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Kuwait parliament's committee approves fees on expat remittances

Parliament's Finance Committee approves fees on expatriates' remittances

KUWAIT: Kuwait Parliament's financial and economic affairs committee approved bills on Sunday stipulating fees on expatriates' financial remittances to parties outside the country.Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted MP Salah Khorshed, the committee chairperson, as saying in a statement that the commission approved the bills with consent of two-thirds of the members — provided that the taxes to be imposed on money transfers of low-income expatriates must be low.

He forecast proceeds amounting to KD70 million ($233 million) out of the fees on these remittances, estimated at KD19 billion ($63 billion per year).The committee rapporteur, Saleh Ashour, stated that the panel discussed the issue extensively in consultation with legal experts.

According to proposed laws, the fees to be imposed on the KD90 dinar salary category would be at 1 per cent; the KD100-KD200 segment 2 per cent, the KD300 segment 3 percent and the KD500-KD1,664 segment 5 percent.

Two Kuwaitis sentenced to death by hanging

The Criminal Court recently sentenced two Kuwaitis to death by hanging for kidnapping and sexually molesting a female compatriot, reports Al- Anba daily. The men were also ordered to pay KD 5,001 each as temporary compensation.
According to case papers, the incident took place in 2016 in Salmiya when the victim was on her way home.
The suspects reportedly swerved at her several times in an attempt to hit her car. Three curious youths who witnessed the incident, followed the suspects and the woman until she pulled up after reaching her home. One of the two suspects then got out of the car, gagged the mouth of the woman, and carried her to his car and both men with the woman drove to an open ground.
The suspects reportedly pushed the woman on the back seat, beat her and tore her clothes and before they could do anything the three youths who had followed the woman, attempted to rescue her and were also involved in a fight with the two kidnappers. The daily did not give more details.

100,000 people hold fake Kuwaiti citizenship


MP Ahmad Nabil Al-Fadel said there are more than 100,000 people with fake citizenship and the State does not know their origins; indicating the names of these people are in Kuwaiti files.

He claimed these people, who hold citizenship in two countries — Kuwait and their countries of origin, have committed crimes but they cannot be identified because they hold travel documents issued by another country.

He went on to say that the records of the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) show there are about 7,000 people eligible for naturalization but many of them have been deprived of citizenship and other rights. He urged the concerned authorities to refrain from enacting a nationality law that might undermine national identity.

He pointed out that in 2005, a large number of people were naturalized based on their exemplary service for the nation and it caused uproar as hundreds were naturalized then.

He alleged some people have been trying to tie the government’s hands in terms of expanding the scope of naturalization since 1984.

Meanwhile, MP Khaled Al- Otaibi has forwarded questions to Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al- Sabeeh on merging the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) and Public Authority for Manpower (PAM).

He disclosed that after transferring supervision of MGRP and Executive Agency of the State from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to PAM, there have been many problems like the delayed payment of manpower support allowance.

He asserted this negates the idea of establishing an institution to lessen the burden of the State in the appointment of citizens through a single channel — the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and formation of another channel in charge of finding employment opportunities for citizens.

He asked the minister to provide details such as the justification for transferring supervision of MGRP and Executive Agency of the State to PAM, evaluation results since the transfer, reasons behind the delayed payment of manpower support allowance, measures taken to prevent the recurrence of this problem and other relevant information.

Source: Arab Times




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39 Indian hostages held by ISIS in Iraq have been killed: Sushma Swaraj


NEW DELHI: The 39 Indian citizens kidnapped in 2014 by ISIS in Iraq were killed, confirmed external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj today.

The minister said in the Rajya Sabha that a deep penetration radar has confirmed the death of the hostages who had been taken from Mosul. Their mortal remains were exhumed and sent to Iraq's capital Baghdad for DNA sample verification ."Yesterday, we got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 percent," she said.

In July last year, Swaraj firmly said in Parliament that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence."It is a sin to declare a person dead without concrete evidence. I will not do this sin," Swaraj said in a statement in the Lok Sabha in 2017.

Now, with the deaths confirmed, Swaraj said the Indians' mortal remains will be brought back to India by Union minister of state for external affairs, VK Singh."General VK Singh will go to Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians killed in Iraq. The plane carrying mortal remains will first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata," the minister added.

