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Sharjah Light Festival shines light on various aspects of history, heritage

The 11th Sharjah Light Festival began on Wednesday with the opening act being held at the University City Hall, in front of an enthusiastic crowd as well as representatives of local and international media.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Echoes of the Future’ – which includes a series of activities and shows, until February 20, 2022, organized by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA).

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Speaking at the inauguration, SCTDA Chairman Khalid Jasim Al Midfa said that the Festival, is “one of the hallmarks of the success and originality of our emirate’s tourism sector. “

“This event is an extension of years of hard work and dedication to charting a bright future for the Emirate of Sharjah – a future that cements its name and praiseworthy reputation as an unparalleled tourist destination teeming with culture, art, and authentic heritage, all the while being up to speed with visitors’ needs and requirements, and on a par with the world’s leading destinations.”

“We are immensely proud of the accomplishments the tourism sector is making each year, guided by the forward-thinking vision and boundless support of our wise leadership,” Al Midfa added.

“Over the course of the past 50 years, this vision has served as the foundation for Sharjah’s development and progress. And today, we pledge to continue along this path, hand in hand with our partners across the emirate, to firmly position Sharjah on the global tourism map and guarantee its rightful place at the fore across all fields.”

The opening ceremony included a dazzling light show that adorned the University City Hall building – one of Sharjah’s most prominent architectural icons that embodies the emirate’s commitment to education and heritage alike.

The show told the story of Sharjah’s past, shedding light on important milestones and underlining the prominent role the sea and the library played in everyday life.

The display then shifted its focus to the emirate’s present, highlighting its accomplishments in education, art, astronomy, architecture, communication, and the environment.

Over the course of the next 11 days, the Festival will offer visitors from the UAE and abroad 10 outstanding shows lighting up landmarks all around the emirate.

Sites for the Festival’s shows are: Al Majaz Waterfront, University City Hall, The Holy Qur’an Academy, Sharjah Mosque, Al Noor Mosque, Al Hamriya Municipality building, government buildings in Kalba and the building of the Directorate of Human Resources in Kalba, Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi Mosque in Dibba Al Hisn, and Al Rafisah Dam in Khorfakkan.

Additionally, the University City area will be host to a Food Trucks Area, situated opposite the University City Hall, hosting over 30 outlets — including national small and medium enterprises –offering delicious range of flavours and various cuisines.

Read more: Mleiha in Sharjah launches ‘mobile stargazing experience’

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Lindsay Lohan celebrates birthday as married woman to Dubai resident Bader Shammas

Actress Lindsay Lohan is celebrating her 36th birthday on Saturday as a married woman.

The “Freaky Friday” star said she was the “luckiest woman in the world” in an Instagram post Friday that pictured her with financier Bader Shammas, who had been her fiance.

“I am stunned that you are my husband,” Lohan said in the post, adding that “every woman should feel like this everyday.”

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The couple had announced their engagement last November. People magazine and Entertainment Tonight confirmed there had been a wedding, but no details were offered.

While still single a few years ago, Lohan told Entertainment Tonight that she was looking for “a smart businessman” and someone who doesn’t like the spotlight. Shammas’ Instagram account is private.

The “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” actress and sometimes singer has worked through some sobriety issues in recent years, and has recently filmed a romantic comedy that is due to be released on Netflix later this year.

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Dutch university gets cyber ransom money back with interest

A Dutch university that fell victim to a massive ransomware attack has partly received back its stolen money, which in the meantime more than doubled in value, a news report said on Saturday.

The southern Maastricht University in 2019 was hit by a large cyberattack in which criminals used ransomware, a type of malicious software that locks valuable data and can only be accessed once the victim pays a ransom amount.

“The criminals had encrypted hundreds of Windows servers and backup systems, preventing 25,000 students and employees from accessing scientific data, library and mail,” the daily De Volkskrant said.

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The hackers demanded 200,000 euros ($208,000) in bitcoins.

“After a week the university decide to accede to the criminal gang’s demand,” the paper said.

“This was partly because personal data was in danger of being lost and students were unable to take an exam or work on their theses,” it said.

Dutch police traced part of the ransom paid to an account belonging to a money launderer in Ukraine.

Prosecutors in 2020 seized this man’s account, which contained a number of different crypto currencies including part of the ransom money paid by Maastricht.

“When, now after more than two years, it was finally possible to get that money to the Netherlands, the value had increased from 40,000 euros to half-a-million euros,” the paper said.

Maastricht University will now get the 500,000 euros ($521,000) back.

“This money will not go to a general fund, but into a fund to help financially strapped students,” Maastricht University ICT director Michiel Borgers said.

The investigation into the hackers responsible for the attack on the university is still ongoing, De Volkskrant added.

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Cyberattack hits Norway, pro-Russian hacker group fingered

Explainer: EU agrees rulebook for ‘Wild West’ crypto markets

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Singer R. Kelly sues Brooklyn jail for putting him on suicide watch

R. Kelly on Friday sued the Brooklyn jail that has housed him since his racketeering and sex crimes conviction, saying it wrongly put him on suicide watch after he received a 30-year prison sentence despite knowing he was not suicidal.

In a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court, the 55-year-old multiplatinum R&B singer said officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center ordered the watch after his June 29 sentencing “solely for punitive purposes” and because he was a “high-profile” inmate.

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Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean quoted a prosecutor as saying the jail’s legal counsel had told her that “per the psychology department, is on a psych alert for various reasons, such as age, crime, publicity and sentencing.” No timetable was provided.

Bonjean wasn’t satisfied with the explanation. “Simply put, MDC Brooklyn is run like a gulag,” she wrote.

Kelly said the “harsh conditions” he faced led to “severe mental distress,” and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment that violated the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, though the docket suggests Kelly is seeking $100 million.

The jail did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Known for the 1996 Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” Kelly was convicted last September on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors said Kelly exploited his stardom and wealth over two decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex, with the help of his entourage.

Kelly said he was also put on suicide watch after his conviction.

Ghislaine Maxwell, another inmate at the Brooklyn jail, was placed on suicide watch on June 24, four days before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls.

Maxwell’s lawyer said the British socialite had been given a “suicide smock” and deprived of clothing, toothpaste and soap though she too was not suicidal.

Friday’s filings did not say what specific conditions Kelly faced.

Kelly still faces an August trial in Chicago federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges, and various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Read more:

R&B singer R. Kelly handed 30-year prison sentence for sex crimes

UK prosecutors charge actor Kevin Spacey with sex crimes

Ghislaine Maxwell handed 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking

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