Mahsa Amini did not die from blows to body: Iranian coroner

Mahsa Amini’s death gained widespread coverage in and out of Iran, and sparked outrage among people in the country seething with anger over a long list of grievances. (AP)
Mahsa Amini’s death gained widespread coverage in and out of Iran, and sparked outrage among people in the country seething with anger over a long list of grievances. (AP)
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Updated 07 October 2022

Mahsa Amini did not die from blows to body: Iranian coroner

Mahsa Amini did not die from blows to body: Iranian coroner
  • Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police
  • Her death ignited more than two weeks of nationwide protests

DUBAI: An Iranian coroner’s report into the death of Mahsa Amini said she did not die due to blows to the head and limbs but from multiple organ failure caused by cerebral hypoxia, the official news agency IRNA reported on Friday.
The death of 22-year-old Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police has ignited more than two weeks of nationwide protests. Her father has said she suffered bruises to her legs, and has held the police responsible for her death.
The coroner’s report said her death was “not caused by blow to the head and limbs.” It did not say whether she had suffered any injuries. The report did say she fell while in custody due to “underlying diseases.”
“Due to the ineffective cardio-respiratory resuscitation in the first critical minutes, she suffered severe hypoxia and as a result brain damage.”


PIF-owned Badeel, ACWA to develop MENA’s largest solar plant in KSA 

PIF-owned Badeel, ACWA to develop MENA’s largest solar plant in KSA 
Updated 20 min 38 sec ago

PIF-owned Badeel, ACWA to develop MENA’s largest solar plant in KSA 

PIF-owned Badeel, ACWA to develop MENA’s largest solar plant in KSA 

RIYADH: Saudi utility firm ACWA Power has signed power purchase agreements with the Water and Electricity Holding Co. to develop the biggest solar plant of its kind in the Middle East, with capacity to power 350,000 homes.

The 2,060 MW solar photovoltaic plant will be built in Al Shuaibah, Makkah province and is expected to begin commercial operations by the fourth quarter of 2025. 

Known as Badeel, the Water and Electricity Holding Co., wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, will jointly own the project with ACWA Power, with both companies holding a 50 percent equity stake each.  

The project will be executed through a newly formed joint company called Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Co..

Yazeed A. Al-Humied, deputy governor and head of MENA Investments at PIF, said: "This marks a key achievement toward PIF’s commitment to develop 70 percent of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy by 2030. 

“Utilities and renewables is one of PIF’s priority sectors as part of its domestic strategy, which focuses on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors to enhance Saudi Arabia’s efforts in diversifying revenue sources.”  

In this regard, the Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Co. signed a power purchase agreement with the Saudi Power Procurement Co..

 The $1.75-billion contract spread over 35 years will include the development, financing, building, own, and operation of 2060 MW of the Shuaibah Two PV solar energy plant.  

The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s energy transition strategy, highlighting how a giga-scale development in sustainable energy will play a key role in translating Vision 2030 goals.  

“Under the guidance of our visionary leadership and the Ministry of Energy, Saudi Arabia continues to accelerate its ambitious plans for diversifying its energy mix to include renewable energy. It is a great honor to partner with Badeel and SPPC in developing this milestone project which will set a benchmark for sustainable energy development in the region,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman, ACWA Power.  

He said solar power is a key component in unlocking positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for the betterment of communities across our great nation, adding: “We remain committed to developing local capabilities in technology, supply chain, and talent and ensure they are realized to their fullest potential.”  

Badeel and ACWA Power will build, own, and operate Al Shuaibah 2 facility and the electricity produced will be sold to SPPC.  

Shuaibah 2 is ACWA Power’s sixth solar energy facility in Saudi Arabia, with its portfolio comprising 13 power, water desalination and green hydrogen plants. 

Badeel and ACWA Power are also developing the Sudair Solar PV 1500 MW project; which was the first cornerstone renewable energy project in PIF’s program.


