| Minister freezes deal to purchase used airplanes Angry reactions at social network |
KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways received instruction from Minister of Communications Essa Al-Kandari to freeze a deal to purchase five used aircrafts from India s Jet Airways Al-Qabas daily reported yesterday one day after first reporting the deal. Minister Al-Kandari explained in a letter to the Kuwait Airway s board of directors that he needs to review details about the deal and negotiation procedures before a decision can be made. The minister asked about the supervisory authorities that gave them approval to go ahead with the deal said sources quoted in Al-Qabas report.
News about Kuwait buying five used jets for KD 80 million sparked angry reactions at social network especially that it came simultaneously with news about multibillion-dollar deals cut by airlines in Gulf countries during the recent Dubai Airshow. In the meantime Al-Qabas contacted sources close to the Kuwait Airways board of directors who defended the decision for many reasons including the urgent need for fleet expansion and the lower cost that the deal with Jet Airways would provide.
The source compared between Kuwait Airways proposed agreements and deals signed by Fly Dubai Qatar Airways and other airlines in the Arabian Gulf region. Those deals are for expansion and to purchase new aircrafts that arrive in nearly ten years; whereas the Kuwait Airways is at urgent need to increase the number of its fleet which makes buying planes with relatively short operational age a good choice the sources explained. According to the sources the planes which have been in service for four years are expected to arrive within two months if the government approves the deal. Al-Qabas wrote Monday that the Kuwait Airways resorted to purchasing the five Airbus A330-200 aircrafts each with a capacity of 252 passengers after an agreement earlier this year with Airbus to purchase and rent the same class of aircrafts fell apart due to lack of funding and after Boeing reportedly entered negotiations with the national carrier.
Meanwhile the sources further defended the new deal as being better than the initial deal with Airbus because of the benefits of having full ownership over the aircrafts as opposed to renting them. The board of directors found out that purchasing the planes from Jet Airways saves 40 percent compared to renting them directly from Airbus for 8 years the sources explained. They further indicated that Jet Airways has previously sold aircrafts to The Etihad Airways Royal Brunei and other airlines as part of its plans to reduce activity and focus on the domestic market .
| Experts call for protecting children against violence |
KUWAIT: Social experts have called for protecting children against various forms of violence and have urged for enacting special laws to protect them because they are the weakest point of the Kuwaiti society fabric. Dr Seham Al-Fraih Chairperson of the National Society for Protection of Children in an interview on occasion of the Universal Children s Day falling Wednesday called for efforts at the State and grass-root levels to enact laws for children s protection against serious hazards such as domestic violence.
Such harm may be physical psychological emotional or sexual she said also noting that the suffering may be due to negligence. Elaborating on difficulties facing the youngest of the society segment she said children are often target of violence at school adding that social and psychological experts could coordinate with state authorities to face such problems. In cases where kids are roughed up by their parents Dr Al-Fraih added the adults should be subject to psychological treatment. Dr Fatma Ayyad a psychology professor said that certain concepts regarding the children should be altered.
Some people believe that the child is a private property and this is not true; the child should enjoy independence and privacy. The child is the weakest factor of the family and the violence against him (her) must be confronted and laws must be activated to protect the rights of children Dr Ayyad said. She also called for boosting awareness of the child rights. Universal Children s Day takes place annually on Nov 20. First proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954 it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world s children. KUNA
| Long-term car rentals become more popular in Kuwait|
KUWAIT: Automobile companies have noticed an increased demand for long-term car rentals that ends with possession (ijaara). For many people this system is more beneficial than buying a car on installments as the procedure is less complicated and can be used even by those who can t take a loan from the bank due to Central Bank regulations. This kind of rental is known in Kuwait since many years. New similar or improved version of this rental have come to the market in the past few years such as rental promising to buy operational rent and other kinds.
