Kuwait News



KUWAIT: Following a press release issued by the interior ministry to refute Twitter rumors that MoI assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs Maj Gen Abdul Fattah Al- Ali had been assaulted during a traffic inspection campaign in Jahra, wellinformed security sources explained that after spending an hour at the inspection check points at Jahra entrances, Ali moved to another inspection site and on his way, stopped for fuel at Naseem gas station. “Ali saw four vehicles without license plates inside the station and after confiscating the driving licenses of three of them, he approached the fourth driver who looked no more than 12 years old,” said that the sources, noting that the driver asked Al-Ali to identify himself and as soon as he did, the boy drove off, breaking the fuel hose that was still fueling his race car, and vanished.

The sources added that police patrols that arrived upon a call from Ali could not catch the runaway driver. “There is a great deal of law violations in Jahra and that will be closely watched,” stressed the sources. On another concern, the sources denied MoI’s intention to ban the issuance of driving licenses for dependant wives

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s historical sites reflect glimpse of ancient human history which could provide answers regarding the events that took place and may have had an impact on the course of human history. In October of each year, Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL) receive geological excavation teams from different countries to study historical sites in Failaka Island, Sabiya, and Kuwait Bay, with the participation of Kuwaiti experts to benefit from the international experiences in this field. Assistant Secretary General for Antiquities and Museums Affairs in the council Shihab Al-Shihab said that delegations from different international universities and institutes, which the council had signed agreements with, have arrived in the country to reveal new information behind the historical sites.

He noted that the teams consist of experts in archeology, anatomy and anthropologists. Al-Shihab said that the agreements required publishing the results of their studies. He added that the experts will hold workshops in their universities to present their students with the region’s history, noting that this would be a great step to make Kuwait a tourist attraction for its rich human history. He said that the studies may reveal a different face of Failaka Island from the one we see now, with the teams aiming to study the buildings and whole sites that sank deep under water, he explained.

Revealing these sunken sites may give us an idea about the nature of the relation between Failaka, Sabiya, and Kuwait Bay he noted, while it may give clear answers as to why were the buildings mainly existing in certain parts of the island, he also added. Al-Shihab said that the French mission is studying the location of what is commonly known as the Christian city in Failaka, while the British mission is studying the Islamic monuments in Kuwait Bay, and the Italian studying Al- Qurainiya site.

The Danish mission is also studying parts of Failaka, with new technologies that would help in better understanding the historical events and culture of these sites. He also added that a Georgian mission, will study sites belonging to the Stone Age in the island. A Polish mission will study Islamic sites and cemeteries in the island, including the sunken sites in order to draw a map of such locations and of Kuwait Bay, he noted, adding that studying the underwater monuments will not start until next March, due to the water’s cold temperatures. The Secretary General noted that a group of experts will visit Kuwait next January to cooperate with a local team to complete the requirements of the World Heritage Center, under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in order to add Saad and Saeeda location in Failaka to the center’s final list.

The requirements of the UNESCO’s agreement for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1972 included that the country renovates the historical site, trains and forms a local team to take care of the site. Al-Shihab praised the efforts of public sector organizations in cooperating with the visiting missions and supporting the council, especially Kuwait Municipality and the Ministry of Public Works. He also praised the cooperation of different organizations in the country for paying attention to Kuwait’s historical heritage, noting that they would not run any project that might destroy even the smallest part of these sites. — KUNA

KUWAIT: There is an indication which suggests a crisis is looming at the Ministry of Health hospitals because nearly 1,300 male and female nurses — stateless and Ethiopians — have threatened to organize a sit-in and go on strike if their demands are not met. They are demanding payment on time and to be treated on par with their colleagues.

According to a complaint filed by the Ethiopian embassy with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, about 300 nurses are not paid their salaries for the past three months. According to the nurses they are brought into the country by a company which has a contract with the Ministry of Health. They also say they resorted to their embassy because the company violated the terms and conditions of the contract. In the same context, and in conjunction with the problem of the Ethiopian nurses, about one thousand of ‘stateless’ male and female nurses have threatened to go on strike. They are protesting the delay in payment of their salaries.

The nurses have requested the ministry to treat them on par with their colleagues in the same profession, stressing their salaries do not exceed KD 400, while some of their colleagues earn as much as KD 800.

KUWAIT: MP Hussein Quwaian has asked Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammed Khalid Al-Sabah to provide him with information on the traffic violations punishable by imprisonment and deportation. The lawmaker wants to know if there is any legal basis for the deportation of expatriates who violate traffic regulations.

He demanded a detailed report in this regard, including the number of violations recorded from Jan 1, 2013 till date; violations punishable by detention and the number of people detained; reasons for confiscating vehicles; and procedures for retrieving confiscated vehicles during ordinary days and holidays. He also inquired if any person, whose mother is a Kuwaiti, has been deported.

In another development, Quwaian submitted questions to State Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Health Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al- Sabah on the budget allocated for the emergency plan in the event of a US military strike on Syria. He requested a copy of the minutes of the meetings of the Central Emergencies Committee and its subcommittees, as well as the names of the Medical Emergency Committee members.

