Power cut ordered as bachelors given ultimatum to quit houses

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The Public Relations Department of Kuwait Municipality has disclosed that the Audit and Monitoring Engineering Department in Ahmadi Governorate carried out an intensive campaign in various residential areas of the governorate to issue evacuation notices to bachelors living in private houses.

Director of the department Eng. Saoud Al-Dabous explained that the campaign was held for one week to detect houses that are in violation of the Municipal law which bans bachelors from residing in areas that are not designated for them.

About 112 letters for disconnecting electricity in violating houses were sent to the concerned authorities because the houses were being used for purposes other than the licensed purpose in accordance with law No. 125/2008.

The Public Relations Department urged citizens to report the presence of bachelors in private houses via the hotline number of Kuwait Municipality or through its accounts on social media.

 

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Under-30 hires ban cancellation tied to education, medical sector demands

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Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh has added the recommendation of the technical office of Parliament’s Replacement Committee for reviewing the private sector labor law to the list of recommendations to be studied, reports Al-Rai daily.

Meanwhile, Minister Al-Sabeeh disclosed that the decision to suspend the import of highly qualified expatriates less than 30 years old was withdrawn due to demands of both educational and medical sectors for urgent need of expatriates of certain specializations.

Furthermore, she stressed that the merger of Public Authority for Manpower and Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) is ongoing based on the prepared plan.

In addition, a reliable source from Public Authority for Manpower revealed that the reason for suspending the import of highly qualified expatriates less than 30 years old was aimed at hiring experienced and efficient employees who are 30 years old and above.

Also, the technical office of Parliament’s Replacement Committee prepared a study for encouraging citizens to join private sector for work. The study includes amending the private sector labor law especially the clauses related to contracting and end of service for making jobs in the private sector more safe and stable.

 

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Bahrain to issue 10-year self-sponsorship permit

Move aims to reinforce Bahrain’s position as investment destination

Bahrain is to issue ten-year renewable residency permit on a self-sponsorship basis to foreign investors.

Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Tuesday evening instructed the Minister of Interior to prepare a draft edict to create the self-sponsorship residency permit for foreign investors.

The new system is designed to reinforce Bahrain’s position as an investment destination.

In a statement carried by the official news agency, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa “affirmed the importance of instilling the principles of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 - sustainability, competitiveness and justice – across all development areas.”

Government efforts to advance public services in line with international best practises are aimed at supporting an economic environment conducive to securing growth and investment in key sectors, he said.

During one of the many visits he made to majlises since the start of Ramadan, Prince Salman highlighted the significance of advancing the tourism, logistics, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, and oil and gas sectors, saying they played an important role in attracting international investment and providing employment opportunities for Bahrainis.

Bahrain continues to prioritise initiatives that improve efficiency he said on Tuesday evening, as he stressed “the importance of simplifying procedures within the logistics sector as a catalyst for growth given the industry’s ability to increase the competitive power of national corporations in today’s interconnected global economy.”

Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa on Tuesday said there was a zero tolerance policy towards delaying the issuance of licenses required for businessmen and investors.

The government was keen on enhancing and improving the business environment through offering more facilities to grant commercial and investment licenses.

He warned that postponing investment projects by is not allowed at all because it is offensive to the in Bahrain. The government will never tolerate him.

Postponing projects because of such delays is not allowed as it harms Bahrain's civilised image and business environment, he said as he received senior state officials.

Prince Khalifa said that he was keen on knowing the aspirations and visions of businessmen especially in light of the current commercial and economic conditions and what can be achieved to stimulate commercial and economic activity through partnership with the private sector.

The concerns of the various economic activities should be addressed in order to overcome all obstacles, he added.

The decision to grant the 10-year renewable residency permit was warmly applauded by members of the business community who said that it would contribute to unlocking more investment potential in the kingdom.

Ahlam Janahi, a business leader, said she applauded the move as a positive step forward for business activities and investment opportunities in Bahrain.

"Such a step further concretises the aspirations of the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030," she said.

Common toothpaste ingredient linked to colon cancer

An antibacterial and antifungal agent found in hand soaps and toothpastes can potentially cause colon cancer

New York:  Using triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in hand soaps and toothpastes among other consumer products, can potentially cause colon inflammation and cancer, finds a study on mice.

The study, reported in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that short-time treatment with low-dose triclosan caused low-grade colonic inflammation, and exaggerated disease development of colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer in mice.

 

"These results, for the first time, suggest that triclosan could have adverse effects on gut health," said Guodong Zhang at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, US.

Previous research has suggested that triclosan can have toxic effects at high doses, but the health effects of lower concentrations that a person might be exposed to remain unclear.

