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Ministry employee held for work permits forgery

Ministry employee held for work permits forgery
A Ministry of Education employee was taken into custody after she was found involved in peddling forged work permits to expatriate laborers in lieu of KD500 each. A secretary who happened to inquire from a man waiting outside the woman employee’s door was told that she was to sign his employment application. Since the woman had no authority to sign such documents, otherwise organized through a company sanctioned by the ministry to provide labor forces, the secretary informed the police who arrested her.
Source: Kuwait Times

90,000 in travel ban list

90,000 in travel ban list

KUWAIT: A total of 90,000 people living in Kuwait figure in the Interior Ministry’s travel ban list as of this past weekend, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting security sources.

The ban orders in case of 48,000 Kuwaitis and 42,000 nationals of 12 other countries are based on court judgments mainly in regard to unpaid dues, said the sources who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity.

The sources explained that if anyone owed any amount, even less than KD50, to companies for state services or others can land him or her on the travel ban list.

Meanwhile, borrowers who do not have court orders against them can pay the money they owe at the outlet they wish to travel from in order to have the ban immediately lifted.

- Kuwait Times

NA refers draft amending public sector laws to govt

NA refers draft amending public sector laws to govt
KUWAIT: The National Assembly (Parliament) referred, in its regular session yesterday, a draft document to the government to amend law no. 6/2010 concerning working in the country’s public sector. Article no. 9 of the modified law stipulates the creation of a public body of legal personality and an attached budget and supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. The body shall manage the Ministry’s activities as well as importing labor at the request of their employers. Moreover, article no. 10 of the adjusted law forbids employers from bringing in labor to the country without the Ministry’s approval.

Employers are also not allowed to hire labor from inside or outside the country without assigning any labor to them; otherwise they would be entitled to furnish expenses of their home return. Once the employee is reported absent or decided to work with a different employer, the original employer is exempted from any expenses concerning the employee.

The parliament also approved two draft laws; one on the public authority for manpower while the other concerns unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, the National Assembly discussed the call by the Public Prosecution for lift of parliamentary immunity of three MPs on different grounds, and the result of the vote went against the recommendation. After review and discussion of the reports of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, the vote was 24 nays for lift of immunity of MP Safa Al-Hashem on grounds of a press offense, and there were also 26 nays to lift of immunity of MP Nabil Al- Fadhil on a criminal offense. Meanwhile, 24 MPs voted against lift of immunity of member Abdelhamid Dashti on a media offense. Parliament Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashid called for a 15-minute break following the vote.

- Kuwait Times

Photo of ‘murder victim’ shocks Filipinos in Kuwait – No reports yet, says embassy

Photo of ‘murder victim’ shocks Filipinos in Kuwait
– No reports yet, says embassy

KUWAIT: A gruesome photo of a decapitated woman, alleged to be a Filipina, was circulated on Facebook, a social media network, shocking many in Kuwait, especially Filipinos.

The photo depicted the body that appeared to be a Filipina, though no name was mentioned and her identity is yet to be confirmed. The complexion and the dress she wore could make her as someone belonging to a different nationality also.

The body lay in a pool of blood with grass all around, while the accompanying text in the Facebook tag read: “Another brutal murder of a Filipina in Kuwait.” An embassy official who asked not to be identified noted there has been no report or information about a Filipina brutally murdered in Kuwait. “We have no information about it but will try to seek verification.” Messages from netizens expressed anger but also sadness about the fate of the ‘murder victim.’ “The killing is yet another proof of how they are treating Filipinas here.

They are murdering us just like rats and dogs,” one message read. Another comment read, “The government should stop sending Filipinas abroad. Our embassy here should do something about the plight of Filipinos here and we have to be very careful.” But another comment suggested that the body seemed a fake. “It could be someone alive (since) there is no discoloration. How can you say she was murdered while, in fact, it could be just a Photoshop creation,” went another comment. “Don’t believe everything that appears on Facebook. It could be the imagination of a mad man.” When the Kuwait Times made queries about the origins of the photograph, a certain ‘Rea’ on a Facebook account claimed: “I just posted it from someone and shared it. I was concerned because she looked like a Filipina. But I do pray she’s not.”