Wales boss Page urges team to learn from World Cup heartache

Wales boss Page urges team to learn from World Cup heartache
Wales' coach Rob Page reacts during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran. AFP
Updated 29 min 16 sec ago

Wales boss Page urges team to learn from World Cup heartache

Wales boss Page urges team to learn from World Cup heartache
  • After reaching the knockout stage at the past two European Championships, Wales struggled in Qatar, with aging stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey looking well past their best
  • “It’s important they learn from it. We’ve had a taste of it, the World Cup and the Euros, and we want to continue to qualify,” said Page

DOHA: Wales will leave Qatar with mixed emotions — pride at reaching their first World Cup in 64 years mingled with a sense of bitter disappointment that they failed to do themselves justice.
Rob Page’s team, cheered on by legions of their “Red Wall” fans in the Gulf state, drew their opening match against the USA 1-1 but then fell to a 2-0 defeat by Iran and were outclassed by England on Tuesday, losing 3-0.
After reaching the knockout stage at the past two European Championships, Wales struggled in Qatar, with aging stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey looking well past their best.
“We’re disappointed because we know in a couple of the games we haven’t really shown our true colors and that’s probably the most frustrating thing for me and the group of players,” said Page. “They know that themselves. I don’t need to tell them that.
“It’s important they learn from it. We’ve had a taste of it, the World Cup and the Euros, and we want to continue to qualify.”
The coach urged a focus on the “bigger picture,” saying the experience would prove beneficial for his younger players.
“We haven’t got the pool of players that England have got and I think they’ll go on to do well in the tournament,” he said. “For us, it is an amazing achievement to get here.
“We’ve got to expose the younger players to these environments and hopefully then in future we can continue to qualify.”
- Patchy Wales -
Full-back Connor Roberts does not believe Wales, who beat Ukraine in a play-off to qualify for Qatar, did themselves justice during their three Group B matches.
“There were patches where we did show what we were all about but they were few and far between and it’s a little bit disappointing for a lot of the players, myself included,” he said.
The Burnley player said when the dust settles the Welsh squad will reflect on the achievement of even getting to the World Cup but said they wanted more.
“The next accomplishment for Wales’ men’s team will be to try and get out of the group at the World Cup, whenever that will be,” he said.
“We might have to wait a while, we might not have to wait too long but that is the next goal and it’s a good thing that football moves quickly. The Euros (qualifiers) starts in March and we need to take experiences and the young players need to learn from this.”
Bale, 33, has indicated he wants to continue playing for Wales, while Joe Allen, 32, and Ramsey, 31, have yet to comment on their future at international level.
Page said the shift to a new generation would “happen naturally when the time is right,” while Roberts bristled at the notion that the team were aging fast.
“There’s also a lot of people the right side of 30 and a lot of talent in that squad... we’ve got a lot of young players who can learn from this experience and hopefully take it forward,” he said.
One of those young players is Rubin Colwill, 20, who plays for Cardiff in the English Championship.
“It’s a great learning experience for not just me but all the younger boys to learn from the likes of Gareth, Aaron, Joe, Ben (Davies), Wayne (Hennessey), all the older boys,” he said.
He said Wales had traveled to Qatar with high expectations.
“You’ve always got to think the sky’s the limit really,” he said. “We wanted to get out of the group really. We knew it was a tough group and you’ve seen that on paper and I think you can see that now with the spread of the points in the group. 
“Obviously England being the big country didn’t really run away with it with the points either so it just shows the standard of the group.”


No comment from Saudi Al-Nassr club if Cristiano Ronaldo deal is a go

No comment from Saudi Al-Nassr club if Cristiano Ronaldo deal is a go
Updated 14 min 10 sec ago

No comment from Saudi Al-Nassr club if Cristiano Ronaldo deal is a go

No comment from Saudi Al-Nassr club if Cristiano Ronaldo deal is a go
  • Ronaldo became a free agent after recently having his contract with Manchester United terminated
  • Saudi deal would be biggest ever in world football, with Ronaldo earning a reported $210m a year

RIYADH: Cristiano Ronaldo could be on the verge of joining Saudi club Al-Nassr on a world record two-and-a-half-year contract worth almost $518 million, according Spanish newspaper Marca, and other English and French media outlets.

Ronaldo is currently at the World Cup in Qatar with Portugal, who secured their passage to the round of 16 with a 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday.

The move by the footballing superstar would be by some distance the most dramatic in the history of Saudi and Asian football, and would likely attract millions of new international followers to the Saudi Pro League and, potentially, the AFC Champions League.

