Your Favorite News Sites

Post by Mark

news

My top two news sites used to be CNN and BBC but CNN basically turned into TMZ while BBC just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. My two go-to news sites now are The Washington Post and The Guardian. What news sites do you check?


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We Got Our First Gold

Post by Mark

gold

Yesterday, Kuwaiti athlete Fehaid Al Deehani won gold at the Olympics coming first in the men’s double trap shooting event. Sadly since Kuwait is banned from the Olympics, Fehaid won the medal as an independent athlete competing under International Olympic Committee flag, an achievement by itself since no other independent athlete has ever won gold before. No Kuwaiti flag was raised and the Kuwaiti anthem wasn’t played during the medal ceremony.

Kuwait has competed in 12 Olympics since Mexico City in 1968, winning 3 medals in total, 2 bronze and 1 gold with all 3 won by Fehaid.


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Kuwait Was Banned From The Olympics. This Is The Human Price

Post by Mark

molym

At the prospect of swimming under the Olympic flag, he balked: “The thing is, I made the Olympics because of Kuwait and because of the [swimming] federation, and all the funds came from the federation, so I’m very thankful for that.” Yet by May, that seemed moot anyway. He figured he would need three months of training to resume utmost shape. Stresses mounted. The end of his swimming would mean the end of his government-allowed “sports leave” in Dubai.

The Washington Post have published a thought provoking article highlighting the affect of Kuwait’s ban at the Olympics on Kuwaiti athletes (or at least one Kuwaiti athlete). The situation is pretty sad but hopefully things will get sorted out by the next Olympics. [Link]


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Mia Khalifa Arrested in Kuwait?

Post by Mark

mia

According to a news article that has been floating around today, authorities in Kuwait arrested the popular Lebanese American porn star Mia Khalifa. According to the article, Mia came to Kuwait with the intent to have sex with men who had gotten in touch with her over the internet. Although the news article has been published on various news sites, none of them I believe are that reliable of a source and all seem to originate from the same source, a magazine called Al Hasnaa. In addition to that fact, based on her twitter account she’s not in Kuwait. Still, where there is smoke there is usually a fire and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had previously actually brought her to Kuwait. [Link]


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Kuwait Will Not Be Represented At The Olympics

Post by Mark

kuwaitolympics

Kuwait has lost its Swiss court case against an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban that will see the nation’s athletes compete under the Olympic flag at the Rio Olympics, a source with direct knowledge of the decision said on Tuesday. [Source]

This was Kuwait’s last ditch effort to get reinstated but they lost their case. All 9 Kuwaiti athletes competing at the Olympics will now be walking out under the IOC flag during the opening ceremony and competing as Individual Olympic Participants. If any athlete wins a medal (and there is a big chance of that happening), it will now fall under IOC and not Kuwait.

Here is the final list of Kuwaiti Olympians participating at Rio 2016:

Abbas Al Qali (Swimming)
Abdulrahman Al-Faihan (Trap)
Abdullah Al-Rashidi (Skeet)
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti (Fencing)
Ahmad Al-Afasi (Double Trap)
Faye Sultan (Swimming)
Fehaid Al-Deehani (Double Trap)
Khaled Al-Mudhaf (Trap)
Saud Habib Al-Kandari (Skeet)

On a similar subject, there is a new documentary called “Between Hope and Pain” which highlights the struggle of the 9 Kuwaiti athletes as well as a Kuwaiti referee to make it to the Rio Olympics.

In ‘Between Hope and Pain’, one referee and nine athletes openly express their immense drive to compete and win, and the supreme disappointment of being unable to do so under the Kuwaiti flag. In the documentary, privately screened at Laila Cinema on Sunday evening, Kuwaiti shooter and Olympic champion, Fehaid Al-Deehani spoke candidly about his dilemma to participate in the upcoming games. He shared that the Olympics ceased to hold meaning for him as he would not be able to leave his mark as a Kuwaiti athlete but only as an independent player, without a country and a flag.

