Kuwait Local News

Amir leaves for Bahrain to attend GCC summit

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will leave for Bahrain today leading a Kuwaiti official delegation to attend the 37th Summit of the GCC Supreme Council and GCC leaders’ meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The summit is held amid quite significant regional challenges, affirmed Abdullatif Al-Zayani, the GCC Secretary General. These political, security and economic challenges warrant solidarity and cooperation among all the GCC member states and relentless action to attain merger among them, Zayani said in an interview broadcast by the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) yesterday.

He indicated that agenda of the GCC summit, due on Tuesday, includes various files related to political, economic, security and social cooperation, as well as examining reports filed by the Ministerial Council, committees and the General Secretariat.

Challenges
Current economic conditions constitute some of the major challenges facing the GCC states, he said. The GCC countries had already taken steps at this level, endorsing the joint economic treaty, setting up the common market and the customs union.
Elaborating, Zayani re-affirmed the GCC states’ resolve to face security threats. “They will not hesitate to take all necessary measures to safeguard their security, stability and defend their sovereignty and interests,” he stressed.

The GCC countries have taken an unwavering approach for upgrading their security and military potentials for defense purposes and safeguarding achievements that have been made throughout the years, Al-Zayani added.
He rejected, anew, foreign intervention in the regional countries’ affairs for such meddling contradicts with international laws and threatens the Gulf security and stability, noting the UN prime role in this regard.

On the Syrian refugees’ plight, he underscored the GCC countries’ efforts at the public and private levels to help them, noting that the GCC states along with other countries had pledged more than $7 billion to aid the Syrians. Kuwait had hosted three international conferences grouping countries pledging support for the Syrians affected by the war. A fourth one was held in London.

Regarding Yemen, Al-Zayani said the GCC countries had given substantial financial support for the legitimate government to help it deliver relief supplies to those in need in the war-stricken nation. For its part, Saudi Arabia had established King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid to coordinate humanitarian operations in Yemen, with a special budget estimated at one billion Saudi riyals.

Integration
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah yesterday expressed confidence that the summit will come up with resolutions to promote the pan-GCC integration, and joint action. These will be topped with carrying on with implementation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s ‘Vision 2030’ for accelerating the pace of cooperation among the member states, and enhancing the bloc’s joint action, Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifah said in a press statement.

He noted that the GCC Ministerial Council in 2016 approved measures for the completion of the Monarch’s wise vision, and the leaders endorsed the formation of a joint commission to reactivate economic and development.

The Bahraini chief diplomat pointed to the pivotal role the GCC member states play on the regional and international scenes. The 37th Summit will be a good chance to consolidate this role, and further boost security and stability in the region, to maintain unity, development, and prosperity in the region.

Concluding the statement, Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifah praised the Saudi King’s presidency of the 36th Summit held in Riyadh in December 2015, which has helped achieve remarkable steps for the GCC march, to continue with strong resolute in the Manama summit till the bloc realizes the aspired integration and unity.

Tension
In the meantime, MPs of the Bahraini Council of Representatives have affirmed the importance of the upcoming GCC Summit in facing the rising political, security and economic tension in the region. The MPs agreed in various statements that the current unstable conditions in the Arab World, mainly the escalation of terrorism and the economic situation in the Gulf countries due to the drop in oil prices, require the GCC states to unite.

Creating unity between the GCC countries will prevent any outer intervention in the Gulf’s own issues, said MP Nasser Al-Qaseer. The Gulf states have the ability to become one of the top economic powers, as they possess huge financial abilities, strong infrastructure and opportunities for attracting foreign investments, he added.

MP Mohammad Al-Amadi said meanwhile that the GCC citizens are looking forward for the outcome of the 37th summit, hoping the leaders would take measures to create a Gulf union to face the growing challenges and threats in the region. Sharing one language is a key factor to create a strong economic union, he said.

On this matter, he mentioned the successful experience of the European Union (EU), despite countries of different languages and backgrounds. Meanwhile, MP Jamal Dawoud noted the importance of discussing means of resolving the unemployment issues among youth through executing joint-GCC economic projects.
Unity
In the meantime, Bahraini Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Humoud bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are heading towards a level of unity and further development. He further stressed the importance of the 37th GCC Summit to be held in Riyadh tomorrow, amidst the rising political, economic and security tension in the region. The ambassador hoped the summit will result in establishing the sought and the long-awaited Gulf union to face the challenges and threats and boost economy among the GCC states. – KUNA

Community News

Report on Kuwait Super Dancer Season-2

Our students took part in the Kuwait Super Dancer season-2 held on Friday 10th November 2017 at Indian Central School. Our students made us proud and won many laurels. Miss. Aishwarya Gopakumar of class 6 E won the title “Super Dancer”. Her prizes included a trophy, certificate and Air –Ticket from India – Kuwait.

