Duterte Government Approves 10 Year Validity of Philippine Passport

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to extend the validity of Philippine passport to 10 years.

House Bill No. 4767, a consolidation of 22 bills on the matter, got the House’s nod, 216-0-0.

The measure seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8239, or the “Philippine Passport Law,” which currently states that a passport is valid for a period of five years, regardless of the age of the applicant.

Under the bill, the validity will be extended to 10 years for adults, or those 18 years old and above.

It states, however, that the issuing authority “may limit” the period of validity to less than 10 years in the case of minors, or “whenever the national economic interest or political stability of the country” makes it necessary.

The bill will be transmitted to Senate for concurrence.

Among the measure’s principal authors is former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who now sits as a deputy speaker.

 

Due to ‘extreme’ cold, this Saudi man started a fire inside his car to feel warm

A drastic drop in temperatures across the region is pushing residents in the Gulf to take extreme measures to stay warm – even if that sometimes involves certain risks.

The most recent example of this is one man’s drastic attempt in Saudi Arabia ,where temperatures plummeted to -1 degree Celsius this week.

A video, which has been making the rounds online shows the man sparking a fire inside his vehicle. Yes, you read that right, inside his car.

The video has since gone viral with the caption “a33 el farra”, which translates to, “Oh! The cold.”

It’s kinda clear why.

Driving around? Fire wood takes the shotgun

Taking “Hot in here?” to a whole new level

Heat on delivery!

Jokes aside, temperatures ARE extreme

The General Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) predicted winds would reach 50 km per hour, causing low visibility as a result of increased dust.

As a result, civil and health authorities have urged Riyadh residents to follow preventive measures against cold and flu.

Further snowfall is expected in the kingdom’s north, with sub-zero temperatures and strong winds.

So extreme that lakes have frozen over

And, its not only Saudi Arabia

The region has seen snowfall in unexpected countries in the last few weeks, including the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this winter, Algeria, Tunisia and parts of Syria also witnessed snowfall.

 

Here’s what happened when an Indian doctor removes live cockroach from woman’s skull

It’s the stuff of nightmares — a cockroach crawls up your nose in the middle of the night, burrows in and drives you mad with scratching behind your eyes. But for one Indian woman, this horror story proved all too real.

The 42-year-old had a painful crawling sensation behind her eyes when she woke up, so rushed to a local clinic where her nose was flushed and she was sent home.

But the sensation didn’t subside, and it wasn’t until a specialist explored her nasal passages with an endoscope that she learned the awful truth.

“I saw some tiny legs moving inside,” M.N. Shankar, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Chennai’s Stanley Medical College Hospital, told AFP on Wednesday.

“I looked further in and almost five centimeters from the tip of the nose I saw something unusual.

“I realized I was actually looking at the bottom of a cockroach.”

The invasive critter had burrowed deep inside her nose, almost to the base of the skull, and was still alive after roughly 12 hours, Shankar added.

Using an instrument akin to a vacuum cleaner, Shankar managed to extract the cockroach from her skull intact — still alive and kicking.

It was the first time Shankar had seen anything like it in his three decades of medical practice.

The woman was doing “absolutely fine” following the 45-minute procedure, he said, but was “embarrassed she had a cockroach up her nose.”
“It was an out of the world kind of thing for her,” he said.

 

Breaking: Ministry approves new UAE Entry Visa policy

In the efforts to attract qualified professionals to the UAE, the Cabinet has approved the new visa entry system. The Cabinet confirmed that this will be implemented in different stages, according to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. 

Hunting for Regional and Global Talent

In the initial phase, the new visa system will be seeking to admit qualified and talented professionals in science, medicine and research among others. As such the tourism, health and education visas will enjoy this policy. There are special committees that have been put in place to ensure that the various fields get the right prioritization and also attract the regional and global professionals. The main benefit of this new system is that the profession expat is getting residency permit to live in the UAE. They will enjoy the diverse lifestyle, practical financial solutions and the modern infrastructure.

Enormous Opportunity

According to the statement from HH Sheikh Mohammed, he described the UAE as a land of great opportunities. He said, “We aim to provide a tolerant environment that can nurture potential and support outstanding talent.” He also emphasized that the future prosperity of the country will depend on the on the talented individuals and investing in such minds means well for the country’s success and economic progress.

