Archive for category Kuwait

Gaza, or Lebanon, or both?

1. report: Israeli troops training for new Gaza war

Israeli occupation forces completed a large-scale military drill in the Negev, the country’s Channel 10 news reported, preparing troops for a military offensive against the Gaza Strip. The report, aired Tuesday evening, speculated that the training could even be seen as preparation for a re-occupation of the area….According to Channel 10, training saw occupation soldiers educated in the use of a new digital device on Merkava Tanks, the largest of the armored vehicles, which allows soldiers in the units to track troops on the ground in densely-populated areas. It is intended to prevent “friendly fire” incidents.


read more @ al manar tv

2. Israel closes Gaza crossing after Palestinian mortar fire

GAZA, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — Israel shut down a main cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip on Thursday in response to Palestinian mortars at Israeli army posts near Gaza commercial crossings. Ten mortars landed near Kerem Shalom crossing, a major passageway used by Israel to deliver humanitarian aid and fuel to the besieged territory [what aid??? - ed.], and a military site near the closed Kissufim crossing in southeast Gaza, said Palestinian security sources. No injuries or damage were reported in the mortar attacks. Following the incident, Radio Israel said that Kerem Shalom crossing was sealed off. …Also on Thursday, Israeli planes dropped flyers in northern Gaza Strip, warning residents to stay away from an electric fence between the Hamas-controlled coastal Strip and Israel. The leaflets, printed with telephone numbers and emails, urged people to inform the army of any activities of the Palestinian militants in the border area.


read more @ chinaview

3. Israel blames Lebanon for Israel’s failure to withdraw from Ghajar

Israel is not withdrawing from the northern part of Ghajar because of Lebanon’s “adamant refusal” to reach an understanding with Israel over security arrangements in the Lebanese part of the village, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday. “The Lebanese government, apparently under pressure from Hizbullah, is not willing to provide any kind of commitments” that would allow a UNIFIL plan on Ghajar to be put into practice, The Post said. Beirut “fears” that the plan’s adoption would be seen as giving Israel legitimacy, according to the newspaper. “The talks, therefore, are solely between Israel and UNIFIL, with Lebanon unwilling to participate even indirectly,” the Israeli daily said. “The negotiations with UNIFIL are over what security arrangements and commitments UNIFIL - not the Lebanese - will provide.”

Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal and his team are scheduled to hold a second round of talks with UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Claudio Graziano and his staff Thursday. The first round of talks on the Ghajar issue was held in early December.The Israeli government has reportedly approved a plan to turn over control of the northern half of the village to UNIFIL. Under the plan no physical barrier would be built between the northern and southern parts of Ghajar, but rather UNIFIL would patrol both the northern half and the perimeter. Graziano is to be replaced by Spanish Maj.-Gen. Alberto Asarta Cuevas on January 28. The Post said Israeli officials denied that Graziano’s departure was a deadline for “closing” the Ghajar deal, saying the Jewish state would continue talking to UNIFIL about the issue until it gets a commitment. According to Haaretz daily, Gal is also expected to congratulate Graziano on finding explosives near the Lebanese town of Khiam on December 26.
source: naharnet

4. Lebanese man killed in Ukraine
The body of a 47-year-old Lebanese, who was killed in Ukraine, arrived in Beirut overnight as his family urged Beirut authorities to ask officials in Kiev to follow up the investigation into the murder of Mounir Abdo Mansour. The National News Agency quoted Mansour’s family members as saying Thursday that they are planning to visit the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut to urge judicial authorities in Kiev to probe the man’s murder.

The family told NNA it was not the first time that a Lebanese was attacked in the Ukrainian capital. It said authorities there have also previously tampered with evidence at crime scenes to cover up the “heinous crimes” rather than bringing perpetrators to justice. “Lebanese youth are killed without restraint from anyone,” Mansour’s sister, Rima, told NNA. “Involved officials should interfere to follow up the issue.”

source: naharnet

5. Syrian parliament speaker: expansion of relations between Muslim states foils plots

In a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here in Tehran on Thursday morning, al-Abrash said, “Tehran-Damascus strategic relations is effective in the region.”  He also called for using all opportunities of the two neighbors to mature bilateral ties, the Iranian students news agency reported.  Ahmadinejad on his part called for strengthening relations between the two sides and said, “The resistance of nations including Iran and Syria has caused a deadlock in policies of Arrogant System in economic, political and military sections.” He also turned to presence of bulling powers’ forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen and said, “The enemies’ plots will harm themselves.”

source: fars

6. Kuwaiti-Palestinian relations “historic” — qualified: Abbas meets Kuwaiti emir…not sure that conflates to “Kuwaiti-Palestinian” relations in fact pretty sure it doesn’t but anyway, here you go.

rich and famous

1. dying to escape: the desperation of Kuwait’s abused maids

KUWAIT: Thirteen suicides of migrant workers were documented in Kuwait in November 2009 alone by Migrant Rights, an international organization for migrant workers. According to the Migrant Rights webpage, not a week goes by in Kuwait without a report about a maid setting herself on fire, hanging herself, drinking detergent, or mysteriously ‘falling’ from a roof or balcony.

