Archive for the ‘government’ Category
The Arab Tsunami started a couple of months before the one that struck Japan. The one in Japan was a natural calamity, but the one in the Arab region was man-made.
Not that the world was unaware to the long simmering across the region. What they did not anticipate was the acceleration and momentum of the rebellion that it created.
Well, the street vendor from Tunisia can be considered as the small wave that started the Arab Tsunami, the repercussions of which were felt across the Arab world.
The Internet, via, FaceBook, Twitter & YouTube just added the much needed support within the timeframe, in order to create that ‘moving’ force.
This rebellion by the populace is against the suppression of the aspirations on civilians, particularly the youth. This suppression is by the government spearheaded by the ruler, be it a monarch or an autocrat; some of which have succumbed to the rebellion demands (some by pressure & some by being extra-charitable overnight), while the defiant still continue to uncomfortable on their “thorny” thrones.
The Arab Tsunami threatens roll some more dictatorial and “possibly” some monarch heads; if they are not flexible enough to accede to the demands of the civilian population. It is a well known fact that during the thunderstorm even the mighty oak falls, but the humble grass stays on.
Hence, there is a desperate need to change the mindset of the Arab rulers, if the region has to survive peacefully and see some radical growth, in line with the world. Just waking up with a philanthropical thought after the catastrophe, is not going to resolve, defuse or bridge the gap between the ruler and the ruled. It has to be inclusive growth in line with the aspirations of all the strata of the society.
Those rulers directly in the “line-of-fire” are doing their bit to assuage the fire; but it a fact that their other peers are not immune to such uprisings.
It is said that Western world is being very selective and disparate in their responses to these uprising Arab Tsunami. They have been blamed for their “double standards” in dealing with such situations from across the world. They are considering their selfish interests in giving their support to this situation.
The tsunami has already swept across Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, & Libya.
So one may ask, “Who’s next”? Change is inevitable. Its not if, but when?
Kuwait is on the verge of a new era in public transportation. The country is planning to develop its own rail and metro projects as part of the GCC’s wider efforts to improve public transportation networks and its connectivity with neighbors.
Kuwait rail system will reach 550km upon completion and will cover the northern and southern parts of the country as well as critical infrastructure such as airports and railway stations. The project is part of the $25bn GCC railway project, which begins at Kuwait and runs to Muscat via Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The Kuwait Metro Rail is a 171km long inner city transport running across the city. 60km of the rail road will be built underground. The project will have four lines, each of which will be tendered as a separate project. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $7bn.
The man behind the source of WikiLeaks – Bradley Manning.
In his Army dress greens, Pvt. Bradley Manning looks like most of his fellow soldiers; but beneath the uniform, many suspect, is a man who may be responsible for the leaking of over 90,000 secret military reports to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
This undated photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Bradley Manning. Manning has told of leaking classified diplomatic reports, along with this secret video, to the whistleblower website Wikileaks.org.
Manning was stationed at a base 40 miles east of Baghdad, at Forward Operating Base Hammer. Manning, who enlisted in the Army in 2007, was working as an Army intelligence analyst, pouring through classified information. What he saw with his clearance level, it is believed, left him disillusioned with U.S. foreign policy.
The twenty-two year old Manning went online to find someone who would listen. He tracked down a former computer hacker in Sacramento, California named Adrian Lamo. Manning read an article in Wired, a magazine on the technology world, that featured Lamo and thought he would be a kindred spirit.
Access to Classified Networks
Manning allegedly asked Lamo, “If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day, seven days a week for eight plus months, what would you do?”
Authorities believe Manning had already done plenty.
In online chats and e-mail conversations, Manning allegedly took credit for leaking video of a 2007 Army helicopter strike in Baghdad to Wikileaks. The strike resulted in the death of innocent civilians including two Reuters employees and an unarmed Baghdad man. The video’s release in April caused a media storm.
Manning allegedly said that he had discovered “incredible, awful things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, D.C.”
Lip-Synching to Lady Gaga
The young soldier wrote of how he downloaded the classified information.
“I would come in with music on a CD-RW labeled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’,” he told Lamo.
