Etisalat auction: How much for 050-7777777 VIP number?


Properties, cars and vanity number plates have been auctioned before in the UAE, but now its VIP mobile numbers.

Etisalat, a telecommunication services and technology company, has put 70 numbers on the Emirates Auction website with only seven of them (050-7777777, 050-7777770, etc) listed in the diamond plus category.

“The prices may be disclosed a week before the auction on our website and if not then it will be revealed only at the venue,” a call center executive of Emirates Auction.

“You will have to bring a signed cheque and hand it over to the person at the auction. If you bid and win, you will have to put the amount on the cheque handed over.”
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The auction will be held on March 8 at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi and Armani Hotel, Dubai.

Etisalat has said that part of the auction revenue will be used to support Khalifa Foundation programmes, while another part will be used to support Etisalat’s CSR projects.

The auction is part of the company’s continuous efforts to support social responsibility programmes and was announced during the signing of an agreement with the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and Emirates Auction at Etisalat’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

According to Emirates Auction website, there are seven diamond plus numbers, 25 diamond numbers, 18 platinum numbers and 20 gold numbers.

The above categories include different packages, with the buyer of the Diamond Plus number getting 22,500 local minutes per month for 2 years, 2,250 international minutes per month for 2 years, 100GB data per month for 2 years, 22,500 local SMS per month for 2 years, 300 incoming roaming minutes per month for 2 years, the latest smartphone and a dedicated customer care.

The package for Diamond numbers includes 7,500 local minutes per month for 2 years, 750 international minutes per month for 2 years, 20GB data per month for 2 years, 7,500 local SMS per month for 2 years, 100 incoming roaming minutes per month for 2 years, a smartphone and a dedicated customer care.

Buyers of Platinum number will get 2,500 local minutes per month for 2 years, 100 international minutes per month for 2 years, 10GB Data per month for 2 years and 2,500 Local SMS per month for 2 years, a smartphone and a dedicated customer care, while Gold number buyers get 850 local minutes per month for 2 years, 50 international minutes per month for 2 years, 5GB data per month for 2 years and 850 local SMS per month for 2 years, a smartphone and a dedicated customer care.

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Ten Countries with Cheapest Petrol Prices


With the advent of technology, life has become so much easier for all of us. Not long ago people used to wait for days to receive message from near and dear ones. But now, the time taken to travel from one place to another is less than time required to send a letter via post. However, with the ease of transport came the blow of rising fuel cost. The cost of fuel is the most unstable thing across the world and it depends on crude oil price, oil company cost, taxes and, exchange rate, reports Rediff.com.

Because of the presence of considerable oil reserves in home-grounds, few countries are fortunate enough to get this motor spirit at affordable prices. Read on to know the countries where petrol is cheapest in the world.

1. Venezuela

ve

Price per litre: 6.49 ($0.12)

It is a place where the price of most of the objects goes up other than petrol. The price of petrol has always been cheap and now it has become almost free. In Venezuela, following the official exchange rate, the premium gasoline comes at around 5.8 U.S. cents. The price of petrol has been kept constant for almost 14 years under the rule of late President, Hugo Chavez, even though the tropical capital has hit big time inflation.
Monthly income expenditure on petrol:  2.73 percent.

2. Egypt

eg

Price per litre: 7.30 ($0.14)

The Egyptian government is planning to cut down the fuel subsidies as a measure to control its budget deficit. The size of fuel subsidies is expected to reach 120 billion Egyptian dollars in the current fiscal. The subsidies have hit the economy hard and lead to blackouts and fuel shortages in Cairo. The next few months are expected to witness reforms like fuel-rationing card in an attempt to curb smuggling of fuel.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 4.39 percent

3. Saudi Arabia

ksa
Price per litre: 8.12 ($0.15)

Saudi Arabia holds one-fifth of world’s total oil reserves and the crude from this country still influences fuel prices across the global. It is the second home to cheapest petrol in the Middle East after Egypt. The country, however, is working on methods to use wind, solar and nuclear power to produce energy and bring down the use of crude and natural gas to generate electricity.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 0.98 percent.

