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PHILIPPINES BRACES FOR 'VERY DESTRUCTIVE' TYPHOON

Philippine authorities evacuated more areas on Friday and warned an estimated 5.2 million people in the path of a “very destructive” typhoon to stay indoors, as the country braced for heavy rain and damage to infrastructure and crops.

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Super Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to barrel through the northernmost tip of the Philippines Saturday morning, carrying 205 kph wind speeds, and gusts of up to 255 kph, that it has maintained since it struck Micronesia earlier in the week.

More than 9,000 people have been moved to temporary shelters as Mangkhut, locally known as Ompong, makes its way towards the rice- and corn-producing provinces of Cagayan and Isabela where it is forecast to make landfall overnight. Disaster officials warned that tens of thousands more may need to be moved and weather forecasters warned of storm surges as high as six metres in coastal villages in the typhoon’s path. Second and third contingents of rescue teams were being prepared, in case first-responders get into trouble themselves.

“My appeal is that we need to heed the advice of the authorities. Stay indoors,” said presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, the government’s disaster response coordinator.

The storm further picked up speed and was about 340 km east of the Philippines late afternoon on Friday. Video posted on social media by Cagayan residents showed trees being whipped by fierce winds under dark grey skies as rain lashed down on buildings.

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HELP SOUGHT

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said he expects widespread damage to crops and infrastructure in his province, and said help would be needed to rebuild.

“Last time we had a super typhoon, there were 14,000-plus of totally destroyed houses and about 40,000-plus of partially destroyed houses,” he told news channel ANC.

 

“We expect this kind of damage with a super typhoon like this and so we would ask the assistance of the national government and even the private sector.”

The capital, Manila, and more than three dozen northern and central provinces have been placed under storm warning signals. Classes have been suspended and government offices shut early in more than 600 places, while military, medical and emergency response teams were put on stand by.

The coastguard said about 5,000 passengers were stranded at several ports by the impending storm, which will head on towards Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.

Mangkhut’s peak winds are stronger than those of Hurricane Florence, which has left more than 630,000 homes and businesses without power and is expected to drop eight months of rain on the Carolinas in the United States in two or three days.

“The concerns here are landslides and infrastructure being washed away,” said Junie Cua, governor of Quirino province on the main island of Luzon.

Authorities are taking extra precautions as they draw comparison with Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated central areas of the archipelago in 2013, and killed 6,300 people, many in storm surges that reached as high as eight metres.

But weather forecasters said Mangkhut’s wind speed was unlikely to accelerate further from the current 205 kph and reach Haiyan’s 240 kph. Northern Luzon is also less densely populated.

Mangkhut might slightly weaken after landfall but could still be “very destructive”, said Rene Paciente, assistant chief at the weather bureau.

Crop damage in a worst-case scenario could reach about 157,000 tonnes of paddy rice and about 257,000 tonnes of corn, worth 13.5 billion pesos ($250 million), the agriculture ministry said.

That could result in tightness in the domestic rice supplies at a time when retail prices are already high, compounding worries about inflation.

 
 Source: reuters

PHILIPPINES STARTS MASSIVE EVACUATIONS AS HUGE TYPHOON NEARS

More than 4 million people live in areas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorized as a super typhoon.

Philippine authorities began evacuating thousands of people Thursday from the path of the most powerful typhoon this year, closing schools, readying bulldozers for landslides and placing rescuers and troops on full alert in the country's north.

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More than 4 million people live in areas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorized as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts.

Typhoon Mangkhut could hit northeastern Cagayan province on Saturday. It was tracked on Thursday about 450 miles away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 127 miles per hour and gusts of up to 158 mph, Philippine forecasters said.

 

A government briefing on typhoon Mangkhut at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines on Sept. 13, 2018.

With a massive raincloud band 560 miles wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon could bring heavy to intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods, the forecasters said. Storm warnings have been raised in 25 provinces across the main northern island of Luzon, restricting sea and air travel.

 

Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad told an emergency meeting led by President Rodrigo Duterte that about 4.2 million people in Cagayan, nearby Isabela province and outlying provincial regions are vulnerable to the most destructive effects near the typhoon's 77-mile-wide eye. Nearly 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut's ferocious winds.

