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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
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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
==================================

New law to protect women in Kerala

New law to protect women in Kerala

The Bill has definitions about harassments and lists of several instances that will be deemed to be harassment.

The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to a law to protect women, the first of its kind in the country. It will be piloted in the Assembly session beginning February 1. But it dropped the original proposal to impose capital punishment for a woman’s death owing to harassment in tune with the Verma Committee recommendation and stuck to life imprisonment in cases of death along with fine. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in his post-Cabinet press briefing, said the Bill was intended to bring in legislation with punitive provisions to safeguard the privacy and dignity of women.

Definitions

The Bill has definitions about harassments and lists of several instances that will be deemed to be harassment. The punishment for harassment is seven years’ imprisonment with fine.

The Bill puts the onus on persons in charge of premises, be it educational institution, cinema theatre, place of worship or cyberspace, to inform the police about the occurrence of an offence of harassment against women or forward to the police the complaint, if any, made by the victim or any other person about the harassment of a woman.

 
-The Hindu
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High-tech cargo airship being built in California

High-tech cargo airship being built in California
The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles. Still, the fact that the hulking Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it. The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million in the prototype because of its potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to disaster zones and forward military bases. “I realized that I put a little dot in the line of aviation history. A little dot for something that has never been demonstrated before, now it’s feasible,” said flight control engineer Munir Jojo-Verge. The airship is undergoing testing this month at Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, and must go through several more rounds of flight testing before it could be used in a disaster zone or anywhere else. The first major flight test took place Jan 3. The biggest challenge for engineers is making sure the airship will be able to withstand high winds and other extreme weather conditions, Jojo-Verge said.

Worldwide Aeros, the company that developed the aircraft, said it also must secure more funding for the next round of flight testing, but is hopeful the Defense Department and others will step in again as investors. The company says the cargo airship’s potential to carry more cargo more efficiently than ever before would provide the U.S. military with an advantage on the battlefield and greater capacity to save more lives during natural disasters. The lighter-than-air vehicle is not a blimp or a zeppelin because it has a rigid structure made out of ultra-light carbon fiber and aluminum underneath its high-tech Mylar skin. Inside, balloons hold the helium that give the vehicle lift. The airship functions like a submarine, releasing air to rise and taking in air to descend, said Aeros mechanical engineer Tim Kenny.

It can take off vertically, like a helicopter, then change its buoyancy to become heavier than air for landing and unloading. “It allows the vehicle to set down on the ground. And then when we want to become lighter than air, we release that air and then the vehicle floats and we can allow it to take off,” Kenny said. The project has set abuzz the old hangars at the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin. The structures were built to hold blimps during World War II. Now workers zip around in cherry-pickers, and the airship’s silvery surface shines against the warm tones of the aging wood of the walls. “You could take this vehicle and go to destinations that have been destroyed, where there’s no ports, no runways, stuff like that. This vehicle could go in there, offload the cargo even if there’s no infrastructure, no landing site for it to land on, this vehicle can unload its whole payload,” said Kenny. Next, Aeros wants to build a full-size 450-foot (137- meter) -long vehicle that can carry 66 tons (60 metric tons) of payload.—AP

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

NASA launches communication satellite

NASA launches communication satellite

 

NASA on Thursday launched a new communication satellite to stay in touch with its space station astronauts and relay more Hubble telescope images.

An unmanned Atlas V rocket blasted into the starry night sky carrying the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.

This is the 11th TDRS satellite to be launched by NASA.

The space agency uses the orbiting network to communicate with astronauts living on the International Space Station.

The first TDRS spacecraft flew in 1983; it recently was retired along with No. 4. The second was lost aboard space shuttle Challenger in 1986; Monday marked the 27th anniversary of the launch disaster.

This newest third-generation TDRS carries the letter K designation. Once it begins working, it will become TDRS-11.

It will take two weeks for the satellite to reach its intended 22,300-mile-high orbit. Testing will last a few months.

NASA estimates the satellite costs between $ 350 million and $ 400 million. Another TDRS spacecraft, L in the series, will be launched next year.

