J&K Special Report: Consul General of India to Dubai and Northern Emirates hails mutually beneficial meetings between Jammu & Kashmir agri-product manufacturers and UAE business houses

“It gives me immense pleasure to know that a special edition focusing on Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is being brought out by Gulf News. During the recently concluded UAE India Food Security Summit 2020, some of the finest agricultural products from J&K were showcased in Dubai. The delegation from J&K had fruitful interactions with UAE authorities, and UAE based businesses who showed keen interest in imports from the Union Territory, and also committed for significant investments into J&K, which is in line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, towards a new wave of development in the region.

The Summit was attended by perhaps one of the largest ever business promotion delegations from J&K to any foreign country. This signifies the importance attached by the Govt. of J&K to deepen trade and economic relations with UAE, which is the gateway to the entire GCC and MENA region, and beyond.

– Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India to Dubai and Northern Emirates

“The Summit was attended by perhaps one of the largest ever business promotion delegations from J&K to any foreign country. This signifies the importance attached by the Govt. of J&K to deepen trade and economic relations with UAE, which is the gateway to the entire GCC and MENA region, and beyond.

“On the sidelines of the Summit, India’s GI tagged Kashmiri Saffron was launched at the Al Maya supermarket. LuLu Group’s announcement of setting up of a mega food processing centre in the State with a significant investment will be a great morale booster for J&K. The LuLu Group also signed an MoU with J&K based company M/s Agro Fresh for import of fruits and other products. During this Summit, Taj Hotel, Dubai hosted a special three-day “Wazwan Festival”, showcasing the world-famous Kashmiri cuisine.

“The business community on both sides is keen to see regular cargo and passenger flights connecting Srinagar and Dubai, which will be critical in enabling the realization of immense untapped opportunities for trade and investment between UAE and Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmiri culture, heritage and cuisine has a distinct flavour and I hope to see these blooming in days to come in our second home – the UAE.”

Headlines UK

Shocking moment ‘thief steals parcel’ from home in Northern Ireland days before Christmas

Beware the festive porch pirates! Shocking moment ‘thief steals parcel’ from doorstep of home in Northern Ireland days before Christmas

  • Two men were arrested after the parcel thefts in County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Men were caught ‘stealing packages’ from doorsteps just days before Christmas
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed incident took place on Tuesday

Parcel thieves have been caught swiping packages from people’s doorsteps just days before Christmas.  

CCTV footage appears to show a man stealing a package from outside a home in broad daylight.  

Police confirmed that a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft, while a 63-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting following the package’s disappearance. 

Footage posted on social media showed a white van driving past a house in Drumaness in County Down, Northern Ireland.

One man can be seen jumping out of the white van while another turns the vehicle around at the end of the street. 

CCTV footage shows a man with a parcel and putting it in the back of a white van

At one point the man appears to be hiding behind a wall until his driver has turned the car fully around.

The man, who is dressed in dark coloured clothes, can be seen in the corner of the video walking while holding a package.

He then opens the back of the van and places a package inside before getting back into the passenger seat of the van, which then drives off camera. 

Police confirmed that they arrested two men in connection with the incident.   

Both men were taken into custody for questioning and were later released on bail pending further enquiries.

A spokeperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland: ‘Police arrested a man aged 36 on suspicion of theft and a man aged 63 on suspicion of aiding and abetting theft after a report was received of the theft of a parcel from outside a house in the Drumaness area on Tuesday 22nd December. 

‘Both men were taken into custody for questioning and have since been released on bail pending further police enquiries.’ 

So-called ‘parcel pirates’ are not uncommon at this time of year when there is a higher number of packages delivered in the run up to Christmas. 

It concerns thieves who strike by taking parcels left unattended on the doorsteps of residential homes.  

The open door of the van

The man carrying the parcel

A spokeperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed that they arrested two men in connection with the incident

From January to November of this year the PSNI recorded a total of 3,225 residential burglaries, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Complaint resolution service Resolver also revealed it received 7,750 reports of parcels being stolen from doorsteps in Surrey between April and September of this year. 

Newry, Mourne and Down SDLP councillor Hugh Gallagher told Belfast Telegraph he had heard other reports of packages being stolen near where this incident took place.

‘Coming up to Christmastime, people seem to be following parcel deliverers and hoping that the deliverer will leave it outside and they will then try and take it. It’s a worrying trend,’ he said.

‘People just need to be careful coming up especially to this time of year. 

‘I would encourage everyone to be very vigilant and keep an eye out on things, especially with strange cars following them around.’

Headlines UK

Rules for transporting animals to Northern Ireland and the EU to change after Brexit

The innovations will come into force on January 1, 2021

From January 1, 2021, new rules for the transport of pets to Northern Ireland and the European Union will come into force, The Guardian reports. Regular UK pet passports will expire after the end of the Brexit transition period.

UK residents traveling with dogs, cats and ferrets will need to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) no earlier than 10 days prior to travel.

In addition, each pet must have its own microchip. At least 21 days before the trip, the pet needs to be vaccinated against rabies, and the dogs should also be treated for tapeworms, if any in the body.

A separate certificate is issued for each animal, which must be signed by the veterinarian.

On arrival in the EU, pet owners will be required to enter through a Special Travel Entry Point (TPE).

The rules for transporting animals from Northern Ireland and EU countries to the UK remain unchanged, according to the government’s website.

Technology UK

Stunning auroras captured in Northern Lights Photographer of the Year Contest

Travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has revealed the top photos from its Northern Lights Photographer of the Year Competition

It’s something that features on many people’s bucket lists, and if you’ve always dreamed of seeing The Northern Lights, then new photos are likely to be right up your street.

Travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has revealed the top photos from its Northern Lights Photographer of the Year Competition.

Dan Zafra, editor of Capture the Atlas, explained: “This compilation is always published in December to coincide with the Northern Lights season and the end of year, and it is aimed at inspiring and sharing the beauty of this natural phenomenon.”

This year’s list includes photos of the Northern Lights taken around the world, including from the US, Russia, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada and Antarctica.

The Northern Lights form as a results of incoming energy and particles from the sun.

NASA explained: “Auroras are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

“After a trip toward Earth that can last two to three days, the solar particles and magnetic fields cause the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light.

“The result: the Northern and Southern lights.”

Have you always dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights? Here’s our guide on where to see them in the UK.

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Northern lights were clearly seen in Alaska; weather balloon captures celestial light show | The State

Since the beginning of this week, residents in different states of the United States and in other parts of the world have been sharing images on social networks of the sighting of Aurora borealis as a result of the solar discharge on December 7.

Networks like Twitter show the so-called “Nordic lights” in states like Alaska and Nebraska.

In Alaska, a probe or weather balloon launched into the atmosphere caught the lights. The balloon reached about 126,000 feet above the surface over Fairbanks.

The impact of the spatial phenomenon could be seen in other countries such as Canada and Norway.

Although authorities like the Center for Space Weather Prediction of the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) They anticipated that the show could be seen even in northeastern states of the country, it depended on the area in which the person was located.

In urban spaces and large cities, the auroras were less likely to be seen due to light pollution.

Some took advantage of the networks precisely to complain that they could not see the lights from their respective spaces.

The Northern Lights, also known as Nordic lights, occur when particles charged by the Sun collide with Earth’s atmosphere and our magnetic field directs them towards the poles. The northern lights are identified as those that go to the North Pole and the southern ones.

The interaction between the particles flowing from the sun with atmospheric gases causes the bright red and green colors of the aurora.


Headlines UK

Northern Ireland begins two-week 'circuit-breaker' lockdown today

Northern Ireland has today been plunged into lockdown again with non-essential shops, hair salons and cafes closing their doors for the next two weeks.

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Sports UK

O’Sullivan ‘proud’ after shattering Northern Ireland Open silence with loud fart

Ronnie O’Sullivan shattered the silence in an empty Milton Keynes arena yesterday by loudly breaking wind.

The Rocket trumped during his Northern Ireland Open third-round match with Wales’ Matthew Stevens.

Reigning and six-time world champion O’Sullivan, 44, was trailing 2-1 in frames and 8-0 in points when he got set to take on a red.

But then came the fart that left him, opponent Stevens and referee Ben Williams unable to stop grinning.

World No.2 O’Sullivan looked up at Stevens and said “Terrible guts” – but then cheekily tried to blame the official by asking “Was that you?”.

Williams had immediately taken a large step to his left after the incident away from O’Sullivan – who went on to win 4-2.

And the referee went bright red as the camera also panned to him having been also placed in the frame.

Afterwards O’Sullivan admitted: “I dropped my guts – I am taking full ownership of that. I have had stomach problems for a couple of months.

“I did say ‘Was that you’ to the referee but I am proud of that one.

“As for the table – it is the heaters and the effect on the cloth. It is like taking clothes to the dry cleaners and they do them on too high a heat.”

The tournament office, home of the referees, also confirmed it was O’Sullivan after the match.

O’Sullivan initially blamed the ref

With the tournament being played behind closed doors the number of possible culprits was always very limited.

Commentator Neal Foulds, unable to stop himself laughing, said: “That was a very unfortunate noise.”

In an incident-packed match O’Sullivan complained to Williams about the state of the table at the end of frame five.

The conditions have come under fire from other players this week including Mark Allen.

And O’Sullivan insisted the balls were “pinging” off the cushions which he blamed on the table heaters being turned up too high.

Earlier in the match in the first frame O’Sullivan played on requiring EIGHT snookers on the fin al blue – something that is usually frowned upon in snooker etiquette.

O’Sullivan went on to win the match 4-2

O’Sullivan was due to face Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the fourth round late last night.

Meanwhile recent Champion of Champions winner Allen crashed out to Scotland’s Scott Donaldson.

Former Masters winner Allen, 34, lost 4-1 but is still upbeat ahead of next week’s UK Championship – the first major of the campaign.

Allen said: “Despite today I know my game is in good shape and I am not going to get too down on myself because of one poor day at the office.

“I am really looking forward to the UK Championship next week, it is just a shame we are not going to York.

“It doesn’t feel quite as bad today as it does when this event is in its usual proper home in Belfast. Normally there is a lot of pressure on me in the build-up to my home tournament.”

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Technology UK

NASA shares photo of mystery purple aurora that rivals the northern lights

Since 2015, a mysterious purple light in the sky has baffled NASA.

The space agency has dubbed the strange light ‘Steve’, but despite having an ordinary name, the light is extremely complex.

Now, NASA has shared a stunning photo of Steve and the Milky Way, snapped over Childs Lake, Canada in 2017.

The beautiful image was shot by photographer Krista Trinder, and has been featured as NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

NASA said: “What’s creating these long glowing streaks in the sky? No one is sure.

Since 2015, a mysterious purple light in the sky has baffled NASA

“Known as Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancements (STEVEs), these luminous light-purple sky ribbons may resemble regular auroras, but recent research reveals significant differences.

“A STEVE’s great length and unusual colours, when measured precisely, indicate that it may be related to a subauroral ion drift (SAID), a supersonic river of hot atmospheric ions thought previously to be invisible.

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“Some STEVEs are now also thought to be accompanied by green picket fence structures, a series of sky slats that can appear outside of the main auroral oval that does not involve much glowing nitrogen.”

NASA hopes hope that Steve could help to reveal how processes in Earth’s upper atmosphere can have noticeable effects in lower parts of Earth’s atmosphere.

This could then provide good insight on how Earth’s system works as a whole.

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UAE weather: Rain in Fujairah and northern areas, rough seas NCM warns

Dubai: UAE residents can expect a rainy day especially in Fujairah, and the northern region with strong winds blowing.

