Until recently, a reader notes, nobody expected Fidel Castro to out-live Hugo Chavez. But now the Venezuelan is reportedly near death. Other topics: grocery stores, iPhones and Sim cards.
Fidel Castro, the survivor
New shops should have been opened before closures
I refer to New grocery stores are on their way, Abu Dhabi assures residents (January 7) and the continuing story about the closure of small groceries.
In my opinion the authorities might have done well to initiate the opening of these new "standard" shops by the end of 2012, before the closures.
In parts of Abu Dhabi it is now more difficult to get basic items.
Mohammad Fuad Mustafa, Abu Dhabi
The closure of small grocery stores in Abu Dhabi will end the traditional easy access to daily home needs.
One cannot any more lazily call the grocer and order a bottle of milk, some eggs, some bananas and the newspaper.
And children can no longer get off the school bus and run to the grocer to buy ice cream or chips before take the lift to their upstairs homes. So I look forward to a healthier population.
But this move has been crushing for many of these grocers. Loss of their investments and difficulty in collecting on credit accounts given to some customers, plus the inability to return goods to vendors, will exact a big toll.
I hope that as many of them as possible find ways to re-establish themselves.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
One-sided series bad for cricket
Some fans are revelling in the whitewash of the Sri Lankan team in the test series in Australia (Mahela Jayawardene bowing out in style for Sri Lanka, January 3) but I don't believe this is good for the game of cricket at the international level. Surely, a truly close game and a knife-edge result would have been better.
If some teams are having problems in building their competitiveness, then the International Cricket Council and other nations should assist them.
M Tucker, Dubai
Why advertise if you can't sell?
Several service providers and electronics retailers, large and small, are currently advertising the iPhone 5, with various deals.
But when we went to a number of shops in Marina Mall on Sunday, we were told repeatedly that the phone is out of stock. Only one place had one version, the 16GB model which is not what we wanted. Nobody could even say when stocks would be replenished.
Shouldn't commercial advertising reflect reality?
Jeanette Lacava, Abu Dhabi
Surprising to think Fidel's a survivor
With Hugo Chavez of Venezuela apparently in his last days, it is surprising to realise that Fidel Castro is still with us (Castro 'took charge' of Chavez's health care, January 7).
Not so long ago the world thought Mr Castro was finished and near death, and Mr Chavez seemed to be the new paragon of leftist Latin American leadership.
Joe Rodriguez, Dubai
Little to honour about Nixon
I imagine that the party will be rather restrained for the only US president ever to resign from the job (Centenary celebrations begin for Richard Nixon, January 7).
Despite his accomplishments in foreign policy, Nixon's complicity in the crimes of Watergate means that he is not a leader anyone should celebrate.
Kevin White, US
Some people get no raise at all
Salary growth to outstrip inflation and Europe (January 7) is good news, I suppose, for those who will be getting the rises in pay.
But those of us working in jobs where we've been told not to expect any increase this year are sadly left out of the party, and must worry about inflation.
I would be delighted to accept that average 5 per cent, if only my employer would offer it.
Name withheld by request
Sim reregistration was a real ordeal
Ten minutes for the documents, 10 minutes to get to the mall (on a good day), five minutes to find a parking place, another five or 10 to find the service provider and who knows how long a wait in line - all to provide documentation that many of us already provided when we bought our phone. (Deadline looms for Sim card re-registration for UAE mobiles, January 6). Then the trip home.
This process cost me a couple of hours, when I should have been able to do this from the comfort of my home.
We are customers and citizens but have been subjected to this inconvenience in the name of "transparency". This is an unfortunate lack of consideration for the public.
Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi