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Indian beaten, robbed

Indian beaten, robbed
 
Police are now looking for three unidentified persons who allegedly assaulted and robbed an Indian, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources.
 
The Indian told police he was surprised when the suspects approached him as he does not know any of them.  They took turns in beating him, and then they took his mobile phone, KD150 cash and a gold necklace. 
 
After taking the above mentioned items from the victim, the suspects immediately fled from the scene.  The Indian obtained a medical certificate from Salmiya Clinic before filing a report on the incident at a nearby police station.  He also provided police with a detailed description of the culprits.
 
A case was registered and investigations are ongoing to arrest the thieves.
 
- Arabtimes

President Pranab Mukherjee rejects mercy pleas of four Veerappan associates

President Pranab Mukherjee rejects mercy pleas of four Veerappan associates

With President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting their mercy petitions, the four associates of the slain forest brigand Veerappan could be sent to the gallows within the next fortnight, top government officials here said.
 
Simon, Gnanaprakash, Madaiah and Bilavandra were convicted of killing 22 persons in landmine blasts in Palar. They have been in the Hindalga Central Jail in Belgaum since 2004.
 
Karnataka Additional Director-General of Prisons Gagandeep told The Hindu that the department had received the information of their mercy pleas being rejected from the Union Home Ministry and the same was communicated to the four.
 
As per the procedure, the case would be referred to the session court, which had to fix the date of the execution, which would be usually within 14 days, he said.
 
While the jail authorities closed all doors of official communication to the media, reliable sources said a message about the rejection of the mercy pleas reached them around 2.35 p.m. The sources said the jail authorities were holding a meeting and they had informed the families of the four in Tamil Nadu.

- The Hindu

Police Officer arested for robbery

Police Officer arested for robbery

A police detective who used to break into people’s apartments using his police ID and then rob them was arrested when residents of a building in Ahmadi, whom he was trying to rob, outnumbered and overpowered him and his accomplices. The residents kept them restrained until police arrived at the scene. The two had reportedly collected around KD3000 after the officer used his police ID to intimidate the expatriate residents and then began extracting money threatening physical assault. The residents told the police that yet another accomplice managed to escape. The two were taken to the Fahaheel police station to be held pending legal procedures, while investigations were on to track down the third accomplice.
 
- Kuwait Times

Roaming vendor caught

Roaming vendor caught
 
KUWAIT: Continuing its campaign, the Kuwait Municipality’s Ahmadi branch carried out a drive aimed at checking the menace of roaming vendors in Sabahiya and Rigga area and also in the Al-Julaia Desert. The officials inspected the mobile grocery sellers, carts selling vegetables and fruits besides sellers of charcoal. They also checked camps specially allocated for cafes and for pipe smokers to ensure that they were properly licensed.
 
The campaign resulted in officials confiscating 60 bags of charcoals, 21 cartons of water, two cartons of pepper, three cartons of cauliflowers, two cartons of carrots, three bags of onion, four cartons potato, three cartons orange, six cases of tomatoes, 16 bundles of timber and one motorcycle, two buggies and sent them to the scrap yard.
 
- Kuwait Times

Striking expats warned

Striking expats warned
 
Director of the Labor Relations Department at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Hadi Al-Enezi said that due to the latest sit-ins by expatriate workers demanding salary increases, the ministry will, according to the law, cancel iqamas of sit-in participants and deport them in case public order is violated. Enezi said the private sector labor law stipulated the minimum wage at KD 60, adding that contracts between employer and employee are based on offer and acceptance, which means the employer is free to increase the workers’ salary but the salary should not be below KD 60. He said a worker has the right to transfer from one employer to another if the employer does not agree to the increase the worker is asking for. Enezi added embassies have lauded Kuwait’s system and the government’s procedures.
 
- Kuwait Times

Assam Violence: Toll Rises To 15

Assam Violence: Toll Rises To 15

The toll in Assam’s Goalpara district rose to 15 with violence continuing night-long even as indefinite curfew continued in Krishnai and Mornoi areas today and the army flag-marching affected areas.

The toll in the police firing rose from 12 to 15 on Wednesday, official sources said, without giving details.

Defence sources said the army was conducting flag marches and working in close coordination with the state government with additional columns kept on standby.

Miscreants fired injuring seven persons, including four seriously in Gobindapur Sala area under Goalpara police station area where ten houses were set ablaze while another five were torched at Rangagora and 20 at Paharsinghpara under Mornoi police station, police sources said.

Residents of three villages fled their homes and were sheltering in relief camps, they said.

Groups of people, including women, armed with lethal weapons attacked polling centres during the third and last phase of the panchayat elections on Tuesday.

Ministers Rockybul Hussain, Rajib Lochan Pegu with Agriculture Advisor to chief minister Bhumidhar Barman, were camping in the district.

The ethnic Rabhas and Hasongs supported by Bodo and Garo tribes have been demanding holding of the RHAC elections ahead of the grassroot polls claiming that panchayats would undermine the Council’s authority.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced Rs five lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the police firing, Rs 50,000 for the injured and assistance for rebuilding houses torched.

Nasheed Seeks Refuge in Indian Mission

Nasheed Seeks Refuge in Indian Mission

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed sought refuge in the Indian High Commission after issuance of an arrest warrant by a Maldivian court.

The arrest warrant was issued against him for failure to appear in a local court.

Earlier, as rumours began to do the rounds that Mr.Nasheed has sought refuge, the Ministry of External Affairs officials told The Hindu that “it was not a crisis situation.” Mr. Nasheed was waiting to meet the Indian High Commissioner — who was not at the premises — and that he had not sought refuge in the Indian High Commission.

A reconstruction of the events that began with Mr. Nasheed staying away from the local court is as follows: Since Mr. Nasheed did not appear at the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court for the second hearing in the case of Judge Abdulla Mohamed on February 10, the court order was issued to arrest him on February 11. He was to be produced in the court on February 13. Mr.Nasheed’s legal team appealed in the High Court against the arrest. The High Court accepted the appeal but has not passed a ruling.

Since it appeared that the police were bent on arresting him on Wednesday, Mr. Nasheed made his way to the Indian High Commission. “You cannot call it an arrest,” said President’s spokesperson Masood Imad. “The police have been asked to produce him in Court since he has not responded to summons issued in the case relating to kidnapping of a judge. If the police do not carry out the order, they will be in contempt of court,” he added.

By telling the international press that Mr. Nasheed was in the Indian High Commission, and by creating a scare that the “police might storm the Indian High Commission premises,” the MDP managed to bring focus to the case.

Road closeure announcemnet for Hala February celebrations

Road closeure announcemnet for Hala February celebrations
 
The General Traffic Department has announced that part of the Salem Al Mubarak Street from the Amr Ibn Al-Aas intersection to Centrepoint Complex will be closed beginning from Thursday, Feb 14, 2013, 6:00 pm, due to preparations being carried out for the 2013 Hala February Festival, reports Annahar daily.
- Arabtimes

Indian held for drinking hangs himself to death

Indian held for drinking hangs himself to death
 
KUWAIT: A 32-year-old Indian expatriate committed suicide inside the bathroom of Al-Zour Police Station after he was arrested for consumption of liquor.

According to security sources, securitymen arrested the drunk expatriate during their patrol duty and referred him to the police station.

However, the latter hanged himself using his shirt inside the bathroom of the police station.

His corpse was referred to the Forensics Department and a case was registered for investigations.
 
- Arabtimes

Call for ban on Valentine’s Day

Call for ban on Valentine’s Day
 
KUWAIT: Head of Da’wa and Islamic Sharia Orientation Unit in the Social Reforms Society Dr Essa Al-Zafiri has advised the public to be aware of the dangerous repercussions of adopting non-Muslim practices and celebrations, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

Al-Zafiri also condemned the media hype on such celebrations by inciting people to exchange gifts or SMS on Valentine’s Day — a practice that originated from Rome. He attributed the spread of such practices in Muslim communities to the alleged loss of the Islamic identity amongst some of them. He said celebrating occasions which are not part of Islam is considered an imitation of the West.

He also appealed to the media to refrain from misleading the people, pointing out that the concerned authorities must take serious measures to ban celebrations which are not part of Kuwaiti traditions and customs.
 
- Arabtimes

Robot joins Jahra Hospital to help improve services – First in Kuwait history

Robot joins Jahra Hospital to help improve services – First in Kuwait history
 
KUWAIT: The latest member to join staff at Jahra Hospital is, in the first such development in Kuwait, actually a robot. The new addition is to join ‘scrubs’ at the pediatrics department at the hospital, department director Fahad Al-Enizi said. “The robot would help improve daily operations and monitoring at the department, and would enable diagnosis of many conditions for which there are no specialist departments and doctors at the facility,” he said. “Heads of departments can use it to better direct doctors on duty at odd-hours, monitor staff hours, and get a connection to many health facilities around the world as part of the continuous learning and training policy. “If a patient suffers from a digestive tract ailment, for example, and even with absence of specialists in that area in our hospital, the case is put to the robot, which in turn forwards it to specialists elsewhere for counsel.
 
