MCI warns buyers of counterfeit products sold online

Tue, 2017-06-20 03:00

RIYADH: The Ministry of Commerce and Investment cautioned consumers against counterfeit products sold online and urged them to report any such practices.
Warning against selling or marketing fake or counterfeit goods, the ministry said: “Since this act is considered a violation of the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and Trademark System, it may lead to penalties of up to three years in prison and fines of up to SR1 million ($266,645).”
In the statement, the ministry also called on owners of e-shops and social network marketers to register their trade activities with its free e-service platform Maroof, which will ensure credibility of the traders’ activities and products, and protect the rights of buyers. Marketers are urged to make sure that the party selling goods has a commercial registration or has signed up through the e-service.
The portal provides an evaluation of services and the quality of e-stores in the Kingdom, and presents the opinions of dealers and clients on such stores.
“This e-service also gives the seller an opportunity to market their electronic shop online within various Maroof platforms,” enabling online store owners to add all their social media accounts, their website and contact numbers to their page with Maroof, which makes it is easier for buyers to access and contact them, according to the ministry.
The service preserves the rights of consumers, making it possible to lodge a complaint in case of any commercial fraud, by contacting the ministry’s consumer call center (1900) or through the application of a commercial violation report via smartphone.
Maroof is a free electronic service and takes only a few seconds to sign up to the website: According to the ministry, the number of stores signed up, so far, with the e-service has reached 15,000 electronic stores.

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Madinah’s Al-Ghars Well beckons with its rich history

Yusuf Mohammed
Tue, 2017-06-20 02:43

MADINAH: Fouad Al-Maghmasi, a researcher on the history of Madinah, said Al-Ghars Well is one of the landmarks of Madinah that has been linked to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
It is located 1,500 meters northeast of Masjid Quba on Qirban Road near Dar Al-Hijrah Schools.
The Prophet drank from it and bathed in its water. He once told Ali ibn Abu Talib that he wanted to be bathed with its water after his demise: “When I die, wash me with seven water skins from Al-Ghars Well.”
Al-Ghars Well is considered one of the historical landmarks of Madinah which is visited by pilgrims and those concerned with the Prophet’s biography.

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Qatar says it will not negotiate unless neighbours lift “blockade”

Qatar will not negotiate with its neighbours to resolve the Gulf dispute unless they first lift the trade and travel boycott they imposed two weeks ago, its foreign minister said, but added Doha still believed a solution was possible. The United Arab Emirates, which along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain imposed the measures to isolate Qatar, said the sanctions could last for years unless Doha accepted demands that the Arab powers plan to reveal in coming days. Qatar has denied accusations by its neighbours that it funds terrorism, foments regional instability or has cosied up to their enemy Iran. The dispute has opened a rift among some of the main US allies in the Middle East, with President Donald […]

US condemns London attack, but no word from Trump

Agence France Presse
Tue, 2017-06-20 04:10

WASHINGTON: The US government and Ivanka Trump on Monday expressed sympathy with worshippers attacked while leaving a London mosque — while the president himself remained silent.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued an official condemnation of the deadly assault but Donald Trump — often quick to comment on Twitter after extremist violence — kept his counsel.
“The United States strongly condemns last night’s attack that appears to have targeted Muslim worshippers in London,” Nauert said.
“We extend our sympathies to the families and community of the victims and our hopes for the quick recovery of those wounded.”
Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka also reacted to the attack.
“Sending love and prayers to the victims in #FinsburyPark London. We must stand united against hatred and extremism in all it’s ugly forms,” she tweeted.
President Trump has taken to Twitter during previous terror attacks to make the case for tighter restrictions on travel from predominantly Muslim countries.
He has also yet to offer public comment on the deaths of seven US sailors, killed during a collision between their navy destroyer and a Philippine-flagged cargo ship.
In London, a van plowed into a crowd near a mosque early on Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring 10 others in the second terror attack this month in the city.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the “sickening” incident, reaffirming Britain’s determination to fight “terrorism, extremism and hatred.”

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Muslims targeted by violence in wake of Daesh-claimed attacks

