Kuwait Local News

Thursday is first day of Eid Al Fitr 2021

Kuwait Moon Sighting Committee of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs announced that tomorrow, Wednesday is the completion of the blessed month of Ramadan, and Thursday is the first day of Eid al-Fitr.

Saudi Arabia 

The crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday : The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia confirmed that the first day of Eid Al Fitr would be on Thursday, May 11. The moon-sighting committee of the Kingdom confirmed on Tuesday that the crescent moon marking the beginning of Shawwal had not been sighted.

Therefore, Wednesday (May 12) will be the last and 30th day of Ramadan, and Thursday (May 13) will be observed as the first day of Eid Al Fitr.

Roughly translated, Eid Al Fitr means the “festival of ending the fast”. It is marked by a special prayer on the morning of the first of Shawwal.

Qatar has also announced that Thursday will mark the first day of Eid.

Gulf News

Picture Stories

Hundreds wounded across Jerusalem in worst day of violence in years.

Hundreds of people were wounded at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday as Israeli police stormed the third holiest site in Islam.

And 20 Palestinians, including nine children, were killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza, after Hamas militants fired rockets into Jerusalem in response to the police action at Al Aqsa.

A rally by ultra-nationalist Jews in the city was temporarily halted by a siren, signaling the incoming rocket fire from Gaza.

There have been weeks of unrest in occupied East Jerusalem, with nightly clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters.

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Moscow rejects US ransomware attack claims.

Russia on Tuesday rejected US accusations that a Russia-based group was behind a ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.

“We categorically reject the baseless fabrications of individual journalists and reiterate that Russia does not conduct ‘malicious’ activity in the virtual space,” the Russian embassy in the United States said in a statement.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden said there was no evidence of Russian government involvement in the cyber attack on the US fuel pipeline but said there were indications the ransomware was “in Russia.”

“They have some responsibility to deal with this,” he said.

The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.

The Russian diplomatic mission said Moscow had repeatedly advocated dialogue with Washington on international information security issues.

It said that last year the embassy suggested that the United States directly contact the Russian National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents to address such issues.

“At the moment, the embassy has no information about requests for assistance from the American side,” it said in the statement posted on its Facebook page.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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PM Modi calls off planned visit to UK to attend G7 Summit as special invitee.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called off his visit to the UK to attend the G7 Summit as a special invitee because of the Covid-19 situation in the country, the external affairs ministry announced on Tuesday.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had invited Modi and the leaders of Australia, South Korea and South Africa as guests to the G7 Summit to be hosted by the UK in Cornwall during June 11-13. This would have been Modi’s second foreign visit this year, after a trip to Bangladesh in March to attend celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the neighbouring country’s independence.

“While appreciating the invitation to the prime minister by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to attend the G7 Summit as a special invitee, given the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided that the prime minister will not attend the G7 Summit in person,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

The move came days after Modi called off a planned visit to the Portuguese city of Porto to participate in the India-EU Summit on May 8. The meeting was subsequently held in a virtual format.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar had visited the UK to attend the G7 foreign ministers meeting in London during May 3-5, but he and his delegation had to go into self-isolation after two members tested positive for Covid-19.

The pandemic has also affected the schedule for bilateral visits between India and the UK this year. Johnson called off plans to visit India twice – he cancelled a trip that was to begin on April 25 following a surge in infections, and in January, he cancelled a trip to focus on his government’s response to a new Coronavirus variant that was spreading rapidly.

Modi and Johnson held a virtual summit on May 4, during which they launched an Enhanced Trade Partnership and a Mobility and Migration Partnership and unveiled a roadmap to boost bilateral ties over the next decade.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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71 bodies fished out from Ganga river near Buxar.

At least 71 bodies have been fished out of Ganga river so far in Bihar’s Buxar district, where a large number of bloated and partially decomposed bodies were found floating in the river on Monday, triggering panic among locals and widespread outrage.

The bodies were netted from the river near Mahadeva ghat of Chausa, which borders Uttar Pradesh.

Buxar’s district magistrate Aman Samir, while confirming that 71 bodies had been recovered so far, said he had proposed for an autopsy of all the bodies. “But the doctors refused as the bodies are in a highly decomposed condition and seem to be five to six days old,” Samir said, adding that DNA of corpses would be preserved for any future need.

“Here at Buxar, as in Bihar in general, there is a custom to burn bodies after death on a funeral pyre. But when a team was sent to neighbouring Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh, it found some people there believe in throwing the bodies into the river,” the Buxar DM said.

Bihar’s water resources minister Sanjay Kumar, a key aide of chief minister Nitish Kumar, also weighed in, claiming the bodies had flown downstream from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

“The Bihar government is seized of the matter… The bodies have floated into Bihar from UP,” Jha tweeted, adding that doctors had confirmed that deaths had taken place four-five days ago.

Meanwhile, the DM said preparations were underway for last rites of bodies. “The religion of the dead is not known and bodies are in decomposed condition. So, it has been decided to bury all the bodies. For this, large pits have been dug,” he said.