NASA wants at least seven TDRS satellites working in orbit at any one time. The one launched today will make eight.

 
-The Hindu
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New post office system implemented

New post office system implemented
The director of mail traffic at the post office sector of Communications Ministry, Khalid Al-Qabas, said the ministry has begun implementing the new post office system (IPS) which would help track the posts and ensure faster mail flow. He said the ministry applied this system at the sorting and parcels department at Kuwait Airport under the supervision of an international expert who also trained several employees.

According to Kuwait Times daily, the ministry was waiting for a response from the company supervising the study of privatization of the postal sector during next April. Khalid Al-Qabas said the shift towards privatization would be gradual and would continue under the government’s supervision till it was fully privatized.

Al-Qabas said Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate would be the first one to implement the IPS system as it has smaller post offices. The various pros and cons of the new system would be studied before implementing it across the country.
 
 
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CBSE CHAIRMAN’S EXCLUSIVE VISIT TO SALMIYA INDIAN MODEL SCHOOL

CBSE CHAIRMAN’S EXCLUSIVE VISIT TO SALMIYA INDIAN MODEL SCHOOL

19th January 2013.

With great excitement and anticipation, the entire, family of SIMS awaited the arrival of the Mr. Vineet Joshi, CBSE Chairman’s visit to itscampus, for the first time in Kuwait. Mr. Vineet Joshi accompanied by other great luminaries like His Excellency Shri Satish C. Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Sheikha Dr. Mehmouna Khalifa Al Athbi Al Sabah, the school sponsor laid the foundation stone for the new state of the Art Academic Block. Dr. Ashutosh Gupta (An IIM Ahmedabad Alumni) Dr. Mohammed Tariq, Chairman, Paradigm Pioneers & SIMS, Dr. Anis Ahmad, SIMS Director were also present.

A special cultural programme was organized, highlighting ‘Women Empowerment’. The students of SIMS with their spectacular performance drove home the message emphasizing the importance of women in a male dominated society. Various successful women personalities portrayed by the students were a visual delight. Celebrating womanhood concluded with a melodious song ‘light a candle’ further enhancing the theme of the occasion. On a lighter note, the School Principal, Mr. Sanjay Yadav, requested all the male members in the audience to give a standing ovation to the women in their lives, as a mark of respect and acknowledgement of their invaluable role in their lives.

A workshop under the aegis of Mr. Vineet Joshi, was organized by SIMS management, which provided on a one to one basis discussion between the CBSE Chairman and the Teachers of 17 other Indian schools. Teachers made full use of the platform to clear all their doubts pertaining to CBSE. The session lasted more than an hour, covering different areas of concern. Each and every question was answered patiently and lucidly by the CBSE Chairman, leaving the teachers with no room for doubt. The overall impact of the session on the teacher was one of awe.

Shri Vineet Joshi was highly impressed with his visit to SIMS. To quote the CBSE Chairman, ‘It was an excellent opportunity to learn how a good school functions. Everyone – Management, Principal, Teachers, Parents, Students and Staff are fully committed towards its goal. I wish their dreams come true.’

The successful culmination of this event owes much to the overwhelming participation of the teaching faculty of all the Indian schools in Kuwait.

The school is indeed highly indebted to Mr. Vineet Joshi for sparing his valuable time to visit the school and for interacting with the teaching fraternity.

The magnanimous gesture of SIMS Chairman Dr. Mohammed Tariq in initiating this event and extending his benefit to teachers of other Indian Institutions was highly acknowledged and appreciated by them.

Workshop conducted by Dr. Ashutosh Gupta at Salmiya Indian Model School.

Staff training yields very rich dividends and is an ongoing process in developing SIMS as a model school. SIMS management is committed to investing in staff developing programs, for the professional development of the teachers, on whose shoulders lies the onus of the future leaders. On Thursday, 17 January 2013, a daylong workshop on ‘Creative Leadership’ was conducted by Dr. Ashutosh Gupta (IIM Ahmedabad Alumni) a veteran management specialist for the SIMS staff.

