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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 Airways offers free transport of aid materials to Kerala

Qatar Airways Cargo has announced its relief efforts to deliver urgent aid to Kerala following the devastating floods in the southern Indian state. The cargo carrier has expeditiously organised an operation to deliver relief goods to the flood-stricken districts via the airline’s passenger service from Doha to Trivandrum. Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Guillaume Halleux, said: “We have received earnest requests from the Indian community residing in Qatar seeking support to transport relief aid to Kerala, where many of their families and relatives are affected by the worst flood in a century. “Given the devastating situation, we have rapidly activated a humanitarian operation to offer free transportation of relief goods from Doha to Trivandrum on our daily passenger flight. We are expecting to airlift more than 50 tonnes of much-needed relief goods from the operation, which will commence from August 21 – 29 . Our prayers and thoughts are with…

Qatar
Kerala floods: Qatar Emir grants Rs 35 crore as relief assistance

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued a directive to allocate  USD 5 million (Rs 35 crore) in aid of those affected by the floods that recently hit the southern Indian state of Kerala, to help provide shelter to those who lost their homes as a result of the humanitarian crisis. Qatar Charity, through its representative in India, has launched emergency relief for those affected by the huge floods with a total value of half a million riyals during the first stage. This humanitarian gesture coincides with the launch of a fundraising campaign targeting more than QR 4 million to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of 60,000 people through food, medical and shelter assistance. Floods in Kerala have killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others besides causing major damage to homes and infrastructure. Qatar Charity urged philanthropists in Qatar to help people affected in Kerala, by providing…

Qatar
Qatar Charity offers assistance for Kerala flood victims

The Qatar Charity, through its representative in India, has launched emergency relief for those affected by the huge floods in the Indian state of Kerala with a total value of half a million riyals for the first stage. This humanitarian interface coincides with the launch of a fund raising campaign targeting more than QAR 4 million to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of 60,000 people through food, medical and shelter assistance. Floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala have killed hundreds of people and displaced other thousands, causing major damage to homes and infrastructure. Qatar Charity urged philanthropists in Qatar to help people affected in Kerala, by providing food, medicine, medical assistance, restoring and rebuilding homes and reaching out for the victims as soon as possible. Published on 19 August 2018

Qatar
Qatar Airways reroutes Kochi flights to Thiruvananthapuram

Qatar Airways has decided to reroute its flights – QR516 and QR517 between Doha and Kochi (Nedumbassery) to Thiruvananthapuram International Airport until August 25. The airlines has suspended all flights to Kochi airport until August 26. This is due to the closure of the international airport at Kerala’s commercial capital Kochi until August 26 due to heavy rains and floods in the south Indian state. The national carrier has advised passengers to use the ‘flight status tab’ on its website or call Qatar Airways’ 24-hour call centre on +974-40230000 or +91-7930616000 for the latest information. To assist passengers, Qatar Airways has also decided to waive the cancellation charge and allow free rebooking/rerouting within 21 days of original ticketed travel date for all impacted customers whose tickets are issued on or before August 15 for travel up to August 26. Meanwhile, Air India Express in a flight update said passengers who booked…

Qatar
PHCC announces working schedule for Eid holidays

The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has announced the working hours of its health centres during the Eid al-Adha holidays. Al Thumama, Abu Nakhla, Al Gharafa, Al Karaana, Umm Salal, Al Wajbah, Al Ghuwairya and Al Daayen Health Centres will remain closed during the holidays. Within Doha, Omar Bin Kattab, Al Rayan, Madinat Khalifa, Rawdat Al Khail, Abu Baker Al Sidiq, Leabaib, West Bay, Mesaimeer, Umm Ghuwailina, Muaither and the Airport health centres will be open from 7am to 2pm and from 4pm to 11pm. Dental services in these centres will be available from 7am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm. The dental clinics will be closed on the first day of Eid al-Adha and on Friday morning. Health centres at Al Khor and Al Shamal will be open from 7am to 2pm and 4pm to 11pm. Al Wakra health centre will open daily from 7am to 11pm and the…