“In some cases, it enables us to forward sonar imaging data to specialists abroad to determine whether a patient needs medication outside Kuwait, which would cut down cost from present levels. Huge sums are presently involved in the taking of tests and seeking accurate diagnosis and assessment once the patient is already abroad, with the state footing the bill,” he compared.
 
The doctor said the robot would be on a trial period at his department, and an official request for purchase would only be made and presented to the Ministry of Health after feasibility and reliability are verified by the hospital. Jahra Hospital had been the scene for another unique development last month. A new system is now receiving children with chronic conditions who are admitted to hospital often, and the child is directly put in a smart hospital room with special equipment without the need for the red-tape and routine route of going to the ER first.
 
The rooms were prepared entirely through the donation of the doctors of the department.
 
- KUNA

CBI Probe Ordered into Italian Chopper Deal

CBI Probe Ordered into Italian Chopper Deal

The Defence Ministry on Tuesday ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the allegations of bribery and financial irregularities in the Rs. 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal with Italian defence firm Finmeccanica. The 2010 contract involved the supply of 12 Agusta Westland choppers.

Defence Minister A. K. Antony ordered the CBI probe soon after it became known that Giuseppe Orsi, the head of Finmeccanica, was arrested in Milan on Monday in relation to a probe into international corruption.

“He [Orsi] is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes regarding the sale to the Indian government of 12 helicopters produced by Finmeccanica’s subsidiary AgustaWestland,’’ Italian news agency Ansa said.

Prosecutors suspect that around 50 million euros (about Rs 362 crore), about 10 per cent of the contracted amount, were ploughed back as kickbacks to ensure AgustaWestland won the contract, the agency reported.

According to media reports quoted in an AFP despatch from Rome, the Italian police arrested the chief executive of Finmeccanica for corruption and embezzlement in relation to alleged bribes given to the Indian government.

Giuseppe Orsi had been under investigation for months and had denied any wrongdoing in the India deal. The report said the magistrate in the case also issued an order for the head of AgustaWestland, Bruno Spagnolini, to be put under house arrest.

Two suspected intermediaries in the bribes who reside in Switzerland have also been targeted with extradition requests, Italian media reported. Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Monti, said in an interview with Italian television: “Magistrates will do their work. I’m sure they will do it thoroughly and in the best way possible.”

India had inked the deal in February 2010 to acquire a dozen three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for the Indian Air Force’s elite Communication Squadron, which ferries around the President, PM and other VVIPs.

 

Air India offers a Valentine Gift to the ladies of Kuwait!

Air India offers a Valentine Gift to the ladies of Kuwait!
The Maharaja  is pleased to offer the “Ladies Special” on  his flights from Kuwait to Indian Gateway Points of Ahmedabad, Goa, Hyderabad and Chennai as a special gesture to  kick start the International Women’s day Celebration falling on 8th March 2013, with the following features:
 You will get a 10% discount on the base fare  if you are an adult lady passenger and you are purchasing your ticket in February 2013 for travel between Kuwait/India/Kuwait on AI 975/976/981/982 for destinations Ahmedabad, Goa, Hyderabad  and Chennai .
 You can avail it for your one way or return journeys.
 You may start you travel anytime between now and 31st Mar'13

We welcome all our valued Women passengers on board Air India to fly the Maharani way!
 
 
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Head of Italian defence firm held on charges of bribes in India

Head of Italian defence firm held on charges of bribes in India
New Delhi: In a significant development, the head of Italian company Finmeccanica has been arrested in Milan in connection with charges that bribes were paid to secure an Indian defence helicopter deal worth Rs 3600 crore.

"Giuseppe Orsi, the head of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, was arrested on Monday in relation to a probe into international corruption. He is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes regarding the sale to the Indian government of 12 helicopters produced by Finmeccanica's subsidiary AgustaWestland," Italian news agency Ansa said.

The 2010 deal has been under the scanner for more than a year now after Italian media reports suggested the arrest of two alleged middlemen in Europe for paying bribes to secure the deal.

The first three of the 12 AgustaWestland VVIP choppers have already arrived in India and the rest are expected to be supplied to the IAF by the middle of next year.

The Defence Ministry here is awaiting details from Rome after which it will act accordingly, sources said.

After the arrest, the Italian firm said in a statement that "Finmeccanica expresses support for its Chairman and CEO, with the hope that clarity is established quickly, whilst reaffirming its confidence in the Judges."

It added, "With reference to the precautionary measures issued today towards the Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica and the CEO of the controlled Company AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica confirms that operating activities and ongoing projects of the Company will continue as usual."

