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Business & Tourism

Tax authority freezes accounts of Gasim’s Villa Shipping company

The move comes days after Gasim predicted that Villa’s accounts could be frozen ahead of Monday’s no-confidence vote against the speaker of parliament.

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High court rules against Gasim’s Villa in resort lease dispute

Gasim had predicted that the high court would rule against Villa. “It looks like a big wave is building, looks like they are going to freeze all the accounts of Villa Shipping company again,” he said Sunday night.

Hilton ordered to pay US$16m to MP Siyam’s Sun Travels

The judgment comes in spite of a Singaporean arbitration tribunal awarding US$26 million in damages to Hilton for Sun Travel’s abrupt termination of the Irufushi management agreement in May 2013.

Malaysian company awarded US$57.5m project to build five airports

Developing an airport on the northern island of Kulhudhufushi is a campaign pledge of President Abdulla Yameen. But environmentalists have previously warned that it would destroy the island’s environmentally sensitive wetland area.

Saudi Airlines to double flights to Maldives

Saudi Arabia is also funding a grand mosque in Malé that can accommodate 6,000 worshippers. Last week, the housing ministry awarded the US$24 million project to Turkish company Alke-Turmaks.

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Human rights watchdog assures probe of hunger strike in Maafushi jail

HRCM Vice President Shifaq Mufeed told the press that the hunger strike was prompted by “tightened security measures” but an informed source alleged that electricity was cut off and some inmates were beaten.

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Social media activist released after one year in custody

Ahmed Ashraf’s trial resumed on Wednesday after more than one year. The first hearing was held in February 2016. The charge of issuing threats carries a jail sentence of one year, but the teenage social media celebrity has spent a longer period in detention.

Police searching for Hulhumalé gang rape suspects

The police are searching for suspects in the alleged gang rape of a 27-year-old woman in the non-residential, industrial area of Hulhumalé, an urban centre under development near Malé.

Policeman under investigation over online harassment of 16-year-old girl

A policeman is under investigation over the online sexual harassment of a popular 16-year-old female singer. The officer shared Bathool Ahmed’s photo on Facebook and compared the minor to a Lebanese-American porn star.

Raajje TV cameraman fined US$195 for obstructing police

Following the guilty verdicts and US$1,800 fines handed to Raajje TV journalists Mohamed Wisam and Leevan Ali Nasir last month, Adam Zareer becomes only the third journalist to be convicted in the Maldives in more than a decade.

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Environment

Arson suspected as fires destroy wetlands in Fuvahmulah

Two fires have destroyed a wetland area equal to 35 football pitches on the southern island of Fuvahmulah. Islanders said they suspect the fires were started deliberately.

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On Fuvahmulah’s blackened beach, workers begin cleanup of tonnes of dumped rock pieces by hand

Workers are combing Fuvahmulah’s beach by hand in an effort to clean up several thousand tonnes of aggregate dumped on the island’s reef in a historic environmental disaster, as the EPA remains tightlipped on the extent of the damage.

Waste management corporation begins garbage collection in Malé

The state-owned Waste Management Corporation began collecting garbage from households in Malé this week as part of a broader effort to establish a waste management network in the capital.

Man fined US$7,000 for caging protected bird species

The Environment Protection Agency has fined a Maldivian man MVR111,500 (US$7,200) for capturing and keeping protected birds in his backyard. The hefty fine is the first imposed by the EPA for caging protected bird species.

Ruling party holds tea party to celebrate reef blasting

Government supporters on the southern island of Meedhoo gathered last Friday to celebrate the controlled destruction of the island’s reef to clear an oceanside channel in spite of environmental concerns.

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Feature & Comment

Saved by the bull?

Did the Saudi king postpone the official visit because of the flu or MP Nihan’s leaked audio about amending the constitution to facilitate the sale of Faafu atoll Himithi to the deputy crown prince? asks Azra Naseem.

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The things we do

“I am not pessimistic by nature, but I fear for the future of my homeland. Paradise is rarely regained in the political arena. The very nature of politics makes it so,” writes Latheefa Verall.

Victim blaming and misogyny in Maldives

The reaction on social media platforms to a gang rape in Hulhumalé earlier this month exposed misogynistic views and blaming-the-victim attitudes among Maldivians.

Development or environment: A dilemma for Maldivians

Aside from the irreversible damage to fragile reefs from reclamation and dredging, the Maldives stands to lose the unique Islandness (ޖަޒީރާވަންތަކަން) of an ancient ocean civilisation, writes environmental scientist Ibrahim Mohamed.

Reaching beyond the glass ceiling

On International Women’s Day, UN resident coordinator Shoko Noda offers a personal insight into issues of gender equality she has faced over the course of her personal and professional life.

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In Pictures

In Pictures: Maldives celebrates Eid-ul-adha

A selection of moments from the recently concluded Eid festivities in the northern island of Thoddoo

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Politics

Former presidents, party leaders unite to ‘restore democracy’

The four political heavyweights resolved to “safeguard civil and political rights abrogated from citizens” and “ensure elections held in the Maldives are free and fair in which candidates of political parties choosing are allowed to contest.”

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Lawyer questioned by police over retweet

Lawyer Nazim Sattar was summoned for questioning at the police headquarters Wednesday over a retweet alleging that the first lady was travelling from Singapore to Malé “with large amounts of cash”.

Tax authority freezes accounts of Gasim’s Villa Shipping company

The move comes days after Gasim predicted that Villa’s accounts could be frozen ahead of Monday’s no-confidence vote against the speaker of parliament.

Both sides certain of victory ahead of no-confidence vote

Both President Abdulla Yameen and the new alliance formed between ruling party lawmakers loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and opposition parties are confident of victory in the upcoming no-confidence vote against the parliament’s speaker.

High court rules against Gasim’s Villa in resort lease dispute

Gasim had predicted that the high court would rule against Villa. “It looks like a big wave is building, looks like they are going to freeze all the accounts of Villa Shipping company again,” he said Sunday night.

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Society & Culture

Schools to open after flu outbreak

The decision to resume the first term after a week-long mid-term break was based on “the spread of the flu during the past 10 days and the social situation”, the education ministry announced on Thursday.

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H1N1 death toll rises to three

A 46-year-old expatriate who died while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé on Sunday night was the third fatality from the H1N1 flu virus this year.

Islamic centre courtyard ‘rectified’

The housing ministry has completed replacing cracked floor tiles on the Islamic centre’s courtyard, less than ten months after the praying area of the capital’s largest mosque was extended with a marble floor.

Woman dies in second H1N1 fatality as cases rise above 100

According to the Health Protection Agency, the number of confirmed H1N1 cases has reached 105 out of 335 suspected cases tested as of Tuesday.

Makeshift flu clinics swamped as H1N1 cases rise to 82

Both the government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and the private ADK hospital have also started offering the influenza vaccine to pregnant women.

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