International Financial Policies

In addition to the new visa system, the Cabinet also approved and embraced thee guidebooks on accounting standards. These are the international financial policies and procedures that the government intends to start using. The proposal on the standards, conditions of the marriage grant was also approved. Part of the proposal was to increase the grand from AED 20,000 to AED 25,000.

The Cabinet was on a rollercoaster as it has also permitted the setting up of embassies in the major cities across the globe. They also validated the various international agreements that are in line with the country’s efforts to boost the global economy and enhance diplomacy.

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Saudi Arabia deports more than 39,00 Pakistanis for violating the rules of residence and work

In the last four months, there have been over 39,000 Pakistanis who have been deported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The main reason for the deportation is the violation of the rules of residence and work-related rules. 

The informed security sources confirmed that the fact that some Pakistanis are involved in some terrorist activities through Daesh, commonly known as IS has become a main cause for societal worry public discomfort. There are so many Pakistanis who have been detained as a results of physical assault, drug trafficking, forgery and theft among others.

Due to these incidents, the chairman of the security committee of the Shoura Council, Abdullah Al-Sadoun, appealed to the relevant authorities to scrutinize all the Pakistanis rigorously before they can be allowed to work in Saudi.

He requested that the concerned bodies in Pakistan to work closely in collaboration so as to ensure that the Pakistanis who are coming to Saud to work are thoroughly vetted. This is in a bid to curb the various insecurity concerns that have been triggered by the Pakistani citizens.

Abdullah Al-Sadoun also said that the scrutiny process, of the Pakistanis that are coming to work in the Kingdom, should establish the religious and political dispositions of these foreigners. This should be done before they are recruited to work in the kingdom.

“Pakistan itself is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan. The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan, he asserted.

In addition, the reports from Nafithat Tawasul, also known as communications window, of the Ministry of Interior, revealed that there 82 Pakistanis who are held in various intelligence prisons. These are people who are terror suspects and a threat to national security.

The window also confirmed that there were 15 Pakistanis who were arrested in the latest terrorist attacks in Al-Naseem and Al-Hazarat districts in Jeddah. Out of the 15, there was one woman.

The ministry recollected the issue of Abdullah Ghulzar Khan, a Pakistani who blew himself up at the Dr. Soliman Fakheeh Hospital car par, last Ramadan. The man has been living in the Kingdom for the last 12 years together with his parents and wife and had initially gained entry suing a private driver’s visa.

Last year, the intelligence forced thwarted terrorist plans to explode the Al-Jawhara Stadium, in Jeddah. Among those arrested, there was a Sudanese, a Syrian and two Pakistanis. The plans that were intercepted by the security forces were targeting the 60,000 fans who had attended the Saudi and UAE national teams playing against each other. The gang had a bobby trapped truck, which was loaded with over 400 kilograms of explosives.

 

Source: Saudi Gazette

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An expat pilgrim tries to set himself on fire near the Holy Kaaba

There was a serious incident, whereby a man tried to set himself on fire. The man, who is believed to be mentally-ill, attempted this near the Holy Kaaba. This is the black-clad building that the Muslims face when they are praying inside the Grand Mosque. Fortunately, he was arrested before he could ignite himself. 

According to the Grand Mosque police spokesman Maj Sameh Al-Salami, the man, who is in his late 40s, is a Saudi citizen. “He poured petrol on himself and tried to set it alight,” he explained. “His behavior gives the impression that he is mentally disturbed,” the police spokesman added.

A footage that was posted on social media showed the man being escorted away by other pilgrims and the police, before he could set off the petrol. The witnesses, who spoke to Saudi media, also confirmed the man has attempted to burn down the kiswah; this is the black and gold silk curtain that covers the Holy Kaaba.

One of the witnesses was quoted by the Sabq news website said the man was uttering some “takfiri” slogan all through. This is the group of extremist who are often blamed for the various global attacks.

The government official, however, dismissed the claims that the man was trying to burn down the Holy Kaaba. He insisted the man only showed intentions of burning himself.

 

Source: Saudi Gazette

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38 cars are stolen in Saudi Arabia everyday, Ministry reports show

It is shocking to note that there are about 38 vehicles that are stolen every day, in the Kingdom. While this rate is quite high, the police only manage to recover only half of these cars. This was the information released by the Al-Hayat newspaper, based on the information and official figures form Ministry of Interior.

