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7,882 citations issued, 532 cars seized

7,882 citations issued, 532 cars seized
 
KUWAIT: Officers from General Traffic Department (GTD) issued 7,882 citations against various traffic violations and seized 532 vehicles during a series of traffic campaigns that were launched across the country during the weekend.

According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, in Capital Governorate, officers issued 1,580 citations and seized 53 vehicles while in Farwaniya Governorate, they issued 794 citations and seized 28 vehicles.

In Hawally Governorate, officers issued 2,036 citations and seized 150 vehicles while in Ahmadi, 1,300 citations were registered and 28 vehicles were seized.

In Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governorate, 60 citations were issued and 10 vehicles were seized while in Jahra Governorate, 810 citations were registered and 40 vehicles were seized.

Officers from the General Operations Unit issued 1,123 citations and seized 233 vehicles while the officers at Kuwait International Airport issued 179 citations for various violations.
 
- Arabtimes

‘Cold’ weather predicted

‘Cold’ weather predicted
 
KUWAIT: Weather would be stable but cold in the first week of February with mercury hovering at 10 C degrees while minimum temperature could dip to less than 6 C degrees, a veteran meteorologist told local newspaper Al-Watan on Thursday. Dr. Saleh Al-Ujairi also noted that there was little probability of rain in the next few days sandstorms are completely ruled out. He further indicated that the winter season is far from over despite the warm weather experienced yesterday (Friday) afternoon, and advised people to continue wearing winter clothes until the end of March.
 
- Kuwait Times

MOH suspends Diane 35

MOH suspends Diane 35
 
KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health (MOH) recently announced suspending the use of Diane 35 medicine in both public and private health facilities pending a re-evaluation of its safety for human consumption, the MOH announced on its Twitter page.
 
Further, investigations in this regard showed that the Moroccan health ministry had advised all women using it to check with the nearest medical center for an alternative contraceptive since Diane 35 was not licensed for use for this purpose in Morocco, Europe and North America.
 
Informed sources added that Diane 35 was only used for hormone disorders and unnecessary hair growth in women, and even then is only meant for use under medical supervision for a limited time.
 
Notably, the French Medicine Safety Agency recently ordered an investigation about the medication after death of four women using it was linked to the medicine.
 
Source: Kuwait Times

31 killed as militants attack Pakistan army checkpost

31 killed as militants attack Pakistan army checkpost
 
ISMAIL KHAN: Militants attacked an isolated army checkpost in Pakistan's restive northwest on Saturday, with at least 31 people killed in the initial assault, subsequent crossfire and a rocket attack on a house, officials said.
 
The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in response to a US drone strike in neighbouring North Waziristan last month in which two commanders were killed.
 
The Pakistani military and pro-government militias have since 2009 regained territory from the Pakistan Taliban, who once controlled land a few hours' drive from the capital of Islamabad.
 
The militants attacked the post at Lakki Marwat early on Saturday.
 
Security sources said at least 12 militants and nine officials and civilians were killed in the clash. Two bodies had suicide bomb belts on them, an official said.
 
"Cross-firing between militants and security officials continued for four hours," one source said.
 
The militants also targeted a house next to the camp with rockets, killing 10 members of one family, sources said.
 
"Pakistan has been co-operating with the US in its drone strikes that killed our two senior commanders, Faisal Khan and Toofani, and the attack on military camp was the revenge of their killing," the Taliban spokesman said.
 
He said four suicide bombers attacked the camp and blew themselves up. He said more than a dozen soldiers were killed.
 
Source: Times of India

Twitter says hackers compromise 250,000 accounts

Twitter says hackers compromise 250,000 accounts
 
Twitter said on Friday that hackers, in the latest online attack, may have gained access to information on a quarter of a million of its more than 200 million active users.
 
The social media giant said in a blog posting that earlier this week it detected attempts to gain access to its user data. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.
 
But it discovered that the attackers may have gained access to usernames, email addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 users. Twitter has reset the pilfered passwords and sent emails advising users that they’ll have to create a new one.
 
