Now, donate surplus food at malls and supermarkets

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Filed on April 12, 2018 | Last updated on April 12, 2018 at 12.20 am

The public can donate packaged and canned food like bread, yoghurt, water, laban, fruits and vegetables

The Dubai Municipality (DM) will deploy Food Bank fridges in supermarkets, malls and near labour camps before Ramadan, to allow the community to donate their surplus food to help those in need, Khaleej Times has learned.

As part of the UAE Food Bank initiative launched last year to collect and distribute surplus food to those in need and fight food waste, the civic body’s Food Safety Department will relocate some of its mosque fridges to more accessible places near supermarkets and labour accommodations.

The municipality had placed 80 fridges at mosques last year to help the community engage in the food bank initiative and donate their surplus foods. However, some of these fridges which were utilised minimally will be moved to more accessible places.

This year, fridges will be kept near supermarkets, smaller malls and other places, making it accessible for the common man. The fridges will allow supermarkets and nearby hotels and restaurants approved by DM to fill up the fridges with surplus food. It will also let the public do their bit by donating their excess food.

Sajiv Raghavan, food health inspection officer, told Khaleej Times that the fridges will be available before Ramadan, enabling the public to donate packaged and canned food like bread, yoghurt, water, laban, fruits and vegetables.

However, the number of fridges to be added at the public facilities are still not determined, as the civic is still in talks with hypermarkets.

For the food bank initiative, the municipality has already partnered with over 36 hotels, hypermarkets and charity associations including Lulu Hypermarkets, Choithram and Spinneys, who are providing the bank with daily donations.

“We will get in touch with these hypermarkets to add fridges to their locations. Lulu, for example, has agreed to place a fridge in front of Lulu Village Supermarket and depending on public’s response, we will be moving more fridges to other Lulu locations,” said Raghavan.

In the future, the municipality will also partner with nearby hotel and restaurants so they can place excess food in fridges following the food safety precautions set by the food safety department.

Raghavan added that the fridges will be supervised by Dubai Municipality food inspectors. “Apart from the regular visits by the food inspectors, we request supermarkets to provide a trained volunteer who would check the hygiene trash the leftover food (if any) at the end or starting of the day and disinfect the fridge at equal intervals,” said Raghavan.

The municipality is also open to other volunteers who would like to receive training on the related areas if they are interested to be a part of this.

While the fridges currently only accept canned and packaged food, the municipality is further discussing a supervised system that could later allow the public to donate cooked food in the future.

Raghavan said campaigns and promotions would be carried out to raise people’s awareness of the initiative through traditional and social media.

In the first quarter of 2018, the UAE Food Bank (Al Qouz Branch) has collected almost 232 tonnes of of food from supermarkets and food establishments. The municipality opened its second branch last October on World Food Day next to the Canadian University of Dubai, where surplus packaged and canned food from nearby supermarkets and food establishments is given to charity associations in order to distribute it to people in need.

Food Watch App to locate fridges

The municipality will integrate the new locations of the fridges to the Food Watch, which the Food Safety department has recently launched and is currently in its first phase.

“The locations of all fridges along with the maps would be known once they are all moved to their new relocated areas,” said Raghavan.

The Food Watch platform facilitates data exchange between authorities, food businesses, service providers and consumers. The smart app also allows the public to fully trace foods with validated ingredient and nutritional information. The public can access the app on


Source :  The Khaleej Times

UAE cabinet approves law on salaries

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Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on April 11, 2018 | Last updated on April 11, 2018 at 06.11 am

“We do not want any exception when it comes to providing equal opportunities for both genders,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

A law that will ensure equal wages for women and men has been approved by the UAE Cabinet.

The ‘law on equal wages and salaries for men and women’ will ensure that women have equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development. It will also empower women to lead future national strategies and ambitious projects, it was announced on Tuesday.

Announcing the law on Twitter, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the country’s constitution guarantees impartiality between men and women as a fundamental right.