According to agency reports, corpses were found floating in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

“Our officers are present on the spot to investigate and ascertain where they came from. A probe into the matter is underway,” MP Singh, Ghazipur’s district magistrate, told ANI.

Union minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat termed the whole episode “unfortunate” and asked the states concerned to take immediate cognizance.

“The incident of corpses found floating in Ganga in Buxar region of Bihar is unfortunate. This is definitely a matter of investigation. The Modi government is committed to the cleanliness of ‘mother’ Ganga. This incident is unexpected. The concerned states should take immediate cognizance in this regard,” Shekhawat tweeted.

Source- Hindustan Times.

Coronavirus #TOP STORIES

26 Covid-19 patients die at Goa hospital; minister seeks HC probe.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday said 26 Covid-19 patients died at the state- run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the early hours and sought an investigation by the High Court to find out the exact cause.

He said these fatalities occurred between 2 am and 6 am “which is a fact”, but remained evasive about the cause.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant, who visited GMCH, said the gap between the “availability of medical oxygen and its supply to Covid-19 wards in the GMCH might have caused some issues for the patients” even as he stressed that there is no scarcity of oxygen supply in the state.

Speaking to reporters, Rane admitted the shortfall in the supply of medical oxygen at the GMCH as of Monday.

“The high court should investigate the reasons behind these deaths. The HC should also intervene and prepare a white paper on oxygen supply to the GMCH, which would help to set the things right,” the health minister said after CM’s visit to the GMCH.

Rane said the medical oxygen requirement of the facility as of Monday was 1,200 jumbo cylinders of which only 400 were supplied.

“If there’s a shortfall in the supply of medical oxygen, the discussion should be held about how to bridge that gap,” he said.

Rane said a three-member team of nodal officers set up by the state government to oversee Covid-19 treatment at GMCH should give its inputs about the issues to the CM.

Earlier in the day, the CM donning a PPE kit visited Covid-19 wards in the GMCH where he met patients and their relatives.

“There are issues over the availability of oxygen in these wards which need to be sorted out,” the CM said.

He announced the setting up of a ward-wise mechanism to ensure a smooth supply of medical oxygen.

“Doctors, who are busy treating patients, cannot spend their time in arranging logistics like oxygen. I will hold a meeting immediately to set up ward-wise mechanisms to ensure that oxygen is supplied to patients in time,” Sawant told reporters.

The CM said there was no dearth of medical oxygen and cylinders in the state but the problem arises sometimes as these cylinders do not reach their destinations on time.

Sawant said the state government is making efforts on all fronts to tackle the pandemic.

“We have abundant supplies of (medical) oxygen. There is no scarcity in the state,” he said.

Goa’s Covid-19 tally stood at 1,21,650 as of May 10, while 50 deaths had taken the toll to 1,729, an official had said.

Meanwhile, Sawant warned of action against private hospitals that refuse the coverage of Deen Dayal Swastha Seva Yojana (DDSSY) to Covid-19 patients.

He said the pending financial dues on part of private hospitals under this scheme will be cleared in the next 15 days.

Source- Hindustan Times.

Kuwait Local News

Kuwait Red Crescent Society donation campaign for Palestinians starts today.

Kuwait Red Crescent (KRCS) will launch a donation campaign on its official website on Tuesday, aimed at supporting the Palestinian people as they continue to deal with ongoing attacks in and around Jerusalem. “The campaign aims to aid the Palestinians in Jerusalem in their ordeal and to relieve the painful plight they are going through from the Zionist occupation’s repeated violations,” KRCS Chairman Maha Al-Barjas said.

The donations will be accepted by debit card (Knet) payment on the KRCS website, said Barjas. The KRCS chief urged people to donate for the sake of “humanity,” praising the people of Kuwait for their unyielding generosity through the ages and their keenness to help others around the world.

KRCS had announced on Sunday that it donated a fully equipped ambulance with sanitizers, preventive and precautionary materials to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Barjas said the society has spared no efforts to aid the brotherly Palestinian people in Jerusalem, stressing that support offered to them includes all humanitarian and relief aid.

The KRCS is in constant contact with the PRCS to provide urgent main needs to the brotherly Palestinian people in Jerusalem and back their steadfastness against the Zionist entity, she added. She has noted that Kuwait through its society stresses that it stands with the Palestinian people to enhance their steadfastness and existence on their land. Barjas expressed preparedness of KRCS to provide financial support to the Palestinian people to help them face the Zionist occupation.

KJA condemns
Meanwhile, Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) condemned the continued and systematic Zionist occupation and aggression in Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah and surrounding areas, as well as attempts by the occupation forces to evict residents and the continued desecration of Islamic sanctities and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a press statement, KJA lauded the Palestinian people’s struggle and their confrontation of the occupier in defense of their land and holy sanctities in order to get their legitimate rights, “while the world remains silent towards these violations and practices that disregard all values and humanitarian norms, and ignore all international resolutions and treaties.”

KJA appealed to the international community and free writers to stand with the Palestinian people, particularly those in Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah, to get their legitimate rights, support their struggle and expose the violations of the Zionist occupation.