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70 Tons of rotten food seized

70 Tons of rotten food seized
 
A team from the Imported Foodstuffs Department at the Kuwait Municipality in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry raided a store in Farwaniya and confiscated 70 tons of expired foodstuffs, reports Al-Shahed daily.
 
Source: Arabtimes
 

Indian man & Sri Lankan woman eat Gold

Indian man & Sri Lankan woman eat Gold
 
KUWAIT: Police have arrested an unidentified couple — an Indian man and a Sri Lankan woman — for attempting to steal jewelry from a shop in Mubarakiya, reports Al-Shahed daily.

A security source said the pair asked the Indian salesman to show them some rings and chains. The suspects then allegedly stole the rings and all attempts by the salesman to find the rings on their person failed, he called the police.

The pair denied stealing the rings and the salesman insisted the rings were missing. The pair then was referred to a hospital for X-ray under police guard and the film showed the rings in their stomach.

The two thieves were then administered laxatives to help them purge the stolen items. They have been detained at the Salhiya Police Station.
 
Source: Arabtimes

Bid to cut number of unskilled labor

Bid to cut number of unskilled labor
 
KUWAIT: The Labor Department at Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has been working on a special study regarding the number of expatriate personnel in every vocational sector and effects of increased components of the population in Kuwait, reports Al-Anba daily quoting an informed source.

He revealed that the study is aimed at initiating new decisions that will be effective in organizing the labor market in order to reduce the number of unskilled labor.

He indicated that the approval of the study will lead to review of workforce allocation which will be approved this year in collaboration with the concerned authorities such as Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Government and Manpower Restructuring Program.

He revealed that the officials will review the rules and regulations related to transfer of commercial visa to work permit.

He explained that the ministry will specify vocations for which transfer applications will be granted after considering the commercial visa, university degree and payment of fees, stressing that recruitment of expatriate personnel will be limited to certain vocations.
 
Source: Arabtimes

5,000 employees have no records with ministry

5,000 employees have no records with ministry
 
KUWAIT: Some 3,000 companies in the country have yet to update their files at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, and 5,000 employees registered under these companies have no records with the ministry, reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Sector Jamal Al-Dousari as saying.

He added the employees in question will not to be able to carry out any administration transaction at the ministry because their companies have failed to update their files.

At a press conference, Al-Dousari noted the ministry has set April 4, 2013 as deadline for the owners of these companies to update their files, and after that, all files which have not been updated will be canceled, and the companies will no longer be able to complete transactions unless they open new files.

He stressed that 95 percent of the companies have been updated using the automation system, so the ministry is calling upon companies which have yet to update their files to do so before deadline. Otherwise, they will be rendered incapable to carry out transactions on behalf of their employees.
 
Source: Arabtimes

No grant on national holidays this year

No grant on national holidays this year
KUWAIT: The government is unlikely to pay grants to citizens on the national holidays, but instead plans to focus on “improving the quality of public services without taking any steps that result in waste of public funds,” according to Cabinet insiders quoted by a local newspaper yesterday. “The government is going to focus on efforts to improve the quality of services provided to citizens through measures that do not result in wastage of public funds.

It will avoid practices which address current problems at the expense of sustainable development,” the sources which spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity said.

These statements came on Monday following the cabinet’s weekly meeting in which the government agreed to increase the financial allocations for those Kuwaitis who are sent for treatment abroad as part of the state’s ‘treatment overseas’ program.

The sources also noted that a social security law “which benefits a large part of the society” is going to be announced soon.

The insiders’ statements seem to imply that the government remains adamant in the face of efforts by the MPs to pass a debt relief bill which calls on the government to purchase citizens’ bank loans, then reschedule their repayments and also write off all the interest.