The students who took part in the group dance won the 2nd & 3rd prizes. The students who participated are:

2nd prize  

AMRITA VINOD RAJAN

IV -B

ADVAITA UNNIKRISHNAN

II -B

ANAGHA SHAIJU

III -A

ANLYN MARIA JOPHY

IV -C

NIVEDITA NARENDRAN MENON

II  -B

SHRUTI  KRISHNA

II- B

STENY ANNA SUGEL

III -B

 

3rd  prize  

AISHWARYA GOPUKUMAR

VI E

GAURI THAMATTOOR

VI E

SHREYA KRISHNA

VI A

RACHEL ANN JACOB

VI B

LAVNYA NAIR

VI A

NAVYA SHYAMASUNDARA

VI A

We are so proud of our students and wish them great success in their future endeavors as well.

Viral

Man Walks Leopard On Leash Like It’s No Big Deal

Bizarre CCTV footage shows a man casually taking a leopard on a leash for a walk. The surveillance footage is reportedly from an apartment building in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod and captures the man nonchalantly walking with the leopard. According to local media reports, the man’s neighbours are upset – and if we may add, understandably so – that the man has a big cat as a “pet.” They say it’s irresponsible for him to have a wild animal as a pet and keep it locked up indoors, especially as there are many young children that live in the building and play in a playground right outside.

In the footage, the unlikely duo are seen only briefly as the man walks down a flight of stairs with the leopard in tow and exits the building. The entire time, the big cat is surprisingly calm.

Russia Beyond quotes one of the man’s neighbours as saying that the man regularly walks his “pet” – no muzzle in sight.

“People are amazed. Despite the fact that many young families with children live in the house, it does not bother the leopard’s owner. A leopard, a predatory animal that can attack at any moment and gobble you up, walks around without a muzzle,” the unnamed neighbour says.

According to RT, the paw prints left by the leopard in the playground’s sandbox have become a “regular and worrying sight” for the building’s residents, who fear the big cat might break free from its owner and maul the children.

However, the man insists there’s nothing wrong in treating the leopard as a housecat.

“The animal is completely tame, it doesn’t bite, doesn’t jump at anybody… It has never happened. There is no danger,” the man tells Nizhny Novgorod’s Kstati News.

Watch the video below:

While it’s unclear whether the man has a permit to keep the leopard at home, RT reports that the regional veterinary authority says that it had not granted any permit and was previously unaware of the leopard wandering the streets of the city.

The man’s worried neighbours are planning to file a police report.

Viral

Giant Panda Cub Takes His First Steps. Cuteness Overload

Because we know you’re probably dreading heading back to work (or school, or college) on Monday, here’s something to brighten your Sunday. Mini Yuan Zi, a fluffy baby panda born this summer at a zoo in France, just took his first steps. And luckily for all of us, it was all captured on camera. If you’re looking to load up on some Monday motivation, watching the determined little guy put one paw in front of the other and take his first steps might just help.

Mini Yuan Zi (sometimes spelt Mini Yuan Zai) was born on August 4 at Beauval zoo in central France. He’s the first giant panda to be born in France.

The three-month-old panda is named after his father, Yuan Zi. As per Chinese tradition, pandas receive their official name 100 days after their birth.

Watch Mini Yuan Zi take his first steps below:

 

World

‘My Sons Love Hunting, I Don’t’: Trump’s Soft Spot For Elephants

Conservationists who have a visceral emotional reaction to words like “carbon emissions” and “TransCanada” and “Rick Perry” rarely find themselves closely allied with President Donald Trump’s opinions on the proper stewardship of the planet.

Trump has consistently dismantled Obama-era environmental protections, using the common refrain that his administration desires to “better balance conservation strategies and policies with the equally legitimate need of creating jobs for hard-working American families.”

So, some who’ve criticized Trump might have done a double take when they read one of his tweets Friday morning. The message effectively put the brakes on a new administration policy that would allow American hunters to bring pieces of recently slaughtered African elephants back to the United States:

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

But Trump’s opposition to big-game hunting isn’t new. Just ask Cher.

In 2012, the outraged celebrity tweeted a story with a picture of Donald Trump Jr., a belt of ammunition around his hips, posing with slain animals: an elephant, a leopard and a water buffalo, among others.

