Kuwait Local News

Kuwaiti mugger caught

 Police have arrested a Kuwaiti who is believed to be in his 60s for impersonating police and robbing an Iranian who is believed to be in his 70s and causing him injury, reports Al-Rai daily. In his complaint to the Nugra Police Station, the Iranian said the impersonator stopped him and robbed him of his money.

When the Iranian attempted to snatch his money back from the Kuwaiti, all that he could do was hold on to the car of the suspect and as a result he was dragged to some distance and he got injured. The complainant then gave police the car plate number of the suspect and also provided a medical report which led to the arrest of the suspect. The Iranian picked the suspect from a police line-up after he arrested and brought to the police station.

Kuwait Local News

Patrol cars get cameras

Staff Ministry of Interior has commenced installing cameras on patrol vehicles in order to record what transpire between security operatives and violators of law or wanted persons with the aim of putting an end to differences and ensuring preservation of rights. According to sources, some patrol vehicles have cameras, but the ministry has decided to install them on all patrol vehicles. The cameras are installed on the vehicles as well as attached to police uniforms in order to document the audiovisual interactions between the officers and violators of law or wanted persons. The rights to be protected in such instances are of both the police and civilians. The cameras are directly linked to the Operations Room for proper monitoring.

Kuwait Local News

Kuwait ministers discussed Philippines Labor ban

Kuwait Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah briefed the Cabinet on the President of Philippines Rodrigo Duterte’s “sudden” suspension of laborers’ dispatch to Kuwait, which ran counter to mutual interest. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said Duterte’s “sudden statement” prompted the relevant authorities in Kuwait to contact with authorities in Philippines to clarify the president’s statement.

He said the president mentioned individual cases which did not apply to the majority, and those cases were subjected to legal procedures.


The State of Kuwait, said the top diplomat, has clean human rights record by which the expatriates enjoyed full rights. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said the laws in Kuwait were organizing relations between employees and employers, which encouraged many nationalities to come work in Kuwait.

The Foreign Ministry summoned yesterday Ambassador of the Philippines, Renato Pedro Villa, and expressed regret and bewilderment toward Duterte’s decision to suspend dispatch of laborers to Kuwait. Such a stance contradicts nature of the distinctive ties between the two countries and does not serve their common interests, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said.

Al-Jarallah added that the Kuwaiti side noted to the ambassador that freedoms and rights enjoyed by the expatriate communities in the country contributed to lifting number of the Filipino workers to 276,000.

Moreover, the Kuwaiti side expressed readiness to host Filipino diplomats to discuss conditions of the community and follow up on Filipinos’ problems. Al-Jarallah added that the envoy was asked to seek to lift the ban. The Filipino envoy praised the cooperation the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pledged to recommend to his government to end the ban soon.

First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah briefed the Cabinet Monday about Qatari Defense Minister Khaled Al-Attiyah’s visit to Kuwait yesterday, and outcome of his talks with the senior officials regarding regional developments. This came during the weekly Cabinet meeting, chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, said Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh in a statement.

The Cabinet welcomed Lebanese President Michel Aoun who would pay a state visit to Kuwait tomorrow Tuesday. Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah then briefed the executives about his visit to Paris last week and meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, to discuss regional and international developments.

He also briefed them about his participation in a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat so-called Islamic State (IS), which was held in New York last Friday. The New York meeting, said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, aimed at discussing the peace process in Iraq through restoration of stability and reconstruction of areas liberated from IS. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled also talked about his meeting with Brett McGruk, US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition, during which they discussed preparations for an international ministerial meeting of the coalition.

Meanwhile, the government approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UN regarding youth, a technical cooperation agreement with Japan, an agreement with Beijing to establish a Chinese cultural center, and an agreement on cyber-security with Britain. It also approved aviation agreement with Djibouti, an articrafts agreement with Oman, an economic and technical cooperation agreement with Honduras, an environment protection deal with Albania, an agreement on renewable energy with Morocco, a higher education and scientific research agreement with Pakistan, a housing agreement with China, agreements on youth and tourism cooperation with Turkey, and a deal with Latvia to exempt diplomatic and private passport holders from entry visas.

On the other hand, the government assigned the Finance Ministry to subscribe on behalf of citizens for initial public offering of public-privatepartnership projects. It instructed relocation of Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base before June 1, 2018, to pave way for construction of Kuwait International Airport building. The Ministries of defense, public works and finance, and civil aviation directorate will speed up relocation of the Air Base, said Minister Al-Saleh.

The government also approved establishment of board of trustees of Silk City and Boubyan Island development authority. Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim will chair the board, and will have Salem Al- Athaina, Mohammad Al-Marzouq, Omran Hayat, Adnan Al-Bahar, Khaled Al-Nassar, Tareq A-Essa and Sara Akbar as members. The government also set up a committee tasked with receiving complaints of employees.

The committee will be chaired by President of the Civil Services Commission Ahmad Jassar, Justice Sultan Burusli as deputy chairman, and membership of Ahmad Al-Duaij, Hessa Al-Anjeri and Mufarreh Al- Shemmeri. The Cabinet members then discussed a grilling motion against Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh. Al-Sabeeh explained the interpellation and elaborated on her answers, and the government members extended full backing to their colleague.

Kuwait Local News

Laborers prohibited to perform ‘Azan’

Undersecretary of Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Fareed Al-Emadi revealed that the ministry asked Civil Service Commission (CSC) to equate Kuwaiti muezzins and imams with teachers in terms of salaries and allowances, reports Al-Rai daily.

He expressed sorrow over the abstention of Kuwaitis to work as muezzins and imams, indicating that the ministry has a total of 1,600 mosques but only 130 Kuwaiti muezzins and imams.

Al-Emadi stressed that laborers are strictly prevented to perform “Azan” (call for prayers), insisting that the imam should take over the task of muezzin if the latter is on leave. He affirmed that the ministry will take necessary action against imams and muezzins if any of the laborers or citizens performed Azan

Kuwait Local News

Lebanese President set for first visit to Kuwait

 Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the stances of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah since he was foreign minister have made Kuwait very close to Lebanon and other friendly countries.

The State of Kuwait under His Highness the Amir is held in great esteem by the Lebanese and all Arab peoples, President Aoun said in an interview with KUNA ahead of his first visit to Kuwait as president. “My visit to Kuwait is to convey a genuine desire on the part of the Lebanese people for openness and cooperation with all active players in the region on the principles of mutual respect for the sovereignty, independence and privacy of each other.

“I will carry a message of love and respect,” he pointed out. President Aoun noted that Lebanon has never adopted a hostile policy towards any countries in the Middle East region. “To the contrary, Lebanon was antagonized and victimized repeatedly by aggressors, but struggled relentlessly to defend its own values and distinctive role in the region,” he said, apparently alluding to Israel.


The State of Kuwait understands, more than any other country in the region, the situation in Lebanon because it (Kuwait) underwent a similar bitter experience in 1990, he said, referring to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. “His Highness the Amir, then the foreign minister, played a key role in Kuwait liberation and restoring the country’s active and essential role in the region,” President Aoun recalled.

On the bilateral ties, he said both countries maintained firm and deep-rooted historical relationship and share the desire to open new horizons for cooperation in all areas. “The state-to-state and people-to-people friendship creates proper ground for the two countries to restore the unity and solidarity of the Arab nation in the face of mounting challenges. “To do so requires building a political consensus on how to address the current problems through open and candid dialogue because risks face all of us,” he stressed, citing the efforts of His Highness the Amir to bring the views of Arab leaders close to each other.

President Aoun expressed desire to work with Kuwait for preventing hostile forces from taking advantage from the current disputes among some Arab countries in order to undermine the Palestine question, which is the Arabs’ central cause. He denounced the Israeli designs to Judaize Jerusalem and blur its Arab identity, and deprive the Palestinians of the right to statehood and the refugees of the right to return to their homes.

Dealing with the tourist sector that suffered problems late last year due to security concerns, President Aoun said his country doubled efforts to restore its position as a main destination for tourists from the Gulf region, particularly from Kuwait.

“The security of tourists is an integral part of the security of Lebanon. There is no justification for Arab brothers to panic into staying away from Lebanon. “The situation in Lebanon is stable and calm thanks to the vigilance of the security services and the strong will of the people for stability,” he said, citing recent reports of field studies. Regarding the new oil and natural gas discoveries in Lebanon, President Aoun welcomed cooperation with Kuwaiti energy producers that have long experience in this sector. “It sounded far-fetched for Lebanon to join the oil club but the dream came true,” he said, noting that many energy companies from around the world have offered bids to explore for and exploit the energy resources in Lebanon.

He added that Lebanon is preparing to launch a plan to turn its economy from consuming into productive. The plan is well set through taking the advice of experienced international companies, fighting corruption and developing infrastructure. As for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, President Aoun said that more than 1.8 million refugees added more strains on the already fragile economy of Lebanon besides the security burdens. “Many donor countries failed to honor their aid pledges and humanitarian undertakings towards Lebanon. This is why we are lobbying for the return of the refugees to safe havens inside Syria,” he regretted.

“In this connection, Lebanon pins high hopes on Kuwait which proved to be a reliable friend of Lebanon at numerous regional and international forums,” President Aoun went on. “The State of Kuwait, mindful of the developments of the situations in Lebanon and the region, can play an essential role in international conferences, we are preparing for, in support of Lebanon,” he stated. President Aoun added that Lebanon’s policy to keep its distance from turmoil in neighboring countries gained global praise.


IPL 2018 To Begin From April 7 In Mumbai

The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held from April 7 to May 27, the IPL governing council announced on Monday. The opening ceremony, opening game and the final will all be held in Mumbai on April 6, April 7 and May 27 respectively. Accepting broadcaster Star Sports’ request, the IPL governing council has also allowed a shift in timings of the matches. The 8 pm game will now begin at 7 pm while the 4 pm start has now been pushed to 5:30 pm. “The broadcaster has requested for change in timings. By and large the GC has accepted it. It gets too late in the night if the game starts at 8pm,” said IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla after the GC meeting.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, also a GC member, could not attend the meeting.

“As far as the double headers on weekends are concerned. The 4pm game will now be played at 5.30pm. There will be an overlap but the broadcaster says it has enough channels to show the games simultaneously,” Shukla said further.

At the meeting, it was also decided that Kings XI Punjab will play four of their home games in Mohali and three in Indore.

The home matches of Rajasthan Royals, who are returning to IPL after serving a two-year ban, will be finalised after the Rajasthan High Court’s hearing on January 24.

“The matter is in court. I think on 24th (Wednesday), the court may dispose off the matter. We are waiting for that.

Preference will given to Jaipur if the stadium is ready and court clears RCA’s status. If that doesn’t happen, the alternate venue will be Pune,” said Shukla.

A total of 578 players including 360 Indians will go under the hammer at the IPL auction in Bangalore on January 27 and 28.


India Ranks Below China, Pakistan On This World Economic Forum Index

India was today ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, much below China’s 26th position and Pakistan’s 47th.

Norway remains the world’s most inclusive advanced economy, while Lithuania again tops the list of emerging economies, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said while releasing the yearly index here before the start of its annual meeting, to be attended by several world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

The index takes into account the “living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness”, the WEF said. It urged the leaders to urgently move to a new model of inclusive growth and development, saying reliance on GDP as a measure of economic achievement is fuelling short-termism and inequality.

India was ranked 60th among 79 developing economies last year, as against China’s 15th and Pakistan’s 52nd position.

The 2018 index, which measures progress of 103 economies on three individual pillars — growth and development; inclusion; and inter-generational equity — has been divided into two parts. The first part covers 29 advanced economies and the second 74 emerging economies.

The index has also classified the countries into five sub-categories in terms of the five-year trend of their overall Inclusive Development Growth score — receding, slowly receding, stable, slowly advancing and advancing.

Despite its low overall score, India is among the ten emerging economies with ‘advancing’ trend. Only two advanced economies have shown ‘advancing’ trend.

Among advanced economies, Norway is followed by Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Denmark in the top five.