Tue, 2017-06-20 03:45

LONDON: The attack on Muslim worshippers outside a London mosque on Monday follows a rising wave of violence and harassment directed against Muslims across Britain and around the world.
This month alone, a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf told police in Lancashire her car was struck by a bag of vomit. Worshippers at the Omar Faruque mosque in Cambridge found strips of ham attached to their vehicles. Several Muslim families have reported receiving letters warning, “You are no longer welcome in this country.” Scores say they have been spat on.
Across Britain, Muslims say they are being targeted by a wave of animosity and violence simply because of the way they dress and worship, and because they share a religion hijacked by bloodthirsty extremists like the Daesh group, which was quick to claim responsibility for recent attacks in Britain and elsewhere. In Monday’s attack, a man plowed a van into a crowd of worshippers, injuring at least nine people — a tactic used in the recent attacks on Westminster and London bridges.
London’s Police Commander Cressida Dick said Monday’s assault outside two mosques during the holy month of Ramadan was clearly “an attack on Muslims.”
“We are easy targets because of the way we dress and when we pray,” said Hassan Ali, a 34-year-old resident of Finsbury Park, a north London neighborhood that is home to a large Muslim population and where the attack occurred. “But every time there is an attack here or elsewhere, we are blamed. When we are attacked, people look away.”
Since the wave of Daesh-inspired terror attacks in Britain, there has been a five-fold increase of hate crimes against Muslims. Tensions have also been running high since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, a vote that was largely driven by anti-immigrant rhetoric — a message that was further reinforced by some of Britain’s right-leaning tabloids and spread by populist European politicians promising to stem immigration and tackle terrorism associated with Daesh.
“I feel unsafe,” said Emma Salem, a 15-year-old Muslim who lives in the neighborhood targeted on Monday.
Such attacks against Muslims have been on a worldwide increase. In January, a white nationalist opened fire on an Islamic cultural center in Quebec City, Canada, killing six people and wounding nearly 20. In the same month, the Islamic Center of Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, was destroyed by a fire in what authorities called a hate crime and another mosque was burned to the ground. Last year, nearly 100 mosques were attacked in Germany and dozens across Europe have been targeted by arsonists this year.

Far-right fascists and Islamic terrorists
Stirring tension plays an important part in Daesh (Islamic State) and Al-Qaeda propaganda, as well as propaganda by right-leaning political groups.
Brendan Cox, the widower of the slain British parliamentarian Jo Cox, said both the far-right and Islamic extremists are propelled by polarization.
“Far-right fascists and Islamic terrorists are driven by the same hatred of difference, same ideology of supremacy & use of same tactics,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Daesh group and Al-Qaeda have targeted Muslims living in the West, repeatedly saying they will never be fully accepted members in a society of “unbelievers.”
The idea has been to sow mistrust and drive both sides to the extremes. In the case of Daesh, the propaganda has gone even further, warning Muslims that if they failed to either join the fight in defense of the extremists’ self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria or carry out attacks in their home countries, they themselves were complicit in a system of oppression against Muslims.
Daesh supporters used Monday’s attack to fuel more tensions by noting that the attacker, identified as 47-year-old Darren Osborne, was not shot to death, unlike the London Bridge attackers. “Muslims. you need to wake up, the war is starting now in your own streets,” the message went on, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
“Muslims are repeatedly being used as a political football and pieces in a propaganda campaign,” said Mohammed Shafiq, head of the Ramadhan Foundation. “The rampant rise in Islamophobia has been perpetuated by right-wing newspapers and outlets. This has led to an atmosphere where it is acceptable to harass and ostracize Muslims. The Muslim community is constantly demonized.”
Residents of Finsbury Park said they were angry that the police seemed slow to call Monday’s incident a “terror attack.” They also expressed frustration that attacks on the Muslim community have received little coverage or sympathy.
“There has been an outpouring of sympathy for all the recent terror attacks but hardly a whisper on this attack,” said 23-year-old Ali Habib, who described how the white van swerve into a crowd of worshippers gathered outside a mosque following evening prayers. “People are both scared and angry. Parents are scared to send their children to evening prayers.”
The Muslim Council of Britain has called for extra security around mosques, describing the Finsbury Park van attack as “the most violent manifestation” of Islamophobia.
Mosques across Britain and elsewhere are expecting large crowds this week as Ramadan draws to a close.
Associated Press writer Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

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Canadian man found guilty of trying to join Daesh

Agence France Presse
Tue, 2017-06-20 03:11

OTTAWA, Canada: A 29-year-old Canadian man on Monday became the first to be found guilty at trial under a law banning people from trying to leave Canada to commit a terrorist act.
Ismael Habib, the son of an Afghan father and a Canadian mother, had sought to reach Syria to join the Daesh group. He came under police investigation in 2015 and was arrested last year.
His wife and two young children were reportedly living in the war-torn nation.
Habib did not have a valid passport because it had been revoked after a failed 2012 attempt to reach Syria in which he was detained in Turkey and deported to Canada.
It was revealed at trial that Habib met a man who turned out to be an undercover policeman in an effort to obtain a fake passport.
The defense argued that police tricked him into confessing that he wanted to travel overseas to join Daesh and die for God.
Prosecutor Lyne Decarie said she was “satisfied” with the verdict, while defense attorney Charles Monpetit said it was “a bit of a shock.”
Sentencing arguments are scheduled for August.
Habib faces up to 10 years in prison under Canada’s terrorism act, which enables authorities to bring charges against anyone suspected of participating in the activity of a terrorist group.
It also applies to cases in which a person “leaves or attempts to leave Canada.”
In the past three years, authorities have detained several Canadians, including minors, for attempting to join Daesh.