For the new study, the team fed mice with food containing various concentrations of triclosan for three weeks.

The results showed that mice treated with a concentration of triclosan that reflects the concentrations reported in human blood samples displayed more systemic and colonic inflammation compared to control animals.

Furthermore, triclosan exposure increased the severity of colon inflammation in mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease -- an effect that persisted even when low doses of the chemical were administered.

Triclosan treatment also increased tumour size and reduced survival in a separate group of rodents with colon cancer.

Interestingly, triclosan also reduced the diversity of commensal bacteria in the gut of mice, and germ-free mice were protected from the harmful effects, suggesting its pro-inflammatory actions may arise due to alteration of the gut microbiome.

The researchers stressed that further studies should assess the impact of triclosan on human gut health, and determine whether individuals with IBD or colon cancer could be more vulnerable to any adverse effects.

"Because this compound is so widely used, our study suggests that there is an urgent need to further evaluate the impact of triclosan exposure on gut health in preparation for the potential establishment of further regulatory policies," said co-author Haixia Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at the varsity.

Kuwait government reiterates opposition to remittance tax

Lawmakers who had been calling for the tax have been arguing that it would help generate revenues for the government

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Manama: Kuwait’s government has reiterated its opposition to attempts by lawmakers to impose fees on remittances by expatriates.

“The stance of the government has not changed. It still rejects the move to introduce fees on remittances by expatriates because of the negative consequences. The approach towards the issue is not comprehensive and will not provide financial resources for the budget,” a ministerial source was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti media on Sunday.

The lawmakers who had been calling for the tax have been arguing that it would help generate revenues for the government, keep funds in the country and boost the economy. A parliamentary committee said that it supported the move.

However, the government last month refuted all the claims by the MPs among concerns that such a tax would constitute a risk to Kuwait’s international reputation and weaken its ability to combat money laundering.

Imposing taxes would also harm financial stability in the country and would generate a black market that would be difficult to control.

The government also expressed concern that the taxes would have an impact on the processes of attracting foreign investment, especially that it had plans to boost a reputation of being a regional financial centre with highly attractive incentives.

Foreigners make up around 70 per cent of the total population of 4.5 million in the northern Arabian Gulf state.

Ban on working in open areas to start from June 1 to Aug 31

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The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has confirmed the formation of a team tasked to inspect open working sites in preparation for the implementation of the decision banning work under the direct heat of the Sun from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm during summer — from June 1 to Aug 31.

According to local report, employers should instruct workers assigned in open areas to carry out their tasks early in the morning or in the evening to ensure their safety. 

Local report also says that the inspection team will use smart machines to find the violators of this law and warned that there will be no exemption from the rule.

First day of Eid Al-Fitr ON

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Reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting the Kuwaiti astronomer and historian Adel Al-Sa’adoun.

The first day of Eid Al-Fitr will fall on Friday, June 15,

He explained that the moon will be coupled with the sun (the so-called birth of the moon) on Wednesday, June 13 at exactly 10:43 pm. On that day, the sun would have set before the moon by 25 minutes due to which it would be impossible to see the crescent.

On Thursday June 14, the moon will set 40 minutes before the sun. The new moon will be 20 hours and seven minutes, and its elevation from the horizon will be 8 degrees. The angle between the moon, earth and sun will 12 degrees.

On the evening of June 14 at sunset, all the conditions for sighting the crescent would be favorable for seeing with the naked eye in all Arab countries and in some Muslim countries east of Makkah Mukarramah

Why replacing expatriates is not possible

Many expatriates working in Kuwait’s public sector must have breathed a sigh of relief last week to hear the Head of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) admit that it was not realistic to expect replacing expatriates from the public sector any time soon.

Speaking during a media interview last week, the Head of CSC, Ahmad Al-Jassar, said that Kuwait could not replace all expatriates in public sector, especially in the health and education sectors, as there were not enough qualified candidates from among Kuwaiti applicants to replace the foreigners. He added that, of the total 78,317 foreigners working in the public sector, the majority where employed in the health and education sector.

“Around 76 percent of foreigners in the public sectors are employed by the ministries of education and health,” he said. “The health ministry has 33,303 expatriates and the education ministry has 26,433. We have regularly informed the competent committees that replacing them would not be possible for the time being,” admitted Al-Jassar.

In a bid to address the country’s demographic imbalance, where citizens account for less than a third of the population, Kuwait has embarked on a massive Kuwaitization drive to reduce reliance on foreigners and boost employment for nationals.

