China’s Xiaomi launches three new smartphones

DUBAI: The world’s 4th largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi has launched three groundbreaking products on Feb. 21, at Four Seasons Resort, Dubai.
During the occasion, Xiaomi officials led by Senior Vice President Wang Xiang and Head of Expansion Marketing, Steven Wang announced the launching of Mi MIX, Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A in the region. It will be made available in March across the UAE through select retail partners. Mi MIX will be priced at AED 2,999; Redmi Note 4 at AED 659, and Redmi 4A at AED 389.
“We are very excited to bring Xiaomi’s top-quality smartphones to the Middle East and North Africa, as we believe that they will be a very attractive option for consumers here. Xiaomi has spent the past few years developing countless features and optimizations that enhance the way people use their phones, combining cutting-edge technological innovations and great design while defying price expectations. We are delighted to launch our latest range of devices in the Middle East through our partner TASK FZCO.” Xiang said.

Organ donation from deceased patients now allowed in UAE

A law allowing transplants of dead people’s organs, which was issued last year by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will be implemented next month.

“We will have a group of patients ready should an organ be available,” The National quoted Dr. Nick Richards, chief executive and chief medical officer of Seha’s dialysis services, as saying.

The principle of donations from a dead person had been agreed on more than two years ago “but when it was declared, there still needed to be an agreement of what brain death was”, Richards reportedly said. “The new legislation will make it much clearer.”

The first and only kidney transplant from a deceased donor in the UAE was in 2013 – from a Saudi donor to a 23-year-old woman from Abu Dhabi, the report said.

The surgery was performed at Seha’s Sheikh Khalifa Medical City but other cases were held up while the medical liability law was drawn up. “The organ that came from Saudi Arabia was an exception but not the rule,” Richards reportedly said.

He reportedly hoped donations from deceased patients would begin in “the next couple of months”.

The country that carries out the highest number of kidney transplants is Spain – where 44 transplants a year are done per million of the population, reported The National, adding that the number is 34 for every million in the UK while in Abu Dhabi it is 17 for every million.

There are 1,100 people on dialysis in Abu Dhabi and 30 to 40 transplants are carried out a year at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, the report said.

du’s phone number 058 888 8888 fetches Dh4.5m in auction

The exclusive mobile phone number 058 888 8888 by the UAE telecom firm du has fetched over Dh4.5 million.

The special number was bought by Indian businessman Balwinder Sahani, who made headlines for buying the car number plate 5 for Dh33 million in 2016, during an auction of 50 special mobile phone numbers that raised a total of Dh7.4 million, reported Gulf News.

For the first time, du Smart Platinum Plan was also on auction. In a tie up with Etihad Airways, du reportedly provides customers an opportunity to immediately attain Etihad Guest Gold tier status, for a premium travel experience with the UAE-based airline.

“Our customers always come first, and we have long since recognized that different customers have equally different requirements. We always look forward to delivering on exclusivity for our valued customers, and our auction enables us to offer them incredible plans and elite numbers, for seamless connectivity and the ultimate customer satisfaction,” Ahmad Abu Rahima, executive vice-president of government relations at du, reportedly said.

“We enjoyed our collaboration with du on bringing this auction to life. We were pleased to see great excitement around the auction and the exclusive numbers and we hope to host it again soon,” Ahmad Ahli from Online Auctions was quoted as saying.

Three Filipina models vie to win Asia’s Next Top Model

Jennica Sanchez, Anjelica Santillan, and Maureen Wroblewitz from the Philippines seek to change the trend by winning at Asia’s Next Top Model, a reality television show based on the American franchise America’s Next Top Model.

Sanchez, 20, is a graduate of Fashion Design and Marketing at the School of Fashion and Design (SoFA). She’s 5’6″ and she has a few tattoos, most visibly on her collarbone, reported GMA News.

Santillan, 22, plans on taking up Law, but for now, this 5’9″ (and half!) beauty wants to step into the heels of her idols Coco Rocha and Giselle Bundchen, the report said.

Wrobelewitz, 18, moved from Germany to the Philippines when she was 15. She stands at 5’6″, loves the arts, and her favorite designers are Vera Wang and Karl Lagerfeld, said the news portal.

Asia’s Next Top Model is one of the many global versions of America’s Next Top Model, the popular reality show created by Tyra Banks in 2003.

Pia Wurtzbach will appear as guest judge for this season on the Asia version, reported GMA News.

Rains lead to chaos on UAE roads

Amid incessant rains in Dubai and Sharjah, traffic had come to a standstill along all the major roads of the two emirates on Sunday.

Several accidents were reported on the highways including Sheikh Zayed Road, Mohammad Bin Zayed Road as well as other arteries.

An accident involving five vehicles happened on Al Garhoud bridge at around 5pm, Gulf News quoted Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of Traffic Department at Dubai Police as saying.

“One driver seriously injured and four people suffered minor injuries,” he reportedly said. The accident caused major traffic jams from World Trade Center roundabout to the bridge.

“Other minor accidents happened in the city, causing delays on roads,” he added.