Small European economies dominate the top of the index, with Australia (9) the only non-European economy in the top 10. Of the G7 economies, Germany (12) ranks the highest. It is followed by Canada (17), France (18), the UK (21), the US (23), Japan (24) and Italy (27).

The top-five most inclusive emerging economies are Lithuania, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Poland.

Performance is mixed among BRICS economies, with the Russian Federation ranking 19th, followed by China (26), Brazil (37), India (62) and South Africa (69).

Of the three pillars that make up the index, India ranks 72nd for inclusion, 66th for growth and development and 44th for inter-generational equity.

The neighbouring countries ranked above India include Sri Lanka (40), Bangladesh (34) and Nepal (22). The countries ranked better than India also include Mali, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Ukraine, Serbia, Philippines, Indonesia, Iran, Macedonia, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia.

Although China ranks first among emerging economies in GDP per capita growth (6.8 per cent) and labour productivity growth (6.7 per cent) since 2012, its overall score is brought down by lacklustre performance on inclusion, the WEF said. It found that decades of prioritising economic growth over social equity has led to historically high levels of wealth and income inequality and caused governments to miss out on a virtuous circle in which growth is strengthened by being shared more widely and generated without unduly straining the environment or burdening future generations.

Excessive reliance by economists and policy-makers on Gross Domestic Product as the primary metric of national economic performance is part of the problem, the WEF said.

The GDP measures current production of goods and services rather than the extent to which it contributes to broad socio-economic progress as manifested in median household income, employment opportunity, economic security and quality of life, it added.

The WEF also said that rich and poor countries alike are struggling to protect future generations, as it cautioned political and business leaders against expecting higher growth to be a panacea for the social frustrations, including those of younger generations who have shaken the politics of many countries in recent years.

India News

2 Bandhs In Karnataka In Next 2 Weeks Over Mahadayi Water Sharing Row: 10 Points

Pro-Kannada groups along with farmers have called for a statewide Karnataka bandh on January 25 to urge the central government to resolve the Mahadayi water dispute at the earliest. Another bandh on February 4, this time in Bengaluru, will coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city for state BJP’s Parivartan Yatra. The Mahadayi river is essentially a rain-fed river shared between Karnataka and Goa. While a major part of Mahadayi flows in Goa, its tributaries nourish parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Goa has strong reservations about sharing its water, especially with Karnataka leaving the two states entangled in a dispute for over 30 years.
Here is a 10-point lowdown on the water sharing dispute:
  1. About 76 km of Mahadayi’s 111-km length runs through Goa and the rest is in Karnataka. It passes through Maharashtra briefly and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji, where it is also called Mandovi.
  2. The dispute over the sharing of river waters started in the 90s when Karnataka designed a chain of dams and canals under the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project to channel Mahadayi’s water to the parched Malaprabha basin in north Karnataka.
  3. Karnataka pegged its demand for Mahadayi water at 7.56 thousand million cubic feet to meet the “drinking requirement” of farmers in northern districts, but Goa, which had raised objections to the Kalasa-Banduri project, said it is water-deficient and sharing any water with its neighbour would cause ecological damage to the state. The clearance for the project was then put on hold.
  4. In 2002, Goa demanded that a tribunal be set up to assess the situation. After several attempts at negotiation failed, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was finally set up in 2010.
  5. Karnataka sought the tribunal’s green signal for the Kalasa-Banduri project, arguing that the river must be used for drinking purposes instead of letting it out into the sea. But in 2016, the tribunal rejected the demand triggering protests in the state.
  6. With elections due in Congress-ruled Karnataka, political parties will go all out to woo voters and the Mahadayi issue seems to be among every party’s preferred choices.
  7. Last month, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa got in touch with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar asking him to consider Karnataka’s drinking water needs. Mr Parrikar wrote back the next day saying Goa was ready to share a “reasonable” amount of water “on humanitarian grounds”.
  8. The exchange of letters, however, sparked outrage in both states. While Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took offence to Mr Parrikar responding to Mr Yeddyurappa and not the chief minister of the state, Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar declared that the state will not share even “a drop of water” with Karnataka. He even called Mr Parrikar’s gesture a “political stunt”.
  9. Afterwards, there were protests by farmer groups outside the BJP office in Bengaluru criticising Mr Yeddyurappa for failing to deliver on his promise. The BJP, on the other hand, accused the Congress of sponsoring the protests.
  10. Miffed farmer groups now blame both the Congress and BJP of playing politics at their expense. They approached the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer a few months ago to urge him not to hold assembly polls in the state until the Mahadayi dispute was resolved.


