Category Archives: Arts

In a win for the world, ‘Parasite’ takes best picture Oscar

Los Angeles, Subtitle this: Parasite is the first non-English language film to win best picture in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards.

Bong Joon Ho’s masterfully devious class satire took Hollywood’s top prize at the Oscars on Sunday night, along with awards for best director, best international film and best screenplay.

In a year dominated by period epics 1917, Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood, The Irishman the film academy instead went overseas, to South Korea, to reward a contemporary and unsettling portrait of social inequality in Parasite, the Associated Press reported.

True to its name, Parasite simply got under the skin of Oscar voters, attaching itself to the American awards season and, ultimately, to history. The win was a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category.

Multiple standing ovations greeted Bong’s several wins. I am ready to drink tonight, Bong said, prompting roars from the crowd. Unexpectedly called up again for best director, Bong saluted his fellow nominees, particularly Martin Scorsese, and concluded: Now I’m ready to drink until tomorrow.

After the Dolby Theatre had emptied out, the Parasite team still remained on the stage, soaking in their win.

The win for Parasite which had echoes of the surprise victory of Moonlight over La La Land three years ago came in a year when many criticized the lack of diversity in the nominees and the absence of female filmmakers. But the triumph for Parasite enabled Hollywood to flip the script and signal a different kind of progress.

In doing so, the film academy turned away another history-making event, again denying Netflix its first best-picture win despite two contenders in The Irishman and Marriage Story, and a big-spending awards campaign blitz.

Mendes’ audaciously conceived World War I film 1917, made to seem one continuous shot, had been the clear favorite heading into Oscars, having won nearly all the precursor awards, including top honors from the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. In the end, 1917 went home with three awards for its technical virtuosity: Roger Deakins’ cinematography, visual effects and sound mixing.

All of the acting winners Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix and Laura Dern went as expected. While Pitt, notching his first acting Oscar, had regaled audiences with one-liners in the run-up to Sunday, he began his comments on a political note.

They told me I have 45 seconds to speak, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week, Pitt said, alluding to the impeachment hearings. I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it.

According to The AP, Pitt said the honor had given him reason to reflect on his fairy-tale journey in the film industry, going back to when he moved to Los Angeles from Missouri. Once upon a time in Hollywood, said Pitt. Ain’t that the truth.

Zellweger completed a comeback, winning her second Academy Award for her fragile but indomitable Judy Garland in Judy. Dern won for her performance as a divorce attorney in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. Accepting her first Oscar, Dern thanked her in-attendance parents, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.

Phoenix, long one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, took best actor for his limber but morose Joker. In his acceptance speech, Phoenix spoke deliberately about a host of issues, including sexism and racism in the film industry, ecological disaster and vegetarianism.

I’ve been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times and hard to work with. But so many of you in this room have given me a second chance, Phoenix said. When people guide each other toward redemption, he said, that is the best of humanity.

He concluded quoting a lyric of his deceased brother, River Phoenix: Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.

For the 87th time, no women were nominated for best director this year, a subject that was woven into the entire ceremony and even into some attendees’ clothing. Natalie Portman wore a cape lined with the names of female filmmakers who weren’t nominated for best director, including Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and Mati Diop (Atlantics).

Coming on a rare rainy day in Los Angeles, the ceremony was soggy and song-heavy. Some performances, like Eminem’s performance of Lose Yourself, were unexpected (and drew a wan response from Scorsese). All of the song nominees performed, including Elton John who won with his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin for their Rocketman tune.

The hostless ceremony opened on a note of inclusion, with Janelle Monae performing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and her own song, Come Alive, with an assist from Billy Porter. I’m so proud to be standing here as a black queer artist telling stories, Monae said. Happy Black History Month.

Two former Oscar hosts, Chris Rock and Steve Martin, provided the opening monologue. An incredible demotion, Martin called it. Martin also reminded that something was missing from this year’s directing nominees. Vaginas! Rock replied.

There were milestones beyond Parasite. In winning best adapted screenplay for his Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, the New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi became the first indigenous director ever to win an Oscar. He dedicated the award to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art, dance and write stories.

We are the original storytellers, Waititi said.

Joker composer Hildur Gudnadottir became only the third woman to ever win best original score. To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music opening within, please speak up, said Gudnadottir. We need to hear your voices.

Awards were spread around to all of the best-picture nominees, with the lone exception being Scorsese’s 10-time nominee The Irishman. When Bong mentioned his admiration of Scorsese, an impromptu tribute broke out, with the Dolby Theatre giving Scorsese a standing ovation.

