Tag Archives: Saudi Gazette

Go straight: Afridi says there is ‘no chance’ of India-Pakistan cricket while Modi takes the lead | Instant News


PARIS: Roland Garros will take place in cold and humid Paris on Sunday still in the grip of the coronavirus who hope their organizers will escape by unilaterally pushing back the claycourt Grand Slam event for four months.
On opening day, 2018 champion Simona Halep will start her quest for a third major title, while 40-year-old Venus Williams will kick off her 23rd French Open.
Andy Murray will face fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the day’s marquee in an epic 2017 semi-final duel rematch.
However, it will be a very foreign tournament, even for defending champion Rafael Nadal, chasing the Paris 13th title, and winners of 2016 and world number one Novak Djokovic, as well as Serena Williams, chasing an elusive 24th major title.
The re-emergence of COVID-19 cases meant that only 1,000 spectators were allowed into the field each day.
In 2019, more than 500,000 people watched the two-week tournament on-site.
Organizers hoped to welcome 20,000 fans a day but within just a few weeks that figure was quickly lowered to 11,500, then 5,000 before the French government slashed it to a maximum of 1,000.
“Tens of millions of euros have gone into smoke,” said French Tennis Federation marketing chief Stephane Morel as he mourned the loss of ticket revenue.
Players, meanwhile, have been confined to the two tournament hotels with strict restrictions on their movements.
This happened at the hotel where they were undergoing Covid-19 testing, a source of controversy and accusations in the community.
Last weekend, five players who will participate in the men’s qualifiers withdrew.
Two have tested positive while three others have been in contact with coach Petar Popovic who has also tested positive.
Popovic told L’Equipe that it was a “scandal” and if “(Rafael) Nadal was in our position he would have the right to a second or third test.”
On Friday, Spain veteran Fernando Verdasco said he was “angry and frustrated” after being withdrawn following a failed Covid-19 test which he claims fell among a steady stream of negative results.
Verdasco said he should have been allowed a second test.
Inside Roland Garros Square, located in Paris’s prosperous western district, there are further signs of the effects of the pandemic.
Usually busy shops, food outlets and other commercial outlets have closed.
Everyone in the tournament, including the players if they are not in action or training, will be covered up. Hand sanitizer filled this site.
Instead of the early summer sun usually associated with tournaments in the traditional May-June slot, players will be shivering in temperatures of 16 ° C on Sundays with rain and strong wind forecast for the first week.
That means overtime for a new openable roof over the Court Philippe Chatrier showpiece.
In court on Sunday, Halep, the top seed in the absence of world number one Ashleigh Barty, who chose not to defend his title for health reasons, will face Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who is ranked 70th.
Wimbledon champion Halep is a particularly favorite with US Open champion Naomi Osaka missing through injury.
Former world number one Murray handled 2015 champions Wawrinka in his first appearance in Paris in three years.

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Arabs in the Paris showroom will highlight Middle Eastern talent at fashion week | Instant News


DUBAI: The Milan calendar is quieter than usual this season, with only a handful of designers putting on physical shows and the rest opting for digital presentations. However, that didn’t stop Moroccan-Egyptian-Dutch model Imaan Hammam from hosting a pretty famous Fashion Week.

Hammam, who made his runway debut at Jean Paul Gaultier ‘s Fall 2013 Couture show at the age of 17, is Fashion Week regular.

After months of lockdown and self-isolation amid the coronavirus health crisis, the 23-year-old supermodel flew to Italy this week to return to the runways at a number of prestigious fashion houses.

She kicked off Milan Fashion Week by performing at Fendi last week. Even though it didn’t run for several months, when the model came out, she made him look as easy as ever. Dressed in an oversized black blazer over a light top and skirt combination, her hair pulled back and neatly parted in the center, she stole the show.

“It feels great to be back at work,” Hammam wrote on Instagram after the event. “Beautiful show,” he added, thanking Silvia Venturini Fendi.

Next on the Hammam’s busy schedule is Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2021 show being staged in the open air on the Milan grounds. The Amsterdam-based model opened the show wearing a belted skirt, dark gray skirt, and a floral top featuring a boho shell necklace and suede sandals.

For her second appearance, Hammam looked stunning in a black mini-dress with a light skirt.

“Yesterday opened @albertaferretti. What a show! “wrote the model on Instagram, alongside runway photos of her appearance.

The Milan Fashion Week Hammam concludes with a surprise on Friday with the Donatella Versace Spring 2021 runway show inspired by the underwater.

The model, born to a Moroccan mother and Egyptian father, joins fellow supermodels and regulars of Versace, including Irina Shayk, Adut Akech, Joan Smalls and Vittoria Ceretti, to seal off runways without an audience in a show that is broadcast live – streamed worldwide.

Catwalk stars turn their heads in not one but two views. For his first runway lap, Hammam wore a colorful striped shirt. She then transforms into a bomb mini dress with a crystal encrusted corset that is shell-shaped.

With moist skin and her signature moist curls, the Hammam resembles a real-life mermaid.

As Milan Fashion Week draws to a close on Sunday, we now turn to Paris Fashion Week, where the Hammam will definitely continue to dominate the runways.

