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.
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.
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.
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.
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
They say when life gets tough, you get tougher. And 19-year-old Neetu is a true example of exactly that. Back when she had just passed her eighth grade, her father asked her to discontinue her education.
“We don’t have the money for it,” is what he said.
But she had the desire to study and found a way to fund her own education.
Coming from a small village in Rajasthan, her only option was to start selling milk. She would wake up at 4 AM, every single day, and carry milk on her shoulders. She would cover 5 kilometres, each side, on foot, to make money by selling that milk. She would then go to school only to repeat the whole thing again for an evening round of milk delivery.
Today, she is doing her BA and has enrolled herself for a certificate course in Information Technology.
She managed to save enough money to buy herself a bike, something that has made the delivery relatively easier than before. Talking to HT, she said:
“I think there’s nothing that a girl cannot do. When I began riding a bike, people in the village mocked me. My father dissuaded me from doing what I do. ‘It’s not right for the girls to roam around like this,’ he said, but I was determined to continue my education and find funds for it.”
Every single day for her is taking her closer to realizing her ultimate dream of becoming a teacher. She earns about ₹12,000 in a month and is still working extremely hard to make sure that she can learn more, know more and do more.
Three Asian expatriates died after inhaling gas while manufacturing liquor inside a store in Sulaibikhat area. According to a security source, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received a call from a resident in the area about a strong smell of gas in the vicinity of the rented building, a patrol team rushed to the location. They then sent a request to the Rescue Center of the General Department of Civil Defense. The three corpses have been referred to the Forensics Unit.
Securitymen arrested 17 Ethiopians for running a fake domestic labor office. These 17 suspects were reported as absconding and some of them are wanted by law.
According to a security source, the gang that run the office was cheating Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates, and providing shelter and illegal employment to runaway domestic workers.
Police discovered that the gang has been swindling citizens and expatriates who go to the office for domestic workers, under the impression that it is licensed when in reality the office is illegal, which was proven from forged receipts. The suspects were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action.
“Maryam” application is the newest controversial game, with a basic rhetoric of attempting to lead a lost girl back to her home by asking the player a series of personal questions based on psychological implications and fear factors.
This brings back to mind the infamous suicide-enabling “Blue Whale” application, which cost many disturbed teenagers their lives worldwide.
Maryam App had spread fear in social media, as it requires allowing access to the personal settings of the players in order to know their names, besides other personal information. The App has similar interacting effect on the player as Blue Whale; while the latter attempts to work on the suicide of the player, ‘Maryam’ is not.
It is based on social engineering and depends on smartness, in addition to automated information analysis through a conversation between the App and the player. ‘Maryam’ depends on physiological implications and fearful sound and visual effects, cyber security and electronic crimes’ expert Major Raed Al-Roumi told KUNA.
The player is asked to turn off the lights and increase the volume, as there is a set of questions and demands given on a daily basis, and if the player refrains from following them, the game ends automatically, he noted.
The App would ask personal questions, like the name and address of the player, as well as political-oriented questions. This game violates laws of banning the publishing of immoral sites, he added. Al-Roumi, along with a group of electronic experts launched a wide attack in social media to access the game, delete and change the questions to cope with the traditions of the Gulf society, which caused the game to stop for several days.
The App came again after deleting the immoral scenes, as well as other controversial questions. Al-Roumi called on Arab programmers to exert efforts, as well as channel their creativeness, towards the development of Arab children “instead of creating games that frighten our children for the sake of financial gain.” Preventing children under the age of 13 from accessing these kind of online games is an option, he pointed out.
Al-Roumi stressed on the importance of educating the children not to disclose any personal information while playing games, accessing social media, or opening links. He hailed the role of concerned families in following up with their children and not to leave them alone for long periods of time in total isolation, as well as offering them an appropriate special search engine like “google for kids” for their own online safety.
Ministry of Interior prevented some expatriates from leaving the country because the information recorded in their passports do not match that in the ministry’s system.
Director-General of Kuwait Airport Security Major General Walid Al-Saleh said airport security officers discovered that the data recorded in some passports of expatriates, either on the main page or in the residence page, differ from the data stored in the database of Ministry of Interior, which was why those expatriates were prevented from leaving the country.
Al-Saleh stressed that expatriates, in such cases, are required to check with the General Department for Residency Affairs to amend their data so that they can travel.
As the new electricity tariff comes into effect on Tuesday, many citizens and expatriates have registered resentment on the implementation of the decision, especially as it coincides with the new fees for health services provided to expatriates by the State.
They lamented the tariffs might not add much to the State coffers but surely pose a huge burden in light of low salaries received by expatriates in both public and private sectors.
In a survey by Al-Seyassah daily, respondents said the majority of expatriate families are preparing to leave Kuwait for good, especially families with limited incomes.
A citizen real estate owner, Bu Hussein, said the new electricity tariffs for expatriates will negatively affect citizens. He noted the endless pressure on expatriate families will inevitably bring about huge losses to the owners of commercial buildings where expatriates are residing.
He added the increase is exaggerated, and wondered about the logic behind an expatriate family paying more than KD 50 monthly for electricity, which is almost KD 600 per annum.
He asked if they really want expatriates to live without air-conditioning and refrigerators. His compatriot, Ahmad Alamir also said the increase in electricity tariffs will automatically lead to an increase in the prices of foodstuffs, because any trader would want to get a satisfactory gain.
He pointed out that foodstuff market in Kuwait is already suffering from recession due to the expansion of shopping malls. He added an increase in tariffs will result in the departure of expatriate families whom the shopping malls depend on. He stressed that private school owners will feel the damage of the decision when most expatriate families leave as a result of the irrational decision. He insisted the decision-makers did not conduct relevant study on all aspects of the decision to increase electricity tariffs.
For his part, Zaki Abdou — as a breadwinner, is seriously mulling on living alone without his family since Kuwait is trying all means possible to fix its lopsided population at the expense of the productive and producing expatriates.
He explained the increase will miserably increase burdens on expatriates, adding he earns KD 550 a month and KD 300 of his salary goes into rent. He said his salary with no doubt will not match all the expected increases — health service fees and water and electricity tariffs.
Jamal Subhi also said the increase in tariffs is no surprise to him, as parliamentary candidates targeted expatriates in their campaign speeches before reaching the Parliament. He lamented the government passed the decision already adopted by the MPs who enact laws to choke and increase the suffering of expatriate workers.
He said electricity tariffs are already high, as every apartment pays more than KD 7 monthly for electricity and municipal services. He reiterated, “Only bachelors will remain here if this is the way the decision-makers wants it to be.”
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has come up with a plan to protect mankind from the global threat posed by the Yellowstone Supervolcano.
Here are the top things to know about it:
1. The Yellowstone supervolcano is an ancient active volcano that erupts every 600,000 years. It completed its last eruption 600,000 years ago, and is known for features like 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, terraces and geysers, including the cone geyser named Old Faithful.
2. The volcano is situated in the Yellowstone National Park in the US. It is defined as one of the major natural threats to human civilisation by NASA.
3. According to one of the measures NASA plans to take, this supervolcano can be cooled down by pumping water into it at high pressure by drilling at its bottom.
4. “I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defence which studied ways for Nasa to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” Brian Wilcox of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology told the Daily Mail. “I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat,” he added.
5. According to report there are around 20 supervolcanoes known to exist on Earth. These are known to erupt after thousands of years. One of the supervolcanoes in New Zealand erupts every 26,500 years.
6. A supervolcanic event could either be a short-term event or a long-term natural activity lasting for millions of years.
“Building a big aqueduct uphill into a mountainous region would be both costly and difficult, and people don’t want their water spent that way,” Wilcox says, as quoted by a BBC report.
“People are desperate for water all over the world and so a major infrastructure project, where the only way the water is used is to cool down a supervolcano, would be very controversial,” he added.
7. The heat generated by the Yellowstone Supervolcano is almost equal to six industrial power plants. According to NASA, 35 percent of the rise in heat transfer can take place, this volcano can become inactive.
“The most important thing with this is to do no harm,” Wilcox was quoted as saying by BBC. “If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.”