While pretending to sing along to Lady Gaga’s hit “Telephone,” Manning would actually be erasing the music from the CD and recording intelligence onto it instead.
Lamo says weak computer security let the disgruntled soldier copy confidential military reports that would soon be part of one of the greatest leaks of government information in 40 years.
During all of this, Manning also wrote to Lamo of feeling socially isolated and at times, getting in trouble with his supervisors as he questioned the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lamo said he grew increasingly alarmed. When Manning claimed to have a quarter million classified embassy cables, Lamo went to the FBI fearing that the soldier’s leaks could put lives at risk.
“Had I not acted, I would have always wondered, had I gotten someone killed,” Lamo said.
A big concern on top of urban transportation planner’s mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District .
Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles’ way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.
Here is the presentation by Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd.
“What you can see from the video is traffic jams, what you can hear is noise, and there is also invisible air pollution. At present, there are mainly 4 types of public transits in China: subway, light-rail train, BRT, and normal bus. They have advantages and disadvantages, for example, subway costs a lot and takes long time to build; BRT takes up road spaces and produces noises as well as pollution to the air. How to develop environmental-friendly public transportation? Straddling bus provides a solution. Let’s watch a demonstration.
The straddling bus combines the advantages of BRT, it is also a substitution for BRT and subway in the future. As you all know, the majority vehicle on the road is car, the shortest vehicle is also car. Normally our overpass is 4.5-5.5 m high. The highlight innovation of straddling bus is that it runs above car and under overpass. Its biggest strength is saving road spaces, efficient and high in capacity. It can reduce up to 25-30% traffic jams on main routes. Running at an average 40 km/h, it can take 1200 people at a time, which means 300 passengers per cart.
Another strength of straddling bus is its short construction life cycle: only 1 year to build 40 km. Whereas building 40-km subway will take 3 years at best. Also the straddling bus will not need the large parking lot that normal buses demand. It can park at its own stop without affecting the passage of cars. This is what the interior looks like: it has huge skylight that will eliminate passengers’ sense of depression when enter.
There are two parts in building the straddling bus. One is remodeling the road, the other is building station platforms. Two ways to remodel the road: we can go with laying rails on both sides of car lane, which save 30% energy; or we can paint two white lines on both sides and use auto-pilot technology in the bus, which will follow the lines and run stable.
There are also two ways in dealing with station platform. One is to load/unload through the sides; the other is using the built-in ladder so that passengers can go up and to the overpass through the ceiling door.
Straddling bus is completely powered by municipal electricity and solar energy system. In terms of electricity, the setting is called relay direct current electrification. The bus itself is electrical conductor, two rails built on top to allow the charging post to run along with the bus, the next charging post will be on the rails before the earlier one leaves, that is why we call it relay charging. It is new invention, not available yet in other places.
The set here is super capacitor, a device that can charge, discharge and store electricity quickly. The power it stores during the stop can support the bus till the next stop where another round of charging takes place, achieving zero toxic gas throughout the process.
About the ultrasonic waves put forth from the end of the bus, that is to keep those high cars or trucks away from entering the tunnel. Using laser ray to scan, cars get too close to the passage will activate the alarm on the bus end. Inside the bus, there are turning lights that indicate a the bus is intending to make a turn to warn the cars inside. Also radar scanning system is embedded on the walls to warn cars from getting too close to the bus wheels.
Nowadays many big cities have remodeled their traffic signaling system, to prioritize public buses, that is to say when a bus reaches a crossing, red light on the other side of the fork will turn on automatically to give buses the right of way. Our straddling bus can learn from this BRT method. The car can make the turn with the bus if that is the direction it wants to go too; if not, the red light will be on to stop the cars beneath while the bus take the turn.
The bus is 6 m in width and 4-4.5 m high. How will people get off the bus if an accident happens to such a huge bus? Here I introduce the most advanced escaping system in the world. In the case of fire or other emergencies, the escaping door will open automatically. I believe many of you have been on a plane. Planes are equipped with inflated ladder so people can slide down on it in emergency. I put the escaping concept into the straddling bus. It is the fastest way to escape.