“This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked,” the blog said. “For that reason we felt that it was important to publicize this attack while we still gather information, and we are helping government and federal law enforcement in their effort to find and prosecute these attackers to make the Internet safer for all users.”
 
The hack is the latest high-profile cyber-attack on U.S. media and technology companies recently. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported this week that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers.
 
One expert said that the Twitter hack probably happened after an employee’s home or work computer was compromised through a vulnerability in Java, a commonly-used computing language whose weaknesses have been well publicized.
 
Ashkan Soltani, an independent privacy and security researcher, said such a move would give attackers “a toehold” in Twitter’s internal network, potentially allowing them either to sniff out user information as it travelled across the company’s system or break into specific areas, such as the authentication servers that process users’ passwords.
 
In a telephone interview on Friday, Mr. Soltani said that the relatively limited number of users affected suggested either that attackers weren’t on the network long or that they were only able to compromise a subset of the company’s servers.
 
Twitter is generally used to broadcast messages to the public, so the hacking might not immediately have yielded any important secrets. But the stolen credentials could be used to eavesdrop on private messages or track which Internet address a user is posting from.
 
That might be useful, for example, for an authoritarian regime trying to keep tabs on a journalist’s movements.
 
“More realistically, someone could use that as an entry point into another service,” Mr. Soltani said, noting that since few people bother using different passwords for different services, a password stolen from Twitter might be just as handy for reading a journalist’s emails.
 
Source: The Hindu

Indian assaulted, robbed in Jleeb Al-Shuyokh

Indian assaulted, robbed in Jleeb Al-Shuyokh: An unknown individual waylaid an Indian expatriate, assaulted him and robbed him of KD 40 from his wallet, after which he fled from the location.

According to security sources, the Indian expatriate filed a case at Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Police Station, informing securitymen that an unknown individual who was wearing casual attire assaulted him while he was on his way to his apartment in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and stole KD 40 from his wallet.

Securitymen noted the description of the suspect and investigations are ongoing to arrest him.
 
Source: Arabtimes
 

Bedouns demand human, civil rights

Bedouns demand human, civil rights
 
KUWAIT: A number of Bedouns gathered in front of Al-Sha’bi Mosque in Taima area of Jahra after Friday prayer demanding human and civil rights. The sit-in was over before the Special Forces interfered.

The Director of Jahra Security Directorate Major General Ibrahim Al-Tarrah negotiated with the protesters and they agreed to disperse.

However, some of them decided to organize a short rally on Al-Najashi Street, amid a large security presence.
 
Source: Arabtimes

Cleaning workers arrested for Stamps forgery

Cleaning workers arrested for Stamps forgery

Two cleaning workers were arrested for selling recycled government stamps at the Capital Migration Department, while search is on for a third accomplice who remains at large. Police had first arrested one suspect who was found with possession of 70 recycled KD10 stamps which he sold for 800 fils each. The man gave the identity of his accomplice who was arrested after being lured into a trap. Police then attempted to set up the third suspect who reportedly supplies the two detainees with stamps from his Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh residence. The man switched his cell phone off apparently after sensing he was being set up when police made one of the accomplices call him and order a large amount of stamps. Investigations are ongoing.
 
Source: Kuwait Times

Failaka may be listed as world heritage

Failaka may be listed as world heritage
PARIS: Kuwait Permanent Delegation to the UNESCO Ali Ahmad Al-Tarrah said yesterday he submitted to the organization’s World Heritage Center the bid of Failaka Island to be included in the World Heritage List. “Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) developed the Failaka file which has been tendered to World Heritage Center,” Al-Tarrah said. “The file sets forth the historical and humanitarian significance of the Island,” he said, noting that the Heritage Center will study the bid carefully as a prelude to putting the site on the world heritage map. Al-Tarrah appreciated the support to this cultural initiative by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.
 
Source: KUNA

Russian rocket falls into sea in failed launch - reports

Russian rocket falls into sea in failed launch - reports
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A rocket carrying a communications satellite suffered engine trouble and plunged into the Pacific Ocean shortly after launch on Friday, Russian news agencies reported.

The unsuccessful launch of the Intelsat-27 satellite was one of several setbacks for Russia's space programme in recent years, including failed satellite launches and an unsuccessful mission to study the Mars moon Phobos.

