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Dubai ruler’s daughter shown on Social media Postings

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Two images of Sheikha Latifa, a daughter of the ruler of Dubai, have appeared on Instagram in recent days, three months after the BBC aired a video message in which she said she was being held captive in a barricaded villa.

The images, if verified, would mark one of the few times Latifa has been photographed in public since shortly before she mounted a failed attempt three years ago to escape her father’s control by boarding a yacht to sail across the Indian Ocean.

Since then, Latifa and her supporters claim she has been held against her will on the orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and a vice-president of the United Arab Emirates.

Sheikha Latifa, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, looks on in this undated picture obtained from social media, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Via Sioned Taylor/via REUTERS

The sheikh and the UAE categorically deny the accusations.

In April, U.N. rights experts demanded that the United Arab Emirates show “proof of life” for and release Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, 35, after the video aired in February by the BBC’s investigative news programme Panorama.

A source close to campaigners who have lobbied for her release said that the two pictures, posted on the Instagram account of Sioned Taylor, were genuine and had been taken recently. Reuters could not independently verify whether Latifa has freedom of movement.

The UAE foreign ministry referred requests for comment on the Instagram images to the Dubai government’s media office, which did not respond when contacted by Reuters. When contacted by Reuters via Instagram, Taylor, whose profile identifies her as a teacher at a state-run Dubai school, did not respond.

The first image, posted on Taylor’s account on Thursday, shows Latifa outside a movie theatre inside a Dubai mall. An advertisement for a film released in Dubai on May 13 can be seen in the background.

The second image, posted on Taylor’s account on Saturday, shows Latifa sitting outside a restaurant with the Dubai Mall in the backdrop.

After the video aired by the BBC in February, the UAE embassy in London issued a statement saying Latifa was being cared for at home by her family and medical professionals and that she would return to “public life at the appropriate time”.

Latifa drew international attention in 2018 when a human rights group released a video made by her in which she described an attempt to escape Dubai. She was captured off the coast of India by special forces and taken back to Dubai.

In March 2020, a London High Court judge said he accepted as proved a series of allegations made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s former wife, Princess Haya, in a legal battle, including that the sheikh ordered the abduction of Latifa. The sheikh’s lawyers rejected the allegations.

In late 2018, Latifa’s family released photos of her sitting with Mary Robinson, a former Irish president and a United Nations high commissioner for human rights. Robinson subsequently told the BBC that she was “tricked” during the visit and never asked Latifa about her situation.

 

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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Hundreds more unmarked graves found at erstwhile Saskatchewan residential school

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An indigenous group in Saskatchewan on Thursday said it had found the unmarked graves of an estimated 751 people at a now-defunct Catholic residential school, just weeks after a similar, smaller discovery rocked the country.

The latest discovery, the biggest to date, is a grim reminder of the years of abuse and discrimination indigenous communities have suffered in Canada even as they continue to fight for justice and better living conditions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “terribly saddened” by the discovery at Marieval Indian Residential School about 87 miles (140 km) from the provincial capital Regina. He told indigenous people that “the hurt and the trauma that you feel is Canada’s responsibility to bear.”

It is not clear how many of the remains detected belong to children, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme told reporters, adding that oral stories mentioned adults being buried at the site.

Delorme later told Reuters some of the graves belong to non-indigenous people who may have belonged to the church. He said the First Nation hopes to find the gravestones that once marked these graves, after which they may involve police.

Delorme said the church that ran the school removed the headstones.

“We didn’t remove the headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. We are treating this like a crime scene,” he said.

The residential school system, which operated between 1831 and 1996, removed about 150,000 indigenous children from their families and brought them to Christian residential schools, mostly Catholic, run on behalf of the federal government.

“Canada will be known as a nation who tried to exterminate the First Nations,” said Bobby Cameron, Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. “This is just the beginning.”

OLD WOUNDS

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which published a report that found the residential school system amounted to cultural genocide, has said a cemetery was left on the Marieval site after the school building was demolished.

The local Catholic archdiocese gave Cowessess First Nation C$70,000 ($56,813) in 2019 to help restore the site and identify unmarked graves, said spokesperson Eric Gurash. He said the archdiocese gave Cowessess all its death records for the period Catholic parties were running the school.

In a letter to Delorme on Thursday, Archbishop Don Bolen reiterated an earlier apology for the “failures and sins of Church leaders and staff” and pledged to help identify the remains.

Heather Bear, who went to Marieval as a day student in the 1970s and is also vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, recalled a small cemetery at the school but not of the size revealed on Thursday.

“You just didn’t want to be walking around alone in (the school),” she recalled. There was a “sadness that moves. And I think every residential school has that sadness looming.”

The Cowessess First Nation began a ground-penetrating radar search on June 2, after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia outraged the country. Radar at Marieval found 751 “hits” as of Wednesday with a 10% margin of error, meaning at least 600 graves on the site.

The Kamloops discovery reopened old wounds in Canada about the lack of information and accountability around the residential school system, which forcibly separated indigenous children from their families and subjected them to malnutrition and physical and sexual abuse.

Pope Francis said in early June that he was pained by the Kamloops revelation and called for respect for the rights and cultures of native peoples. But he stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded.

Thursday was a difficult day, Delorme told Reuters. But he wants his young children to know “we will get the reconciliation one day with action like today.”

($1 = 1.2321 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Alistair Bell, Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

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Teamsters votes to fund and support Amazon workers

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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada, said on Thursday it has voted to formalize a resolution to support and fund employees of Amazon.com Inc in their unionization efforts.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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Citigroup names new sales head for Treasury and Trade Solutions unit

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Citigroup Inc has named Steve Elms as the new sales head for the bank’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) unit effective immediately, according to an internal memo shared by a company spokesperson.

Elms, who will oversee the management of the global sales teams, has been involved with the bank’s TTS division for over 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

TTS is a division of the bank’s Institutional Clients group. The segment offers cash management and trade services and finance to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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