Thursday, 18 October 2012

Fire scare at Lulu Hypermarket

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK

DOHA SMOKE from a diesel generator room at Lulu Hypermarket in Gharaffah almost caused pandemonium on Thursday as customers mistook it for a fire outbreak.

Noticing the smoke, the wary customers informed the Civil Defence department, which drafted fire fighters to the spot immediately.

Lulu Gharaffah Outlet Manager Basheer said, “The diesel generator pumped out the smoke when it activated due to fluctuations in power supply. The generator, which is fixed close to the firefighting pump house, will automatically activate even with minor fluctuation in power supply. Our customers mistook the smoke for fire outbreak. Lulu has highly-equipped fire prevention system.” In its website, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) described the incident as a ‘minor fire’ at Lulu Hypermarket. (SC)

MoI trains students on safety measures

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK

DOHA THE General Administration of Civil Defence in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) recently conducted mock drills in 36 schools in the country as part of its plans to raise safety and security awareness among students.

The drills, which started at the beginning of the current academic year, included students in secondary, intermediate, primary and kindergarten schools in various safety and security activities.

Evacuation Officer at GDCD Captain Khamis Salem al Suwaidi said the programme was aimed at ensuring that schools in country meet safety requirements set the civil defence department.

He said the department was keen on organising mock drills in schools in order to train students and staff on evacuation process.

Suwaidi lauded the schools for their cooperation during the exercise, stressing that the Civil Defence would continue its awareness campaign among students.

Prior to the mock drills, safety officers visited the school and inspected safety equipment, fire extinguishing systems and other security materials.

The drills included an explanation on various types of fire extinguishers and practical training on how to use them and other safety equipment.

QC, Unicef help Pakistan flood victims

RAMY SALAMA

DOHA QATAR Charity (QC) signed an agreement with Unicef recently to provide water and sanitation to Pakistan flood victims.

The charity group also contributed financially to an emergency relief package for the victims in southern Punjab.

The project, worth an initial funding of QR800,000, is slated to conclude by Saturday. It will benefit more than 20,000 people.

Services to be provided under the project include the construction of 500 toilets, along with the distribution of 7,500 food parcels, 30 water tanks, 200,000 chlorine tablets and two mobile water tanks with a capacity of 10,000 litres.

QC has provided emergency relief to those affected by the floods which swept through several areas in the Punjab province in the first half of September. It is one of the first humanitarian organisations to reach victims in the remote flood-hit areas. The organisation’s field relief team has been on the ground since the beginning, and had prepared a field report which was published on the Reliefweb website of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The devastating floods affected tens of thousands of the local population resulting in casualties in some villages. It also led to the displacement of many families. Some of these families had to move to higher grounds — such as schools and government buildings.

QC has provided flood relief assistance such as, distributing meals to 14,000 people, 700 hygiene kits including soap and water purification tablets, as well as 1,400 plastic sheets.

QC also mobilised emergency supplies, distributing around 20 tents, in addition to 50 mosquito nets, cooking utensils and various other needs. Ten water tanks with a capacity of 300 litres per tank were provided to relief camps, for the flood victims.

24 teams take part in QatarDebate tourney

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK

DOHA QATARDEBATE organised a second tournament of Qatar Universities Debate League which was held at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service recently.

The tournament was filled with excitement as debaters returned to the podium after a long break. Some of the 24 teams that competed were Academic Bridge Program (Observers), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), College of North Atlantic, Georgetown University, Qatar University, (QU) Stenden University, Texas A&M University and Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC-Q).

The motions the participants debated on were ‘this house believes that classical fairytales should be rewritten with the aim of correcting gender stereotypes’, ‘this house term limits for politicians holding office’, ‘this house believes that trade unions impede progress’ and ‘the house would legalise performance enhancing drugs’.

After the debate, the prizes were given to the winners. The first prize was awarded to Yoonsuk Choi of Georgetown team. Rebal Turjoman of WCMC-Q and Narcis Jafarian of CMU shared the second place.

Oryx Rotana shines at Qatar Choice Awards

AILYN AGONIA

DOHA TWENTY-SIX names from the hospitality industry were honoured at the Qatar Choice Awards 2012 held at Al Gassar resort on Wednesday.

The event concluded the country’s first ever public voting initiative launched by Qatar Happening and ILoveQatar.net in collaboration with IFP Qatar’s Diyafa.

The evening’s big winner, Oryx Rotana, went home with five awards including ‘favourite general manager’ for Kevork Deldelian and ‘favourite chef’ for Rainer Roudolf.

