Ukraine beauty queen live streams own death

Sofia Magerko
Updated 03 July 2017

Ukraine beauty queen live streams own death

JEDDAH: A teenage beauty queen live streamed her own death on social media, as she and a friend were drinking and driving in Ukraine.
Sofia Magerko, 16, and Dasha Medvedeva, 24, could be seen drinking and driving as loud music is played in what was later revealed to be a BMW.
As the video progresses the camera is turned to look out of the window and then suddenly there is a crashing noise, the sound of debris falling and then silence. The vehicle they were in had smashed head first into a lamppost.
Magerko, who had recently won a beauty pageant in her home city of Izyum, died immediately, while her friend, Medvedeva, who can be seen driving erratically, died on the way to the hospital.
In the moments before their deaths they can be seen laughing and joking — saying how much they “enjoyed life” — while drinking what appears to have been alcohol from bottles.
According to British website MailOnline a male voice could be heard shortly after describing the scene, presumably to emergency services, explaining: “There is a dead body here… another one fell out of the car.”
The footage, which was shown on Instagram, is just the latest in a series of fatal incidents broadcast to the world as they happened, via social media.
In April Steve Stephens broadcast himself on Facebook Live when he murdered Robert Godwin, 74, shooting him in the head in an unprovoked attack in an Ohio street.
Stephens had been streaming himself, saying he was going to kill more people after his relationship with his partner, Joy Lane, broke down after three years. He later turned the gun on himself after a manhunt was launched.

China envoy in South Korea warns of ‘wrong bets’ over Sino-US rivalry

Updated 7 min 26 sec ago

China envoy in South Korea warns of ‘wrong bets’ over Sino-US rivalry

  • Envoy blames Seoul for creating ‘difficulties’ for bilateral ties by failing to respect Beijing’s core interests, while being influenced by the US

SEOUL: South Korea might be making “wrong bets” in the Sino-US rivalry, the Chinese ambassador in Seoul said, urging Seoul to stop “decoupling” from China and restore economic and diplomatic ties.
Xing Haiming made the remarks during a meeting late Thursday with Lee Jae-myung, head of South Korea’s main opposition party, which has criticized President Yoon Suk Yeol for pursuing lopsided diplomacy toward the US alliance at the expense of relations with China, its top trading partner.
Xing blamed Seoul for creating “difficulties” for bilateral ties by failing to respect Beijing’s core interests, including Taiwan, while being influenced by the United States.
“China-South Korea relations face many difficulties. Frankly, the blame does not lie with China,” he said, according to a statement released by the embassy. “We hope that the South Korean side will faithfully keep its promise and clearly respect China’s core concerns, such as the Taiwan issue.”
Xing warned against making the “wrong judgment” on China because of the “interference of external factors” such as US pressure.
“In a situation where the United States is pressuring China with all its might, some are betting that the United States will win and China will lose. This is clearly a wrong judgment and a failure to properly grasp the course of history,” he said. “I can assure you, those who bet on China’s defeat will definitely regret it.”
Yoon’s office and Seoul’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Yoon has treaded cautiously amid intensifying US-China competition, but Seoul and Beijing exchanged heated words in April over Yoon’s comments on Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.
In an interview with Reuters, Yoon said that flaring tensions around Taiwan were due to attempts to change the status quo by force, and that he opposed such a change.
Xing said South Korea’s trade deficits have worsened because of its efforts to “decouple” from China, but it can “enjoy the bonus” from Chinese economic growth if its confidence in bilateral ties are restored.
“The two countries have built an inextricable economic structure in which their industrial and supply chains are closely connected,” he said.

Syrians lose life-saving care as Turkiye halts medical visits

Updated 6 min 36 sec ago

Syrians lose life-saving care as Turkiye halts medical visits

  • Seriously ill Syrians in the country’s last rebel bastion of Idlib used to be able to access life-saving care across the border

