AWARENESS : Giant asteroid passed just 120,000 miles from Earth last night - and was only spotted 24 hours earlier

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An asteroid as big as a 10-story building has passed by Earth at a distance half that of the Moon, researchers have revealed.  The asteroid, dubbed 2017 AG13, was only spotted only Saturday by the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey.  It is between 50 and 111 feet (15 to 34 meters) long, and when it passed by Earth, 2017 AG3 was moving at 9.9 miles per second (16 kilometers per second). 

The near-Earth object, or NEO, came within about half the distance that the moon is from Earth, according to Slooh. This is moving very quickly, very nearby to us,' Eric Feldman, an astronomer with Slooh, said during a live broadcast of the flyby at 7:47 a.m. ET on January 9.  'This one has a particularly elliptical orbit.  'It actually crosses the orbits of two planets, Venus and Earth.  Slooh's broadcast said 2017 AG3 was 'roughly the same size as the asteroid that struck Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013,' meaning had it hit, the effects would have been similar.

Its next close approach to Earth is expected on December 28, 2017.  'It is not that uncommon of an event, which is one of the reasons it is interesting,' Mark Sykes, director and CEO of the Planetary Science Institute, told Business Insider in an email. About 38 more 'close approaches' like asteroid 2017 AG3's are expected within the month of January alone, according to NASA's Near Earth Object Program. 

For years scientists have been trying to work out how to deal with the threat of an asteroid, which could hit us with little or no warning. Now the White House has released an official document describing the plan if a meteor or asteroid was to head our way, and it shows we are under-prepared.

The White House published its 'National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy'. The document 'seeks to improve our nation's preparedness to address the hazard of near-Earth object (NEO) impacts by enhancing the integration of existing national and international assets and adding important capabilities that are currently lacking.' NEOs are asteroids or comets that have an orbit that brings them near or into Earth's orbit. If one of these was to zoom towards Earth in the future, it would not be the first time.

A 56 foot (17-metre) meteor that struck Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013, injured more than 1,000 people came with no warning. This is why one of the strategies outlined in the document is to improve on Nasa's methods of detecting NEOs before it is too late. In seven main goals described in the document, the White House also focuses on improving modelling and predicting where NEOs will travel. The country also plans to improve it emergency alert systems and invest in hi-tech space probes that could annihilate threats. The document notes, as with other low-probability, high-consequence hazards, 'potential NEO impacts pose a significant and complex challenge.' 'This Strategy is a step in addressing the myriad challenges of managing and reducing the risks posed by both large and small NEOs,' it claims.

At the end of last year, Nasa warned we are not prepared for an asteroid strike. Dr Joseph Nuth, a researcher at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland was speaking at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in December. He said: 'The biggest problem, basically, is there's not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment.' While dangerous asteroids and comets rarely hit Earth, Dr Nuth warned that the threat was always there.  He said: 'They are the extinction-level events, things like dinosaur killers, they're 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially. 'You could say, of course, we're due, but it's a random course at that point.'

Nasa is working on a series of missions including an asteroid redirect mission, that will see a robotic spaceship visit an asteroid to create an orbiting base for astronauts. The space agency has a team of scientists who are always watching the skies for potential threats. But while the US is upping its tactics to seek out the dangerous space rocks, other countries might be even less prepared. The US is undecided on whether to invest and prepare costly space technology to intercept those that will not affect its own country. The document,  however, suggests the country is looking to collaborate with other nations in the future.

'NEO impacts are a global hazard and could have major environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences detrimental to the United States, even if the impact is beyond US territory,' it says. 'Although currently a global leader in detecting and tracking NEOs, the United States will depend (in part) on international cooperation and coordination to help develop capabilities for characterization and future capabilities related to the development and implementation of deflection and disruption capabilities for NEOs.'

 

Source : MailOnline

Kuwait Ministry to review the current fees in private schools

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Ministry’s plan to review the current fees in private schools.

The minister made the statement in his meeting with the committee on Sunday, during which he also explained that the Universities Law does not cover the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET).He said public universities will be established through the law, not a decree; while the mechanism for competency approach should be reevaluated soon. He clarified this law will regulate the administrative, financial, structural and scientific affairs in public universities. He asked the committee members to present their comments on the bill, affirming the government is keen on establishing universities immediately to serve public interests.

He had earlier instructed the concerned Kuwait University officials to prepare an integrated memo on the timetables for establishing a university, relocation of Kuwait University and appointment of teaching staff. He reiterated the law is applicable to public universities like Kuwait University, Sabah Al-Salem University in Al-Shadadiya and Jaber Al-Ahmed University but not PAAET as a special law covers the latter. On increasing fees in private schools, Al-Faris pointed out that the former minister issued a decision that the increase should be three percent per year. He added the ministry is contemplating on the possibility of reviewing current fees to ensure justice for all.

