Qatar school responds to former teacher’s child sex arrest

Mugshot of former Dubai teacher William Ball, who was arrested in the US last week. (The Indy Channel)
Updated 21 February 2018
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Qatar school responds to former teacher’s child sex arrest

DUBAI: The Qatar Academy in Doha has responded to the recent arrest of one of its former staff members who was charged with attempting to solicit sex with a child.
“We are shocked to hear about the allegations made against a former Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) teacher, William Ball,” the school said in a statement sent to Arab News.
“No concerns about his conduct towards children were raised during his employment.”
News broke of Ball’s arrest early Monday morning. Local reports suggested that he was originally from Mississippi and a music teacher at the school. Prior to his employment in Dubai, he was working at the Qatar Academy in Doha.
During a bond hearing in a court in Tampa the prosecutor explained that Ball was using the Internet and a mobile phone to set up and meet a seven-year-old, according to US cable news channel ABC.
The court heard that Ball paid $5,000 for a plane ticket and traveled to meet the child.
On his arrest, he was found to have items for a child, condoms and lubricant, the court heard.
The statement went on to say that the academy was offering support for students, parents and staff: “Qatar Academy recognizes that students, parents and staff may be disturbed by the reports; our counseling staff are on hand to provide whatever support needed,” it concluded.
The academy did not provide any further information about Ball and his employment at the Qatar school, despite requests by Arab News.


Palestinians protest in Ramallah over Gaza sanctions

Updated 11 min 44 sec ago
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Palestinians protest in Ramallah over Gaza sanctions

  • Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Saturday in the occupied West Bank to demand the Palestinian Authority lift punitive measures against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
  • Demonstrators in Ramallah chanted “scrap the sanctions!” during protests against the Palestinian Authority.

RAMALLAH: Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Saturday in the occupied West Bank to demand the Palestinian Authority lift punitive measures against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, an AFP reporter said.
Demonstrators in Ramallah chanted “scrap the sanctions!” during protests against the Palestinian Authority, organized by civil society groups.
The Ramallah-based administration has introduced a series of measures against Gaza over the past year.
Tens of thousands of its civil servants in the coastal enclave, separated from the West Bank by a strip of Israeli territory, have gone without full pay for months.
Critics say such moves by the PA, dominated by the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, further exacerbate the split between the two parts of the Palestinian territories.
The rally passed peacefully, unlike a protest on June 13 during which Palestinian security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
On Saturday, policemen were seen handing out Palestinian flags to the protesters.
Hamas has run Gaza since seizing it from the Palestinian Authority amid deadly clashes in 2007.
Since that year, Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza which it argues is necessary to isolate Hamas.
Rights groups say the siege amounts to collective punishment.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the territory since 2008.
Neighbouring Egypt has also largely sealed its land border with Gaza in recent years, citing security threats.
The United Nations has said Gaza, which is home to two million people, will be uninhabitable by 2020.
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement last October, but it has since collapsed.