Kuwait's scorching summer heat is forecast to begin subsiding on the weekend amid dust-generating northwesterly winds.

Kuwait's meteorological center's forecaster, Abdul Aziz Al-Qarawi, told News Agency on Thursday that Kuwait is presently experiencing a weather transformation, with rapid changes in weather due to the passing of seasonal Indian low pressure.

The heat is forecast not to exceed 44 degrees today, 43 degrees Friday and Saturday./Agencies

A Mexican army general has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, the government said – the latest arrest in a case that generated international condemnation.

The general, who commanded a battalion in the area of southern Mexico where the incident occurred, is one of three suspects detained, Deputy Security Minister Ricardo Mejia told reporters on Thursday.

He did not identify the suspects but said the other two were also military personnel.

Prosecutors announced last month that arrest warrants had been issued for more than 80 suspects in the case, including 20 military personnel, 44 police officers and 14 cartel members.

The same day, former attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam, who led a controversial investigation into the mass disappearance, was detained on charges of forced disappearance, torture and obstruction of justice.

The case is one of the worst human rights tragedies in Mexico, where a spiral of drug-related violence has left more than 100,000 people missing.

'State crime'

The teaching students had commandeered buses in the southern state of Guerrero to travel to a demonstration in Mexico City before they went missing.

Investigators say they were detained by corrupt police and handed over to a drug cartel that mistook them for members of a rival gang, but exactly what happened to them is disputed.

According to an official report presented in 2015 by the government of then-president Enrique Pena Nieto, cartel members killed the students and incinerated their remains at a garbage dump.

Those conclusions were rejected by relatives, independent experts and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

A truth commission tasked by the government last month to investigate the atrocity branded the case a "state crime" involving agents of various institutions.

It said that military personnel bore "clear responsibility," either directly or through negligence.

So far, the remains of only three victims have been identified.

Source: AFP

Flooding in Sudan has killed at least 134 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes in the northeast African country's ongoing wet season, police said.

The National Council for Civil Defence said on Thursday the floods have killed a total of 134 people, left 120 others injured, and damaged or destroyed more than 128,000 homes so far this wet season.

Heavy rains usually fall between May and October in Sudan, which faces severe flooding each year, wrecking property, infrastructure and crops.

Water can be seen engulfing villages and roads in footage of the flooding aired on state television.

People have taken shelter under makeshift tents made from tattered fabrics after the floodwaters washed away mud-brick homes.

Last month, the government declared a state of emergency due to flooding in six of Sudan's 18 states.

This season's death toll has risen from 112 given earlier this month.

In the latest figures, the highest number of fatalities occurred in the central state of North Kordofan, while the largest figure of home collapses was recorded in southern White Nile state.

Widespread destruction

The main causes of death were collapsing homes, drowning and electrocution.

The official SUNA news agency said a hospital was heavily damaged due to flooding in a village in the eastern state of Kassala.

The United Nations, citing government figures, said this week that the flooding has so far affected 286,400 people.

The eastern states of Gedaref and Kassala, North and South Kordofan state, River Nile state, and the region of Darfur were among the worst affected, according to the UN children's agency, UNICEF.

The UN has warned that flooding this year could affect up to 460,000 people – far higher than the average 388,600 people affected annually between 2017 and 2021.

The disaster comes as Sudan reels from deepening political unrest and a spiralling economic crisis exacerbated by last year's military coup.

Source: AFP

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy has been killed and three others have suffered injuries in “Israeli” gunfire in the occupied West Bank, local media has reported.

Wissam Bakr, the director of the Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin, said the teenage boy was killed on Thursday after being shot in the head, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

In the town of Kafr Dan, west of Jenin, “Israeli” forces raided the homes of two Palestinians who were earlier killed by the “Israeli” army, the news agency said.

"Violent confrontations took place between youths and the occupation forces, who fired a volley of bullets at them, which led to the death of the young man, Salah, and the injury of three others," it added.

On Wednesday, an “Israeli” soldier and two Palestinians were killed in a shootout in the occupied West Bank.

Wafa identified the dead Palestinians as Ahmed Ayman Ibrahim Abed, 23, and Abdul Rahman Hani Subhi Abed, 22. Wafa, citing a local security source, said the two men were from the town of Kafr Dan.

The incident is the latest in a flare-up that began in mid-March.

There have been deadly attacks on “Israeli” targets. In response, “Israel” has launched near nightly raids on West Bank towns and cities that have killed dozens of Palestinians.

“Israel” has occupied the West Bank since 1967, when it illegally captured the territory from Jordan.

Source: agencies

Unprecedented floods that have submerged huge swathes of Pakistan have killed nearly 1,500 people, data has shown, as authorities said hundreds of thousands of people were still sleeping in the open air after the disaster.

The tally of the dead stands at 1,486, with about 530 children among them, the National Disaster Management Authority said on Thursday, as it released its first country-wide total since September 9.