“Our Constitution calls for equal rights and duties of the genders, and we seek to elaborate, enforce and guarantee this constitutional right through the new law,” he tweeted. “We do not want any exception when it comes to providing equal opportunities for both genders.”

He said the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had recognised the importance of establishing gender balance and its long-term positive social and economic effects.

Hailing the law, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, noted that the UAE has achieved gender balance “in all fields”. “The decision encourages women to devote themselves to work and make greater efforts to achieve the state’s goals,” she said.


The UAE government has been consolidating efforts to narrow the gender gap. In 2015, the UAE Council for Gender Balance was established to position UAE among the leading countries in the world in terms of gender balance. The UAE continues to champion the involvement of women in the development process through the issuance of the new law.

The Cabinet’s approval of the law is in line with the government’s objective to ensure the protection of women’s rights and support their role in the national development process. It is part of the Strategy for the Empowerment of Emirati Women launched by Sheikha Fatima, who is also the President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

Empowering women in UAE

66% of public sector employees are women, with 30% in leadership roles

> 70% of school and university students are women

> 65% of total higher education graduates are women

> 8 women in the UAE Cabinet

> 8 women in the Federal National Council

> 2nd in Arab world in World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017

> The Federal National Council’s speaker is a woman

> Second country in the world after Norway to impose women’s representation in boards of directors of companies

> Gender Balance Guide for the workplace in the UAE is the world’s first of its kind for workplaces

> The country aims to be among the top 25 nations worldwide excelling in the field of women’s empowerment

(With inputs from Wam)

Source :  The Khaleej Times

UAE strategy to cash in on blockchain

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Team KT/Dubai
Filed on April 11, 2018

Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the UAE government uses technology to serve its people.

Over 50 per cent of the UAE’s federal transactions would be powered by blockchain technology by 2021, it was announced on Wednesday. The Emirates Blockchain Strategy would help the country save Dh11 billion spent annually on document transactions and documents.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the adoption of blockchain technology would help the government prepare for future challenges.

“The UAE has chosen to adopt the development of the ‘future industry’ in various aspects as means of development … It is on its way to becoming a world leader in adopting technology,” he said as he launched the strategy in Dubai. “The adoption of this technology would reflect on the quality of life in the UAE and will enhance happiness levels for citizens.”

The strategy rests on four pillars: Citizen and resident happiness, government efficiency, advanced legislation and global entrepreneurship. The government will use training courses, events, workshops and reports to build its standing in blockchain and support university courses specialising in the field and related subjects like encryption.

Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the UAE government uses technology to serve its people. “Some consider new technologies as a challenge; we see as a tool to overcome challenges.”


Source :  The Khaleej Times

If there was a Games medal for whinging, we’d have to be favourites

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By Madonna King

Perhaps we should stop whingeing for a moment and look at our country through the eyes of others.

The Commonwealth Games has killed the Gold Coast and forced business to close up shop. Games security were being treated like “prisoners on a work camp”. Warnings of dire traffic chaos were nothing more than a manufactured load of codswallop.

Take any issue, on any day, and notice the spin put on it here in Australia.

Yes, Peter Beattie has been as much a mascot for the Games as Borobi the koala.
Yes, Peter Beattie has been as much a mascot for the Games as Borobi the koala.

Photo: Renee Melides

Peter Beattie was hogging the limelight, when it was supposed to be the athletes’ Games.

Annastacia Palaszczuk should have been allowed to speak during the opening ceremony, which incidentally was so boring it became a cure for insomnia.

 The list goes on. Who the hell is Migaloo and who cares? Games athletes spent their time on dating site Tinder. We only got a silver in that race.
The Campbells' "rivalry" pales next to their sisterly love.

The Campbells’ “rivalry” pales next to their sisterly love.

Poor Bronte Campbell; she lives in the long shadow cast by her sister Cate. Cate looked like she gave her sister the cold shoulder during her golden relay performance.

Does anyone really believe that? Or is it that we just need a daily dose of putting someone else down, to make ourselves feel better?

If there was a gold medal for whingeing, we’d have to be favourites. For goodness sake, Malcolm Turnbull didn’t even know the words of John Farnham’s You’re the Voice. Imagine that! And it came on the back of his earlier “pop culture faux pas’’ when he struggled to name an AC/DC song during a live radio interview.

Stop the presses. Because the boats have already been stopped.

And that might – just might – be why the plane back to Cameroon will be considerably lighterwithout the five boxers and three weightlifters who failed to board on time.

It seems the team has form – seven athletes from Cameroon went missing from the 2012 London Olympics and in 2006 a few dozen Commonwealth Games representatives made a bid to stay in Australia, including several from Cameroon. A couple ended up getting refugee status and were in our team on the Gold Coast.

Police and border control officers have launched a national investigation to root out these wicked Australia-dwellers who don’t appreciate their mother country – which was incidentally classed as the most corrupt in the world in 1998.

Indeed, when you have a close look at Cameroon, it’s unlikely you’d find any of its residents complaining about the sun, surf and lifestyle of the country hosting these Commonwealth Games.

Life expectancy is 56 for a man in Cameroon, compared with 82 in Australia. Poverty is as endemic as corruption, with government subsidies for electricity and food diverting funds from education and healthcare.

Boko Haram, a militant group wanting an Islamic state based on Sharia law, has waged repeated murderous attacks, with more than 1000 people in northern Cameroon estimated to have been kidnapped in the past few years.

Is it any wonder the serene surrounds of the Queensland town of Warwick, where the athletes acclimatised to Australia, might have been attractive?

But we are more interested in trying to manufacture a split between two sisters who deserve a gold medal as role models or pulling anyone who shines down off the medal dais.

Can you imagine, just for a moment, if the president of Cameroon didn’t know the words of a song?


Source :  The Brisbane Times

ABC slashed spending on Australian drama

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By Broede Carmody

The ABC slashed the amount it spent on drama by 20 per cent in the 2016/17 financial year.

The broadcaster spent $27.2 million last financial year, down from $36.2 million the year before, according to documents tabled with the Senate’s committee for environment and communications.

Even with narrative comedy taken into account, the ABC still spent $9 million less on scripted drama between July 2016 and 2017 than it did the previous corresponding period.

The total hours of Australian drama going to air has steadily fallen over the past three years. In the 2016/17 financial year, the ABC broadcast 60 hours of fiction – down from 67 hours the previous year and 75 hours the year before that.

This means that, over the past three years, the ABC has broadcast 15 less hours of drama than it used to.

The ABC has spent less money on local drama over the past three years. This means viewers can expect to see fewer shows like The Cleverman.

The ABC has spent less money on local drama over the past three years. This means viewers can expect to see fewer shows like The Cleverman.

Photo: ABC

Spending on Australian children’s programming, meanwhile, dropped by about $3 million in 2016/17. However, Australians saw more of Play School and Giggle and Hoot.

The ABC broadcast 26 more hours of children’s programming last financial year in comparison to 2015/16 despite spending less on making it.

But ABC says new financial year will see an uptick in spending

The ABC’s director of entertainment, David Anderson, told Fairfax Media the broadcaster was “unrivalled” in its commitment to Australian content.

“Our investment in Australian storytelling is central to the ABC’s purpose and its ambition to be the source of Australian conversations, culture and stories,” he said.

Mr Anderson said the ABC will spend an extra $30 million on Australian content across “most genres” in the 2017/18 financial year. He said the broadcaster expects to air an additional nine hours of drama – including narrative comedy – by the end of this financial year.

This would reflect a 15 per cent increase in comparison to last year.

Documentaries receiving greater attention

While the deepest cuts in 2016/17 were made to Australian drama, ABC has funnelled more resources into documentaries over the years.

The broadcaster significantly increased the amount it spent on documentaries and factual programs in the 2016/17 financial year. The difference between a documentary and a factual program can be vague, but the ABC categorises a series like War on Waste as a documentary while a factual program includes shows like Media Watch or Ask the Doctor.

The ABC spent a total of $15.8 million on Australian factual and documentary programming in the year ending July 2017, up from $11.6 million the previous corresponding period. In the 2014/15 financial year, the ABC spent just $9.3 million on local documentaries and fact-based programs.

However, more money hasn’t necessarily meant more screen time. While there were six more hours of Australian documentaries broadcast on the ABC in 2016/17, factual programs were down by 28 hours in comparison to the year before.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has expressed concern over the ABC's spending on local drama and children's programming.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has expressed concern over the ABC’s spending on local drama and children’s programming.

Photo: Andrew Meares

This means the ABC screened 22 less hours of documentaries and fact-based programs in 2016/17.

Some politicians, such as Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, have been critical of the ABC cutting its spending on local dramas and children’s programming. However, the national broadcaster has argued it exceeds the quotas set for commercial free-to-air networks.

There have been several inquiries into Australia’s film and television industry over the years. Late last year, one parliamentary committee recommended overhauling the current funding and quota system for local children’s content.

Source :  The Brisbane Times

First Qantas Airbus A380 repainted in new livery

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Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQF at Sydney Airport after being repainted in the new livery. (Bernie Proctor)

The first of eight Qantas Airbus A380s being repainted in the airline’s new livery by Emirates Engineering has arrived back in Australia.

Operating as QF6012, the Qantas A380 VH-OQF landed in Sydney a little after 0700 on Wednesday morning, following its 14-hour journey from Dubai.

The aircraft had been in Dubai since Saturday, March 24, being repainted at the Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre.

It was announced in February Emirates Engineering had won a contract to repaint eight of Qantas’s 12 Airbus A380s in the new livery.

The new livery, launched in October 2016, features a “streamlined”, pawless kangaroo on the tail of the aircraft and a new font. A silver band also extends from the tail to the rear of the fuselage, among other changes.

The first aircraft to feature the new livery, Airbus A330-300 VH-QPJ, was revealed on October 27 2016 at Qantas’s Mascot jet base.

It is only the fifth livery Qantas has introduced since the kangaroo first appeared on Qantas aircraft in 1944. The most recent livery update was in 2007, just prior to Qantas introducing the A380 into service in 2008.

Qantas’s first A380 to be repainted in Dubai comes less than a month after the airline ended its own flights to its alliance partner Emirates’ biggest hub in favour of nonstop Perth-London Heathrow services and a resumption of a Sydney-Singapore-London Heathrow rotation.


Source :  Australian Aviation

Archeologists unearth cultural relics near Jeddah

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Archeologists used the latest technology in their search such as drones, digital surveys and mapping, as well as 3D modeling which helped them uncover two graveyards with more than 100 tombs comprising several dozen tombstones, pottery and ironware.

Jeddah — A Saudi-Chinese joint archaeological team discovered more than 100 ancient tombs and dozens of cultural relics in Al-Serrian, a long abandoned Saudi Arabian port in Jeddah on the Red Sea.

Located at the southwest tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Serrian was one of the major gateways for Haj pilgrims to Makkah and played an important role as a trade hub leading to the north.

Five Chinese archeologists joined 10 Saudis to excavate the ruins of Al-Serrian.

The group used the latest technology in their search such as drones, digital surveys and mapping, as well as 3D modeling which helped them uncover two graveyards with more than 100 tombs comprising several dozen tombstones, pottery and ironware.

Among the findings were also some chinawares from ancient China›s Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties. Jiang Bo, leader of the Chinese archeological team to Saudi Arabia, noted the significance of the discoveries to the ancient Maritime Silk Road trading route.

“This is a very important archeological achievement of our Maritime Silk Road, and it has also been recognized by the Saudi archaeologists. We have forged a good cooperative relationship with the Saudi archeologists this time,” said Jiang.

The joint archeological project will last for five years.

Abdulla Al-Zahrani, manager of the Saudi National Archeological Center, said the program will provide information to help learn more about ancient Islamic civilization. — Al Arabiya English

Source :  Saudi Gazette

350,000 new jobs for Saudis, expats

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — More than 350,000 new jobs are likely to be created in the Kingdom, said an official report issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat).

Of these jobs 140,000 will go to Saudis while the rest (210,000) will be occupied by expatriate workers, it added.

GaStat said that last year there were 116,000 vacant positions, including 35,000 in the trade, hospitality and restaurants sector and 21,600 in the construction sector.

GaStat expects nearly 107,000 new jobs in the trade, hospitality and restaurant sectors, 66,000 in the construction sector and over 56,000 in the industry sector.

The agriculture and hunting sector is expected to have 7,588 new jobs while the vocational and scientific sector will have 7,973 jobs and the health and social work sector 13,272 jobs, the authority said.

The GaStat report is good news for Saudis as well as for expats.

The unemployment rate among Saudis rose to 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017, continuing its steady climb as the economy grapples with the fallout of low oil prices.

The latest statistics show that 906,552 Saudis are seeking jobs. Of the Saudi job seekers, around 219,000 are men and 687,500 are women.

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to cut the unemployment rate to seven percent by 2030, among a raft of other targets.

Authorities are also introducing new fees and sector restrictions to encourage the employment of Saudis while reducing the Kingdom’s reliance on its 11 million foreign workers.

The Saudi economy has added about 433,000 jobs a year on average over the past 10 years, but non-Saudis have taken up most of these new jobs, according to research by Jadwa Investment.

The total number of Saudi job seekers in the first quarter of 2017 was 1,075,933, of whom 216,352 were men and 859,581 women.

The highest percentage (34.2%) of Saudi job seekers was in the age group 25-29 years.

Half of Saudi job seekers are university graduates, said a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency.


Source  :  Saudi Gazette

Crown Prince begins Spain visit

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Saudi Gazette report

MADRID – Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, arrived here on Wednesday evening on a state visit to Spain.

The visit comes in line with the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and in response to an invitation from the Spanish government.

The Crown Prince’s visit comes in the last leg of his high profile visits that took him to the United States, France and Britain during which several landmark multibillion dollar pacts were signed.

Upon arrival in Madrid, the Crown Prince was received by Spanish Defense Minister Maria Dolores Cospedal; Prince Mansour Bin Khaled Bin Farhan, Saudi ambassador to Spain; Albaro Erantho, Spanish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and a number of senior officials from the two countries.

During the visit, the Crown Prince will meet King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and other Spanish leaders and high ranking officials, according to a Royal Court statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi Ambassador to Spain Prince Mansour said that the choice of Spain by the Crown Prince to include in his current visit to the major world powers showed the depth and strength of the bilateral relations that bind the two great nations.

It also shows his desire to further deepen the strategic partnership.

The Crown Prince will attend a luncheon banquet to be hosted by King Felipe VI at the royal palace in Madrid.

The Crown Prince will hold wide ranging talks with prime minister and minister of defense in addition to witnessing signing of several agreements and memoranda of understating aimed at further boosting ties and cooperation in diverse fields.

Source :  Saudi Gazette

Elderly woman found dead inside car in Chiba parking area

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Police are investigating the death of an elderly woman whose body was found in a car in a parking area in Shisui, Chiba Prefecture, on Tuesday night.

Another woman, who appeared to be in her 40s, was unconscious and taken to hospital, local media reported. Police believe she is the dead woman’s daughter.

A police patrol came across a vehicle in the Higashi-Kanto Expressway’s Shisui parking area at around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The dead woman was in the front passenger seat and the other woman was in the driver’s seat

A man in Nagano notified police on Tuesday morning that he had received a call from his daughter, saying she was in Shisui and that she and her mother were going to commit suicide. He contacted Nagano prefectural police, who forwarded the information to Chiba police.

Police have not yet released any information on how the elderly woman died or the condition of her daughter.

© Japan Today

Source :  Japan Today