According to authorities, this is a very dangerous type of crime and not in terms of the theft only, but other grave issues. The car may be used for terrorist activities and this may spell serious danger. In the last few years, there has been a rampant increase in the car theft cases. This has become the highest and most common type of crime in the Kingdom.

Based on the information that was released by Interior Ministry 2016, there were approximately 1,134 cars that were stolen in the month of January. According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, most of the car crimes are committed in the major cities like Jeddah, Riyadh, Madinah, Dammam, Riyadh and Makkah among others.

In 2014, there were 15,000 cars that got stolen, while in 2013 9,000 cars were stolen and the police only recovered 4,600 of them. This is a success rate of about 46% as far as recovery of stolen cars is concerned.

Once a car is stolen the thieves usually change the plate number and overall appearance of the so as to sell it. In some cases, the car is dismantled and is sold in different pieces and parts. There are other criminals who use stolen cars for joy riding and drifting, but in most cases, the stolen vehicles are used to for terrorist activities.

There is a school of thought that believes that the high rate of car thefts is as a result of the poor security patrol on the streets. Other people believe that the crime rate has increased to the reluctance of the police to act on car theft reports swiftly.

There is another group of observers who think that the high rise in car thefts is as a result of the car owners failing to report as soon as the car is stolen. Most of the car owners assume that the police would not take the matter seriously and as such, they find it pointless to report.

In January 2016, Prince Naif Arab University for Security Sciences conducted a study and this revealed negligence on the part of the car owners, unemployment and drifting as the main factors that are causing the high rise in car thefts in Riyadh. In addition, the report discovered that there is a weak, or no proper system to monitor the spare part shops and this may be the reason behind the high rate of car thefts.

The study suggested some possible remedies to this menace, with have surveillance cameras installed on the streets, being a top priority. There was also an appeal to the relevant authorities to use modern technology to be able to pursue the issues of the stolen cars.

In the year 2014, the Eastern Province Police has established a gang, which included a number of Saudis who has stolen 12 cars. This gang has an objective of playing with the cars and then burning them down, at the end of the day. The Makkah Police, on the other hand, apprehended a gang of 5 Saudi national, aged between 16 and 22 years, who has stolen and burned down 53 cars, in the same year.

There was a gang of young African expats aged between 14 and 18 years, who were arrested in Jeddah, for stealing 18 cars. In this year, there were 7 expat workers who were arrested in Riyadh for stealing and selling parts of luxury cars.

In the last days of 2014, the police force in Jazan arrested a gang of 10 thieves, who had a woman as the ring leader. The gang would lure drivers to leave their cars and this was a perfect opportunity for the gang to steal the cars that were left with the engine running.

The citizens with special needs have also joined these criminal activities, and 3 of them were arrested in Tabuk. This mob would steal cars, change the features and hid the cars behind a hillock.

According to the Ministry of Justice, there were 1,433 car theft cases that got to the courts in 2014.

Source: Saudi Gazette 

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Here’s why Madinah becomes the capital of Islamic Tourism in 2017

Work is in full swing to complete the construction of a grand theater to host functions to be held in the holy city, which was selected to be the capital of Islamic Tourism 2017.

The functions will be held under the patronage of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and will be attended by Madinah Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman.

Members of the organizing committees, engineers, technical workers and other administrators are working to meet the deadline of Feb. 18.

The theater at King Fahd Central Park

The theater at King Fahd Central Park is considered one of the biggest theaters ever been built in the Kingdom, according to Wafi Al-Qahtani, head of the organizing company.

It is 80 meters wide and circular in shape; it uses video mapping technology, which displays images at the background of the theater simultaneously.

Some 200 key theatrical performers from the Islamic world, Europe and Latin America will be held, he said, adding that the performances will be transmitted live in some commercial centers and other locations in the Central Park, accompanied by fireworks.

He expressed pride in confidence granted the organizers by the Madinah governor who trusts them to organize this mega occasion.

Theater director Munair Al-Qahtani said the inaugural ceremony will witness a record amount of events experienced by Madinah since the migration of the Awas and Khazraj tribes to Yathrib (Madinah). The tribes arrived through the migration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who took it as his residence and made it the source of his message sent down to the era of the founder, late King Abdulaziz. This occurred during King Abdulaziz’s reign in which Madinah enjoyed a prestigious position and sanctity.