Across the north on Thursday, residents covered glass windows with wooden boards, strengthened houses with rope and braces and moved fishing boats to safety.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said by telephone that evacuations of residents from risky coastal villages and island municipalities north of the rice-and corn-producing province of 1.2 million people have started and school classes at all levels have been canceled.

"The weather here is still good but we're moving them now because it's very important that when it comes, people will be away from peril," Mamba said.

A change in the typhoon's track prompted authorities to rapidly reassess where to redeploy emergency teams and supplies, Mamba said.

Duterte asked Cabinet officials from the north to help oversee disaster-response work if needed, and told reporters it was too early to consider seeking foreign aid.

"It would depend on the severity of the crisis," Duterte said. "If it flattens everything, maybe we need to have some help."

The typhoon is approaching at the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Mamba said. The threat to agriculture comes as the Philippines tries to cope with rice shortages.

Officials said other northern provinces started evacuating residents Thursday from high-risk areas, including in northern mountain provinces prone to landslides.

Duterte canceled his appearance at a missile test firing aboard a navy ship off northern Bataan province due to the approaching typhoon.

On Guam, where Mangkhut already passed, residents dealt with flooded streets, downed trees and widespread power outages. Government agencies were conducting damage assessments and clearing roads, according to the Pacific Daily News.

About 80 percent of the U.S. territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

Mangkhut, a Thai word for the mangosteen fruit, is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries. Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing and displaced over 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013.

 
 Source: nbcnews

OFW IN KUWAIT SUFFERS DEPRESSION, SITS ON THE EDGE OF THE WINDOW

Too much loneliness could lead to depression. Most OFWs struggling to work abroad are suffering from the loneliness and some of them even lose control of themselves. Just like this OFW which can be seen in the images, sitting in the window of a high-rise building.

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Facebook user, Anne Marie Deanon, was keen enough to take pictures of fellow Kabayan in Kuwait who can be seen sitting in a rather dangerous area of an apartment – the edge window.

According to Deanon, she has no other information, except from the woman’s name which is Johann. She is really worried on the woman and wanted to help her as much as possible. However, Deanon do not know where to report the incident and decided to post the images online, hoping that it will reach the designated government agency for immediate help.

Deanon is living in front of the apartment where the woman is currently situated. The address is Block 5, St 13, Surra, Kuwait.

Johann has no mobile number or any relatives to reach on. But still according to Deanon, the woman already wants to go back to the Philippines despite being in Kuwait only for 6 months.

Netizens were quick to respond and tagged some of the Facebook page of government agencies.

#bentulfo pls.help her to rescue..#bitag Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines) Department of ForeiDepartment of Foreign Affairs Republic of the Philippines, says Adalia Rogelio Baluyot.

Some netizens felt totally pity on the woman’s current situation.

Kawawa nmn mga kabayan ntin nsisiraan ng bait. Ganyan khirap mag abroad. Kelangan tibay ng loob, says Arvin Andal.

kawwa nman bka mahulog sya dun. ano b ng yyari..says Joselyn Boncay.

na homesick tan di kinaya TAS sabayan pa ng mga among bruha at problima sa pinas di kakayanin kailangan pag lumabas ng Bansa natin tapang talaga tas pray sa awa ng DIOS 17 years na akong ng aabroad palipat lipat nalang ng Bansa kayanin pinasok natin to eh kabayan tawagan mo loob mo nawala,na siya sa katinuan kaluoy pud oi, says Betonio Cuyos Gina.

The Facebook post currently has 7,910 shares, 1, 242 comments and 1,775 shares.

Anne Post is deleted below video is from RMN Iloilp

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 Source: kwentongofw

OFW MISSING FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR IN KUWAIT

An overseas Filipina worker is missing in Kuwait for 18 months, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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Ronalyn Yonting Lawagan, a household service worker, last contacted her family in February 2017 after she was reported to have ran away from her Kuwaiti employer.

Chargé d’Affaires Mohammad Nordin Pendosina Lomondot said the Embassy requested the assistance of Kuwaiti authorities in April 2018 when her recruiter reported her disappearance.

Lawagan is suspected to still be in Kuwait as no travel records showed that she exited the country; she also did not show up in the Embassy’s search in prisons and hospitals.