The car racing throwback Ford v Ferrari was also honored for its craft, winning both editing and sound editing. Gerwig’s Louisa May Alcott adaptation Little Women won for Jacqueline Durran’s costume design. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood for Barbara Ling’s production design.

Netflix didn’t go home empty handed. Aside from Dern’s win for Marriage Story, the streamer’s American Factory won best documentary. The film is the first release from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions.

Pixar extended its domination of the best animated film category, winning for Toy Story 4. It’s the 10th Pixar film to win the award and second Toy Story film to do so, following the previous 2010 installment.

It was an early award for the Walt Disney Co. which despite amassing a record $13 billion in worldwide box office last year and owning the network the Oscars are broadcast on, played a minor role in the ceremony. The bulk of its awards came from 20th Century Fox (Ford v Ferrari) and Fox Searchlight (Jojo Rabbit), both of which the company took control of after its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox last year.

Disney’s ABC, which is broadcasting the show live, hoped a widely watched field of nominees including the $1 billion-grossing Joker will help viewership. Last year’s show garnered 29.6 million viewers, a 12% uptick.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

In a win for the world, ‘Parasite’ takes best picture Oscar

Los Angeles, Subtitle this: Parasite is the first non-English language film to win best picture in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards.

Bong Joon Ho’s masterfully devious class satire took Hollywood’s top prize at the Oscars on Sunday night, along with awards for best director, best international film and best screenplay.

In a year dominated by period epics 1917, Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood, The Irishman the film academy instead went overseas, to South Korea, to reward a contemporary and unsettling portrait of social inequality in Parasite, the Associated Press reported.

True to its name, Parasite simply got under the skin of Oscar voters, attaching itself to the American awards season and, ultimately, to history. The win was a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category.

Multiple standing ovations greeted Bong’s several wins. I am ready to drink tonight, Bong said, prompting roars from the crowd. Unexpectedly called up again for best director, Bong saluted his fellow nominees, particularly Martin Scorsese, and concluded: Now I’m ready to drink until tomorrow.

After the Dolby Theatre had emptied out, the Parasite team still remained on the stage, soaking in their win.

The win for Parasite which had echoes of the surprise victory of Moonlight over La La Land three years ago came in a year when many criticized the lack of diversity in the nominees and the absence of female filmmakers. But the triumph for Parasite enabled Hollywood to flip the script and signal a different kind of progress.

In doing so, the film academy turned away another history-making event, again denying Netflix its first best-picture win despite two contenders in The Irishman and Marriage Story, and a big-spending awards campaign blitz.

Mendes’ audaciously conceived World War I film 1917, made to seem one continuous shot, had been the clear favorite heading into Oscars, having won nearly all the precursor awards, including top honors from the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. In the end, 1917 went home with three awards for its technical virtuosity: Roger Deakins’ cinematography, visual effects and sound mixing.

All of the acting winners Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix and Laura Dern went as expected. While Pitt, notching his first acting Oscar, had regaled audiences with one-liners in the run-up to Sunday, he began his comments on a political note.

They told me I have 45 seconds to speak, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week, Pitt said, alluding to the impeachment hearings. I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it.

According to The AP, Pitt said the honor had given him reason to reflect on his fairy-tale journey in the film industry, going back to when he moved to Los Angeles from Missouri. Once upon a time in Hollywood, said Pitt. Ain’t that the truth.

Zellweger completed a comeback, winning her second Academy Award for her fragile but indomitable Judy Garland in Judy. Dern won for her performance as a divorce attorney in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. Accepting her first Oscar, Dern thanked her in-attendance parents, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.

Phoenix, long one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, took best actor for his limber but morose Joker. In his acceptance speech, Phoenix spoke deliberately about a host of issues, including sexism and racism in the film industry, ecological disaster and vegetarianism.

I’ve been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times and hard to work with. But so many of you in this room have given me a second chance, Phoenix said. When people guide each other toward redemption, he said, that is the best of humanity.

He concluded quoting a lyric of his deceased brother, River Phoenix: Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.

For the 87th time, no women were nominated for best director this year, a subject that was woven into the entire ceremony and even into some attendees’ clothing. Natalie Portman wore a cape lined with the names of female filmmakers who weren’t nominated for best director, including Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and Mati Diop (Atlantics).

Coming on a rare rainy day in Los Angeles, the ceremony was soggy and song-heavy. Some performances, like Eminem’s performance of Lose Yourself, were unexpected (and drew a wan response from Scorsese). All of the song nominees performed, including Elton John who won with his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin for their Rocketman tune.

The hostless ceremony opened on a note of inclusion, with Janelle Monae performing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and her own song, Come Alive, with an assist from Billy Porter. I’m so proud to be standing here as a black queer artist telling stories, Monae said. Happy Black History Month.

Two former Oscar hosts, Chris Rock and Steve Martin, provided the opening monologue. An incredible demotion, Martin called it. Martin also reminded that something was missing from this year’s directing nominees. Vaginas! Rock replied.

There were milestones beyond Parasite. In winning best adapted screenplay for his Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, the New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi became the first indigenous director ever to win an Oscar. He dedicated the award to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art, dance and write stories.

We are the original storytellers, Waititi said.

Joker composer Hildur Gudnadottir became only the third woman to ever win best original score. To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music opening within, please speak up, said Gudnadottir. We need to hear your voices.

Awards were spread around to all of the best-picture nominees, with the lone exception being Scorsese’s 10-time nominee The Irishman. When Bong mentioned his admiration of Scorsese, an impromptu tribute broke out, with the Dolby Theatre giving Scorsese a standing ovation.

The car racing throwback Ford v Ferrari was also honored for its craft, winning both editing and sound editing. Gerwig’s Louisa May Alcott adaptation Little Women won for Jacqueline Durran’s costume design. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood for Barbara Ling’s production design.

Netflix didn’t go home empty handed. Aside from Dern’s win for Marriage Story, the streamer’s American Factory won best documentary. The film is the first release from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions.

Pixar extended its domination of the best animated film category, winning for Toy Story 4. It’s the 10th Pixar film to win the award and second Toy Story film to do so, following the previous 2010 installment.

It was an early award for the Walt Disney Co. which despite amassing a record $13 billion in worldwide box office last year and owning the network the Oscars are broadcast on, played a minor role in the ceremony. The bulk of its awards came from 20th Century Fox (Ford v Ferrari) and Fox Searchlight (Jojo Rabbit), both of which the company took control of after its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox last year.

Disney’s ABC, which is broadcasting the show live, hoped a widely watched field of nominees including the $1 billion-grossing Joker will help viewership. Last year’s show garnered 29.6 million viewers, a 12% uptick.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Qatar Duty Free and L’Oreal TREMEAI Launch Exclusive LancAme Pop-Up During Shop Qatar’s Chinese New Year Celebrations

DOHA, Qatar, In partnership with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Qatar Airways, Qatar Duty Free (QDF) and L’Oreal Travel Retail Europe Middle East Africa India (TREMEAI) officially launched the LancAme Pop-Up store at a Chinese New Year themed opening ceremony at the award-winning Hamad International Airport (HIA) on Wednesday 22 January.

The opening of the pop-up store was held under the banner of the fourth edition of the Shop Qatar festival, currently taking place until 31 January 2020 in various shopping malls across Doha. This year, a week-long celebration of Chinese New Year will take place during the penultimate week of the festival and, to mark this, the official launch event of the LancAme Pop-Up featured Chinese decor and entertainment including a lion dance, red and gold colour scheme, and traditional lanterns.

His Excellency Mr. Zhou Jian, Chinese Ambassador to the State of Qatar, was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony, which was hosted by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Secretary General of QNTC, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker; HIA Chief Operating Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer; and Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations, Mr. Thabet Musleh. L’Oreal Travel Retail Middle East India General Manager, Mr. Sebastien Colon, was also in attendance.

H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: We decided to combine the opening of our new, exclusive LancAme Pop-Up at Hamad International Airport with Shop Qatar’s Chinese New Year celebrations to demonstrate our commitment to welcoming even more passengers from China to Qatar this year. Qatar has a huge amount to offer to passengers from around the world, and our growing duty free retail offer at the airport is not to be missed.

L’Oreal TREMEAI General Manager, Mr. Gianguido Bianco, said: We are super happy and proud to launch our unique pop-up for LancAme, the number one luxury beauty brand worldwide, in Doha during Chinese New Year, exclusively developed for Qatar Duty Free.

L’Oreal Travel Retail partnered with Qatar Duty Free to create this immersive and disruptive brand experience, showcasing all axes � to cater to all passengers � in line with our spirit of beauty for all travelers. LancAme has created this engaging and interactive experience where the traveller can experience a magical journey with multiple animations, in particular, sending personalised wishes on a digital screen. Together with this unique experiential podium, we are leveraging fully the power of digital media to have a complete offline and online experience, to maximize the drive-to-store effect within Hamad International Airport.

