Oct 252017

DOHA: World Cup 2022 host Qatar, under global scrutiny over its alleged ill-treatment of migrant labourers, is to introduce a minimum wage for workers, official state media said Wednesday. Qatar News Agency also announced that the gas-rich emirate has signed bilateral accords with 36 countries from which it draws most of its two-million-strong foreign workforce, to provide legal protection for workers headed to the Gulf. The announcements came on the eve of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting that could see the launch of a formal investigation by the UN agency into Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers. The minimum wage initiative and the agreements were announced by Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi, minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs, during a meeting with foreign diplomats. A minimum wage would aim to “meet the necessary needs of the worker to live at an appropriate humanitarian level”, said the minister, quoted by QNA. Qatar introduces visa on arrival for Pakistani nationals No details were given of when the minimum wage would be introduced or at what level. Workers in Qatar, unions and rights groups have claimed that many have been lured to work in the Gulf for wages considerably less than they had been promised. There has also been widespread criticism that a large number of workers are not paid their salaries on time, leading to hardship for the most vulnerable. In February 2015, Qatar introduced the Wage Protection System, a major reform, designed to ensure workers receive their salaries electronically, either fortnightly [Read More…]

Oct 212017
Tillerson Promotes Closer Iraq-Saudi Ties

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday promoted improving ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a way to counter Iran’s growing military assertiveness in the region.Tillerson, participating in the initial meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Committee in Riyadh, told Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that their improving links showed “great potential.” He cited the August reopening of a major border crossing between the two countries and the resumption of direct flights between Baghdad and Riyadh.“Both represent the beginning of what we hope will be a series of even more tangible actions to improve relations and strengthen cooperation on a host of issues,” Tillerson said. “Your growing relationship between the kingdom and Iraq is vital to bolstering our collective security and prosperity and we take great interest in it.”The top U.S. diplomat said the United States is “grateful for this progress and urge you to expand this vital relationship for the stability of the region. The United States stands ready to support continued cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and we congratulate you.”Salman said, “We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of extremism, terrorism as well as attempts to destabilize our countries. These attempts require our full attention. … We reaffirm our support for the unity and stability of our brother country of Iraq.”Abadi voiced his approval of “the thriving relations between our two brotherly countries. We are open and we want to move away from the past. The region [Read More…]

Oct 202017
MS Access, Excel, Visual Basic and C# developers in Doha, Qatar

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Oct 162017
Congo Wins Seat At Human Rights Council, Despite Abuses

The UN General Assembly has elected the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Human Rights Council, despite protests that the country’s record of human rights abuses make it unfit for the job.Congo was among the 15 countries that won seats on the intergovernmental body starting in January 2018. Others included Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine.U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called Congo’s election in the October 16 vote “yet another example of why the Human Rights Council lacks credibility and must be reformed in order to be saved.”Congo’s inclusion is “a slap in the face to the many victims of the Congolese government’s grave abuses across the country,” Human Rights Watch said.The advocacy group UN Watch singled out three of the winners — Congo, Qatar, and Pakistan — for criticism, saying that electing them “as a world judge on human rights is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief.”Qatar and Nigeria won second terms on the council. The other countries that won seats are Angola, Australia, Senegal, Slovakia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Nepal, and Spain.The Human Rights Council is made up of 47 UN member states elected through secret ballots for three-year terms. Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036. Click for detailed story

Oct 112017
PTI criticises PMon LNG deal but spares then petroleum secretary

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Sheikh Rashid have criticized Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, accusing him of pocketing millions of dollars in the LNG deal with Qatar, but they… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

Oct 072017

DUBAI: Qatar’s government announced measures to help private sector businesses on Saturday after its economy was hurt by sanctions imposed by other Arab states. Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani decided to cut rents paid by companies in Qatar’s logistics zones in half during 2018 and 2019, official news agency QNA reported. Qatar offers visa-free entry to 80 nationalities New investors in the zones will be completely exempt from paying rents for a year if they obtain building permits by certain deadlines. Qatar Development Bank, a state-founded body which lends to firms, will postpone receiving loan instalments for up to six months to facilitate industrial sector projects. Sheikh Abdullah also told all ministries and government departments to increase their procurement of local products to 100 percent from 30 percent, if the local products meet necessary specifications and the purchases obey tender rules. Arab states demand Qatar closes Jazeera, cuts back ties to Iran Qatar’s economy expanded just 0.6 percent from a year earlier in the April-June quarter, its slowest growth since the 2009-2010 global financial crisis, after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties on June 5. The four states accuse Doha of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies. The sanctions triggered a pull-out of deposits by Gulf states from Qatari banks, deepened a slump in real estate prices and caused a plunge of 18 percent in the stock market. The post Qatar orders aid to private sector as sanctions hurt economy [Read More…]

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