FRIENDS FOREVER’ MARCH ON FRIDAY NEAR KUWAIT TOWERS

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Kuwait: A large number of Philippine expatriates will take part in a march on Friday, March 16, in support of relations between Kuwait and the Philippines, the march will cover the distance between the Kuwait Society of Engineers and the Kuwait Towers.
Dr. Khalid Al-Enzi launched the initiative and coordinated with the Philippine community to take part in the event under the slogan ‘Friends Forever.’

Al-Enzi said that he had sent invitations to ministers and MPs to take part in the march which aims at confronting attempts to undermine relations between the two friendly countries.

EXPATS WHO SUFFER FROM CANCER, DIABETES, HB PRESSURE & SEVERAL OTHER ILLNESSES WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO OBTAIN RESIDENCIES IN KUWAIT

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Kuwait: In an effort to reduce the costs of expat health care on the country’s government, Expats who suffer from cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and several other illnesses will no longer be able to obtain residencies in Kuwait, The news comes after the country’s Ministry of Health released a list of 22 illnesses that make people ineligible to apply for permanent residency status in the country.

Other illnesses featured on the list include renal failure, vision problems, squinting, and tens of others, In her statement on the matter, Assistant Undersecretary for General Health Affairs in the country’s Ministry of Health, Majida Al Qattan, confirmed the news, stating that it comes in line with a GCC council decision which dates back to 2001.

She also explained that the main aims behind the decision are to reduce the costs of expat health care on the country’s government and ensure that expats arriving in the Gulf state are fit to work.
Before the implementation of the most recent expat ban, Kuwait did bar people with infectious diseases from entering or leaving the country, as per international laws.

Those diseases include Aids, Herpes, Hepatitis B and G, Malaria, Leprosy, Syphilis, Tuberculosis, and Gonorrhea, However, this is the first time the country bans people with non-infectious illnesses from entering it.

Speaking to Al Watan, sources said the most recent move is set to be criticized by international human rights organizations because it is unusual to ban people from entering countries if the illnesses they suffer from are not infectious, The source added that the list now being implemented was introduced to the Gulf state’s government eight years ago but was not approved until earlier this year.

In October 2017, Kuwait increased all public health fees for expats for the first time in two decades, Even though the move is still being applied, Kuwait’s Health Minister, Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah, said the increased health fees are now being reassessed “as they were imposed based upon a government proposal not a parliamentary one.”

LOG IN TO GOOGLE, TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE .. BLOCKED IN CHINA

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China's regulators have eliminated hundreds of private networks, which direct user requests to virtual networks located on server servers, hiding users' real sites or destinations.
The Beijing government wants to shut down private companies that provide access to Facebook, YouTube and other services. For years, thousands of private networks in China have provided opportunities to circumvent restrictions on Internet services and visit Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and other government-listed sites on the black list. But that has changed now.
Beijing authorities say they will block or block any private Internet services and services provider as of March 31.
"I have an idea of what the regulators can do," said Sunday Yokopitis, president of Golden Frog, the private network provider in Austin.
In January 2015, Yukopitis stated that his computer was featured in a range of email alert systems and complaints from Chinese customers, and something was disrupted by the service of Fiber in Golden Fruge by blocking target server addresses, rendering them unusable in China.
"They have blocked all our servers at the same time," he said. That is a random crackdown, and things have gotten worse since then. "
Beijing has officially denounced the non-use of private networks for its service, "Great Firewall". The March 31 deadline marks a new stage in its commitment to a wide-ranging prosecution, such as that of Yukopitis three years ago.
The Chinese government says that by the end of this month, people in China will have to stop using unlicensed networks and adhere to licensed government channels. This is a key item in China's biggest campaign against freedom of expression in the Internet age, a campaign that has been actively working over the past year on watching TV programming, violent video games and even celebrity news.
 
Virtual networks
Controllers have essentially eliminated hundreds of private networks that direct user requests to virtual networks located on server servers and hide users' real sites or destinations.Some of the owners of these companies were imprisoned, and during the summer Apple began removing its program on private networks from the Chinese version of Apple Store.
Fiber and Express are still on the BBC and Noord in the BBC, and few others are working to bypass the government and hire additional Cloud servers from Amazon and Web services to improve their network services. It also works on a program that can make user activities appear licensed, and sometimes by hiring IP addresses used by government-approved services.
 
Game Showdown
The process of confrontation and defense of private networks' capacity is becoming increasingly acute, said Yokobitis. In the past two months, his team has banned six Viper-style attacks in 2015. "We've seen attacks every three or four months," he said. Robbie Gonzalez, head of communications at Panama-based Nord BV, said her company had seen a similar escalation and was expecting more after the deadline.
The Chinese government is employing thousands of professionals to find ways to thwart private network programs and has begun forcing China Telecom Corp. and other state-owned enterprises to withhold any unauthorized traffic to private companies that they can monitor even when they visit authorized sites such as Taobao Mall - The huge line of Alibaba Holding Group.
"This is a new technique," said Harold Lee, vice president of Express BV, which is officially based in the British Virgin Islands. "It's like trying to lower the experience on private networks so you can not use them."
There are two main ways to detect and block private network services - the first is to sign up with a provider and verify the address used and then ask the providers to block it. The second method is to search for Internet traffic to identify links with encryption protocols. Like an armored vehicle, the most secure private networks are easy to define in this way even if you do not know what is inside it specifically. "This is an arms race," said Ralph Halls, a lecturer on networking and cyber security at the University of Sydney. "The government's performance is improving every day.
 
Cost of networks
Most leading private network services cost between $ 6 and $ 12 a month, and some offer free copies with fewer features. The lucrative quality of its continuation owes much to the Chinese public's desire to use it to watch banned cartoons, read controversial news, access scientific research on services such as Google Scholar or simply protect their communications.
Users can place their own networks on Cloud servers provided by Amazon Web Services and its competitors. Such personal networks can offer a small degree of movement that is difficult to detect and close, but it is also more expensive and requires a higher level of experience. Official regulators say that certain companies - including China Telecom - will be allowed to provide access to government-approved private networks as soon as the above deadline passes.
Such a system would not provide the same levels of privacy and freedom that private network users are accustomed to, according to Price Boland, head of regional technology at Cyberfire. It is logical to believe that Apple and Alibaba - both global - will make any settlement they need to continue working in China.
China's campaign has helped improve the status of the rest of the private networks. Nord's sales in VPN have risen by "several hundred percent" since the Beijing government began targeting other services last summer, Gonzales said. Golden Frog's sales jumped half a month in six months, and Express BV says it made a 50 percent jump in October. But what about participation? "If things do not get worse, we may need to talk about some providers in the BBC and get technology, but we have not got to that point yet," he says

Ban on Bangladeshi workers

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Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah issued a decision to stop issuing work visas for Bangladeshis and sent it to Assistant Undersecretary for Nationality and Passports Maj Gen Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, according to a report in Al-Jarida daily yesterday.
A source said the minister’s decision was made after a notable rise in the number of Bangladeshi workers in the country and based on reports from various security departments, which show that after a previous ban on Bangladeshi workers was lifted, they became a target of “iqama traders”, resulting in irregularities and abuses

Terminated contracts of expats in public sector won’t be renewed

The terminated contracts of expatriate employees of the public sector will not be renewed, reports Al-Anba daily quoting governmental sources.

They explained that these employees will not be allowed to work in any other institutions in the public sector. A new batch of Kuwaiti citizens with different educational qualifications will join the labor market to replace these expatriates in accordance with the requests for labor needs sent to Civil Service Commission (CSC) by different state institutions.

There will be no exceptions in terms of appointing expatriates in the public sector. Concerning the specializations that are not covered by Kuwaiti employees, a decision must be made by CSC to ensure these jobs are filled by expatriate employees. However, such positions are limited and their numbers are not big.

 

The sources highlighted the government’s decision, which obligates all state institutions to reduce the number of their expatriate employees per year until the fixed rates for each specialization are reached in 2022 based on the government’s plan launched in September 2017.

They revealed that a list of expatriate employees who will be dismissed in the coming fiscal year, which starts from April 1, is being prepared along with those whose contracts have been terminated.

 

Source: Arab Times

OFWs in KSA and Qatar wooed for jobs elsewhere

Overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are being wooed by the government to return home for a chance to be employed locally or elsewhere abroad.

MB FILE—Jobseekers apply for work at the 2016 Labor Day Job and Career Fair at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. (Ali Vicoy) | mb.com.ph

Ali Vicoy | MANILA BULLETIN File Photo

The Department of Labor and Employment established a Job Fair Task Force that will conduct a special job fair and skills profiling of OFWs based in the two countries.

The group is headed by DOLE Undersecretary Claro Arellano who is in charge of DOLE’s Legal and International Affairs, and is co-chaired by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

\Other members include the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Bureau of Local Employment, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in KSA and Qatar.

In an administrative order issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the supply-demand profiling and skills-job matching will be jointly conducted by the POEA and BLE.

Concerned POLO in the identified countries will do the preliminary skills profiling of the OFWs in coordination with the ILAB.

Through the joint undertaking, POEA and BLE will conduct employers’ forum and gather the number of vacancies, skills requirement, geographical location (local or overseas), as well as determine the companies interested to join the Job Fair.

Also, POEA and BLE shall process the supply and demand profile and come up with labor market information that will serve as a guide for matching of available skills and employer demand for workers.

“OFWs who require further upgrading of skills requirements of the participating employers will be referred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for training prior to their deployment whether local or overseas,” the DOLE said in a statement.