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Berry Petroleum appoints executive leadership

Berry Petroleum Co. LLC,
Bakersfield, Calif., now an independent wholly-owned subsidiary of
Berry Petroleum Corp. after it split from previous owner Linn Energy
Inc. earlier this year, has appointed executive leadership and expanded
its asset base.

London Finsbury Park attacker said he wanted to kill ‘many Muslim people’

Charlie Neyra | Special to Arab News
Tue, 2017-06-20 03:53

LONDON: The terrorist who rammed a van into worshippers near north London’s Finsbury Park Mosque on Monday declared his intention to kill Muslims as he was cornered by irate worshippers.
Darren Osborne, a 47-year-old father of four, swerved the van he was driving into a group of mainly North and West African people shortly after midnight as they left prayers at the Muslim Welfare House near the mosque in the early hours of Monday morning,
He was grabbed at the scene by locals and pinned down until police arrived.
After being seized, Osborne said he had wanted to kill “many Muslim people,” one witness told journalists.
Ten people were injured in the attack, which UK Prime Minister Theresa May described as a “sickening” terrorist attack on Muslims.
Osborne is being held on suspicion of attempted murder, a charge later extended to preparing or instigating terrorism, including murder and attempted murder.
A man, who had apparently suffered a heart attack before the incident, died at the scene, but it was not clear if his death was a result of the van attack.
“This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city, the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before,” May told reporters outside No. 10 Downing Street. “This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship,” May added, who later visited Finsbury Park Mosque for a multi-faith meeting with religious leaders.
The attack was the fourth to take place in Britain since March and the third to involve a vehicle deliberately driven at pedestrians.
The victims had just left special prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Usain Ali, 28, said he heard a bang and ran for his life. “When I looked back, I thought it was a car accident, but people were shouting, screaming and I realized this was a man choosing to terrorize people who are praying,” he told Reuters.
“He chose exactly the time that people pray, and the mosque is too small and full, so some pray outside.” Another witness Yann Bouhllissa, 38, said he had been tending to an old man who had suffered a heart attack when the van was driven at them.
The driver was then seized by locals. “One guy caught the guy and brought him down,” Bouhllissa said. “When he was on the floor, the guy asked ‘why do you do that?’. He said ‘Because I want to kill many Muslim people’.”
Local resident Idil told Arab News the attack was a surprise to everyone, but did not want it to change how the area is run: “We don’t want to live in a police state. It won’t work having security here every day. You need to get to the root of the issues.”
Fatima, another local resident, told Arab News: “We don’t want to be living in fear that we always need security around us. We want to be living in the free world.”
Regardless of local sentiment, additional security is coming. Finsbury Park Mosque’s chairman, Mohammed Kozbar, told Arab News that security will be tightened at the mosque, and at other mosques around the country.
Finsbury Park Mosque itself gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a US prison in January 2015 after being convicted of terrorism-related charges. However, a new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Abu Hamza was arrested by British police. Attendance has greatly increased since then among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque’s website.
Commenting on the mosque’s transformation, local resident Joyce told Arab News: “This place went through a history of radical (times) but they seem to have moved on, getting on with regular worship… This is a peaceful community.”
The latest incident took place just over two weeks after three militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight. A suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, northern England, in May killed 22 people; while in March, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. Five people were killed in that attack.
Five other terrorism plots have been foiled since March, police say. May, weakened after losing her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election she had called to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks, has faced criticism for her record on security after the previous series of attacks blamed on Islamist militants.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on May to reverse planned police spending cuts, while she has also been criticized for her response to a fire in a London tower block last Wednesday which killed at least 79 people.
“Today’s attack falls at a difficult time in the life of this city, following on from the attack on London Bridge two weeks ago, and of course the unimaginable tragedy of Grenfell Tower last week,” May said.
She promised action to stamp out all forms of hatred, saying there had been far too much tolerance of extremism in Britain over many years. Police have said hate crimes rose after the London Bridge attack and more officers would be deployed to provide reassurance to mosques.
The Muslim Council of Britain said Monday’s attack on mosque worshippers was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship.
— With Reuters

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Hero imam saves Finsbury Park attacker from angry crowd
Vehicle rams worshippers leaving London mosque, one suspect arrested
Muslims targeted by violence in wake of Daesh-claimed attacks

ExxonMobil Announces Breakthrough In Renewable Energy

Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil’s partnership bore fruit on Monday, said a press release that announced the development of a modified algae strain that could push algae-based energy closer to being a commercially viable alternative energy source. The only way forward for algae-based energy to become commercial is if a high content strain that grows quickly is discovered. SG’s advanced cell engineering technologies has now managed to enhance the algae’s oil content from 20 to 40 percent, according to an official report published…