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Poll: Jacinda Ardern headed for New Zealand election victory | Instant News



Updated 24 seconds ago

Poll: Jacinda Ardern headed for New Zealand election victory

  • Support for Jacainda Ardern’s Labor Party reached 50.1 percent
  • If the opinion poll findings materialize, Ardern will rule without relying on any coalition partners

SYDNEY – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is poised to hold on to power in next month’s election, a widely witnessed poll showed on Sunday, although it said the recent COVID-19 outbreak had dampened her support a bit.
A Newshub-Reid Research Poll released on Sunday shows support for the Ardern Labor Party up to 50.1 percent, although this is down from a record 60.9 percent recorded earlier this year when New Zealand was widely praised as the world leader in fighting COVID. -19.
Support for the main opposition National Party stood at 29.6 percent, up 4.5 percentage points.
If the opinion poll findings materialize, Ardern will rule without relying on any coalition partners.
New Zealand was COVID-free for 102 days until the second wave hit Auckland last month.
Ardern became the country’s youngest leader in more than 150 years in 2017 after the nationalist monarch New Zealand’s First Party agreed to form a government with its Labor Party, ending decades of National Party rule.
Ardern, 40, also has great global traction because of his response to last year’s attacks by a white supremacist on two mosques, the fatal volcanic eruption and his success with the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Pakistani Prime Minister calls on troops to help clean up rain-stricken Karachi | Instant News


ISLAMABAD: The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended authorization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to fly to the block for six months, the airline said on Tuesday, in a major blow to the country’s flag carrier.
Separately, the safety agency said it took action because of concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards at all times.
The suspension follows runway 262 of Pakistan’s 860 state pilots – including 141 of 434 PIAs – whose licenses are called by the aviation minister “dubious.”
“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA authorization to operate in EU member states for an effective six-month period of July 1, 2020 with the right to appeal,” the PIA said in a statement. He added that he would suspend all flights to Europe.
Confirming the move in a statement sent by e-mail, EASA was referring to a recent investigation by Pakistan that said it indicated “most” of pilot licenses were invalid.
The Pakistani pilot landed after an initial report on a PIA accident in Karachi that killed 97 people last month.
The PIA said it was in contact with EASA to take corrective action and appeal the decision, adding that it expected the suspension to be revoked “as early as possible” after action by the government and the airline.
EASA also suspended the authorization of another Pakistani airline, Vision Air International.
Vision Air International does not immediately respond to requests for comment via email.
Following the EASA decision, the British Civil Aviation Authority said it also withdrew PIA permits to operate from three airports, as required by law.
“PIA flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester airports were suspended immediately,” a spokesman for the British authority told Reuters.
All three are the main flight destinations for airlines.
Meanwhile, Pakistani pilots and their union, the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA), said there were differences in the list of government pilots with licenses that were considered dubious and demanded a court investigation.
PIA and private airline Air Blue also questioned the list with PIA saying 36 of its pilots were said to have retired or left the airline, while Air Blue said it no longer employs seven of the nine pilots on the list.
“It contains the names of highly educated and quality pilots who have passed all the tests,” PALPA president Chaudhry Salman told Reuters. “We want a fair and impartial resolution to this issue.”
An official at the Pakistani aviation ministry, Abdul Sattar Khokhar, said they did not have full details about the differences. “This problem is being resolved through consultation with airlines and civil aviation authorities.”

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Pakistani businesses that rely on Hajj pilgrims face a bleak future | Instant News


KARACHI: Every year before the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, hundreds of Pakistanis visit the Shaikh Rafi shop on busy MA Jinnah Road in Karachi to buy prayer mats and ihram clothes, two pieces of cloth worn by Muslims during the hajj.

But not this year. Since last month’s announcement by Saudi authorities that the pilgrimage will be limited to several thousand pilgrims living in the Kingdom, to prevent the spread of coronaviruses, Rafi has spent days cleaning dust from unsold items as he anxiously waits for customers who never arrive . .

“This has been our routine for the past few months,” said Rafi, whose shop is in the Karachi Allahwala Market.

The plan for around 2.5 million Muslims around the world was canceled when this year’s pilgrimage was dramatically lowered. In Pakistan, nearly 180,000 people canceled their trips, and its influence on the country’s hajj industry 160 billion rupees ($ 1 billion) was devastating. Rafi’s shop is only one of at least 5,000 small businesses in Karachi that have been severely affected.

“Because of the Kingdom’s decision to postpone Umrah flights and limit hajj, almost all related businesses experienced a decline in sales,” he said. “We opened our shop hoping someone would come but that day ended without customers.

Wholesaler Muhammad Rizwan said: “Under normal circumstances, ordinary people buy prayer mats and hats, before or after performing the hajj or umrah, as gifts for their relatives and friends – but since they have been locked, the industry has been completely shut down.”

Traders said it was not only the lack of sales that caused the problem, but also delayed payments.

“There has been no business for about the past five months and our payments from retailers and shop owners who have bought on credit have been put on hold,” said Muhammad Hanif Katlia, a wholesale supplier of ihram clothing. “Many shopkeepers have failed to pay (because of their bills) and have not paid rent, and many have fled without paying what is due.”

Some factories that produce goods for the Hajj and Umrah industries have been forced to close down completely, work costs, while others have switched to producing other goods.

“Production has been stopped for the past five months and we have laid off workers,” said Jannat Gul, whose business produces ihram clothing and other hajj-related products. “There is no buying and selling, and borrowers have not paid back what they owe since Umrah was suspended because of a coronavirus.”

This year is the first time in the modern era that pilgrims from other countries are not permitted to enter Mecca. According to Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, which oversees the country’s hajj arrangements, 179,210 Pakistanis have registered to attend this year: 71,684 with private tour operators and 107,526 through cheaper packages, supported by the government.

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