The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the satellite suffered engine failure shortly after liftoff, state-run Itar-Tass reported, citing a Russian space industry source. The rocket is a joint production of Ukrainian and Russian companies, it said.

Intelsat-27 was to provide services for media, government and other customers in the Americas and Europe, according to the website of Luxembourg-based Intelsat.

Russia is increasing space spending and plans to send a probe to the moon in 2015, but its celebrations in 2011 of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet achievement of putting the first man in space were marred by several botched satellite launches.
 
- Manorama Online
==================================

MoI lauds efforts of security services during int''l donor conf.

MoI lauds efforts of security services during int''l donor conf.
Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Thursday appreciated the contributions by the security services to the success of the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria.
On behalf of Sheikh Ahmad, Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry and head of the security committee of the conference Lt.-Gen. Ghazi Abdulrahman Al-Omer sent a cable of thanks to the leaders and military and civilian personnel of the security services for their relentless efforts before, during and after the international gathering.
"Your efforts to ensure security and order during yesterday's conference offered a civilized portrait of Kuwait," the cable reads.
Sheikh Ahmad expressed kind wishes for all personnel of the ministry and the homeland at large under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
 
- Kuwait Times
==================================

Five drug traders in police custody

Five drug traders in police custody
KUWAIT: Drug enforcement agents arrested four expats for trading in drugs. After receiving information about two brothers being active in trafficking drugs, the agents made necessary investigations and obtained mandatory legal permissions to arrest and search them. They were arrested from near their house and a search of their person led to the recovery of a small piece of Hashish from one’s pocket. A search of the vehicle led to a larger piece of Hashish while more drugs were found from their house. The two brothers confessed that they received their supply of drugs from another two expats, who too were arrested, each from his home. From one of them, the police found a large piece of Hashish while three large pieces of Hashish and some money were recovered from the fourth suspect. All were sent to the concerned authorities. Detectives belonging to the Criminal Investigation department of Hawally arrested an Asian expat for possessing Heroin, Shabow and other kinds of drugs besides a sum of money. The Jabriya police station received information about the suspect being involved in drugs trafficking. After collecting further necessary information and observing all legal precautions, he was arrested. He confessed in detail about his activities in the drugs trade and also admitted that the money in his possession was the proceeds from the sale of drugs. He, along with the contraband, was sent to the concerned authorities.
 
- Kuwait Times
==================================

High-profile retail in Kuwait

High-profile retail in Kuwait
The opening of the long awaited third phase of The Avenues mall in Kuwait has provided the retail sector with a major boost, while reaffirming a growing demand for luxury goods. Kuwait has one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world, estimated at $45,757 by the IMF in 2011 and predicted to increase to $52,267 by 2014, indicating its consumers’ considerable spending power.

The number of high-profile, international retailers moving into the new shopping centers is also on the rise, signaling a growing confidence in the Kuwaiti market. However, as competition in the sector heats up, industry players are recognizing the need to attract both new and repeat business, citing customer loyalty as a key component of long-term success. Rising consumer demand has led to a wave of new shopping centers opening their doors in Kuwait in recent years. 360 Kuwait, which began operating in 2009, is home to 82,000 sq meters of retail space, and the Mall of Kuwait is expected to have a 150,000-sq-m capacity when it opens. In its expansion, which covers an area of more than 100,000 sq m at a cost of KD 150 million ($533 million), The Avenues has adopted the increasingly popular model of combining retail outlets with family entertainment options. The new sections of the mall include the Grand Avenue, which has become a talking point due to its unusual architectural design.