Most of the 39 killed were from Punjab and were working on projects near Mosul when they were kidnapped during their evacuation.Swaraj today also informed the House that the story of Harjit Masih, who managed to escape from ISIS, was a lie. Harjit had claimed the Indians were shot dead soon after they were abducted, but that was not how it happened, said the minister.What happened was that Harjit escaped with some Bangladeshi prisoners who were kidnapped along with the Indians. He had earlier falsely claimed that he was shot in the leg and pretended to be dead.


Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince In His Own Words

Mohammed bin Salman implemented some reforms on women's rights, loosening clothing restrictions, participation in workforce and lifting ban on driving

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince In His Own Words

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES:  Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to meet with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday.

Mutual rival Iran will be high on the agenda, but the 32-year-old strongman prince will also be looking to showcase his sweeping changes to Saudi society and an increasingly assertive foreign policy that includes the war in Yemen and an ongoing diplomatic feud with Qatar.

The following are quotations from an interview he gave to CBS News on Sunday.

The Role Of Women

Prince Mohammed has implemented some reforms on women's rights, loosening clothing restrictions, pushing for greater participation in the workforce, and, significantly, lifting a ban on women driving.

But guardianship laws, which require women to seek the permission of male relatives for a host of activities, remain in place.

"We have extremists who forbid mixing between the two sexes and are unable to differentiate between a man and a woman alone together and their being together in a work place. Many of those ideas contradict the way of life during the time of the Prophet," he said.

"We are all human beings and there is no difference."


Roots Of Saudi Extremism

The prince acknowledged Saudi society was dominated by particularly harsh strain of conservative Islam, which he traces back to 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the seizure by extremists of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

"We were victims, especially my generation that suffered from this a great deal," he said.

"This is not the real Saudi Arabia. I would ask your viewers to use their smart phones to find out. And they can google Saudi Arabia in the 70s and 60s, and they will see the real Saudi Arabia easily in the pictures.

"We were living a very normal life like the rest of the Gulf countries. Women were driving cars. There were movie theaters in Saudi Arabia. Women worked everywhere. We were just normal people developing like any other country in the world until the events of 1979."

The Purge

He defended at length his anti-corruption purge which saw many of the kingdom's princes and tycoons detained for several weeks inside Riyadh's luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel widely seen as an attempt to cement his grip on power.

"What we did in Saudi Arabia was extremely necessary" and legal, he said.

He said he was able to recover more than "$100 billion" of ill-gotten wealth from the detainees, but added: "The idea is not to get money, but to punish the corrupt and send a clear signal that whoever engages in corrupt deals will face the law."

His Personal Wealth

The prince has been accused of hypocrisy over his opulent lifestyle at a time his government is preaching greater austerity of its citizens and has imposed new taxes.

He was recently revealed as the owner of a French chateau described as the world's most expensive home, according to a report in the New York Times.

But he insisted his wealth was a private matter. "As far as my private expenses, I'm a rich person and not a poor person. I'm not Gandhi or Mandela.

He added: "But what I do as a person is to spend part of my personal income on charity. I spend at least 51 percent on people and 49 on myself."

Ascent To The Throne

As heir to the throne after his father King Salman dies, the young prince could be set to rule the kingdom for the next half century or more.



Asked what could stop him, he replied: "Only death."

(This story has not been edited by  staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Duterte set to sign Philippine national ID law

Official hints at presidential seal for bill outlining universal identification document in the coming weeks

Manila: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign in the coming weeks a landmark legislation that will provide Filipinos with a universal identification card.

“I’m hopeful that the bill will be passed into law as early as next week,” budget secretary Benjamin Diokno said during a recent press briefing in Manila where the passage of the bill by the Senate was also announced.


Diokno said he had high hopes that Duterte would sign the National ID Law before Easter.

Last March 14, the Philippine Senate passed the Philippine Identification System Act of 2018 after parallel bills calling for a national ID system spent years pending approval by both chambers of Congress (the Senate and House of Representatives).

The Senate version of the National ID Act Senate Bill 1738 had been sponsored by Senator Panfilo Lacson.

