Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah passes away at 91 in United States

Agencies
September 29, 2020

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Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait passed away on today in a hospital in the United States. He was 91.

Born in 1929, Sheikh Sabah is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy – having served as foreign minister for nearly 40 years between 1963 and 2003 – when he became prime minister.

He became Kuwait’s emir in January 2006 after the death of Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah.

In August 2019, Kuwait acknowledged Sheikh Sabah suffered an unspecified medical “setback” that required he be admitted to hospital.

In July 2020, he flew to the United States seeking medical attention after undergoing surgery. A US Air Force C-17 flying hospital transported Sheikh Sabah from Kuwait to Rochester, Minnesota, home of the flagship campus of the Mayo Clinic.

The emir had his appendix removed in 2002, two years after having a pacemaker fitted. In 2007, he underwent urinary tract surgery in the United States.

When the emir was absent in the past, 83-year-old Crown Prince Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the emir’s half-brother, was appointed acting ruler as per the country’s constitutional law. Sheikh Nawaf is an elder statesman who has held high office for decades, including the defence and interior portfolios.

Sheikh Sabah had pushed for diplomacy to solve regional issues, such as the continuing boycott of Qatar by four Arab nations, and he hosted major donor conferences for war-torn nations such as Iraq and Syria.

Kuwait television earlier interrupted regular programming to cut to Quaranic verses on Tuesday, a move that often signifies the death of a senior member of the Gulf Arab state’s ruling family.

His death comes as the nation continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 103,981 people and caused 605 related deaths in the country of 4.1 million. Its health ministry said more than 95,500 people have recovered from COVID-19.

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News Network
October 19,2020

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Riyadh, Oct 19: Saudi Arabia announced a series of royal decrees on Sunday to restructure the Council of Senior Scholars, Shoura Council and Supreme Court.

The decrees appointed 20 people to the Council of Senior Scholars, the Kingdom’s highest religious body, which is headed by the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh.

Another royal decree ordered the restructuring of the Shoura Council with the appointment of Hanan bint Abdul Raheem Al-Ahmadi as assistant to the speaker and Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami as deputy speaker.

The decree appointed 150 members to the council for a period of four years and it will be headed by Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh.

Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Luhaidan was appointed as president of the Supreme Court with the rank of minister.

Ghayhab bin Mohammed Al-Ghayhab has been named as an advisor to the royal court with the status of minister.

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News Network
October 28,2020

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Riyadh, Oct 28: Saudi Arabia plans to cancel a foreign worker sponsorship system, known as kafala, and replace it with a new form of contract between employers and employees, the financial newspaper Maaal said on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

Saudi Arabia, which this year is chairing the Group of 20 major economies (G20), seeks to boost the private sector - and make it more attractive to foreign talent - under an ambitious plan to diversify its oil-based economy.

The kafala system, which Maaal said has been in place for seven decades in Saudi, generally binds a migrant worker to one employer. Rights groups criticise the system and say it leaves workers vulnerable to exploitation.

"The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development intends next week to announce a new initiative that improves the contractual relationship between employers and expatriate workers," the Maaal report said.

The initiative will be implemented in the first half of 2021, it added, without giving further details.

Currently more than 10 million foreign workers live in Saudi Arabia under the kafala system that requires them to be sponsored by a Saudi employer and be issued an exit/re-entry visa whenever they want to leave the country.

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Agencies
October 24,2020

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Dubai, Oct 24: As cooler climes caress the UAE shores, the Dubai Police have issued a series of instructions for the safety of its residents venturing out to the beach.

In a tweet on Saturday, the Dubai Police urged visitors to the beaches of the emirate to follow the standard procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitors should always wear a mask and maintain social distancing at the beaches.

No more than five people are allowed to gather except for members of the same family. The authorities warned that violators will be penalised as per the law of the land.

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