The deluge, brought by record monsoon rains and glacial melt in northern mountains, has impacted 33 million people out of a population of 220 million, sweeping away homes, vehicles, crops and livestock in damage estimated at $30 billion.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless by flooding in the southern Sindh province, with many sleeping by the side of elevated highways to protect themselves from the water.

"We have been buying tents from all the manufacturers available in Pakistan," Sindh's chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said in a statement on Thursday.

Still, one-third of the homeless in Sindh don't even have a tent to protect them from the elements, he said.

Climate crisis

Over the last few weeks, authorities have built barriers to keep the flood waters out of key structures such as power stations and homes, while farmers who stayed to try and save their cattle have faced a new threat as fodder has begun to run out.

The government and the United Nations have blamed climate crisis for the surging waters in the wake of record-breaking summer temperatures.

Pakistan received 391 mm of rain, or nearly 190 percent more than the 30-year average, in July and August. That climbed to 466 percent for Sindh province, one of the worst-affected areas.

Aid flights from the United Arab Emirates and the United States arrived on Thursday, the foreign ministry said. 

Earlier this week, Türkiye dispatched food, tents and medicine by 12 military aircraft, four trains and Turkish Red Crescent trucks. The United Nations is assessing reconstruction needs.

Source: agencies

A court in military-ruled Myanmar has sentenced a freelance journalist associated with the international broadcaster BBC to three years in prison with labour after she was found guilty of incitement, a legal official said.

Tuesday's ruling came after hearings that were closed to the media and the public. 

Htet Htet Khine, who presented a program called “Khan Sar Kyi” – “Feel It" – for BBC Media Action, still faces an additional charge of unlawful association under which she could receive up to another three years in prison. 

The documentary program, on which she worked from 2016 to 2020, showed the problems of people across the country caused by years of unrest and conflict.

Htet Htet Khine was arrested in August 2021 along with Sithu Aung Myint, a columnist who did commentaries for the online magazine Frontier Myanmar and the broadcaster Voice of America, at an apartment in the country’s largest city, Yangon, where they had been hiding.

Htet Htet Khine was initially accused of serving as volunteer editor for Federal FM Radio, an underground broadcaster of the National Unity Government, a shadow civilian administration established to oppose the military takeover. The ruling military council has declared the group a terrorist organization.

State-run media announced six days after her arrest that she has been charged with incitement for spreading false news that caused the public to hate the government and the military. The crime is punishable by up to three years in prison. 

She is also charged with unlawful association for contacting illegal organisations, which can carry a penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a fine.

Htet Htet Khine has denied all the accusations against her.

Crackdown on media freedom

The case against her was not about her journalism activities, the official said, adding that she has not decided whether to submit an appeal. Her lawyers will file a final argument next week against the other charge under the Unlawful Association Act.

Sithu Aung Myint, who was arrested along with Htet Htet Khine, faces two incitement charges and one of sedition, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

Since seizing power in February last year by ousting the government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the military government has cracked down heavily on media freedom. 

It has forced at least 11 media outlets to shut down and arrested about 142 journalists, 57 of whom remain detained awaiting charges or trial.

Some of the closed media outlets have continued operating without a license, publishing online as their staff members dodge arrest.

Source: AP

A Russian pipeline to China will replace the Nord Stream 2 gas link to Europe, abandoned amid the Ukraine conflict, Moscow's Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said.

Asked in an interview with Russian television channel Rossiya-1 on Thursday if Russia would replace the European Nord Stream 2 with the Asian Power of Siberia 2, Novak said: "Yes."

Earlier in the day, the minister, on the sidelines of a visit to Uzbekistan, said Russia and China would soon sign agreements on the delivery of "50 billion cubic metres of gas" per year via the future Power 2 pipeline in Siberia.

This volume will almost represent the maximum capacity of Nord Stream 1 — 55 billion cubic metres in total — which has been shut down since September 2.

A third of Russian gas supplies to the European Union had passed through the strategic pipeline, which links Russia to Germany.

Power of Siberia 2 will fuel China's energy-guzzling economy, partly via Mongolia.

Construction is due to start in 2024.

It will therefore replace the Nord Stream 2 project, long backed by Germany but which Washington viewed dimly, and which the West has scrapped since the Russian offensive in Ukraine began in late February.

Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh said he supports the construction of such projects via his landlocked country.

Speaking via a translator at a trilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Khurelsukh backed the plans, proposing studies of their economic feasibility.

Khurelsukh said: "We also support the construction of oil and gas pipelines to supply natural gas from Russia to China through the territory of Mongolia and propose to study this issue from the viewpoint of technical and economic justification".

New transit route

Russian gas exports to the EU "will drop by around 50 billion cubic metres" in 2022, Novak said.