Mr. Thabet Musleh said: Every year we honour our Chinese passengers with a Chinese New Year themed podium. This year, Qatar Duty Free is delighted to reveal this beautifully designed pop-up by LancAme and we invite passengers to come to discover their fantastic products and Chinese New Year themed gifts. L’Oreal is an important brand partner of QDF and we are delighted to collaborate with them to create immersive experiences for our customers here at our home Hamad International Airport.

Located at the heart of HIA, the LancAme pop-up features the iconic LancAme ‘O’ and will offer the popular Advanced Genefique Serum in a limited edition red bottle. The anti-aging serum accelerates skin recovery for stronger, younger-looking skin. In addition to the LancAme pop-up, L’Oreal TREMEAI has also recently opened a new Giorgio Armani store with a focus on Si Passione Intense fragrances and ARMANI/PRIVA�.

As part of Shop Qatar’s Chinese New Year celebrations, Qatar Duty Free is also offering a 20 per cent off discount on purchases of 200 US Dollars and above, terms and conditions apply. In addition, customers will receive invitations in a red envelop offering a free flash makeup session and exclusive gifts.

Source: Qatar Airways

Derasat launches videogame survey among children, teenagers

Manama, The Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies ‘Derasat’ will conduct a survey in February to map the pros and cons of videogames; now a social phenomenon that calls for observing and monitoring, especially with rising concerns regarding the effects on children, adolescents and youth in general, and parents’ continuous complaints that a large sector of youngsters have an excessive tendency to spend long periods playing videogames.

The study � performed by a team of Derasat polling specialists � will survey a large segment of individuals aged between 10 and 18 years in all governorates, to spot their practices and patterns in playing videogames, and the behavioral and physical effects they undergo, while searching for the value system this phenomenon nurtures in this segment.

The survey aims to collect field data on the characteristics and dimensions of this phenomenon, identify its causes and controlling factors, and deducing outcomes for future dissemination, in light of the widespread and rising demand for videogames among kids and adults, and the long hours they spend playing them, to the extent of addiction.

The research study attempts to monitor the relationship between violent behavior and violent scenes during gameplay, which depict a disturbing aspect of entertainment in killing other characters and destroying property, and the impacts of simulation and familiarity in developing violent tendencies and hostility in kids and teenagers, who are expected to form their societies’ future productive potential.

Mr. Katadah Abdul Hameed Zaman, Derasat’s Executive Director, said, Videogames are a global pastime and a huge entertainment industry, to which our children are inevitably exposed, yet we need to analyze the positive and negative aspects to establish a constructive balance.

He explained that the study sought more understanding for the Bahraini context of this social phenomenon, with an envisioned strategy as the main outcome to limit negative aspects of this practice, backed by scientific and statistical evidence for decision-makers in education to decide the suitable solutions away from general impressions that are normally part of the generational gap.

Derasat’s effort to survey users in this age group aims to identify in advance general trends created by this phenomenon, he said, stressing that the Kingdom of Bahrain continuous pursuit to keep pace with modern requirements while preserving its specific values, and the Leadership’s commitment to the next generation’s best interests and opportunities.

Mrs. Ejlal Essa Bubshait, Derasat’s Opinion Polls Director, described the study as, An opportunity to monitor factors that create negative trends, providing a supply of data and information crucial for the resulting awareness programs to improve dealing with this experience, to ensure our youth exclusively benefit from this use of such widespread technology.

Survey results will aid decision-makers, academics and intellectuals in examining the concept of videogames in this context, and seriously analyze it to come up with positive opportunities to invest in and build on this technology, to serve society and isolate the negative attributes in videogames, She added.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

‘Holy Grail’ digital effects rewinding the clock for actors

London, With Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman expected to battle Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917 for the best picture Oscar in February, all eyes are on the special effects team that made the sprawling crime epic possible.

The Irishman unfolds over decades, with the 76-year-old Robert De Niro and his co-stars playing their characters from their 30s into retirement age, a feat that’s made the film one of 2019’s most acclaimed movies, The Associated Press (AP).

It’s all possible through new digital de-aging techniques that in the past year in cinemas have shaved decades from Samuel L. Jackson’s face and turned back the clock to the 1990s for Will Smith. When Monday’s Academy Award nominations are announced, Captain Marvel and Gemini Man could see their names called along with The Irishman in the visual effects category.

According to the AP, each film has arrived at its reverse aging trick through a different technique, leading some to call 2019 a monumental year for de-aging in film.