He wants to know if an auditor was appointed to look into the expenditures related to the plan. Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Priorities Team held its second meeting Wednesday in the presence of State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Minister of Planning and Development Dr Rola Dashti. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Chairman of the team MP Ali Omair disclosed they discussed 24 priorities of the government; most of which are under the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee as they are related to government projects like tenders, Audit Bureau and State properties. He added the committee discussed the possibility of removing 24 old priorities from the agenda for the 26 sessions in the next legislative round. He said the team will remove these priories within the next two days or after comparing them with the new priorities presented by the MPs and committees.

He revealed the government also demanded for the removal of draft bills included in the parliamentary agenda many years ago, since they are no longer considered priorities. He went on to say the team stressed the need for the government to present its program for fiscal 2013/2014 to check if it matches the authority’s priorities; indicating the team stressed that it is pointless to talk about priorities without the government program. According to Omair, there is no huge difference between priorities of the government and the Parliament and both have agreed on the need to prioritize the Public Telecommunications Authority Bill. On bureaucracy or delay in processing official documents and transactions, Al- Omair pointed out the government must focus on two issues — the tenders bill and Audit Bureau — in order to address the problem.

For her part, Dashti disclosed the team will meet again on Sunday to tackle the timetable and include the priorities in the agenda for the upcoming parliamentary sessions. She said the team has approved, in principle, the government-parliament priorities. On the other hand, Rapporteur of Financial and Economic Affairs Committee MP Faisal Al-Kandari on Wednesday agreed to postpone until next week the approval of the proposed amendments to the Kuwait Airways Corporation privatization and BOT bills. He said the committee will discuss the government’s views on the bills in its upcoming meeting.

Moreover, MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi submitted a proposal on the establishment of a governmental inspection and monitoring authority to act as general supervisor for the executive authority. He said the authority’s functions include documenting and monitoring the government’s work. Al-Tamimi clarified the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is supposed to carry out this task but it has failed in this regard; hence, the need to establish the authority to ensure that the government executes its plans and stop irregularities in its departments. He added the authority will consist of five directors, headed by a general inspector with the rank minister, and it will employ Kuwaiti legal and technical experts

650 traffic citations issued: The Traffic Regulation Section at the Capital Traffic Department carried out a traffic campaign; resulting in the issuance of 300 citations for direct violations, 350 for indirect violations, confiscation of 41 vehicles and arrest of two persons who were put under the custody of Traffic Section Head Lieutenant Colonel Meshal Al-Hajraf for 48 hours, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The Traffic Sector confirmed that the campaigns will continue round the clock to protect road users and guarantee strict compliance with the laws. On the other hand, the Media Information Department reaffirmed the continuation of its public awareness campaign in all sectors through various media forms.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staf

Kuwait: Seven people were summoned as potential suspects in arson cases reported in two Salmiya mosques Tuesday and in which perpetrators set copies of the Holy Quran on fire. According to sources familiar with the ongoing investigation, the men who are of expatriate nationalities were referred for fingerprinting after their descriptions matched those provided by an eyewitness who told police that he saw three people enter one of the mosques and exit later before the fire started.

KUWAIT: Sabah Al-Salem police arrested a man who left a stateless resident in a critical condition during a fight two weeks ago. The search for the Kuwaiti man had been ongoing ever since he stabbed his foe in the chest and abdomen ‘to settle old disputes’ according to the victim, who said that the fight happened after they ran into each other accidentally in Sabah Al-Salem. Police arrested the man Saturday night in an ambush outside his house in the area. He was referred to the authorities to face charges.

KUWAIT: A local daily published yesterday a report about confiscating fake and smuggled medicines from various pharmacies and herbal shops. Both the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Commerce are responsible for the inspection and controlling of these places. Customers who bought such medicines can complain to the Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry of Commerce. According to an inspector from this department, they hold inspections both randomly and based on a complaint. “Sometimes our inspectors go on random inspections but in the majority of cases, we conduct inspections at pharmacies after a customer files a complaint at our department, especially since pharmacies are inspected by the Ministry of Health,” the inspector told the Kuwait Times. He agreed that there were few cases of fake medicines found in pharmacies and the number was not big. “Nevertheless, imported medicines and other consumables go through checking by the customs department at different ports and mail, yet some individuals succeed in smuggling banned or fake medicines into the country in different ways. So we work to eliminate this phenomena,” added the inspector.

Michel, a pharmacist, denied knowledge about such fake medicines. “I haven’t heard about any pharmacies selling fake medicines and haven’t received any offers for such medicines. All medicines sold in the pharmacy should be authorized by the Ministry of Health. We don’t accept any new products or medicines unless we check the official license given by the ministry for this product. If any patient comes to us and asks for forbidden or fake medicines, we just say it’s not available at the pharmacy,” he pointed out. “Inspectors from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce and the Municipality come frequently for inspections at the pharmacy. They check the medicines if they are licensed and approved, the expiry date, and other issues related to their work. In case of any violation, the pharmacist or the owner of the license will be penalized and it may reach a point where the pharmacy may be closed,” stressed Michel.

According to a report published by the World Health Organization, sales from fake medicines globally in the past two years were $75 billion per year, with a 90 percent increase compared to 2005. And according to the report, one million people die every year around the world as a result of consuming these fake medicines. The report also mentioned that most of the fake medicines that have biggest sales are for weight loss, sexual dysfunction, antibiotics, and painkillers.

By Nawara Fattahova

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