It can be recalled that late last year, a Filipina was found dead in a manhole near a private compound in Yarmoukh. Her photo was also circulated through the social media. Another photo last December showed a Filipina brutally battered by her employer, a claim that was found true and she was eventually rescued by the embassy’s Assistance to Nationals unit.

By Ben Garcia, Kuwait Times Staff

- Kuwait Times

38,000 labor complaints in 2012

38,000 labor complaints in 2012
KUWAIT: At least 38,000 labor complaints were filed in Kuwait last year, including around 20,000 cases pertaining to delayed salaries and other financial disputes, a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor official announced recently.

The remaining 18,000 complaints pertained to disputes over work permits, mainly with regards to the worker’s right to switch employers or have their visas canceled, said Deputy Director of the Public Relations Department Hadi Al-Enizy. He added that the department’s labor disputes committee has looked into more than 6,000 grievances last year, a majority of which pertained to transfer of dependency visas (article 22) to a work visa (article 18).

The department also looked into 1500 missing reports filed by employers in 2012, Al- Enizy added. Meanwhile, nearly 100 cleaning workers employed at the ministry’s social care homes staged a labor strike at the Social Care Compound in Ghernatah on Monday morning, demanding an increase in their monthly pay from KD60 to KD100.

The workers reportedly accused their company of collecting KD100 illegally for each annual leave request. Undersecretary Assistant for the Labor Department, Jamaal Al-Dousary, said the ministry was following up the issue of workers’ salaries with the company.

- Kuwait Times

FBI arrests 13 in global credit card fraud

FBI arrests 13 in global credit card fraud

US law enforcement officials arrested 13 people on Tuesday as part of an investigation into a massive credit card fraud scheme that the US Department of Justice said was the largest ever prosecuted.

The Justice Department said amount stolen was still being added up, but 200 million dollars in losses had so far been confirmed.

The scheme was a “sprawling criminal enterprise that stretched across dozens of states and numerous countries.” the FBI said.

FBI and US Postal Inspection Service officials arrested 13 defendants and searched 13 locations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Each defendant is charged with one count of bank fraud. They were to appear before a US magistrate in federal court. Five other people are named in the complaint.

The defendants allegedly created more than 7,000 identities to obtain about 25,000 credit cards and doctored credit reports to pump up the spending limits on the cards.

“The higher the fraudulent credit score, the larger the loans that the defendants could obtain,” the FBI said. “They would then borrow or spend as much as they could and not repay the debts.”

The defendants used the proceeds to buy luxury cars, electronics, spa treatments, expensive clothing and millions of dollars in gold.

They also stockpiled large sums of cash. Law enforcement discovered approximately 70,000 dollars in the oven of one defendant.

“This type of fraud increases the costs of doing business for every American consumer, every day,” US attorney Paul J Fishman said.

They harmed not only the credit card issuers, but everyone who deals with increased interest rates and fees because of the money “sucked out of the system by criminals acting in fraud rings like this one,” he added.

To run the scheme the defendants allegedly constructed an elaborate network of false identities, maintained more than 1,800 homes used as the mailing addresses of the false identities and created dozens of sham companies that did little or no legitimate business.

The defendants also wired millions of dollars outside the US to Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Romania, China, and Japan, the complaint alleges.

The bank fraud count with which the defendants are charged is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of 1 million dollars.

-The Hindu

Solomon Islands quake triggers tsunami

Solomon Islands quake triggers tsunami

A powerful earthquake in the South Pacific generated a tsunami on Wednesday, prompting warnings to several island nations.


The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a tsunami of 3 feet was measured in Lata wharf, in the Solomon Islands. No damage was immediately reported there or in Vanuatu, which also was covered by the warning.


The statement said the waves could be destructive near the epicentre and threaten more distant coasts.