The monthly payments of these longterm rentals compared to regular installments are more expensive but cheaper than regular monthly car rent. According to Ahmad Al-Fadli from Ayan Auto long-term car rental has become more popular recently for various reasons among different categories of people. The culture of Kuwaiti society encourages people to frequently change their vehicles so they will always be driving a new car of the newest model. And the operational rent that we offer gives them this chance as they change the car after a year or two according to their contract without being obliged to buy it. Of course we also offer them the option of buying it after the contract expires for beneficial prices as they are our customers so they will get it for a price less than the market price he told Kuwait Times. We also have many customers who would like to buy a new vehicle for their children who have just obtained their driving license. Especially girls who have just started driving are more likely to get involved in accidents according to their parents and need to train. So they prefer to give them a car with full insurance and don t have to worry as it will be sold easily later as the company will take it back after the contract expires he added.
Operational rent has different benefits. The vehicle has total insurance free maintenance including changing the oil and filter 24-hour road assistance service and a spare car for the client in case the rented car is taken for service. We also have added a new feature to our services called Value Service which is not available for ijaara at other companies. This service allows the client to travel with the car outside Kuwait. Currently we only offer this service to GCC countries explained Fadli. This kind of rental is in demand due to its flexible way of payment. The client is not obliged to pay through deduction from his bank account monthly and can pay cash through online transfer so he can still take loans or other installments. We rarely face problems with clients not paying. Usually we are patient but after the third month of delay the company will take legal action against the client he noted. We deal almost with all car agencies so we have a wide range of vehicles both brand new and used. In general we don t have some kind of sports cars for instance but we can make exceptions and upon an approval of the administration department we can also include certain kinds of vehicle that the client demands stressed Fadli.
The company also provides other long-term rental programs. We also have the Rent Promising to Buy program which is not in great demand by our clients. This program is for three years and the vehicle will be transferred to the client at the end of the contract. In this kind of renting there is no free maintenance for the vehicle he concluded. Mina from the rental section of Ali Alghanim and Sons Automotive confirmed an increased demand for long-term rental. We only offer vehicles from our agency that includes BMW Range Rover Land Rover Mini Cooper and the newly added Jac. The client can choose between a brand new car or a used one which makes a difference in price. The rental is for one or two years and the client has to pay with bank deduction or the client can pay cash in advance and he will get a discount on the total amount. After paying the last installment the car will be registered in his name she pointed out.
| Indian community s role in Kuwait lauded |
NEW DELHI: The contribution of the 700 000 strong Indian community in Kuwait was extolled by the prime ministers of both the countries at their banquet speeches on Friday night at the Hyderabad House here. Speaking first Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while talking about Kuwait s linkages from time immemorial with commerce culture and religion of India said: The seven hundred thousand Indians in your country are a living bridge between Kuwait and India.
They are building their lives supporting families at home and contributing to Kuwait s pluralism and progress. Your present visit has added fresh winds to our sails. We value your contribution to the cause of peace in the region and we look forward to Kuwait s leadership in seeking solutions to the region s many challenges he said.
Visiting Kuwaiti Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah while echoing the Indian prime minister s sentiments said Kuwait was proud to have the Indian community among us . He said they not only form the largest foreign community in Kuwait but are participating in various vocations and have made notable contributions particularly in the private sector .
Apart from the accompanying Kuwait delegation Cabinet ministers including Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Commerce Minister Anand Sharma Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed FICCI President Naina Lal Kidwai and renowned businessman Yusuff Ali MA were among other dignitaries who attended the dinner reception.
| Expats to get subsidized food if Iran closes Hormuz Strait |
KUWAIT: Kuwait s government plans to give the country s expatriate community access to subsidized food as part of emergency plans in case Iran closes traffic at the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation to a US-led strike against Syria a local daily reported yesterday quoting government sources familiar with the plan. According to the quarterly report released by the health statistics control department in the Ministry of Health Kuwait s population is nearly 3 719 000 divided into 1 185 000 Kuwaitis or 31.9 percent of the total population and 2 534 000 or 68.1 percent of the population.
