Dozens injured as police clash with student protestors in Bangladesh after hundreds take to the streets demanding safer roads after two youths are mowed down by buses

Police in Bangladesh's capital fired tear gas and used batons on Saturday to disperse hundreds of protesting students angry over the traffic deaths of two fellow students, leaving dozens injured.

Dhaka remained largely cut off from the rest of Bangladesh as buses refused to drive from other parts of the country.

The owners and workers of the bus companies have said they will not run their vehicles unless they feel safe after dozens of vehicles were either vandalized or torched in Dhaka and elsewhere.

 We want justice: Demonstrators have pressed their demand for safer roads in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh
 
 The students have stopped thousands of vehicles - including those of top officials and judges - demanding to see if the cars were registered and the drivers licensed

Witnesses and media reports said Saturday's chaos broke out in Dhaka's Dhanmondi area as police and ruling party men swooped in on the students. 

A top leader of the ruling Awami League said some 'criminals' wearing school uniforms joined the violence. 

Many protesters blamed the student wing of the ruling party for the attacks.

TV stations aired footage of the clashes, with protesters seen throwing stones at police as the chaos continued for hours.

'We have treated more than 115 injured students so far since the afternoon,' emergency ward doctor Abdus Shabbir told AFP, adding some sported injuries consistent with rubber bullets.

'A few of them were in very bad condition,' he added.

A protester said students were holding protests peacefully on the road when they were attacked.

'We all are feeling threatened here. We wanted a peaceful protest. We don't want any trouble occurring around here. Yet rubber bullets were shot at our brothers,' Sabbir Hossain, a student, said.

Road transport minister Obaidul Quader rejected allegations that party cadres from the ruling Awami League party had attacked the students. 

 At least 12,000 people die each year in road accidents often blamed on faulty vehicles, reckless driving and lax traffic enforcement
 
Bangladeshi students shout slogans and block a road during protests. Five days of protests by tens of thousands of students angry over the traffic deaths of two of their colleagues have largely cut off the capital
 
Bangladeshi students stop a car to check its license as they block a road during a protest in Dhaka
 
An AFP photographer at the scene of one the clashes saw students and unidentified young adult men fighting with sticks and rocks, leaving several wounded 

An Associated Press journalist at the scene said many people, including some journalists, were injured in the clashes. 

The English-language Daily Star reported that up to 25 people were injured.

Thousands of other students took to the streets elsewhere in Dhaka on Saturday, but no major violence was reported.

The protests, which began last Sunday after two college students were struck and killed by a pair of buses, have paralyzed Dhaka, a city of 10 million.

The two buses were racing to collect passengers, a common occurrence in the city, which is regularly gridlocked by traffic chaos.

The protests are an embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ahead of a general election due in December. 

Hasina's party is blaming the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and its main ally Jamaat-e-Islami, for using the sentiment of young students to create chaos for political gains.

The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ruled Bangladesh since 2009, but in recent months it has been shaken by mass protests demanding an end to a decades-old system of discriminatory civil service recruitment 
 
Witnesses said police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators and that alleged pro-government activists attacked youngsters, including some of those rushing to nearby hospitals for treatment 
 
Road transport minister Obaidul Quader rejected allegations that party cadres from the ruling Awami League party had attacked the students 

Zia's party formally extended its support to the protesters. Hasina also said their demands are justified and pledged to fulfill them in phases.

The protesters are demanding safer roads in Bangladesh, where corruption is rife, making it easy for unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles to work the roads.

At least 12,000 people die each year in road accidents often blamed on faulty vehicles, reckless driving and lax traffic enforcement.

The students have stopped thousands of vehicles - including those of top officials and judges - demanding to see if the cars were registered and the drivers licensed.

Buses are key to transportation in Bangladesh, where trains are overcrowded and most people cannot afford cars.

PHILIPPINES TO BRING BACK DEATH PENALTY

The Philippine government will continue with its plan to make the death penalty part of its punitive recourse, despite Pope Francis’ declaration that capital punishment is “unacceptable” in all cases, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

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“It is still the priority of the administration to re-impose the death penalty for serious drug-related offences,” Roque said in a press briefing in Malaybalay, Bukidnon on Friday.

However, Roque added, the decision on re-imposing the capital punishment remains with the Senate and House on whether it will recall a 1993 law that provides for such penal option.

The Philippines has had an on and off penchant with the death penalty.

The country carried out judicial executions during the 1970s when the entire archipelago was under martial law and crime was a serious concern.