OWWA, on the other hand, will provide the welfare assistance during the conduct of job fairs and which may lead to the repatriation of distressed OFWs.

Earlier, the DOLE said 18,000 jobs here in the country will be made available to displaced OFWs in Saudi and Qatar during the job fair.

A number OFWs have been rendered jobless due to the recent diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

BLOGGER FACES 63 YEARS IN JAIL

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Kuwait: The Criminal Court has today sentenced blogger Saqr Al-Hashah to 3 years in prison with immediate effect, The blogger now faces a total of 63 years in jail after he had been convicted in a series of state security cases

Father Emmanuel and the Christians of Kuwait

Father Emmanuel Benjamin Jacob Gharib, the first native priest of the Gulf, stands in the aisle of the National Evangelical Church in Kuwait City on February 20, 2018 [Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP]

Father Emmanuel Benjamin Jacob Gharib, the first native priest of the Gulf, stands in the aisle of the National Evangelical Church in Kuwait City on February 20, 2018 [Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP]

Dressed in a traditional white Gulf headdress and with two red crosses embroidered on his black clerical robe, Kuwait's first homegrown priest cuts a unique figure in the predominantly Muslim country.

In an interview with the AFP news agency in advance of the 20th anniversary of his ordination, he stressed the level of acceptance he has felt from fellow Muslim Kuwaitis.

But as an engineering graduate, he was not always destined for the priesthood. This is his story:

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Assyrian background

  • Assyrian parents: Born in the Qibla district of Kuwait City, Gharib was raised in a devout Christian family.

  • Like many Christian Kuwaitis, his roots lie elsewhere in the Middle East.The priest's father was born to an Assyrian family in southeast Turkey but was forced to flee when the Ottoman Empire targeted the minority Christian groups during WWI.

  • The Red Cross took his father to Iraq, where he would eventually wed Gharib's mother - a fellow Assyrian - in the northern city of Mosul in 1945.

  • With the former Ottoman cities reeling from the upheaval of World War I, the couple decided to build their future in Kuwait.

  • Engineering graduate: He graduated from engineering school with a degree in geology in 1971 and soon found a job at the Kuwaiti oil ministry.

  • They raised four girls and three boys - the eldest Emmanuel - in a religious environment, taking them to Sunday School each week. They always felt close to their Muslim neighbours.

  • Turning point: Ten years into his career, Emmanuel Gharib and his wife took part in a religious conference in Kuwait.

  • "That was the turning point," he said. "That was where the Lord changed my life ... where I was born again and began my journey with Jesus Christ."

  • Priesthood: He quit his job and embarked in 1989 on a theology degree at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo.

  • He was ordained as a priest in 1999 and subsequently elected to head the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait, becoming the first and only Gulf Arab priest.

  • "An Egyptian or Lebanese priest performs the same liturgy but a Kuwaiti priest can communicate the teachings of the Bible in the Kuwaiti dialect," said Abu Nader, a 63-year-old parishioner.

  • For 54-year-old Eyad Noman: "Our relationship with him is very strong... He is one of us."

  • Father Emmanuel also serves as vice president of the Islamic-Christian Relations Council in Kuwait, which he cofounded in 2009.

Kuwait's Christians

  • Arrival: Over the past century, Christians have immigrated from Turkey, Iraq and Palestine during periods of upheaval, gaining citizenship under a 1959 Nationality Law.

  • But the presence of Christians in Kuwait dates back even further, to the arrival of American Evangelical missionaries and the founding of the American Mission Hospital in the early 1900s, he said.

  • Current count: The local Christian population is dwarfed by 900,000 expatriate workers of various Christian denominations and nationalities - from Lebanese to Filipinos.

  • At the last count, according to Father Emmanuel, Kuwait has 264 native Christians from eight extended families, out of a total native population of 1.35 million.

  • Christians of different denominations are "free to practise" in several churches and Kuwait City municipality has provided land to bury their dead, he said.

  • Father Emmanuel's own landmark next year will coincide with the 85th anniversary of the Evangelical Church in Kuwait.

  • "Everyone welcomes me wherever I go," said Father Emmanuel.

Return to Kuwait
 

SOURCE: AFP NEWS AGENCY

Saudi Arabia bans mobile phone use while driving

Decision also bans the use of hands-free devices which has angered many citizens 

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Saudi social media users said they were surprised by a decision to ban all cell phones while driving in the kingdom, including using Bluetooth or any hands-free device.

The reactions surged after a Saudi citizen asked the Traffic Directorate on their Twitter account whether the laws allowed him to drive and use the mobile through a Bluetooth or earpieces.

The citizen said that in either case, his hands would be free and would be holding the steering wheel.