Cher’s point was clear from the Gothamist headline: “Photos: Donald Trump’s Sons Awesome At Killing Elephants And Other Wildlife.”

But the elder Trump took to Twitter to set the record straight:

“@cher Old story, one of which I publicly disapproved. My sons love hunting, I don’t.”

The younger Trump, on the other hand, has consistently defended his hunting from occasionally profane critics, saying he’s not going to let fear of the “PETA crazies” stop him from posting hunting pictures.

The president’s tweet led to the quick – and likely fleeting – redrawing of a few battle lines. It was also part of a quick-moving flurry of activity regarding African elephants this week.

As The Washington Post wrote, on Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to end a 2014 ban on big-game trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Its justification was that killing elephants and bringing pieces of their corpses back to the United States to grace hunters’ dens would help the species. Coincidentally, helping the species is the only way that hunters can legally bring elephant trophies back to the United States.

The ruling, and its justification, angered environmentalists and elephant lovers.

In a tweet, Fox News host Laura Ingraham expressed her dismay, writing, “I don’t understand how this move by @realDonaldTrump Admin will not INCREASE the gruesome poaching of elephants. Stay tuned.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce, R-Calif., suggested that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s move could pump money into Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest after a military coup.

“In this moment of turmoil, I have zero confidence that the regime, which for years has promoted corruption at the highest levels, is properly managing and regulating conservation programs,” Royce said. “Furthermore, I am not convinced that elephant populations in the area warrant overconcentration measures.”

It was unclear if Trump had heard the words of elephant lovers or his fellow Republicans, but he thumbed out the tweet saying the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision was on hold.

His tweet had environmentalists thanking the president.

Trump’s stance on hunting is more closely allied with that of Democrats. As The Post wrote last year, “Animal welfare remains an issue more heartily embraced by Democrats, however, who tend to be less tight with farming and gun-rights groups that are often at odds with animal- and wildlife-protection organizations.”

Kuwait Local News

ICRC celebrates their 25th anniversary in Kuwait

The 25th anniversary of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regional mission in Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be marked on Monday, in an event reflecting the ICRC strong relationship with Kuwait.

The event will bring together all entities supporting the ICRC over the last 25 years in its humanitarian mission to alleviate the suffering of many people due war, armed conflicts, and natural disasters.

On this occasion, the committee cooperated with Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti Fine Artist Amira Behbehani to gather prominent Kuwaiti women to discuss the challenges faced by women during wars in a closed conference tomorrow.

The headquarters of the ICRC’s regional mission in Kuwait was opened in 1991 and officially launched its work in the GCC region through the Kuwaiti headquarters since that time.

The first and main objective of establishing the headquarters of the regional mission in Kuwait was to visit and protect the prisoners and search for the missing persons in the Gulf War 1990-1991.

The ICRC expanded their work significantly in the GCC region thanks to the support and cooperation of the Kuwaiti authorities and their close partnership with the Kuwait Red Crescent Society.

They are working with several government agencies in the region to improve conditions, develop services of prisoners in the Gulf countries, and raise awareness on the international humanitarian law.

The regional mission also plays a major role in supporting ICRC humanitarian operations in Yemen through its Muscat office and the Salalah logistics center.

Kuwait is one of the first Arab countries to provide financial and diplomatic support for the ICRC’s humanitarian and relief work in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Over the past years, Kuwait has become one of the most important donors to the ICRC.

Since April 12, 1991, the Committee has chaired a tripartite committee including Iraq, Kuwait and the Coalition countries to investigate the fate of persons not identified during the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) through the regional mission is the first international humanitarian organization to participate in charitable societies in Kuwait through the establishment and organization of the Kuwait International Forum for Humanitarian Work since 2014.

Kuwait Local News

Indian duo held with 14 kilos marijuana

Customs officers at the Sa’ad Al-Abdullah International Airport have arrested two Indians who arrived from an unidentified GCC country for attempting to smuggle 14 kilos of marijuana into the country, reports Al-Rai daily.

The daily added, the drugs were neatly hidden inside a bag. The suspects and the contraband have been referred to the General Department for Drugs Control.

Meanwhile, the Ahmadi police have arrested an Indian, identified only as A. K., for trading in booze and handed him over to the General Department for Drugs and Alcohol Control, reports Al-Anba daily. The man was seized with 6 bottles of whisky.