The Avenue sets out to conjure up an outdoor, “European” shopping experience, with retailers located on a 500-m-long, 20-m-wide, tree-lined boulevard. The mall’s new sections contain a number of small boutiques and international retailers, as well as popular restaurant chains. New retailers include the first overseas branch of the American kitchen supply and gourmet goods store Williams-Sonoma. The store opened in November in partnership with M H Alshaya, a Kuwait City-based global franchise operator. Even more new sections are set to open in the coming months, including Prestige, which will house a number of high-end retailers, including a branch of Harvey Nichols. The third phase will also witness the construction of the Mall, which is to serve as a connection between the buildings constructed in the shopping centre’s first two phases. The Mall is set to contain a jewellery souk, and a 5000-sq-m section of the first floor has been dedicated to children’s entertainment. Another area of the mall, SoKu (“South of Kuwait”) is modeled on New York’s famous SoHo district and is intended to attract a younger segment of the Kuwaiti population. While the expansion of the retail sector is gaining pace, luxury goods sales have suffered in recent years due to a wave of consumer wariness sparked by the global economic crisis. Shahzad Gidwani, the general manager of the trading division at Kuwait-based luxury goods trader Mourad Yousuf Behbahani Company, told OBG that overall luxury sales were flat in 2012 and that future expansion may necessitate a change in the way retailers interact with their clients.

Gidwani told OBG that by encouraging younger customers to see the value in owning luxury goods, retailers would promote brand loyalty and, in turn, generate growth. In a separate interview with OBG, Aref Easa Al-Yousifi, the vice-chairman and managing director at Easa Husain Al-Yousifi and Sons, a Kuwait City-based electronics distributor, also emphasized the importance of cultivating better customer service standards. “The Kuwaiti consumer, especially in the technology market, is becoming more sophisticated,” he said. “Quality and after-sales services are becoming increasingly important, therefore it is becoming harder to compete.” Kuwait’s malls are expected to retain their popularity with consumers, especially centers offering a multifaceted shopping experience that includes familyfriendly facilities and entertainment. Rising demand should bring more luxury lines to local malls, although they will need to focus on their competitiveness, rather than relying purely on brand name, to flourish in an increasingly diverse market. — Oxford Business Group

 
- Kuwait Times
==================================

Al Mulla Exchange brings M G Sreekumar & Rimi Tomy to Kuwait

Al Mulla Exchange brings M G Sreekumar & Rimi Tomy to Kuwait
 
 
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Citizens, expats who ‘lost’ cars asked to contact police station: Officer among 4 Kuwaitis held for stealing luxury cars

Citizens, expats who ‘lost’ cars asked to contact police station: Officer among 4 Kuwaitis held for stealing luxury cars
 
KUWAIT: Four Kuwaiti citizens were arrested recently for stealing luxury vehicles and forging the documents of the vehicles. One of the suspects is a patrol officer of rank ‘First Lieutenant’.

According to security sources, when securitymen from Capital Governorate received several reports about theft of vehicles, a team was formed for investigations.

After carrying out necessary investigations, they discovered that four Kuwaiti citizens formed a gang that was responsible for a large number of vehicle theft cases.

They reportedly stole luxury vehicles from parking areas using a crane. They then informed authorities about the theft of the vehicle number plates after which they obtained duplicate number plates and changed the color of the vehicles. They forged the documents of the vehicles.

With the assistance of some expatriates, some of the vehicles were dismantled and its parts were sold or exchanged with other vehicles.

Sources revealed that the suspects had a rental office where they displayed the luxury vehicles for rent.
Securitymen seized eight vehicles from them and discovered that they had burnt 22 vehicles to cover their crimes while a number of vehicles were found disassembled.

Further investigations about this case are ongoing to determine the number of complaints they received regarding vehicle thefts and to arrest the expatriates who assisted the suspects.
Investigations with the suspects are ongoing to determine the number of vehicles they stole and the areas from where they stole the vehicles.

The Criminal Investigation Department appealed to Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates who had registered vehicle theft cases to contact the police station where they registered the cases.
 
Source: Arabtimes

Fake medicines seized from several Hawalli pharmacies

Fake medicines seized from several Hawalli pharmacies
 
KUWAIT: In the ongoing inspection campaigns organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Medicine Control Department of the Ministry has confiscated a quantity of medical compositions such as fake antibiotics which totally resembles the original antibiotic pills in all aspects apart from its effectiveness from several pharmacies in Hawalli, reports Al-Anba daily.

The team has also confiscated medicines which had on them MOH stickers and other medicines such as sex boosting drugs, painkillers and ointments with price tags from neighboring countries, something which is considered a violation of pharmacy regulation law number 28/1996.

