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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

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Basra corruption probe launched, Idlib deal details revealed and India's cricketers thrash Pakistan in Dubai

After months of protest and thousands admitted to Basra hospitals with waterborne illness, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi has conceded that corruption may have played a part in the southern province's escalating health crisis, and has launched an investigation. A prominent political party in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq has nominated Barham Salih for the presidency, putting the country one step closer to forming a government after months of political stagnation.

Details of the agreement between Turkey and Russia on a demilitarised zone in the rebel-held north-western province of Idlib, seen by The National, reveal a substantial victory for Damascus, even though it stalled a planned ground offensive there.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Abu Dhabi on his maiden foreign visit since coming to power on the same day that India thrashed arch cricket rivals Pakistan in a one-sided Asia Cup contest in Dubai that was all about bragging rights.

Watch: Sightline with Tim Marshall who looks ahead to next week when the world's leaders take to the UN stage in New York. But how influential is the UN General Assembly when it comes to setting the agenda for global affairs?

Listen: to the latest episode of the Beyond the Headlines podcast as we discuss Abu Dhabi’s Tomorrow 2021 plan for a prosperous future and also assess the latest news from Idlib.

Hundreds of officials are being recruited from across the Middle East to assist with the UAE’s staging of the Special Olympics World Games next year, the biggest sporting event ever organised in the GCC.

Abu Dhabi has been ranked the safest city in the world, with Dubai close behind in 11th place.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair’s call for private philanthropy in the Arab world to be institutionalised, professionalised and made as transparent and accountable as possible could not be better timed, given that international aid is being politicised like never before, writes Mustafa Alrawi in our opinion pages.

The Sharjah ports operator Gulftainer has finalised a 50-year concession agreement with the US state of Delaware to operate and develop the Port of Wilmington. It is one of the largest investments by a UAE company in the country.

Which are next year’s Oscar contenders from the Middle East? From Lebanon to Morocco and Tunisia to a Bosnian Arabic-language film, we look at the films the MENA region is submitting for the Academy Award race.

All this and more in The National – look out for the print edition, visit TheNational.ae, 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 for your mobile device - available for Apple and Android – and get news alerts sent directly to you.

Mustafa Alrawi

Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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