The largest expatriate community is found in Farwaniya Governorate with 980 000 people. Speaking to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity the sources said that the government s emergency plan includes handing cards to foreigners living in the country similar to those granted to Kuwaitis by which they can obtain basic food items at subsidized prices. This step demonstrates the state s commitment to taking responsibility for the safety of all residents on its land regardless of nationality the sources said. According to the sources the plan calls for reducing the quantity of subsidized items allocated for Kuwaitis in order to supply enough shares to be provided to non-Kuwaitis in similar price rates.
A portion s size varies depending on the number of family members but the source said that an average package includes rice sugar lentils tomato paste frozen chicken cooking oil in addition to milk and cheese. The same sources also revealed that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry s preparations for worst case scenarios include making three emergency decisions as authorized to the minister by the commodities law; the first one to determine quotas of subsidized food the second to maintain prices against increase and the third to stop export of food items. Earlier reports suggested that Kuwait s strategic reserve of basic food items located at warehouses of co-operative societies around the country has enough supply to meet demand for four months.
Preparations for potential aftermath of a military strike against Syria will be the main topic of discussion during a meeting for the parliament s foreign affairs committee today to be attended by a government team led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah. According to Cabinet sources quoted by Al-Rai yesterday the team is expected to include as many as eight ministers to allow discussion of all kind of repercussions including the possibility of a regional war . The meeting could also extend to the technical side of the issue and address the political side concerning Kuwait s official stand on a military strike against the Syrian regime said the sources. Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim issued an invitation yesterday to MPs to attend the meeting which takes place this afternoon at the parliament s building.
Meanwhile 10 lawmakers submitted a request to allocate the parliament s session on November 14 2013 to discuss national and food security preparations in case of an emergency as well as the impact of regional changes on the local scene and the potential effect of a convicted Iranian espionage cell to the national security.
According to Al-Rai the proposal was submitted by MPs Riyadh Al-Adasani Dr Mohammad Al-Huwailah Dr Abdullah Al-Turaiji Dr Abdurrahman Al-Jeeran Osama Al-Tahous Mohammad Al-Enizy Dr Husain Al-Quwa ian Dr Awdah Al-Ruwai ei Hamdan Al-Azmi and Madhi Al-Hajri. In other news Al-Jarida daily reported that the Cabinet is considering plans to establish a permanent crises management center to deal with emergency situations and wars that could take place in the country and region. According to sources the plan calls for establishing an independent body which will coordinate with concerned authorities to activate emergency plans when necessary.
Meanwhile Al-Anba Daily reported that the Cabinet is also considering a proposal to establish a reserve economic council whose job is to address any developments that impact the economic sector in Kuwait as a result of political escalations in the region.
|40 000 Driving Licenses Issued To Persons Who Do Not Meet The Conditions
KUWAIT CITY Aug 26: Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior M a j o r- G e n e r a l Abdel Fattah Al-Ali was recently quoted as saying the General Traffic Department has discovered that 40 000 driving licenses have been issued to persons who do not meet the conditions reports Al-Watan Arabic daily quoting a reliable source
The source added according to a ministerial decree a person must be a university graduate must have been a resident of Kuwait for not less than two years and must earn more than KD 400 salary to apply for the driving license.
The source disclosed those who got the driving licences through illegal means based on forged documents will be withdrawn. The traffic sector the source added has begun summoning such persons and that 1 200 licenses have already been withdrawn over the past few months.
The source pointed out the GTD received between 5 000 and 8 000 driving license applications a month before the ministerial decree was issued. After the issuance of the decree the number has fallen to 2 000.
Meanwhile Major-General Abdel Fattah and the Kuwait Municipality Director Ahmed Al-Sabih met last week and issued guidelines for a joint campaign to lift more than 10 000 cars which are abandoned on open grounds and public places.
The source added both the authorities will launch a joint campaign within the next few days in all the governorates of Kuwait. The vehicles will be towed to the garages of both the authorities and the owners of the vehicles will have to paying towing and parking fees to retrieve their vehicle
|Pimps Prostitutes Held In Salmiya Raid
Pimps Prostitutes Held In Salmiya Raid
KUWAIT CITY Aug 26:Hawally Security Directorate headed by Brigadier Gholoum Habib apprehended nine Asian prostitutes and three pimps from an apartment in Salmiya area. According to security sources Brigadier Habib gave instructions to form a securitymen to investigate the male suspects after observing their suspicious behaviors in the area.