HALZOUN, Syria: Huddled inside a tent in rebel-held northwestern Syria, Umm Khaled says she fears her baby will die unless she gets specialist treatment in neighboring Turkiye for a congenital heart defect.
Seriously ill Syrians in the country’s last rebel bastion of Idlib used to be able to access life-saving care across the border.
But the main crossing there for medical visits slammed shut after a deadly earthquake ravaged southern Turkiye on February 6, prompting Ankara to prioritize its domestic needs.
Born just a week before the disaster, baby Islam needs urgent cardiac surgery, unavailable in Syria’s war-scarred Idlib region where the health care system fell into further disarray after the quake.
“I watch my daughter suffer and I can’t do anything about it,” said Umm Khaled, showing only her eyes and hands beneath her black niqab.
The 27-year-old said her baby was losing weight and her condition worsening.
Islam often struggles to breathe, and a doctor has warned that repeated such episodes, which put further strain on her heart, could be deadly without an operation or treatment.
But only cancer patients have been allowed to cross into Turkiye after months of waiting — and only since Monday.
“When she cries, she turns blue and her heart beats very fast,” Umm Khaled said, as her three other young children sat on the ground in their tent in the village of Halzoun.
“I hope they’ll open the crossing soon,” she said, baby Islam squirming in her lap.
Doctors in Idlib refer most heart and cancer patients to Turkiye, where they can receive free treatment under an agreement between local authorities and Ankara.
Burns victims, premature babies and people requiring complicated surgery have also been allowed to cross.
But after the quake ravaged health facilities on the Turkish side of the border, Ankara halted medical visits through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing — the sole access point for patients from Idlib.
The border has remained open for United Nations humanitarian aid, goods and even Syrians visiting relatives in the area.
Firas Al-Ali, diagnosed with a benign tumor near his brain in 2017, has undergone surgery and tests in Turkiye, where he usually gets medication and treatment every three months.
He had been waiting for treatment on February 23, but then the earthquake struck.
“Due to the delay, I’m getting pain in my eyes and my head,” the 35-year-old blacksmith said.
“My treatment is unavailable here and if it is, it is expensive and I can’t afford it.”
Rebel-held Idlib is home to around three million people, many of them displaced from other parts of Syria and dependent on humanitarian aid.
Government-held areas of Syria are off limits to civilians from Idlib. The Syrian side of the Bab Al-Hawa crossing into Turkiye is controlled by the country’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham.
The Syrian American Medical Society runs the only center in Idlib for cancer patients.
Paediatric oncologist Abdel Razzaq Bakur said the clinic lacked diagnostic equipment and medications, and had been overwhelmed by “numerous patients who urgently need to be admitted in Turkiye.”
The children’s ward alone has admitted 30 patients left untreated by the border closure, he said.
Around 40 more “haven’t been getting chemotherapy and their condition is very bad — some risk dying.”
Some families had tried to get medicine from Turkiye or Lebanon, but prices were often prohibitive, he added.
“Most people can’t cover their basic daily needs, so how are they supposed to secure chemotherapy doses?” he asked.
Yusuf Hajj Yusuf, 60, was scheduled to have chemotherapy in Turkiye the day the quake struck and said a recent scan showed his lung cancer had worsened.
He had asked relatives to help pay for treatment in Idlib but “no longer had the strength” to raise funds.
“I was very happy about the reopening of the crossing,” he said.
“After the earthquake, we cancer patients have suffered a lot. We have all been waiting to return to the Turkish hospitals.”


Pakistan to present budget today for next fiscal year as economy continues to melt down

Updated 10 min 49 sec ago

Pakistan to present budget today for next fiscal year as economy continues to melt down

  • The South Asian country is facing an acute balance-of-payment crisis, currency devaluation and inflation at record 38 percent
  • On Thursday, Finmin Ishaq Dar said the outgoing year was ‘a difficult year for economy’ and posed ‘extreme challenges’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani finance authorities will present on Friday federal budget for the next fiscal year 2023-24, the state media reported, as the South Asian country is likely to post a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 0.29 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30.

Pakistan missed the GDP target by a huge 4.7 percent this fiscal year, which is well below the target of 5 percent set last year, according to the country’s economic survey that highlights the trend of macro-economic indicators, development policies and strategies as well as sectoral achievements of the economy.

The cash-strapped country is due to present its budget at a time when it is in desperate need of bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to shore up its foreign currency reserves that are barely enough to cover a month’s imports.

“Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will present the budget in the National Assembly scheduled to meet at four in the evening at the parliament house in Islamabad,” the state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported on Friday.

At a pre-budget presser on Thursday, Dar called the outgoing year “a difficult year for the economy,” saying the coalition government faced “extreme challenges” when it came to power in April 2022.