The tsunami formed after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake near Lata in Temotu province, the easternmost province of the Solomons.


“There was no immediate report of damages or any accidents,” said George Herming, a spokesman for the Prime Minister. “We’ve been hoping that reports will come in from the responsible authorities ... very soon.”

The tsunami warning is in effect for the Solomons, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna. A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres west of Lata, at a depth of 5.8 kilometres.

More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude-8.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands, sending waves crashing into coastal villages.

-The Hindu

27-point plan to ensure women’s safety

27-point plan to ensure women’s safety
A 27-point plan finalised by the Centre on Monday to improve administrative and policing policies, especially with regard to crimes against women, has proposed to start a countrywide three-digit number on the lines of 911, used in the US, to respond to all emergency situations. The number would be available to subscribers of all telecom service providers.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Telecom will come out with a concept note on the proposal by this month end.

Once operational, the system will work as a one-point contact to a person in distress and the call will be seamlessly transferred to the appropriate distress line. There are plans to operationalise a dedicated three-digit number 181 across the country. As of now, the women’s helpline is available in Delhi.

The Cabinet Secretariat said all the measures taken by the government would deal with changes in the police system, review of Motor Vehicles Act and measures to make responses to crimes against women efficient and sensitive.

“The secretaries of seven key ministries have been directed to personally monitor the implementation of these measures and report every month to the Cabinet Secretary and Prime Minister’s Office,” the Cabinet Secretariat statement said.

Despite earlier hurdles, the government will go ahead with name-and-shame plan displaying details of criminals convicted of crimes against women on the National Crime Records Bureau website. It will also make sure that citizens who come forward to assist a woman in distress do not face any harassment or be subject to any interrogation by police or be forced to become a witness.

Inspecting officers in all police stations across the country will also record details related to registration and investigation of complaints of crimes against women. Training courses will be organised for police personnel on gender sensitisation.

“Strict disciplinary action will be taken against any official indulging in gender bias. Action taken in this regard has to be reported at every level. If action is not found to be taken against an erring official, the supervisory officer will be held accountable,” the statement added.

The government also stressed upon the need to recruit more women in the police force. The Ministry of Home Affairs will, within a month, obtain necessary approvals to formulate a suitable proposal to initiate recruitment drive in all states.

Among major reforms, the Ministry of Women and Child Development will start a scheme to provide compensation to victims of sexual assault. It will also set up crisis response centres in select hospitals to provide psychological and other assistance to victims.

The proposed scheme will be implemented in a pilot phase in 100 districts in 2013-14.

The government will also review the existing motor vehicle regulations and has asked the ministry concerned to initiate ‘women only’ bus services. A programme to encourage more women-driven buses and taxis across the country has also been proposed by the government.

In the backdrop of the Delhi gangrape, the government is pushing for overall reforms in the public transport system. The Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in consultation with technical experts and police representatives, will examine what should be the maximum permissible level of tinting of the side and back windscreens in public transport buses.
- New Indian Express

Ahmadinejad ready to be a spaceman

Ahmadinejad ready to be a spaceman


TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday he is ready “to be the first man in space” under Iran’s ambitious program which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020. “Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years, and I’m sure that will happen,” he said during a ceremony in Tehran where two new Iranian-made satellites were unveiled, according to ISNA news agency. “I’m ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space, even though I know there are a lot of candidates,” Ahmadinejad quipped.

He added to the buoyant atmosphere, saying he was willing to “auction (himself ) and donate” the money to the Iran’s space program, which has shrunk because of international economic sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive, ISNA reported. The presidency website showed pictures of Ahmadinejad at the ceremony with what was purportedly Pishgam (pioneer), the monkey sent into orbit by Tehran last week.

The monkey’s launch was presented by the Islamic republic as a first step towards sending a human into orbit by 2020. Space tourist Anousheh Ansari was the first Iranian to make a journey into space aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhastan, in Sept 2006.

The 40-year-old telecommunications entrepreneur paid a reported $20 million for a space station visit. Her journey became an inspiration to women in male-dominated Iran. Meanwhile, outspoken US Senator John McCain raised eyebrows online yesterday when he compared Ahmadinejad to the monkey that Iran launched into space. “So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?” said a message on McCain’s official Twitter feed, followed by the headline and link to a recent story: “Iran launches monkey into space.” The comments by the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, a strong advocate for tougher sanctions on Tehran for its nuclear program, followed Ahmadinejad’s claim earlier that he is ready to be the first man in space.

The slur by McCain, the senator with by far the most Twitter followers, with nearly 1.8 million, elicited swift condemnation on Twitter. “Wow, way to elevate political discourse,” tweeted @heyitsurban to McCain. Another user, @manolo_loop, wrote: “@SenJohnMcCain is racism funny?” About 50 minutes after his original “monkey” tweet, McCain posted a follow-up. “Re: Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?” — Agencies

- Kuwait Times

Skeleton under car park is Richard III

Skeleton under car park is Richard III

LEICESTER, United Kingdom: A skeleton found under a car park in the English city of Leicester was yesterday confirmed as that of king Richard III, widely depicted as one of history’s most notorious villains. Scientists from the University of Leicester matched DNA from the 500-year-old skeleton with descendants of the king’s sister, while the skeleton had the twisted spine and battle injuries consistent with contemporary accounts.

“It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that, beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed at Greyfriars in September 2012 is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England,” lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said to applause at a press conference at the university. He said the king’s remains would now be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral, in keeping with archaeological practice to bury remains on the nearest consecrated ground.

The find has caused huge excitement among historians, as it provides firm evidence about a monarch whose life has been shrouded in controversy ever since his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Richard’s body was paraded naked and bloody on the back of a horse in Leicester, in central England, before being buried in an unmarked grave at Greyfriars, a friary in the city. The crown passed to Henry VII and the Tudor monarchs, who, with the help of William Shakespeare and other playwrights, painted Richard as a brutal, hunchbacked villain who stopped at nothing in his quest for power, even murdering his two young nephews to secure the throne.

The skeleton confirms that Richard did have severe scoliosis which caused his spine to be twisted and his right shoulder appear higher than his left, but there was no evidence of the twisted arm depicted by Shakespeare. The man was the right age – Richard died aged 32 – had a high-protein diet consistent with someone of high birth, and had a slender, almost feminine build, which matched contemporary accounts.

In a forensic search that at times resembled a television crime drama, there were also clear signs of the person having been in battle. A slice was taken off the back of his head by a weapons such as a halberd, a type of axe, which with another injury nearby would have probably killed him, according to Jo Appleby, the project’s lead osteologist. There was also evidence of “humiliation injuries” to his face and his buttocks, which may well have been inflicted on his naked body by rivals after his death.

The researchers were confident they had found Richard, but the final green light came just hours before more than 150 journalists were due to gather for the announcement, with the confirmation of the DNA results. Geneticist Turi King revealed that the skeleton’s DNA matched that of two descendants of Richard’s sister, Anne of York – a Canadian-born carpenter, Michael Ibsen, and another person who wishes to remain anonymous. It presented a “strong and compelling case that these are indeed the remains of Richard III”, King said. Ibsen, the 17th generation descendant, said he was “stunned” at the discovery, and was looking forward to seeing the facial reconstruction of Richard, although he added: “It won’t look like me.”

Historians now hope to dispel some of the myths about Richard, publicising evidence that he never killed his nephews and looking again at what he achieved in his brief two-year reign, including the establishment of a system of bail and legal aid. Philippa Langley, a member of the Richard III Society who coordinated and helped fund the search, said she hoped a new image would emerge of the king and “the two-dimensional character devised by the Tudors will be no more”. “We have searched for Richard and we have found him. Now it’s time to honour him,” she said. There had been debate about what to do with the bones amid calls from some for them to be buried in the city of York, Richard’s power base, but it has been decided that his final resting place will be Leicester Cathedral. – AFP

- Kuwait times

Mad rush at Aadhaar centres

Mad rush at Aadhaar centres


Centres flooded with applications following announcement linking LPG cylinders to Aadhaar cards

The government’s announcement that issue of cooking gas cylinders would be linked to Aadhaar cards led to a panic rush at enrolment centres in the twin cities. So much so, the centres ran short of applications on Monday.

To compound the problem, inadequate number of machines being put to use, technical problems and a peculiar problem of collecting biometric fingerprints of many people who have calloused hands, led to an inordinate delay in the registration process.

For 38-year-old R. Suresh, it was a double whammy of sorts. He was unsuccessful in getting hold of an application form, let alone enrolling for the card. His numerous visits to the Urban Health Centre at Mohammadguda in Secunderabad were fruitless as he got a stock reply “application forms are not available”. His father Pitchaiah got the card, but his name was wrongly spelt. Since then, Suresh has been running from pillar to post to obtain two applications, to correct his father’s name and to apply for his own, but his efforts proved to be in vain.

Officials say the State government has already appealed to the Centre to extend the February 15 deadline for LPG consumers to possess Aadhaar cards in order to avail of the subsidies. The government argued that the Aadhaar registration was not yet complete in the State and more time is required. “We believe applicants are rushing to the centre fearing that they would lose subsidy for failing to get the card,” they maintain.

Another reason for the delay in issuing cards is problems in collecting fingerprints. “We are facing difficulties in authenticating the fingerprints of some people because of calloused hands,” explains A. Pruthviraj, Team Leader of Grape Soft Technologies which is executing enrolment process in the capital. He says the enrolment process is on at over 35 centres.

Plans have also been chalked out to open 10 more centres to meet the increasing rush, he adds. To know status, applicants can log on to the website: https://portal.uidai.gov.in.

-The Hindu

Record-breaking rains lash Delhi

Record-breaking rains lash Delhi

Delhi received 50 mm of rainfall for a period of 24 hours till 10 a.m.

Heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorm lashed the capital since Monday night, breaking all previous records of single day rainfall in the last 50 years for the month of February.

The heavy rains threw traffic out of gear across Delhi due to perennial problem of water logging. The Met department predicted more rains in the next couple of days.

“It is the highest rainfall in 24 hours in the month of February in the last 50 years,” Met Department Director B.P. Yadav said.

He said Delhi received 50 mm of rainfall for a period of 24 hours till 10 a.m. He said besides Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana will also receive more rains till Wednesday.

Vehicular movement was affected across the city including ITO, Vikas Marg, South Extension, Mahipalpur, Hari Nagar, IIT crossing to Adchini, Moti Bagh, Yusuf Sarai Market and Munirka.

Areas such as Badarpur border, Wazirpur industrial area, Ashok Vihar, Laxmi Nagar, Mahipalpur, ITO, Bhogal, Jungpura, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, Dhaula Kuan, Janakpuri, Patel Nagar, Khajurikhas and Moolchand also witnessed heavy traffic snarls.

The situation was compounded by non-functioning traffic lights in various areas.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 11.7 degrees, three notches above normal but the wind chill factor added to the chill in the air.

The maximum temperature in the last 24 hours was recorded at 19.3 degrees Celsius, which is three degrees below normal.

The Met department said cloudy weather condition is likely to continue for the next couple of days.

-The Hindu

Case against online abusers of Kashmir girl band

Case against online abusers of Kashmir girl band


Jammu and Kashmir police have registered a case and identified several Facebook users, who had posted abusive and threatening messages on the page of the only all-girls rock band of the Valley.

“A case under Section 66 A of the IT Act and Section 506 IPC (Criminal Intimidation) has been registered in Rajbagh police station with regard to the hate messages posted on the Facebook page of the ‘Pragaash’ band,” a police spokesman said today.

He said the investigations are in full swing but refused to give any details.

However, an official associated with the investigation said, police have been able to identify at least six persons who had posted hate messages with the help of experts from the cyber crime cell.

“So far half a dozen Facebook users who had posted hate messages have been identified while efforts are on to identify the others,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

He said the Facebook page of the band had received a large number of posts — mostly critical — and it would take some time to sift through all of them. “Arrests are likely to be made in the next couple of days,” he added.

‘Pragaash’ on Monday decided to call it quits in the wake of a fatwa issued by grandmufti terming singing as un-Islamic.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was among a large number of political leaders, who extended their unflinching support to the girls, urging them not to quit singing because of a “bunch of morons”.

-The Hindu

ED slaps Rs 98.5 crore notice on Rajasthan Royals

ED slaps Rs 98.5 crore notice on Rajasthan Royals

IPL team Rajasthan Royals was slapped with a penalty notice of approximately Rs 100 crore by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged violation of forex laws, a move which comes barely two months before the sixth edition of the high-profile league gets underway.

The agency, which issued the penalty notice after a two years of investigations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has sent out three separate notices to the IPL franchise totalling to Rs 98.5 crore plus some other similar notices earlier, sources said.

While a Rs 50 crore penalty has been slapped on Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited (JIPL) and its directors, owners of Rajasthan Royals, Rs 34 crore notice for evasion of forex duties has been issued against EM Sporting Holding, Mauritius and its directors.

A fresh notice of Rs 14.5 crore has been issued against Ms ND Investments, United Kingdom and its directors.

The franchise said it "intends to launch a full appeal" against the ED order.

"Rajasthan Royals has today received an Order from the Enforcement Directorate in respect of alleged breaches of FEMA. We are discussing the contents of the Order with our lawyers and intend to launch a full appeal against the Order," the franchise said in a statement.

"We will not be making any further statement on this matter at this time," it added.

All the three parties can appeal against this penalty order in the appellate authority of FEMA. The order requires the IPL team to pay up in 45 days.

The ED has been investigating financial and foreign exchange irregularities against all the IPL franchises for almost two years now and this is the first big order against any team. It comes just a day after auctions concluded in Chennai for the sixth edition of the glamorous cricket extravaganza.

The penalty order said the probe agency found that foreign investment in JIPL was made in "flagrant contravention of FEMA" and the investment made in this regard was made "much prior to the incorporation of JIPL".

The penalty was issued after investigations pointed out that the funds in the firm have been remitted in an irregular manner and shares were allegedly issued in violation of forex rules stipulated and framed by the RBI.

The agency issued the first penalty order against Rajasthan Royals in mid-2011 and it recently moved the FEMA Adjudicating Authority in Delhi to vet its investigation in this case and issue final orders.

The penalty order states that the ED probe has found that foreign investments of the firm were in contravention of Section 6 of FEMA which deals with transfer or issue of security by a person resident outside India, and other sub-sections of the said Act.

The agency, during its probe, relied on the bank documents and statements made by the directors and investors of Rajasthan Royals.

The ED has issued almost 24 show cause notices, amounting Rs 2000 crore, under FEMA against various IPL franchises and the BCCI in the probe in these cases.

Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra also have stake in the franchise, which defied the odds to become the inaugural IPL champion.

- New Indian Express

Delhi gangrape trial begins today in fast track court

Delhi gangrape trial begins today in fast track court

 The Delhi gangrape and murder case trial will formally begin in a fast track court on Tuesday.

Charges have been framed against five accused under 13 sections of the IPC, the sixth being a minor will be treated according to the juvenile law.

The fast-track court will hear the case on a day-to-day basis to ensure speedy justice.

In the in-camera proceedings that took place on Saturday, the court framed charges under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 365 ( kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine person), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), and 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) of the IPC. If found guilty under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, the accused could face a maximum punishment of death penalty.

A fresh offence under section 366 of the IPC was added by the court against the accused for abducting the girl with the intention to compel and force her to "illicit intercourse".

The accused bus driver, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The court has now fixed February 5 for starting the trial. The prosecution will begin with its evidence and examine its witnesses in the case.

Additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna framed the charges after finding a prima facie case to suggest that the accused conspired to deceitfully induce the girl and her male friend to board the vehicle by making them believe it was a chartered bus for raping the victim and committing other offences.

In the order, the fast-track court described the juvenile as an "associate" of the five accused, who committed the gang rape in furtherance of the conspiracy and "in furtherance of common intention". The juvenile, the sixth accused, has been been declared a "minor" by the Juvenile Justice Board, which will try him separately for the offences.

Delhi Police had on January 3 filed the chargesheet against the five accused for gang-raping and brutally assaulting the girl on a moving bus on December 16.

- New India Express

Amir sponsors opening of Sabah Al-Ahmad Urology Center

Amir sponsors opening of Sabah Al-Ahmad Urology Center

KUWAIT: Sabah Al-Ahmad Urology Center was opened, early yesterday, under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. His Highness the Amir was received at the center, in Al-Sabah health area, by Health Minister Dr Mohammad Al-Haifi, Undersecretary of the Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Amiri Diwan Abdulaziz Saud Ishaq, the Ministry of Health Undersecretary Dr Khalid Al-Sihlawi, Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health Qais Al-Diwairi, Assistant Undersecretary of services and nuclear energy at the Health Ministry Sameer Al-Asfoor, Director of the Sabah Health Zone Dr Adel Al-Asfoor and the Sabah Al-Hamad Urology Center Director Dr. Fouzi Abul.

The opening ceremony was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Parliament Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed, former Parliament Speaker Jassim Mohammad Al-Kharafi, National Guards Deputy Chief Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al- Humoud Al-Sabah and Deputy Minister for Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and senior sheikhs and top state officials. The opening ceremony began with a performance of the national anthem and a recitation of some verses from the Holy Quran.

Then, the Health Minister began his speech at the event by expressing his appreciation to the support of His Highness the Amir to all humanitarian projects and health programs that would benefit members of the society. He also noted that the KD 14.8 million-center is spread over 23,000 cubic meters and consists of nine floors which includes outpatient departments, specialized clinics, operation rooms, intensive care units and recovery rooms.

He further explained that the center, that took 10 months to be completed, is fully equipped with the latest medical technologies to offer the best medical services to the public. A documentary film on the center was played, then, His Highness the Amir revealed the center’s plague to officially announce the opening of the center. Commemorative gifts were presented to His Highness Amir at the end of the event. — KUNA

- Kuwait Times

Agni-VI all set to take shape

Agni-VI all set to take shape

It can deliver four or six warheads 6,000 km away

Agni-VI with multiple nuclear warheads, which can reach targets 6,000 km away, is all set to be developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Only in April last, it carried out the maiden launch of Agni-V, which has a range of more than 5,000 km.

So far, all the strategic missiles developed by the DRDO — Agni-I, II, III, IV and V, and the submarine-launched K-15 and its land-based version Shourya — can carry only single nuclear warhead. The DRDO’s tactical missiles and supersonic cruise missile BrahMos can carry one conventional warhead each.

“We have started working on the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles [MIRV] version [Agni-VI]. It will carry four or six warheads depending upon their weight,” DRDO missile technologists said. “The constraint is the vehicle’s mass.”

Although the Union government is yet to sanction Agni-VI project, the DRDO has done all the enabling studies, finalised the missile’s design and started working on the engineering part. It had also figured out how to anchor four or six warheads in the vehicle, how to disperse them and the pattern of their dispersal. The warheads could be released in an order, one after another. If one warhead were to hit a place, another could fall 100 km away from it, the technologists said.

Both Agni-V and Agni-VI have three stages, all powered by solid propellants, and their diameter is two metres. And the comparison ends there.

While Agni-V weighs 50 tonnes and is 17.5 metres long, Agni-VI belongs to the 65-70-tonne class and will be 20 metres long. “Agni-VI will be a massive vehicle,” the technologists said. It was too early to say when its first launch would take place. It would be road-mobile and blast off from trucks with launching platforms.

-The Hindu

Gas stations begin to issue new cylinders

Gas stations begin to issue new cylinders
KUWAIT: Gas stations in various parts of Kuwait have started distributing new gas cylinders that were recently delivered by Kuwait Gas Company, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.

The daily added the new gas cylinder differs from the old one in terms of weight, even though it holds the same capacity of gas and weighs less than 8kg compared to the old cylinder that weighs 13 kg. The price of the new gas cylinder is KD 11.750 which is more than the old cylinder that costs KD 8.250.

Distributors of the new gas cylinders inform the general public that the new cylinder uses the same old cylinder heads, which means there won’t be any need to buy a new type of cylinder head, although the old cylinder can not be exchanged for the new type, the daily indicated.
- Arabtimes

CWG scam: Charges framed against Kalmadi, 9 others

CWG scam: Charges framed against Kalmadi, 9 others
A Delhi court on Monday framed charges against sacked Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and nine others for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer in a Games-related corruption case.
Special CBI Judge Ravinder Kaur framed charges under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act against Kalmadi and other accused, including Organising Committee (OC) secretary-general Lalit Bhanot, in the case.
Besides cheating and criminal conspiracy, the accused have also been charged with offences relating to forgery and use of forged documents as genuine, criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence of the IPC and Section 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servants) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
After framing of charges, the court fixed February 20 for recording of evidence in the case.
The judge said that the evidence will be recorded on a day-to-day basis barring Monday and Friday.
The accused were chargesheeted by the CBI for illegally awarding a contract to install timing, scoring and results (TSR) system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing at inflated rates causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.
Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, among the other accused in the case are OC’s former director-general V.K. Verma, former director-general (procurement) Surjit Lal, former joint director-general (sports) A.S.V. Prasad and former treasurer M. Jayachandran.
Apart from the six, promoters of two construction firms — P.D. Arya and A.K. Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A.K. Reddy of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions are also accused in the case. Swiss Timing Omega is also an accused in the case.
The court, while ordering framing of charges against the accused, had said that as Swiss Timing Omega, which was allegedly awarded the contract at exorbitant rates, is not appearing in the court despite proper service of summons, its “trial is separated.”
The court had also said that substantial charges of misusing official position have been made out against the six former OC officials, who were public servants.
The CBI had alleged that Kalmadi and others had rejected Spanish firm MSL’s much lower bid of Rs. 62 crore and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing Omega, causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.
CBI counsel V.K. Sharma had argued that Kalmadi and others had decided to award the contract for installing the TSR system for the CWG to Swiss Timing even before the firm had bid for it.
Kalmadi’s counsel, however, had argued that the facts given in the CBI’s chargesheet were contrary to the documents, which the agency had filed in the court.
Kalmadi had told the court that he was only doing the work assigned to him as the OC chairman and nothing wrong was done by him in the entire process.
- The Hindu

Fire breaks out in Jleeb Al-Shuyouk, Amghara

Fire breaks out in Jleeb Al-Shuyouk, Amghara
KUWAIT: Fire fighters were called to fight a blaze in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area on Sunday afternoon. As soon as they arrived, the firemen found that the ground floor of the two-storey building spread over 1500 sq meters was being used for carpentry purposes and contained too much timber while the first floor was a bachelors’ residence. The fire had spread to the outer space which was being used as a storage area for clothes and some furniture.
Firemen immediately ensured that the building was vacated and then fought the flames, bringing them under control before these could spread to the next building. No casualties were reported.
A huge fire that broke out in a timber scrap yard at Amghara, engulfing a store spread over more than 2500 sq meter area, was still to be brought under control till the filing of this report even as personnel from three fire centres fought the flames. Fire fighters, including those from Amghara fire center and Jahra were involved in the effort.
The latest incident is part of a series of similar fires reported at the scrap area through all of last year’s summer. In more than ten such cases, the fire started from used tires’ yard, with one of them taking days before it could be brought under control.
- Kuwait Times
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