Eight murders in a month in Syria camp: Kurds

Eight murders in a month in Syria camp: Kurds
A member of Kurdish securiy forces stands guard as Syrian Kurdish authorities set out to hand over Russian orphans born to parents linked to Daesh to a Russian delegation for repatriation in Qamishli. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 07 July 2021

Eight murders in a month in Syria camp: Kurds

Eight murders in a month in Syria camp: Kurds
  • Kurdish forces have struggled to maintain security inside the sprawling tent city of Al-Hol
  • UN has warned of radicalisation inside the camp housing Syrians, Iraqis and foreign women and children linked to Daesh in a separate annex

BEIRUT: A camp in northeast Syria housing Daesh group relatives saw at least eight murders last month, Kurdish forces said Tuesday, the latest of dozens of such killings since January.
Kurdish forces have struggled to maintain security inside the sprawling tent city of Al-Hol, which is home to some 62,000 people, mostly women and children.
The United Nations has warned of radicalization inside the camp, which houses Syrians, Iraqis and some 10,000 foreign women and children linked to Daesh in a separate annex.
In June, Daesh cells inside Al-Hol “carried out more killings of residents distancing themselves from the extremist ideas of the group,” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said.
It said eight people of Syrian and Iraqi nationality were shot dead, among them a 16-year-old Iraqi refugee and two Syrian sisters aged 17 and 23. A Russian woman was wounded.
The SDF also added that 42 women and men and 43 children, of different nationalities, were caught trying to smuggle themselves out of the camp in June.
In early April, the SDF said they had captured 125 suspected Daesh members in a security sweep in Al-Hol, which is in Hasakah province.
At the time, the group said 47 killings had taken place in the three months since the start of the year.
Syria’s Kurds hold custody of thousands of suspected Daesh fighters in jails, and their relatives in camps, after expelling the extremists in 2019 from the last patch of territory they controlled.
The Kurdish authorities have repeatedly urged the international community to repatriate their nationals, but most countries have so far taken back only some of the children.
Beyond the camps, the International Committee of the Red Cross last week sounded the alarm over the Kurdish authorities holding “hundreds of children” in adult prisons.
The Kurds responded by urging international help to set up more rehabilitation centers for minors linked to the extremists.
Daesh overran large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, before several military offensives led to their territorial defeat in eastern Syria in March 2019.
However, extremist sleeper cells continue to launch regular attacks in both countries.


The evolution of the international cricket coach in the modern game

The evolution of the international cricket coach in the modern game
Updated 3 min 9 sec ago

The evolution of the international cricket coach in the modern game

The evolution of the international cricket coach in the modern game
  • For long captains were in charge of tactics and they remain important today, but the importance of the coach has skyrocketed in recent decades

In soccer, managers and coaches are a high-profile part of the game. This is less the case in cricket. Traditionally, an overseas touring party had a manager appointed to oversee the logistics of the tour and to be its public face. An assistant manager sometimes doubled up as a coach, with the team captain also taking on coaching responsibilities.

In both Australia and England coaches were not selected on a long-term basis until 1986. India had started earlier down this route in 1971, although a feeling of “Indian-ness” had been instilled in the 1960s by the princely captain Tiger Pataudi.

Less international cricket was played at that time and players had more opportunities to work on technical errors that might have entered their game. In the professional (and amateur) domestic game, captains, or their delegates, ran matters, both on and off the field.

However, first-class cricket was entering a new era as commercial sponsorship placed greater emphasis on winning. One aspect of this was increased attention given to diet, fitness and nutrition, although this may have been difficult for the bon viveurs on the professional circuit to embrace enthusiastically. The management of all these developing trends became too much for one person, the captain, to cope with and the role of coach/team manager emerged at both domestic and international levels.

In the latter arena, countries tended to have a panel of selectors, whose chair was a powerful figure. This dynamic has changed with the arrival of a full-time manager/head coach. In England, the power was removed completely when, in April 2021, responsibility for selection was given to the head coach, although the views of the captain are brokered. It is too early to know if this power concentration is for the best.

Over the past four decades a group of elite head coaches has emerged in international cricket. Generally, but not exclusively, they had represented their country at cricket and graduated to become the coach of their national team through a learning stage of coaching regional teams both at home and abroad. As their reputation grew, they attracted the attention of boards of other countries looking to improve their national team’s performance.

England appointed its first overseas coach in 1999, India its first in 2000, but it took until 2011 for Australia to appoint one. A South African famously coached India to World Cup victory in 2011, and an Australian coached England to 2019 World Cup victory.

Each of these coaches has had a different approach to their roles. One approach is to be hands-off, giving space to the players, especially the captain, so that they can express themselves in a relaxed environment. The coach manages emotions, knowing when to be formal or informal with the players, providing a sounding board for concerns that an individual player may wish to discuss privately.