The hotel located near the Doha International Airport received the ‘favourite brunch’ award. W Doha won the coveted ‘favourite hotel’ award. Two of its outlets were also named as favourites by the residents. Market by Jean- Georges was voted ‘favourite restaurant’ while the restaurant inspired by street-food found in Southeast Asia — Spice Market — was named favourite Asian concept.

Luke Noble of Four Seasons Doha was named the ‘favourite individual in hospitality industry’. The hotel also received ‘favourite evening ambiance’ and ‘favourite spa’.

The evening recognised new players in the country’s dynamic hospitality sector. West End, Renaissance Doha City Centre, emerged as the public’s choice for Newcomer Hotel.

The country’s cultural hub Katara was named ‘favourite hosted event space’. While Mamig and Red Velvet Cup cakes, both located inside Katara, were named ‘favourite casual stand alone restaurant’ and ‘favourite delicatessen’, respectively.

The glitzy awards night also featured Doha Jazz, pianist Vincent Corver and violinist Patrizia Doringer. Moona Whitice, executive director of The Art of Business Qatar, Qatar Happening and Abode Magazine, led the welcoming ceremony at the gathering.

Qatar Airways CEO urges runway expansion at Heathrow airport

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK

DOHA QATAR Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al Baker has called on the British government to urgently address capacity constraints at London Heathrow to avoid a ‘catastrophic situation’ for the country’s economy.

Baker was vocal in support for a third runway at the world’s busiest international airport to remain competitive with rival European airport hubs. The government recently began a review to address the critical airport issues in south east England in the face of growing competition from airports in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Baker was speaking during a keynote address to a distinguished gathering of more than 250 global aviation industry professionals and media at the Aviation Club in London.

Speaking on the occasion, Baker said the third runway debate “was not an option, but a necessity” to overcome the capacity crunch Britain’s premier airport was currently facing. “Heathrow is bursting at the seams and has already reached a critical point,” he said.

“Already heading towards a double dip recession, the UK cannot afford to lose out on the huge benefits a third runway would bring to the economy in south east England and the country as a whole through the creation of more jobs and more business opportunities.”

“No capacity increase will inevitably lead to further economic hardship with job losses and businesses closing down. Heathrow is already losing out to European neighbouring hubs that have the resource to expand capacity. Measures to expand need to be taken soon to avoid a catastrophic situation in the future. The UK government cannot afford to immerse itself in long winded debate and public enquiries. Action needs to be taken,” he added.

Baker stressed that it would be a grave mistake if no immediate investment was made in an industry that continues to experience demand outstripping supply. “While the proposed idea of a new airport ‘Boris Island’ in Kent is a good idea, this is a project that will potentially take at least 20 years to materialise if the goahead is given today. Can the UK wait for 20 years? During this period, we will see airports expand significantly across the continent — and of course in my region,” he said.

He said that bilateral constraints compounded the problem of ineffective competition. “Not just in the UK, but governments around the world need to wake up to reality of doing business today. Air corridors should be opened up to give passengers more choice,” he pointed out.

“Qatar Airways has managed to steadily increase frequency to five daily flights between Heathrow and our Doha hub, but we believe there is demand for further expansion on the route. As we prepare to move to a brand new airport in Doha next year, the opportunities that will present themselves are enormous. But to really take full advantage of our new home, we need more services from places like London to cater to the demand,” he added.

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Celebrity kid Dakota Johnson comes into its own

NANCY MILLS

NYT SYNDICATE

ITHINK I learned more of the people who I work with than from my parents, "says Dakota Johnson.

Most young actors in Hollywood would probably say the same thing.

However, would their parents not Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson.

The only child from that marriage, the 23-year-old Johnson grew up on film and television sets.

"I would look at my parents work," she recalls, "but I was not sitting there they study. I was out playing with a production assistant. " Something must have taken. After a series of small parts in the social network (2010), beastly (2011), the involvement of the five years (2012) and 21 Jump Street (2012), Johnson landed a starring role in the new Fox sitcom Ben and Kate.

She plays Kate, a single mother who works in a bar and considers himself super-organised.

When her older brother, Ben (Nat Faxon), back in her life crashes and decides to stick around and help, creates a new ' odd couple ' family. Johnson compares Am and Kate to The Cosby Show (1984-1992).

"It has that family atmosphere," she says, speaking by phone from her Los Angeles home. "Real things going on.

There is a lot of love, but it is also intense, funny and stupid.

The young actress remains "Cosby said enough funny things,", "but there were also times when he talked with his daughter about boys. You don't see that anymore. " Johnson didn't expect starring in a television series so early in her career, she says, but was won by "the crazy energy of the script."Kate is like how many women feel on the inside, "says Johnson. "She's just trying to keep it all together and still be a good person and a good mother. It is difficult. Kate's funny and silly. She makes mistakes that painful that she has to clean up.

