Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

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US seeks to build anti-Iran coalition, radical groups slump in Arab public opinion and automated driving tests in Dubai

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the UAE yesterday from Saudi Arabia as he continues to build an anti-Iran coalition he wants to expand beyond the Gulf states, across Asia and Europe. His vist to the UAE came as the Trump administration issued new sanctions on Iran targeting the office of the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and commanders in the revolutionary guard, while threatening to sanction its foreign minister Javad Zarif later this week. Earlier, President Donald Trump called on consumers of Middle Eastern oil, such as China and Japan, to take greater responsibility protecting shipping lanes, such as the Strait of Hormuz.

Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suffered the most significant loss of his political career on Sunday when his party lost a rerun of Istanbul's mayoral election. Could this mark a turning point in Turkish politics?

On the eve of the US-led Peace for Prosperity economic conference in Bahrain, the Arab League reaffirmed its pledge to establish a $100 million monthly fund for the embattled Palestinian Authority.

Trust in radical and militant groups in the Arab world has slumped significantly, according to a major new survey. Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas have fallen in public opinion in the years since the Arab uprisings. Most Arabs across the Levant and the Maghreb would accept a woman as their nation’s leader but still believe men should have the final say in domestic matters, the study also suggests. The research, commissioned by BBC Arabic, also revealed a rising number of Arabs are turning their backs on religion, while Turkey’s president is far more popular than either Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin.

Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. The yard skills section of the driving test in Dubai has been made 100 per cent automated after assessment officers were replaced with cameras and censors. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority is using technology to reduce the error margin for pass and fail decisions.

In our opinion pages, Sholto Byrnes writes that outrage against elected individuals, from Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines to Trump in the US, takes up too much of our attention and time. We need to recalibrate our priorities to more pressing matters such as battling inequality and providing access to quality education for all.

A not-for-profit group, set up to represent the growing number of FinTech firms in the Middle East and North Africa, plans to expand its operations in the region with dedicated government lobby teams and a global talent exchange programme, among other initiatives, after launching in Abu Dhabi this week.

Pictures of a red carpet cutting through swathes of destroyed buildings went viral when Gaza's film festival launched in 2015, creating an exciting annual social event for the war-torn region. But last year's event may have been its last with organisers struggling to find funding.

Arabian Gulf League club Al Wahda have ruled out Yahya Al Ghassani moving to Europe this summer. The exciting 21-year-old winger is linked with a move to Premier League side Burnley while several Bundesliga clubs have also been credited with an interest.

You can also get all the latest action from the Cricket World Cup 2019 from our sports desk.

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.

Mustafa Alrawi

Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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Updated: June 24, 2019 10:53 PM

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