18 candidates competing for two seats in Kuwait municipal council

Up to 18 candidates will compete on Saturday to win two seats in the by-elections for the Kuwait Municipal Council (2024) for the sixth and ninth districts, an election official said on Friday.

The voting process is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at 194 polling stations hosted by 26 schools, after which the counting of votes will begin in preparation for announcing the official results and naming the winners, said Director of the Election Affairs Department at the Ministry of Interior Brigadier General Dr. Ahmad Al-Hajri.

In a statement to KUNA, he added that voters will vote with the original citizenship certificate and the administration provided a hotline 1889888 to respond to any inquiries throughout the voting period.

The First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Yousef Saud Al-Sabah issued Ministerial Resolution No. 350 of 2024 regarding defining and dividing the supplementary election committees for the Municipal Council in the two aforementioned districts

The Municipal Council announced on April 22 session that the seats of former members Nasser Al-Kafif and Fahad Al-Muwaizri are vacant.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Israeli colonists attack village east of Bethlehem

Israeli settler militias embarked on an attack this afternoon targeting the village of Kisan, located east of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

The sources reported that dozens of colonists, under the protection of Israeli forces, stormed the western part of the village. They blocked the main road, chanted racist slogans including “death to Arabs and Palestinians,” and raised Israeli flags on the wall surrounding the village council headquarters.

The residents of the village remained in their homes, fearing further attacks by the settlers, who were preventing movement of vehicles on the main road leading to the village during the attack.

Source: Palestine news & Information Agency – WAFA

Sunak: We delivered aid via the temporary dock off Gaza

Gaza: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Britain had successfully delivered the first shipment of British aid via the temporary dock off Gaza.

He added, “More land routes must be opened so that more aid can reach those who desperately need it

Source: Maan News Agency

?SEWA implements projects to enhance Kalba’s ‘Hanging Gardens’

SHARJAH: In a bid to enhance development projects in Kalba, the Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority (SEWA) has undertaken initiatives to optimise services.

SEWA recently completed the installation of an 11/0.415 kV distribution station, comprising three transformers with a total capacity of 1500 kVA, alongside a 14-km-long 11 kV cable. These infrastructural enhancements aim to cater to the cultural hanging gardens project in Kalba, adhering to stringent quality standards and specifications.

Yousef Mohammed Abdullah Al Hammadi, Acting Director of Kalba Administration, highlighted the meticulous execution of the project in alignment with industry-leading standards. He emphasised SEWA’s establishment of a comprehensive medium and low voltage network to ensure continuous electrical supply to the designated area, paving the way for future projects. Al Hammadi further noted that despite geographical challenges, innovative approaches were employed to overcome logistical hurdles.

Underlining SEWA’s commit
ment to providing top-notch services and robust infrastructure for electricity, water, and natural gas, Al Hammadi emphasised their pivotal role in bolstering developmental and civilisational projects in Kalba. These initiatives, he asserted, not only foster greater prosperity and advancement but also serve as catalysts for attracting investments and boosting tourism in the city.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Gaza death toll exceeds 35k martyrs

Gaza: In its daily statistical report, the Gaza Ministry of Health said that on the 223rd day of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, there were 35,303 martyrs and 79,261 wounded.

The ministry further stated that many victims’ bodies were under the rubble and in the roads, making them inaccessible to ambulance and civil defense crews.

It added that in the last twenty-four hours, hospitals have received 31 martyrs and 56 injured victims from the four massacres carried out by the Israeli occupation on families in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Jordan News Agency

UN offers recommendations for environmental protection laws

A new analysis from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released on Friday finds that legal protection of the environment varies widely by country and region in terms of crimes covered and punishments given, and highlights priority areas for consideration to strengthen prevention and curb crimes that affect the environment.

In “The Landscape of Criminalization”, Part One of the first-ever Global Analysis of Crimes that Affect the Environment, UNODC examines how 193 UN Member States criminalize actions that harm the environment – and how such offences are penalized – across nine environment areas, namely deforestation and logging, air pollution, noise pollution, soil pollution, water pollution, fishing, waste, and wildlife.

“Our review shows that there has been progress globally in advancing environmental protection laws, but legislation and enforcement remain uneven, offering criminal groups opportunities to exploit gaps in responses,” said Angela Me, Chief of Research and Analysis at UNODC.

r legislation can help to deter potential and repeat offenders and also widen the range of investigative tools and resources for law enforcement to stop crimes that affect the environment,” she said.

Wildlife and waste are the areas where most countries (164 and 160, respectively) include at least one related criminal offence in their national legislation. In contrast, soil and noise pollution (99 and 97, respectively) are the areas where the fewest countries have criminal provisions.

At least 85 percent of UN Member States criminalize offences against wildlife and at least 45 per cent punish some of these offences with four years or more in prison, which constitutes a serious crime under the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), according to the analysis.

The level of protection afforded to the environment – as well as the penalties imposed – are closely related to the conditions in each country or region.

For example, 43 percent of countries in Oceania regard illegal fishing as a
serious crime (meaning it is punished with four years or more in prison), in contrast to just two per cent of countries in Europe. 12 out of 18 countries in Eastern Africa, meanwhile, regard wildlife offences as serious crimes, it added.

Africa and Asia have the highest average percentage of Member States with penalties meeting the serious crime definition, indicating that the legislation is not necessarily ‘weak’, as is commonly stated, but that there is a lack of enforcement of the legislation, it noted.

