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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

Weekly Saturday Newsletter

The Best of The National

Welcome to the "Best of The National", your guide to some of our most compelling and important content from the past seven days.

This was the week the world looked on aghast as the 850-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was badly damaged by fire. The destruction prompted outpourings from around the world and unprecedented offers of hundreds of millions of euros to underwrite its repair and reconstruction. As the full horror of the devastation became apparent, Colin Randall argued that the fire had managed to what President Emmanuel Macron had not: unite France.

Assistant foreign editor Campbell MacDiarmid, reporting from the former ISIS stronghold of Baghouz, told the heart-breaking story of ISIS’s forsaken children left in “hellish” Syrian camps – and the indifference of the international community. Sadly, there was more suffering too in Afghanistan where schools occupied by security forces are being targeted by militants.

In local news, there were seismic changes to property-ownership legislation in Abu Dhabi for non-Emiratis ­– described by experts as a "game-changer" for the capital. And, staying in the capital, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s under-construction cancer centre will provide free care for Emiratis and residents who cannot afford it.

Our Business team were busy at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, where we learnt Mubadala Real Estate is looking to monetise its UAE assets and Arada, a Sharjah real estate developer, is looking for partners in Dubai and Saudi Arabia and may spend as much as Dh2 billion to buy a rival company in Dubai.

A third former executive at the Abraaj Group was arrested and faces an extradition hearing in London on US charges along with the equity company’s founder, Arif Naqvi, who has been denied bail.

Baffled by the sheer scale of the Indian election, never mind the issues at play? Tim Marshall here explains the details involved, the parties in play, and the issues at hand a the world’s largest democracy goes to the polls.

A pilot project that aims to teach Abu Dhabi school children more about the UAE’s history was launched by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, on Wednesday.

‘Dr Doom’ Nouriel Roubini, the economist who famously predicted the financial crash, says there are seven reasons why the world economy could improve this year. In this week’s Business Extra podcast, he speaks to assistant editor in chief Mustafa Alrawi.

This week on The Cricket Pod, co-hosts Paul Radley and Chitrabhanu Kadalayil discuss the composition of India's Cricket World Cup squad. Was Rishabh Pant's exclusion in favour of the more experienced but ageing Dinesh Karthik harsh? What to make of Lokesh Rahul's selection ahead of Ambati Rayudu? And why was Ravindra Jadeja, who eventually got picked, not a shoo-in?

Aya Iskandarani says celebrities and public figures have an obligation to consider the message that their choices send as she argues why Madonna should not perform at the Eurovision final in Tel Aviv.

Rashmee Roshan Lall turned her attention to national polls in Israel, Indonesia and India. Divisive electoral politics and negative campaigns filled with chauvinistic nationalism are the order of the day, but some countries have already proved that it doesn't have to be this way, she says.

Abdelkader Cheref, looking at the popular uprising in Algeria, says protesters are “fed up with the three Bs” – Bensalah, Belaiz and Bedoui.

Enjoy,

Nic Ridley

Night editor

Updated: April 19, 2019 10:42 AM

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