WEARY FLY­ERS SHRUG AS BAN TAKES OFF

It will last un­til at least Oct 14

New Straits Times - - World -

DUBAI of the year.

Around 1.1 mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to pass through as the city marks UAE spring break, Dubai Air­ports said.

An es­ti­mated 260,000 trav­ellers were ex­pected each day from Fri­day through Mon­day. Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port ex­pects 89 mil­lion pas­sen­gers this year.

Staff in red suits could be seen at the air­port yes­ter­day, car­ry­ing signs ex­plain­ing the elec­tron­ics ban, ready to ap­pease trav­ellers with games and ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren.

Gov­ern­ment-owned Emi­rates, which op­er­ates 18 di­rect flights to the US daily, also be­gan a ser­vice to en­able pas­sen­gers to use their elec­tronic de­vices af­ter check-in and un­til board­ing.

The US last week an­nounced a ban on elec­tron­ics larger than a stan­dard smart­phone on board di­rect flights out of eight coun­tries across the Mid­dle East. US of­fi­cials would not spec­ify how long the ban will last, but Emi­rates said it had been in­structed to en­force the mea­sures un­til at least Oct 14.

The ban cov­ers elec­tron­ics sold at Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Air­ports chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Paul Grif­fiths said ear­lier this week.

Adding to the dis­rup­tion yes­ter­day, a num­ber of flights out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi air­ports were de­layed due to thun­der­storms, in­clud­ing an Emi­rates flight to Hous­ton.

Trav­ellers us­ing 10 air­ports across the Mid­dle East and North Africa are sub­ject to the ban.

Bri­tain has also an­nounced a par­al­lel elec­tron­ics ban, ef­fec­tive yes­ter­day, tar­get­ing flights out of Egypt, Turkey, Jor­dan, Saudi Ara­bia, Tu­nisia and Le­banon.

Royal Jor­da­nian, which op­er­ates di­rect flights to Lon­don, New York, Detroit and Chicago, poked fun at the ban with a num­ber of so­cial me­dia posts sug­gest­ing al­ter­na­tive in-flight ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing do­ing “what we Jor­da­ni­ans do best... stare at each other!”

The bans have come un­der crit­i­cism for tar­get­ing ma­jor­ity-Mus­lim coun­tries.

But the US and Bri­tain have cited in­tel­li­gence in­di­cat­ing pas­sen­ger jets could be tar­geted with ex­plo­sives planted in such de­vices. AFP could help to find tal­ents.”

The foun­da­tion will iden­tify pi­lot schools in the African coun­tries, pro­vide them with learn­ing kits and train teach­ers in chess with the goal of reach­ing one mil­lion chil­dren over the next five years.

Kas­parov’s foun­da­tion has al­ready in­tro­duced chess in school pro­grammes around the world and he said he had found in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries that “there is more pas­sion for suc­cess. They are will­ing to work harder.

“I ex­pect the same pas­sion in Africa. We just have to cre­ate the con­di­tions.”

Kas­parov, who be­came the youngest world chess cham­pion in 1985 at age 22, and re­tired from the game in 2005.

He has be­come in­volved in pol­i­tics and hu­man rights is­sues and is an out­spo­ken critic of the regime of Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. AFP

PIC REUTERS

For­mer world chess cham­pion Garry Kas­parov mak­ing his move against chess su­per­com­puter Deep Ju­nior in New York in 2003.

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