The report noted many areas for improvement of environmental legislation and penalties. Member States could consider increasing penalties to enable Member States to utilize UNTOC provisions for international cooperation (such as extradition or mutual legal assistance.) Countries could also consider improving legislation allowing for confiscation of the instrumentalities or proceeds of environmental offences. The current lack of such provisions may be leading to the prosecution of minor offenders, rather t
han the large economic interests that often drive crimes that affect the environment, it said.

Finally, the report underscored the need for more data collection on these crimes, enforcement of legislation, and more research on the penalties administered and the effects of these. Only with this information can it be understood which combinations of criminalization and restorative approaches are most affective at preventing crimes that affect the environment.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Al-Qassam: We sniped an Israeli soldier east of Jabalia

Gaza: Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), said that its fighters were able to snipe an Israeli soldier east of the city of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

The various areas of the incursion into the Gaza Strip are witnessing fierce fighting, especially in the Jabalia camp, north of the Strip and the eastern areas of Rafah.

Earlier, the Al-Qassam Brigades said that its fighters infiltrated behind enemy lines east of the Jabalia camp, and targeted a tank and a troop carrier in the Jabalia camp, killing and wounding its crew

Source: Maan News Agency

Theyab bin Mohamed attends Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed’s lecture ‘Sustainable Agriculture at Scale’

ABU DHABI: H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes’ Affairs, attended the latest Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed lecture titled ‘Sustainable Agriculture at Scale’.

The lecture, which took place at the Majlis venue in Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, was delivered by Sebastien Boyer, Co-founder and Chairman of the agritech firm, FarmWise.

Over the course of his lecture, Boyer discussed the challenges faced by farmers today and how technological innovation will be vital to help the agricultural sector evolve and become more sustainable to feed the world’s growing population.

Boyer, whose company builds precise farming machinery that leverages AI and robotics to increase productivity and profitability, explained how agriculture hinges on the use and availability of four key resources: land, water, labour, and industrially produced fertilisers.

He then discussed the work of a number of startups employing cutting-edge techno
logy to reduce reliance on these resources, including companies producing self-driving electric tractors and lab-grown chicken meat.

Discussing the adoption of the latest agricultural technology, Boyer explained that many of these innovations are still prohibitively expensive or require further development to become cost-effective, meaning farmers are often reluctant to switch from their old methods.

He suggested that society has a role to play in helping large-scale adoption, saying, ‘We need to promote technology demand by promoting sustainability demand.’

The UAE continues to prioritise efforts to transform its agricultural sector as it aims to boost its food security while ensuring a sustainable and resilient future, with the country now being home to a growing number of agritech companies using innovative technology to produce locally grown food.

The lecture was moderated by Laila Abdullatif, Director-General, Emirates Nature-WWF, and featured pre-recorded contributions from Khaled Al Blooshi, Plant
Development Lead Engineer, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Maitha Al Hameli, Section Head, Marine Assessment and Conservation, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, and Sky Kurtz, Co-founder and CEO, Pure Harvest Smart Farms.

‘Sustainable Agriculture at Scale’ will be broadcast on Saturday, 18th May at 17:00 GST on local TV networks and will be available to watch afterwards on the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed YouTube channel.

Source: Emirates News Agency

CENTCOM: Aid trucks moving ashore via temporary pier in Gaza

The first aid trucks carrying humanitarian assistance started moving ashore via the recently launched temporary pier into the Gaza Strip, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Friday.

“Today at approximately 9 a.m. (Gaza time), trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via a temporary pier in Gaza. No U.S. troops went ashore in Gaza,” it said in an X release.

It underlined that this is an ongoing, multinational effort to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via a maritime corridor that is entirely humanitarian in nature, and will involve aid commodities donated by a number of countries and humanitarian organizations.

The CENTCOM announced Thursday the fulfilment of installing the pieces of a temporary pier that will be used to transport humanitarian aid into Gaza from the Mediterranean Sea.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Casualties in multiple areas of Gaza as Israel’s genocide goes ahead

At least three Palestinians were killed and several others injured this afternoon in an Israeli airstrike targeting Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza and the city of Rafah in the south.

According to WAFA correspondent, Israeli occupation forces shelled the area surrounding Shuhada Square in Bureij, resulting in the murder of one person and injuries to others.

Simultaneously, two more people were killed and several injured in an Israeli strike targeting central Rafah in the south of the enclave.

Earlier in the day, civil defense teams recovered the bodies of six civilians and several injured individuals following an Israeli air raid on a house in Jabalia town in northern Gaza.

In the meantime, WAFA correspondent reported that Israeli warplanes heavily fired on various locations in Jabalia refugee camp, with Israeli artillery shelling homes near Kamal Adwan Hospital. Israeli forces also fired intensively around Al-Houja Street in the camp.

The Israeli military’s artillery also targeted areas in the neig
hborhoods of al-Tuwam, Safatwi, and Al-Qasasib in northern Gaza, while naval forces fired at the coast of Rafah.

In southern Gaza, a medical source at Kuwait Specialized Hospital in Rafah confirmed injuries from an Israeli airstrike on a home belonging to Hamad family near Zarab Square in Rafah.

Also in Rafah, Israeli military vehicles carried out extensive demolitions and excavations, destroying homes and residential blocks in the eastern areas of the city.

Meanwhile, an Israeli warplane targeted a home belonging to Telbani family in Al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, resulting in the murder of three people and injuries to others.

In a related development, Israeli occupation forces stationed near the entrance of Beit Hanoun town in northern Gaza continue to besiege displaced families sheltering in schools, preventing anyone from leaving.

According to local health authorities, the number of people killed since the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip on October 7th, 2023, has surged
to 35,303. Some 79,261 others have been wounded.

Source: Palestine news & Information Agency – WAFA