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Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra fled to Dubai ahead of the verdict in her trial over a rice subsidy scheme, members of her party have said.

Puea Thai Party sources said Yingluck Shinawatra left Thailand last week.

It was revealed on August 25 that Yingluck Shinawatra, who is charged with negligence, had gone abroad but the destination was not known.

When the former prime minister failed to appear in court, an arrest warrant was issued and her bail was confiscated.

Dubai is where her brother, former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, lives in self-imposed exile. He went there to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for corruption.

“We heard that she went to Cambodia and then Singapore, from where she flew to Dubai. She has arrived safely and is there now,” a senior member of the Shinawatras’ party told Reuters.

Deputy national police chief General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul said police had no record of Yingluck Shinawatra leaving the country and were following the matter closely.

Image source Wikimedia

Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra Flees Country Ahead of Verdict

Yingluck Shinawatra ordered to stand trial for negligence over rice subsidy scheme

Yingluck Shinawatra indicted over Thai rice subsidy scheme

Thailand’s Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam said Yingluck Shinawatra’s location would “be clear soon”.

Judges have postponed the negligence verdict until September 27.

Yingluck Shinawatra, 50, has denied any wrongdoing in the rice subsidy scheme, which cost Thailand billions of dollars.

If found guilty at the end of the two-year trial, the former prime minister could be jailed for up to 10 years and permanently banned from politics.

Yingluck Shinawatra’s lawyer had requested a delay in the ruling, telling the Supreme Court that she had vertigo and a severe headache and was unable to attend.

However, the court said in a statement that it did not believe she was sick as there was no medical certificate, and that the alleged sickness was not severe enough to prevent her travelling to court.

The statement said: “Such behavior convincingly shows that she is a flight risk. As a result, the court has issued an arrest warrant and confiscated the posted bail money.”

Yingluck Shinawatra posted $900,000 bail at the beginning of her trial.

Thailand’s first female prime minister was impeached in 2015 over the rice scheme by a military-backed legislature, which then brought the legal case.

The scheme, part of Yingluck Shinawatra’s election campaign platform, was launched shortly after she took office.

It was aimed at boosting farmers’ incomes and alleviating rural poverty, and saw the government paying farmers nearly twice the market rate for their crop.

However, it hit Thailand’s rice exports hard, leading to a loss of at least $8 billion and huge stockpiles of rice which the government could not sell.

Though it was popular with Yingluck Shinawatra’s rural voter base, opponents said the scheme was too expensive and open to corruption.



Salman Khan has confirmed his appearance at the Arab Indo Bollywood Awards (AIBA) in Dubai despite awaiting court permission to travel, the show organizer says.

The 49-year-old Bollywood star was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in jail for killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run case but was bailed pending an appeal.

Salman Khan has sought leave from the High Court of Bombay to travel to Dubai on May 29, the Press Trust of India reported.

The Arab Indo Bollywood Awards said Salman Khan confirmed his attendance last week. He is down to star in the finale.

Salman Khan is one of the most bankable stars in Bollywood with a huge fan base. He has appeared in more than 80 Hindi-language films.

The decision to suspend his sentence was welcomed by his fans but others argued that most do not have the benefit of having cases expedited in the same way.

Photo AIBA

Photo AIBA

Salman Khan was convicted of culpable homicide on May 6 and sentenced to five years.

A man was killed and four others injured in 2002 when Salman Khan ran them over as they slept on a pavement in Mumbai.

On May 8, the High Court granted Salman Khan bail and suspended his sentence pending the hearing and disposal of his appeal against the conviction.

However, the PTI reports the high court had said Salman Khan would need to seek the court’s permission to leave India.

Al Bustan Group which is organising the Arab Indo Bollywood Awards – being held for the first time – said Salman Khan confirmed he would attend last week and “there is no legal problem for him to travel abroad”.

Salman Khan would arrive in Dubai on May 28 and perform two dances. The actor is listed on the event website as being in the finale act.

Salman Khan’s application was filed on Wednesday, said PTI, and it is likely to be heard next week.

