• Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council (UPC) has announced new projects are to be awarded building permits in the emirate only if they prove efficient use of resources, Gulf News has reported. UPC also plans to introduce new guidelines that will also make existing structures sustainable. The measures will be part of the UPC's Estidama (sustainability) Pearl Rating System for existing buildings, which are expected to be introduced by the end of the year.

  • Ma'aden signed a contract for the construction of a 430 kilometre pipeline to carry treated waste water to planned new gold mines in Taif Makkah Region. The SR464m contract with Metal Services Company for Trading and Contracting was signed by Ma'aden Gold and Base Metals Company.

  • Paula Deen hid her type 2 diabetes diagnosis from the Food Network for 3 years — and made $30 million for her fattening fare in the interim.  While keeping the Food Network and her fans in the dark about her diabetes, Deen continued delivering episodes on deep-fried butter balls and other artery-clogging fare as she raked in an estimated $10 million per year via her TV show, cookbooks, endorsements and appearances. “I intentionally did it,” Deen admitted to NBC’s Al Roker of hiding the news from fans. “I said, ‘I’m gonna keep this close to my chest for the time being’ because I had to figure out things in my own head.”

  • THE Czech Republic’s decision to grant Oleksandr Tymoshenko asylum has prompted speculation about whether the country is becoming a base for exiled allies of his wife Yulia, Ukraine’s jailed former prime minister and the heroine of the Orange Revolution. The answer is: not yet. Mr Tymoshenko is the second member of his wife's circle to have fled Kiev for Prague.

  • Last Saturday, Omar Barghouti stopped in Oakland, CA as part of his current West Coast tour. The lecture was billed as “Occupy Wall St., not Palestine,” and Barghouti made the case that it makes “perfect sense to think of Israel as part of the global one-percent in War Inc.” He touched on the relationship between U.S. and Israeli weapons manufactures, suggesting that Israel’s behavior as a “garrison state” enables more customers for U.S. produced weapons.

  • Under current Moroccan law, abortions are only allowed with a husband’s consent in order to save a woman’s life or maintain her physical or mental health, meaning that unmarried women could not legally have an abortion. Now this is set to change. A top aide to Morocco’s prime minister confirmed that the leader would support allowing abortions in the case of rape or incest

  • People never seem to notice, but strategies have fashions. Just as cars had fins for a while, or business folks try to dress like they just stepped off the set of Mad Men, or phones get big touch screens and icons to chase after Jony Ive's iPhone design choices, there are also conventions in how we think about what firms should do to create value. These ways of thinking even have names so we can refer to them in shorthand: focus, cost leadership, differentiation, core competence leverage, supply chain integration, and the like.

  • Torresol Energy, a joint venture between Spain's Sener and Abu Dhabi's Masdar, plans to invest up to $5bn in the short-term to build concentrated solar power plants (CSP) in Spain, the United States and the Middle East, its president said on Wednesday.

  • Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital and largest sheikdom, aims to develop a plan to secure long-term water supply, the head of the government-run renewable energy company said. The emirate is pursuing several programmes to study water conservation and cut domestic use, which may lead to a “comprehensive and holistic approach” to water security in the next year or two, Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Masdar, as the renewable energy company is known, said today.

  • ** Surprise another corrupt Israeli politician, and a rather fascist and xenophobic one at that ** Israel’s state prosecutors began a hearing on Tuesday to decide whether to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on charges of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering, a move that could shake up Israeli politics and lead to early elections.

  • Dubai shoppers will soon be able to get up close and personal with snow penguins, after Ski Dubai announced it would play host to a colony of the Antarctic birds. The indoor ski slope, located in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, said it planned to build a special enclosure to host the birds as part of a multi-generation breeding programme.

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