To many, The Irishman stands out from the field, thanks to its complete avoidance of tracking markers dots painted onto actors faces which allow computers to mathematically replicate facial movements and manipulate them as the director sees fit.

The youthful transitions of The Irishman are the work of Pablo Helman, visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, who’s an Oscar nominee for his work on Star Wars: Episode II � Attack of the Clones and War of the Worlds.

Helman says the decision to forgo tracking markers came directly from Scorsese and De Niro.

He’s not going to wear a helmet with little cameras in there, says Helman. He’s going to want to be in the moment with Joe Pesci and Al Pacino on set, with no markers on him. So, if you’re going to capture the performance, how are you going to do that?

Enter the three-headed monster, a unique camera rig that has a director camera in the center and two witness cameras on either side shooting infrared footage. That allowed Helman to eliminate shadows created by on-set lighting. The shadows could potentially interfere with the geometric facial shapes constructed by de-aging software.

You’re not interrupting the director’s thread of thinking, explains Helman. You’re not changing the light on set, but the computer can see in a different spectrum.

While the team at Industrial Light and Magic was working on The Irishman, another group of technical wizards were experimenting with de-aging at director Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop in New Zealand, creating an entirely digital, 23-year-old version of Smith for the action movie Gemini Man.

Since I started visual FX 25 years ago it’s been the Holy Grail, says Bill Westenhofer, one of the film’s VFX supervisors.

You have that many years of expertise of looking at a human face and knowing what’s wrong. So, to try and get all the different things together and get it to pull off right, that’s been the challenge.

To create the character of Junior a younger clone of Smith’s assassin Henry Brogan the superstar wore the traditional gray tracksuit, complimented by a head rig with two cameras capturing his facial expressions via tracking markers.

We decided (on) a ground up approach to build everything from scratch from the skull all the way to the skin pores, all the way to the animation and the final kind of oil in the eyes was really the best approach we could take, says Stu Adcock, head of facial motion at Weta.

Digital Will Smith in Gemini Man (Paramount Pictures via AP)

Before filming commenced on both Gemini Man and The Irishman, the teams at ILM and Weta drew up test footage to show the films’ directors that what they were suggesting was possible.

For Gemini Man it was a clip from the 1995 movie Bad Boys into which they inserted two shots of their new, digital Will Smith and asked Ang Lee to spot the fake.

For The Irishman, De Niro also returned to the 1990s, performing the Pink Cadillac scene from Goodfellas before being de-aged in post-production convincing an initially skeptical Scorsese that he could bring the long-gestating project to life.

Helman and his team then spent two years looking through old movies and cataloging the targeted ages that De Niro, Pacino and Pesci would appear in The Irishman. They created a program similar to that used to create online deepfake videos where one actor’s face is swapped for another’s which would check their work on the movie was heading in the right direction, with the system spewing out hundreds of images for cross-referencing.

Creating Junior required Smith to spend time in a photogrammetry booth where multiple cameras captured his likeness as numerous lights fired in different sequences, giving a base scan of the actor and analyzing the structure of his face from a skin pore level.

Ironically, considering Scorsese’s vocal criticism of Marvel movies as not cinema, a similar system was used to de-age Jackson in Captain Marvel. A young Nick Fury was created by comparing footage from old Jackson movies with the work the actor did on set again, using tracking markers.

I looked at that face as, you know, maybe ‘The Negotiator’ face, says Jackson, referring to his 1998 movie of the same name, Fortunately for them and for me, I had enough stuff from that period in my life that they could use a bunch of different facial expressions and films to put that face together that made sense to people who knew me from that time.

Darren Hendler, director of the Digital Human Group at Digital Domain and the man responsible for turning Josh Brolin into Avengers supervillain Thanos, was impressed by Jackson’s appearance in the movie.

That’s more of a 2D-image based approach where they’re taking the actor’s performance and then they’re painting and tracking certain frames. They’re still using some of the actor’s performance directly, but they’re modifying it. It was very believable. It may not have been exactly what the young Samuel Jackson looked like, but it definitely looked de-aged.

The de-aging of Samuel L. Jackson is absolutely fantastic, agrees Weta’s Guy Williams, adding, different approaches suit different requirements. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation.

That’s a sentiment echoed by Helman, who believes that 2019 was a watershed year for VFX.

It’s not by chance that we have several movies that have motion capture performance, facial performance, in three or four different ways. That shows that we’re all thinking about digital humans.