4. Qatar

qa
Price per litre: 9.74 ($0.18)

Prior to discovery of oil, the economy of Qatar ran on fishing and pearl hunting. In 1940, after the discovery of oil reserves, the economy of the country improved significantly. Because of the absence of income tax, Qatar is rated as one of the countries with lowest tax rates in the world. The economy is highly dependent on petroleum and natural gas and as of 2012, it has the highest GDP per capita in the world.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 0.40 percent

5. Bahrain

bh
Price per litre: 12.50 ($0.23)

Bahrain is situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. The country has been recognized as the fastest growing economy in the Arab world and is highly dependent on demand for oil. 60 percent of the country’s export, comes from petroleum production and processing. It also accounts for 70 percent of government revenues and 11 percent of its GDP.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 1.81 percent.

6. Libya

li
Price per litre: 12.50 ($0.23)

Libya has the largest oil reserves in entire Africa and its economy primarily benefits from oil sector which accounts for 97 percent of export and 80 percent of GDP. It is also a major contributor of light to the global supply. Because of its small population and handsome revenues from energy sector, Libya is one of the countries with highest per capita GDPs in Africa.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 3.32 percent.

7. Turkmenistan

tu
Price per litre: Rs 14.31 ($0.26)

Turkmenistan has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world. It has an oil reserve of about 700 million tons. The extraction of oil started in 1909 in Cheleken and it took a leap with the discovery of oil fields in Kumdag and Koturdepe. Most of its oil is refined in Turkmenbashy and Seidi refinaries. It exports oil to Europe through Caspian Sea via canals.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 17.79 percent.

8. Kuwait

ku

Price per litre: 14.31 ($0.26)

With a GDP of $167.9 billion and per capita income of $81,800, Kuwait stands as the 5th richest country in the world. The major export products are petroleum and petrochemical products and the country earns about $94.47 billion on exports. The government of Kuwait is trying to make the country a regional trading and tourism hub and less dependent on oil for its growing economy.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol:1.2 percent.

9. Algeria

al
Price per litre: 14.31 ($0.26)

Algeria is the 10th country in the world with the largest natural gas reserve of 160 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources. It ranks 14th in petroleum reserves and about 60 percent of its budget revenues comes from petroleum. The hydrocarbon is also responsible for about 30 percent of its GDP and 95 percent of export earnings.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 11.85 percent

10. Iran

ir
Price per litre: 17.93 ($0.33)

The economy of the country is dependent on state ownership of oil, village agriculture, small scale private trading and, service venture. The GDP was about $482.4 billion in 2011, while in 2006 about 45 percent of the government’s budget came from oil and natural gas reserves. The European Union restriction on Iranian crude has led to a steep fall in the value of rial.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 6.53 percent.

Saudi father gifted Dh3.3 million for pardoning son’s killer


A large Saudi tribe gave presents worth more than Dh3 million to a local man for pardoning the killer of his son following mediation efforts by tribal leaders.

ibn hadeed

Mohsen bin Hadeed Al Mukati went to court in the western Saudi town of Taif and pardoned the killer of his son without demanding diya (blood money), prompting the judge to abolish a death sentence against the killer, a relative of the victim.

Al Mukati agreed to pardon the defendant, who killed his son during a fight several years ago, following mediation efforts of more than a year by some tribal chiefs and dignitaries to persuade him to drop the case.

“The tribe then staged a big party to honour Al Mukati for his gesture that saved the life of the defendant…during the party, tribal chiefs gave him presents worth nearly SR3.3 million (Dh3.25 million) in addition to a Jeep 2013,” Sabq daily said.

Under Islamic law, which is strictly enforced in conservative Saudi Arabia, a convicted killer can escape execution and walk free in most cases if pardoned by the victim’s relatives in return for blood money.

How One Woman Entrepreneur Is Breaking Pakistan’s ‘Cement Ceiling’


In 1984, Nora Frenkiel coined the term glass ceiling: “Women have reached a certain point — I call it the glass ceiling. They’re in the top of middle management and they’re stopping and getting stuck.”

Maria_big

“The glass ceiling is the ability to visualize getting to the top but not reaching there. In Pakistan for female entrepreneurs, you can neither see what it looks like nor aspire to be something you cannot imagine,” Maria Umar says. “It’s more of a cement ceiling here in our case in Pakistan.”

Umar is challenging the cement ceiling as an international entrepreneur and a key player in Pakistan’s burgeoning tech scene. She is revered as one of the trailblazers in the female entrepreneurial revolution, and focuses her efforts on furthering work opportunities for women in Pakistan.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Umar was a full-time teacher. She quit after her job refused her maternity leave and subsequently began writing for a woman she found through Rozee.pk, Pakistan’s premiere job portal. The money was good — almost double what she made as a teacher — but when Umar discovered her employer’s oDesk profile, she realized she could make even more money by contracting with clients directly.