Source : Arabtimes

Air traffic back to normal after foggy weather

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Air traffic back to normal after foggy weather

Air traffic at Kuwait International Airport is back to normal on Monday after fog subsided, said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Some 14 flights were redirected to other airports earlier this morning due to bad weather conditions, where horizontal visibility went under 100 meters.
The redirected flights landed at the nearby airports of Dammam, Doha and Manama , Traffic came back to normal with the first flight granted landing at 07:00 local time

Kuwait's Wataniya Airways returns after 5 years

 

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Kuwait's Wataniya Airways returns after 5 years

Wataniya Airways website is now up and they’ve listed their flight destinations which are the following:

Bahrain
Egypt
India
Jordan
Lebanon
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
UAE

For those of you who don’t know Wataniya Airways, they’re a local carrier that launched back in 2009 as a premium airline but ended up losing money and shutting down. Wikipedia have a good summary of the airlines history which you can read [Here]

 

Citizen Injured In Landmine Explosion

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Citizen Injured In Landmine Explosion

Kuwait: A Citizen was injured in a landmine explosion near Al-Salmi area , Police and paramedics rushed to the scene following report about the incident, he was referred to the Hospital for treatment.

Kuwait Steps Up Security Measures After Threats

Kuwait : The authorities have stepped up security at the General Directorate for Criminal Investigation.

The police patrols were deployed in force around the main headquarters and branches as the alert was elevated to level 1 based on intelligence information about potential terror-related threats.
" the measure was only preventive and aims at pre-empting any terrorist threats. Security sources from the Ministry said ", security has been stepped up around police stations

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Pakistani army chief General Raheel Sharif, the former, will now head the Saudi Arabia-led 39-nation military coalition formed

 

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Raheel retired as the army chief in November and has been succeeded by General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

General Raheel Sharif, the former Pakistani army chief, will now head the Saudi Arabia-led 39-nation military coalition formed to serve as a platform for security cooperation and combat terrorism. The decision to appoint Gen (retd) Raheel, who retired in November 2016, was taken after taking the incumbent government into confidence, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said yesterday. Speaking during a talk show on Geo TV, Asif admitted that an agreement in this regard was finalised a few days back.

"No, definitely our government's consent must have been part of this," he replied when asked if the decision was taken in Riyadh or Islamabad. Asif said that both the governments and army were on board regarding the decision to let Raheel take charge of the alliance. He, however, refused to share the details of agreement under which Raheel has been appointed the chief of the Saudi-led alliance. Raheel retired as the army chief in November and has been succeeded by General Qamar Javed Bajwa. According to Saudi Arabia, the alliance is formed to fight Daesh and other militant outfits. At the time of its constitution, there were 34 countries in the alliance which has raised to 39.

The countries include UAE, Turkey, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Sudan, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen and others. The Joint Command Centre, headquarters of the military alliance, is located in Riyadh. Pakistani leaders were initially taken aback when Saudi Arabia, without proper consultation with them, had announced in 2015 that Islamabad was also part of the new alliance to combat militancy.

Pakistan was in an unenviable position as it has good ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. It was also not ready to be dragged into the politics of Middle East. Hence, the government had announced that a decision about joining the group would be taken once its details were known. Later, Pakistan confirmed its participation in the alliance, but had said that the scope of its participation would be defined after Riyadh shared the details of the coalition it was assembling. After remaining dormant for months, the group is trying to reassemble. The Saudi-led coalition is also engaged in a military operation in Yemen since March 2015 when Houthis drove out the government led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is believed to be in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait Health service fees for expats – ‘Any decision will target visitors not residents’

 

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A high-ranking source from the ministry said, “The ministry has not endorsed any figures so far. However, any decision in this regard will target visitors to Kuwait and not residents, as their new health insurance will cover the cost of their medication”. He went on to clarify that, “The new charges of medical services for visitors will not exceed 25 percent in general. It will definitely not exceed the charges in the private health sector regardless the type of service.”

The source said, “The new charges of the medical services provided in government hospitals will be covered by the new health insurance plan, which means those with valid residency will not feel the financial burden when they visit government hospitals or clinics”.

Source : Arabtimes

29,000 expats deported in 2016

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29,000 expats have been deported in the year 2016, local media reported. As per the report, almost 80 expats deported daily which indicates deportation has been accelerated more than ever. 

The reasons for deporting those expats varied between residency law violations and criminal violations such as traffic law violations, felonies and crimes. According to reports 26 percent of deportees are Indians, rest are Egyptians, Philippines, Ethiopian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshis. 

Kuwait increase private rooms in hospitals multiply 200%

Kuwait increase private rooms in hospitals multiply 200%

3 dinars per citizen and 15 dinars for expatriate for every day

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Kuwait Health Minister: Fees on medicines and radiology services for expats and visitors , The ministry also plans to increase charges for private rooms at hospitals for Citizens and Expats at KD3 for Citizens and KD15

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