Ronaldo recently had his contract at Manchester United terminated after criticizing club manager Eric ten Hag, management and players in a controversial interview with Piers Morgan aired just days before the start of the World Cup.

Rumors around the potential move began shortly after the start of Qatar 2022, but Ronaldo has remained tight-lipped, saying only that any discussion of a deal with Al-Nassr or elsewhere will have to wait till after the World Cup.

With no transfer fee for any potential new club, the 37-year-old Ronaldo would receive a financially attractive signing-on fee and $210 million per year from what could possibly be the last major contract of his outstanding career.

Ronaldo began his career at Sporting Lisbon before making his name with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, where he won three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.

In the summer of 2009 he joined Real Madrid for a world record fee of around $95 million, and went on to win four Champions League medals and two La Liga titles at the Bernabeu.

In 2018, he moved to Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles, before returning to Manchester United ahead of the 2021-22 season.

He also captained Portugal to the Euro 2016 title, and is international football’s record goalscorer with 118 goals.

So far there has been no comment from the Al-Nassr regarding the deal.


NEOM’s hanging stadiums will help make the giga-project a top-rated tourist hub: CEO

NEOM’s hanging stadiums will help make the giga-project a top-rated tourist hub: CEO
Updated 38 min 48 sec ago

NEOM’s hanging stadiums will help make the giga-project a top-rated tourist hub: CEO

NEOM’s hanging stadiums will help make the giga-project a top-rated tourist hub: CEO

RIYADH: The hanging stadiums within Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion giga-project NEOM will make tourists reimagine and visualize the future, as the Kingdom steadily pursues its ambitions to become a global tourism hub by 2030, according to its CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr.

Speaking at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 30, Al-Nasr noted that everything in NEOM will be connected to tourism business models.

“In The Line, we want people to come and see how sports stadiums are built, and where they are built. The sports stadiums in NEOM are 300 meter high, loose and hanging in the air,” said Al-Nasr.

He added: “We did not build sports stadiums in NEOM loose just for the sake of having it loose. We believe in the best use of space.”

During his talk, Al-Nasr said that OXAGON, the industrial city in NEOM also has all the potential to become a world-class tourist destination, where visitors can come and see how the future will be.

“It is in OXAGON where all industries will be, and it is the port of NEOM. Yet, we would like to see tourists spending a day or two in OXAGON. They will see the future of industries in OXAGON. Everything in NEOM is built for the future era. We want them to come and see how future sea ports will operate,” he said.

According to Al-Nasr, NEOM’s location has all the potential to turn it into a global tourism hub.

“We are just two hours from Europe. Believe it or not, we see Africa within miles. We are a connection of three continents,” he noted.

Al-Nasr added that NEOM’s plan to launch a new airline is to ensure non-stop travel to visitors from their destination to Saudi Arabia’s mega city without any stop in the middle.

Al-Nasr further noted that NEOM’s tourism will be a blend of past and future, as the region is 5,000 years old with a rich heritage.

“NEOM is where all religions have passed through, and this is the region where prophets have passed through. So, in NEOM, we will blend the past and the future,” said Al-Nasr.

He added that 95 percent geographical area of NEOM, which is equal to 25,000 kilometers, will be an untouchable natural reserve.

Al-Nasr went on to say that everything that is being built in NEOM will be a piece of art which will elevate the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.

“In NEOM, we will never use the term solar panels or plants, instead, we call them solar parks. Everything we are developing, we wanted it to be a piece of art, a piece of attention and a piece of attraction to our tourism,” said Al-Nasr.


At least 16 killed, 24 wounded in north Afghanistan blast - local media

At least 16 killed, 24 wounded in north Afghanistan blast -  local media
Updated 14 min 59 sec ago

At least 16 killed, 24 wounded in north Afghanistan blast - local media

At least 16 killed, 24 wounded in north Afghanistan blast -  local media

KABUL: At least 16 people were killed and 24 others wounded Wednesday by a blast at a madrassa in Afghanistan's northern city of Aybak, a doctor at a local hospital said.

“All of them are children and ordinary people,” a doctor at a hospital in the Samangan provincial capital told AFP, asking not to be named.