S h e also has this brother who she has to clean up after. " Series Creator Dana Fox, based on the show of her relationship with her own brother.

The network struggled to find the right actress for the role, decide on the relatively untested Johnson only days before the filming of the pilot.

"They put a lot of blind faith in me," says the actress. "Kate and I are totally different. She is older than me and has a 5-year-old daughter. I'm not close to a mother. " To her mother's side, says Johnson, she turned with child actress Maggie Elizabeth Jones, who plays the daughter of her on the camera.

"I've spent a lot of time in conversation with Maggie and her questions," says Johnson.

"It is important that that relationship and bond credible to viewers." It was not that much of a stretch because Johnson four younger siblings-16-year-old Stella Banderas, 12-year-old Atherton Grace Johnson, 10-year-old Jasper Breckinridge Johnson and 6-year-old has Deacon Johnson. She also has two older half brothers, 30-year-old Jesse Johnson and 27-year-old Alexander Bauer. Her stepfather is Antonio Banderas and her grandmother is actress Tippi Hedren, best known for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).

"My eldest brother and I have a relationship similar to Ben and Kate 's," says Johnson. "He is not so ridiculous, and he doesn't get in this crazy things like Ben does." After recording seven episodes, Johnson discovered that they had at least one similarity with Kate.

"I'm terrible at planning," she says, "but I am responsible. I know how to do things, although I much delay. " Despite growing up in show business, Johnson says, she had no idea of the requirements of a sitcom.

"The hours are insane," she says. "It is physically taxing, because I am on my feet 14 to 16 hours per day. I have to remember that I have a life and a family and that I need to call my mother back. " Johnson grew up mainly with Griffith in Aspen, Colorado, and Los Angeles.

"A pretty normal life," she says. "It was an average-ish House, apart from the fact that my parents were famous and we travelled a lot." Not so on average was Miss Golden Globe at the 2006 Awards ceremony, an honor that was donated for the celebrity offspring is called.

Nor was it normal to her film debut at age 10, when she briefly in Crazy in Alabama (1999) appeared, a comedy, directed by her stepfather, Antonio Banderas, and actors of her mother.

She is generally reluctant to talk about her parents.

"It's weird to me why people always so interested in what it was like growing up," says Johnson. "For me, it was my family.

She would be angry at me, disappointed with me and welcome me. They would cheer me on and they would give me, ground like normal parents do. I feel at some point that I was hit for three years in a row. " When she was 19 that Johnson to leave home to live on her own.

' I don't want to go to school because I didn't like school, "she says. "I was really bored and did not understand the point of test-taking and homework. It was a waste of my time.

"Acting was my plan from the get-go," Johnson continues. "My parents wanted me to go to school, and I said that I would go if I could act to be examined. Juilliard was the only school I applied to.

"While I was waiting in line to audition, I was talking with the student guard the door, the threshold of the judgment" reminds them. "I asked him, ' what is a typical day like? Go you play, watch movies, studying people see? ' He said: ' We get here at 9 am. We are in a classroom and we read these books, and we're not going home until 11 at night. "' Johnson was shocked.

"You're with the same people for four years, and you are discovering yourself," she says. "It is an amazing process, but it is not the way that I think. I have a million people to meet, travel places, go to museums, go where my character gone.

' I did the audition, and I'm pretty sure it was the worst they've ever seen. ' Johnson returned to Los Angeles, found an agent and began auditioning for real.

Occasionally she would like her parents for advice.

"My father really know about the whole production side of this world," the young actress says, "especially when it comes to contracts and questions about things like time off." Griffith, whom her daughter describes as "fearless, one of the bravest and most stylish women that I know," emphasizes good behavior.

"They told me to always be polite and gracefully," says Johnson.

Her first big break came when Director David Fincher her as a Stanford University student who is a one-night stand with Justin Timberlake's character in The Social Network has cast. Her second came during an audition for the involvement of the five year, when Johnson discovered that they could do comedy.

"I improved with Jason Segel," she says.

"I never did that before and it worked pretty well." Before you begin, Ben and Kate Johnson, completed two independent films. Theo she plays a homeless girl who befriends an Eskimo, and she has a supporting role in the high school comedy Gay Dude, about two old friends whose friendship is tested when one comes out of the closet.

However, it is most likely to profiling Johnson's project Ben and Kate.

"Except for paparazzi, people don't really recognize me," she says. "I'm so happy, because I am incredibly uncomfortable in situations like that ... It's really a matter of how you present yourself to people. If you are interested in that, it will come to you. If you're not, it won't.

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