I mean, we all stand on each other’s shoulders, Helman says. I can’t wait for somebody to pick this up and do something else with it, you know?

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Chairmen of Sport Authority, Federation of Cars and Motorbikes inquire after health of Sheikh Khaled Al Qasimi

Riyadh, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Chairman of the General Sport Authority, and Prince Khaled bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, the President of the Saudi Federation of Cars and Motorbikes, visited the Emirati driver Sheikh Khaled Al Qasimi, who participated in the Saudi Dakar Rally 2020, to check on his safety after the accident he suffered today during the third stage of the race.

The driver was forced out of the race after his car had an accident and was totally destroyed.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Atletico, Atalanta reach Champions League last 16

Barcelona, Atletico Madrid reach Champions League last 16 after earning 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow, finishing the group stage with six points behind winners Juventus.

Atalanta also reached the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, with a 3-0 wins against Shakhtar Donetsk, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.

Club Brugge, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar and Olympiacos dropped into the Europa League after finishing in third place in their respective groups.

Group B winners Bayern Munich beat Tottenham 3-1 to maintain their 100 percent record, while 13-time champions Real Madrid won by the same scoreline at Club Brugge.

Group D winners Juventus beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0, with Cristiano Ronaldo finishing from Paulo Dybala’s cross and Gonzalo Higuain firing in a second.

Atalanta stunned Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkiv to progress against the odds from Group C.

The Italian side lost their first three group games but crept through in second place behind Man City on seven points, one ahead of Shakhtar.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City put in an impressive display to earn a 4-1 win in Zagreb.

Group A winners PSG racked up another big victory as they crushed Galatasaray 5-0 in Paris.

Second place Real Madrid finished the group with a narrow victory at Club Brugge, who had earned a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The draw for the last 16 takes place on Monday in Nyon.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Qatar Airways to Bring Thousands of Football Fans to Qatar during December

DOHA, Qatar, December is one of the most significant months in the Qatar calendar as the country hosts the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup Qatar 2019 (26 November to 8 December) and FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019� (11 to 21 December) and Qatar Airways has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure thousands of football fans will be there to cheer on their teams and enjoy incredible entertainment during their stay in Doha.

Larger aircraft will bring additional capacity on services from Kuwait and Oman for fans of the Arabian Gulf Cup, while special charters from Monterrey and Rio de Janeiro ensure supporters will not miss their team’s appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019�.

To coincide with the month-long festival of football and ensure Qatar experiences a December like never before, an entertainment extravaganza awaits visitors and residents in Doha this winter season as Qatar Live � organised by Qatar Airways and Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) � kicks off this week, kindly sponsored by Ooredoo as platinum partner.

Starting on 4 December, music concerts in the Qatar Live line-up of events feature the very best talent from the Middle East performing at both Katara and Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). A line-up of international DJs will headline the Daydream Festival on 12 and 20 December at the Ritz-Carlton, Doha, followed by international stars Katy Perry, Maroon 5, and Maluma between 15 and 19 December. The schedule of all Qatar Live concerts can be found at qatarairways.com/QatarLive.

At a media roundtable in Doha today, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Secretary-General of QNTC, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: We look forward to welcoming visitors from across the globe to Qatar this month to enjoy world class football, the best musical talent from the region, and more. Qatar Live is part of a wider strategy to expand Qatar’s calendar of events by leveraging the major sporting competitions that the country is proud to host. To celebrate this exciting blend of sport and music, Qatar Airways is offering fantastic travel packages for fans from Oman and Kuwait to fly to Doha to support their teams.

For visitors travelling from Kuwait and Oman, Qatar Airways is offering amazing fares on Economy and Business Class tickets and Qatar Airways Holidays is offering special packages that will cover flights, hotels, and football and concert tickets when travelling to Qatar. In addition, stopover packages for passengers travelling from the rest of the world are available through Discover Qatar. To learn more about our offers and packages, please visit qatarairways.com/QatarLive.

Following Qatar Live is an exciting programme of events in 2020, including Shop Qatar (7 to 31 January), Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (24 to 29 February), Qatar International Food Festival (24 March to 2 April), and Doha Design Week (18 to 28 March). This is in addition to the year-round activities on offer in Doha such as outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and fine dining.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted Skytrax Airline of the Year title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The world’s fastest-growing airline has added several exciting new destinations to its growing network this year, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Langkawi, Malaysia. The airline will add Gaborone, Botswana in 2019 to its extensive route network along with Luanda, Angola; and Osaka, Japan, in 2020.

Source: Qatar Airways