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Expo 2020 Dubai receives more than 3.5 million visits – Arab News

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DUBAI: Expo 2020 Dubai said that it has received by far more than 3.5 million visits in the six weeks since it launched. 
There were 3,578,653 visits made up to mid November according to a statement released by Expo 2020 Dubai. 
The announcement followed a which saw several music artists, sport and cultural performances take place. 
K-pop stars Highlight and Punch took to the stage on Friday night for the KITE performance, along with Fela and the Kalakuta Queens – a spectacular show dedicated to the life of Nigerian musical maestro and political activist Fela Kuti.
 
Arab mega-stars Nancy Ajram and Ragheb Alama performed under a full-audience attendance at Al Wasl dome.
CAIRO: The ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption kicked off on Monday in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly was present, as were representatives from several hundred NGOs, and thousands of other participants.
In his speech, he said corruption is an obstacle to sustainable development that transcends borders, necessitating cooperation to combat it.
He added that tackling corruption is a basic principle of Egypt’s National Human Rights Strategy 2021-2026.
The UN described the conference, which ends on Friday, as a “global milestone to improve international cooperation against corruption and help the world recover in integrity from the pandemic.”
Hassan Abdel Shafi, chairman of the Administrative Control Authority in Egypt, took over the presidency of the ninth session from Harib bin Saeed Al-Amimi, president of the State Audit Institution in the UAE.
ROME: The UAE and Italy have held talks to promote cooperation between their respective small and medium enterprise sectors through a digital platform, with a focus on new startups.
Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano told Arab News that the UAE wants to participate in the project run by Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the body responsible for overseeing long-term investments at local, regional and national level.
The CDP’s digital platform would help both sides to overcome the barriers to travel created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and assist in “matchmaking,” said Di Stefano.
After his meeting in Dubai with Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Di Stefano said the focus would be on life sciences, agriculture, digitization and artificial intelligence.
The SME cooperation would further boost the “excellent” political and commercial relationships between the two nations, he added.
Di Stefano said the UAE would benefit considerably from Italy’s developed manufacturing sector. “So much can be done together,” he added.
AL-MUKALLA: A Yemeni army commander was among at least 100 combatants killed in the past 24 hours outside the central city of Marib, as Arab coalition warplanes intensified air raids on Houthi targets, officials said.
Gen. Nasser Al-Thaybani died while commanding government troops who were fighting off Houthi incursions into the strategic Al-Balaq mountain range that overlooks part of the city.
“The hero Gen. Nasser Al-Thaybani was martyred early on Monday after a bullet from a Houthi sniper hit his head,” Rashad Al-Mekhlafi, a military official at Yemen’s Armed Forces Guidance Department, told Arab News.
He said the commander was leading forces that pushed the Houthis back from the eastern parts of the mountain.
At least 100 Houthis were killed in Marib province after troops mounted a counteroffensive on the militia, who made a rare incursion into Al-Balaq after heavily shelling loyalist locations at the weekend.
Troops expelled the Houthis from Al-Balaq and were currently battling them in desert areas south of Marib, Al-Mekhlafi said. He added that the Houthi had mobilized elite forces to seize control of Al-Balaq.
“The Houthi seizure of even a small part of Al-Balaq would pose a serious threat to Marib.”
FRANKLY SPEAKING: Saudi ambassador to UN urges more efforts to expose Houthis’ terror role. Click here to watch the interview.

The militia began attacking Marib city in February in a bid to fully control the northern half of Yemen, including the city’s oil and gas fields and a major power station.
Despite losing thousands of fighters in battle or through coalition airstrikes, the Houthis have stepped up their ground, missile and drone attacks on the city.
Yemeni commanders said the Houthis were applying a human wave attack, a military tactic in which hundreds of their fighters assault troops who are defending the city.
The escalation of fighting in Marib came as UN Yemen envoy Hans Grundberg on Monday announced his visit to Muscat, where he discussed UN-brokered peace efforts to end the war with Omani officials and Houthi chief negotiator Mohammed Abdul Sallam.
“He discussed ways to de-escalate the violence in #Yemen & begin a political dialogue aimed at reaching a comprehensive &inclusive settlement,” the envoy’s office tweeted.
Grundberg is expected to brief the UN Security Council on Tuesday on the outcomes of his meetings with the main Yemeni stakeholders inside and outside the country and regional and international officials.
CAIRO: Egypt is now the new chair of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa, which provides data and policy direction for the African Union.
The North African state replaces Nigeria in the one-year role. The appointment took place at the 17th CISSA conference held in Cairo on Dec. 12 and 13.
In a speech to the heads of the AU’s security and intelligence services, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stressed the importance of coordinated action to deal with critical issues facing the continent, including the pandemic, illegal immigration, unemployment, cybersecurity, terrorism and organized crime.
El-Sisi singled out cross-border terrorism as one of the greatest challenges facing the AU, which he described as an impediment to the continent’s economic growth.
“There is no other way but to resume exerting the utmost effort to preserve the security and unity of our continent,” he said.
“This should be done to realize the great dreams and aspirations of the African peoples, and to enjoy the stability and prosperity aspired (to) by all its citizens.”
CAIRO: An Egyptian government poll has found that fewer citizens are now unwilling to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those not willing to do so fell from 22.4 percent in October to 17.4 percent in November, according to the poll conducted by the Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center. The government conducts polls periodically to identify trends that could assist in vaccine rollout.
The drop in those opposed to vaccination has coincided with the wider availability of vaccines, including at subway stations.
In addition, the government has begun banning citizens from entry to state facilities if they are unvaccinated, or if their PCR tests for the virus are older than 72 hours.
The poll also found that 49.7 percent of those citizens sampled in November stated that they had already taken the vaccine, an increase of about 17 percent from the previous month.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said that more than 48 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Egypt.
Abdel Ghaffar said the ministry would soon provide booster shots for medical staff and those most vulnerable to illness, including older persons and those suffering from chronic diseases.
Egypt recorded 863 new coronavirus cases and 45 deaths on Sunday.

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