 
- Kuwait Times
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UN agency warns of new global bird flu threat

UN agency warns of new global bird flu threat
The UN food agency yesterday warned the world risked a surge in bird flu outbreaks unless countries strengthen their monitoring against dangerous animal diseases despite economic hardship. “The continuing international economic downturn means less money is available for prevention of H5N1 bird flu and other threats of animal origin,” Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said in a statement. “Even though everyone knows that prevention is better than cure, I am worried because in the current climate governments are unable to keep up their guard,” he was quoted as saying. The Rome-based agency warned large reservoirs of the H5N1 virus still exist in parts of Asia and the Middle East where the disease has become endemic. “Without adequate controls, it could easily spread globally as it did at its peak in 2006, when 63 countries were affected,” the agency said.

The virus killed more than 300 people between 2003 and 2011, as well as forcing the culling of 400 million domestic chickens and ducks and causing an estimated $20 billion (15 billion euros) in damages. The FAO also cautioned of the growing threat from Peste des Petits Ruminants, or PPR, a highly contagious disease that affects sheep and goats. FAO said the virus, for which a vaccine exists, had wrought havoc in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was spilling over into southern Africa. Among the prevention measures against animal diseases recommended by FAO are improved general hygiene, market and border controls and health inspections in farms and markets, as well as equipment and training for laboratories. Two Cambodian girls have died from bird flu, health authorities said yesterday, raising the toll from the deadly infection in the kingdom to four so far this year.

The victims, a 17-month-old girl and a nine-year-old girl, from the southern provinces of Kampot and Kampong Speu, died Monday in hospital, the World Health Organization said in a joint statement with the Cambodian health ministry. Tests on the girls, whose villages had recorded recent deaths among poultry, confirmed they had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the statement added. Last week Cambodia said two people-a 15-year-old girl and a 35-year-old man, had died from the H5N1 strain contracted while preparing infected chicken. Cambodia has recorded 26 cases of H5N1 since 2003 with all but three of the victims dying. The virus has killed 364 people worldwide since a major outbreak in 2003, according to WHO statistics. It typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic. — AFP

 
- Kuwait Times
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Cell phones banned during exams

Cell phones banned during exams
KUWAIT: As the exams season began, the Ministry of Education issued a decree banning the use of mobile phones by students during the exams. The decision came after several cases across different schools and grades in which students were found cheating using their cell phones. This decree will be applicable to both, the public and private schools. The teachers are well aware about the decision and some schools have already banned the students from using phones while writing their exams. “I completely agree with this decision as the student could not possible need to use a phone during the exam.

In the past, students did not have mobiles as it was expensive. Even with mobiles becoming affordable, these were not very suitable for use in cheating. But with the booming modern technology, students improved their cheating techniques using smart phones and especially applications like WhatsApp. I think such norms are applicable all over the world,” Majida Abdeen, a teacher at an Arabic private school, told the Kuwait Times. There are different ways of cheating. “Some students use their phones to save the information there in order to use it during the exam.

Others use the phone to call their relatives to dictate them the information from a book using the headset or the WhatsApp messenger,” she added. During her long experience as a teacher and as an invigilator, Abdeen witnessed different ways of hiding the mobile. “The female students wearing a hijab hide the headset under the scarf so that we do not get to see it. The boys hide it in their socks. In the university where I was also a controlling teacher for some time, I caught some students hiding the mobile under their Abaya,” explained Abdeen. The teachers personally frisk the students to ensure that they are not hiding a mobile. “If we are unable to detect a well hidden cell phone, we warn them that they would not be allowed to finish their exam if they were caught cheating.

In fact, many students were actually caught and banned from writing the exam. We usually take away the stdeunts’ phones when they enter the classroom and return these later,” she pointed out. “The students betray a strange behavior or fidget when they are cheating.

Sometimes we catch them as they are nervous, move their hands so much and are unable to keep them on the desk, or are found moving their head up and down many times. These are all signs that a student could be trying to cheat, and leads us to catch them red handed,” concluded Abden. On his part, Hasan Abdulbari, a teacher in a public school, also faced many students employing different technologies to cheat. “The decision is not new and we have been already implementing it in the past after we caught some student using phones to cheat. Besides mobiles, there are also other tools such as certain kind of watches in which many cheating cards and other information can be saved.

