Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson hosted the Amir Of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani at the standing up ceremony of the UK-Qatar Joint Typhoon Squadron today (24th July).The event, held at Horse Guards, marked an important milestone in the two countries’ defence relationship and included defence talks to further strengthen the close partnership between the UK and Qatar.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: Qatar remains a close and important friend to the UK and it is the only nation with which we have a joint squadron. This requires a level of trust, born from our long-shared history and our commitment to a shared future. Our formidable Typhoon jets will boost the Qatari military’s mission to tackle challenges in the Middle East, supporting stability in the region and delivering security at home. As part of the multi-billion-pound contract to supply Qatar with 24 Typhoon aircraft 9 Hawk T2 aircraft, No.12 Squadron will integrate Qatari personnel, including pilots and ground-crew, from 2019. The personnel will be initially stationed at RAF Coningsby, and then in Qatar, undertaking a package of training and co-operation with their UK counterparts. It represents a unique initiative, and not since the Second World War and the Battle of Britain has the RAF formed a squadron with another nation.The Joint Squadron will provide the Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF) with valuable experience operating the aircraft and speed up their preparation for when the first QAAF Typhoon are delivered in 2022.At the ceremony at Horse Guards, the Amir also received his Sandhurst Medal, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of his graduation from the Academy. The ceremony celebrated the historic and enduring links between UK and Qatari defence training academies.The two countries share mutual interests in countering violent extremism, and ensuring stability in the region, and this formation will further reinforce those ties by helping to prevent terrorism from spreading and protecting the prosperity and security of the UK at home.
Jam group Dopapod has doubled down on a busy early 2017 with a fresh batch of spring tour dates. The band now has a 26-date spring tour ahead of them, starting with three nights at the Brooklyn Bowl and traveling through the Midwest and East Coast through late March and all of April.The tour will take the band through major East Coast cities like Philadelphia and Boston, as well as popular Midwest spots like St. Louis and Cleveland. Their tour schedule also includes several dates in the Southeast, including a spot at the SweetWater 420 Festival, before wrapping up on April 29th at Soundstage.Before all that, however, the band is set to play two nights in Colorado with their former tour-mates, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. More information about those shows can be found here.You can see the full tour schedule below, and head to the band’s website for more information.
Indonesia recorded a trade surplus of $4.31 billion during the first five months of the year, compared to a deficit of $2.68 billion in the same period last year.Several countries, including China, the United States and Japan, among others, remain Indonesia’s largest trading partners. Lockdowns and social distancing measures associated with the coronavirus pandemic have sapped global commerce and growth, disrupted supply chains and closed factories and stores.Several regions in Indonesia have implemented large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to curb the spread of the virus, forcing businesses to close and people to stay home. This has reined in consumer spending as people are worried about job prospects and have become pessimistic about economic prospects, according to a consumer confidence index survey published by Bank Indonesia on Friday.The World Trade Organization (WTO) projected that global trade would shrink between 13 and 32 percent as the economic impact of the health crisis remained uncertain.The WTO has forecast a rebound in the 2021 global goods trade of between 21 and 24 percent, depending largely on the duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of policy responses.Topics : “Economic development has not been good around the world,” said BPS head Suhariyanto during a news conference. “We are seeing weaker purchasing power, lockdowns, as well as economic contraction for our trading partners, which all have an impact on our trade balance.”The country’s oil and gas exports declined 42.6 percent yoy to $650 million, while exports of mining products fell 38 percent yoy to $1.33 billion. Exports of manufactured goods dropped nearly 26 percent to $8.31 billion in May.Imports of consumer goods shrank nearly 40 percent to $930 million due to fewer purchases of air conditioners and washing machines, among other items. Imports of raw materials plummeted 43 percent to $6.11 billion, while imports of capital goods shrank 40 percent to $1.39 billion.From January to May, the country booked $64.46 billion in exports, a decrease of 5.96 percent, while imports amounted to $60.15 billion from January to May, a 15.5 percent yoy decrease. Indonesia booked a trade surplus of US$2.09 billion in May as imports fell steeper than the export slump against the backdrop of social restrictions worldwide and supply chain disruption, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced Monday.Exports plunged 28.95 percent year-on-year (yoy) in May to $10.53 billion, the lowest since July 2016, due to falling exports of coal, coffee, palm oil, as well as oil and gas, according to BPS data . Meanwhile, imports fell even faster by 42.2 percent to $8.44 billion, the lowest since 2009, due to weak domestic demand for consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods.