Notice Board

Sanjay Dutt shifted to Pune jail

Sanjay Dutt shifted to Pune jail
 Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was on Wednesday shifted to high security Yerawada jail in Pune from Mumbai, a jail official said.

“Sanjay Dutt was escorted to Pune jail at about 4 am from Mumbai. There were three police vans that took him to the Pune jail,” the official said.

He was secretly shifted to the Pune jail early in the morning due to security reasons and to avoid media glare, the official said.

The actor was earlier lodged in the ‘anda’ cell after he was brought to the Arthur Road jail on May 16 following his surrender before the expiry of the Supreme Court-set deadline to serve his remaining sentence in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
-The Hindu
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US Senate panel approves immigration Bill

US Senate panel approves immigration Bill
 Far-reaching legislation to grant a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a solid bipartisan vote on Tuesday night after supporters sidestepped a controversy over the rights of gay spouses.

The 13-5 vote cleared the way for an epic showdown on the Senate floor on the measure, which is one of President Barack Obama’s top domestic priorities yet also gives the Republican Party a chance to recast itself as more appealing to minorities.

The committee’s action sparked rejoicing from immigration activists who crowded into a Senate committee room to witness the proceedings. “Yes, we can!” they shouted as they clapped rhythmically to show their pleasure.

In addition to creating a pathway to citizenship for 11.5 million immigrants, the legislation creates a new program for low-skilled foreign labour and would permit highly skilled workers into the country at far higher levels than is currently the case.

At the same time, it requires the government to take costly new steps to guard against future illegal immigration.

There was suspense to the end of the committee’s deliberations, when Sen. Patrick Leahy, who serves as chairman, sparked a debate over his proposal to give same-sex and heterosexual spouses equal rights under immigration law.

“I don’t want to be the Senator who asks people to choose between the love of their life and the love of their country,” he said, adding he wanted to hear from others on the committee.

In response, he heard a chorus of pleas from the Bill’s supporters, seconding private appeals from the White House, not to force a vote that they warned would lead to the Bill’s demise.

“I believe in my heart of hearts that what you’re doing is the right and just thing,” said one of them, Sen. Richard Durbin. “But I believe this is the wrong moment, that this is the wrong bill.”

In the hours leading to a final vote, the panel also agreed to a last-minute compromise covering an increase in the visa program for high-tech workers, a deal that brought Sen. Orrin Hatch, over to the ranks of supporters.

Under the compromise, the number of highly skilled workers admitted to the country would rise from 65,000 annually to 110,000, with the possibility of a further rise to 180,000, depending in part on unemployment levels.

Firms where foreign labour accounts for at least 15 percent of the skilled work force would be subjected to tighter conditions than companies less dependent on H-IB visa holders.

The centrepiece provision of the legislation allows an estimated 11 million people living in the US illegally to obtain “registered provisional immigrant status” six months after enactment if certain conditions are also met.

Applicants must have arrived in the United States before December 31, 2011, and maintained continuous physical presence, must not have a felony conviction of more than two misdemeanours on their record, and pay a $500 fine.

The registered provisional immigrant status lasts six years and is renewable for another $500. After a decade, though, individuals could seek a green card and lawful permanent resident status if they are up to date on their taxes and pay a $1,000 fine and meet other conditions.

Individuals brought to the country as youths would be able to apply for green cards in five years.
 
-The Hindu
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Talabat.com records 3m orders in GCC

Talabat.com records 3m orders in GCC
KUWAIT: Talabat.com, the leading online food delivery service provider across the MENA region has achieved a score record by delivering the order number 3 million across the GCC markets. Accordingly, talabat. com announced the lucky winner of KD 1000 prize, Mrs. Dania Al Amer from the state of Kuwait, whose order landed as number three million on Talabat. On this occasion, Rabih El Asmar, Head of Marketing/ Talabat.com, said, “As we congratulate Mrs. Al Amer for winning the 1000 dinar prize, we are glad to announce that Talabat.com ranks today in leading position on online food delivery industry. We are proud to be able to hit the three million record in such a short span of time considering that the website was established in 2004 in Kuwait and expanded to GCC market in 2010”.

El Asmar confirmed that Talabat.com dedicates its success to its loyal customers and food lovers who showed lots of confidence in the website services and team’s efforts. Talabat.com is referred to as a onestop online food court comprising of 200 restaurants that offers a vast choice of different international cuisines.

The website provides the most convenient esolution to the food delivery industry, through which it coordinates on carrying your order up to your doorstep, hot and fresh. Understanding the importance of the human communication element besides a virtual service, Talabat also provides a Call Center, Online Live Chat, and an email service for a full-fledged experience by its users. The website is available in both English and Arabic and is ready to receive orders around the clock. Meanwhile, Talabat can be reached on customized smart phone applications, including iPhone and Android, in addition to regular cell phones. iPad users as well can download their own application for a hassle-free experience. El Asmar added, “We encourage our customers to log on now to Talabat.com and enjoy a remarkably fast experience to quench their food cravings while introduce themselves to the online promotions on the website.” He added, “You don’t have to deal with a slow phone operator anymore, receive wrong or missing orders due to miscommunication and human error, or even face a painful call waiting system again. Instead, we offer you a quick, practical and user-friendly interface that allows you to place check and modify your order in no time.” What’s more, a user can see and decide on their meals before hitting the ‘submit’ button as food images, restaurant menus and prices are up on the website and are instantly updated by the portal’s online team.

In addition to the ‘Promotions’ tab, which displays the latest offers by restaurants, Talabat provides candid reviews by its customers on their favorite restaurants and recently ordered meals. Today, Talabat.com is witnessing remarkable demand by its ever-growing customer base which has reached 225,000 users, in addition to receiving over 10,000 orders on a daily basis with the safe delivery of over three million orders till date. “If you have not registered yet, simply log on now and create an account free of charge with a few clicks to save your information for future orders. While submitting your order, you can choose your preferred payment method whether it be in cash, debit card or credit card,” El Asmar said. He concluded, “We would love to express our appreciation and sincere gratitude towards all subscribing restaurants for supporting our online portal all these years, a matter which has helped us witness such an outstanding achievement today.

We do look ahead towards breaking more exceptional records together and continue on developing our service for our clients.” It is worth mentioning that Talabat.com achieved the 2008-2009 ‘Kuwait e-Award’ in the e-business category from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS). You can stay connected to Talabat via Instagram.com/Talabat, Twitter.com/Talabat, www.facebook.com/6alabat and www.youtube.com.TalabatGTC
 
-Kuwait Times
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Mixed reactions over massive oil reshuffle

Mixed reactions over massive oil reshuffle
KUWAIT: A number of MPs expressed mixed reactions over the massive reshuffle on Monday in the oil sector, with some welcoming it and others strongly criticizing it as politically-motivated, while the opposition made no reaction to the changes. Islamist MP Khaled Al-Shulaimi welcomed the changes, describing the step as “reformist”, and hoped the new appointments will boost the efficiency of the oil sector.

But Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti strongly lashed out the appointments, describing the measures as an act of “vengeance” against Kuwait and the oil sector. He said MPs are impatiently awaiting the Assembly session on May 28 to see what they are going to do with the request to grill Oil Minister Hani Hussein who has reportedly tendered his resignation like other Cabinet ministers. Dashti said the minister should have stayed away from the series of decisions that introduced massive changes in the oil sector.

MP Nabeel Al-Fadhl also criticized the appointments, claiming they have strengthened the grip of the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, on the oil sector. MP Saleh Ashour said that because the oil minister has submitted his resignation, he should have not made the sweeping changes in the oil sector.

In a surprising decision on Monday, Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) board of directors changed the top posts in its eight subsidiary companies in addition to changing a number of leading posts in KPC itself. According to the decision, all managing directors of the eight companies were removed and new managing directors were appointed. And for the first time, chairmen were appointed in all the companies as per the requirements of the new corporate law. But the opposition has so far remained silent on the changes to Kuwait’s most vital sector which contributes around 95 percent of public revenues.

In another development, the opposition is on the verge of announcing that it will again boycott any parliamentary election based on the single-vote law if the constitutional court confirms the law. Former opposition MPs of the scrapped 2012 Assembly held detailed discussions on the issue late Sunday at the diwaniya of former speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun and decided to hold another meeting on the issue next week. Former Islamist MP Khaled Al-Sultan said in a statement after the meeting that “one or two former MPs” still believe that it will be better to take part in the election if the court declares the law in line with the constitution in the highly anticipated ruling next month.

But the majority of the former MPs and the opposition members believe that elections should be boycotted if held on the basis of the single-vote law and the final decision is expected to be announced on Saturday. Sultan said the issue is not about how many constituencies and how many votes, but it is about “the regime having the right to change the election system unilaterally” which allows the government to manipulate election results.

He said that any change in the election law must be taken by the National Assembly and not by the government because it shapes the political future of the nation. So far, members of the Popular Action Movement and the Reform and Development Bloc and several independents have announced that they will not contest any election unless the previous law issued in 2006 is reinstated.

By B Izzak, Staff Writer
 
-Kuwait Times
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State Dept issues report on religious freedoms – Executive Summary on Kuwait

State Dept issues report on religious freedoms
– Executive Summary on Kuwait
KUWAIT: The constitution provides for religious freedom; however, other laws and policies restrict religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally enforced these restrictions. The constitution states that Islam is the state religion and that Sharia (Islamic law) is a main source of legislation. The trend in the government’s respect for religious freedom did not change significantly during the year. There were negative developments, such as municipal authorities obstructing private, unofficial religious gatherings and the Amir issuing an emergency decree that expands the laws that prohibit insulting religious groups. The Council of Ministers rejected amendments passed by the parliament that would have made blasphemy a capital crime for Muslims. Courts sentenced several individuals to time in prison for blasphemy and denigrating religious sects. Religious minorities experienced discrimination as a result of government policies.

There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. In general, citizens were open and tolerant of other religious groups, although vocal minorities opposed the presence of non-Muslim groups in the country and rejected the legitimacy of Shia Islam. Church representatives reported societal pressure on schools to stop allowing churches to gather in their facilities, and members of unrecognized religious groups reported pressure from landlords to stop meeting in unlicensed facilities. Regional events, including the conflict in Syria and public protests in Bahrain, contributed to increased sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shia.

Religious demography
According to the Public Authority for Civil Information, there are 1.2 million citizens and 2.6 million non-citizens. The national census does not distinguish between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Estimates derived from voting records and personal status documents indicate that approximately 70 percent of citizens, including the ruling family, adhere to the Sunni branch of Islam. Most of the remaining 30 percent of citizens are Shia Muslims. There are approximately 150-200 Christian citizens and a small number of Bahai citizens. An estimated 150,000 noncitizen residents are Shia. While some areas have relatively high concentrations of either Sunnis or Shia, most areas are religiously well integrated.

There are an estimated 600,000 non-citizen Hindus. The largely non-citizen Christian population is estimated to be more than 450,000. The government-recognized Christian churches include the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the National Evangelical (Protestant) Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church (referred to in Arabic as the Roman Orthodox Church), the Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church, and the Anglican Church. There are also many unrecognized Christian religious groups with smaller populations. There are an estimated 100,000 Buddhists, 10,000 Sikhs, and 400 Bahais, the majority of whom are non-citizens.

Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom
Legal/Policy Framework
The constitution provides for religious freedom; however, other laws and policies restrict religious freedom. The constitution provides for “absolute freedom” of belief and for freedom of religious practice in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public order or morals. The constitution states that Islam is the state religion.

The law prohibits the naturalization of non-Muslims but allows male Christian citizens to transmit citizenship to their descendents.

There are laws against blasphemy, apostasy, and proselytizing, and the government actively enforces them. The government financially supports Sunni Muslims who proselytize foreign residents.

The law requires jail terms for journalists convicted of defaming any religion and prohibits denigration of Islam or Islamic and Judeo-Christian religious figures, including the Prophet Muhammad and Jesus. The law prohibits publications that the government deems could create hatred, spread dissension among the public, or incite persons to commit crimes. The law provides that any citizen may file criminal charges against an author if the citizen believes that the author has defamed Islam or the ruling family, or harmed public morals.

On October 21, the Amir issued an emergency decree called the National Unity Law. The law criminalizes publishing and broadcasting content that could be deemed offensive to religious “sects” or groups and expands existing law by explicitly including social media. The National Unity Law greatly increases penalties for those convicted, allowing for fines ranging from KD10,000 to KD 200,000, and as many as seven years in prison.

The government requires Islamic religious instruction in public schools for all students. The government also requires Islamic religious instruction in private schools that have one or more Muslim students (regardless of whether the student is a citizen or not). Non-Muslim students are not required to attend these classes. High school Islamic education textbooks are based largely on the Sunni interpretation of Islam. Some text books from the ninth-grade Islamic studies curriculum refer to certain Shia religious beliefs and practices as heretical. The law prohibits organized religious education for faiths other than Islam. Informal religious instruction occurs inside private homes and on church compounds without government interference.

The government does not designate religion on passports or national identity documents, with the exception of birth certificates. On birth certificates issued to Muslims, the government does not differentiate between Sunnis and Shia. The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is officially responsible for overseeing religious groups. The procedures for registering and licensing religious groups are similar to those for NGOs.

There are seven officially recognized churches: the National Evangelical, Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and Anglican churches. They work with a variety of government entities in conducting their affairs. These include the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor for visas and residence permits for clergy and other staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Municipality of Kuwait for building permits and land concerns, and the Ministry of Interior for security and police protection of places of worship. The government imposes quotas on the number of clergy and staff officially recognized religious groups can bring into the country.

The government does not recognize religious groups not sanctioned in the Quran, such as the Bahais, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs. Members of unrecognized religious groups are unable to apply for visas and residence permits for clergy and other staff, build places of worship or other religious facilities, or request security and police protection for a place of worship.

The Amiri Diwan’s Higher Advisory Committee on Completion of the Application of Islamic Sharia Provisions is tasked with preparing society for the full implementation of Islamic law in all fields. The committee makes recommendations to the emir on ways in which laws can be brought into better conformity with Islamic law, but it has no authority to enforce such changes.
Religious courts administer personal status law. The government permits Shia to follow their own jurisprudence in matters of personal status and family law at the first instance and appellate levels. In 2003 the government approved a Shia request to establish a court of cassation (equivalent to a supreme court) to oversee Shia personal status issues. The court is not yet established. An independent Shia Waqf administers Shia religious endowments.

Eating, drinking, and smoking in public are prohibited during Ramadan between sunrise and sunset, even for non-Muslims, with a prescribed maximum penalty of up to KD 100 and/or one month’s imprisonment. Other practices deemed inconsistent with Islamic law are prohibited, including sorcery and black magic.

Government practices
There were reports of abuses of religious freedom, including reports of imprisonment and detention. Government restrictions primarily affected non-Sunni citizens and residents. Municipal authorities became more active in obstructing religious gatherings at unofficial, private spaces. Courts sentenced several individuals to time in prison for religious offenses and there were reports of religious bias and discrimination against religious groups in the issuances of legal verdicts.

On February 13, police arrested writer Mohammed Al-Mulaifi on charges that included denigrating Shia doctrine. On April 9, the Court of First Instance sentenced Al-Mulaifi to seven years in prison. On May 31, the Court of Appeals reduced Al-Mulaifi’s sentence from seven years to six months, and he was released on October 9 after completing his sentence.

On March 27, police arrested Hamad Al-Naqi, a Shia, for posting comments to his Twitter account considered blasphemous and insulting to Sunni Gulf rulers. On June 4, the Court of First Instance sentenced Al-Naqi to 10 years in prison. Al-Naqi remained in prison at year’s end pending a decision from the court of appeals. Largely in response to this case, parliament voted to make blasphemy a capital crime for Muslims; however, the Council of Ministers rejected this amendment to the criminal code.

The media reported multiple incidents of individuals being detained for practicing black magic and sorcery, which are considered inconsistent with Islamic law, or for possessing items used in those practices. In one such case, a man was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labor followed by deportation.

In March 2011 the Ministry of Information announced it was filing charges against Al-Adalah satellite channel and the newspaper Al-Dar, which refers to itself as the “voice of the Shia,” for referring to the Saudi-led military intervention in Bahrain as an “invasion. ” In 2012 the Ministry of Information twice suspended Al-Dar’s operations. In addition, on March 12 a criminal court convicted Al-Dar’s editor-in-chief, Abd Al-Hussain Al-Sultan, of raising sectarian strife and undermining national security.

Al-Sultan received a suspended six-month prison sentence and was fined 1,000 KD. On May 14, a court of appeal increased the sentence to a one-year suspended prison sentence. The government temporarily closed other media outlets for similar reasons.
The government did not permit the establishment of non-Sunni religious training institutions for clergy. Shia who wanted to serve as imams had to seek training and education abroad (primarily in Iraq, Iran, and to a lesser degree Syria) due to the lack of Shia jurisprudence courses at Kuwait University’s College of Islamic Law, the country’s only institution to train imams. There are no Shia professors at the College of Islamic Law at Kuwait University. The government prohibited non-Muslim missionaries from working in the country and prohibited them from proselytizing Muslims; however, they were allowed to serve non-Muslim congregations.

The government imposed quotas on the number of clergy and staff recognized groups could bring into the country. Religious groups found the quotas insufficient for the needs of their congregations, experienced difficulties obtaining visas and residence permits, and found authorities to be unresponsive.

On August 9, the Roman Catholic Church announced that it would move the seat of the Vicariate of Northern Arabia from Kuwait to Bahrain, in part due to the difficulties it faced in obtaining adequate numbers of visas in Kuwait. The Vicariate had been in the country since 1953.

Foreign religious leaders of unrecognized religious groups had to enter the country as non-religious workers, which required them to minister to their congregations outside of their regular non-religious employment.

Churches that applied for licenses to build new places of worship often had to wait for approval for a substantial period of time, sometimes years. In some cases, such applications were denied. Some applications were allegedly refused based on technical grounds. Most of the recognized Christian churches considered their existing facilities inadequate to serve their communities and faced significant problems in obtaining proper approvals from municipal councils to construct new facilities. Members of the Shia community expressed concern over the relative scarcity of Shia mosques due to the government’s slowness in approving repairs to existing mosques or the construction of new ones. Since 2001 the government granted licenses and approved the construction of six new Shia mosques. Including these six, there are a total of 35 Shia mosques nationally.

On February 17, Member of Parliament Osama Al-Munawer said that all existing Christian churches in the country should be destroyed. He later revised his comments, claiming that he only advocated curtailing the building of new facilities. The minister of Awqaf and Islamic affairs and members of the ruling family officially condemned the remarks, calling them a violation of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of religious belief and practice.

The government exercised direct control of Sunni religious institutions. The government appointed Sunni imams, monitored their Friday sermons, and financed construction of Sunni mosques. In some instances, Sunni imams were suspended for delivering sermons whose content the government deemed inflammatory. The government did not exert this control over Shia mosques, which the Shia community, not the government, funded. Some parliamentarians called for the government to regulate the Shia practice of khums (where the faithful pay one-fifth of their profits to their religious authority) and to supervise hussainiyas (Shia community religious gathering places), but no action was taken.

The government allowed Shia worshipers to gather peacefully in public spaces to attend sermons and eulogies during Ashura (the Shia day of mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein) and provided security to Shia neighborhoods. However, the government did not permit public reenactments of the martyrdom of Hussein or public marches in commemoration of Ashura during the year.
While seven Christian churches were legally recognized, others were not, including the Indian Orthodox, Mar Thoma, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and Seventh-day Adventist Church. These religious groups were allowed to operate in rented villas, private homes, or the facilities of recognized churches. Members of these congregations reported that they were able to worship without government interference provided they did not disturb their neighbors or violate laws regarding assembly and proselytizing. Authorities also prohibited these groups from displaying exterior signs, such as a cross or the congregation’s name, and from engaging in public activities.

Municipal authorities obstructed religious gatherings in private spaces and pressured landlords who had leased property to unlicensed churches. One landlord suddenly terminated the lease to a private villa that a congregation had used for worship gatherings for seven years. Another landlord told a congregation it would have to pay an exorbitant fine each month if it continued to use the villa it was renting as a church.

The government did not permit the establishment of non-Islamic religious publishing companies. Several churches published religious materials solely for their congregations’ use despite this restriction. The government permitted a private company, the Book House Company Ltd., to import Bibles and other Christian religious materials for use solely by government-recognized church congregations with the stipulation that any content did not insult Islam. The Book House Company Ltd. was the only company licensed to import such materials.

The government barred churches from bringing Bibles and other Christian literature to prisoners in detention facilities. However, some prisoners said they were allowed to read Bibles freely.

School administrators have issued instructions to teachers to expunge English-language textbooks of any references to Israel or the Holocaust. Teachers at British schools were not allowed to teach comparative religion, although this unit is a required part of the British curriculum.

Shia were represented in the police force and some branches of the military/security apparatus, although not in all branches and often not in leadership positions. Some Shia alleged that a “glass ceiling” of discrimination prevented them from obtaining leadership positions in some of these organizations. However, since 2006 the prime minister has appointed two Shia ministers to each cabinet, including the current one. The emir had several senior-level Shia advisors.

Status of Societal Respect for Religious Freedom
There were reports of societal abuse or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. A vocal minority opposed the presence of non-Muslim groups in the country and rejected the legitimacy of Shia Islam. Regional events, including the conflict in Syria and public protests in Bahrain, contributed to increased sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shia during the year.

On July 25, responding to reports that the government had agreed to allow construction of a new church, a group of Salafist clerics proclaimed that churches should not be built in Islamic countries, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula, arguing that it is not permissible under Sharia.

Church officials reported that some Christian domestic workers complained that their employers would not allow them to leave their homes, which prevented them from worshiping with their congregations and regularly practicing their faith. Most domestic workers are allowed only one day off per week, complicating workers’ ability to worship weekly and accomplish all other personal business. Some domestic workers also reported their employers confiscated religious articles such as Bibles and rosary beads, along with nonreligious items.

Some churches without other locations in which to congregate were able to gather in schools on the weekends. Representatives of these churches reported that there was societal pressure on the schools to stop allowing such gatherings.

Many hotels, stores, and other businesses patronized by both citizens and non-citizens openly acknowledged non-Muslim holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Diwali. During the Christmas season, stores, malls, and homes were decorated with Christmas trees and lights, and Christmas music, including songs with explicitly Christian lyrics, was broadcast in public spaces and on the radio. Christian holiday decorations were widely available for purchase. None of the many stores that had Christmas-themed displays reported negative incidents. The news media regularly printed reports of religious holiday celebrations, including large supplement sections detailing the religious significance of Christmas. In December, several civil society groups condemned calls from some groups and individuals forbidding the celebration of Christmas. Calls to forbid Christmas celebrations were not common.
 
-Kuwait Times
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Workshop debates emerging threats to national security – ‘Citizens, expats must shoulder responsibilities’

Workshop debates emerging threats to national security
– ‘Citizens, expats must shoulder responsibilities’
KUWAIT: The Security Strategic Studies Institute of the National Security College at the Education and Training Sector of the Ministry of Interior is holding a three-day workshop titled ‘National Security of Kuwait in the Shadow of Local and Regional Changes’ from May 21-23, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. This workshop is being held under the auspices of the First Deputy of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Homoud Al-Sabah.

The Assisting Undersecretary for Education and Training Affairs, Lieutenant General Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah, Director General of the National Security College, Major General (staff) Mohammed Al-Dihani, and officers of the Ministry and other related institutions participated in the workshop. National security is the duty and responsibility not just limited to security institutions. “It is the responsibility of the entire community including citizens and expats. We can protect the country only through united efforts. It is very important to spread a culture of security and prepare ourselves for the emerging circumstances. The security strategy needs to be formulated according to a holistic development plan.

The youth must play a key role in activating this strategy to protect the country from within and outside,” said Lieutenant General Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah during the launch ceremony yesterday. On his part, Major General (staff ) Mohammed Al-Dihani highlighted the importance of the security related qualifications of the security officers and the public in general. “The Ministry of Interior has formulated a strategy to face the security related changes taking place locally and internationally.

This can be done by holding scientific symposiums, activities and training courses, in which challenges facing the community are analyzed and studied, and solutions found,” he pointed out. At the first session, Dr. Mohammed Al- Rumaihi, a teacher of Sociology at the Kuwait University, spoke on the theme ‘Belonging and Loyalty’ and its reflection on the Kuwait’s national security. “We always hear people complaining that the situation in other countries is better, but we have much qualified manpower in Kuwait, and many advantages that other countries do not have including social welfare,” he explained. The Kuwaiti values are suffering from imbalance. “This problem is caused by the development, demography, houses being divided, separation within the families and other factors.

Every 16 years, the Kuwait population multiplies. The population has grown from 468,000 people in 1965 to 3.8 million people in 2012, with the majority being expat population,” noted Al- Rumaihi. Dr. Homoud Al-Qash’an, also a teacher of Sociology at the Kuwait University, spoke about the nature of violence within the community and its effect on the Kuwait’s national security. “Fortunately, the number of murders has decreased by 50 percent as 44 murders took place in 2011 while the number dropped to 21 in 2012. The violence starts at the canteens in the schools.

We are facing the challenge of technology invading all aspects of life. I think that the most important need was to have some kind of a Social Police, which should not be limited to policemen only. Furthermore, there should be a sociologist and a psychologist in every police station,” he stated. Further workshops are slated for Wednesday and Thursday, starting from 9:00 am at the same venue, the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

By Nawara Fattahova, Kuwait Times Staff
 
-Kuwait Times
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Kuwait’s ex-Indian Airlines head Sehgal gets 4-year jail term in India

Kuwait’s ex-Indian Airlines head Sehgal gets 4-year jail term in India
INDIA/KUWAIT: A sacked Indian Airlines (IA) officer has been jailed for four years for possessing disproportionate assets worth Rs63.06 lakh, double his known income, by a Delhi court which said he failed to maintain the “purity” of public office. Special CBI Judge Kanwaljeet Arora awarded four years rigorous jail to Greater Kailash resident Rohit Sehgal, son of a retired DCP in Delhi Police, and also directed him to pay Rs5 lakh fine, while observing that the ‘kuch nahi hota’ (nothing happens) attitude has resulted in raising the audacity of people to flout laws and needed to be checked.

The court said there are “innumerable” public servants, who instead of thinking in the national interest, misuse their official positions for their own economic uplift rather than letting the government do something for those who are needy. If corruption is not tackled, it will lead to “death of society” by continuous debilitation, it said. The court said being a public servant, Sehgal, an ex-area manager in Indian Airlines in Kuwait, had committed criminal misconduct by possessing pecuniary resources of Rs 63.06 lakh from June 2000 to June 2003 and he could not give satisfactory reason about it as the money was disproportionate to his known sources of income.

It said Sehgal was driven by greed and failed to maintain the purity of his public office and criminally misconducted himself by having assets disproportionate to the known sources of his income. Sehgal, posted in Delhi as a senior manager (Commercial) in Indian Airlines Ltd before being transferred to Kuwait, was held guilty by the court for the offences of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known income and criminal misconduct by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act. “It is this criminal misconduct in which convict (Sehgal), had indulged by amassing pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which society denounces and as such is required to be punished. “Merely because convict was not involved with any direct act of bribery, the offence for which he has been convicted does not get diluted,” the judge said. “Degeneration in the moral, ethical and national character of the society in general and individuals in particular has resulted due to lack of effective and proper implementation of Law.

The attitude that ‘kuch nahi hota’ (nothing happens) has resulted in raising the audacity of people to flout the laws with impunity and have made corruption, a way of life. “It is not the young people that degenerate, to my mind, they are not spoilt,” the judge said, adding it is the mature who are already sunk into corruption. During the trial, Sehgal said the Investigating Officer and the CBI had failed to take into account the innumerable perks, to which he was entitled to, while being posted as area manager in Kuwait. Sehgal had sought leniency on the grounds that he had a clear and unblemished record of public service and had got various promotion during his service with Indian Airlines.

The court, however, rejected his leniency plea and also dismissed his contention that proper sanction for his prosecution was not taken by the CBI. The court said that since he was dismissed from service by Indian Airlines Ltd, no sanction for his prosecution was required as per provisions of the PC Act. It, however, said a sanction to prosecute Sehgal was given by the Centre as though he was an Indian national, but the offence for which he was charge-sheeted was committed when he was in Kuwait. – news.outlookindia.com
 
-Kuwait Times
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MOH professors at KU not paid for two years – Students likely to face problems

MOH professors at KU not paid for two years
– Students likely to face problems
KUWAIT: Students at the Kuwait University College of Medicine may soon face a major problem since the professors working under the Health Ministry have not been paid for two years now but were still being asked to teach at the college.

The failure to pay their salaries for such a long time led several doctors from Farwaniya health area to stop teaching, while a number of doctors from the Mubarak Hospital are also planning to go on a strike soon, a scenario that threatens the career of students at the college of medicine since exams are scheduled for June. Since the College of Medicine has only a few professors, it needs the help of several qualified health ministry teachers.

The doctors teach practicals at the in hospital and examination rooms where patients are admitted, besides teaching at the college itself. Sources said the medical teachers who are sent by the health ministry receive their salary from the health ministry regularly, but the college of medicine failed to pay them anything for the past two years.

The source said the largest share of teaching, examinations and specialties was shouldered by the health ministry doctors, who continue to teach even during the summer for a monthly payment of KD300 to KD500.
 
-Kuwait Times
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Inhumane Brutes Attack a Full Term Pregnant Lady and Rob Her Gold Chain on 16th May 2013 in Salmiyah

Inhumane Brutes Attack a Full Term Pregnant Lady and Rob Her Gold Chain on 16th May 2013 in Salmiyah
-Durai Raj
Dear Friends,
 
 
 
I wish to share with you an incident of inhumane attack on my wife Mrs.Vimala and I on last Thursday, 16th May 2013 in Salmiyah Block:9 .
 
On 16th @ 7.45 PM, my wife (who was full term pregnant, due for delivery in 2 days) and I were returning from shopping and I was parking our car by the side of our house.
 
I got out of the car and started removing goods purchased from the car. My wife, being pregnant, was slow in getting down from the car. While parking we saw three Arab youngsters  of 20-25 years of age, clad in T-Shirts & jeans in the neighboring car shed. The whole area had not much of lighting. One of the Arab youngsters approached me and asked if I had a lighter, to which I replied in the negative. By that time, the other two youngsters too came near me and one of them asked if I had a cigarette, to which also I replied in the negative.
 
As they were conversing with me, one of them was trying to snatch the gold chain with her ‘thali’ /’mangalsutra’ (which being strong –weighting about 64 grams-did not snap) from my wife’s neck and when I attempted to prevent that, I was pushed down.  My wife too fell down & she was mercilessly dragged by the neck chain for about 1 meter. In the meantime, I managed to get up and started chasing the youngsters. Two of the escaped. However, I managed to catch one of them by his foot, which resulted in his shoe coming off. He too escaped. We both were threatened with knives, but luckily the knives were not used to attack us.
 
I chased them, shouting for help. There were not many people on the road on that day at that time (@ 8 PM), but those who were present and saw the youngsters fleeing, did not even try to catch them.
 
Eventually, I gave up the chase & returned to see my wife, who was lying unconscious, with bleeding from scratches on her right elbow & both her knees. Luckily some people nearby saw her condition and they were trying to sprinkle water on her face and revive her.
 
I had blood coming from scratches on my legs and hands and also from my mouth. I was not in a mood to go to Police station to lodge a complaint, but when all who were trying to help us requested me to lodge the complaint for the sake of public good, I went to Salmiyah Police Station with my wife at @ 9 PM on 16th.
 
When police saw my wife pregnant, they told me to admit her in the hospital and come back. I took her to Sabah Hospital, where doctors asked us how she sustained such injuries etc. and noted down everything and then admitted her and told me that she would only be discharged after she delivered. I came home @ 1 AM on 17th from hospital.
 
I did not go back to Salmiyah Police station, as I was busy, with my wife in hospital, about to deliver etc. Smt.Vimala delivered on 17th at 6.30 PM and she was discharged from Sabah Hospital on 19th, when we were given a paper by Police Officer attached to Sabah Hospital to be taken to Salmiyah Police Station. After leaving my wife & new born child at home, I went to Salmiyah Police Station @ 7.30 PM on 19th. I was asked to bring my wife, which I did @ 10.30 PM on 19th.
 
Officers in Salmiyah Police Station took statements from both of us, which was signed by an Inspector and then we were sent to Criminal Investigation Department, in the 1st floor of same building, where we handed over the statements signed by the Inspector downstairs. We were asked to come back on 20th.
 
When I went to Salmiyah Police Station on 20th @ 8.30 AM, I was asked to bring my wife. Police said she too must accompany me to court in Maidan Hawally. The Magistrate came @ 10 AM, after which we were queried by the Magistrate and our statements were taken down with a help of an English to Arabic Translator.
 
Neither the police nor the court gave any papers in respect of complaint they lodged.
 
I, as an individual, has done all I could.
 
Now I request Indian Associations to bring this incident and other such incidents to the attention of Indian Embassy requesting Embassy to take up this incident and other such incidents with Ministry of Interior so as to prevent their recurrence in areas where Indians live in large numbers.
 
I also request  Salmiyah Residents Coordination Committee, which had organized a Public Awareness Program on 29th Dec 2012 with Col.Bader Al-Mutairi (Area Commander) & other officials from Ministry of Interior, to take up this incident and other such incidents with their contacts in Ministry of Interior to ensure such cases are probed and culprits punished  and more importantly, police surveillance intensified in crime prone areas in Salmiyah & in other areas of Kuwait with heavy expats concentration.
 
I  would also suggest ladies to equip themselves with non-harmful self-defense devices and men to equip themselves to defend themselves and their families within the ambit of laws of Kuwait.
 
Let us unite against robbers & thieves for peace within the parameters of Kuwait's Law.
 
United we stand-Divided we fall.
 
-Durai Raj
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Broken Images: ShabanaAzmi Captivates Audiences in Dual Role

Broken Images:  ShabanaAzmi Captivates Audiences in Dual Role
alt

ShabanaAzmi with her sheer stage presence and powerful histrionics captivated a house full audience in the acclaimed English play, Broken Images, brought to Kuwait courtesy the Al Mulla Exchange. Written by GirishKarnad and directed by AlyquePadamsee, two creative giants, the psychological thriller has Azmi portraying a dual role of two sisters simultaneously.  

In the one hour performance, audiences watched silently as the story unfolded with Azmi playing two facets of the same character. Azmi performing live interacted with herself on a TV screen playing a pre-recorded piece. With no scope for improvisation, timing and technical perfection were key to such an act.

Seasoned actress Azmi, carried off the entire performance flawlessly and received a much deserved standing ovation as the play ended with a high pitched climax.

In an open interactive session with the audience following the play, she spoke about the challenges of the act and shared interesting anecdotes about past performances.

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90 killed as massive tornado rips through Oklahoma

90 killed as massive tornado rips through Oklahoma 
Houston/Washington: Over 90 people, including 20 children, were killed after a monstrous tornado ripped through the US city of Oklahoma, flattening entire neighbourhoods, crushing two elementary schools and turning the area into a war-zone.

The tornado, over a mile wide, ripped through the area yesterday with winds of up to 320 km/h.

Worst hit was Moore, south of the city, where neighbourhoods were flattened and two elementary schools destroyed.

The Oklahoma City Medical Examiner said at least 91 people died, including children, in the tornado and that they expect the death toll to climb.

Two hospitals confirmed they were treating a total of 145 injured, including about 70 children.
The Moore City Police Department said it was impossible to put a final number on fatalities because there was still so much area to search, but officials expected the worst.

"Our hearts are broken for parents who are wondering about the state of their children," said Governor Mary Fallin said.

US President Barack Obama has declared a State of Emergency in Oklahoma and had dispatched federal aid. He spoke with Oklahoma Governor to express his concern for those who have been affected by the severe weather.

The twister, one of several created by a storm system that swept through nation's midsection the past 36 hours, reduced homes and building to rubble.

Fallin deployed 80 National Guard members to assist with rescue operations and activated extra highway patrol officers.

The tornado stayed on the ground for 40 minutes and travelled 32 kilometres.

Several children were pulled alive from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary, but there were no immediate reports of rescues or casualties at another school.

Rescuers are "going house to house and block to block to try and find any survivors that are out there and trapped," said state emergency management spokesman Jerry Lojka.

"We can only imagine that there are still many others there that are unaccounted for," he said.
Lojka said emergency management officials were working from an underground command center in Oklahoma City and did not yet know how many students were in the two elementary schools in Moore that were destroyed.

One emergency responder on the scene who helped a couple of individuals with lacerations on the back and head, as well as an individual with a spine injury, said, "People are crawling from everywhere and anywhere, It's basically just a war zone."

This was the second worst tornado to hit Moore was since 1999 when 36 people were killed. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

Tornadoes were also reported Sunday in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma as part of a storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota.

The National Weather Service said it was tracking "a large and extremely dangerous tornado" just west of Moore. The storm was moving to the northeast, and forecasters said they expected "large, destructive hail up to tennis ball size."

Local media reported heartbreaking scenes in the tornado hit areas.

"This tornado is being compared to the devastating, record-breaking May 3, 1999 tornado that ravaged the same area years ago," local KFOR news channel said.

"This is war-zone terrible," Jon Welsh, a helicopter pilot for KFOR who lives in Moore, said while surveying the damage from the air.

"This school is completely gone," he added.

A KFOR reporter also said four bodies, including that of a seven-month-old baby, were pulled from a 7-Eleven.

Search and rescue operation were going on till late in the night. A teacher told KFOR that she lay on top of six students in the bathroom. All of them were rescued.

With a population of 55,000 according to the 2010 census, Moore is the seventh largest city in Oklahoma. 
- Manorama Online
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IPL spot-fixing: Ex-Ranji player Baburao Yadav arrested

IPL spot-fixing: Ex-Ranji player Baburao Yadav arrestedns
 Former Ranji player Baburao Yadav was on Tuesday arrested in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal even as police said it is likely to seek further custody of three arrested players and some bookies.

Yadav, who was picked up from Delhi on Monday and questioned for his links with arrested player Ajit Chandila, has been placed under arrest, police sources said.

It was Yadav who allegedly introduced Chandila to bookie Sunil Bhatia, who is already arrested, they said.

Police sources also said they will seek custody of three arrested players — Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — and 8 bookies when they will be produced in court as their remand ends on Tuesday.

Two persons, who watched the Rajasthan Royals matches in Chandigarh and Mumbai, had also approached police with complaints of cheating.

BCCI’s anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani, who has been asked to head the probe in spot-fixing by the cricketing body, on Monday held a meeting with Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and other top officials and offered all help.
-The Hindu
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Special Representatives to ensure Depsang-type incidents don’t reoccur

Special Representatives to ensure Depsang-type incidents don’t reoccurns

India, China keen to take the relationship forward in new spheres

India and China expressed a strong desire to resolve pending issues and take the relationship forward in new spheres, such as civil nuclear energy, during two rounds of discussions here on Sunday evening and Monday morning between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The interaction, taking place against the backdrop of a mini-security blanket around a portion of Lutyens’ Delhi to thwart attempts by Tibetan exiles to stage protests, attracted worldwide attention, coming as it did after a three-week face-to-face standoff between troops of the two Asian giants.

A joint statement, however, did not mention Tibet, a staple of joint communiqués China issues with every country. India had last done away with the inclusion of the T- word in 2010 and officials maintained there was no need to bring in Tibet when Beijing was aware of New Delhi’s stance about the region being an inalienable part of China.

