SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Cliff Hotel is located in Abu Dis, East of Jerusalem; however its location makes it an absentee property according to Israeli law.
Ali Ayyad lives 300 meters away from the property owned by his family which considers them to be living outside the borders of Jerusalem according to Israeli maps.
Ayyad says Israeli authorities annexed the hotel to its territories.
“In August 2003, they said it [Cliff Hotel] is absentee property. We went to court and there they said that even if it proves not to be absentee property, it will be annexed for security reasons,” said Ali Ayyad.
The hotel is located on a hill that overlooks large swathes of the town and its vicinities as well as al-Aqsa Mosque.
“This area overlooks Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque and is very touristic. It was called ‘Cliff’ because it is located on a hill,” said Khaled Ayyad, one of the owners.
Bassam Sahar, Cliff Hotel lawyer says Israel plans to expand their settlements in Jerusalem.
“The main purpose in this case is to get hold of a building in the path of the Separation Wall. This will deprive a lot of people in the area from connecting with their relatives,” Sahar said.
The Ayyad family has been following up the case of Cliff Hotel for more than ten years. They say they want to keep the house turned hotel their father had built.
Israel has confiscated several properties in the Jerusalem area and its surroundings.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Dubai boasts the world's tallest building and world's largest mall. The new challenge is to create the world's largest underwater hotel, The Water Discus.
The hotel will boast 21 excusive suites designed by Polish company Deep Ocean Technology and Swiss BIG InvestConsult AG. It’s expected to comprise two discs, one under the water and the other above.
"The Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for the hotel and tourism sector, housing and city sector in the coastal off-shore areas, as well as new opportunities for ecology support by creation of new underwater ecosystems and activities on underwater world protection," President of BIG Bogdan Gutkowski told World Architecture News.
"Additionally we would like to create here in the UAE the International Environmental Program and Center of the Underwater World Protection – with Water Discus Hotel as a laboratory tool for ocean and sea environment protection and research," he added.
The ambitious project isn’t the first attempt to create an underwater hotel. The Maldives’ Rangali Islands resort has one underwater suite; the one-room Utter Inn can be found on Lake Mälaren, in Sweden; and the three-room Jules’ Undersea Lodge is said to be the only underwater hotel in America.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A fire swept through a hotel in a Philippine resort city early Friday, killing seven people, including three Americans, three Filipinos and a South Korean, authorities said.
The three American men and the South Korean man were found dead in separate rooms in the Dryden Hotel, a small two-storey tourist hotel in Olongapo city, a former U.S. naval base west of the capital, Manila, said police Senior Insp. Gil Arizo Domingo. The bodies of three Filipino women were found in separate parts of the hotel, he said.
Adjacent bars and another hotel were not affected by the three-hour blaze, which started at around 3 a.m., Domingo said.
The building's facade and ground floor are made of concrete, but the second floor is largely wooden. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Domingo identified one of the Americans as James Brigati of Kodiak, Alaska. The two others were identified as Patrick Burt and Joseph Valuso, whose hometowns were not immediately available. The South Korean man was identified as Kyung Ook-kim of Suwan City.
The victims' ages were not immediately available.
Olongapo, which is about 80 kilometres west of Manila, is a popular beach destination, especially among American visitors, many of whom are former service members who were deployed there when the coastal city hosted one of the largest U.S. bases overseas. The base closed in 1991.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –The 105-storey, pyramid-shaped hotel that has stood over North Korea's capital city like a mountain for more than 20 years just might be on the verge of opening for the first time.
Pyongyang's Ryugyong Hotel will "partially, probably" open in the middle of next year, Reto Wittwer, chief executive of international hotel operator Kempinski AG, said at a forum in Seoul, South Korea.
Kempinski will manage the hotel, which Mr Wittwer said will open with shops, offices, ballrooms, restaurants and 150 rooms.
The enormous hotel has been a source of fascination and ridicule for the outside world and an oversized embarrassment for North Korea's authoritarian regime.
North Korea began building the Ryugyong in the 1980s but stopped when funding ran out in the 1990s. Exterior construction resumed in 2009.
Various reports in recent years said the hotel was preparing to finally open.
In September, a Beijing-based tour agency was allowed to peek inside and released pictures of the bare concrete lobby.
Wittwer said he first saw a picture of the hotel many years ago and thought then that it could eventually make a lot of money.
He said Cairo-based Orascom Telecom is funding the construction. The firm launched a mobile network in North Korea in 2008.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Islamist activists raided the last working bar in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on Monday, smashing bottles and chasing away customers, witnesses said.
Around 50 activists burst into the bar in the Hotel Horchani in the center of town, customers and staff told AFP.
Bearded men then raided the reception and the upstairs rooms of the hotel, the last in Sidi Bouzid to serve alcohol, some of them shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and “Al-Saharab haram” (drinking is a sin).
A young man who tried to film the raid was beaten by members of the group and taken to an unknown location, as angry hotel guests gathered at the scene.
The sale and consumption of alcohol is regulated but legal in Tunisia, traditionally a popular destination for tourists, especially from France.
Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the uprising that toppled veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last year, is a stronghold of the Salafist movement, which has grown increasingly assertive in recent months.
The North African country has witnessed numerous violent incidents linked to the hardliners, prompting opposition activists to accuse the Islamist-led coalition government of not doing enough to rein them in.—www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Arabiya
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The head coach of Russia’s national women’s volleyball team was found hanged in his hotel room in Croatia, local media reported. The team’s lackluster performance at the London Olympics may be behind the alleged suicide.
Sergey Ovchinnikov, 43, was at a training camp in Croatia with his team Dynamo Moscow when the tragedy occurred. According to Croatia’s 24sata news website, Ovchinnikov missed breakfast; when the club’s employees went to his room, they discovered him hanging.
Former Russian coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin speculated the suicide may have been a reaction to the poor showing of the Russian women’s volleyball team at the 2012 London Olympics.
"This is so stupid,” Kuzyutkin told the RSN radio station. “He was my friend, my colleague. No one said a bad word about him. Yes, there was a blunder at the Olympics, well, to hell with it. I don’t know why he couldn’t cope with it.”
Ovchinnikov's team entered the London Games as one of the favorites. But the team missed out on medals, losing 3-2 in the quarterfinals to future Olympic champions Brazil.
The head coach of the men's volleyball team, Vladimir Alekno, confirmed that the London failure was a huge blow for Ovchinnikov.
“He took the Olympics very personally,” Alekno said. “I saw what he was going through and how upset he was after the defeat. He didn’t talk much. Even after victories he was always thinking about something and smoked a lot."
Another reason behind the possible suicide may be health problems. Sovetsky Sport reported that Ovchinnikov had recently been suffering from strong headaches.
The cause of death has not been officially announced, with the Russian embassy in Croatia awaiting confirmation from local authorities.
"The information we have is from Russian sources only,” embassy press secretary Boris Pavlov told Interfax. “Croatian colleagues haven’t reached out for us yet. So the circumstances of the incident aren’t clear to us yet.”
The coach will be buried in the Russian city of Yaroslavl, where his wife and two children live.
Ovchinnikov led the country’s student squad to bronze at the 2011 Universiade, and was tapped to coach the national team the same year.
Under his leadership, Russia progressed to the London Games, earning the first slot in the world qualifiers.—www.shafaqna.com/English