 

Kuwait Local News

TV anchor acquitted in fake news case

The Court of Cassation has acquitted television presenter Ayesha Al-Rashid of broadcasting and spreading fake news, charges which she denied vehemently. Previously, the Criminal Court sentenced Al-Rashid to three years in jail and imposed guarantee of KD 1,000 to suspend implementation of the verdict. Al-Rashid, in her capacity as news presenter in one of the channels on Twitter together with the producer of the channel, was accused mentioning than an Iranian general entered Kuwait during the last power blackout which hit the country.

Kuwait Local News

‘Plan to cut down number of expats irks visa traders’

Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, the State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al- Sabeeh denied that visa traders or influential people are keeping the pressure on her to prevent implementation of the plan to cut down the number of expatriates, reports Al- Rai daily.

She stated irregularities detected in the sector were referred to the General Investigation Department. She noted some 337 violations recorded since the beginning of 2017 have been referred to investigation, and that 302 lawsuits were filed of which 150 are pending in court while 58 have already been judged.

Meanwhile, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said the number of expatriates working in ministries and government institutions will be gradually reduced.

Senior ministerial sources said the government has given a green light to the concerned authorities to reduce the number of expatriates in government institutions upon a recommendation of the Supreme Committee which was formed to amend the demographic structure of the country.

The committee is chaired by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and the Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh.

The sources said the Committee continues its work vigorously and has taken effective measures to address the imbalance in the demographics without disturbing the labor market and development projects and the needs of the private sector.

The sources pointed out the Public Authority for Manpower has also called upon the government institutions to reduce the number of expatriates in ministries and government institutions by 25 percent in areas of security and cleaning works.

Al-Rai daily said the CSC in conformity with its own policy has ended the services of 20 non-Kuwaitis out of the 106 in the legal, accounting and media departments.

The CSC aims to Kuwaitize the entire commission by next year and set an example and be a role model for others to follow as long as there are Kuwaitis who can do the job that is currently being done by non-Kuwaitis.

Furthermore, the Supreme Committee which was formed to address the demographic imbalance in the country has recommended many ways to make the numbers of Kuwaitis more than the expatriates in the labor market, reports Al-Rai daily.

The recommendations include restriction on the recruitment of domestic workers by imposing higher fees, reducing the number of permits for individual sponsors from five to three per year, and toughening the penalty on violators of residence law by 4 dinars each day and a maximum 1,000 dinars.

The committee has announced steps, procedures and mechanisms to limit the increase in the number of expatriates, which exceeds three times the number of citizens.

The tough measures have resulted in the deportation of 1,238 hawkers and suspension of 1,529 files which was the outcome of security campaigns and the inspections of premises organized by the Interior Ministry and the Public Authority for Manpower to seize violators of residence and labor laws.

 

Kuwait Local News

Govt spares no efforts to curb e-crimes; 3,500 cases tackled

The e-Crimes Department of the Criminal Investigations Department spares no efforts to arrest those who intend to commit electronic crimes which are punishable by law to protect the public, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting knowledgeable security sources.

The sources revealed the e- Crimes Department has dealt with 3,500 different cases during the first ten months of this year including cases of insult and abuse which come in first place. In spite of the great technological progress, the country still suffers from technical shortcomings, and the current systems at the Ministry of Communications do not meet the security needs of the state, which prevents the disclosure of many issues and with it the loss of rights of many people, the sources said.

The sources added the e-Crimes Department — in cooperation and coordination with the departments concerned, both at the local and international level — have closed dozens of accounts against public morality, and other accounts created with the aim of insulting and arousing suspicion. The sources pointed out there are organized international gangs targeting citizens and residents in Kuwait, who managed to deceive them and take pictures of them while they are in indecent positions and then blackmailed them by requesting large sums of money from them, to avoid publishing pictures.

The sources also said the hackers managed to penetrate into corporate accounts, and called for precautionary measures when doing any e-commerce business. Meanwhile, investigators at the Department of Combating Money Laundering Crimes has referred to the prosecution a senior officer who coordinates between the American camps in the country and the commercial companies that deal with them, reports Al-Rai daily.

A security source said the senior officer is charged with suspected crimes of bribery in order to facilitate the way to companies to sign contracts with the camps for a margin of profit. Security sources said the Prosecution has released the suspect on KD 2,000 bail after holding him for four days to complete interrogations and investigation, which are still open to find out if he worked alone or there are other partners.

The details of the case, according security sources, say the camps of the American forces in Kuwait deal with many companies to run their interests in vital areas, including nutrition, maintenance, employment and logistical needs, therefore it was necessary to have a coordinator to facilitate business relations between these camps and the companies that deal with them, led by Kuwaiti officers, and among them the suspected senior officer. The source added the first complaints were sent by some companies dealing with US forces to the Office of the Interior Assistant Undersecretary for Criminal Security Affairs Major General Khalid Al-Dayeen.