The drive is being closely monitored by several lawmakers who have been pushing for a genuine ‘Kuwaitization’ by replacing expatriates with citizens, initially in the public sector and later reducing their numbers in the private sector. According to the latest figures from the Central Statistical Bureau, there are around 12,000 young Kuwaitis without a job.

However, Al-Jassar stressed that there were not enough qualified Kuwaitis to replace the foreigners in the public sector. “We have 8,158 Kuwaitis who do not have the necessary advanced academic qualifications and 3,479 who have no degrees,” he said. “There are also 3,828 Kuwaitis who have only the middle school certificate and 851 who hold high school certificate.”

He added the situation meant any drive to replace foreigners, especially in the health and education sectors would be highly difficult. “We study the requests by all public departments to appoint employees and we assess the availability of Kuwaiti citizens,” Al-Jassar said.

In September, the commission said it created 17,936 vacancies for Kuwaiti nationals in the public sector to deal with applications from around 22,000 Kuwaitis who had signed up for recruitment.

Despite a robust drive by the government to make the private sector more attractive to Kuwaiti nationals, foreigners continue to overwhelm the sector by accounting for 97 percent of jobs in this sector. Most Kuwaitis opt for government jobs and would rather sit and wait for a public sector vacancy than enter the private sector. According to government labor statistics released in 2016, about 58 percent of Kuwaitis refuse to work in the private sector and would rather wait for an opening in the public sector.

Statistics from the Public authority for Civil Information (PACI) for December 2017 show that there are 322,381 Kuwaitis working in the public sector, representing 79 percent of the total Kuwaiti labor force. Government jobs lure nationals because of the work security that it offers; once employed in the public sector a national cannot be dismissed unless in extreme cases. Young citizens are also attracted by less work pressure, more relaxed timings, fewer working hours and longer holidays that a government job offers.

 

First time in Kuwait, Jazeera Airways announced new Ride & Fly Shuttle service in Kuwait

Jazeera Airways launches on May 22 its newest shuttle service, Ride & Fly, enabling passengers to take a shuttle from dedicated bus stops in Kuwait, check-in on board and travel to the new terminal.  Ride & Fly which allows you to take a bus from specific stations, check in in the bus and get to the terminal directly. This service is specifically for flights to India and Egypt.

Jazeera Airways,  starting regionally and internationally, officially inaugurated the Jazeera terminal (T5) at the Kuwait International Airport, starting from 22nd of May 2018. The first terminal owned by a non-government airline in the Middle East, the Jazeera terminal will ease traffic congestion at the Kuwait International Airport. The terminal covers a total area of 4,750 square meters and can handle an average of 1,200 bags per hour.

 

Women researchers in breast cancer breakthrough

Team of three women from Saudi Arabia, Morocco and India came from Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain

Three women researchers from Saudi Arabia, Morocco and India have participated in a scientific research group that succeeded in developing nano-derived compounds to treat triple negative breast cancer, an intractable tumour that does not respond to conventional chemotherapy and has very little recovery rates among patients.

The findings of the research team demonstrated the success of nano compounds in transferring a medicinal compound containing turmeric, cannabis and tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the treatment of breast cancer.

The team, led by Dr Khaled Greish, Director of the Nano-research Unit at the Princess Al Jawhara Centre at Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain, included Reem Al Zahrani from Saudi Arabia, Sara El Kaissi from Morocco and Anchal Mathur from India.

The nano compound is additionally characterised by its ability to dissolve in water and immediately direct towards the tumour, thereby avoiding collateral damage resulting during the process of conventional chemotherapy, which leads to damage to other organs in the vicinity of the tumour.

The study was a joint effort by the team members, the university said in a statement.

Al Zahrani was involved in cell transplantation by taking cancer cells and testing manufactured nano compounds as well as natural medicine on them, measuring toxicity levels and their effectiveness on cancer cells.

El kaissi, a trainee, tested cancer control through drugs by introducing nanotechnology and testing it on cancer cells in mice. It was found that the nano compound reduces the size of cancer cell and has a better effect than the drug alone.

Mathur, also a trainee, tested the cannabis plant, which has proved through previous tests to combat cancer cells.

Laboratory experiments conducted on mice have shown that the nano compound did not attack the brain as strongly as the chemical compound used to combat cancer, thus neutralising collateral damage, the statement added.

“In general, we took the drugs available in hospitals used on cancer patients and naturally occurring compounds such as turmeric, and we formulated them in this chemical compound, which reaches tumours faster than conventional chemotherapy treatment drugs,” Al Zahrani said. “The results were positive and the chemical nano compound was more effective on cancerous tumours than all other treatments.”