In restricted and delegation-level discussions totalling three hours, the two leaders decided to entrust the task of ensuring incidents like Depsang do not reoccur to the two Special Representatives (SRs), who have also been asked to speed up work on demarcating and delineating the border by trying to achieve closure on the second of the three-stage process of resolving the border question.

“We also took stock of lessons learnt from the recent incident in the Depsang sector, when the existing mechanism proved its worth,” explained the Prime Minister in a media statement. .

Mr. Li said both sides “believe we need to improve the border mechanisms that have been put into place and make them more efficient…and the two sides should continue to advance the negotiations on the boundary question and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border area.”

India could not get its way with an upgraded joint mechanism on trans-border rivers to ease its concerns at construction activity on the Chinese portion of the Brahmaputra. But both sides signed a pact — among the eight agreements inked — to increase the frequency of exchange of hydrological data.

There was some progress on the economic front — an area that Beijing maintains is the centre piece of the visit from its point of view — with China holding out the promise of addressing India’s complaints about market access for its three exporting mainstays of IT, pharmaceuticals and food products.

Besides seeking to resolve the issues of border, water and trade through further discussions, the two leaders set milestones for the future by listing new areas of cooperation such as civil nuclear energy and seamless connectivity between Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar. They also sought to bring back to the table areas of cooperation, agreed upon with the previous Chinese leadership of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, such as maritime security, ocean-bed research and tackling non-traditional security threats.
-The Hindu
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Mid-day work outside to stop

Mid-day work outside to stop ns
KUWAIT CITY, May 19: The Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Human Rights and Bedoun Committee, MP Taher Al-Failakawi has disclosed the committee has sent a letter to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor asking it to activate the ministry’s decision which forbids companies to make their employees work outdoors during mid-day during the summer season.

Speaking to reporters after committee meeting Sunday Al-Failakawi added the committee has decided to postpone the discussions on the establishment of the Human Rights Authority until it receives the government report in this regard.

Meanwhile, member of Legislative and Legal Committee, MP Khalid Al-Shatti announced the committee has decided to postpone to another date looking into a draft bill of developing the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area known as the ‘golden triangle’ for more study and to invite the government to listen to the committee opinion in this regard.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Al-Shatti said the committee turned down a request from the Public Prosecution to lift the immunity of MP Saadoun Hamad Al-Otaibi in a case which has been filed against him by Minister of Planning and Development and State Minister of National Assembly Affairs Rola Dashti.

He added the committee unanimously agreed to add a new article to the Monitory and Central Bank Law to regulate the banking grant.

He added the committee also rejected a proposal to organize the situation of Kuwaitis who hold Doctorate degrees from outside academic institution “so as to avoid manipulation in the academic process in Kuwait and protect the educational institution.”

Furthermore, the Public Utilities Committee discussed on Sunday pending amendments to the Municipality laws in the hope of including them on the May 28 session agenda, said MP Ali Al-Omair.
Al-Omair said the committee met with the concerned Municipality officials and discussed increasing penalties for commercial and construction violations, conditions to be imposed on the construction of parking lots, and a law on Municipality elections using 5-constituency and one-vote system.

He added there are considerations to increase the number of Municipality members and creating more Municipality branches throughout the country.
By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff
-Arab Times
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KHRS wants stop to deportation of Expats for traffic violations

KHRS wants stop to deportation of Expats for traffic violations
-Expats have come for better living conditions via legal means
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait Human Rights Society (KHRS) has confirmed news item published in the local dailies recently regarding action taken by the Undersecretary of Interior Ministry to deport some 1,258 expatriates for traffic violations and forged licenses, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

KHRS noted that tough and arbitrary procedures implemented against the residents contradict the basic principles of human right.

In this perspective, KHRS has called on the First Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior to issue a decision to stop the deportation of expatriates who have come to Kuwait in search of better living conditions via legal means, and also refer traffic violators to the concerned authority for legal action.
-Arab Times
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More heads roll in oil sector shakeup

More heads roll in oil sector shakeup
KUWAIT: State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) yesterday made the biggest ever shakeup in the top positions of its eight subsidiaries and a number of leading posts in KPC itself. The major restructuring replaced the managing directors of all the eight subsidiaries of KPC and appointed new executives for companies like Kuwait Oil Co (KOC), the oil production arm of KPC, Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC), which operates the three refineries for Kuwait, and others.

Under the move, KOC managing director Sami Al-Rasheed, the most veteran oil executive, was among top oil officials who lost their jobs. He was replaced by Hashem Hashem. KNPC managing director Fahad Al-Adwah was also among those who were forced to retire and was replaced by Mohammad Al-Mutairi. Maha Mulla Al-Tarkait, the managing director of Petrochemicals Industries Co (PIC), also lost her job to Asaad Al-Saad. Tarkait and several other leading officials at PIC were suspended on Thursday over the $2.2 billion penalty payment to US’ Dow Chemical and the whole issue was referred to the public prosecution.

The latest appointments come after the Cabinet on Thursday dismissed KPC chief executive officer Farouq Al-Zanki and appointed Nezar Al-Adasani to replace him. KPC insisted the decisions were not linked to the political crisis over Dow but aim at restructuring the oil sector to be able to cope with current and future challenges and to inject fresh blood in the sector by giving an opportunity to the second generation of executives. KPC also introduced a new system under which a chairman and a managing director are appointed for each oil company instead of a managing director alone.

Separately, National Assembly Apeaker Ali Al-Rashed said yesterday that HH the Amir told a group of MPs that the government will attend the May 28 parliamentary session after boycotting two sessions in protest against grillings. Rashed was speaking after he led a 17-strong parliamentary team in a meeting with the Amir which reviewed local developments. The government boycotted the Assembly sessions on May 14 and 15 after five MPs filed two separate requests to grill the oil and interior ministers over alleged violations that included the $2.2 billion payment to Dow.

Rashed however insisted that the highly anticipated ruling of the constitutional court on the amendment of the electoral constituency law was not discussed as the issue is totally left to the court and all are obliged to respect its verdict. The speaker also said the Amir told them he is following the great achievements of the Assembly and is very pleased with the achievements. He said members of the delegation were pleased with the satisfaction of the Amir over the achievements.

Meanwhile, Shiite MP Saleh Ashour charged yesterday that some ministers are conspiring against the Assembly with the aim to make it fail. Ashour said that the political situation in the country is unstable and “unfortunately, plots are being hatched against the National Assembly by some ministers in cooperation with some influential people with the aim to make it a failure.” He provided no names.

The lawmaker also criticized the government’s decisions to make key appointments or force senior government bureaucrats who served 30 years and above to retire, adding that the government which has resigned is not allowed to make such important decisions. Ashour also charged that a number of MPs are negotiating with the government to become members in the next Cabinet, describing such moves as a conspiracy. Ashour warned that the government will have to bear the political consequences of continuing to boycott the Assembly sessions.