According to the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), today’s skies are looking fair to partly cloudy at times with convective cloud formation associated with rainfall over some eastern coastal areas, and might extend to the internal and northern areas.

Winds are also expected to repeatedly blow, at a speed of 20 – 30 km/h, reaching up to 40km/h at times.

The winds are expected to blow dust and sand into the air.

Conditions at the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea are expected to be rough.

The NCM has issued a yellow and orange alert due to the weather conditions which are expected to last till 9 am.

Drivers have been warned to be careful on the road as the dust might hinder visibility. Those who suffer from allergies should also take precautions when going outside.

The temperatures are expected to be in the mid to low 30s on average.

Dubai is currently at 25°C with mostly sunny skies.

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Sports UK

Northern Ireland dealt play-off heartbreak as Slovakia earn extra-time victory

Ian Baraclough claimed Northern Ireland’s heartbreaking play-off loss was the biggest low of his managerial career.

Slovakia won through to the Euros in extra-time through Michal Duris after Northern Ireland had battled back to equalise on 87 minutes and Baraclough admitted it was hard to take.

“Certainly that’s the worst I’ve felt after a game for sure for a group of players who have given absolutely everything,” said the Irish boss.

“They are a credit to themselves, a credit to their families.

“For me it’s tough to come up with any words of consolation.

“There’s not a great deal you can say. We gave absolutely everything and you couldn’t have asked for any more effort from the players.”

Northern Ireland did give everything they had, but they lacked a cutting edge and could have done better for both Slovakia goals.

Michel Duris scored Slovakia’s winner

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Baraclough refused to be critical and said: “You have to congratulate them on their finishing for both goals and that’s the way it goes.”

Slovakia were slicker and the dangerous Albert Rusnak went close before they capitalised on a misplaced header by George Saville to open the scoring on 17 minutes.

Saville nodded Robert Mak’s lofted ball into midfield behind Jonny Evans and Juraj Kucka ran through to slot home into the bottom corner.

The Irish responded and Niall McGinn pounced on a loose pass, but he rushed his shot and fired over.

McGinn then set up Conor Washington, only for the Charlton striker to shoot straight at Marek Rodak.

Baraclough brought on Kyle Lafferty and Liam Boyce, the hero of their spot-kick win over Bosnia in the semis, as the 1,060 fans inside Windsor roared the Irish on.

Northern Ireland had levelled late on before crashing to defeat

Their refusal to give up was rewarded three minutes from time when Paddy McNair did brilliantly on the right and Milan Skriniar turned his cross into his own net under pressure from Boyce.

Lafferty, playing just days after the death of his sister Sonia, was inspired and he nearly snatched a winner in the 90th minute when his shot hit the post.

Northern Ireland suffered another sucker punch on 110 minutes when the ball ricocheted off Evans’ backside and fell for Duris to beat Peacock-Farrell too easily at his near post.

Still the Irish might have snatched another equaliser in the 120th minute when a cramped-up Evans headed straight at Rodak from a glorious chance.

Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell 5; Dallas 7, Cathcart 6 (Flanagan 98, 6) Evans 6, Lewis 6; McNair 8 (Ferguson 104, 6), Davis 5, Saville 4 (Thompson 65, 6); McGinn 6 (Lafferty 76, 7), Washington 5 (Whyte 66, 6), Magennis 6 (Boyce 76, 6). Subs: McGovern, Hazard, McLaughlin, McCann, Smith, Ballard.

Slovakia: Rodak 6; Pekarik 6, Satka 7, Skriniar 7, Hubocan 6; Lobotka 6 (Hrosovsky 65, 6); Rusnak 7 (Gyomber 118), Kucka 7, Hamsik 6 (Gregus 105, 6), Mak 6 (Duris 65, 7); Duda 6 (Mraz 84, 5). Subs: Jakubech, Greif, Pauschek, Valjent, Suslov, Mazan, Safranko.

Man of the match: McNair

Referee: Felix Brych 8

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