“It’s the first time in my life I have experienced something like this. It’s true that we were banned in 2012 but a week before the competition HH the Amir solved the problem and removed the ban and we participated. But in this incident, we feel lost, we don’t know what’s up ahead”, he remarked. He stated that no resolution seemed to be forthcoming from either the government or the Olympic committee and he chalked this down to a clash of egos. He was honest and critical of the state of sports in the country, saying, “Sports in Kuwait has always experienced obstacles, it has always been sterile, lacking. It has never been proper. Even during the golden age, the football era, it wasn’t proper. It was progressing by God’s grace but there was no strategy. Up until now we represent the country with training suits worth KD 3 while other national teams employ fashion designers.” He shared that he was pained at the loss of the future of many athletes because of conflicts over positions and called for those responsible to tender their resignations. [Source]

The trailer to this documentary is posted above, no idea if the full documentary will be posted online as well.


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Gas Prices to Increase Starting September 1st

Post by Mark

gaskuwait

Kuwait is to increase the prices of gasoline by as much as 73 percent from September, showing how the oil price slump is affecting the energy-rich Gulf state’s finances.

Kuwait’s cabinet said on Monday that the price for the ultra gasoline grade would rise to 165 fils a litre, from 95 currently, the super grade to 105 from 65 and premium grade to 85 from 60, state news agency KUNA reported. [Source]

Ouch, thats a pretty steep hike.


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Kuwaiti Medalist Refuses to Carry Olympic Flag

Post by Mark

Legendary Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid al-Deehani has refused to carry the Olympic neutral team flag at the Rio Games opening ceremony, where the Gulf state’s athletes cannot march behind their own emblem.

Kuwait is suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other leading federations such as FIFA, football’s world body, over government interference in sport.

According to Kuwaiti media, the IOC asked al-Deehani, who took trap shooting bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney and 2012 London Games, to carry the Olympic neutral team flag.

But the Kuwait army officer turned down the request.

“I am a military man and I will only carry the Kuwait flag,” he said. “I cannot carry the IOC flag.”

The Kuwait Olympic Committee on Sunday called on the government to start dialogue in a last-gasp bid to get the Kuwait flag in to the Rio opening ceremony.

Hussein al-Mussallam, vice chairman of the committee’s legal and international relations commission, told AFP it was time “to sit down together and review things in a positive way”.

He said “the interests of Kuwaiti athletes should come above all else”.

“I am speaking on behalf of the KOC and not in the name of international organizations,” al-Mussallam added.

“The time has come in front of everyone, the Kuwaiti government and the ministry for youth and sports, the Kuwait Olympic Committee and the Olympic Movement Kuwait to sit together for the national interest and for Kuwait to return as it was.”

Al-Mussallam also appealed for all sides to “stay away from personal issues”.

“The Olympic movement has a role to deal with the government in the interest of sport. The government has to hear the point of view of international organizations and the United Nations and the opinion of the Kuwaiti Olympic movement.”

The official said that Kuwaiti athletes want to compete in Rio “under the flag of our country, so and we demand the sports minister respond to the advice of the International Olympic Committee and to stop the implementation of the conflicting articles in the Kuwaiti sports law”. [Full Article]

I’ve been having a hard time finding the final list of Kuwaiti athletes that will be taking part at the Rio Olympics. The article above lists the following:

Abdulrahman Al-Faihan (Trap)
Ahmad Al-Afasi (Double Trap)
Khaled Al-Mudhaf (Trap)
Saud Habib Al-Kandari (Skeet)
Fehaid Al-Deehani (Double Trap)
Abdullah Al-Rashidi (Skeet)
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti (Fencing)
Abbas Al Qali (Swimming)

But, the list isn’t accurate since they leave Faye Sultan out who will be competing in swimming as well. That means there might be other athletes missing as well. So far though, 9 Kuwaitis will be at the Olympics this year.


