WHO lauds KSA for preventing infectious diseases during Haj

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RIYADH: The Kingdom is well prepared to handle any infectious disease during the Haj season, according to a senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Haj pilgrimage draws 2-4 million Muslims every year, including 1.5-2 million foreigners, raising the risk of diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, the Zika virus, meningococcal disease and cholera.
Dominique Legros, a WHO cholera expert, told a regular UN briefing that Saudi Arabia receives pilgrims from endemic countries, and it manages to prevent outbreaks by ensuring appropriate living and hygiene conditions. “They are well prepared in my view.”
Meanwhile, the Kingdom announced that vaccination against meningitis is mandatory for all local and international Haj pilgrims, while flu shots are recommended for their own safety.
According to a Health Ministry official, the Foreign Ministry has issued a circular to all Saudi missions abroad to follow health requirements of the Kingdom when issuing Haj visas to pilgrims.
He said health requirements for this year focus on several diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue, Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS), yellow fever, cholera, meningitis and polio. He said that vaccinations should be taken at least 10 days before pilgrims arrive in the Kingdom.
He said vaccinations against meningitis are valid for three years. If infected, pilgrims coming from affected areas can cause an outbreak during the Haj season, he added.



Source  :  Arab News

Jeddah gas station closed for selling adulterated gasoline

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RIYADH: A gas station using red powder to change the color of gasoline from green to red to dupe customers in Jeddah was shut down for selling adulterated gas and for non-compliance with specifications, officials said.
On Tuesday, Ministry of Commerce and Investment inspectors shut down the gas station after discovering the addition of a red powder to the green 91-octane gasoline in the pumps. Samples were taken to check the quality of gasoline, and confessions were obtained from laborers admitting the practice of selling 91-octane gas as the more expensive 95 octane. The gas station owner was summoned for questioning.
Ministry inspectors also shut down a petrol station on the road to Madinah in Tabuk on Monday, due to manipulation of gas pump meters. Four pumps were found to be in violation of Saudi standard specifications, since pricing was not visible to consumers.
On a tip-off from a consumer, a fuel station on King Khalid Road in Tabuk was shut down on Sunday when the inspectors detected that meters on the pumps were tampered with to show prices higher than the fixed price.
Authorities on Sunday shut down a gas station in Al-Shati quarter in Qatif, Eastern Province, containing 14 fuel pumps that were in violation of standard specifications.
Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi recently inaugurated the Electronic Fuel Pumps Inspection and Calibration System. The initiative aims to increase the level of transparency in the service provided by fuel stations, and eliminate gasoline mixing and commercial fraud cases.
The ministry called on consumers to lodge complaints and observations through the call center (1900), or through the application of a commercial violation report via smartphone.


Source  :  Arab News

Japan’s major airlines to toughen explosive checks from Tuesday

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Major Japanese carriers will start randomly checking passengers’ electronic devices for explosives before they board aircraft, responding to a U.S. request to enhance aviation security to counter terrorism, airport sources said Friday.

The new measure will be taken from Tuesday, likely affecting Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Narita airport near the capital as well as five other airports in the country that have direct flights to the United States. The implementation could cause flight delays as many passengers may be unaware of the new policy.

The random screening will be conducted on electronic devices passengers have as carry-on items, such as personal computers, tablet computers, electronic book readers and cameras, the sources said. Cell phones and smartphones are exempt from the checks.

The screening will use special checking devices as the U.S. government has called for the use of so-called Explosive Trace Detectors, which can detect traces of explosives by wiping on electronic devices.

The checks will likely be conducted at departure gates, rather than security check areas, as the United States is calling for passengers who are already screened not to be allowed to mingle with those who are boarding other flights.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the five other airports that have direct flights to the United States are New Chitose, Sendai, Chubu, Kansai and Fukuoka.

In late June, the United States unveiled its enhanced security measures that will affect U.S.-bound commercial flights through expanded screening of passengers and their carry-on electronic devices at departing airports.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has expressed concerns that terrorists are improving their methods to plant explosives in electronic devices. It claims an explosives-laden laptop was used in a terrorism case in Somalia in February 2016.



Source  :  Japan Today

Japan pledges Y1.4 bil to help Jordan handle Syrian refugee crisis

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Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspect an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on Friday.  Photo: REUTERS


Japan will fund a new water infrastructure improvement project in Jordan to help the country manage an influx of Syrian refugees, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday after a meeting with Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki in Tokyo.

Abe said the 1.4 billion yen ($12.3 million) pledge for the project in the governorate of Balqa adds to Japan’s existing efforts to reduce the burden on Jordan’s infrastructure and public services due to its acceptance of more than 1.3 million refugees from conflict-mired Syria, which lies to the country’s north.

“Today I again delivered the message that Japan will thoroughly support Jordan, which serves as the linchpin of peace and stability in the region,” Abe said at a joint press appearance after the meeting.

“Jordan has made immense efforts in the challenges facing the Middle East, including the prolonged Syrian crisis, refugee issues, terrorism and extremism, not only for its own sake but for peace and stability in the region and the international community,” Abe said.

Mulki said he and Abe agreed on the importance of joint action to tackle extremist ideology.

“Both our countries are determined to fight this evil epidemic on all fronts and dismantle the environment of despair on which terrorism thrives,” Mulki said at the press appearance.

The leaders confirmed their ongoing commitment to working together on initiatives that foster regional stability, citing the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” development project that includes both Israel and Palestine along with Japan and Jordan.

Abe and Mulki also confirmed their countries will launch negotiations toward a bilateral investment agreement.

Mulki is set to conclude his four-day visit to Japan on Saturday.


Source  :  Japan Today

30% rise in ‘last chance’ pregnancies expected

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(China Daily)    10:07, July 15, 2017


The number of pregnant women older than 35 in China is expected to exceed 3 million each year between 2017 and 2020, an increase of 30 percent compared with the average level in the past several years, a senior health official said.

The increase, a result of the universal second-child policy adopted at the beginning of last year, will impose great challenges on the country’s health system, Ma Xiaowei, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said in Beijing on Thursday at a video conference on ensuring maternal safety.

“For the present and a certain period in the future, ensuring the safety of mother and baby is a heavy task that deserves no optimism,” Ma said, calling for efforts to improve distribution of obstetrics and pediatrics resources.

“Surveys show many couples born in the 1970s, who were hesitant about having a second child during the initial period when the universal second-child policy was adopted, are now hurrying and preparing to give birth to a second child so they will not miss that last chance.”

Although the commission did not disclose the number of pregnant woman over 35 for last year, the number of births at hospitals last year in China was 18.46 million, an increase of 11.5 percent compared with 2015.

The number of births at hospitals between January and May reached 7.4 million, a rise of 7.8 percent compared with the same period last year, he said.

Ma urged health authorities at various levels to give priority to maternal safety and intensify measures to ensure the safety of mothers and babies, such as thoroughly conducting risk evaluations for the pregnant to eliminate risks and improving their capacities for treatment and rescue of mothers and babies in critical condition.

Hospitals across China will add 89,000 obstetrics beds by 2020 to meet increasing demands, and the commission will cooperate with other departments to provide training to produce 140,000 additional obstetricians and midwives over the next few years, the commission said earlier.

China adopted the universal second-child policy last year, allowing all couples in China to have a second child. Of all the 90 million women made eligible to have a second baby in China with the new policy, 60 percent are older than 35, according to commission figures.

Pregnant women of that age group are regarded to be more likely to suffer pregnancy-related diseases or complications and give birth to children with defects, according to the commission.

Qin Geng, chief of women’s and children’s health at the commission, said at the conference on Thursday that since the adoption of the second-child policy, the demand for giving birth by many Chinese couples, which had been suppressed for many years, has been realized during a relatively short period of time.

But despite the surge in pregnancies and births, the mortality rate of pregnant women in China has not seen a significant increase and remained at 15.8 for every 100,000 in the first half of the year, due to various efforts to improve maternal services, he said.

Gu Hong, a pediatrician at Anzhen Hospital in Beijing, said the number of pregnant women over 35 received by the hospital has continued to increase since last year, posing great challenges for the doctors there.


Source :  China Daily

CPC issues revised regulation on inspection to strengthen Party supervision

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(Xinhua)    10:01, July 15, 2017

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Friday issued a revised regulation on inspection, in a renewed effort to improve supervision and governance of its more than 89 million members.

Shifting its focus from fighting corruption and Party rule violations in the initial rounds of inspections, the amendment lifted political inspection to a more prominent place on its supervision agenda.

The revised rules clearly stipulate that “political inspection should be deepened, and inspections should mainly focus on upholding the Party leadership, improving Party building, and advancing comprehensive and strict rule of the Party.”

The inspections should staunchly safeguard the authority and the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinpingas the core, and ensure the CPC is always the firm and core leadership of the socialist cause with Chinese characteristics, it said.

“Political inspection is a major innovation in both theory and practice of the inspection work of the 18th CPC Central Committee,” said Yang Xiaochao, member of the inspection leadership group of the CPC Central Committee.

“Incorporating requirements of political inspection into the regulation is a key point and highlight of the latest revision,” Yang noted.

At a meeting on May 26, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee decided to amend the Party’s regulation on inspection work, to reflect the latest innovative practices.

The CPC inspection regulation was first put into force on a trial basis in 2009. This is the third version of the regulation following the release of a revised version in August 2015.

The regulation made public Friday also stipulates that Party committees at both the central and provincial levels should conduct inspections on Party organizations of all localities, departments, public institutions and enterprises under their jurisdiction.

In addition, Party committees at the municipal and county levels are also required to establish special agencies to conduct inspections.

On June 21, the CPC discipline agency published the results of its 12th round of inspections into CPC organizations in provincial-level regions, central CPC and government organs, major state-owned enterprises, central financial institutions and centrally-administered universities.

This was the final round of such inspections during the term of the 18th CPC Central Committee, as the 19th CPC National Congress will be held in Beijing later this year. The 18th CPC Central Committee thus became the first in the Party’s history that has successfully inspected all these entities in its term.

Such internal supervision has proven effective in exposing problems.

According to the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, more than 50 percent of investigations into centrally-administered officials were as a result of information found by discipline inspectors, since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.

The municipal- and county-level inspections should pay special attention to corruption and bad work styles which hamper the interests of the general populace or alienate Party members from the public, such as major corruption scandals committed by low-level officials or village bullies, said Yang, of the inspection leadership group of the CPC Central Committee..

“With inspections extending from the central to the county level, the comprehensive and strict rule of the Party can be expected to reach the grassroots,” he said.


Source  :  Xinhua

French Foreign Minister visits National Museum of Qatar

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15 Jul 2017 – 13:56

French Foreign Minister visits National Museum of Qatar

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian welcomed by Chairperson of Qatar Museums, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani. (photo:Twitter)

By The Peninsula Online

Doha: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is currently in Qatar, visited the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) at the Corniche to see the latest developments of the project. The French minister was welcomed by Chairperson of Qatar Museums, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani.



This was tweeted by Sheikha Al Mayassa along with some pictures of the visit. The French Ambhassador to Qatar Eric Chevallier was also present during the visit.

“Great to welcome the French FM @JY_LeDrian as he tours #NMoQ the architectural production of a French architectural genius #JeanNouvel,” Sheikha Al Mayassa tweeted.



View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter


NMoQ is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel and is inspired by the desert rose and grows organically around the original 20th century palace of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani.



It will also include restoration laboratories, storage spaces for artifacts, a botanical garden, scanning, 3D digital photography, as well as permanent and temporary halls.

Sheikha Al Mayassa had earlier announced that the inauguration of the museum will be in December 2018.


Source  :  The Peninsula

Mwani Qatar to get two new ships from Malaysia

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13 Jul 2017 – 23:39

Mwani Qatar to get two new ships from Malaysia

Minister of Transport and Communications, H E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti (standing right), who is also the Chairman of Mwani Qatar, witnessing the signing ceremony, between Mwani Qatar and Malaysian shipbuilding companies, in Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.

The Peninsula

Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) yesterday signed an agreement with a number of Malaysian shipbuilding companies in the presence of the Minister of Transport and Communications HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti , who is currently visiting Malaysia.
As per the agreement, the signatory Malaysian companies will provide Mwani Qatar with two ships for containers and general cargo transport at lengths of 68 meters and 64 meters, over the next few months.
On this occasion the Minister, who is also the Chairman of Mwani Qatar, said: “The agreement signed today contributes to boosting economic cooperation with Malaysian companies in a way that backs the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.”
The agreement represents a key turning point for Mwani Qatar, the Minister said. He explained that beside its activity in managing ports, wharfs, dry ports, container terminals and cruise and passenger ship terminals, Mwani Qatar will be owner of the ships, and will be managing them for the interest of the national economy and in support for the domestic efforts that aim to promote Qatar’s competitiveness on world map.
“We well know the amount of responsibility that we shoulder to ensure local market stability and the support for sustainable development efforts. For this, we have put a clear strategy with the aim of enabling our ports to become integrated economic entities that support and boost the national economy sustainability and that contribute to achieving the goals of transforming Qatar into a vibrant business hub in the region,” the Minister said.
Captain Abdulla Al Khanji, CEO of Mwani Qatar, said that the two ships would be built under the supervision of NK, the Japanese classification society, which is one of the internationally recognised societies in the field. This, he noted, aims to ensure that the ships meet world shipbuilding standards and specifications. He also confirmed that the two ships would be equipped with latest world technological systems as Mwani Qatar always takes the matters of environment, security and safety as top priority in all its activities.
The Malaysian companies that will build the two ships, Al Khanji said, are recognised in shipbuilding industry with long expertise in the field and owns a great market share in shipbuilding industry around the world.


Source  :  The Peninsula