…Elena, who sustained multiple bone fractures, in her hands, hips and legs in the fall, is scheduled to undergo a major operation today. Her sponsors, meanwhile, turned up at the hospital not out of concern for her, but to tell her that they had filed a case against her for attempted suicide and for stealing valuables, although the few goods that Elena has are inside her suitcase - which they packed and brought to the hospital with them for her.

My sponsor gave the bag to me; it’s in my [hospital] locker right now, but I haven’t opened it yet,” Elena said. “My madam told me that I took valuable things from their house and that she has filed a case with the police against me. I’m not worried because I don’t do such things. There is a [security] camera inside their house anyway, so how could I steal valuables?

read more @ kuwait times

2. Johnson and Johnson heiress dead at 30 from suspected drug overdose

The heiress to one of the world’s largest business empires has died of a suspected drugs overdose aged just 30. Casey Johnson, whose family founded the £110 billion Johnson and Johnson pharmaceuticals giant, was found dead at her Los Angeles home.

…’It appears to be a natural death. There’s no evidence of foul play. A toxicology report from the coroner’s office will proceed next,’ she said…Ms Johnson was known to have a history of drug abuse, and reports in the US say she may have been dead for a number of days before her body was found.

3. CIA reportedly ordered murder of 911 suspect in Hamburg
A CIA assassination team reportedly targeted a Syrian-German man living in Hamburg after he was connected to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the latest edition of Vanity Fair magazine, the US spy agency wanted to liquidate Mamoun Darkazanli, who is thought to have been a financier for the Islamist terror network Al-Qaida. Intelligence officials in Washington even farmed out the hit to a squad of contract killers, but the deed was never carried out.

“The CIA team supposedly went in ‘dark,’ meaning they did not notify their own station – much less the German government – of their presence,” the magazine wrote in article about Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious security firm Blackwater. “They then followed Darkazanli for weeks and worked through the logistics of how and where they would take him down.”

read more @ the local

4. Saudi envoy to see Thai PM — prolly wants the family jewels back

Saudi charge d’affaires to Thailand Nabil Hussein Ashri will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at Government House next Monday to ask about progress made in the investigation of the disappearance of Saudi businessmen Mohammad al-Ruwaili, acting government spokesman Panithan Wattanayagorn said on Tuesday.

Mr Panithan said the meeting between the Saudi envoy and Mr Abhisit was a good sign that Thai-Saudi relations might be about to improve because much progress has been made in the investigation into the disappearance of al-Ruwaili, a relative of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

read more @ bangkok post

5. Boris Berezovsky deep in hot water - docs seized in Brazil being sent to Russia

Minister Celso de Mello, of the Supreme Court, confirmed the decision that authorized federal courts to deliver justice to Russia which are documents and equipment of Boris Abramovich Berezovsky seized in Brazil in 2006. A partner of Media Sports Investment (MSI) in the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista 2004 to 2007, Boris Berezovsky is accused of the crimes of money laundering and conspiracy in Brazil which is also being investigated in Russia.

Boris Berezovsky’s defense attorney filed a Habeas Corpus in the Supreme Court to try to prevent the delivery of the documents and computers seized from the businessman to Russian authorities. The order to deliver the documents and equipment came from Judge Fausto de Sanctis, of the 6th Federal Vara of São Paulo, at the behest of the Prosecutor of the Russian Federation.

read more @ pravda

6. October 2007: Berezovsky is arch-rival of Roman Abramovich, who lately has been very complimentary of Putin kiss kiss hug hug

It was a modern-day clash of the Titans - two of the richest men in the world locking horns in a bitter row over their huge egos and even bigger fortunes. Shoppers in London’s exclusive Sloane Street watched in amazement as Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and his deadliest business rival Boris Berezovsky played out a scene more reminiscent of a gangster movie.

Berezovsky, a one-time business partner of Abramovich in three major Russian companies, had been trying for six months to serve a £5 billion writ on him - and yesterday he finally got his chance. Flanked by three bodyguards, Berezovsky - who was granted political asylum in Britain four years ago after fleeing Russia in the face of embezzlement charges - had been shopping in the designer store Dolce & Gabbana. And as he was leaving, he spotted his sworn enemy in the Hermes store two doors away. Berezovsky, 61, immediately ordered one of his burly bodyguards to fetch the writ from his £300,000 Maybach limousine parked nearby. But as he tried to enter the shop with the document, his path was blocked by Abramovich’s three SAS-trained security men. As a scuffle ensued between the two sets of rival bodyguards, Berezovsky forced open the door and barged his way in to confront an ashen-faced Abramovich.