Heavy fighting in Libya and floods in Pakistan dominate the front pages of The National and Khaleej Times with big photographs of the affected people wading through knee-deep waters taking centre stage. Gulf News, however, has published a 5-column wide photograph of the air show tragedy in Reno, Nevada in which three people lost their lives.
The papers reported the heavy losses sustained by the rebels in Libya after the offensives in Bani Walid and Sirte were routed by pro-Gaddafi forces. Street-by-street fighting is raging on while while NATO warplanes continue to pound anti-NTC positions in the north-central front.
Khaleej Times said Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) has announced its intention to activate the service of linking the ID card registration procedures with the residence issuance and renewal procedures in Abu Dhabi City from Sunday.
Recurring poll themes themes have come under heavy criticism by the voters of the FNC elections while candidates decried lack of time and difficulties in reaching out to the electorate, Gulf News editor said in a front page article.
The National, meanwhile, reported that the loyalty charter that praises Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, has attracted more than a million people across the world. It appreciates the fact that many different nationalities, religions and background are living together in harmony in the UAE which is a great achievement of the UAE rulers.
The Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, in another item, highlighted the plight of many families that are seeing their budgets eaten up by growing food prices. It cited the survey result published by Al Aan TV in which 90% respondents said they’ve felt the pinch of rising cost of food during the past six months.
?Modi is on a fast to Racecourse Road,? Khaleej Times quoted prominent media commentator Suhel Seth as saying about India’s most controversial politician and chief minister of western state of Gujarat where thousands of people were killed during riots in 2002, blamed on the BJP leader.
Gulf News suggested in its editorial that the range of FNC election debate should be wider where candidates discuss critical and urgent issues facing the country. The editor believes that the campaign has been strangely muted, partly due to the fact that all the hopefuls are standing as individuals and not representing any party or political bloc. The editorial also urged the candidates to debate on some of the urgent issues facing the UAE like the desperate state of some of the government schools or the wide disparities of government spending and wealth across the UAE. It also highlighted the need for a more effective federal coordination between different emirate governments on a range of economic and social issues.
Khaleej Times described denial mode as the first step in politics of reconciliation while referring to the Afghan peace process. It termed the recent announcement made by Taliban’s Haqqani group to take part in negotiations as a good omen despite the conditions it has set. “It is from here that all the stakeholders in the war-weary country should pick the threads and choreograph a strategy that pulls Afghanistan out of the mess,” the editorial emphasised. The editor also urged all the stakeholders in Afghanistan to hold a summit in Kabul and put together a package of peace for the war ravaged country.
The National, in an unusual and quirky editorial, reviewed the “Malls of Dubai” video that has become a hit on YouTube. “The clip, by 16-year-old Dubai teen Rohit Iyengar, won’t win an award for music or lyrics, but it is a wry comment on our shopping culture,” the editor opined in his article.
By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette