Dubai’s traditional abra goes green

The new Hybrid Abra, a solar- and battery-powered upgrade to the traditional wooden boat (File/WAM)
Updated 30 December 2018
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Dubai’s traditional abra goes green

  • Traditional Emirati boat receives a new green upgrade
  • The Hybrid Abra mixes solar and battery-powered energy

DUBAI: Dubai announced on Saturday the launch of the first “green” abra —a traditional Emirati wooden boat— that uses a combination of solar and battery powered energy.

The traditional wooden boat, usually petrol-powered, now has 26 batteries, with solar energy panels and a standby generator to recharge them, UAE news agency WAM reported.

The abra has the capacity for 20 passengers and is used by local residents as a means of transport to cross the creek. With the new upgrade, it now features a variety of modern necessities, such as USB ports for recharging cell phones.

The Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai conducted the first test run of hybrid abra and will continue to operate on a trial basis.

“The trial run of the Hybrid Abra supports the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative,” the Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, Mattar Al-Tayer said.

The price for a ride remains consistent at 0.52 USD (AED 2) to travel across the creek. 


Adoptive mom arrested for alleged abuse of child YouTube stars

This recent undated photo released by the Pinal County Detention Center on March 21, 2019 shows Machelle Hackney after being arrested. (AFP)
Updated 25 March 2019
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Adoptive mom arrested for alleged abuse of child YouTube stars

  • One alleged that “her mother would spray her and her siblings with pepper spray all over their face and body,” while another “stated they would go days without food, water,” the document said

WASHINGTON: YouTube has removed a channel that featured children playing with toy guns and whistling after police arrested their adoptive mother for allegedly starving them, locking them in closets and pepper-spraying them.
The “Fantastic Adventures” channel had more than 700,000 followers and 240 million views.
The seven adopted children told investigators of “having to participate” in the YouTube shows, a court document says.
“They stated they are disciplined in the manners above if they do not recall their lines or do not participate as they are directed to,” says the document filed in Pinal County, Arizona.
“They further stated this is one of the reasons their mom took them out of school so they can keep filming their series and they mentioned they have not been in school for years.”
The youngsters were aged between six and 15.
One alleged that “her mother would spray her and her siblings with pepper spray all over their face and body,” while another “stated they would go days without food, water,” the document said.
They were also “locked in the closet for days at a time” and two said they were sprayed or pinched in the genitals, it added.
Officers from Maricopa, outside Phoenix, said the children “appeared to be malnourished.”
Arrested last week, Machelle Hackney, 47, — known as Machelle Hobson on her channel — was charged with seven counts of child abuse, two counts of child molestation, five counts of unlawful imprisonment and seven counts of child neglect.
Police told AFP on Thursday that she remains in custody after a Tuesday hearing, but her two biological sons, also arrested, were released. Ryan Hackney and Logan Hackney, both 27, are charged with seven counts of failing to report abuse.
The adopted children also appeared in superhero costumes on the channel, which YouTube took down on Wednesday.