Kuwait emir dissolves parliament citing 'deteriorating conditions'



KUWAIT CITY // Kuwait's ruler dissolved parliament and set the nation towards elections, citing "deteriorating conditions" amid an increasingly bitter political showdown over alleged high-level corruption.

The decision by the emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jabar Al Sabah, comes less than a week after he named a new prime minister and parliament sessions were put on hold.

Elections must be held within 60 days - which could complicate plans by the Pentagon to station thousands more US soldiers in Kuwait as part of troop shifts around the region after the withdrawal from Iraq at the end of the month.

Critics of Kuwait's ruling family claim it turns a blind eye to allegations of widespread corruption and uses security forces to crush dissenting voices.

Kuwait's parliament has the most powers of any elected body in the GCC, and opposition MPs openly criticise the ruling family.

Last month, protesters stormed parliament after a debate over allegations that government officials funnelled payoffs to bank accounts outside the country. Authorities quickly imposed stricter security measures.

"Due to the deteriorating conditions that led to obstruction of process of achievements and threatened the country's higher interests, it became necessary to resort to the people to select their representatives, overcome existing obstacles and realise national interests," said a statement by Sheikh Sabah.

Late last month, the emir selected his defence minister, Sheikh Jaber Al Hamad Al Sabah, as the new prime minister, replacing the long-serving Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah, who had survived several no-confidence votes in parliament and was the target of opposition groups calling for his dismissal.

Kuwait also has been hit by a wave of strikes that grounded the state airline and threatened to disrupt oil shipments.

The nation has not been hit by major pro-reform demonstrations, but it stands out in the region because of its hardball political atmosphere.

In January, the emir ordered 1,000 dinar (Dh13,250) grants and free food coupons for every Kuwaiti.

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Fire and Fury
By Michael Wolff,
Henry Holt

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Race card

5.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m

6.05pm: Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,400m

6.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Dirt) 1,400m

7.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 1,200m

7.50pm: Longines Stakes – Conditions (TB) Dh120,00 (D) 1,900m

8.25pm: Zabeel Trophy – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (T) 1,600m

9pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 2,410m

9.35pm: Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (T) 2,000m

Captain Marvel

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law,  Ben Mendelsohn

4/5 stars

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
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Like a Fading Shadow

Antonio Muñoz Molina

Translated from the Spanish by Camilo A. Ramirez

Tuskar Rock Press (pp. 310)

Empires of the Steppes: A History of the Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilization

Author: Kenneth W Harl
Publisher:
Hanover Square Press
Pages:
576

SCORES

Yorkshire Vikings 144-1 in 12.5 overs
(Tom Kohler 72 not out, Harry Broook 42 not out)
bt Hobart Hurricanes 140-7 in 20 overs
(Caleb Jewell 38, Sean Willis 35, Karl Carver 2-29, Josh Shaw 2-39)

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Match info:

Manchester City 2
Sterling (8'), Walker (52')

Newcastle United 1
Yedlin (30')

CHELSEA'S NEXT FIVE GAMES

Mar 10: Norwich(A)

Mar 13: Newcastle(H)

Mar 16: Lille(A)

Mar 19: Middlesbrough(A)

Apr 2: Brentford(H)

US tops drug cost charts

The study of 13 essential drugs showed costs in the United States were about 300 per cent higher than the global average, followed by Germany at 126 per cent and 122 per cent in the UAE.

Thailand, Kenya and Malaysia were rated as nations with the lowest costs, about 90 per cent cheaper.

In the case of insulin, diabetic patients in the US paid five and a half times the global average, while in the UAE the costs are about 50 per cent higher than the median price of branded and generic drugs.

Some of the costliest drugs worldwide include Lipitor for high cholesterol. 

The study’s price index placed the US at an exorbitant 2,170 per cent higher for Lipitor than the average global price and the UAE at the eighth spot globally with costs 252 per cent higher.

High blood pressure medication Zestril was also more than 2,680 per cent higher in the US and the UAE price was 187 per cent higher than the global price.

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
'I Want You Back'

Director:Jason Orley

Stars:Jenny Slate, Charlie Day

Rating:4/5

Dolittle

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

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Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reforms stamp duty land tax (SDLT), replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:

Up to £125,000 – 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; More than £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak extends the SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget until the end of June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

June 2021: SDLT holiday on transactions up to £500,000 expires on June 30.

July 2021: Tax break on transactions between £125,000 to £250,000 starts on July 1 and runs until September 30.

The Baghdad Clock

Shahad Al Rawi, Oneworld

Meydan race card

6.30pm: Maiden; Dh165,000; (Dirt) 1,200m
7.05pm: Handicap; Dh170,000; (D) 1,200m​​​​​​​
7.40pm: Maiden; Dh165,000; (D) 1,900m​​​​​​​
8.15pm: Handicap; Dh185,000; (D) 2,000m​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
8.50pm: Handicap; Dh185,000; (D) 1,600m​​​​​​​
9.25pm: Handicap; Dh165,000; (D) 2,000m

Drishyam 2

Directed by: Jeethu Joseph

Starring: Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba, Murali Gopy

Rating: 4 stars

Essentials

The flights
Emirates, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines all fly direct from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur and on to Penang from about Dh2,300 return, including taxes. 
 

Where to stay
In Kuala Lumpur, Element is a recently opened, futuristic hotel high up in a Norman Foster-designed skyscraper. Rooms cost from Dh400 per night, including taxes. Hotel Stripes, also in KL, is a great value design hotel, with an infinity rooftop pool. Rooms cost from Dh310, including taxes. 


In Penang, Ren i Tang is a boutique b&b in what was once an ancient Chinese Medicine Hall in the centre of Little India. Rooms cost from Dh220, including taxes.
23 Love Lane in Penang is a luxury boutique heritage hotel in a converted mansion, with private tropical gardens. Rooms cost from Dh400, including taxes. 
In Langkawi, Temple Tree is a unique architectural villa hotel consisting of antique houses from all across Malaysia. Rooms cost from Dh350, including taxes.

The biog

Name: Atheja Ali Busaibah

Date of birth: 15 November, 1951

Favourite books: Ihsan Abdel Quddous books, such as “The Sun will Never Set”

Hobbies: Reading and writing poetry

Your Guide to the Home
  • Level 1 has a valet service if you choose not to park in the basement level. This level houses all the kitchenware, including covetable brand French Bull, along with a wide array of outdoor furnishings, lamps and lighting solutions, textiles like curtains, towels, cushions and bedding, and plenty of other home accessories.
  • Level 2 features curated inspiration zones and solutions for bedrooms, living rooms and dining spaces. This is also where you’d go to customise your sofas and beds, and pick and choose from more than a dozen mattress options.
  • Level 3 features The Home’s “man cave” set-up and a display of industrial and rustic furnishings. This level also has a mother’s room, a play area for children with staff to watch over the kids, furniture for nurseries and children’s rooms, and the store’s design studio.
     

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