municipal efforts in preserving the urban appearance of streets, buildings and public and private facilities,” said the municipality. *Al Arabiya

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Mahatma Gandhi statue sparks controversy in Malawi

[10/13/2018 2:55:44 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Over 3,000 people have signed a petition opposing a planned statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre, saying the Indian independence hero had done nothing for the southern African country. Work on the statue began two months ago along a road named after Gandhi. The Malawi government says it is being erected as part of a deal that will see New Delhi construct a $10 million (8.6-million-euro) convention center in Blantyre. “Mahatma Gandhi has never contributed anything to Malawi’s struggle for independence and freedom,” a statement from the “Gandhi Must Fall” group said. “We therefore, feel that the statue is being forced upon the people of Malawi and is the work of a foreign power aiming at promoting its image and dominion on the unsuspecting people of Malawi.” The petitioners claim that Gandhi, who early in his career practised in South Africa and fought against apartheid-era segregation laws, was racist. “We are not comfortable with imperialistic and neo-colonial ideologies that seek to impose... foreign influence which deprives us of honor,” Wonderful Mkutche, a member of the group told AFP on Saturday. “Now more than ever, our nation must rise above pettiness and weakness in international deals.... This must mean that we should only accept investments, partnerships... that are responsible, fair, equal, honorable, sustainable, efficient and transparent.” Inspiration for African freedom fighters But Isaac Munlo, Principal Secretary in the foreign ministry, defended the project saying: “It should be recognized that Mahatma Gandhi promoted values of simplicity, fight against social evils, promoting human and civil rights as well as uplifting of social well-being of people. “It is also worth noting that all African freedom fighters that fought against colonialism and oppression and thus demanded independence were influenced by what Mahatma Gandhi fought for. In other ways, Mahatma Gandhi is a role model of a human rights campaigner for both Africa and India,” he said. Malawi and India established diplomatic ties in 1964 and New Delhi is one of the country’s biggest donors. *AFP

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Singapore Airlines jetliner lands in US after world’s longest flight

[10/13/2018 2:53:56 PM]

AMMONNEWS - An Airbus jetliner arrived in Newark on Friday after a nearly 18-hour trip from Singapore, completing the world’s longest commercial flight. It marked the revival of a route that had been eliminated in 2013. Singapore Airlines Flight SQ22 arrived at 5:29 am (0929 GMT), the Newark Liberty International Airport web site said. That made for a flight of 17 hours and 52 minutes. The flight had been scheduled to take 18 hours and 25 minutes. The plane was carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew members. Singapore Airlines originally flew the route for nine years using the gas-guzzling, four-engine A340-500 plane before abandoning it in 2013 because high oil prices made the service unprofitable. This trip was made with the new and more fuel efficient Airbus A350-900ULR. *AFP

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Rare 1932 ‘The Mummy’ film poster poised to hit record $1 mln at auction

[10/13/2018 2:52:43 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A rare, original poster from the Boris Karloff horror classic, “The Mummy,” is expected to sell for over $1 million, a record price for a film poster, Sotheby’s said on Thursday. One of only three known surviving examples of the original lithographic poster from the 1932 film, the piece set a film poster record more than 20 years ago when it fetched $453,500. The auction house expects it to sell for $1 million to $1.5 million, breaking the auction record for a film poster of $525,800 set in 2017 by a poster from “Dracula,” the 1931 horror film starring Karloff rival Bela Lugosi. A California collector paid $690,000 in 2005 for a poster from the German silent film, “Metropolis.” The starting bid is set at $950,000 and bidding in the online auction is open until Oct. 31. Designed by Karoly Grosz, Universal studios advertising art director, the poster continues to influence film posters more than 80 years later, Sotheby’s said, citing its “vivid, painterly splashes of color, a dynamic composition, and minimal white space.” Subject of desire The work depicts Karloff in the title role as “The Mummy,” with eyes closed and hands crossed over his chest, and Zita Johann, the subject of his desire, in an alluring, red V-necked gown. Enticing filmgoers, the tag line reads, “It comes to life!” The poster was exclusively created for movie theaters’ promotional purposes and was never made available to the public. It has been featured in a 1999 exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum and will go on display at Sotheby’s from Oct. 14 to 18. “‘The Mummy’ is one of those early horror movies that really cemented the genre as the type of horror master film that we see today,” Sotheby’s prints specialist John Maher said in a statement. Noting the original lithograph’s condition, he noted, “you rarely see - in any poster - colors that are as well-preserved as these are.” “This is a really exceptional example, that was such an impactful image to begin with,” Maher said. *Reuters

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Jordanian names daughter 'Quds'

[10/13/2018 2:36:12 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A Jordanian citizen named his newborn girl “Al-Quds” which is the Arabic equivalent of Jerusalem city. The girl was born on October 5, 2018 in Balqa and was issued a birth certificate (shown above) on October, 11, 2018. According to the father, who resides in Tafilah Governorate, choosing this specific name for his daughter comes to deliver a message of defiance against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Back in 2017, a Palestinian man from Gaza named his triplet: "Jerusalem", "Capital" and "Palestine" - where the three names combined read: 'Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital' - in an attempt to protest against Trump’s decision in moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

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Woman spent $21 mln at Harrods, faces UK order to explain wealth source

[10/10/2018 4:03:32 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A woman from Azerbaijan who spent 16 million pounds ($21 million) at luxury London department store Harrods over the course of a decade has become the first target of a British power to seize money from people suspected of getting their wealth through corruption. A court has ordered Zamira Hajiyeva to explain where she got the money to also buy an 11.5 million pound ($15 million) London home close to Harrods and a golf course outside the city. Hajiyeva’s husband, former International Bank of Azerbaijan chairman Jahangir Hajiyev, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in his home country in 2016 for fraud and embezzlement. Unexplained Wealth Orders The case marks Britain’s first use of Unexplained Wealth Orders, introduced this year in a bid to curb London’s status as a haven for ill-gotten gains. The orders allow authorities to seize assets over 50,000 pounds ($66,000) from people suspected of corruption or links to organized crime until the owners account for how they were acquired. Hajiyeva denies wrongdoing and is fighting to overturn the order and hang onto her properties. During previous court hearings she was identified only as Mrs. A, but a court order granting her anonymity was lifted on Wednesday. Hajileva’s lawyers said in a statement that the issuing of a wealth order “does not and should not be taken to imply any wrongdoing, whether on her part or that of her husband.” They said the order “is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offence.” *AP

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