During investigations they decided to send an undercover agent to them to request for prostitutes. When the undercover agent reached an agreement with the pimps and went to the apartment securitymen stormed in after them and arrested nine women and three men. Securitymen discovered that the nine Asian women were wanted by law. Sources stressed that the securitymen obtained permission from Public Prosecution prior to carrying out the operations.
During investigations the pimps revealed that they ask KD5 from the clients before offering one of the prostitutes confessing that they hunt for clients who seek such pleasure and show them the pictures of the girls after which they agree on the amount and take them to the apartment. All suspects were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them.
Meanwhile securitymen arrested seven individuals who were driving recklessly in Hawally area. At the time of arrest the suspects did not have their Civil IDs. When securitymen looked up their details they discovered that the suspects were wanted by law. They also arrested three individuals who were wanted by law and four individuals for consuming alcohol. The arrested individuals were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them
| Shrimp fishing season starts in Kuwait|
KUWAIT: Shrimp fishing season will kick-off in Kuwaiti local waters tomorrow Public Authority for Agricultureal Affairs and Fish Resources announced yesterday. It called on the fishermen to abide by the local fishing laws and regulations in order to protect fish resources and avoid being subjected to penalties. The authority banned shrimp fishing in Kuwaiti local waters starting mid-June 2013. KUNA
| Union reiterates demands for sponsorship cancelation |
KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti union released a statement in which they accused the local government of failing to take serious measures to fight visa traffickers and warned that a large number of expatriate labor forces in the Gulf state continue to fall victims to injustice and unjustified deportation.
Meanwhile the Kuwait Trade Union Federation demanded in a report released by its Expatriate Labor Forces Office that the labor sponsorship system should be canceled on the basis that it has become a dark spot in human rights records blaming the system for violations which include depriving workers of salaries for up to one year apart from confiscating workers passports in violation of the law.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor announced earlier this year that plans to establish a so-called Public Authority for Manpower are ongoing and will be opened by the end of the year. Visa trafficking refers to practices in which loopholes in the sponsorship system are exploited to release work permits in fake companies or nonexistent job openings and then sell them to unskilled labor forces looking for a chance to work in the oil-rich Gulf region. Once they reach Kuwait workers in most cases end up with no physical jobs and resort to accepting hard labor to often live without valid visas.
Such workers are often referred to in government rhetoric as marginal labor forces and they have been identified by Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al-Rashidi as the target of a plan announced last March to deport 100 000 foreigners each year as part of a scheme to cut the country s expatriate population by one million within a decade.
| New steps for smooth traffic flow |
KUWAIT: The traffic department at the Ministry of Interior is quite ready to handle the onset of major traffic tie-ups due to the start of the new school year said Maj Gen Abdulfatah Al-Ali Assistant Undersecretary for traffic affairs at the Ministry at a press conference yesterday. He stressed that the department has made allowances to marshal the traffic with great capability at school sights which usually every school year present the largest challenge to department resources. Regarding car accidents over the period from last April through July he said they numbered about 30 000 causing 111 deaths adding that upwards of 428 000 traffic infractions were registered during the period in question. Cars cited for bad safety records he said numbered about 6000 noting that the department of traffic was vehemently in pursuit of drivers who drive unsafe old cars that should be taken off the road. He said the department has so far impounded about 11 000 cars and trucks whose owners need to pay fines on and in the chance they do not their vehicles will be publicly auctioned off. He behooved all drivers to abide by traffic laws noting that the department currently detains 2 127 traffic violators with substantial violations against them. -KUNA
| Residents of Omariya accuse Labor officials of discrimination |
MP raises issue with Al-Rashidi
KUWAIT CITY Aug 17: Speakers at a recent seminar organized by the residents of Omariya district said the concerned Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor officials are discriminating against the residents by approving a request to split the Omariya Cooperative Society from Rabiya reports Al- Qabas daily. MP Majid Mousa said Omariya residents will never accept that another area should colonize them. He condemned the idea of making another area the headquarters of Omariya Cooperative. He stressed that the places should be split for each area to own its cooperative society separately. He also disclosed raising a question in that regard to the sector Minister Thikra Al-Rashidi few days back in the National Assembly.
