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Dubai ruler hacked ex-wife’s phone, UK court finds

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The British High Court found the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, hacked the phone of his ex-wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, during their high-profile custody battle.

The phones of Princess Haya’s lawyers, Baroness Fiona Shackleton QC and Nick Manners, were also targeted during the divorce custody case, according to the court.

The court findings are the latest in a series of allegations brought against the sheikh in recent years. Last year, he was charged with abducting his two daughters, Latifa and Shamsa, and was then accused this year of holding them against their will.

The sheikh denies all allegations of wrongdoing, claiming the courts findings were based on evidence not disclosed to him, and were “made in a manner which was unfair”.

“Hunted and and haunted”

The hacking took place in July and August 2020 “at a time of significant events” in the court proceedings when hearings were taking place over the welfare of the children.

Princess Haya told the court she is living in fear of her life after receiving threatening messages from agents of her former husband.

Now her legal team is accusing agents of the Emirate of Dubai of acting on the sheikh’s behalf in hacking the phones of her solicitors, Baroness Shackleton and Nick Manners, as well as her personal assistant and two members of her security staff.

It was also alleged the sheikh had attempted to buy property next door to Princess Haya’s estate near London. The court heard that “if anyone chose to use it, it is in prime position for direct or electronic surveillance”.

Significant amount of data “covertly extracted”

The surveillance software used to hack the phones of the Princess and her attorney’s can expose substantial amounts of data, from the person’s location to their texts and photographs.

The ‘Pegasus spyware’ is alleged to have been deployed by Saudi government agents working on the orders of the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, against dissidents living abroad, including associates of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It also allows the hacker to activate the target’s phone without their knowledge, recording their activity and even taking photographs and screenshots.

The court concluded that the hacking attempts resulted in more than 265 megabytes of data extracted from Princess Haya’s phone.

Although this is a serious blow to the sheikh’s international reputation, it is very unlikely it will result in police questioning.

As Dubai’s sovereign ruler and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates – he and the wider UAE government remain close allies of the UK.

Sport

Michael Jordan’s sneakers sell for record $1.47m at auction

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A pair of basketball shoes worn by US basketball star Michael Jordan have sold for a record price at a Las Vegas auction

Jordan wore the pair of Nike Air Ships during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984.

The shoes were what founded the iconic partnership between Jordan and Nike – now a signature global brand.

The sale also marks the highest price ever paid for game-worn footwear of any sport, easily beating out the previous record of $615,000 paid for a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s in 2020.

The price still falls short of the most expensive sneakers ever sold.

Recent sales are just the beginning of rare shoe market that’s beginning to soar.

In April, rapper Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes sold for $1.8 million at a private sale.

The record price for sneakers has broken several times in recent years, and the market is now considered much more niche than ever before, attractive interest from leading collectors as well as the general public.

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World

Ship spews toxic gas off Canada’s coast

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Sixteen people have been evacuated as fire rages onboard the Zim Kingston container ship off the coast of Canada

The vessel was en route to Vancouver when it caught fire on Saturday, and has since been expelling toxic gas which officials say is not a risk to people on land.

The coast guard reported the ship was carrying more than 52,000 kg of chemicals located in two of the ten containers that caught fire.

“The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas,” the Canadian coast guard said. It added that 10 containers had been affected by the fire.

“Currently there is no safety risk to people on shore, however the situation will continue to be monitored,” it said.

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World

Will the future of travel ever be the same?

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As countries across the world begin to reopen their international borders, there are many questions that surround what the future of travel will look like post-COVID

COVID-19 took its toll on every sector around the world, but one that has been greatly hit has been the travel industry.

As nations across the world shut their borders, and airlines grounded their fleet, the multi-million dollar industry suddenly ground to a halt.

Fast forward to now, and there is finally some light at the end of the runway – with planes restarting their engines as destinations like Fiji, Bali, Thailand, the U.K. and United States open up.

But how will travel look going forward? It’s certainly going to be different, with many countries now requiring vaccination as a requirement of entry, while rapid-PCR testing will also be of common sight.

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