She set up her own Desk account and began taking on extra jobs and outsourcing them. At first she gave the jobs to her nieces, then to their friends, and eventually to their classmates, until she realized that she had developed a small content-creation business.

Today, this company is called The Women’s Digital League, an IT-solution company that trains rural Pakistani women in micro online tasks, from ghost-writing to social media management.

Ovidiu Bujorean is the Senior Manager of the GIST Initiative, which supports entrepreneurship in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He met Umar after she won a GIST business plan competition, and recognized her ability immediately. “She is extremely passionate and persistent,” he says of Umar. “She’s also very committed to her mission of helping female entrepreneurs find job opportunities.

 

“Even if she hits a wall, she will learn her way over, under or through that wall.”

Even if she hits a wall, she will learn her way over, under or through that wall.”

As a female entrepreneur working in a male-dominated IT-field, there is no shortage of walls for Umar to break through.

The challenges women face while trying to secure an education in Pakistan are significant. Last year, UNESCO reported that 62% of girls in Pakistan between seven and 15 years old have never spent time in a classroom. Violence against girls pursuing an education has increased since the alleged Taliban attack against Malala Yousafzai in October of last year.

But the country’s education emergency is only the beginning of a larger problem.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 14.3% of Pakistani women currently participate in the labor force.

“Girls themselves are becoming more empowered and asking for their right to [education],” Umar says. “Unfortunately not very many actually utilize that education in the formal sector…

 

“Families discourage girls from working outside due to [the] security situation and lack of social acceptance.”

“Families discourage girls from working outside due to [the] security situation and lack of social acceptance.”

Social media has played an integral role in helping WDL provide work-opportunities for women who otherwise may be unable to work.

Umar finds the majority of WDL freelancers through social media. She attaches hashtags like #homebasedwork, #writerneeded, #jobopportunities and #pakistan to tweet advertising job opportunities, and receives a new CV almost daily.

“There are women that I’ve known for the past three years, and very closely through social media,” says Umar, “through Twitter, through Facebook pages and yes, through LinkedIn too.”

Umar estimates that more than 80% of her company’s business comes through LinkedIn referrals, largely because of the effort she’s put into cultivating complimentary reviews. “If you check, even now I don’t have my formal website up,” she says, “I’ve never needed to. When people come and ask me, ‘I’ve heard that you do this, how can we find out more about it?’ I just say well, go to my LinkedIn page.”

Umar’s leveraging of her LinkedIn referrals was impressive enough to catch the attention of Alec Ross, the former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“The idea of a woman in one of the Waziristans working on an IT micro tasking is a very powerful affirmation of the platform,” he said. Ross remembers being struck by Umar’s dedication to helping other women find work. “I firmly believe that we need to empower women in the marketplace. There’s so much insecurity brought on by men. This woman was empowering dozens of other women.”

Umar recently announced that she is expanding WDL into The Digital League, a company that offers digital solutions to individuals and corporate clients.

“We decided we needed to include the men as well,” she says, noting that WDL will remain a subsidiary of TDL. “Why just Pakistan? We are now expanding it to the world.”

By Jess Fee

Thousands of Gmail accounts hacked in Iran: Google


The phishing campaigns are being launched inside Iran and represent a big surge in the region’s hacking activity before Iran’s presidential election on Friday.

Internet giant Google says it has blocked a “politically motivated” phishing against thousands of gmail users in Iran on the eve of the country’s presidential election.

“For almost three weeks, we have detected and disrupted multiple email-based phishing campaigns,” Eric Grosse, Google Inc.’s vice-president for security engineering, wrote in a post on Google’s blog.

“The timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated,” Grosse said without elaborating.

The phishing campaigns are being launched inside Iran and represent a big surge in the region’s hacking activity before Iran’s presidential election on Friday, Grosse said.

The hackers direct gmail users in Iran to fake account maintenance pages where they are asked to give their username and password, Grosse said.

Google used its Chrome browser to detect a phishing campaign in 2011, when a young Iranian student claimed he hacked gmail accounts belonging to anti-government dissidents in a personal “patriotic” initiative unconnected to the government.

Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani has emerged as the favourite in Iran’s presidential race, after former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani threw their support behind him.

A former chief nuclear negotiator, Rowhani, is keen to transform Iran’s damaged relations with the west.

Pro-reform candidate Mohammad Reza Aref pulled out of the contest, saying he was asked to do so by Khatami.

Presidential incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cannot run for a third term in office.

Indians in Kuwait gathered at Embassy to seek help


Hundreds of Indian expat workers, majority of them from Rajasthan, gathered on the Indian embassy premises seeking the embassy’s help in securing either release or information of people who were arrested during a raid in Bneid Al- Gar last week. The workers numbering over 300 request the embassy to intervene on their behalf. They complained to the embassy officials that there was no information about them after the arrest.

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Acting Ambassador Vidhu P Nair spoke to the gathered people and held separate talks with their representatives in his office. He will be meeting the consular director at the Kuwait Foreign Ministry on Monday morning, informed the Embassy officials.

Embassy officials informed IndiansinKuwait.com that they visited detained Indians at deportation centers. The embassy is also in constant touch with foreign ministry officials in New Delhi.

According to the present residency law in Kuwait, people who enter the country on Article 20 visas are permitted to work only under their sponsors. Authorities are targeting those who are illegally staying in the country, those holding domestic work permits but not working for their sponsors and those holding work visa but working for other companies that their original sponsor.

Source : http://www.IndiansinKuwait.com

Petrofac in $3.7bn Abu Dhabi deal


Petrofac Emirates is partnering with Daewoo Shipbuilding

British oil and gas group Petrofac said on Thursday that its Petrofac Emirates joint venture firm has won a $3.7-billion (2.8-billion-euro) contract to develop a key field in Abu Dhabi.

“Petrofac is pleased to announce that Petrofac Emirates, its joint venture with Mubadala Petroleum, has been awarded a contract by Zakum Development Company for the Upper Zakum, UZ750 field development in Abu Dhabi,” said a statement from the London-listed firm.

“The contract is worth approximately $3.7 billion and has been secured by Petrofac Emirates in consortium with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd.”

The group added that Petrofac Emirates’ share of the contract was valued at $2.9 billion.

7 Innocent Gestures That Can Get You Killed Overseas


 
If you’ve ever had your penis cut off and/or been executed while on holiday, you’ll probably know that it’s easy to offend people from other cultures. Unless you learn the ways of the place you’re visiting, even the most well-meaning tourist can regularly find his oesophagus stuffed with burning goat. But surely just plain common sense and good manners will save you, right?Wrong.

Extend Your Hand, Palm Outward in Greece

What you think you are saying:
“Phew! That was a heck of a moussaka. I’d eat another portion, but I’m completely stuffed.”

What you are actually saying:
“Phew! That was a heck of a moussaka. I’d eat another portion, but I’m too busy rubbing handfuls of shit in your face.”

What the hell?
In Greece, the “hand out” gesture is known as the moutza, and it dates back to the time of the Byzantine Empire, when criminals would be paraded through the streets on horseback, their faces blackened to indicate their shame. If they were lucky, the blackening agent would merely be charcoal. If they were unlucky, it would be a substance much, much worse …

SHIT, is what we’re saying here. Their faces would be covered in SHIT.

If you really want to piss a Greek person off, you can go for the double moutza, which features both hands splayed above your head. However, this will also make you look like a backup dancer from Cats, so it’s your call.

Give the Thumbs-Up In The Middle East

What you think you are saying:
“Ayyyyy! I’m the fuckin’ Fonz!”

What you are actually saying:
“Ayyyyy! I’m going to jam my thumb in your anus!”

What the hell?
It’s not just the Middle East. This seemingly universal gesture is also hideously offensive in West Africa and South America, whose citizens would doubtless get really confused if they ever watched Ebert and Roeper. “This movie is great, Bill! So great that I’d like to anally rape it with my thumb!”

The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. If the origins of both gestures are linked, we can only assume this meant, “Do not kill the prisoner, he seems the perfect solution to the emperor’s arthritic finger.”

Finish Your Meal In Thailand / The Philippines / China

What you think you are saying:
“This is a delicious meal. I mean it. I’m not the kind of guy who would lie about something like this. In fact, your meal was so fucking fabulous that I am going to finish every last morsel and then lick the plate so bright that it reveals the face of God.”