He said the minister has promised to look into the issue in the next few days and urged the residents of the area to form a delegation that will go with him to see the minister. He concluded I will be left with no option than to use the parliamentary prerogative as representative of the Fourth Constituency if the minister rejects the request without giving valid justification. In his contribution MP Hussein Quwaean urged the ministry to expedite action to split the cooperative society into two for Rabiya and Omariya. He believes the step is the best way to end the suffering of Omariya residents particularly with the recent administrative lapses and violations in the current administration. In his comment the head of Omariya Residents Media Committee Sa ad Al-Harmal disclosed that many unfortunate reasons led to organizing the seminar citing what he called clear conspiracy between officials of the ministry and the current administration as well as failure to implement law to dissolve the management board to pave the way for appointment of new administrators
| Armed robbery at money exchange shop in Mangaf |
KUWAIT: Investigations are ongoing to identify and arrest three suspects who committed an armed robbery at a money exchange shop in Mangaf recently. According to the shopkeeper s statements a pickup truck arrived outside his shop minutes after he opened it after iftar. Three masked men came outside the vehicle after deliberately hitting the shop s door and then stole KD11 000 at gunpoint before escaping. The shopkeeper then called police and gave the operator the registration number of the suspects truck but investigations revealed that the number plates belong to a sedan reported stolen before. Crime scene investigators were present at the shop shortly after the robbery was reported. They retrieved surveillance tapes which show the three suspects committing their crime.
Local authorities received a Kuwaiti man who was arrested in the United Arab Emirates recently on forgery charges. According to a security source familiar with the case the man managed to escape Kuwait nine months ago before a travel ban was issued against him for criminal charges. After Interpol investigations revealed that the suspect headed to the UAE Kuwaiti authorities contacted their Emirati counterparts who in return explained that the man had identified himself as a young royal and forwarded official documents carrying official stamps. The man who is in his twenties was arrested in the UAE based on the request of Kuwaiti authorities. He admitted during questioning that he had disposed his original passport after reaching the UAE and used a fake ID to escape prosecution. The man arrived in Kuwait Wednesday night and was referred to the proper authorities.
Sabah Al-Salem police are looking to identify parents of a newborn who was found recently outside a house in the area. Police and paramedics headed to the scene after a Kuwaiti man made an emergency call upon finding the baby wrapped in a blanket outside his house. The baby was rushed to the Adan Hospital and was admitted at the intensive care unit due to her unstable condition. A case was filed for investigations.
A pedestrian survived an accident after he was hospitalized by a driver who hit him in Mubarak Al-Kabeer area recently. Medical staff at the Adan Hospital called police after a Kuwaiti man arrived with an injured man whom he hit accidently. The Bangladeshi man s injuries were not serious as he was discharged later the same day after receiving treatment. Police escorted the two men afterwards to the Mubarak Al-Kabeer police station where a case was filed.
Search is on for a domestic worker whose employer accused her of stealing cash and jewelry before escaping from her Fahad Al-Ahmad house. In her statements to local police the Kuwaiti woman said that she first noticed that her Ethiopian maid was missing and then checked her own bedroom to find that KD1000 and two watches she had kept in her room were also missing. She pressed theft charges against the maid and filed a missing person report against her as well. A travel ban was issued and investigations went underway in search for the runaway maid.
Two teenagers were detained in Ahmadi after they were found drinking soft drinks in public at day time in violation of regulations activated during Ramadan. The incident took place in Ahmadi where the two Kuwaitis aged 17 and 16 were seen drinking soft drinks inside a car that was stopped at a red traffic light. Officers in a police patrol that was stopped at the same light saw the incident after which they put the two under arrest. They were referred to the proper authorities for further action.