While people had enjoyed the extended wet spell experienced by the emirates, the weather seems to have impacted the traffic adversely. Motorists heading back from work were the worst affected as continued rain caused tailbacks of several kilometers, said the news portal.

Roads connecting Sharjah and Dubai, including Ittihad road, Beirut Street as well as Emirates Road saw a heavier than usual volume of traffic with residents experiencing delays of more than an hour.

With MET forecast predicting more unstable weather, authorities have urged motorists to drive more cautiously, reported Gulf News.

UAE’s biggest school bus operator raises fees

Citing higher operational costs and adherence to tighter safety standards, the UAE’s biggest school bus operator has increased monthly bus fees by around Dh30 to Dh40.

School Transport Services (STS) transports 72,000 students every day on 1,800 buses for 65 schools in the UAE, reported Gulf News.

With the Dh30 increase, monthly bus fees at The Kindergarten Starters (KGS) in Dubai, for example, will vary between Dh400 to Dh440, depending on the bus route, the report said.

Referring to past STS circulars, KGS parents reportedly said the hike is the biggest since 2014, when monthly bus fees went up by Dh10. In 2015, the fees increased by Dh20 per month.

The latest hike of Dh30 per month surfaced earlier this month in a letter to parents. Parents pay bus fees for 10 months of schooling in a year, said the news portal.

A KGS parent, who only gave his initials, M.N., reportedly said: “Bus fees keep going up almost every year. This keeps adding to the financial burden on parents. If it increases again, what can we do? We feel powerless to do anything about it because no one is addressing our concerns.”

“The safety and well-being of our passengers are of the utmost importance to us. Consequently, we have invested in various safety features, such as advanced electronic attendance system, monitoring of all buses from the control room, video surveillance system, sleeping child check button, etc; creating a very high benchmark in the school bus industry. Our recently introduced STS App provides complete peace of mind to the parents,” he reportedly said.

“In order to maintain the current safe, reliable and efficient transport service for students, with the increased cost of operation and fuel price, we have made a slight adjustment in the transportation fees,” he added.

Twins found dead in washing machine in Delhi

A pair of three year-old twins died after falling into a washing machine in their house in Delhi’s Rohini area in India.

The boys were found with their heads down in the tumbler of the machine. Police say a probe has been initiated into the cause of death. Through a preliminary probe indicated it was an accident, the cops are looking at all angles, reported Times of India.

Doctors confirmed death by drowning. The bodies have been sent to a government hospital for autopsy, the report said.

The incident was reported around 12.40pm when their mother, Rakhi, left Laksh and Neeshu playing near the bathroom in their first-floor apartment. Rakhi told the police that she had piled up clothes near the washing machine -a top-loading, semi-automatic model -filled it with water and gone to a grocery store nearby to buy washing powder. The door of the flat had not been locked, said the news portal.

When she returned after no more than six minutes, she couldn’t find the children. She looked for them in the neighboring apartments and then informed her husband, Ravinder, who works as a manager with a private insurance company in Rohini.

They have another child, Aditya, 10, who was in school. Ravinder came home within 10 minutes and joined the search for the children. “The couple returned home around 1.10pm and checked the washing machine. To their horror, they found the children lying head down in the water,” TOI quoted a neighbor Jaya Sharma as saying.

The couple reportedly pulled them out of the tumbler and rushed them to a private hospital where the boys were declared dead. Ravinders then took them to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Rohini where doctors confirmed death due to drowning.

Meanwhile, Sharma had informed the police and a team from Vijay Vihar police station reached the house.”We found 12-15 liters of water in the washing machine.Though the family does not suspect any foul play, a probe has been initiated,” said M N Tiwari, DCP, Rohini. Prima facie evidence suggests that the children might have climbed on a bucket beside the washing machine and tried to peep into the tumbler. The bucket might have slipped due to which they fell head down into the water. However, it’s a mystery how both fell into the tumbler, the report said.

A crime and forensic team has lifted evidence from the scene. The washing machine had been purchased just a few months ago, said the news portal.

Wrong remains of OFW sent to grieving family in PH

Family members of a Filipina salon worker, who died in November in Ajman, was shocked when they received the remains of a different woman on Saturday, local media reports said.

The cause of death of 44-year-old Febie Layug Guzman, who passed away on November 15 in Ajman, remains unknown, reported Gulf News.

However, when her remains reached the family in Pampanga, the family was surprised to see someone else’s body, according to a TV news report in Manila.

Edna Cabrera, Febie’s relative who is based in Dubai, said Febie’s husband, Eduardo, and her three children, are devastated, the reports said.

“They’ve been waiting for Febie’s remains since November. It’s a big blow to the family. They can’t mourn for her until now and can’t find any closure,” Gulf News quoted Cabrera as saying.

“Febie had not gone home to see her family since she came to the UAE six years ago because of her work. So you can just imagine the pain they’re feeling right now,” she reportedly said.

Ray Angulo, a Filipino social worker who was contacted by Febie’s family for help on November 11, reportedly said Febie was found unconscious in the streets of Ajman on November 6.

“Febie was taken to Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Ajman. Thereafter, I reported the case to the Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai to check any possible consular intervention and assistance. And they did help,” Angulo, who is also assisting the family, was quoted as saying.

But Febie died four days later and her case was transferred to Ajman Police. The remains were released from the morgue three months later this weekend, but apparently of a Muslim Filipina, not of an Indonesian as earlier reported. It is unclear where or why the mix-up happened, said the news portal.

On Sunday, Cabrera reportedly said her daughter, Joanna, positively identified Febie’s body in the morgue in Ajman. The family has coordinated with the Philippine Consulate on Febie’s repatriation.

Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes assured the family that the consulate is doing its best to help the family.

“The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the late Febie Layug Guzman. We assure the Guzman family that we are closely coordinating with the concerned local authorities and are pursuing all avenues of cooperation, including all legal and diplomatic means, to shed light on this incident and repatriate the remains of Guzman to her family in the Philippines at the soonest possible time,” Gulf News quoted Cortes as saying.

Cabrera reportedly said the consulate assured them that Febie’s remains will be repatriated this week.

“As a cousin, she was really kind,” Cabrera reportedly said, adding Febie used to visit her husband who is currently confined at Rashid Hospital.

Fairytale marriage proposal costs developer Dh1m

When we love someone, we always want to go the extra mile to show our love. But this man in Dubai has simply raised the bar extremely higher.
An unidentified property developer in Dubai spent a whopping Dh1 million, to pop the question to his fiancee, The Independent reported.
The company that planned the expensive proposal, The Proposers said that the original cost was £150,000 (Dh691,000). A celebrity appearing during the wedding proposal however upped the price tag by an extra £70,000 (Dh322,000), the report said.
The founder of the company was also quoted in the report as saying: “I spent about £20,000 just on the flowers.” She also goes into detail as why the proposal cost so much.
The proposal saw the couple taking a yacht holiday to the Mediterranean before taking a helicopter ride to a hotel in Monaco. They then walked to a garden filled with small notes containing reasons why the man loved his partner so much. This was followed by a live jazz band where the man popped the question – it wasn’t over at that moment however, said the news portal.
The couple then walked into a cave where a makeshift cinema was set up. In the cinema, they watched a video containing greetings from their friends and family.
A celebrity also made an appearance in the video. After that, they had a dinner surrounded by flowers. At the end of it all, their family and friends showed up at the location to celebrate with the newly-engaged couple, reported Khaleej Times.

40% of RAK’s school children overweight, says study

Nearly 40 percent of school children in Ras Al Khaimah are overweight while 24.4 percent are obese and 5.7 percent are extremely obese, a recent study titled ‘Increasing obesity rates in schoolchildren in the UAE’ has pointed out.

Obesity has an impact on all body processes and can result in the onset of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, Gulf News quoted health care experts as saying.
The medical paper studied 15,532 children between the ages of four and 12 from 2013 to 2014 and 29,410 children between the ages of three and 18 from 2014 to 2015. More than 90 percent of the children studied were Emiratis, the report said.
While the study was focused in Ras Al Khaimah, doctors say it is an indication of the growing obesity rate in the country.
Explaining the total impact of obesity, Dr. Vidya Narayanan, specialist pediatrician (pediatric endocrinology and diabetes) at Medeor 24/7 Hospital, reportedly said: “Our body breaks down the carbohydrates we eat into glucose. The pancreas then secretes the insulin hormone which helps in the transportation of glucose from the blood stream to our cells where it is used in the production of energy. In Type 2 diabetics, the cells in the body do not respond to insulin leading to a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream and if not controlled, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and even blindness.”
She added: “The main risk factor for Type 2 diabetes is being overweight as this is usually caused by unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. Many children with Type 2 diabetes do not have any symptoms and are diagnosed only when screened due to risk factors.”
Symptoms of the disease begin to show after a while and over time you may notice unexplained weight loss, hunger and thirst even after consuming a meal, dry mouth, increased urination and fatigue in your child, said the news portal.
The doctors advise parents to consult a specialist immediately if they begin to notice one or more symptoms in their child.
“Depending on the blood sugar levels, the doctor will prescribe medication,” she said. “When diagnosed, children have a tough time making adjustments to their lifestyle. It is important for parents to keep communication lines open and to gradually initiate change. Drastic measures will upset a child and they are less likely to stick to it. Encourage your child to be more active — in fact you can sign up for fitness classes or activities together. Initiate dietary changes for everyone in the family so your child does not feel left out,” she was quoted as saying.
While Type 2 diabetes is brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle, in Type 1 diabetes the body stops producing insulin. In most cases, the body’s immune system begins attacking the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, reported Gulf News.
Narayanan explained: “With no insulin to help in the transportation of glucose to the cells in our body, the blood glucose levels can become dangerously high. The symptoms for Type 1 diabetes are similar to that of Type 2, however the treatment plan differs.”
“Children suffering from Type 1 diabetes will have to have their blood sugar levels checked regularly and to manage the condition, insulin has to be administered daily. The level of insulin will be determined by the doctor and both the parents and child will be educated on how to administer the insulin injection,” she added.