Come, Watch “Padmaavat”, Says Sanjay Bhansali In Letter To Karni Sena

Three days before Padmaavat’s release, its producers have made a last-ditch attempt at bringing on board the Karni Sena, which has threatened to block the film’s screening at all costs despite a Supreme Court order. In a letter on Saturday, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali invited the group to watch the film, promising that “the film will make the entire Rajput community proud”.

But the Karni Sena’s response has not given the producers any hope.

“We are ready to watch the film if they are ready to show it to us, but they must not insult us,” said the group’s Lokendra Kalvi, fuming at what he felt was a belated invite.

“I have one condition…show me the film that will be released. We want to assure that those who watch the film are not insulted,” said the Karni Sena leader.

In his letter, Mr Bhansali assures that the “film showcases the honour and valour of the Rajput community and rani Padmavati is portrayed with utmost dignity and respect”.

The Karni Sena today appealed to the Supreme Court to stop the film’s release on Thursday, on grounds that it twists history and denigrates the legendary Rajput Queen Padmini. The court will hear the petition along with petitions by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The two states have urged the court to allow them the option of not screening the film on account of law and order trouble because of the protests.

karni sena leader lokendra kalvi

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana had refused to screen the film despite the censor board okaying it for release with some changes including a tweak in the name from “Padmavati” to “Padmaavat”.

Last week, on an appeal by the film’s producers, the Supreme Court said it cannot be banned by states. The court also said it is the job of the states to ensure law and order and protection of people.

The Karni Sena has refused to back down despite the ruling.

“Padmaavat”, a costume extravaganza starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapur, is inspired by a 16th century poem on the queen who known for her beauty and courage. According to legend, she jumped into the fire in the tradition of “jauhar” before she could be captured by Sultan Alauddin Khilji after he killed her husband.


Video: Plane Battles Intense Storm To Make Dangerous Landing

Extreme winds left a trail of destruction in Germany and surrounding regions in the wake of Storm Friederike. Gusts of up to 120 km per hour wreaked havoc, briefly shutting down air and rail traffic in northern Europe. But at Dusseldorf Airport, a brave pilot attempted a dangerous landing during the stormy conditions on Thursday. The stomach-churning landing was caught on camera by a German plane spotter.

The small Eurowings passenger aircraft, that took off from Bologna in Italy, was trying to land at Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport when it was caught in the crosswinds caused by the storm. As it prepared to land, the plane tilted sideways several times with the powerful winds bending its wings. At one point, the plane was almost at a 90 degree angle with the runway. But the pilot successfully maneuvered through the bad weather and managed to land safely.

Plane-spotter Hans van den Hovel captured the terrifying landing on camera along with several other planes trying to land at the windy airport. The 9-minute video also features several other planes that chose not to land and simply did a touch-and-go. On YouTube, the plane enthusiast wrote that about 20 planes aborted the landing that day.

“Some pilots did a great job and landed the aircraft during these extreme conditions with spectacular and skilled handling,” he wrote.

 Watch the frightening footage here:

It’s worth noting that the same Eurowings plane, when it attempted to land earlier, was forced to do a go-around, Mr Hovel told NDTV. You can watch that part at 6:22.

People on YouTube were in awe of the pilot’s skills who managed to land successfully in the windy conditions. Many even expressed their concern for the passengers on the plane.

“That Dash landing must have been plain awful (for the passengers at least). Great job from the pilots!” wrote one person.

Another wrote, “That first aircraft, what a pilot, what a landing!!!! The touch down, may have been luck, but I am going to ascribe it to a masterful job by the pilot. Nice job.”