“Pakistan has paid a huge political cost of meeting IMF reforms … the structural reforms, the power reforms, gas reforms, the fiscal reforms … we had to do the pending actions,” Dar told reporters.

“For Pakistan, this political cost was worth it … The revival of this [IMF] program was important because of Pakistan’s credibility.”

Islamabad has been hoping to have $1.1 billion of the funds released since November, but the IMF has insisted on a number of conditions being met before it makes any more disbursements.

On Thursday, an IMF official said Pakistan had to satisfy the lender on three counts, starting with a budget due on Friday, before its board reviews whether to release at least some of the $2.5 billion still pending under the $6.5 billion program expiring on June 30.

“As communicated to the authorities, there can be one remaining Board meeting under the current EFF at end-June,” Perez Ruiz said in an email response to Reuters.

“To pave the way for a final review under the current EFF, it is essential to restore the proper functioning of the FX market, pass a FY24 Budget consistent with program objectives, and secure firm and credible financing commitments to close the $6 billion gap ahead of the Board.”

The IMF had tasked Pakistan with securing external financing commitments for $6 billion from other sources, but so far it has only obtained commitments for $4 billion, mostly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Under pressure to shift to a more market-determined exchange rate regime and shut down an unofficial currency market, Pakistan removed daily limits on fluctuations earlier this year.

The country is already reeling from an economic crisis with inflation reaching a record 37.97 percent in May.

The government has imposed taxes, raised energy tariffs and scaled back subsidies in an attempt to persuade the IMF to unlock funding, while its central bank has also raised policy interest rates to a record 21 percent.

The IMF has so far conducted just eight of the 11 reviews that were to take place during the three-year program. The last review took place in August last year.

Saudi Arabia, UAE absorbed 77.5% of Pakistani expat workers in 2022 — economic survey

Updated 09 June 2023

Saudi Arabia, UAE absorbed 77.5% of Pakistani expat workers in 2022 — economic survey

  • More than 96% of Pakistani registered workers for overseas employment were in Gulf Cooperation Council countries in 2022
  • As of December 2022, over 12.4 million Pakistanis used official procedures to travel abroad for employment in over 50 countries

KARACHI: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates alone absorbed more than 77.5 percent of total 829,549 Pakistani expat workers in 2022, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23 released on Thursday.

The yearly flagship publication of the Ministry of Finance highlights the trend of macro-economic indicators and development policies and strategies, as well as sectoral achievements of the economy.

The survey revealed that as of December 2022, more than 12.4 million Pakistanis had used official procedures to travel abroad for employment in over 50 countries including 829,549 Pakistani who travel in 2022.

“More than 96 percent of Pakistani registered workers for overseas employment are in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” the economic survey said. 

“They are contributing to the development of Pakistan’s economy by sending remittances, which is the major source of foreign exchange after exports.”

Citing data from the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE&OE), the economic survey said more than 62 percent, or 514,725 Pakistanis workers, moved to Saudi Arabia followed by UAE, at 15.5 percent, to earn their livelihoods in 2022.

“Oman provided jobs to 82,380 or 9.9 percent and Qatar accommodated 57,984 or 7 percent Pakistani workers of different occupations,” the survey report said.

“Bahrain and Malaysia welcomed 13652 or 1.6 percent workers, and 6175 or 0.7 percent workers, respectively.”

The regional breakdown of those who traveled abroad during 2022 showed the highest number from Punjab (458, 241) followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (224,88) and Sindh (59,067).

The survey said Pakistan had developed a comprehensive diversification strategy developed for five top priority countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, Qatar and Oman along with five potential and non-traditional countries such as Kuwait, South Korea, Japan, Germany and China to promote the export of manpower.

To restore reefs dying in warming seas, UAE turns to coral nurseries

Updated 09 June 2023

To restore reefs dying in warming seas, UAE turns to coral nurseries

ABU DHABI: On a boat off the coast of an island near Abu Dhabi, marine scientist Hamad Al-Jailani feels the corals, picked from the reef nursery and packed in a box of seawater, and studies them carefully, making sure they haven’t lost their color.
The corals were once bleached. Now they’re big, healthy and ready to be moved back to their original reefs in the hope they’ll thrive once more.
“We try to grow them from very small fragments up to — now some of them have reached — the size of my fist,” Al-Jailani said, who’s part of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi’s coral restoration program.
The nursery gives corals the ideal conditions to recover: clear waters with strong currents and the right amount of sunlight. Al-Jailani periodically checks the corals’ growth, removes any potentially harmful seaweed and seagrass, and even lets the fish feed off the corals to clean them, until they’re healthy enough to be relocated.