“We are requesting our kababayan who may know where Ronalyn is to immediately inform us so we can assist her,” Chargé d’Affaires Lomondot said.

 
 Source: filipinotimes

Windows 10 shock as Microsoft warns users NOT to use Google Chrome

WINDOWS 10 users testing the latest version of the software have been issued a warning against downloading Google Chrome, it has emerged.

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Microsoft recently declared the newest iteration of Windows 10 will arrive in the duly named "Windows 10 October 2018 Update".

The new version promises to introduce radical changes to the software that will allow users to be more productive than ever.

Microsoft's "new clipboard experience" debuts in the update that lets Windows 10 fans to harness the power of cloud technology to seamlessly copy and paste between different devices.

 

Items can also be pinned to their clipboard, meaning they are accessible quickly and easily at all times.

 

Discussing the new feature, Microsoft stated: "Copy paste – it’s something we all do, probably multiple times a day.

"But what do you do if you need to copy the same few things again and again? How do you copy content across your devices?

"We’re addressing that and taking the clipboard to the next level – simply press WIN+V and you’ll be presented with our brand-new clipboard experience!"

But it appears the latest version of Windows 10 will also issue warnings against downloading Google Chrome and other browsers.

 

One tester named Sean Hoffman posted a message that was shown to him when trying to download Firefox, spotted by The Verge.

It read: "You already have Microsoft Edge - the safer, faster browser for Windows 10."

At the bottom of the popup users do have the option to turn off the setting, meaning it should no longer appear when a rival browser to Microsoft Edge is being installed or opened.

While such a warning is currently being displayed in test builds of the forthcoming software, it is currently unclear if Microsoft will opt to introduce similar popups when the Windows 10 October 2018 update presumably arrives next month.

 

Windows Insiders are set to receive the new update first.

The Windows 10 Insider programme is a scheme fans can sign up to - it gives access to early builds of Microsoft's software.

However, this can come at the expense of more prominent bugs as the operating system is not as stable.

In addition to bringing a new clipboard mode, the File Explorer application is set to receive a new Dark Theme in the full roll out.

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Microsoft recently said being able to turn the lights off on the software was a "top request" from Windows 10 users.

It commented: "We’re excited to announce that Dark Theme support for File Explorer is ready for the next major release of Windows."Adding a dark theme to File Explorer has long been a top Insider request. Some users find that a dark theme is easier on the eyes.

"Others simply like the fresh, new look. But while dark mode has been available in Windows for some time, it hasn’t applied to File Explorer, until now."

Kuwait mosque attack compensation case rejected

Court rules no legal ground for financial claims against government

Manama: Kuwait’s Cassation Court has overturned a ruling by the Court of Appeals ordering the government to compensate financially the victims of Al Sadiq Mosque suicide bombing three years ago.

The Court of Appeals had ruled a compensation of KD40,000 for the victims, claiming responsibilities of government agencies tasked with ensuring security and banning the smuggling of explosives into the country.

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However, the government rejected the claims and took the case to the Court of Cassation, which on Monday said there was no legal ground to demand financial compensation for damages resulting from terror crimes that were perpetrated by elements not related to the government.

According to the judges, there was no neglect by the government and the state is committed to deploying security measures, but not to achieving results.

Additionally, the specific act of terrorism occurred outside the will of the state authorities, including the Ministry of the Interior, and could not be anticipated at that time, they said on Monday.

The Cassation Court is the highest court in the country and its rulings cannot be appealed or challenged.

The attack on the Shiite mosque on June 26, 2015, caused the death of 27 worshippers and the injury of 227.

The bomber, Fahd Sulaiman Abdul Mohsen Al Gabbaa, a Saudi national who had never left his country, arrived on a flight to Kuwait airport at dawn on Friday and blew himself up hours later inside the mosque during the prayers.

The attack failed to divide Kuwaitis alongside sectarian or ideological lines and resulted in an impressive show of unity and mutual support.

One year later, Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah performed noon prayers in the renovated Al Sadiq Mosque.

The ruler, who had visited the mosque hours after the terrorist attack, also met relatives of those killed and wounded in the tragic attack.

“Our national unity is the unassailable fence that safeguards security,” Shaikh Sabah told them. “The patriotic spirit manifested by the people of Kuwait and their love, devotion and allegiance to their homeland would fend off all criminal and terrorist acts.”