The Italian firm had pipped American Sikorsky to bag the Rs 3,600 crore deal. In February 2010, India had inked the deal to acquire the 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for IAF's elite Communication Squadron, which ferries around the President, PM and other VVIPs.

Despite initial objections from the finance ministry, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had cleared the deal in 2010.

Defence Minister A K Antony had then said, "IAF and SPG repeatedly told us the helicopters were required because of the changing security scenario... the finance ministry also agreed later. The CCS then took a considered decision."

As per earlier media reports, "slush money" allegedly generated by Finmeccanica through arms contracts was used to bribe Italian political parties. The Indian VVIP helicopter deal has also come in for some mention in the reports.

After the allegations came to light, India had sought reports from the Italian investigators about their probe in the issue but no specific details were provided to it.

In Parliament, Defence Minister A K Antony had said that if any wrongdoing is found in the case, "suitable penalty measures" will be taken by the Ministry.

Antony had said the Defence Ministry was pursuing the matter and committed to take suitable penalty measures in event of allegations being substantiated.

"However, in absence of any specific information in this regard, government has not ordered any formal inquiry into the case so far," he said.
 
- Manorama Online
==================================

Ministry denies the zebra meat rumors

Ministry denies the zebra meat rumors
 
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Kuwait Municipality has denied rumors which have been spread by some networking sites that restaurants in Kuwait serve zebra meat, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.
 
Member of the Municipal Council Abdullah Al-Kandari has denied reports which quoted him as saying he had spotted zebra meat in one of the restaurants.
 
The daily added, the councilor has threatened to file a lawsuit against the person who has spread the rumors in his name.
 
However, a religious personality Hai Al-Hai was quoted as saying eating zebra meat is permissible, unlike the meat of donkey which is ‘haram’ in Islam.
 
- Arabtimes

Pope Benedict XVI announces resignation

Pope Benedict XVI announces resignation
 
Pope Benedict XVI, in a historic speech pronounced at the Vatican on Monday said he had decided to resign. This is the first time a Pope has decided to step down in 600 years. He said he was resigning in “full freedom” and would devote the rest of his life to prayer. The Pope said he no longer had “the strength of body or mind” to “fully serve the Petrine Ministry.
 
Pope Benedict XVI, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger before he assumed Pontifical office on 19 April 2005, made the declaration in Latin, during a consistory in the Vatican.
 
The Holy See’s spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi said the resignation would go into effect at the end of the month. “The Pope has announced he will give up his ministry at 8 pm on the 28th of February. That is when the period known as “sede vacante” or the Empty Chair will commence”. The next Pope will be elected before Easter which this year falls on March 31. The voting could well begin during Holy Week which begins on March 24.
 
In his speech, later relayed by Vatican Radio, the 85-year-old Pontiff explained that he had decided to step down “after having examined my conscience before God several times. I am convinced that my strength, given my advanced age, no longer allows me to fully exercise my ministry. In the present world, prey to constant change, the vigour of mind and body are also necessary to navigate Saint Peter’s boat and advance the Faith. I have lacked this strength these past months and I have been obliged to admit my incapacity to properly govern the ministry confided to me.”
 
Shock waves rippled across the world at this completely surprising, unexpected and unprecedented announcement. Believers flocked to the Vatican and to churches and cathedrals in most major cities in Europe. At the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris many faithful Catholics openly wept.
 
Pope Benedict XVI is the first German to be elected Pope since the eleventh century. On 16 April he will turn 86. Born to a modest and deeply Catholic Bavarian family, he entered the seminary in 1939, the year he joined Hitler’s youth movement – obligatory at the time. Known to be an eminent theologian, he was Archbishop of Munich and Freising in Germany’s most wealthy and eminently Catholic Bavaria from 1977 to 1981. Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to head the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. His conservative views had earned him the nickname of “Pope John Paul II’s Rotweiler”.
 
- The Hindu

North Korea conducts third nuclear test

North Korea conducts third nuclear test
 
A magnitude 5.1 “artificial earthquake” was reported near a nuclear test site in North Korea on Tuesday morning, with South Korean Defence Ministry officials telling local media that the seismic activity was the result of a third nuclear test conducted by the reclusive state.
 
The “man-made earthquake” was also reported to have been felt in parts of northeastern China near the border with North Korea, close to the region where the country tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009 in moves that flouted international sanctions and heightened regional tensions.
 
A third nuclear test was expected by Chinese and Western officials sometime this week, with Saturday – the birthday of former leader Kim Jong-il – earlier seen as a likely date.
 