The answer, also posted on the Twitter account, was that traffic violations included holding a mobile phone or not focusing on the road while driving, Saudi news site Al Marsad reported on Wednesday.

The answer that basically barred talking on the phone while driving, hands-free or not, triggered shocked reactions, although some users said they fully agreed with the traffic authorities.

“We understand when the holding of mobiles is banned and we completely agree when drivers engage in texting or in surfing through applications, but there is no sense in not allowing the Bluetooth technology or speakerphones,” one user said.

Another user under the moniker of Saudi said that all new cars were equipped with Bluetooth.

“We are well aware that accidents are caused by texting while driving, not by talking through a speakerphone or Bluetooth,” Saudi posted.

For Omar, the excessive application of some rules could backfire.

“We are not aware of other countries banning Bluetooth calls, and we do look forward to the interior minister reversing this decision,” he posted.

Those who supported the ban said that figures about accidents warranted the decision.

“When you know that there are around 80,000 people who were crippled in accidents in 2017, you will applaud such a decision,” he posted.

 

Source: Gulf News

Why do you have to raise the window shades before landing and what happens if the door opens in the air?

Experts answer the plane questions you've ALWAYS wanted to know

Whether it's loud sounds, unusual plugs and flaps or basic rules, there are things on planes that spark the curiosity of even the most well-versed travellers. 

So to ensure travellers remain calm and enjoy their next flight, a number of experts have answered some of the most common airline travel questions they've been asked over the years. 

Here, FEMAIL rounds up the best responses by Australian experts at Skyscanner, Traveller and Flight Centre. 

Here, FEMAIL rounds up the best responses by Australian experts at Skyscanner, Traveller and Flight Centre

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO RAISE THE WINDOW SHADE BEFORE LANDING? 

 

According to Skyscanner, this is entirely for safety reasons. 

'Despite swanky new Boeing 787 Dreamliners replacing clunky window shades with self-tinting windows, most commercial aircraft still have solid blinds that raise and lower manually,' they wrote.   

'In the event of a crash, visibility helps the crew to evaluate hazards if evacuation is required. Is there a fire? Debris? Fuel? Not something you want to think about, we know.  

Not only this, but this also allows passengers' eyes to adjust should there be an emergency and swift movement is required. 

'In the event of a crash, visibility helps the crew to evaluate hazards if evacuation is required. Is there a fire? Debris? Fuel? Not something you want to think about, we know,' Skyscanner wrote

WHAT DO THE FLAPS ON THE WINGS DO? 

According to Skyscanner, the flaps on the wings are 'used to increase lift during takeoff and landing'. 

'When the flaps are engaged they increase the curvature, or camber, of the wing which helps an aircraft generate the required lift,' they wrote.    

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DOOR OPENS MID-FLIGHT?

Mainly due to Hollywood movies, many travellers have fears of being sucked out of the plane if the doors should fly open mid-flight.

Thankfully, this is impossible. 

'It is virtually impossible to open any of the cabin doors while the plane is in the air due to the pressure inside being greater than that outside the plane,' the Flight Centre team wrote. 

'As most plane doors are designed to open inward before pushing out, even the strongest person wouldn't be able to pull the door inward.'

WHY DO PLANES FLY SO HIGH? 

According to Flight Centre, 'most aircraft fly in the 30,000 foot range for efficiency'.

'Ranging between 30 and 40,000 feet is where a plane's engines can operate the best. There is less drag in the thinner air, which doesn't burn up fuel.   

'Of course, the size and weight of a plane are deciding factors in how high it will fly, as are flight directions, weather conditions and turbulence.'

According to Flight Centre, 'most aircraft fly in the 30,000 foot range for efficiency'

WHAT DO PILOTS DO THE WHOLE TIME?

'We're not at the cockpit for 14 hours. We have two crews, so two captains and two first officers,' Emirates A380 pilot Ian Haines told Traveller.   

'The crew that takes off also does the landing. So say I'm the commander of the flight, the captain on board. We'd have a briefing before the flight, which is about an hour and 15 before take-off. We then go to the cockpit and set up the cockpit. 

'The other crew will do the walk around the aircraft and check that for me. We then take off, climb up to top of climb, at which point the other crew will go back and rest. They will have about five hours' rest. We will then fly for about five, five-and-a-half hours, then we change control teams.'

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE MEALS IN EACH CLASS? 

According to Skyscanner, economy class meals include cheaper ingredients and are' pre-cooked, pre-packaged and often frozen or blast-chilled as a whole item in the food factory'.

'Main meals in Business Class and First Class are generally not pre-packaged. Instead, each part of the meal, for example, the sauce, vegetables, and fish, are packaged separately, so that they can be reheated - or cooked on board,' they said. 

'This means that flight attendants can reheat or cook each thing perfectly, and serve the meal as it might be served in a restaurant. Ingredients are often prepared much closer to take off time too.'