At the same time, the Russian minister said that Gazprom, operator of the Power of Siberia 1 gas pipeline that has linked the Chaiandina field to northeastern China since the end of 2019, would "increase its deliveries" to reach "20 billion cubic metres of gas" each year.

The linking of the Kovytka field, near Lake Baikal, to the pipeline in early 2023 will help achieve the increase.

By 2025, when it reaches its maximum capacity, the pipeline will produce 61 billion cubic metres of gas per year, more than Nord Stream 1, of which 38 billion cubic metres will go to China under a 2014 contract signed between Gazprom and its Chinese counterpart CNPC.

The two sides also signed agreements to build a new transit route from Vladivostok in Russia's Far East to northern China, bringing in an additional 10 billion cubic metres of gas, the Energy Ministry said on Thursday.

Source: AFP

At least 18 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in military operations in central Somalia, the army said on Thursday.

A key base used by the terror group was also destroyed in raids by the Somali military in Buq Aqable, a district in the Hiran region.

The operation successfully targeted “stations, offices and other terrorist sites” in the Buq Aqable area, which is about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Hiran’s capital Beledweyne, according to an army statement.

These were “strategic” assets that al-Shabaab used to organize attacks on Somali forces and civilians, it added.

The latest operation comes days after the Somali military said it killed 100 al-Shabaab terrorists and freed 20 villages in a major offensive in three states.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who took office this May, has declared a “total war” on al-Shabaab after last month’s deadly hotel siege in the capital Mogadishu – a 30-hour attack that killed at least 21 people and injured nearly 120 others.

Somalia has been grappling with increasing insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab being one of the main threats in the Horn of Africa country.

Since at least 2007, al-Shabaab has waged a deadly campaign against the Somali government and international forces that has claimed thousands of lives.

The United Nations has also warned of growing instability in the country, with its periodic reports on Somalia this year detailing attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS groups.

There were at least 1,518 civilian casualties – 651 killed and 867 injured – in terrorist attacks in Somalia in 2018, followed by 1,459 – 591 killed and 868 injured – in 2019, according to UN in Somalia.​​​​​​​


The global economy could soon face a recession due to central banks' monetary tightening and rising interest rates, the World Bank said in a report on Thursday.

"Experience from earlier recessions suggests that at least two developments -- which either have already materialized in recent months or may be underway -- heighten the likelihood of a global recession in the near future," said the report titled 'Is a Global Recession Imminent?'

The World Bank said every global recession since 1970 was preceded by a significant weakening of global growth in the previous year, which has happened recently, while all previous global recessions coincided with sharp slowdowns or outright recessions in several major economies.

"Despite the current slowdown in global growth, inflation has risen to multi-decade highs in many countries ... many countries are withdrawing monetary and fiscal support. As a result, the global economy is in the midst of one of the most internationally synchronous episodes of monetary and fiscal policy tightening of the past five decades," said the report authored by Justin Damien Guenette, M. Ayhan Kose and Naotaka Sugawara.

The report analyzed three scenarios for the global economy for the 2022-24 period.

The first scenario includes the current monetary policy tightening cycle may not be enough to restore low inflation, while the second scenario assumes additional monetary policy tightening by major central banks, in which the global economy would escape a recession in 2023 but would experience a sharp downturn.

And, the third scenario indicates that additional increases in interest rates would trigger higher risk in global financial markets and result in a global recession next year.

"Policymakers need to navigate a narrow path that requires a comprehensive set of demand- and supply-side measures," the report said.

"On the demand side, monetary policy must be employed consistently to restore, in a timely manner, price stability ... On the supply-side, they need to put in place measures to ease the constraints that confront labor markets, energy markets and trade networks," it added.


Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad A-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah called on the international community to work towards ceasing wars, promote human rights, and reject violence and terrorism.

“The international community should live up to its responsibilities in order to stop wars, end conflicts, boost human rights, reject all kinds of violence and terrorism and fight poverty,” His Highness the Prime Minister said in a statement shortly after arrival in New York early Wednesday to represent His Highness the Amir to the UN General Assembly’s 77th session, reiterating Kuwait’s firm support for efforts of the UN and its agencies in this regard.

His Highness the Prime Minister, who was received at the airport by Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Ambassador to US Jassem Al-Budaiwi and Kuwait’s permenant representative to the UN Tareq Al-Bannai, reaffirmed support to UN’s endeavors to achieve just and comprehensive peace regionally and internationally.

He praised UN role in supporting stability and development in different areas around the globe.

His Highness the Prime Minister, who expressed pride in representing His Highness the Amir, said UNGA’s 77th session would be held amidst critical challenges around the world.

Since joining the UN, he said, the State of Kuwait’s diplomacy has always been based on preserving sovereignty of nations, good neighborliness and mutual respect.

Kuwait, said His Highness the Prime Minister, would continue its humanitarian role to addressing aftermath of crises, helping the needy, supporting global development and cooperate with the UN and its agencies in achieving this objective./KT