Kuwait charged 29 people — seven Kuwaitis, five Saudis, three Pakistanis, 13 stateless people and another person at large — with the bombing of the mosque. Five of the suspects were tried in absentia.

The public prosecutor demanded the death penalty for 11 suspects, but after a series of trial sessions that went up to the Cassation Court, only six were sentenced to death.

Delay in winter season this year

Meteorological expert Essa Ramadan says delay in the winter season can be expected this year, reports Al-Shahed daily. During an interview on Al-Shahed TV, he indicated that humidity will reduce in the coming days. Ramadan stressed the significance of planting trees in order to reduce the temperatures, adding that this will increase rainfalls due to the increase in oxygen levels. He said the “Green Belt” represented by planting trees along the Kuwaiti borders will turn Jahra into “Switzerland”.

Ramadan said Kuwait may not witness heavy rains this winter or any time before the year 2027. He warned about an environmental disaster that the world could face in 2080 due to expected increase in the temperatures by five degrees Centigrade, stressing the need to take relevant procedures for minimizing the negative effects of such catastrophe.

Police are looking for an unidentified Indian maid

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Police are looking for an unidentified Indian maid for allegedly stealing an expensive watch and KD 4,000, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily added, the female sponsor of the maid discovered the theft when she returned home from an outing.

Chalet rent stolen: Police are looking for an unidentified person for breaking into the guard room of a chalet in Nuwaiseeb and stealing KD 500, the one day rent of a chalet, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily said a complaint has been filed at the Nuwaiseeb Police Station by the Kuwaiti owner of the chalet. He told the police, the incident happened when the guard was visiting one of his friends and that hen he arrived at the chalet he found the door of the guard room broken and the money stolen. Personnel from the Criminal Investigations Department have lifted fingerprints.

Age limit for boys on dependent visa

My elder son, will turn 18 years this Oct 18. He is presently studying in 12th standard. His visa will expire in Nov 18, 2018. Please advise the age limit for boys on dependent visa; whether I can still sponsor my son. Do I need to get a letter from school (in Arabic) conforming he is a student of the school. Look forward to your valuable feedback. Thank you!

Name withheld

Answer: The age limit for boys on dependent visa is 21 years, you can therefore continue to sponsor your son on dependent visa until he attain the age of 21.

So far as he still is within the age brackets that qualify him to be on dependent visa we don’t think you need any letter from the school conforming he is a student. However if in the past years they were requesting for such a letter at the immigration, then there in no reason why should stop including such a letter among the documents you need to renew your son’s residence.

 

Source: Arab Times

HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS PREPARED TO FACE CORONAVIRUS

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The Ministry of Health has taken all measures needed to ensure the safety of citizens and expats against the Coronavirus, said the ministry’s Undersecretary Mustafa Redha.

The official’s remarks were made in press conference on Wednesday, regarding reports issued by one of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s bodies that a South Korean citizen who arrived in his country coming from Kuwait was infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Coronavirus.
The ministry had raised the level of alert to contain any possible cases of the disease.

The ministry’s medical team also took samples from those who engaged with the patient, it said, adding that the samples were all negative.
The Yonhap News Agency had reported that ten people in South Korea who came into contact with the infected patient and showed symptoms of the disease tested negative.

Last Saturday, the 61 year old man was diagnosed with the first case of MERS in South Korea in about three years. after returning home from a business trip to Kuwait from August 16 to September 6. He was rushed to the emergency room of a medical center in southern Seoul upon his arrival at Incheon International Airport. As of Tuesday evening, a total of 21 people who had come in close contact with the MERS patient, including those on the plane, such as flight attendants, passengers, medical staff and immigration officials, have all been quarantined in their respective homes and are being monitored for signs of MERS.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease with a fatality rate of 20-46 percent. It is caused by a novel coronavirus carried by camels and can be spread when someone is in close contact with a patient for a sustained period. The first MERS case was recorded in Saudi Arabia, and it has since spread to other countries. As of June this year, the World Health Organization has reported 2,229 laboratory-confirmed cases. South Korea was hit by an outbreak in 2015, resulting in 38 deaths and 186 people testing positive for MERS.