In this frame from video, Hamad al-Jailani, marine scientist at Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, shows a piece of restored coral underwater off the coast of Abu Dhabi on May 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, or EAD, has been rehabilitating and restoring corals since 2021, when reefs off the United Arab Emirates’ coast faced their second bleaching event in just five years. EAD’s project is one of many initiatives — both public and private — across the country to protect the reefs and the marine life that depend on them in a nation that has come under fire for its large-scale developments and polluting industries that cause harm to underwater ecosystems. There’s been some progress, but experts remain concerned for the future of the reefs in a warming world.
Coral bleaching occurs when sea temperatures rise and sun glares flush out algae that give the corals their color, turning them white. Corals can survive bleaching events, but can’t effectively support marine life, threatening the populations that depend on them.
The UAE lost up to 70 percent of their corals, especially around Abu Dhabi, in 2017 when water temperatures reached 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit), according to EAD. But Al-Jailani said 40-50 percent of corals survived the second bleaching event in 2021.
Although the bleaching events “did wipe out a good portion of our corals,” he said, “it did also prove that the corals that we have are actually resilient ... these corals can actually withstand these kind of conditions.”
Bleaching events are happening more frequently around the world as waters warm due to human-made climate change, caused by the burning of oil, coal and gas that emits heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Other coral reef systems around the world have suffered mass bleaching events, most notably Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
How to limit global warming and its effects will be discussed at length at the United Nations climate conference, which will be held in the UAE capital later this year.
The UAE is one of the world’s largest oil producers and has some of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions globally. The country has pledged to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which means all carbon dioxide emissions are either slashed or canceled out somehow, but the goal has been met with skepticism from analysts.

Zack Heikal, field technician of the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi, dives into the water to visit a coral reef nursery off the coast of Abu Dhabi on May 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

But bleaching due to warming weather is not the only threat to coral reefs around the gulf. High oil tanker traffic, fossil-fuel related activities, offshore installations, and the exploitation of marine resources are all putting marine life under intense stress, according to the UN Environment Programme, causing them to degrade.
Environmentalists have also long criticized the UAE, and Dubai in particular, for its large-scale buildings and huge coastal developments.
The building of the Palm Jebel Ali, which began more than a decade ago and has been on hold since 2008, caused an outcry among conservationists after it reportedly destroyed about 8 square kilometers (5 square miles) of reef.
“More than 90 million cubic meters (23.8 billion gallons) of sediments were dredged and dropped, more or less on top of one of the remaining reefs near Dubai,” said John Henrik Stahl, the dean of the College of Marine Sciences at Khorfakkan University in Sharjah, UAE.
The project was meant to be similar to the Palm Jumeirah — a collection of small, artificial islands off the coast of Dubai in the shape of a palm tree.
Still, environmental projects persist across the coastline and throughout the emirates.
Development company URB has announced it wants to grow 1 billion artificial corals over a 200-square-kilometer area (124 square miles) and 100 million mangrove trees on an 80-kilometer (50-mile) strip of beaches in Dubai by 2040.
Still in the research and development phase, the project hopes to create 3D technology to print materials that can host algae, much like corals.
Members of Dubai’s diving community are also encouraging coral protection efforts.
Diving program director Amr Anwar is in the process of creating a certified coral restoration course that teaches divers how to collect and re-plant corals that have fallen after being knocked off by divers’ fins or a boat’s anchor.

PADI Course Director Amr Anwar fist bumps divers after replanting coral in Dubai on June 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)

“I don’t want people to see broken corals and just leave them like that,” said Anwar. “Through the training we give people, they would be able to take these broken corals that they find and plant them elsewhere, and then see them grow and watch their progress.”
But experts say that unless the threat of overheating seas caused by climate change is addressed, coral bleaching events will continue to occur, damaging reefs worldwide.
Countries have pledged to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, after which scientists say the effects of warming on the planet could be much worse, and some even potentially irreversible. But analysts say most nations — including the UAE — are still way off that target.
“You have to make sure that the cause for the degradation of the coral reefs in the first place is no longer a threat,” said Stahl, the Khorfakkan University scientist. “Otherwise the restoration effort may be for nothing.”