<p>Hezbollah a 'global criminal organisation', jubiliation at border re-opening and the Beast Patrol turns heads at Gitex</p>
Hello from The National’s newsroom in Abu Dhabi.
In the latest US escalation against Hezbollah, the Justice Department designated the Lebanese armed group a “transnational crime organisation” yesterday, a move which will enable broader scrutiny into its role outside Lebanon. Hezbollah was one of five groups designated by the Department of Justice in an announcement made by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The other groups included Latin American gangs and drugs cartels.
Three years after fighting closed the border, a vital trade and crossing route between Jordan and Syria reopened yesterday as the Syrian government took steps towards returning to the international fold. Among the travellers were Syrians who had not returned home in six years; others were Jordanians looking to rekindle business in Damascus. "The war took away our livelihoods,” said Bassam Abu Aqouleh, a Jordanian taxi driver heading to Damascus. “Today our oxygen is restored.”
Turkish and Saudi investigators yesterday began what Turkish officials said was a joint inspection of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to ascertain the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been seen since he visited the building two weeks ago. The investigators arrived in unmarked vehicles and made no comment to journalists waiting outside as they entered.
We were at Gitex Technology Week for a second day, where we witnessed the weird and wonderful inventions and innovations that will (in some cases) shape our tomorrow. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, dropped by and checked out, among other attractions, Beast Patrol, described as the most advanced police car in the world. Nick Webster reported on the rise of robots (and why we're not all doomed). And Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, argued that a cabal of internet companies had become too powerful and data-sharing.
In Business, we have an exclusive interview with Amr Banaja, the recently appointed chief executive of the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia. He said the country would host shows by Disney, Marvel and Cirque du Soleil in the coming months as it developed its entertainment industry to help redirect tourism spending at home and bring foreign visitors to the kingdom.
In another exclusive, The National was among the first to visit the British Museum's new Islamic Wing. The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World, to give it it's proper title, is one of the London museum’s biggest projects yet, "but may surprise visitors expecting a classic historical depiction of the religion", reports Taylor Heyman.
From our Opinion pages, Sholto Byrnes says there should have been nothing unexceptional about a recent call by the UK’s opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, for the legacy and role of the British empire to be taught in schools. Mr Corbyn’s remarks were instantly seized on by the conservative press. Byrnes argues the days of empire are over and while younger generations must learn from the many mistakes of this period, there comes a point where they are no longer to blame.
Australia captain Tim Paine tells Amith Passela that momentum was with his team heading into the second and deciding Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi today and believes they can pull off a famous victory.
All this and more in The National – visit TheNational.ae, look out for the print edition, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter for round-the-clock updates. And if you're on the go, don't forget our new-and-improved app – available for iOS and Android devices – and get news alerts sent directly to you.
Have a great day,