What you are actually saying:
“You call yourself a host? I came here for a meal, not some Lilliputian hors d’oeuvre that wouldn’t satisfy a mouse after a sizable brunch. Look at me. No, in the eyes. You disgust me.”

What the hell?
It is always important that the host provides you with tasty food. However, in countries where steak in bleu cheese sauce costs approximately the same as a lung transplant, it is more important that the host provides you with enough food.

In China, if you finish every last bite of your meal, you are implying that you weren’t given enough. Therefore, even if the meal is the most sexually delicious thing that has ever slid down your throat, you should still leave one last morsel on the plate to stare up at you mournfully while you eye it with ill-concealed resentment.

That said, the Orient isn’t as uptight as this example suggests. In China it’s considered perfectly good manners to talk with your mouth full and to burp after your meal. Farting seems to vary according to the situation and your current company, so ask ahead of time. Lighting the fart is frowned upon in almost all provinces.

Say “Hi” to a Member of the Opposite Sex in Saudi Arabia

What you think you are saying:
“Hi Steve! How’s things? Fancy getting a decaf latte?”

What you are actually saying:
“Hi, Steve! How’s things? Fancy booking a hotel room so that I can do immoral sex acts on you in the name of Satan?”

What the hell?
According to sharia religious laws, it is deeply immoral for a woman to greet a man in public, or associate with any man other than her husband without an escort. In February 2008, one American woman openly conversed with a man in Starbucks, and was promptly arrested, strip-searched and forced to sign false confessions.

Though, perhaps this is nitpicking considering women are not allowed to drive, vote, own shops, testify in court or ride bicycles there. Bizarrely, it’s perfectly fine for women to fly high-powered jet planes, although they’re clearly fucked if they feel like taking a bicycle to the airport.

The point being, if you’re a woman and are planning a move to Saudi Arabia, offending them with the whole public greeting thing is probably the least of your problems.

Give an Even Number of Flowers in Russia

What you think you are saying:
“Darling, this week has been the most wonderful of my life. Since I first felt the sweet joy of your caress, I have truly come to know what it is to love and to be loved. Please accept these half-dozen roses as a symbol of my eternal tender devotion.” (Lean forward for kiss.)

What you are actually saying:
DEATH! DEATH! DEEEEEEAAAAAAAATH!!!!!!

(Lean forward for kiss.)

What the hell?
In Russia, even numbers of flowers are only ever given at funerals, and such a gift is seen as inviting death, which you obviously don’t want to do unless you’re banging a goth chick.

Choosing the right gift seems to be a minefield of morbidity everywhere you go. Never give a clock to a Chinese person, as the word “clock” is almost identical to a word for “death.” Don’t wrap your present in white paper there either, as this suggests funerals. And for God’s sake, don’t give anyone in Bangladesh white flowers or they will presumably be obliged to buy a spade and bury themselves while muttering at you reproachfully.

You know what, screw giving a gift. You may come across as a selfish douchebag, but at least no one will hail you as the fourth horseman of the apocalypse.

Give a Gift With Your Left Hand, Pretty Much Anywhere

What you think you are saying:
“Thank you very much for letting me marry your daughter. She is very beautiful. In gratitude, please accept this dainty, yet tuneful instrument. Did I mention that I’m left-handed?”

What you are actually saying:
“Thank you very much for letting me marry your daughter. She is the most worthless heap of dog vomit I have ever encountered, and I dearly wish that she would die. In gratitude, please accept a generous portion of my own effluence. Did I mention that I hate you?”

What the hell?
Toilet paper may have been around in China since 589 AD, but for much of the world, it remains a prohibitively expensive luxury. In places such as India, Sri Lanka, Africa and the whole of the Middle East, doing anything with your left hand is seen as unclean, as it is (as least symbolically) your ass-wiping hand.

Eating out? Don’t even think about using your left hand. It’s better to come across as some kind of retarded monkey child than to imply that you rate your host’s food on the same level as a lightly-steamed assburger.

Of course, poop is not the only reason left-handedness is bad. According to the Qur’an, Satan himself was a southpaw, which is why he was able to successfully fool the right-handed batter that is mankind.

Give the “OK” Sign in Brazil

What you think you are saying:
“Hi Brazil, I’m US President Richard Nixon, and I’m feeling terrific!”

What you are actually saying:
“Hi Brazil, I’m US President Richard Nixon, and I’m feeling that you should all go fuck yourselves!”