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Kuwaiti Athletes Featured in Washington Post

Post by Mark

athletes

Washington Post have an article on muslim female athletes and Kuwaiti athletes are featured prominently in it. It’s an interesting article that highlights the struggle muslim female athletes go through in the Arab world but it also kind of shows how liberal Kuwait is (or can be). Kuwaiti athletes won’t be able to participate at the Rio Olympics this year under the Kuwaiti flag due to the ban imposed on Kuwait by the IOC, but I believe there will be a number of Kuwaiti female athletes competing (Faye Sultan is confirmed), I’m just still waiting to get the final list so I can share it. Here is the link to the Washington Post [Article]


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Law Regulating Internet Media Comes Into Effect

Post by Mark

regulate

A new law regulating all Web-based publications including electronic news services, bulletins, websites of newspapers and televisions and alike came into effect yesterday after its bylaws were published in the official gazette. Information Minister Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said the law is for professional online media in a bid to preserve Kuwaiti traditions and counter extremist ideology.

The minister urged all those running online news services to register on the ministry website to obtain the necessary license to operate in the country. Under the legislation, all these services must obtain a license from the government before they can operate. Those in existence have one year to comply with the law. Violations committed by these services will be looked in court under the press and publications law, which stipulates hefty jail terms for several offenses.

During its debate in the Assembly in January this year, the minister insisted the law is aimed at regulating electronic media and it will not apply to personal accounts, like those of bloggers. Under the law, the owner and director of all online services must be Kuwaiti. Violations can be penalized by jail terms of up to 10 years if these services call for the overthrow of the country’s regime. [Source]

Thankfully I’m not included in this since I run a personal blog. If I did fall under this new regulation it would turn out to be such a complicated mess since I’d have to register the blog as online media outlet and I might not get approval for it. And then even if I did get approval I wouldn’t be able to own the blog because I’m not Kuwaiti. The whole thing doesn’t make sense though, you can’t regulate or control the internet.


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Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit Given Green Light

Post by Mark

Under the direction of His Highness the Amir, the Amiri Diwan has taken on several key projects in Kuwait. The Diwan’s project portfolio includes projects such as the new Al-Jahra Hospital, Al-Shaheed Park and Kuwait’s two cultural centers (Abdullah Al-Salem & Jaber Al-Ahmed) set to be complete by year’s end. On 20 June, the Amiri Diwan announced the awarding of a KD 49 million contract to local developer Bayan National Trading Company to design and build Kuwait’s Motor Town.

According to press reports the project aims at building seven race circuits compatible with international standards. These circuits would enable Kuwait to host Formula 1 and MotoGP races in the future.

The project is located south of the city, in Orafjan, adjacent to the Wafra road. The contract also includes the construction of a pit building and a media center. According to press reports, the project is set to include a hotel and shopping mall at a later stage (not part of the current package). [Source]

motortown1

Hard to believe but it looks like we’re finally getting a race track in Kuwait. Not any racetrack might I add, but a FIA Grade 1 circuit designed by Hermann Tilke, the same guy behind a number of popular F1 tracks including Yas Marina and the Baku City Circuit.

motortown2

I couldn’t find a lot of information on Kuwait Motor Town online other than the video above and a couple of renderings along with the following brief description on the Tilke website:

Kuwait Motor Town shall position itself as a new place making destination with a unique FIA grade 1 circuit as the nucleus of the state of the art facility, which will attract a wide spectrum of people. Whether professional race driver, or families seeking for leisure activities, or club members desiring premium level services, Kuwait Motor Town with its fully integrated portfolio of entertainment assets will create the upmost exciting and innovative automotive experience for the whole region.

I’m not fond of the name Kuwait Motor Town but it will probably change by the time the project is completed and honestly, even if they called it Cupcake Town it doesn’t really matter because end of the day we’re finally getting a race track. Now I just need to convince Alghanim to give me an 80% discount on the Lotus Exige S.

Thanks q8-msc


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