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News that you need to know! Selected news stories from Qatar, India, Middle East and around the world, with focus on news that matters to Indians in Qatar.

Qatar
Qatar crisis: RasGas postpones employee layoffs

Majority state-owned Qatari gas producer RasGas has postponed a round of job cuts after the diplomatic crisis which erupted between Qatar and its neighbors in early June, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters. Staff at RasGas were told earlier this year that they would be laid off in June, with the job cuts following last year’s decision to merge RasGas with QatarGas, the two liquefied natural gas divisions of Qatar Petroleum. But in a company email last month staff were informed that the job cuts had been delayed, two RasGas employees said. It was not immediately clear whether the delay meant the entire merger had been postponed. The move comes as Qatar works to cope with sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, striking trade deals and cancelling the leave of foreign expatriate workers in “essential government sectors” to help cope with the crisis. “The layoffs…

UAE
Indian expat in coma for 2 years in UAE brought home

An Indian expatriate, lying in coma for more than two years at an Abu Dhabi hospital following a road accident, was finally repatriated to his native place on Tuesday. The move came following a sustained effort from the Indian embassy and patient’s relatives to help Chithiravel Vinaitheertha Udaiyar, from Tamil Nadu, return after a long-fought compensation case. The Indian embassy persuaded Udaiyar’s employer to file a case against an insurance company, which was trying to wriggle out from paying compensation. The court subsequently issued a judgment ordering compensation for his family, Times of India reported. Chithiravel was brought to Chennai by a scheduled Air India flight on Tuesday morning and later taken to Salem by road. Chithiravel, employed as a wiring electrician assistant in a private company in Abu Dhabi since 2014, was travelling in a vehicle arranged by his sponsor to the work place on June 27, 2015, when the…

Qatar
Qatar crisis: Saudi-led coalition replaces 13 demands with 6 principles

The four Arab countries that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar are understood to have dropped their list of 13 demands and proposed six principles with which they want Qatar to comply, latest media reports suggested. This could indicate that the quartet is now more willing to engage in the mediation process led by Kuwait and backed by the United States, United Nations and European powers. Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt told reporters at the United Nations they now wanted it to accept six broad principles, BBC reported. The six principles include commitments to combat terrorism and extremism and to end acts of provocation and incitement. There was no immediate comment from Qatar, which denies aiding terrorists. According to Associated Press, Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador, Abdallah Al Mouallimi, told a briefing for UN correspondents in New York on Tuesday that foreign ministers for Saudi Arabia, the…

India
India to become the largest milk producer by 2026

India is set to be the largest producer of milk in the world by the year 2026, the official report released by the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has projected. India is also expected to triple its total milk production over the first quarter of the 21st century. “Over the course of the outlook period alone, milk production in India will grow by 49 per cent; in 2026, India will be the world’s largest milk producer, with an output one-third above that of the second largest producer, the European Union,” said the report by the UN and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. India to be most populous country by 2026 The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 said the world’s population will increase from 7.3 to 8.2 billion over the course of the next decade with India and Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 56 per cent…

Qatar
Air India Express to fly more flights to Doha from August 15

Air India Express is set to expand its services to Doha, and as the next step, will start direct flights on Cochin-Doha sector starting next month, The Peninsula has reported. From August 15, Air India Express will start three direct flights a week from Cochin to Doha and they will add one more from September 15 making it 4 direct flights a week from Cochin. The new flights will be operated on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The flights will leave Cochin airport at 10:00 am and will arrive at Hamad International Airport, Doha at 11:45 am. The flights will leave Hamad International airport at 12:45 pm and will land at the Cochin airport at 7:40 pm. This is the first time the airline is operating direct flight services to Doha from Kochi. Currently Air India offers a Cochin – Calicut – Doha route. The airline currently operates 14 flights per…

UAE
Dubai Municipality is now distributing free umbrellas to protect from heat

Dubai Municipality on Sunday began distributing free umbrellas to the public so they could protect themselves from the summer sun. Khalid Mohammed Badri, Director of Corporate Marketing and Relations Department said in a press release that the municipality distributed more than 1,000 umbrellas on the first day of the campaign. He said places with high density of population were selected for distribution of umbrellas to the public. Omar Al Marri, head of public relations at the Municipality said a team will be handing out umbrellas at metro stations, parks and beach for a few days at peak heat hours. “Our employees distribute the umbrellas to everyone with a smile by telling them: Dubai Municipality is with you to overcome the heat of the sun because you are in Happy Dubai,” he said. A Year of Giving initiative of the civic body which also showcases its responsibility towards the community, Badri…

India
Mishap averted after AI Express flight from Dubai skids off runway

A mishap was averted at the Mangaluru airport in Karnataka today morning when an Air India Express aircraft from Dubai with 185 passengers on board, veered off the runway due to poor weather conditions, according to the Airport Authority of India officials. The pilots of the flight – IX 814 – were able to bring the Boeing 737 back to the runway’s centre line after it skidded. “Just as the aircraft was about to touch down, there was sudden gust of wind and heavy rain. The aircraft skidded to the right momentarily after the touch down. But got back to the center line thereafter,” Air India Express CEO Shyam Sundar was quoted as saying. “There was no discomfort or injury to any passenger. Post arrival inspection of the aircraft revealed no damages.” he added. “The aircraft was inspected and no “noticeable damage” was found, the official said. “The initial enquiry…

India
India has 2nd highest number of adults planning to migrate

India has the second highest number of adults planning to migrate to other countries with the US and the UK among the most favoured destinations, according to a report by the UN migration agency. The UN migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in its report Measuring Global Migration Potential 2010-2015, which analyses peoples migration intentions globally for the period 2010-2015, noted that globally 1.3 per cent of the adult population or 66 million people said they were planning to migrate permanently within the next 12 months. US is the most popular destination The most popular destination for those planning to migrate is the US followed by the UK, Saudi Arabia, France, Canada, Germany and South Africa. Half of those planning to migrate live in just 20 countries, led by Nigeria and followed by India, Congo, Sudan, Bangladesh and China. At 4.8 million people, India has the highest number…

India
Supreme Court asks Centre to decide on NRI voting rights within a week

India’s Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to apprise it within a week as to whether it is going to amend the election law or rules for enabling non-resident Indians (NRIs) to vote in polls. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud considered the statement that the Centre and the Election Commission have agreed to the proposal in principle and the only issue is the ways to effect it. The court also noted the submission that the NRIs can be allowed to vote through postal ballot by either changing the Representation of the People Act, 1950 or by amending the rules made under the RP Act. The court was hearing a batch of petitions, including one filed by one Nagender Chindam and another by Shamseer V P, on various issues including NRIs should be allowed to vote through postal ballot. Published on 14…

Qatar
Demand to shut down Al Jazeera TV dropped: UAE minister

The Gulf countries blockading Qatar are to drop their demand that the Al Jazeera television network be shut down as they seek a compromise over the dispute that has ruptured relations across the region, media reports suggest. In an interview published by The Times newspaper on Wednesday, Noura al-Kaabi, the UAE minister for the federal national council, reportedly said the Emirates sought “fundamental change and restructuring” of Al Jazeera rather than to shut it. The United Arab Emirates backed away from threats to step up sanctions on the tiny Gulf nation, which was cut off diplomatically and economically by its neighbours last month. “The staff at the channel can keep their jobs and Qatar can still fund a TV channel but not one which provides a platform for extremists and where the English channel is a protective shield for the much more radical Arabic one,” Kaabi told The Times. She…

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