The fake medicines were stored in unlicensed stores in one of the residential apartments in Hawalli. The store belonged to a pharmacy in the area next to one of the commercial complexes.

One Asian employee told the inspectors who were accompanied by securitymen that the manager of the pharmacy is the one who brings the medicines.

A case has been filed at the Nugra Police Station.
 
Source: Arabtimes

Several areas to experience power outage next week

Several areas to experience power outage next week
 
KUWAIT: Several areas in the country will experience power outage from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm from Sunday to Thursday next week due to the ongoing maintenance works on secondary electricity transformers in some power stations, reports Al-Kuwaitiyah daily quoting sources from the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW).

Sources explained this is part of the regular maintenance works carried out by the ministry to avoid sudden power cuts, especially during summer; in addition to enhancing electricity production and distribution.
 
Source: Arabtimes

All set for ICC Women’s World Cup

All set for ICC Women’s World Cup

The ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 brings an array of top stars who have dominated the 50-over format by their sheer consistency. In recent times a handful of them have proved to be game-changers with blistering knocks and clever bowling.

The 10th edition of the competition will be inaugurated here on Thursday with a Group A day/night match between India and the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium.

This is the third time India has been awarded the eight-team event and a number of new players have come into the spotlight after India last played host in 1997.

England’s Charlotte Edwards is set to play her fifth World Cup and Sarah Taylor, India’s Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, Australia’s Jodie Fields, Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar and New Zealand’s Sara McGlashan have shown the commitment and made the game popular among women.

Sarah is in the news for a potential opening with the Sussex second XI and the gifted wicketkeeper-batswoman is all set to storm the male bastion.

Seasoned campaigners

Apart from the established and seasoned campaigners the followers of women’s cricket can also look forward to some bright cricket from Australia’s Meg Lanning and the West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor and Anisa Mohammad.

The 20-year-old Singapore-born Lanning created an Australian record recently in the Rose Bowl LOI series played at Sydney against New Zealand. She scored the fastest 50 (23 balls) and 100 (45 balls) before being dismissed for a 50-ball 103 with 18 fours and three sixes. Meg had made 87 off 71 balls and 72 off 53 in the previous two games.

The 21-year-old Jamaican Stafanie was declared ICC women’s ODI cricketer last year. She scored 325 runs with a century and three half-centuries in the World Cup qualifier at Dhaka in November 2011. Trinidadian off-spinner Anisa Mohammad captured 19 wickets at 6.36 in the same tournament.

Stafanie and Anisa also played their part in the West Indies’ 2-1 win over India at St. Kitts in March 2012. More recently Stafanie was the top scorer (178 runs) in the five-match, drawn 2-2 one-day series against South Africa. She also took eight wickets.

India finished runner-up to Australia in the 2005 event held in South Africa and that has been its best in 40 years.

The home team will lean heavily on captain Mithali (141 matches, 4490 runs at 48.27) and medium-pacer Jhulan Goswami (126 matches, 145 wkts at 21.87).

India beat New Zealand in a warm-up game, but was thrashed by Australia. It has to win one match to enter the super six stage.

The 2009 winner England, West Indies and Sri Lanka are in its group. After winning the first two matches against England at Lord’s and Taunton last year, India lost the last three matches at Taunton, Truro and Wormsley. England has not won an ODI series in India, though.

Five-time winner Australia is in Group B with New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa. Australia will take on Pakistan at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on February 1 and New Zealand will play South Africa at the DRIEMS ground.

Threats by Shiv Sena that it would not allow matches featuring Pakistan in the city compelled the ICC to shift the Group B league matches to Cuttack.

The 2009 semifinalist England, New Zealand, Australia and India were given direct entries, while West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan came through a qualifier competition held in Bangladesh in November 2011. Australia won the competition held in India in 1978 and 1997.

Group A: England, India, West Indies, Sri Lanka. Group B: Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa.