The Arab Parliament’s Observatory for Human Rights affirmed yesterday that the continuous violations of the Zionist occupation against the Palestinians represent “crimes against humanity” and require urgent international action to stop them. The Observatory condemned in a statement the Zionist occupation’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the forced displacement of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the storming of their homes, as well as the continuation of the settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It called on the UN Security Council to intervene immediately to stop these attacks and to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under international law in all Palestinian areas and Jerusalem. Earlier yesterday, Zionist occupation forces shot and wounded 180 Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound.

Kuwait Local News

Kuwait Food Bank, distributes 23,000 meals to workers.

Kuwait Food and Relief Bank announced the completion of its charitable food campaign, which aimed to distribute about 23,000 meals to workers during the holy month of Ramadan, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of Awqaf. In a press statement yesterday, Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Food Bank Mishal Al-Ansari said that this campaign came within a group of initiatives launched by the Food Bank during Ramadan while facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign succeeded in securing the requirements of the impacted workers in Kuwait during Ramadan, Ansari added. The General Secretariat of Awqaf spares no effort to support all charitable and voluntary activities undertaken by the Food Bank to serve Kuwait’s community, commending its efforts in facilitating all ways to make the campaign a success this year, in addition to other charitable activities and projects, he underlined.

Kuwait Food Bank is considered one of the first charitable organizations in Kuwait to launch charitable campaigns covering all areas and the six governorates, he explained, indicating that the food campaign this year was the largest due to its coverage of all regions of Kuwait through a team of trained volunteers.

Kuwait Local News

Kuwait civil aviation says PCR test mandatory for arrivals.

Mall workers wait to receive their COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Avenues Mall yesterday.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation yesterday denied reports that it has exempted some people from taking the PCR coronavirus test while arriving in the country. The agency said on its Twitter account that every person arriving in Kuwait through the international airport must undertake the PCR test to prove they are free of the coronavirus disease.

The Center for Government Communication also released a statement in which it said social media rumors about certain people being excluded from having to hand in a COVID-19 test report upon arrival in Kuwait were untrue. These tests are “mandatory, according to health requirements, for all nationalities and groups coming to the State of Kuwait,” it said.

A decision by the council of ministers to ban Kuwaiti citizens who have not been vaccinated from leaving the country was yesterday published in the Kuwait Al-Youm official gazette despite strong criticism and a court case challenging the legality of the decision. The publication means that the decision has become official but it will take effect starting May 22 as per the decision.

The health ministry said yesterday that it will resume giving the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Tuesday after shipments have arrived in the country. Last week, the ministry extended the second dose from three months to four months citing unavailability of the vaccine from the manufacturers.

The Ministry of Health launched yesterday the second phase of COVID-19 vaccine field units, as it includes providing vaccines to workers in malls and commercial centers around the country. Ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said in a statement that this service is part of the ministry’s efforts to combat the spread of the pandemic. The units are provided with the various necessary equipment in order to ensure smooth functioning of the vaccination procedures and application of all precautionary measures, Dr Sanad said.

The campaign operated yesterday at the Avenues Mall in two periods, and it was expected to provide the first dose of vaccination to around 10,000 people working in the mall, he added. More than 34,758 employees who have direct contact with the public received vaccinations through this service in its first stage, he said. Dr Sanad praised efforts of those in charge of the campaign and the medical staff participating in the various vaccination centers who continue to perform their duties according to the best quality standards.

The Ministry of Health had on Saturday reported seven new COVID-19 deaths and 1,095 infections registered in the previous 24 hours. Dr Sanad said that the total fatalities increased to 1,635, and the caseload to 284,076 as of Saturday. He added that the total recoveries have reached 268,316 after 1,399 patients recovered from coronavirus over the same period, making the recovery rate 94.45 percent out of the conducted tests.

Moreover, 14,125 patients in total were receiving health care as of Saturday, including 210 at intensive care units, he said. Meanwhile, 7,747 tests were conducted over the same period, with infection rate 14.13 percent, making the total conducted tests 2,396,532, he added. Dr Sanad renewed his call on the public to maintain social distancing and to abide with all health regulations that would help in limiting the virus’ spread.

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At least 11 killed in school shooting in Russia, several injured.

At least 11 people have been killed and many more wounded after one or more gunmen opened fire in a school in the Russian city of Kazan, the RIA news agency reported on Tuesday, citing the emergency services ministry.

Two children could be seen leaping from the third floor of the four-storeyed school number 175 as gunshots sounded, in a video filmed by an onlooker that was circulated by RIA.

Some Russian news agencies reporting two teenage gunmen were involved and others said a sole shooter took part.

RIA said one 19-year-old gunman had been detained and that an explosion had been heard at the school. Footage posted on social media showed a young man being pinned to the ground outside the school building by a police officer.

Footage also showed emergency service vehicles parked outside the school, with people running towards the building.

It was not clear whether any other shooters remained at large. Nor was it immediately clear what the motive for the attack was.

School shootings are rare in Russia. One of the last major shootings of its kind took place in Russian-annexed Crimea in 2018 when a student at a college killed 19 before turning his gun on himself.

Kazan is the capital of the Muslim-majority region of Tatarstan and located around 450 miles (725 km) east of Moscow.

Source- Hindustan Times.