A woman was seriously injured when she was hit by a car while fleeing thieves who followed her in Khaitan recently. Police and paramedics had rushed to a street in block 9 in the area where the accident was reported. The 31-year-old Palestinian woman was rushed to the Farwaniya Hospital and eyewitnesses told police that she was hit by a speeding vehicle while trying to escape four persons who attempted to snatch her handbag. Investigations went underway in search for the runaway suspects.
| 700 companies face visa trading charges |
KUWAIT: Around 700 companies were referred to the Public Prosecution on human trafficking charges after investigations revealed that they were involved in operations in which they obtained money illegally from workers in exchange for work visas a local daily reported yesterday quoting an Interior Ministry insider.
These findings came during ongoing security operations carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Kuwait Municipality said the source who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity. He added that files of nearly 1 000 employers were blocked after domestic workers they hired were found working in other places.
According to the source nearly 15 000 expatriates were arrested in crackdowns since the beginning of the year according to official statistics as of the end of June. Those were detained for violation of residency and labor regulations which include working with an expired visa or holding an article 20 visa given to domestic workers despite working in the private sector where employees receive an article 18 visa. In addition to those arrested the sources revealed that nearly 10 000 others were eventually released after their employers provided their legal papers to police.
Meanwhile the source revealed that around 6 000 were deported during the first half of this year and added that 800 others are still waiting at the deportation centers. Currently deportees are sent home only on Kuwait Airways aircrafts which carry a maximum of 5 per flight while other airlines refuse to carry them for security reasons. The remaining detainees were reportedly released after their employers legalized their status the source indicated.
Visa traffickers often exploit loopholes in the labor sponsorship system to release work permits on fake companies or nonexistent job openings then sell them to unskilled labor forces looking for a chance to work in the oil-rich Gulf region. Once they reach Kuwait workers in most cases end up with no physical jobs resort to accepting hard labor and often live without valid visas. Such workers are often referred to in government rhetoric as marginal labor forces and those have been identified by Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al-Rashidi as the target of a plan announced last March to deport 100 000 foreigners each year as part of a plan to cut the country s expatriate population by one million in a decade.
There are nearly 90 000 people living illegally in Kuwait according to official figures. Crackdowns on illegal residents resulted in thousands of arrests in the past two months but no reports came about investigations taken to pursue traffickers who sell visas obtained illegally to labor forces. Kuwait is home to 2.6 million expatriates who make 68 percent of the country s 3.8 million population and the country has been the subject of criticism from international organizations in the past few years over human right violations and lack of serious efforts to tackle visa trafficking.
|New oil well discovered in western Kuwait |
KUWAIT July 15 (KUNA) -- Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) reported Monday the discovery of a new oil well in Kabd area western Kuwait with commercial-production quantities of both oil and gas.
KOC's Managing Director Hashim Sayed Hashim told KUNA the initial investigation indicates flow of good quantities of both oil and gas through the well which is located north of Manaqeesh. He added an estimate of production capacity for this well would be announced soon.
Kuwait's current oil production capacity is about 3 million barrels per day and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation aims to bring this up to about 4 million by 2020. KPC's strategic plans are drafted to accommodate this goal.(end)
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|Top cop orders suspension of learners licenses to foreigners in Kuwait|
KUWAIT CITY July 3: Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs in the Ministry of Interior Major General AbdulFattah Al-Ali has issued a decision suspending the issuance of all kinds of learners licenses to non-Kuwaitis and Bedoun as of the advent of July reports Al-Rai daily. As per Decision No 61/2013 expatriates and Bedouns applying for learner license on or after 1st July must obtain clearance from his office. He noted some traffic units in the governorates implement the ministerial decree concerning the issuance of licenses to expatriates in the wrong manner thus the license is granted to people who don t fulfill the conditions calling for all concerned units to comply with the decision. Meanwhile security sources have said that Major General AbdulFattah Al-Ali s decision has resulted from the manipulations observed in the issuance of driving licenses for expatriates.