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Expo 2020 Dubai to host ‘world’s longest New Year’s Eve celebration’

Twelve international and Dubai-based DJs are lining up to give 2021 a record-breaking send-off at Expo 2020 Dubai on New Year’s Eve.

Headlined by the world-famous Armin van Buuren, the roster also includes DJ Skip, Kanika Kapoor, Anyasa and Dimitri Vegas, who will all be playing at the Jubilee Stage. Then DJ Tala Samman, DJ Jeff, DJ Khaled Mamdouh and DJ Fat Sam can be found at Dubai Millennium amphitheater, with DJ Hannah Ichiko, DJ Fuzzz and DJ Daxx at the Sports, Fitness & Wellbeing Hub.

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Billed as the longest New Year celebration in the world, spanning the time zones of all participating countries at the event, the Expo festivities will take place at various locations across the site over a 13-hour period.

First up at Jubilee Stage is Delhi-born DJ Skip, known for his performance-based sets and innovative scratching technique. He loves being able to express himself to the world through music and promises to get visitors moving early on.

Next is Bollywood playback singer Kanika Kapoor, performing hits such as Baby Doll and Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan, followed by Indian producer Anyasa, bringing his acclaimed live set to Dubai, and Dimitri Vegas from Belgium.

Finally, the king of trance, Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, will channel the Jubilee Stage’s late night/early morning energy, rounding off proceedings from 1.30am until 4am with his trademark blend of uplifting, progressive and psychedelic trance, with electro house and dance-pop thrown in for good measure.

At Dubai Millennium amphitheater, meanwhile, DJ Tala Samman will get the party going with a mash-up of melodic and deep house, along with upbeat pop and hip-hop.

Excited to be performing on such a huge platform, the Dubai-based DJ says Expo 2020 is the perfect place to “highlight the talent we have in this city”.

DJ Jeff, who originally hails from India but also calls Dubai home, will take over the reins with a blend of hip-hop and South Asian music. The producer, who commends Expo 2020 for providing opportunities to collaborate with artists from across the globe, said: “There’s no better feeling than performing at the biggest event in the world!”

Deep-house DJ Khaled Mamdouh will continue the good vibes at Dubai Millennium amphitheater, counting down to midnight, while DJ Fat Sam will usher in the New Year with a bang.

At the Sports, Fitness & Wellbeing Hub, disk-spinners DJ Hannah Ichiko, DJ Fuzzz and DJ Daxx will also be inviting visitors to join in the countdown celebrations, with upbeat sets that strike a positive tone for 2022.

Entry to all of the New Year’s Eve DJ sets is free for Expo 2020 ticket holders, but visitors are advised to arrive early.

Read more:

Expo 2020 Dubai continues to operate safely, responsibly amid COVID-19: Organizers

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Security guard killed inside Qatar Embassy in Paris

A security guard was killed in the early hours of Monday inside the Qatar Embassy in Paris in an incident that does not appear to have any links to terrorism, a source close to the investigation said.
The incident took place at around 0630 (0430 GMT), the source said, adding that the suspect had entered the embassy and had a row with the security guard, who died after being punched.

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The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed the death and said one person had been arrested on the spot.
“I can confirm that an investigation was opened today on the count of murder,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Read more: Iran will ‘avenge’ killing of IRGC colonel: President

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Sandstorm forces closure of Iraqi airports and public buildings

Iraq closed public buildings and temporarily shut airports Monday as another sandstorm — the ninth since mid-April — hit the country, authorities said.

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The capital Baghdad was enveloped in a giant dust cloud that left usually traffic-choked streets largely deserted, an AFP correspondent said.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi ordered all work to cease in public institutions, with the exception of health facilities and security agencies.

He cited “poor climatic conditions and the arrival of violent sandstorms” in a statement issued by his office.

Iraq is ranked as one of the five most vulnerable nations to climate change and desertification.

The environment ministry has warned that over the next two decades, Iraq could endure an average of 272 days of sandstorms per year, rising to above 300 by 2050.

Air traffic was suspended Monday at international airports in Baghdad, Erbil and Najaf, according to statements issued by each airport, before authorities announced later in the morning that flights were resuming at Baghdad and Erbil.

The previous two sandstorms killed one person and sent nearly 10,000 people to hospital with respiratory problems.

The Middle East has always been battered by sandstorms, but they have become more frequent and intense in recent years.

The trend has been associated with rising heat and water scarcity, overuse of river water, more dams, overgrazing and deforestation.

Oil-rich Iraq is known in Arabic as the land of the two rivers, in reference to the Tigris and Euphrates.

Iraq’s environment ministry has said the weather phenomenon could be addressed by increasing vegetation cover and planting trees that act as windbreaks.

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Experts warn of health effects from dusty conditions as sandstorm blankets UAE

Sandstorm blankets Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh

Iraq sandstorm forces closure of airports, schools, public administrations

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Oxfam tells Davos: Time to tax growing billionaire club

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new billionaire every 30 hours and now one million people could fall into extreme poverty at the same pace, Oxfam said Monday as the Davos summit returns.

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The international charity said it was time to tax the rich to support the less fortunate as the global elite gathered at the Swiss mountain haven for the World Economic Forum after a two-year Covid-induced absence.

Oxfam said it expects 263 million people to sink into extreme poverty this year, at a rate of one million every 33 hours, as soaring inflation has added a cost-of-living crisis on top of COVID-19.

By comparison, 573 people became billionaires during the pandemic, or one every 30 hours.

“Billionaires are arriving in Davos to celebrate an incredible surge in their fortunes,” Oxfam executive director Gabriela Bucher said in a statement.

“The pandemic and now the steep increases in food and energy prices have, simply put, been a bonanza for them,” Bucher said.

“Meanwhile, decades of progress on extreme poverty are now in reverse and millions of people are facing impossible rises in the cost of simply staying alive,” she said.

Oxfam called for a one-off “solidarity tax” on billionaires’ pandemic windfall to support people facing soaring prices as well as fund a “fair and sustainable recovery” from the pandemic.

It also said it was time to “end crisis profiteering” by rolling out a “temporary excess profit tax” of 90 percent on windfall profits of big corporations.

Oxfam added that an annual wealth tax on millionaires of two percent, and five percent for billionaires, could generate $2.52 trillion a year.

Such a wealth tax would help lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, make enough vaccines for the world and pay for universal health care for people in poorer countries, it said.

Oxfam based its calculations on the Forbes list of billionaires and World Bank data.

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Davos World Economic Forum postponed due to COVID-19: Organizers

Quarter of billion face extreme poverty in 2022: Oxfam

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