The organizing committee held a press conference, announcing the launching of the functions, which will begin on Feb. 18 and will run for one year, to celebrate the selection of Madinah as the capital of Islamic Tourism 2017 by the tourism ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Public and private sector companies are hard working under the supervision of Madinah Governorate and the SCTH.

 

Breaking: New radars to spot lane violations in Dubai

The devices will help settle cases where motorists claim they haven’t committed the violation. The Dubai Police have introduced 30 new radars that will detect lane violations. The devices are equipped with smart cameras that will detect violations and upload the data directly to the traffic system without human intervention.

The devices will help settle cases where motorists claim they haven’t committed the violations.

This technique will monitor violators at intersections, especially those who overtake through the right lane and road shoulders and those who do not comply with the mandatory lane restrictions.

On the other hand, the Dubai police has installed 70 smart cameras in Dubai and 61 cameras will be added by 2017

The 70 cameras were installed as part of the Rasad project which were introduced last year and can identify wanted and stolen cars, monitors the roads, scan vehicle numbers and alert the police operations room and patrols if any wanted vehicles are spotted in the area.

Introduced by Brigadier Kamel Butti Al Suwaidi, Director of The Rasad, the system was launched last year in order to detect any wanted vehicles and will immediately alert command and control centre to pursue the car

He said the cameras can on other hand the Dubai Police has installed new smart radars that will catch traffic violations at intersections have been developed and installed at key intersections in the emirate.

Also twenty-eight new radars have come up, which will monitor aggressive driving behaviour at intersections, such as not stopping at the red signal, making sudden turns and speeding. The radars have been installed at Damascus street, Haleb street and other areas.

The Dubai Police has ordered the traffic department to develop radars which will catch drivers even before they enter the signal zone at an intersection, as the police have noticed that many drivers have been committing dangerous violations at intersections, such as sudden U-turns, sudden lane change, etc.

The advanced radars were being used if the radar catches a violation, an SMS is sent out to the control centre immediately.

The radars have the capability of monitoring the violation from a distance and can capture a video within 10 seconds, headded.

He said that old radars can monitor red signal violations in case the car exceeds what is known as the imaginary line, a line before the signal distance of up to 50 meters, and if the driver crosses a red light then the violation can be recorded immediately, but if the driver crosses the signal when the light is yellow, the device would not be able to capture the offence.

He pointed out that the new radar is completely different as it can monitor the speed of the car from a distance, and determines whether an offence has taken place. It also records a video of the offence.

The radar can also monitor yellow box violations, dangerous overtaking and U-turns from non-designated areas.

 

Source: Khaleej Times

 

 

Qatar Airways officially launches its world’s longest flight

Qatar Airways launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial service with its inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland taking off eight minutes early on Sunday, a company spokeswoman said.

Flight QR920 left the Qatari capital at 05:02 (0202 GMT) and is set to land in New Zealand at 07:30 local time on Monday (1830 GMT).

The Boeing 777 flight will take 16 hours and 20 minutes, pass over 10 time zones, five countries and travel 14,535 kilometers (9,032 miles) before reaching Auckland.

But even that flying time may be looked on jealously by passengers on the return flight which, due to high-altitude winds, will take 17 hours and 30 minutes, according to the company website.

This will make it the world’s longest passenger service in terms of flying time, according to tracking website flightradar24.

Qatar Airways did not immediately have a figure for the number of passengers who boarded on Sunday, but it is believed there are four pilots and 15 crews on the plane.

In March last year, Emirates airline launched what was then thought to be the world’s longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight, with a service from Dubai to Auckland, spanning 14,200 kilometers (8,824 miles).

h/t:  Arab News

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Apple set to recall 88,000 iPhone 6s devices in UAE

According to an article reported, Apple is set to recall 88,000 iPhone 6s devices due to battery issues, Arabic daily Emarat Al Youm reported on Sunday.

As per this report UAE Ministry of Economy said that only specific phones that contained the defective battery manufactured in China during 2015, will be recalled. 

In a statement issued by the Cupertino-based tech giant in 2016, they had determined that a very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down. This was not a safety issue and only affected devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015.

iPhone users were asked to use the serial number checker on their website to see if their iPhone 6s was eligible for a battery replacement.

Recently, iPhone released a statement from their website and read as

 

iPhone 6s Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues

Apple has determined that a very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down. This is not a safety issue and only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015.