The bus can save up to 860 ton of fuel per year, reducing 2,640 ton of carbon emission. Presently we have passed the first stage demonstration and will get through all of the technical invalidation by the end of August. Beijing’s Mentougou District is carrying out a eco-community project, it has already planned out 186 km for our straddling bus. Construction will begin at year end.
Well, everybody living here in Kuwait how hot it is when the government declares the official temperature as 50 deg. A couple of minutes on a bad glass is enough to start a fire, as we saw the Sawaber Complex incident.
In this time, it is very imperative that we manage the power prudently and not waste it on unproductive work.
In order to overcome the power crisis, what the govt authorities have suggested is to reduce the govt work timing to 12 noon. So that reduces the official working hours to 5, including the breaks of all kinds.
What I am trying to emphasize is that to beat the power crisis, the government is not focusing on generating power from the resources which are plentiful and requires minimum efforts to tap, namely SOLAR ENERGY. People talk of having a nuclear power plant, as if it can be built over a year.
We need to concentrate on tapping the solar energy to beat the power crisis. A community power plant may take longer to materialize; hence individual houses can tap this energy to beat the power crisis. In this regards, the govt should form a committee to promote the SOLAR energy to all by giving incentives and facilitating easy import of solar panels that can be incorporated into the homes easily.
Well just to make a start, why don’t we get this small, pocketable, foldable solar charge that can charge your mobiles, iPods, etc.
Japanese firm ambienTec has a smart and fashionable solution. They make the 2W, 5V USB Solar Fold and Solarfan portable chargers SC001P1-01BK which can provide 3 hours of listening time on your ipod (or 3 minutes of mobile phone talk time) for every 10 minutes of sunlight exposure. The 186g Solar Fold has dimensions of 195×69×22(mm) looks like a fan when maximize.
I used to get confused when I heard these names using the word ‘Service’.
Internal Revenue Service
This is not what I thought ‘service’ meant. But today, I overheard two farmers talking, one of them said he had hired a bull to ‘service’ a few cows. Suddenly it all came into focus. Now I understand what all those ‘Service’ Agencies are doing to us!
It looks like the World War 3 – Iran v/s Rest of the World has started at the UN conference.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entered into a war of words, calling the other nation’s nuclear capability as the principal threat to international stability.
Ahmadinejad fired the first salvo at a special UN conference on the global nuclear non-proliferation regime Monday, accusing the US of leading a skewed international system that seeks to deny peaceful nuclear power to developing nations while allowing allies such as Israel to stockpile atomic arms.
Demanding that the world’s nuclear-weapons states agree to a clear timetable for the disbandment of their arsenals, Ahmadinejad said: “The possession of nuclear bombs isn’t a source of pride; it is disgusting and rather shameful.”
“And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons, which isn’t even comparable to any crime committed throughout the history.”
Sadly rather than confronting him with a suitable reply, the leaders walked out.
SHAME! SHAME!! SHAMEFULL!!!
What he said is a fact, that he made explicit to the UN & the world. US may be a superpower and maybe the other nations lookup to it for something. But the fact remains that the US has the largest stockpile of Nuclear War heads and is strategically supporting Israel (who has some nuclear warheads and is the main bone of contention in the Middle East peace process).
It is a great opportunity for brokering world peace, given the initiative taken by Ahmadinejad to come to the UN Nuke meet and clarify Iran’s stand on nuclear power vis-a-vis the world.
Rather than grabbing the opportunity to break the ice and arrive at a consensus on nuclear weapons and energy, it is very much shameful, that the world leader, walked out on him, rather than putting their defense.
It this opportunity is lost, the nuclear issue across the world will be pushed back into troubled waters, with Iran carrying back bitter memories of the UN meet.
Is it that the leaders are bribed by Arms Lobby into derailing the UN Nuke meet, so that their business does not suffer?
Well what ever the reasons, I think President Obama should attend the meet and shake hands with Ahmednijad & understand Iran’s stand negotiate peace. Afterall, he has always said that “Dialogues are better ice-breakers, rather than swords”.
The world is going to blame the world leaders for walking out rather than coming to a table to arrive at a consensus which can foster world peace.
