Alert on a fire at Iran's parliament is withdrawn

Alert on a fire at Iran's parliament is withdrawn
A general view of the Iranian parliament building in Tehran on June 8, 2017. AFP
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Updated 01 December 2021

Alert on a fire at Iran's parliament is withdrawn

Alert on a fire at Iran's parliament is withdrawn

TEHRAN: A Reuters alert reporting a fire at the Iranian parliament is wrong and is withdrawn. 

 


Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga

Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga
Updated 17 min 2 sec ago

Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga

Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga
  • Crew of the HMAS Adelaide would follow drastic health protocols to ensure Tonga remains free from COVID-19

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga: A coronavirus-hit Australian warship docked in Tonga on Wednesday, delivering desperately needed aid to the volcano-and-tsunami-struck nation under strict “no-contact” protocols.
Tongan Health Minister Saia Piukala said the crew of the HMAS Adelaide would follow drastic health protocols to ensure the remote Pacific kingdom remains one of the few places in the world still free of COVID-19.
“The ship will berth and no contacts will be made. Australians from the ship will unload their cargoes and sail from port,” he told reporters.
The Adelaide was deployed as part of an international aid effort after the January 15 eruption that generated massive tsunami waves and blanketed the island nation in toxic ash.
The warship is carrying about 80 tons of relief supplies, including water, medical kits and engineering equipment.
Despite all crew members testing negative before departing Brisbane, officials in Canberra on Tuesday said 23 coronavirus cases had been detected on the vessel.
Piukala said that number had increased to 29 by Wednesday.
The ship’s 600-plus crew are fully vaccinated, and the Australian Defense Force said Tuesday that the initial 23 patients were asymptomatic or only mildly affected.
It said the ship has a 40-bed hospital, including operating theaters and a critical care ward.
Piukala said contactless protocols were being applied to all relief supplies, including those aboard the HMAS Adelaide, meaning all goods offloaded from foreign planes or ships would be left in isolation for three days before being handled by Tongans.
The ship is said to be loaded with about 250,000 liters (66,000 US gallons) of water, buckets, jerry cans and portable field-testing kits that can now be offloaded.
“We can do that in a contactless way, spray the equipment so that the chance of passing on the virus is obviously negligible,” Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said Tuesday.
“Under no circumstance will we compromise the health and well-being of those Tongans who have already had a concerted effort against the virus by protecting themselves, and the virus is not present on the island.”
But coronavirus restrictions are already hampering the aid effort in other ways.
Japan has announced its aid aircraft will pause trips between Australia and Tonga due to four COVID-19 cases among the mission’s staff.
“We are making sure that the impact on the mission is minimal, and once our review of anti-infection measures is completed, we’ll continue the mission,” a defense ministry official said.
Tonga closed its borders in early 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe.
Since then, the nation of 100,000 has recorded just one COVID-19 case, a man who returned from New Zealand in October last year and has since fully recovered.
However, the devastating blast from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which lies about 65 kilometers north of the capital Nuku’alofa, has created what the Tongan government describes as an “unprecedented disaster.”
Entire villages were washed away by tsunamis, while ash has poisoned water supplies and destroyed crops.
Remarkably, there have been only three reported fatalities, which the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said was thanks to effective early warnings issued by the Tongan government.
OCHA said communications severed by the eruption were slowly being restored and assessment teams were visiting hard-to-reach areas to gauge the full scale of the disaster.
It said 85 percent of Tonga’s population had been affected, with access to safe water, ash clearance and food supplies the main priorities.


GM invests $7 billion to rival EV competitors

GM invests $7 billion to rival EV competitors
Updated 24 min 56 sec ago

GM invests $7 billion to rival EV competitors

GM invests $7 billion to rival EV competitors

DETROIT: General Motors said Tuesday it will invest $7 billion in Michigan, much of that aimed at dramatically boosting production of full-size electric pickups, intensifying a battle with rival Ford Motor for EV supremacy in North America. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

General Motors is putting the pedal to the metal in its race toward an electric vehicle future.

The company announced Tuesday it will invest $7 billion in Michigan, much of that aimed at dramatically boosting production of full-size electric pickups.

CEO Mary Barra said the investment will benefit four Michigan manufacturing sites and will create 4,000 jobs:

“The 7 billion investment is the largest in GM’s history and its so appropriate that it’s in Michigan. It includes a new Ultium Cell LLC battery plant – will be located near Lansing. As well as the conversion of our assembly plant in Orion township for the production of the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra EV pickups.”

GM said its Detroit-Hamtramck and Orion Township plants will be able to build more than 600,000 electric trucks a year by late 2024, including different variations of the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra electric pickups.

“And all together, we will have more than a million units of EV capability in North America by the end of 2025.”

Tuesday’s announcement intensifies a battle with Ford for EV dominance in North America.

In January, Ford said it will have the annual capacity to build 600,000 electric vehicles, including 150,000 F-150 Lightning pickups, within 24 months.

But, both Ford and GM will have to contend with the current EV leader – Tesla. It will soon open a second U.S. plant in Austin, Texas, and is on pace to sell more than 1 million electric vehicles globally in 2022.


Here’s what you need to know before opening bell today

Here’s what you need to know before opening bell today
Updated 26 min 43 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before opening bell today

Here’s what you need to know before opening bell today

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main stock index TASI ended Tuesday’s session in positive territory as gains in the energy, financial, and insurance sectors pushed the index higher.

TASI recorded gains at 0.3 percent, reaching 12,109 points, and the parallel Nomu market closed flat at 25,551 points.

Most major GCC indexes also recorded gains on Tuesday.

Dubai’s DFMGI, Abu Dhabi’s FTSE ADX general index, and the Qatari QSI index all edged up between 0.1 and 0.3 percent.

Bourses of Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait were down, as well as the Egyptian EGX30 index which closed 0.6 lower.

In energy trading, oil prices rebounded as Brent crude oil crossed $88 per barrel, and US benchmark WTI crude oil reached $85.3 per barrel as of 9:05 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

  • The Saudi Automotive Services Co. has acquired 80 percent of gas station operator NAFT Services Limited Co. for $1.1 billion ($293 million)
  • Advanced Petrochemical Co.’s board recommended increasing capital to SR2.6 billion, or by 20 percent, through issuing bonus shares. They also recommended buying back 1.5 million shares to allocate in an employee incentives program
  • Saudi oil giant Aramco has awarded a SR268 million contract to Arabian Pipes Co. to provide steel pipes
  • Dallah Healthcare Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding with KUN Investment Holding Co. for the purchase of 19 percent of International Medical Center Co. through a share swap

Calendar

Jan. 27, 2022

End of Gas Arabian Services’ IPO book-building

End of Scientific and Medical Equipment House’s IPO book-building

Jan. 28, 2022

End of Elm Co.’s IPO book-building 

 


‘Home’ hopes driving Montgomerie challenge at Dubai Desert Classic

‘Home’ hopes driving Montgomerie challenge at Dubai Desert Classic
Updated 27 min 7 sec ago

‘Home’ hopes driving Montgomerie challenge at Dubai Desert Classic

‘Home’ hopes driving Montgomerie challenge at Dubai Desert Classic
  • Winner in 1996, the Scotsman is relishing being back among the world’s best players at Emirates Golf Club

Twenty-six years after lifting the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic’s famous Dallah Trophy, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, the tournament’s 1996 champion, is relishing his latest shot at Dubai glory.

Two-and-a-half decades after famously playing a driver off the deck on the 18th fairway — a shot that effectively sealed his maiden Dubai title — Montgomerie is back in the emirate alongside a world-class field comprising multiple Masters, Open and Major winners, numerous Ryder Cup veterans, as well as serial DP World Tour and PGA Tour event winners.

With two of the event’s headline stars, Collin Morikawa, the world number two, and Viktor Hovland, the world number five, not even born when Montgomerie triumphed on the Majlis Course, the eight-time Order of Merit winner is keen to enjoy himself against a youthful Dubai field.

“I really enjoy it in Dubai,” Montgomerie said. “It’s a great honor to have my name above the door at a course not too far away from here, and it’s always nice to come to Emirates Golf Club as a past champion. I have one plaque in the world and it’s here on the 18th fairway, so it’s a very special place for me. I do enjoy coming back here and playing the golf course, it’s stood the test of time and I think I speak for all the players when I say we enjoy coming here.”

As a regular in Dubai since the 1980s, Montgomerie is in an ideal position to evaluate the ever-evolving landscape surrounding Emirates Golf Club.

“The city has sprung up around the course,” Montgomerie said. “They were ahead of the game and realized the potential out here — and I say here because in those days it was quite a way out.”

Following its promotion to a Rolex Series Event this year, and a fresh look and feel around the Majlis Course on the back of title sponsor Slync onboard, Montgomerie is embracing the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic’s “new era.” 

Everything is moving forward in the right way. The prize money is $8 million, who can argue with any of this and in the January sunshine no less — let’s enjoy ourselves,” Montgomerie said.


Saudi Aramco awards $71m steel pipes deal to Arabian Pipes

Saudi Aramco awards $71m steel pipes deal to Arabian Pipes
(Shutterstock)
Updated 17 min 57 sec ago

Saudi Aramco awards $71m steel pipes deal to Arabian Pipes

Saudi Aramco awards $71m steel pipes deal to Arabian Pipes

RIYADH: Saudi oil giant Aramco has sealed a SR268 million ($71 million) deal with homegrown Arabian Pipes Co. to provide steel pipes, according to a bourse filing.

The contract will be valid for 13 months, the Riyadh-based pipe manufacturer said in a statement to Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul.

Arabian Pipes expects the transaction to impact its financial statements starting from the third quarter of this year until the first quarter of 2023.