Kuwait govt resigns 3 months after formation as political crisis intensifies

News Network
April 5, 2022

Kuwait's government resigned on Tuesday, just months after its formation, opening up new uncertainty as the tiny country grapples with a worsening political crisis that has blocked critical economic and social reforms.

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah submitted the cabinet's resignation to the crown prince, state-run KUNA news agency reported, ahead of a no confidence vote in Parliament later this week that sought to remove him from office.

It marks Kuwait's third collective government resignation in the past year and a half. A host of new faces, including some picks to appease opposition blocs, had been appointed to ministerial posts as recently as December, with their resignation now reflecting their failure to make reforms.

Opposition has been mounting against Sheikh Sabah. Angry lawmakers hauled him in for extensive interrogations last week over his alleged corruption and mismanagement. They publicly declared him “unsuitable” and called for a new prime minister to tackle the country's problems and secure badly needed reforms.

Cabinet's resignation comes after the defense and interior ministers submitted their resignations earlier this year. Exasperated, the two senior ministers decried their inability to make anything happen in oil-rich Kuwait because of Parliament's rowdy opposition. Lawmakers increasingly in recent months have expressed their political frustrations and mistrust by questioning various unpopular ministers and stalling major projects.

Although soaring oil prices amid Russia's war in Ukraine have recently created a windfall for Kuwait, they've also served as a reminder of the nation's utter dependence on oil revenues and need to diversify. Even if the International Monetary Fund now expects Kuwait to run a budget surplus after years in the red and see its gross domestic product increase by 2.7%, it remains politically stuck.

Years of low oil prices, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, pushed the country's account deficit to 16.6% of its GDP last year. As financial stress worsened, the government couldn't draw from Kuwait's flush sovereign wealth fund or issue debt because lawmakers have blocked a public debt law.

The parliament, a rarity in the autocratic region of Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, is empowered to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior officials. However, final authority rests with the ruling emir.

The financial stagnation over the past two years has spread deep disillusionment with the country's political system. 

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News Network
June 19,2022

In the wake of the attack on a gurudwara in Kabul, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of Narendra Modi led government of India has granted e-visas to over 100 Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan on priority, news agency ANI reported. India strongly condemned the "cowardly attack" on the Sikh place of worship.

"Our first and foremost concern is for the welfare of the community," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said.

Several blasts tore through a gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday, killing two persons, including a Sikh, and injuring seven others, while Afghan security personnel thwarted a bigger tragedy by stopping an explosive-laden vehicle from reaching the place of worship of the minority community in the war-torn country.

In the latest targeted assault on a place of worship of the Sikh community in Afghanistan, Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul's Bagh-e Bala neighbourhood was attacked early Saturday morning and a gun battle lasting several hours between the terrorists and Taliban fighters ensued, said Abdul Nafi Takor, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.

Three attackers were killed by the Taliban forces, the Pajhwok news agency reported.

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News Network
June 27,2022

New Delhi, June 27: India's daily Covid-19 cases jumped by 45 per cent on Monday as the nation logged 17,073 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,34,07,046, while the active cases rose to 94,420, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. On Sunday, the nation reported 11,739 cases. 

The death toll climbed to 5,25,020 with 21 new fatalities.

An increase of 1,844 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The active cases comprise 0.22 per cent of the total infections. The national Covid-19 recovery rate was 98.57 per cent, the ministry said.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 5.62 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 3.39 per cent, it said.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,27,87,606, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent.

According to the ministry, 197.11 crore doses of vaccine have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 inoculation drive.
 

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News Network
June 17,2022

Secunderabad, June 17: One person has died and over 15 have been injured in Telangana's Secunderabad as violent protests against the new military recruitment policy, Agnipath, spread to the southern state after entering the third consecutive day in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. Protests have also been reported in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

Telangana police resorted to aerial firing to disperse the angry crowd at the Secunderabad railway station as protests escalated into large-scale violence and arson, news agency PTI reported.

Protestors are demonstrating on railway tracks and have halted all train movement for the last three hours. Security forces are outnumbered as the railway station has been overrun by angry youth, who have already set three trains on fire.

Suman Kumar Sharma, an AC Power Car mechanic, narrated the horrifying scenes while the trains were being vandalised. He said there were around 5,000 people at the station and around 40 of them entered the train he was in. 

"They tried setting fire in the coach. They desperately tried to set fire to the power car, but we saved it. The passenger's things have been left behind and broken. Two gates were open, so we let the passengers go from one side. We told them, that the Railway Protection Force will keep them safe. We took the passengers out from here," he said.

Elderly people were also terrified. Some have left behind suitcases, spectacles, Aadhaar cards, and half-eaten packets of mixture strewn around inside the train, he added.

The railways are diverting trains so that they don't go through the Secunderabad station. The disruption began at 9 am when over 350 protestors took over the railway station. 

East Coast Express, Rajkot Express, and Ajanta Express were set on fire by violent mobs. 71 trains - 65 from Hyderabad Multi-Modal Transport System and six express - have been cancelled so far.

In Bihar, where the protests entered the third day, the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked as the new recruitment scheme that has set off a firestorm. "Such type of violence is very dangerous for the society. The protesters should remember that this is a loss for the society," Ms Devi, who is currently in Patna, said.

Two coaches of the Jammu Tawi Express train were set on fire in Bihar's Samastipur district, officials told NDTV, adding no one was hurt in the incident. A BJP office was also attacked in the Lakhisarai district. A mob set fire to the Islampur-Hatia express train which was stationed at the Islampur station in Nalanda. Three AC coaches are completely burnt down and several other coaches have been damaged.

In Uttar Pradesh, a mob entered a railway station in Ballia this morning and set a train coach on fire, and also damaged railway station property before the police used force to disperse them.

Over 200 trains have been affected - 35 trains have been cancelled while 13 short-terminated- since the protests erupted on Wednesday, according to the Railways.

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