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UAE rulers attend Golden Jubilee celebrations in Dubai

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Supreme Council Members, and rulers and crown princes of the seven emirates in the UAE attended a glittering ceremony in Dubai’s Hatta to mark the country’s 50th National Day and Golden Jubilee.

Among those who attended the official ceremony were Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed al-Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah; Sheikh Saud bin Rashid al-Mu’alla, Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, and Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

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Staged in Hatta Dam and surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, the live show saw the attendance of residents from across the UAE, and was live streamed by all official television channels and the ‘Official 50th UAE National Day’ website.

The show’s centerpiece was a huge sculpture, supported by modern technology and set on a floating stage on the Hatta Dam, to highlight the close relationship between humans and nature and UAE’s history since the 19th century.

The show comprised nine chapters chronicling highlights from the UAE’s 50-year development journey and projections of the UAE’s future in the next 50 years.

The first chapter of the show included a drum performance, featuring traditional Emirati rhythms which resonated around the mountains, while the second part showcased the earliest form of the Emirati compass, known as Deira, after which 200 drones lit up the sky as the sculpture began projecting Deirat Al Duroor, the ancient astronomical system used by the UAE people in old times.

The third chapter narrated the stories of the UAE’s first female pioneers, including Sheikha Maitha bint Salmeen Al Mansoori, wife of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa, the grandfather of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

It concluded with a homage to the achievements of the ‘Mother of the Nation’, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

As for the fourth chapter, it told the story of the agreement that led to the UAE’s Union, where a picture of the UAE’s late Founding Father appeared on the giant sculpture, while the fifth part of the show shed light on the UAE’s transformation from a desert to a luxuriant green land.

The sixth part featured the UAE’s national anthem, and was followed by a chapter on key moments in the UAE’s history leading to the hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai, to the sounds of traditional music.

Titled ‘Letters to the Future’, the final part of the show featured three girls writing letters to their future selves, epitomizing the UAE’s ambitious vision and aspirations for the future.

The celebration concluded with a dazzling firework spectacle, launched by drones, to mark the end of the first 50 years of the UAE’s journey and the beginning of its march towards the future.

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US: Bodies of two of three missing kids found in Minnesota lake

The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been released.

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The chain of events began Friday morning when the father was found dead at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

A search of the lake found one child’s body Friday evening. A second body was found overnight. Searchers from several organizations were busy Saturday looking for the third, as well as the mother.

Authorities believe all three children were under the age of 5.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He called the deaths a “likely triple homicide.”

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Several dozen Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took up their posts in Greece on Saturday, the first members of a European force being deployed to the country to provide backup in case of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland will be on standby during the hottest months of July and August in Greece, where a spate of wildfires caused devastation last summer.

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A group of 28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the two-month mission, financed and coordinated under the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

“We thank you very much for coming to help us during a difficult summer for our country, and for proving that European solidarity is not just theoretical, it’s real,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said on Saturday as he welcomed the members of the Romanian mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, you will be side by side with our Greek firefighters so we can save lives and property.”

The Bulgarian firefighters have been stationed in Larissa, in central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities.

In Greece’s worst wildfire disaster, 102 people were killed when a blaze tore through the seaside town of Mati and nearby areas close to Athens during the summer of 2018.

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One killed, six injured in shootout between migrant groups in Serbia

One migrant was killed and at least six others, including a teenage girl, were injured Saturday in a shootout between migrant groups in Serbia near the Hungarian border, the state-run RTS television reported.

The 16-year-old girl sustained life threatening injuries in the incident that occurred in a forest in the outskirts of Subotica, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Belgrade, where the injured were hospitalized, RTS reported.

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Police, who made no immediate comment, blocked access to the forest where the incident took place, only around a kilometer from the Hungarian border.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin rushed to the scene.

The injured, aged between 20 and 30, have no documents, Subotica mayor Stevan Bakic told local media.

It is not known what triggered the incident, he added.

Local media reported that the shootout occurred between Afghan and Pakistani migrants most likely over human trafficking from the area to European Union member Hungary.

Serbia lies on the so-called Balkans route used by migrants heading towards Western Europe as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Although the route is nowhere as busy as it was during Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, tens of thousands of illegal migrants still cross the region annually.

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