India
Kerala floods: Monsoon waters kill hundreds in Indian state

More than 200,000 people have been displaced in Kerala, as the death toll from the worst flooding to hit the southern Indian state jumped to at least 200, with losses to infrastructure pegged at almost Rs 20,000. With more rains predicted and a red alert in place, Cochin airport is expected to remain shut until 26 August. Hundreds of troops have been deployed to rescue those caught up in the flooding. Chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, has described the flooding as the worst the state has seen in a century. Further downpours are forecast for the weekend, leading many to fear the situation may get worse. Helicopters have been airlifting people marooned by the flooding to safety, with photographs and footage emerging from the area showing elderly people and children being rescued. The government has urged people not to ignore evacuation orders, and is distributing food to tens of thousands of…

India
Former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away

Former Indian prime minister and statesman, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, passed away on Thursday following prolonged illness. He was 93. He breathed his last a little after 5pm at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The veteran politician had been admitted there since June 11 following urinary and chest complications. A long-standing parliamentarian and deeply respected leader across the political spectrum, Vajpayee served as the head of the Indian government three times. He ruled the country for 13 days in 1996, 13 months in 1998 and for five years from 1999. As prime minister, he won accolades for reducing the role of government in running businesses and building a national ring of highways. In 1999, his army defeated Pakistan in the 10-week war in Kargil in Indian-administered Kashmir. He also became India’s foreign minister and made efforts to improve relations with the country’s two neighbors, Pakistan and China. Atal…

Qatar
Qatar announces government holidays for Eid Al Adha 2018

On the occasion of Eid Al Adha, the Amiri Diwan has announced the Eid holiday for ministries, government departments and public institutions. According to the announcement, Eid holiday for ministries and other government entities and public institutions will start on Sunday, August 19, 2018 (Dhul Hijja 8, 1439 H) and till Sunday, August 26, 2018 (Dhul Hijja 15, 1439 H). Employees will resume work on Monday, August 27, 2018 (Dhul Hijja 16, 1439 H). As for Qatar Central Bank (QCB), the banks and financial institutions working under the supervision of QCB and Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA), the QCB governor will announce the start of the holiday. Published on 16 August 2018

UAE
India wins six-nations Kabaddi tournament in Dubai

Putting up yet another superlative show, India thrashed Iran 44-26 to emerge champions of the six-nation Kabaddi Masters Dubai, in Dubai on Saturday. In a battle between the top two sides of the world, the three-time world champions did not give Iran any ground to recover with captain Ajay Thakur (nine points) and youngster Monu Goyat (six) leading the raid charts. India inflicted two all-outs on Iran, en route the massive victory. The final had its share of hiccups as lights went off, disrupting the match for 10 minutes in the first half, while in the second half Iran captain Amirhossein Maleki, who came in as a substitute, claimed “rough play” by the Indians but referee dismissed the protests. Both the teams last met in the World Cup 2016 final in Ahmedabad with Thakur playing a key role in handing them a slender nine-point victory. Having given the captaincy baton…

UAE
Emirates warns passengers of new baggage restrictions

Passengers on US, Australia or New Zealand flights will be subject to new enhanced security screening measures, Emirates has warned passengers in a new advisory. Powders under 350 ml/grams subject to additional screening According to the advisory, under the new directives of the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), powder-like substances in containers equal to or above 350 millilitres or grams will have to checked-in and will not be allowed in carry-on belongings or cabin baggage. Baby formula, prescription medicines and cremated human remains (ashes) are exempt from the restrictions. Powder-like substances purchased in airport duty free shops must be placed in sealed tamper evident bags along with proof of purchase. “These items will be confiscated at Dubai (DXB) as well as Milan (MXP) and Athens (ATH), depending on the last point of departure,” the advisory added. Security measures will also be implemented restricting powder-like substances in the carry-on belongings or…

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