Another approach is to be more technical and theoretical, driven by the statistics and analysis of performance, seeking improvements in technique through practice. The amount of data available to coaching staff is now substantial and is used to inform strategy and game plans.

It can lead to overcomplicating simple aspects of the game and runs the risk of players stopping to think for themselves and communicating with each other. Some elite players have been known to be dismissive of the data-driven approach.

A third approach is that of being a hard taskmaster. Several who tried being this have mellowed with experience. Recently, the Australian head coach has been subject to leaked complaints about his micromanagement, draining intensity and unpredictable mood swings. This has led to a resetting of the relationship between him and the players.

Essentially, cricket is an individualistic team sport. A coach must set a strategy and game plans that act as a driving force for the team and which can be executed by both the captain and the players. In setting out to achieve this, the relationship between the head coach and the captain must be, at the very least, in tandem. The manager/coach is seeking to blend private individuals and team players, givers and takers, established performers and newcomers, trying to create an environment in which, ideally, they can all flourish and improve both as players and individuals, helping each one to maximise their potential.

High skills are required to coach an international team across three formats – 20 overs, 50 overs and Test cricket. It has become standard practice to have specialist batting, bowling and fielding coaches in order for the head coach to concentrate on keeping the team focused, functioning and united, taking pressure off the captain. The coach can fine-tune.

A good example of this occurred in respect of an Australian bowler on his first tour to England. In the opening Test match his performance was below par. The coach took him to the nets, placed two cones either side of the pitch at a certain distance from the stumps and told him to bowl until he could consistently land the ball between the two cones, since that was the length to bowl in England. In the next match the bowler claimed eight wickets out of 10 and a stellar career followed.

The demand for top-class coaches is increasing, especially with the expansion of the IPL, women’s and emerging nations cricket. In the 2021 IPL, where the relationship between the coach and the franchise owners is an added dimension, only one head coach was Indian. Out of the 16 head coaches in the T20 World Cup this year, seven are nationals and, remarkably, of the other nine, six are South Africans.

A coach’s task is all-consuming, carrying a relatively short span per contract, requiring cricketing credibility, high-quality person-management skills and the ability to create a nurturing environment for the team. At the top end of the scale, their value is reflected in salaries around the $1 million mark. Cricket coaches now play a vital and significant role in contributing to a team’s success or failure in the professional game.


Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO

Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO
Updated 8 min 58 sec ago

Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO

Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO

Investors in the digital health industry will see a return of up to 35 percent every year for the next decade, according to the head of a global technology firm.

Peter Ohnemus, president and CEO of Zurich-based dacadoo, talked up the rise of the sector during a discussion on investing in medical innovations at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyad.

He said that the global value of the digitial health industry for 2021 has been estimated at $26billion, but it is forecast to grow to $238.9 billion industry within seven years.

He said: “From an investment perspective going forward over the next ten years will provide a very high return. 

“The integrated digital health sector will create a 30-35 percent return every year over the next decade.”

Ohnemus said that healthcare providers needed to make it simpler for people to understand what they needed to do to stave off chronic illnesses, and the cost implications of developing such conditions. 

Another CEO, Ali Parsa from London-based Babylon Health, also flagged up the costs involved in what he dubbed the “sick caring industry”, saying: “70 percent of all expenditure goes to predictable preventable diseases.”


Highlights from day 4 of Arab Fashion Week: Streetwear, sustainable style come to the fore

Lebanese label Emergency Room showcased a new collection. (Supplied)
Lebanese label Emergency Room showcased a new collection. (Supplied)
Updated 4 min 51 sec ago

Highlights from day 4 of Arab Fashion Week: Streetwear, sustainable style come to the fore

Lebanese label Emergency Room showcased a new collection. (Supplied)

DUBAI: Day four of Arab Fashion Week, currently underway in Dubai Design District, wowed audiences with innovative approaches to fashion and casual day wear for those in need of a break from the deluge of evening gowns.

Dubai-based Lebanese label BLSSD showcased a ready-to-wear collection of day wear dominated by oversized looks, maxi skirts combined with jackets, asymmetrical silhouettes and plisse mainly in black, metallic silver and white colors.

A model walks the runway for BLSSD. (Supplied)

Polish label POCA & POCA, a brand founded in 2010 by the sister and brother duo Karolina and Wiktor Gniewek, brought bows to pleats and ruffles to the runway.

The Poca & Poca presentation. (Supplied)

Meanwhile. Colombian label Glory Ang showcased a Spring/Summer 2022 collection titled “Magical Creatures,” complete with vibrant colors and eye-catching silhouettes.