If you have experienced this issue, please use the serial number checker below to see if your iPhone 6s is eligible for a battery replacement, free of charge.

Replacement Process

Choose one of the service options below to have your battery replaced. Your iPhone will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program and in working order.

Please call your service provider to confirm that battery replacement service is available on the day you visit them.

  • Apple Authorized Service Provider – Find one here.
  • Apple Retail Store – Make an appointment here.
  • Apple Technical Support – Contact us.

Note: Wireless carrier partners are not participating in this program.

To prepare your iPhone 6s for the battery replacement process, please follow the steps below:

Note: If your iPhone 6s has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the battery, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.

Additional Information

Apple may restrict or limit repair to the original country of purchase.

If you believe your iPhone 6s was affected by this issue, and you paid to replace your battery, you can contact Apple about a refund.

This worldwide Apple program doesn’t extend the standard warranty coverage of the iPhone 6s.

The program covers affected iPhone 6s batteries for 3 years after the first retail sale of the unit.

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Japan Airlines Now Allows Dogs in The Passenger Cabin

A Japanese airline has launched a special flight service that allows passengers to fly with their dogs in the main cabin.

Japan Airlines’ first ‘wan wan jet’ charter service departed on Friday from Narita airport near Tokyo and flew domestically to Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

For ¥150,000 (£1,037), the package tour means owners and their dogs will also get to stay together in a hotel and go sightseeing in rented cars.

Japan Airlines has launched a special flight service which allows passengers to fly with their dogs in the main cabin, pictured

Japan Airlines has launched a special flight service which allows passengers to fly with their dogs in the main cabin, pictured

The 860-mile flight takes approximately two hours.

Toshihiko Kai, a 41-year-old company employee who was travelling with a four-year-old miniature dachshund, commented on his experience.

‘It was painful for me to check in (my dog) as luggage at airport counters as it always barks,’ he said.

An airline official added: ‘Air travel with pets will lead to the opening of new markets for domestic flights.’

Its first 'wan wan jet' charter service departed on Friday from Narita airport near Tokyo and flew domestically to Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan

Its first ‘wan wan jet’ charter service departed on Friday from Narita airport near Tokyo and flew domestically to Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan

For ¥150,000 (£1,037), the package tour means owners and their dogs will also get to stay together in a hotel and go sightseeing in rented cars

For ¥150,000 (£1,037), the package tour means owners and their dogs will also get to stay together in a hotel and go sightseeing in rented cars

The 860-mile flight, which carried  60 people and 30 dogs, takes approximately two hours

The 860-mile flight, which carried  60 people and 30 dogs, takes approximately two hours

When the company announced its dog-friendly service in December, it was fully booked within an hour with about 60 people and 30 dogs, the company said.

According to the Japan Pet Food Association (JPFA), 18 per cent of Japanese households owned a pet at last count in 2009.

This equates to approximately 12.3million dogs – more than the number of children in the whole country.

When the company announced its dog-friendly service in December, it was fully booked within an hour

When the company announced its dog-friendly service in December, it was fully booked within an hour

An airline official remarked:  'Air travel with pets will lead to the opening of new markets for domestic flights'

An airline official remarked:  ‘Air travel with pets will lead to the opening of new markets for domestic flights’

Usually, as is the case with most airlines across the world, dogs are required to travel in the aircraft's cargo hold - pictured, passengers wait to board the flight 

Usually, as is the case with most airlines across the world, dogs are required to travel in the aircraft’s cargo hold – pictured, passengers wait to board the flight

It’s not the first time owners have had the chance to fly with their pooches in Japan.

Last May, All Nippon Airways trialed a charter tour that took 87 passengers to Hokkaido Prefecture with 44 pets.

ANA’s basic package cost about ¥220,000 (£2,500) for two adults and a dog – and demand was so great that the flight sold out in just two days.

During the flight, the dogs were kept in cages attached to window seats, according to Japan Times, and a veterinarian accompanied the tour.

Owners line up for the next leg of their journey, which includes a car to their dog-friendly hotel

Owners line up for the next leg of their journey, which includes a car to their dog-friendly hotel

According to the Japan Pet Food Association (JPFA), 18 per cent of Japanese households owned a pet at last count in 2009

According to the Japan Pet Food Association (JPFA), 18 per cent of Japanese households owned a pet at last count in 2009

This equates to approximately 12.3million dogs - more than the number of children in the whole country

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