 
-The Hindu
==================================

Aid pledges to stricken Syrians exceed $1.5bn

Aid pledges to stricken Syrians exceed $1.5bn
International donors yesterday pledged more than the targeted $1.5 billion in aid for stricken Syrians, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said, warning of a “catastrophic” situation in the war-torn country. “I am pleased to announce that pledges have exceeded the target… more than $1.5 billion have been pledged including the $184 million pledged by non-governmental organisations,” Ban told a news conference in Kuwait. “The exact amount of the pledges are being calculated,” said the secretary general. “This is the largest response ever to a humanitarian pledging conference.”

Host Kuwait was first to make a pledge, offering $300 million, followed by similar promises from other oil-rich Gulf states – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “Due to the great sufferings of the Syrian people and to help ensure the success of the conference, I announce the Kuwaiti donation of $300 million for the Syrian people,” HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said as he opened the one-day International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria. Sheikh Sabah said that “horrifying reports” from Syria are a “cause for concern over the security of Syria, its future… and over the security and future of the region.” He held the Damascus regime responsible for the tragic situation which he said resulted from its “rejection of the just popular demands and of Arab and international initiatives”.

Addressing the gathering, Ban had called for urgent financial aid, warning that if funds were not forthcoming “more Syrians will die”. “The situation in Syria is catastrophic,” he said as he urged all parties to the conflict to “stop the killings”. Ban said that based on UN reports half of Syria’s hospitals and a quarter of its schools had been destroyed, and other vital infrastructure had been badly affected. He stressed that humanitarian assistance alone would not resolve the crisis, which he said required a political solution. “Every day Syrians face unrelenting horrors,” Ban said, adding these included sexual violence and arbitrary killings.”We cannot go on like this…. He should listen to the voices and cries of so many people,” he said. “I appeal to all sides and particularly the Syrian government to stop the killing … in the name of humanity, stop the killing, stop the violence.”

Bahrain said it would offer $20 million while the German foreign ministry in a statement pledged around €10 million ($13.5 million). UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos said that three million Syrians have fled their homes and at least 2.3 million need basic help. She said that $519 million of the funds to be raised are needed to assist those most affected by the conflict. King Abdullah II of Jordan and Lebanese President Michel Sleiman both called at the conference for more aid to cope with increasing numbers of Syrian refugees in their respective countries. The United States on Tuesday promised another $155 million to aid refugees fleeing the deadly conflict.

International medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has criticised the current international aid system which it said is “not being distributed equally between government and opposition controlled areas.” The opposition Syrian National Coalition said last week it would pressure the United Nations to stop the delivery of any form of aid to official Syrian institutions. Amos yesterday denied that part of the aid money goes to the regime, but agreed that several rebel-held areas were still out of reach. The Syrian regime tightly monitors aid groups it authorises to work on its soil.

The UN refugee agency said on Tuesday that there has been a steep rise in the number of Syrian refugees over the past few weeks and their number has now surpassed 700,000. UN humanitarian operations director John Ging warned ahead of the conference that the United Nations will be forced to cut already reduced food rations to hundreds of thousands of Syrians unless a huge cash injection is found. The United Nations says that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria’s 22-month conflict, which erupted in March 2011 with peaceful protests but morphed into an armed insurgency after a harsh regime crackdown.

Amos said the distribution of aid has met great difficulties because of the security situation inside the country, and acknowledged that the world body has been unable to reach all opposition-controlled areas. “There have been parts of Syria that we have not been able to reach. We all regret that and we need to do more working with the groups on the ground, particularly the opposition groups,” she said. Amos said that about 48 percent of the food aid was delivered to “opposition-controlled and disputed areas”.

But a senior Iranian official said yesterday that those backing “terrorist” groups are responsible for the fighting and killings in Syria, as he repeated Tehran’s support of the Syrian regime. “Iran believes that the cause of the Syrian crisis is the sending of arms to terrorist groups into Syria by some countries,” Amir Hussein Abdullahian, the Iranian foreign ministry’s undersecretary for Arab and African affairs, told a press conference in Kuwait. “Those who send arms into Syria are responsible for the killings,” said Abdullahian headed Tehran’s delegation to the donors conference.