The 1987 Constitution abolished the death penalty but it was reintroduced in 1993 and the first person to be meted the punishment in 1998 was Leo Echegaray who was found guilty of raping his 10-year-old step daughter.

In 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted a law: Republic Act Number 9346 that abolished the death penalty.

Arroyo at that time was concerned that having the death penalty as part of the country’s judicial recourse would weaken the country’s position in asking for clemency for overseas Filipino workers who are on death row abroad.

 

State vs Church

President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the death penalty reimposed to serve as a deterrent against drug crimes.

In March 2017, the Lower Chamber passed House Bill 4727 which seeks to reimpose death penalty. The fate of a similar measure in Senate is unknown.

Last Thursday, Pope Francis declared death penalty “inadmissible” under all circumstances. The Church approved the revision opposing capital punishment as it attacks the dignity of human beings and the sanctity of human life.

Among the reasons for changing the teaching include: the increasing effectiveness of detention systems, growing understanding of the unchanging dignity of the person, and leaving open the possibility of conversion to the individual.

“Today, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state.

Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption,” the new Catechism says.

Jacqueline De Guia, spokesperson of Philippines’ independent Commission on Human Rights, hopes the Senate will heed Pope Francis’ declaration on the death penalty.
 

 
 Source: gulfnews

This can not be real right? kuwait

Source : Mark248am

KUWAITI BLOGGER SCANDAL EXPOSES WIDESPREAD CRUELTY AGAINST MIGRANT WORKERS IN THE GULF

Source: gulf-insider

Kuwaiti Instagram personality Sondos Alqattan’s July 10 video on Instagram not only managed to go viral after being broadcast to her 2.3 million followers – normally a measure of success – but also outraged an entire nation.

It also once again shed light on the bone-chilling conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of domestic workers across the Arab states of the Gulf.

In the video, which has since been deleted, Alqattan complained about new changes to the Kuwaiti Kafala guest-worker regime. The reform, agreed to in a bilateral deal with the Philippine government, allows migrant workers to hold onto their passports and allots them four days off per month.

Alqattan complained:

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A SERVANT IN YOUR HOUSE WHO GETS TO KEEP THEIR PASSPORT WITH THEM? IF THEY RAN AWAY AND WENT BACK TO THEIR COUNTRY, WHO’LL REFUND ME? I DISAGREE WITH THE LAW. AND WHAT’S WORSE IS THEY EVEN HAVE A DAY OFF EVERY WEEK!

HONESTLY, THIS NEW LAW AND THESE NEW CONTRACTS MEANS I DON’T WISH TO HIRE A FILIPINA. SHE GOES OUT ONE DAY A WEEK AND WORKS FOR SIX DAYS, WHICH BRINGS HER TOTAL DAYS OFF TO FOUR PER MONTH AND WE HAVE NO CLUE WHAT HAPPENS DURING THOSE FOUR DAYS WHEN HER PASSPORT IS IN HER POSSESSION.”

International cosmetics giants who sponsored Alqattan — Anastasia Beverly Hills, Chelsea Beautique, MAC, Max Factor Arabia, and a number of other Western brands – distanced themselves from her cruel “ethics and attitude,” effectively terminating her career as a brand ambassador.

MIGRANTE International, a Philippines-based advocacy organization with chapters across the Filipino diaspora, quickly condemned the social media star’s derogatory rant and denounced her “slave-owner” style and what they described as a clear “intoxication in her overinflated ego and false sense of superiority.”

Alqattan was unmoved, casting the backlash as Islamophobic hysteria. “After seeing all this, I felt there’s an attack on Islam, saying ‘look, she is wearing the hijab, look at the Muslims, of course [it’s] the Kuwaitis in particular, and similarly the people of the Gulf region, look at the Arabs,’” she reasoned. Her logic was especially bizarre considering the Muslim plurality among migrant workers in Kuwait and across the Gulf, where Muslims comprise about 70 percent of the migrant population, according to Pew Research Center.

As callous as Alqattan was, her attitude reflects a pervasive Gulf culture of entitlement and cruel disregard toward a modern-day slave force seen as mere property, according to MIGRANTE International spokesman Arman Hernando.

“The video of Sondos Alqattan is an attestation of the miserable state of the domestic workers not only in Kuwait, but all over the Middle East and the whole world,” he explained. Continuing, he said:

IT IS COMMON AMONG FILIPINA DOMESTIC WORKERS TO WORK EXCESSIVE WORKING HOURS AND WITHOUT DAYS OFF. EVEN WITH THE ASSURANCE OF VARIOUS LAWS AND THEIR CONTRACT STIPULATIONS, RECRUITERS AND EMPLOYERS BLATANTLY VIOLATE THEM BECAUSE DOMESTIC WORKERS ARE POWERLESS IN ASSERTING THEIR RIGHTS INSIDE THE WORKPLACE.

WITH THE OVERWHELMING ODDS AGAINST THEM, MOST DOMESTIC WORKERS HAVE ACCEPTED THE SAD REALITY THAT THEIR RIGHTS WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED AND WILL ONLY COPE WITH THE SITUATION.

Under the kafala regime, workers are forced to remain with their employers for the duration of their time in the country and are unable to change employers or leave without the express permission of employers. About 600,000 domestic workers live in Kuwait, most of whom are from Africa and Asia, with Filipino nationals accounting for about 250,000 workers and residents according to Manila’s figures. Approximately 120 Filipino workers died last year, most due to what authorities claim was suicide.

 

According to a Human Rights Watch report on the country:

MIGRANT WORKERS REMAIN VULNERABLE TO ABUSE, FORCED LABOR, AND DEPORTATION FOR MINOR INFRACTIONS INCLUDING TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS AND ‘ABSCONDING’ FROM AN EMPLOYER.”

Last April, a horrifying video went viral. The video, shot by a Kuwaiti woman, showed her Ethiopian maid dangling helplessly from the balcony. As the woman filmed, she mocked the maid, who then fell seven stories down and miraculously survived. While the woman was later arrested for failing to assist her desperate maid, such abusive employers rarely see their day in court.

The legal changes Alqattan complained about largely resulted from the brutal death of Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis, whose body was discovered in her employer’s freezer last February, a year after she went missing. The murder of the 29-year-old woman, which entailed strangulation and torture, provoked a major diplomatic crisis with the Philippine government, which temporarily banned work in the country.

“The situation of Demafelis is actually a common story and every domestic worker relates to what has happened to her,” Hernando noted.

Sexual violence happens with alarming regularity, yet victims often conceal these experiences from their loved ones due to the painful nature of the ordeal. Many domestic workers also return to their home countries with severe mental illness.g to the families of migrant workers but poverty and continued desperation to work even as a slave in the foreign lands.”

NEW JAPAN VISA RULE FOR FILIPINOS

Travel to Japan is now easier for Filipinos.

The Japanese government, in a press release posted by its Embassy in Manila, said it has relaxed the visa requirements for short-term stay for nationals of the Philippines traveling to Japan for business or cultural purposes effective August 1, 2018.

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The decision aims to “to promote people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the Republic of the Philippines.”

The embassy said that “the number of visa applicants eligible for multiple entry visas for short-term stay will be expanded.” Likewise, the validity period of the visas will be extended from 5 years to 10 years maximum.

The embassy grants visa for the following short-term stay periods: 15, 30, or 90 days and visa validity: 1, 3, 5, 10 years.

“The abovementioned relaxation of visa requirements is expected to contribute to the improvement of convenience for tourists and increase in repeat visitors as well as further advancement of people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the Republic of the Philippines,” the Embassy said.

The Embassy also noted that though the visa is for the purpose of business affairs for the first visit, it is possible to use as a tourist or visiting relatives or acquaintances on the second visit.

However, the guidelines stressed that the holder “is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operations or activities to receive remuneration” while on stay in Japan. – Marje Pelayo

 
 Source: untvweb

Google kills off the flat earth: Maps app now zooms out to show a 3D globe

Google has some bad news for flat earthers. 

The search giant has updated Google Maps so that when users zoom out completely, the perspective switches to a 3D globe, instead of a flat map view. 

Prior to the update, Google Maps used a 2D Mercator projection, which stretches a globe-shape onto a flat surface and often wrongly depicts the actual size of certain countries.

A new update for Google Maps means that when users fully zoom out on the screen, the perspective switches to a 3D globe, instead of a flat map view 

The well-known Mercator projection, which typically depicts the earth of a flat surface such as a poster or book, unintentionally distorts the size and land mass of countries the farther they are from the equator.

It proves that there is no accurate way to take a spherical surface and map it in a flat plane without it becoming distorted. 

'With 3D Globe Mode on Google Maps desktop, Greenland's projection is no longer the size of Africa,' Google wrote in a tweet. 

The update only works in desktop mode, not in the Google Maps app, where the earth is still shown as a plane. 

It can be accessed on all major browsers, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox. 

The move comes as Google Maps has gotten smarter since its initial release 13 years ago. 

Google recently introduced an AI feature that can inform you how much it thinks you'll like a restaurant. 

The tool combines AI, previous search history and user reviews to generate a score out of 100. 

The update only works in desktop mode, not in the Google Maps app, where the earth is still shown as a plane. It's accessible on browsers  Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox

Called 'Your Match,' it will only work if users opt to let Google Maps log their location. 

The company is now pushing-out the new features to iOS and Android users in the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, with more countries to follow at a later date. 

Google first unveiled the feature at its annual I/O developers conference earlier this year.   

 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MERCATOR MAP? 

Africa is around 14 times larger than Greenland and yet on the map both are almost same size.

Brazil is more than five times larger than Alaska, yet Alaska is larger than Brazil on the map.

The map suggests that Scandinavian countries are larger than India, whereas in reality India is three times the size of all Scandinavian countries put together.

While it looks like Europe is larger than North America on this map, in reality the reverse is true. Russiaalso isn't as large as it is depicted, with Africa larger than Russia in reality. 

 

 

US approves $30m sale of Hellfire missiles to Kuwait

Government of Kuwait seeks US deal to buy missile plus 19 rocket launchers, spare parts, personnel training and support services
 
 

The US State Department has approved a possible sale to Kuwait of 300 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, and related equipment, for an estimated cost of $30.4 million.

According to a statement, the Government of Kuwait has requested to buy missiles plus 19 rocket launchers, spare parts, personnel training and support services.

The proposed sale improves Kuwait's capability to meet current and future threats, the statement said, adding that Kuwait will use the missiles to strengthen its homeland defence.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a regional partner.

The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, based in Florida.

Source: arabianbusiness

Jazeera Airways plane suffers engine fire after India landing

Aircraft belonging to Kuwait-based carrier catches fire after arriving in Hyderabad - reports

A plane belonging to Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways caught fire after landing in Hyderabad, India, on Wednesday, it has been reported.

Local media said one of the engines of the Jazeera Airways aircraft, carrying about 150 passengers, caught fire after arriving at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Airport sources were quoted as saying that air traffic control staff alerted the pilot who shut down both the engines immediately.

All the passengers disembarked safely and no injuries were reported, local media said.

In April, Jazeera Airways announced double digit growth in both revenue and flown passengers in the first quarter of 2018.

The airline recorded an operating revenue of KD14.3 million, up 42.7 percent from Q1 2017, and a net loss of KD0.3 million, an improvement of KD0.636 million from Q1 2017.

Passenger numbers in the first three months of 2018 totalled 403,863, up 43.1 percent from the year-earlier period.

Duterte says may deploy warship to save Filipino captives

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he might send the navy’s most modern frigate to waters off Libya in a bid to “save” three Filipinos and a South Korean kidnapped last month from a water plant in the north African country.

South Korea has redirected a vessel taking part in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden to help in the release of the four men taken almost a month ago, according to news agency Yonhap.

Duterte said he might do the same and would raise the issue next week at a regular meeting of his top military and police commanders.

 

“If they start hurting those three Filipinos, I will bring a frigate there, I am not kidding,” he said in a speech.

The men were taken near Ishwirif by an unknown armed group.

Video footage appeared on social media this week of the four men confirming their names and nationalities and appealing to their presidents for help.

Various armed groups, including Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, have a presence in Libya. Risks for foreign workers have been high due to insecurity in much of the country in the years following a 2011 uprising.

BBC apologizes for historical allegations about Kuwait's sovereignty

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KUWAIT, Aug 2 (KUNA) -- British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Thursday issued a statement apologizing for historical fabrications and false allegations about Kuwait's sovereignty.

It said that the question, which was raised by Trending Show presenter Rania Attar over Kuwait's historical sovereignty, appeared to have been asked in a wrong and unclear way that did not meet the BCC's impartiality criteria, and that's why an apology was needed.
It added that it cannot be a party in this regard or even adopt a certain view, especially in controversial matters, according to the statement.

"BBC would like to confirm that it handles such matters, which are related to its editorial policy based on balance, objectivity and neutrality, with much seriousness, and to do everything necessary to ensure that these criteria are met," it noted.
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information on Thursday categorically rebuffed the fabrications and allegations of a BBC Arabic show on Kuwait's sovereignty