A major sandstorm across the United Arab Emirates has reduced visibility to just a few hundreds feet in some parts of Dubai.

High winds have whipped up desert sands causing residents to suffer breathing difficulties.

The storm has led to flight diversions from Dubai’s International Airport, leaving many passengers stranded.

Abu Dhabi police say the storm has caused a serious traffic accident and forecasters predict it could last days.Dubai sandstorm 2015

Although sandstorms are not unusual in the region, the extreme weather has shocked some locals.

“Last time, I have seen [a storm], it was not up to this,” said one Dubai resident.

“I felt very bad, and I hear that there were some accidents already on Dubai’s roads.”

Abu Dhabi police say a 24-year-old has been airlifted to hospital after being seriously injured in the traffic accident caused by the reduced visibility.

The United Arab Emirates’ National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology warned of reduced visibility of as little as 500 meters.

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A fire has swept through Dubai’s Torch Tower skyscraper, one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.

Strong winds helped the blaze to spread across the 336.1m (1,105ft) high building in the marina district.

It is not known what caused the blaze at the Torch Tower. Hundreds of people were evacuated and there are no reports of any casualties.Dubai Torch Tower fire

Footage posted on social media showed what looked like molten glass and pieces of masonry falling down.

The 79-storey Torch Tower skyscraper opened in 2011.

In 2012, a fire swept through Dubai’s 34-storey Tamweel Tower.

No-one was injured in that incident but hundreds of residents were left homeless after the blaze, started reportedly by a cigarette butt.

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The 2020 World Expo trade convention will be host by Dubai.

Dubai has been chosen after beating off rival bids from Brazil, Turkey and Russia.

Fireworks exploded from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, following the announcement in Paris.

Dubai will be the first Middle Eastern city to hold the Expo, which takes place every five years.

The expo sees hundreds of countries show off the latest in architecture and technology.

The 2020 World Expo trade convention will be host by Dubai

The 2020 World Expo trade convention will be host by Dubai

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has promised to astonish the world with the event.

Dubai beat Russia’s Yekaterinburg in the final round of voting in Paris. The other contenders were Sao Paulo in Brazil and Izmir in Turkey.

“We renew our promise to astonish the world in 2020,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum after the win.

“Dubai Expo 2020 will breathe new life into the ancient role of the Middle East as a melting pot for cultures and creativity.”

Dubai authorities say the Expo 2020 will bring in around $23 billion. They say financing for the six-month event will cost a total of $8.4 billion, with the government spending around $6.5 billion on infrastructure projects.

A huge exhibition centre will be built to host the event, plus new hotels and an extension to Dubai’s metro line.

The 2015 Expo takes place in Milan.

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Authorities in Dubai are launching an initiative of offering gold in return for weight loss in an scheme to encourage healthier living.

Those interested can sign up from Friday for the initiative which lasts over the next 30 days and coincides with Ramadan, a month of fasting.

For each kilogram lost, participants will receive a gram of gold, which is currently worth about $45.

Those taking part – dubbed “golden losers” – need to lose at least two kilos to receive the payout.

The three participants who lose the most weight will be entered into a draw to win a gold coin worth $5,400.

Authorities in Dubai are launching an initiative of offering gold in return for weight loss in an scheme to encourage healthier living

Authorities in Dubai are launching an initiative of offering gold in return for weight loss in an scheme to encourage healthier living

Called Your Weight in Gold the scheme was announced by Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality.

“Ramadan is the most appropriate season to launch such initiatives as it reminds us about many health benefits of reducing weight and encourages us to take strong steps to change our bad lifestyles,” he said.

There has been alarm across Gulf States at the sharp rise in obesity blamed on increasing fast-food diets and a lack of exercise.

The Your Weight in Gold scheme is being sponsored by the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the DMCC said: “We would highly encourage everyone from all walks of life to take part in this great initiative and hope DMCC’s contribution of AED 100,000 [$27,225] worth of gold coins will help motivate individuals.”

At Friday’s registration participants will be able to receive advice on how to lose weight without harming their health.

The final weigh-in will take place on August 16.

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Justin Bieber kept his fans in Dubai waiting for two hours in humid 86F (30C) heat.

When he finally took to the stage in Dubai at 10 p.m. on Saturday Justin Bieber performed only one song before disappearing for a break.

By the time he returned, many of the 15,000-strong audience, who had paid up to $275 for tickets, were leaving because Sunday is a school day in the United Arab Emirates.

Some had travelled miles to get there as the concert venue is in the middle of the desert on the outskirts of Dubai then parents and fans vented their anger on Twitter.

In his first show in the Middle East, Justin Bieber, 19, opened at 10 p.m. with All Around the World – then disappeared while a DJ took over.

Justin Bieber kept his fans in Dubai waiting for two hours in humid 86F

Justin Bieber kept his fans in Dubai waiting for two hours in humid 86F

By the time he reappeared in a different outfit, fed-up parents were already leaving in droves.

Justin Bieber’s performance was later interrupted when a male member of the audience tackled him and tipped over a piano after climbing onto the stage.

The singer managed to finish the song as security took the man away, and returned to perform the gig finale after a three-minute break.

It is not the first time that Justin Bieber has come under fire for treating his fans badly.

In March, he was two hours late for a performance at London’s O2 arena. Many of the youngsters had to leave before he even appeared on stage and others missed their last trains home.

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Justin Bieber was attacked by a male fan during a piano performance on Dubai stage on Sunday.

Justin Bieber, 19, was performing one of his last songs, Believe, when a youth in a white shirt and jeans stormed onstage and grabbed singer from behind.

The blindsided Canadian star managed to free himself and dashed to the side of the stage.

Justin Bieber was attacked by a male fan during a piano performance on Dubai stage on Sunday

Justin Bieber was attacked by a male fan during a piano performance on Dubai stage on Sunday

Security guards rushed the stage and lunged at the attacker, according to a report in Dubai English language newspaper The National.

The attacker pushed the piano off its hinges and it fell damaged to the stage.

A video posted by a fan online showed security guards rushing around the stage as the piano lay upturned.

An accompanying tweet said: “Whoa. Crazy fan tackled @justinbieber and knocked the piano down the stage. Mayhem.”

According to reports, Justin Bieber was rattled, but he and his eight-piece band finished the song while the offender was taken off the stage.

After a three-minute break, Justin Bieber returned for an encore and finished the concert with Boyfriend and the finale Baby.

The singer also performed on Saturday in Dubai as part of his international Believe Tour and pulled a song out of respect for the country’s Muslim culture.

Justin Bieber skipped the song One Less Lonely Girl because the state religion of Islam frowns upon men touching women who are not their relatives.

The singer typically recruits a young female fan to join him during the song to flirt with onstage.

The respectful move followed another thoughtful incident on his international Believe Tour that occurred recently in Turkey.

Justin Bieber stopped his show multiple times on Thursday to allow fans to step away for the Muslim call to prayer.

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A $1 billion project to build a replica of the Taj Mahal has been unveiled in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

The Taj Arabia complex would be much bigger than the original monument to love and include a 300-room hotel, shops and commercial buildings, developer Arun Mehra said.

It would be ready by 2014 and be known as the “New City of Love”, he said.

The complex will also house other structures such as the Eiffel Tower, Pyramids and the Great Wall of China.

The Taj Mahal, which is situated in the northern Indian town of Agra, is a Unesco World Heritage site.

It was completed more than 350 years ago by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a shrine for his wife Mumtaz and took more than 20 years to build.

The white marble mausoleum, situated on the banks of the river Yamuna, is sometimes known as a teardrop on the cheek of time.

The Taj Arabia complex will be built around the Taj Mahal which is a “symbol of love and will include various facilities to encapsulate the beauty of life, love and romance mixed with the long established Mughal architecture”, Arun Mehra, who is the chairman of Link Global Group, told the Press Trust of India.

The developers say they hope that the Taj Arabia will become a new wedding destination and attract couples to it.

An earlier plan to build the complex was shelved when the company was hit by the global economic downturn.