The complaints were about strict security and inspection measures to the extent of looking for the data and files in cell phones, all of which made by the senior officer and not the Americans. The complaints included accusations against the senior officer of putting pressure to get bribes that sometimes amounted KD 5,000 to facilitate the procedures and help in signing contracts. Investigations revealed manifestations of sudden richness, in a short time, which raised the suspicion around the senior officer. Investigations also revealed that he already received bribes amounting to KD 5,000 in exchange for facilitating transactions and the removal of arbitrary measures. According to sources the charges against the officer are supported by audio and video clips.

Kuwait Local News

MP VOWS DEADLINE CALL TO CANCEL REVERSAL

The Ministry of the Interior in a press release has said the Ministry has neither postponed nor cancelled the activation of Article 207 of the Traffic Law.

According to the law the vehicle will be impounded for two months in addition to the monetary fine if the motorist is caught speaking on the phone by hand or if the motorist does not wear the seat belt or if the vehicle is parked on the sidewalk hindering movement of the pedestrians.

Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Interior Ministry Major-General Fahd Salem Al-Shuwae said that the Directorate General of the General Traffic Department is continuing to implement the decision firmly. However, the GTD will take into account humanitarian cases — cases of women, the elderly, people with special needs and families.

It is unreasonable to detain the car in such cases. He explained, “Our goal of implementing the decision is to maintain the safety of citizens and residents.” Since the implementation of the decision accident rates fell from 375 on Nov 14 to 264 on Nov 15. The traffic violations decreased from 4,000 to just 150 violations about vehicles parking on sidewalks since the activation of Article 207 of the Traffic Law. The official stressed the vehicles will not be impounded for two months in all cases, but a maximum is two months which can be extended to two or more months depending on the record of the violator and the extent of his commitment to traffic rules and ethics. That will be done by taking into account the circumstances of each violation separately.

The official pointed out in case a vehicle is impounded and the vehicle does not belong to the motorist, the vehicle shall be towed and the duration of impounding the vehicle shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. Al- Shuwae said there is ongoing coordination and consultation between Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and members of the National Assembly through legislative channels to work on tightening penalties and fines for some serious violations to protect our children and youth. In the first parliamentary reaction to the decision of the Ministry of Interior to continue impounding vehicles if the driver uses mobile phone by hand while driving or if the driver and front seat passenger do not wear seatbelts; MP Riyadh Al-Adsani said the National Assembly does not grant immunity to the prime minister or any minister so in case acting Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah returns to the Cabinet, he will be given a deadline to cancel the decision.

The Interior Ministry decided to stop impounding vehicles for the abovementioned violations a day after its implementation as the lawmakers and citizens opposed the decision. The first day of implementation resulted in the impounding of more than 800 vehicles. Earlier on Sunday, Director General of the Public Relations and Security Media Department in the ministry Brigadier Adel Al-Hashash disclosed that Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah has confirmed continuation of implementing the decision. He made the statement when the Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Traffic Department (GTD), held a press conference to clarify the recent procedures.

Major General Fahad Al-Shuwaie said Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah has instructed all members of the Traffic Sector to apply the decision without complacency. He asserted, “Most traffic accidents happen because drivers use mobile phones by hand while driving; while many motorists suffer from serious injuries during accidents because they are not wearing seat belts. The decision to impose fines for these violations did not yield the desired results.” He added other decisions will be taken later in order to protect road users. Meanwhile, MP Mohammed Al- Huwailah stressed that the health of citizens is a red line and the State should not allow the entry of food items from any country without strict control in accordance with international standards.

Al-Huwailah said the standards of healthy food should not be compromised and the Egyptian or non-Egyptian food items which do not meet the criteria must be banned. He added the existing food testing mechanism is insufficient due to the need to be absolutely certain that the percentage of residue of pesticides for agricultural products or radiation for canned and processed food items is within the internationally permissible limits.

He pointed out this requires the use of advanced equipment to complete laboratory examination as soon as possible so as not to impede the entry of goods and prevent damages to the items as a result of waiting for a long period. He called for ensuring strategic stock of various food commodities to prevent shortage, considering the tension in the region which necessitates full preparation for any emergency. He pointed out acting Minister of Health Jamal Al-Harbi and acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid Al-Roudhan exerted tremendous efforts to address the recent onion price crisis, but more transparency is needed. He said the Food Authority is operating freely and clearly according to regulations on protecting the health of consumers.