Also there are some calculators in which information can be pre-fed. There are other more developed calculators which can save the info in their memory to be used later for cheating,” he stated. The invigilators do check the students personally when they enter the class room lest they are carrying mobile phones. “Some students are innovative in their cheating ideas.

They come with two or three phones and let us catch one while retaining others for cheating. The teacher should be well conversant with the new technologies to know that students can be pretty innovative. Sometime we also check the students with a detector similar to the one used at the airports, which can detect the hidden mobiles,” Abdulba said.

By Nawara Fattahova, Kuwait Times Staff

 
- Kuwait Times
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Amir attends flag-hoisting ceremony – Anniversary celebration in Ahmadi

Amir attends flag-hoisting ceremony – Anniversary celebration in Ahmadi

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sponsored and attended a flag-hoisting ceremony yesterday morning at Bayan Palace. The ceremony was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, along with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, senior sheikhs, the Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

Also present at the ceremony were Acting Parliament Speaker Mubarak Al-Khurainej, ministers, senior state advisors and officials, and senior Army, Police, and National Guard officers. His Highness was hailed upon arrival to the venue with cheers by the officers and fire department staff, and was met with a 21-Gun Salute. The Amir hoisted the flag after playing the National Anthem of the State of Kuwait. —KUNA

Also Ahmadi Governorate launched yesterday its celebrations of the Seventh Anniversary of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s proclamation of power. In a big ceremony on this occasion, Governor of Al- Ahmadi Sheikh DrIbrahim Al-Duaij Al- Sabah hoisted the national flag on the Governorate’s premises.

During the ceremony, Sheikh Dr. Ibrahim congratulated HH the Amir on the 7th anniversary of his taking office, conveying to his highness congratulations in his name and residents of Ahmadi Governorate. Sheikh Ibrahim Al- Duaij wished HH the Amir long well-being to continue the development march for the Kuwait and its people. Al-Ahmadi celebrations coincides with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah launch of the country’s celebrations of the national days in a ceremony attended by a large number of the state officials at Bayan Palace Tuesday.

The national days celebrations comprise the 52nd National Day of Kuwait Independence, the 22nd Liberation Day and the Seventh Anniversary of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah’s assumption of the leadership of the country.— KUNA

 
- Kuwait Times
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KCCI lauds new companies law

KCCI lauds new companies law
Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) lauded here Tuesday the new law concerning the formation of new companies, hoping that such law would lead to the development of the economic and financial sectors in the country.
A statement by KCCI said that the chamber's finance and investment committee had reviewed the law and indicated that the law would lead to an economic leap in Kuwait.
The new law would speed up the process of forming public joint stock companies, said the KCCI, noting that the new law would also allow the establishment of one-person firms.
The chamber also hoped that the new law would be beneficial for the country's ambitious development plan in supporting both the public and private sectors in addition to attracting foreign investments.
 
- Kuwait News Agency
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John Kerry to head US State Department

John Kerry to head US State Department

The US Senate on Tuesday approved John Kerry as the next Secretary of State in a bipartisan 94-3 vote.

Mr. Kerry, who will replace Hillary Clinton as the nation’s top diplomat, stood on the floor of the Senate to receive congratulations from his colleagues as the votes were cast.

“I speak on behalf of everyone here that we so admire the job (Kerry) has done in his past life in so many phases,” Senator Chuck Schumer said after the vote. “We’re excited for his time as Secretary of State and we think for John Kerry the best is yet to come.”

The three no votes came from Republican lawmakers, senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas and Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Ms. Clinton has said her last day on the job will be Friday, when Mr. Kerry is expected to be sworn in. He is to give a farewell address to the Senate on Wednesday. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will name a temporary successor to fill his seat before a special election set for June 25.

“We have to deal with the immediate crises that come across our desk every day,” Clinton said of the challenges of the office. “We have to work on the long-term challenges, like security in North Africa. And we have to deal with what I call the trend lines, not the headlines.” She told an international town hall forum that her greatest regret from her time as secretary was the death of four Americans in the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, 2012.

The department’s handling of the incident came under intense political scrutiny and scuttled UN ambassador Susan Rice’s chance to become Secretary of State after her characterisation of the attack was challenged.

