Gulf in the News – May 10, 2013

Saudi Arabia launches first F15-SA jet plane at Missouri ceremony

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

The Saudi Air Force recently launched its F15-SA jet plane at an inauguration ceremony held at a Boeing site based in St. Louis, Missouri. Boeing today rolled out the Boeing F-15SA, ushering in a new era in fighter aircraft capability and affordability for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The launch comes amid plans for the air force to modernize its fleet of fighters. The recent addition means that the Kingdom has entered a new age in its fighter planes, allowing it to be at the forefront of air forces worldwide.

Fear grips Kuwait Expats as crackdown intensifies – Businesses feel the pinch – Illegal residents go into hiding

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

A growing number of expatriates in Kuwait appear jittery today after the government intensified its crackdown on foreign workers even as many in the marginal labor sector have reportedly gone into ‘hiding’ to avoid being caught or deported. Interestingly, motorists in Kuwait began to breathe a sigh of relief as the traffic on Kuwait roads, especially in peak hours, has become more regulated as a result of the campaign by the traffic department.

UAE bank is among
 global heist victims

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Rakbank was defrauded Dh17.4 million as part of an orchestrated complex global bank heist, involving several rings of criminals, worth more than Dh165 million. The theft emerged as a group of seven American men were charged by the US Attorney’s office in New York for withdrawing cash from cash machines and transporting money. It is understood authorities in the UAE are involved in the investigation, though police were not available for comment on Friday.

BD63 million public projects on the way

Source: Gulf Daily News (Read full story)

Public projects worth BD63 million will be carried out across the kingdom between now and the end of next year, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka’abi revealed yesterday. He unveiled developments ranging from new central and traditional markets, walkways, parks and gardens, shopping complexes and centers  as well as beautification initiatives and public support schemes. They were all drawn up in co-ordination with Bahrain’s five municipal councils and are now in the execution phase, said the minister.

Qatar pledges $18m to Somali government

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Qatar offered $18m in contribution to the Somali government to help carry out four pillars dealing with consolidating the infrastructre projects, the development projects, updating the management institutions and supporting the health care and education. Minister of State For Foreign Affairs H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah said in his address before the London Conference on Somalia that this comes in continuation to Qatar’s support with the brethren in Somalia and out of its due keenness to maintain security, stability and growth of that country.

Western hostages freed in Yemen after Oman pays ransom

Source: The Guardian (Read full story)

Yemeni kidnappers have released a Finnish couple and an Austrian man missing since being taken hostage in the capital Sana’a in December 2012, a senior Yemeni security source has said. The source told Reuters the trio were freed on Wednesday night after an intervention by authorities in neighboring Oman. “The Omani authorities led mediation efforts and paid a ransom to free the Austrian and Finnish hostages,” the source said. “They were handed over to the Omani authorities.” He declined to specify the ransom amount. Kidnappings of westerners occur sporadically in Yemen, mostly carried out by al-Qaida militants and tribesmen.