By B Izzak, Staff Writer
 
-Kuwait Times
==================================

More heads roll in oil sector shakeup

More heads roll in oil sector shakeup
KUWAIT: State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) yesterday made the biggest ever shakeup in the top positions of its eight subsidiaries and a number of leading posts in KPC itself. The major restructuring replaced the managing directors of all the eight subsidiaries of KPC and appointed new executives for companies like Kuwait Oil Co (KOC), the oil production arm of KPC, Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC), which operates the three refineries for Kuwait, and others.

Under the move, KOC managing director Sami Al-Rasheed, the most veteran oil executive, was among top oil officials who lost their jobs. He was replaced by Hashem Hashem. KNPC managing director Fahad Al-Adwah was also among those who were forced to retire and was replaced by Mohammad Al-Mutairi. Maha Mulla Al-Tarkait, the managing director of Petrochemicals Industries Co (PIC), also lost her job to Asaad Al-Saad. Tarkait and several other leading officials at PIC were suspended on Thursday over the $2.2 billion penalty payment to US’ Dow Chemical and the whole issue was referred to the public prosecution.

The latest appointments come after the Cabinet on Thursday dismissed KPC chief executive officer Farouq Al-Zanki and appointed Nezar Al-Adasani to replace him. KPC insisted the decisions were not linked to the political crisis over Dow but aim at restructuring the oil sector to be able to cope with current and future challenges and to inject fresh blood in the sector by giving an opportunity to the second generation of executives. KPC also introduced a new system under which a chairman and a managing director are appointed for each oil company instead of a managing director alone.

Separately, National Assembly Apeaker Ali Al-Rashed said yesterday that HH the Amir told a group of MPs that the government will attend the May 28 parliamentary session after boycotting two sessions in protest against grillings. Rashed was speaking after he led a 17-strong parliamentary team in a meeting with the Amir which reviewed local developments. The government boycotted the Assembly sessions on May 14 and 15 after five MPs filed two separate requests to grill the oil and interior ministers over alleged violations that included the $2.2 billion payment to Dow.

Rashed however insisted that the highly anticipated ruling of the constitutional court on the amendment of the electoral constituency law was not discussed as the issue is totally left to the court and all are obliged to respect its verdict. The speaker also said the Amir told them he is following the great achievements of the Assembly and is very pleased with the achievements. He said members of the delegation were pleased with the satisfaction of the Amir over the achievements.

Meanwhile, Shiite MP Saleh Ashour charged yesterday that some ministers are conspiring against the Assembly with the aim to make it fail. Ashour said that the political situation in the country is unstable and “unfortunately, plots are being hatched against the National Assembly by some ministers in cooperation with some influential people with the aim to make it a failure.” He provided no names.

The lawmaker also criticized the government’s decisions to make key appointments or force senior government bureaucrats who served 30 years and above to retire, adding that the government which has resigned is not allowed to make such important decisions. Ashour also charged that a number of MPs are negotiating with the government to become members in the next Cabinet, describing such moves as a conspiracy. Ashour warned that the government will have to bear the political consequences of continuing to boycott the Assembly sessions.

By B Izzak, Staff Writer
 
-Kuwait Times
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Traffic campaign will continue: Gen Al-Ali – Complaints on citations welcome

Traffic campaign will continue: Gen Al-Ali
– Complaints on citations welcome
KUWAIT: The General Traffic Department welcomes any complaints forwarded by Kuwaitis or foreigners living in Kuwait regarding traffic tickets issued during the ongoing crackdowns against traffic violations. This was revealed by Undersecretary Assistant for the Traffic Department in the Interior Ministry, Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali, who insisted at the same time that a complaint would not be enough to cancel a ticket that has been issued.

Maj Gen Al-Ali made these statements during a meeting with owners of offices running taxis. These owners felt that the recent campaigns have been targeting their vehicles. “The goal behind the ongoing campaign is to enforce the law on the streets,” the senior official said, adding that the crackdowns have revealed that several taxi drivers were involved in illegal activities in which they were using their vehicles.

According to Maj Gen Al-Ali, there are nearly 8,000 taxis in Kuwait, operated by around 500 companies. He explained that violations committed by taxi drivers and detected during the campaigns included failure to produce proper licenses, as well as breaking traffic laws, especially with regards to blocking the traffic. Recent reports indicated that nearly 500 taxis were impounded during the campaigns.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen Al-Ali revealed that 26 buses, 53 tankers and 100 tractor trailers were impounded for committing various traffic violations. The senior official had indicated earlier this week that 1,258 expatriates were deported for committing ‘serious violations’ repeatedly in the first four weeks of the campaign.—Al-Qabas

 
-Kuwait Times
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26 violators held from vegetable market

26 violators held from vegetable market
KUWAIT: On the instructions of Assistant Undersecretary Ministry of Interior Lt General Mahmoud Al-Dawsary, Jahra police, Sulaibiya command, conducted an inspection at the local vegetable market, which resulted in the arrest of 26 violators of the residency law.

The ministry’s security department officials emphasized the importance of security in all governorates and said such inspection activities will continue.

They urged citizens and expats to cooperate with security officials and not hesitate to call emergency number 112 any time they witnessed a crime or an attempt to violate the law. Meanwhile, continuing with the Kuwait Municipality’s campaign against the vendors, the Farwaniya municipality carried out several inspection drives in the governorate in Farwaniya and Khaitan. The campaign resulted in handing out 137 citations to vendors and 17 citations for illegally encroaching upon the public road. A total of 66 oil tins and two gas cylinders were confiscated in the campaign.

Public relations authorities at the Kuwait municipality said that the campaign was aimed at securing the health of citizens and expats and ensuring that no unlawful practice happens on the roads.

By Hanan Al-Saadoun, Kuwait Times Staff
 
-Kuwait Times
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Banks report hacking into clients’ accounts

Banks report hacking into clients’ accounts
KUWAIT: Banking sources revealed that accounts of some of the clients at the local banks were hacked two days back by hackers using advanced programs and hi-tech equipments. The sources also said international hackers could be involved in the episode.

Sources said the hacking was aimed at some clients’ accounts, particularly those who made purchases through the internet, or who shared their codes with unlicensed websites.

Once any client’s account was hacked, an SMS message was sent to the client’s mobile indicating the amount deducted from his account, though he had not bought anything. Sources added that some clients withdrew their money from banks, lest the hackers laid their hands on their savings.

Some clients said they withdrew the money pending a change in their code numbers connected to the accounts. Clients who suffered losses in the hacking attempts have filed complaints with the banks, which have taken on record their remarks and are following it up with the Central Bank.
 
-Kuwait Times
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