The issue is likely to continue to simmer during Mr. Kerry’s first days in office, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham accusing Ms. Clinton in a television interview of “getting away with murder.”

 
-The Hindu
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Kuwait airport development ambitious, eyes LEED gold – Passenger capacity to be increased to 25 million

Kuwait airport development ambitious, eyes LEED gold – Passenger capacity to be increased to 25 million
 
airport 300x180 Kuwait airport development ambitious, eyes LEED gold   Passenger capacity to be increased to 25 millionKUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works is executing a mega venture to expand Kuwait International Airport to enhance its capacity to serve 25 million passengers per year by 2024, up from the current 8 million passengers. First phase of the project includes establishment of more gateways and apron plots to accommodate more than 50 aircraft, with a future plan to build up to 100 aprons and a huge parking lot, with surrounding greenery. According to the plan, details of which were made available by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, passengers are to walk towards the main building and their designated terminals through shaded, pleasing greenery-roofed paths.
 
The path provides full view of a large green and naturally-lit space which brings a feeling of calm and tranquility. The pathways serve the added purpose of reducing foot traffic within the building. The planned expanded airport will be able to serve giant aircraft, including 280-As. Kuwait International Airport is planned to significantly increase capacity and establish a new regional air hub in the Gulf. The project’s strategic aims will be matched by a state-of-the-art terminal building, which will provide the highest levels of comfort for passengers and will set a new environmental benchmark for airport buildings. The overall design is rooted in a sense of place, responsive to the climate of one of the hottest inhabited environments on earth, and is inspired by local forms and materials.
 
The terminal has a trefoil plan, comprising three symmetrical wings of departure gates. Each facade spans 1.2 km and all extend from a dramatic 25- meter-high central space. The terminal balances the enclosure of this vast area with a design that is highly legible at a human scale; for simplicity and ease of use, there are few level changes. To future aid orientation, the building is planned under a single roof canopy, punctuated by glazed openings that filter daylight, while deflecting direct solar radiation. The canopy extends to shade a generous entrance plaza and is supported by tapering concrete columns. The fluid, organic forms of columns draw inspiration from the contrast between the solidity of the stone and movement of Kuwait’s traditional dhow sailing boats.
 
The project targets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold. It aims to be the first passenger terminal in the world to attain this level of environmental accreditation. The concrete structure provides thermal mass and the roof incorporates a large expanse of photovoltaic panels to harvest solar energy. The site has flexible master plan, with the terminal strategically located to anticipate and enable future expansion. The airport will initially accommodate 13 million passengers per year, with the flexibility to increase to 25 million passengers and to accommodate 50 million passengers with future development. The design plan has stand flexibility to accommodate between 30-51 contact stands in the first phase. This is in addition to sufficient landside area to allow parking, GTC, and high-end landside facilities such as offices and DGCA headquarters and hotels.
 
The 60m span roof canopy minimized walking distance below 600m from center to end points of a terminal. Site area is a landside area of approximately 150 ha and an airside area of approximately 360 ha. The total building footprint is 140,000 meters square, and building height is up to 39 meters. The planned terminal building comes in four levels above ground, and one underground.
 
The concrete shell roof structure consists of 78 perimeter and 12 internal structural bays. A typical bay comes in 45m glass facade protected by canopy. The concrete structure provides thermal mass and the roof incorporates a large expanse of photovoltaic panels to harvest solar energy. As for check in and baggage handling, the plan comes with 120 Check in desks for 13 million passengers per year (MAP), 180 Check in desks for 25 MAP, and a 13 MAP baggage handling system will be able to handle a peak of 2,930 bags per hour, and a 25 MAP baggage handling system will be able to handle a peak of 5,390 bags per hour. The integrated baggage system incorporates screening, dynamic storage, and sorting. As for access to the airport, the new terminal will have a new landside access sequence from the south as a new road connects from the King Faisal Motorway 51 and the 7th Ring Road. There are also plans to establish a metro linking the airport to Kuwait City Centre.
 
Source: KUNA
 
 
  
 
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