(Note: The above examples are only valid if you are US President Richard Nixon)

What the hell?
In Brazil, the “OK” gesture is roughly equivalent to the finger in the US, which means you should not use it when your hotel manager asks you how your room is, unless you want to tell him that it’s purple and velvety and recently molested his wife.

The most famous incident of a misapplied “OK” sign was, in fact, Nixon’s visit to Brazil in the ’50s. While alighting from the aircraft, he lifted both hands to the cameras and double-fingered the entire nation. Nixon went on to greet the Brazilian Prime minister with a savage kick to the testicles, and concluded his visit by urinating from the window of a moving limousine.

If you’re visiting Brazil, you should also never touch any food with your fingers. Even stuff like pizzas and burgers should be eaten with a knife and fork. Not that you’ll ever need to apply this knowledge, because after reading this article, you’d be insane if you ever travel abroad again.

By:

Sarkozy was paid £128,000 for Davos speech in which he insulted Israel to room full of Jewish businessmen


  • Former French president talking at a fundraiser by the United Israel Appeal
  • Suggests Palestinian homeland is only secure future for the Middle East
  • Goes on to attack Israel for ‘surrounding herself with the walls of Jericho’
  • Many in the audience so offended they threaten to withdraw donations
  • Sarkozy celebrates 57th birthday with wife Carla Bruni on night out in Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy was paid more than £128,000 to criticise Israel to a room full of enraged Jewish business people, it emerged today.

Delivering a master class in how not to perform a paid-for conference speech, the former French president caused offence at the prestigious world economic forum at Davos, Switzerland.Incendiary: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was paid £128,000 to make at a Jewish fundraiser

Despite being hired to make his speech at a United Israel Appeal, Mr Sarkozy made it clear that he saw a proper Palestinian homeland as the only secure future for the Middle East. 

He attacked Israel for ‘surrounding herself with the walls of Jericho’, saying ‘it will be necessary to bring these walls down to prevent disaster.’

Mr Sarkozy’s words last Friday called for international pressure to be brought on Israel, so that it complied with Palestinian demands.

This outraged many in the room, who included influential business people with close links to the state of Israel.

His words were highlighted in the Times of Israel, which wrote: ‘The speech was reportedly poorly received by those present, who felt Sarkozy was venting his disappointment with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

‘Many of the participants complained to the organisers and even threatened to withdraw their donations and convince others to do the same.’ 

The notoriously controversial Mr Sarkozy then left the room in the President Wilson Hotel in Davos, as many of the audience threatened to withdraw their donations.

 
Flashpoint: The former French president suggested a Palestinian homeland was the only secure future for the Middle East

Mr Sarkozy’s maternal grandfather was a Greek Jew. Sarkozy is a Catholic, but maintained strong links with Israel when he was French president up until last May.

He is currently at the centre of a number of corruption enquires, including one in which he is accused of accepting illegal cash payments from France’s richest woman.

The allegation is that Liliane Bettencourt, the l’Oreal heiress helped to fund Mr Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign.

 
Anniversaire: Sarkozy celebrates his 57th birthday on a night out with his glamorous wife Carla Bruni in Paris yesterdayAnniversaire: Sarkozy celebrates his 57th birthday on a night out with his glamorous wife Carla Bruni in Paris yesterday

As Mr Sarkozy’s lawyers deal with such scandals, he is trying to establish himself as an international conference speaker in the style of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Mr Sarkozy’s efforts  at becoming a highly-paid raconteur have been hampered by the fact that he does not speak very good English, and his latest gaffe will also set his ambitions back.

PETER ALLEN

Saudi Arabia: For the first time women are appointed to parliament


24.04.2009 саудовская аравия женщина глаза хиджаб бурка ислам мусульманство мусульманка

Saudi King Abdullah has for the first time appointed 30 women to the country’s parliament, according to a royal decree. The decree gives women a fifth of the Shura Council, which is the formal parliament of the conservative, oil-rich kingdom but has very limited powers. All its 150 members are appointed by the king.

In 2011, Abdullah pledged to allow women to run for and vote in municipal elections, the country’s only polls, as part of his reform drive. The next election is set for 2015.

Saudi Arabia remains the only predominantly Muslim country that has yet to allow women the right to vote.

Saudi women are also not allowed to drive, and cannot travel unless they are accompanied by a male guardian or are over 45 years of age.

Moscow times

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