Warnings ignored
 
The reported test has, however, not yet been confirmed by North Korean State media. But only on Monday, Kim Jong-un, who took over as the new leader in December 2011 following the death of his father, signalled that the North – officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – would continue with conducting long-range rocket tests despite recent warnings from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and even China, the North’s only ally.
 
The ruling Workers’ Party of Korea adopted a resolution on Monday that “stressed the need to continue launching satellites of Kwangmyongsong series and powerful long-range rockets,” the State-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
 
Seismic activity was detected at 11.57am local time (8.27 am IST) on Tuesday morning, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency said. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had “convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council”, with both Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry officials believing a nuclear test had been conducted, the report added.
 
Yonhap also reported that the North had notified the United States and China a day earlier. Chinese officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday morning, with some government departments remaining closed on account of the Lunar New Year.
 
South Korea’s reaction
 
South Korea has requested the UNSC to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening, an official told Yonhap. A Defence Ministry official said the nuclear device had, according to initial estimates, yielded 6-7 kilotons, suggesting Tuesday’s test had exceeded the yields reported in tests in 2006 and 2009.
 
The move is set to heighten regional tensions. The previous nuclear test, in 2009, brought international condemnation and tightened sanctions from the UNSC.
 
In recent weeks, Chinese officials have said they had cautioned the North against going ahead with the test. While Beijing has continued to support the regime as it fears instability on its northeastern borders, Chinese analysts and State media have recently called on the country to take a tougher approach in dealing with the North.
 
- The Hindu

Vinodhini, Karaikal acid attack victim, dies

Vinodhini, Karaikal acid attack victim, dies
 
Vinodhini, the 23-year-old victim of an acid attack on November 14 died at a private hospital in chennai around 9.10 a.m. on Tuesday.
 
A youth, who had professed love for J. Vinodhini, a B. Tech graduate, accosted her on the way to the bus terminus in Karaikal near Puducherry and threw nitric acid at her. Vinodhini who was accompanied by her father, Jayapal, a watchman in a private school in Karaikal, sustained serious injuries to her face, stomach, arms and shoulder. She was rushed to a private hospital and later to JIPMER in Puducherry for treatment. The next day she was refered to Government Kilpauk Hospital for treatment.
 
After several surgeries over a months' time, she was shifted to a private hospital in Kilpauk for further specialised treatment.
 
With resources running out, her family took her to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital last month. But within two days she was again moved to the private hospital.
 
Plastic surgeon V. Jayaraman, who treated her till the end said had responded to treatment even on Monday.
 
"We did our best, but she had a cardiac arrest. We tried to revive her twice," he added.
 
Her uncle Ramesh was inconsolabe. "We tried so hard to ensure treatment but she is gone," he said.
 
A request has been sent to the Karaikal police to come to Chennai and complete the formalities. The body will be handed over to the family after the post-mortem, which is expected to be performed at KMC.
 
- The Hindu

Waiting period for MRI appointment reduced

Waiting period for MRI appointment reduced

 

The waiting period for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) appointment has been reduced to two weeks, reports Al-Nahar daily quoting Minister of Health Dr Mohammed Al-Haifi as saying. In a statement after a meeting with the directors of health zones and hospitals, Al-Haifi added that work is underway to cover employee deficiency in the hospitals. He noted the clinics for casualties will be inaugurated at health centers in the coming period.

 

Meanwhile, the Director of Ahmadi Health Area Fahad Al-Foudari disclosed the development plan of Al-Adan Hospital and the health centers will be implemented over a period of five years at a cost of 70 million dinars. The projects also involve rehabilitation works at health centers affiliated to the zone and KD 280,000,000 has been allotted for execution. In other development, the Director of Al-Sabah Health Area Adel Al-Osfour said Behbehani Center for Bone Marrow Implant will be inaugurated in two weeks.

 

- Arabtimes

Govt doing its best to improve services: Kuwait

Govt doing its best to improve services: Kuwait
 
Dubai: Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Muba-rak Al-Sabah said Monday that the state is doing all in power to ameliorate public services and improve performance of government bodies. In statements to KUNA on the sidelines of his participation in the Government Summit 2013, kicked off here Monday, Sheikh Moha-mmad added that the state is exerting great efforts to eradicate bureaucratic procedures in government agencies.
 
The Minister noted that Kuwait is studying the best practice-examples in this regards from all over the world to apply what suits it. The Government Summit aims to draw expertise from around the world and act as a platform for innovation and knowledge sharing. Billed as the largest government gathering in the Arab world, the summit has attracted 2,500 participants and will include speakers from specialized research centers in government development in Denmark, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Brazil, as well as the Middle East.
 
- Arabtimes
 
 
 
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