Lord, GOD, Allah – give the world leaders sense to make the world a peaceful playground, as YOU had intended.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein has urged Middle Eastern governments to take more action to tackle the region’s unhealthy youth by pushing the importance of sport.
“We’ve seen throughout the region now incredible statistics that are going frighteningly on an upward curve every day of diabetes, of heart disease among our youth,” she told Dubai One TV’s ‘Dubai Tonight’ programme.
“The lifestyle that we should be promoting is now becoming as urgent as some of the things we prioritised before. Really sport is now a necessity. It’s a necessity to tackle non-communicable diseases, it’s a necessity to ensure the safety and security of our youth and their future.
“For that simple reason alone, it’s at the government level, through ministries of education, through ministries of health, that this now has to be accepted as a top of the agenda.”
Last week, her husband, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the spread of diabetes among children in the country’s was “unacceptable”.
During an interview given to coincide with Dubai’s hosting of the SportAccord convention, he said the important role sport played in the future health of the nation was “one way to address those problems”.
“About 40 percent of our children have diabetes. That is unacceptable. Sports is one way to address those problems,” he said.
Now compare this with the comments of the Kuwaiti parliamentarians and mess that the Kuwait Olympic Committee is in; which all goes to say how sports (and especially among women) is treated in Kuwait, given the fact that over 60% of the population is considered as “OBESE” according to world standards.
An overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a years hard work. Now, an European country has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidized by the taxpayer.
Under the scheme, the pensioners could be given reduced price trips to other countries, while teenagers could be taken around to old industrial unused to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.
The idea was formulated by a government official of Italy, the EU said.
I think, going by the news reports over the years, the idea would have been taken from the Kuwait press reports.
Well here in Kuwait, a similar idea in is being reported in the local press for a long time now. The folks here are going abroad for an extended medical treatment. This is in-spite of the Kuwait medical industry boasting of the latest medical treatments being available locally.
Many reports have claimed that the idea of an abroad medical treatment is merely a guise to claim a state-sponsored holiday, given the fact that these trips are usually to a Western nation with great shopping and holidays locations.
I don’t know how much truth is there in these press reports, but state-sponsored abroad trips (for whatever reasons) is the brain child of some clever Kuwaiti minister, for sure. Of course, medical reasons are counted among human rights.
As far as human rights is concerned, on the other issues which are more serious, the HRW is keenly watching Kuwait and has also issued reports about its gross violation.
Well whatever be the reasons of travel, justified or not, the idea of state-sponsored foreign tourism, is the brain child of Kuwait. (Does it need to be patent protected?)
Since the inception of IPL, it has acted as a magnet for people with big money (with or without any due credentials) and looking for a quick road to fame. Over the last 3 years, everybody joined the bandwagon of the IPL circus.
All those who did, made good money, exploiting the passion of the cricket hungry India and business of all sorts related to IPL cropped up over these years. And all of them shared the booty.
Now with the Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor spat gone sour on the Kochi team owners, that the IPL circus elephant has turned into a hydraheaded monster, all those even vaguely or remotely profited from the IPL name, no wonder, want to ditch it like a leech.
Day by day, the IPLGate is getting wider and wider and opening up new players with hidden agendas.The IT dept has gone full force into the scandal and much heavy steam is expected in the coming days. Many top notch people will find their faces scalded by this. Everybody who got money in the name of IPL is currently under the IT scanner; right from players, organizers, sponsors, team owners, fund managers, telecast & media rights owners, associated IPL brand companies.
Match-fixing and betting is another angle that is being investigated, with tons of money going into it. Being illegal, nobody wants to officially comment on it.
Even the BCCI officials and ministers are believed to be hand-in-gloves with those high profile IPL managers. Some heads have already rolled out and many more are likely.
Much heat is being generated from the politicians and are blaming the government, probably because they did not get the share of the booty. All those tainted parliamentarians, who made a killing with the earlier scandals are now raising their voices to blame those connected to IPL.
Well, in the whole deal, the game of cricket has been sullied. The perception in the minds of the people has changed, though a bit temporarily. Given the time, the fans will forget all this and clamor to cling to the stadiums and the TV screens to enjoy a good game of cricket.
The end result in this game is still awaited and will surely be a long bloody final.