“There were two dominant schools of thought promoting the national ID. There is the security community who believes that it can aid in policing. There are our economic managers who think that such an ID will plug the leaks in the use of government services. In other words, security and savings had been the primary concern of these measures. To these, the Senate injected a third and better perspective: service, a card that will serve the people,” said Senator Ralph Recto.

The House of Representatives had already approved the bill months ago.

The Philippines had lagged behind its neighbours in coming up with a national identification system.

Socioeconomic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said despite the numerous ID cards issued by the government in in the Philippines, 14 per cent of Filipinos are denied of government and other financial services due to a lack of proper identification documents he said citing a recent study of the World Bank’s ID for Development group (ID4D). He said a universal ID card will address this concern.

“No matter how good a programme is in principle, the government fails when people, especially the poor, cannot access it simply because they cannot present any ID,” Pernia noted.

The implementation of the country’s first ever national identification system will be pivotal in ensuring that every Filipino and resident can have access to public services and development opportunities, according to him.

He said the World Bank study was based on data collected from November 2017 to February 2018 through interviews, field visits, and desk research.

“Results of the study also show that the Philippines’ identity landscape is fragmented, inefficient and duplicative with at least 25 functional ID systems, many of which are paper-based.

“A common ID used by Filipinos apart from birth certificates and voter’s ID is the passport, back-office processing requirement of which are twice and thrice costlier than in Thailand and Indonesia, respectively,” the study adds.

“We need a system that will unify all government IDs to facilitate citizens’ transactions with government and even with the private sector. Hence, a national ID system can open up opportunities especially for the poor and marginalised and will make public service delivery more efficient,” Pernia said.

Pernia also noted how the new ID system is crucial in making sure that poor households that will be affected by the newly implemented tax reform law will receive the government’s tax safety nets.

Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear bomb if Iran does, says Crown Prince

Mohammad Bin Salman compares Iran’s Supreme Leader to Hitler in his quest for regional dominance

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has compared the supreme leader of Iran to Adolf Hitler and said that his country would acquire a nuclear bomb “as soon as possible” if Iran developed nuclear weapons.

Mohammad Bin Salman’s comments released Thursday, were part of excerpts of a prerecorded interview with “60 Minutes,” the CBS News programme.Saudi Arabia blames Iran for funding militias to undermine Arab states by fomenting sectarianism.

The two countries are on opposite sides of conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

Mohammad is scheduled to arrive in the United States on Monday for an extended trip. His plans include meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House and with business, entertainment and technology leaders in a number of US cities.

One of his primary goals is to persuade Americans to invest in his reform plans, which aim to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil, increase the kingdom’s military self-sufficiency and raise its citizens’ quality of life.

His comments on Iran also suggested that he would seek further US cooperation in combating Iranian influence in the Middle East, a goal he shares with the Trump administration.

In the interview, Mohammad, 32, played down Iran’s power, saying its army was not well ranked in the Muslim world and that Saudi Arabia had a larger economy.

“Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia,” he said, speaking through a translator.

When asked about his previous comments comparing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, to Hitler, he replied, “Absolutely.”

“He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler, who wanted to expand at the time,” the crown prince said.

“Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realise how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”

He was then asked whether Saudi Arabia sought nuclear weapons to counter Iran.

“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” he said.

Saudi officials grew furious with the Obama administration for its push with other world powers to reach an agreement placing limits on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Like Israeli leaders and many Republicans in the United States, they claimed that the agreement would merely delay Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, while ignoring Iran’s other activities, such as supporting Shiite militias.

Philippines: We will not lift the ban on servants ... can be lifted to skilled labor

Philippine Labor Minister Sylvester Bello has announced that the ban on sending Filipino workers to Kuwait "will continue until Kuwait makes formal charges against those accused of killing Filipino worker Joanna Dimafelis, who died in a flat in Kuwait after being killed and put in a refrigerator." Handing over suspects and charging them with the murder of Demafiles. " 

"The ban on sending workers to Kuwait can not be lifted, although there is a final draft agreement between Kuwait and Manila," Bello said. "A recommendation could be made to lift the ban on sending skilled Filipino workers Of non-servants ».
"It came under the direction of the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Douterti, who stipulated that there should be an agreement to ensure that justice will be given to the servant Joanna Demafelis," the Philippine minister said. "We still have to fulfill this second condition. .