Colombian label Glory Ang showcased its Spring/Summer 2022 collection. (Supplied)

The last highlight of the day was the Beirut based designer Eric Ritter, creative director of EMERGENCY ROOM, and his “Neverland” collection. The sustainable approach of the brand, which typically uses upcycled materials, was reflected in the presentation, in which a diverse cast of models showed off the new line.

The brand cast clients, fans, and supporters to walk the runway to a voice over by the creative director telling the story of his beloved Beirut and the current challenges it faces.

The collection was created from upcycled fabric and bed sheets.

(Supplied)

 


SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021

 SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021
Updated 6 min 42 sec ago

SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021

 SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021
  • The chairman reiterated the bank’s efforts to support Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) recorded a seismic leap of 157 percent in net profit after Zakat and income tax of SR2.8 billion ($750m) for the first 9 months of 2021, compared to the loss of SR4.8 billion in the same period last year. 

“It is worth reiterating that we are in the investment phase of our newly announced five-year strategic plan, where we will be taking the necessary steps to develop the Bank into an institution fit to meet the future needs of our customers,” chairman of SABB, Lubna Olayan, said.

“We are investing considerably across the business front-to-back, to ensure that we remain relevant and can create a sustainable banking organization,” she added.  

The chairman reiterated the bank’s efforts to support Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan and unlock the opportunities brought by the economic transformation plans. 


Results of WFA’s first diversity, equity and inclusion census released

Results of WFA’s first diversity, equity and inclusion census released
Updated 22 min 54 sec ago

Results of WFA’s first diversity, equity and inclusion census released

Results of WFA’s first diversity, equity and inclusion census released
  • Most common forms of discrimination globally were reported on the basis of age and family status

DUBAI: The initial results of the first census on diversity, equity and inclusion initiated by the World Federation of Advertisers to assess diversity challenges facing the marketing and advertising industry have been released.

Initial results identified key challenges around family status, age, and gender as well as ethnicity and disability.

It found clear gaps in lived experiences when these groups were compared to the industry average, both in individual markets and globally. For example, on Kantar’s Inclusion Index, which is generated by asking questions about people’s sense of belonging, the absence of discrimination, and the presence of negative behavior, men scored at 69 percent compared to women at 61 percent.
“This has been a Herculean but long-overdue effort. For the very first time, we hear and see the marketing industry in all its different facets and nuance,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA.

Despite these serious concerns, the marketing sector still outperformed every other category analyzed by research partner Kantar, scoring an overall 64 percent on the index, ahead of the next highest sector, health and pharmaceuticals, on 60 percent.

The research effort was led by the WFA in close collaboration with agency associations including the European Association of Communication Agencies, Voxcomm, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week, The Effies, GlobalWebIndex, Campaign, the International Advertising Association and Kantar.

The most common forms of discrimination identified by the survey were family, status and age, with 27 percent agreeing that their company does not treat all employees fairly regardless of family status and 27 percent agreeing that their company does not treat all employees equally regardless of age. Thirty-six percent of respondents agreed that age can hinder one’s career, while 40 percent of women agreed that family status could hinder one’s career.

These statistics reflect a key finding from the census: Women’s experiences are notably poorer than men’s. There is also strong evidence of a gender pay gap in some markets. In the US and Canada, for example, the gap is worst among industry starters, with a 13 percent gap in the US and a 20 percent gap in Canada.

There were similar findings for ethnic minorities, who scored lower on key sentiments, such as “I feel like I belong at my company,” than ethnic majority groups in nearly all markets. In the US, 17 percent said they faced discrimination based on their racial background. In a number of markets, this was also reflected by a pay gap. However, in many markets surveyed, ethnic minorities or foreign nationals reported being paid more than the ethnic majority.

In an industry struggling to find the right talent, the lack of diversity and inclusion is of grave concern, with 17 percent saying they were likely to leave their current company as a result of the lack of inclusion and/or discrimination they had experienced. Fifteen percent said they would leave the industry entirely.

The Netherlands performed best as a country on this issue, with only 9 percent saying they would find new employment within the industry.

“There is a confidence and strong sense of belonging that rings true of the marketing industry,” said Loerke.

However, there are significant minorities in all countries saying they witness negative behaviors and discrimination on account of their age, family status, gender, ethnicity, race, disability, mental health and sexuality, he added.

“No company or industry can ignore this; a line has been drawn in the sand and we now know where progress must be made. The onus on us all now is to work together to make our industry fairer, more diverse and more inclusive — and to measure our common progress in a second wave in the spring of 2023,” he said.

The results are based on more than 10,000 responses from 27 markets around the world conducted from June to July 2021, with the online survey identifying not just the demographics of participants but also their sense of belonging, as well as experience of discrimination and demeaning behavior.

The full findings for each specific market will be shared later this year. The results will also feed into the work of the WFA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force as well as national action plans led by WFA national associations around the world.