Abdullahian said the Islamic republic fully supports Assad and his latest peace proposal and “believes that a political solution through national dialogue is the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis”. He added that Tehran “has always asked the Syrian government not to commit any acts of violence against the people.” Abdullahian said that Iran has donated $200 million in humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and also logistical assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. He further said that Iran would provide the “necessary assistance” in the form of a pledge at the Kuwait conference, without providing figures. Iran has remained steadfast in its support of the Syrian regime which is attempting to crush a revolt that erupted in March 2011. – Agencies

 
- Kuwait Times
==================================

Kuwait project to protect children from mistreatment – Call for new strict rules

Kuwait project to protect children from mistreatment – Call for new strict rules
More and more children are being subjected to violence and aggression by their parents or relatives but due to traditional taboos, most such cases are not even registered.

However, when the registered number cases involving children neglected and injured due to violence reached 120, the Ministry of Health sat up and took note. It decided to start a project to protect the children from negligence and mistreatment besides focussing on this tragic aspect.

According to a report published in a local newspaper, this project or plan includes establishing an observatory for statistics and collecting data concerning all cases of violence against children.

The article also mentioned that a decree was issued in 2009 to form a committee including specialist doctors from hospitals to transfer the child victims from the primary care centers to the hospitals, but the move faced many obstacles and could not be implemented. Psychiatric Khalid Al-Muhanadi complained of a lack of specific legislations aimed at protecting the children. “We do not have children’s laws in Kuwait and although the government ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, no new local laws were formulated to ensure that the articles of this convention are implemented,” he told the Kuwait Times. He explained that children were being subjected to four kinds of violence: “Negligence, exploitation, sexual abuse, and physical and verbal aggression.

During my work, I did many researches on violence against children and through my dealing with the investigation department and police, I found that 90 percent of the cases were not registered due to the traditions of our conservative community, especially cases about sexual abuse in the family,” added Al- Muhanadi. Al-Muhanadi demanded issuing the ‘Custody Removal Law’ to achieve the necessary protection for abused children. “In Kuwait, we do not have a law to protect an abused child who still has to live with the aggressor.

Thus, the violating parents would not be punished. Even if the parent was to be punished for some time, he will return to the same house and live with the abused child. Usually, teachers do not report any cases, and the doctors only occasionally report a case against the mother or father if they find an instance of negligence or violence against the child, and this is clearly not enough,” he explained.

This law was not approved for many reasons. “The MPs did not work on approving this law as they think it may affect the reputation of the family and cause social problems. Also, the government found that to apply this law there should be a specially equipped center which can serve as a shelter for the abused children who were to be taken away from their parents,” Al-Muhanadi pointed out. He also mentioned some of the dramatic cases that he treated when he was working at the psychiatric department of the Ministry of Education. “I dealt with the case of a little girl who was sexually abused by her father who had divorced her mother.

When the school reported this to the police, the father did not attend the investigations, and they told us that in order to file a legal case at the court, it should be submitted by the person in charge, who was the girl. But how could she have done that when she was living at his house? And even if he was to be imprisoned for some time, he would have then returned again to the house,” he pointed out. On his part, attorney Mubarak Mijzea separated such actions into misdemeanors and crimes. “If the case involved negligence towards the child – for example if the child was hurt because of falling from the balcony where the parents left him alone at home and omitted to lock the door, then it will be negligence – it is classified as misdemeanor and the parent may be sentenced to six months or up to one year of imprisonment.

The sentence becomes higher if the injury was more serious or the child died,” he stated. The violence may be considered a crime. “If the forensic doctor found injuries on the body of the child, they will have to investigate how these were caused. If these were found to have been a result of beating or physical violence or torture, then it would be classified as a crime and the suspect could be convicted and sentenced to no less than three years of imprisonment, which can be even more depending on the injury,” he further said. “This, of course, applies to anybody in charge of a minor, be it a teacher, doctor or nurse. If they cause any injury by being negligent, they will be punished as well. Also, if such people find injuries on the body of a child, they should report it as soon as possible to free themselves from the responsibility as they may be accused later of causing such an injury,” stressed Mijzea.

By Nawara Fattahova, Kuwait Times Staff

 
- Kuwait Times
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