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Brilliant Verstappen claims maiden title after victory in Abu Dhabi season finale following late Safety Car drama

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ABU DHABI, 12th December, 2021 (WAM) — Max Verstappen secured his maiden World Championship with victory in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton finishing second as the race ended in a nail-biting one-lap sprint after a late Safety Car. The result, which saw Valtteri Bottas finish sixth and Sergio Perez retire, means Mercedes have clinched a record eighth consecutive constructors’ championship.

Medium-tyred Hamilton jumped soft-shod Verstappen at the start, while the Dutchman came back in Turn 6, nudging him wide and over the run-off, but the Mercedes driver continued in the lead. Stewards decided not to investigate. The pit window opened when Verstappen came in on Lap 13, Hamilton a lap later, leaving Sergio Perez in the lead with the mission to hold off Hamilton.

Perez did exactly that, on Laps 20 to 21 – being dubbed a "legend" by his team mate as he let him past to continue the chase, before pitting on Lap 22. The podium looked certain until he retired on Lap 56 under a Safety Car, which was brought out for a Nicholas Latifi crash.

That Safety Car, during which Verstappen pitted for soft tyres, left the race with just one lap of green flag racing remaining, producing another memorable moment in this epic season. Verstappen did make the pass on Hamilton into Lap 5, the decisive move, and while Hamilton attempted to come back towards Turn 9, there was nothing doing. History was made, as it was always going to be, and the trophy went to the Dutchman for the first time.

Carlos Sainz took the final podium place ahead of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in P4 – while AlphaTauri team mate Pierre Gasly rounded out the top five.

Valtteri Bottas struggled to P6, running as low as eighth, and losing a potential podium spot from fourth to sixth under the final Safety Car.

lpine took points with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon eighth and ninth respectively, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc rounding out the top 10.

Alfa Romeo suffered a double retirement as Kimi Raikkonen bowed out on Lap 26, team mate Antonio Giovinazzi 10 laps later. Latifi was Williams’ second retiree after George Russell bowed out from his tenure with the team with a loss of drive on Lap 27.

Mercedes and Red Bull therefore shared the spoils in this incredible season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, fit for a season that will no doubt go down as one of the greatest ever.

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Emirates

Omar Al Olama meets Colombian Minister of Science

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DUBAI, 20th January, 2022 (WAM) — Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications, said that the UAE Government is advancing its international partnerships and cooperation with various governments, through sharing successful practices in various sectors.

He made this statement during his meeting with Tito José Crissien, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia, at the Colombian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

During the meeting, Al Olama stressed that the UAE is keen to share successful experiences and practices in advanced technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) with Colombia. It will help identify opportunities that will support the transformation to a sustainable knowledge-based economy, through deploying advanced technologies in business development.

He also lauded Colombia’s efforts to deploy advanced technologies in all areas of work and its role in teaching digital skills and developing human capital in this field.

In his meeting with Colombian officials, Al Olama presented the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence and the country’s related achievements and major programmes and initiatives recently launched, most notably the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, the first university of its kind in the world, and digital schools in developing countries which aim to end digital illiteracy.

The sides also discussed ways of encouraging the exchange of expertise and successful practices to face future challenges and utilising digital solutions and advanced technologies to establish new government action models that will support their comprehensive digital transformation.

The meeting then discussed ways of strengthening their partnerships and enhancing their cooperation in capacity building and exchanging expertise, in addition to holding training programmes for young students in Colombia.

The meeting presented Colombia’s achievements in identifying AI ethics and explained its sustainable development goals.

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Emirates

UAE announces 3,014 new COVID-19 cases, 1,067 recoveries, 4 deaths in last 24 hours

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ABU DHABI, 20th January, 2022 (WAM) — The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced that it conducted 504,831 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.

In a statement, the Ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. As part of its intensified testing campaign, MoHAP announced 3,014 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 816,945.

According to the Ministry, the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care.

MoHAP also announced 4 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 2,204.

The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished COVID-19 patients a speedy and full recovery. It called on all members of the society to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to the instructions and physical distance to ensure the health and safety of all.

MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,067 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 764,731.

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Emirates

Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi publishes ‘Our Sheikhs, Our Role Model’ in braille for visually impaired students

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ABU DHABI, 20th January, 2022 (WAM) — A new book for visually impaired students detailing the inspiring role of the UAE’s leadership has been published in braille by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

‘Our Sheikhs, Our Role Model’, has been produced by MAKTABA, the library management department at DCT Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO), represented by its Department of Care for the Blind.

The book features students’ creative writings on topics related to the principles and values of the UAE’s leadership. It covers various topics about national identity, as well as students’ ideas inspired by the leadership’s vision, principles and creativity.

Through the initiative, which is part of the ninth edition of the Little Writer in the Big Book competition, MAKTABA aims to enable visually impaired students to participate in the competition and deepen their knowledge of the history of the UAE.

Naema Al Mansouri, Member of the National Federal Council and Director of the ZHO’s Department of Care for the Blind, said, "Issuing a braille edition of ‘Our Sheikhs, Our Role Model’ will enrich the National Blind Libraries with additional resources, while enabling students to participate in the Little Writer in the Big Book competition to stimulate their creative writing skills."

Shaikha Mohamed AlMehairi, Library Management Department Director at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "We thank our partners for their valuable contribution to this initiative that expands reading capabilities. Over its past editions, the Little Writer in the Big Book competition has inspired children and teenagers’ writing and creativity by offering them an ideal platform to unleash their storytelling skills. In this year’s edition, MAKTABA widens its target audience by giving those students with visual impairment greater access to books and inspiring them to learn more about our nation’s history and values."

MAKTABA will announce the winners of the ninth edition in the Little Writer in the Big Book competition on 6 February 2022, before posting the stories and creations of the entrants on the Digital Library’s website. The winning stories will be compiled and printed in one book, which will be distributed to libraries and public and private schools across Abu Dhabi.

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