News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Mild Tremors’ in parts of Masafi

FUJAIRAH — Oct. 23:Mild tremors were experienced by residents in parts of Masafi yesterday morning. However, there were no reports of casualties or damage to property, police said.

Local seismic experts and other sources including the web site monitoring earthquakes in the region have, however, denied any  seismic activity being recorded yesterday in the UAE or in the neighbouring countries.

“No details on seismic activity in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan or any other neighbouring countries were available suggesting  occurrence of tremors of more than 4.5 magnitude on the Richter scale yesterday,” it was stated.

The sources made it clear that no major earthquake (4.5 magnitude on Richter scale or above) was recorded in the UAE, neighbouring countries, or any other country around the globe in the last 24 hours.

The local experts too said that no ground shaking had resulted yesterday due to seismic activity anywhere in the UAE.

However, the tremors felt by some residents of Masafi at around 11am, according to experts, could be due to an explosion in the area.

From the description of the tremors by residents, they said, “it could be a localised impact since Masafi lies near the Dibba faultline  which has recorded several minor tremors in the past. The Dibba faultline is known to cause minor to moderate seismic activities in the area as per earlier reports.”

Meanwhile, the experts have assured  the residents that there was  no need for panic or worry as such mild tremors  would not have any effect  on the buildings or residential blocks in the emirate.


Eid holiday for Indian missions only today

DUBAI — Oct. 23:The Indian Embassy and the consulate in the UAE will observe the Eid holiday today.

However, the offices will remain open on Tuesday, the second day of Eid, and will offer all consular services from 8am until 4.30pm.

The Indian Ambassador to the UAE Chandra Mohan Bhandari has extended his best wishes on Eid to all the Indians as well as  all other communities living in the country.


More than a million traffic violations registered in 10 months in Dubai

DUBAI — Oct. 23:Over a million traffic violations have been recorded during the first 10 months of the current year in Dubai. This was revealed in a recent study by the General Department of Traffic of the Dubai Police.

Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zafin, Director of General Department of Traffic, said the total number of traffic violations  recorded by the traffic department’s computers reached 1,087,222  since the beginning of the year till October 16.

He said  the traffic violations recorded in presence were 145,515  while the violations recorded in absentia reached 941,707 which represents 86.62 per cent


Your purchase could draw a blank

DUBAI — Oct. 23:If you are going towards the Bur Dubai bus station and suddenly come across someone selling DVDs of latest films and songs, don’t buy it or else the chances are that you may loose some of your hard earned money.

For your favourite movie might turn out to be nothing but a blank print or a recording taken from the big screen, once you play it on.

With the sale of fake and pirated CDs picking up in Dubai, there are a lot of people who have been fooled by these people till now.

The men set up their makeshift stalls at any crowded place, specially targeting the busy lanes and bus stations where they can get more customers. At present, areas such as Bur Dubai, Karama and Satwa have become a hub of this shady business.

Dubai Municipality and the police are also aware of the problem and are taking steps in the form of surprise raids.

Said Raju S, a small time businessman, said, “I had gone to the St. Mary’s Church a few days back for my prayers. As I was returning, I saw a man selling CDs and DVDs just near the church gate. I was tempted and bought five DVDs of some latest movies. I hurried back home and played all of them one by one. But to my surprise, all the DVDs had nothing in it. I went back to the place from where I had bought them. The man had already left and I am still to trace him out. All these discs were blank,” he said.

According to the sources, there is a whole racket behind this business. “The investment is not at all high. First they buy many blank CDs available for Dh1 or even less. The plastic cover can be purchased from anywhere and it also costs 50 fils. The photos of the latest films are clicked from any movie theatre and then scanned. So anyone looking at it will always have the opinion that the disc consists of movies. And they are selling each one of them at Dh10.”

The cost of the CDs rests at Dh5. “There are some discs which has got bad and distorted prints. Ajman is just one of the places from where these discs come for sale. Here there are several agents and vendors who move from place to place selling them. And one vendor will never visit the same area again. The next time it will be some other man selling the discs. And he will express anonymity about the former vendor,” added sources.

“Once I had bought almost 10 DVDs costing Dh12 each from Bur Dubai. And all of them were absolutely blank. Dh120 is quite a big loss for me. The worst thing is that I was fooled by that man. In some cases, a movie would start off fine and then suddenly stop after 10 minutes,” exclaimed Ritu Dhawan, who works in a bank.

The officials of the Dubai Municipality said that they were trying to put a stop to this illegal trade. “We have teamed up with the Dubai police and are doing whatever we can. In fact according to the figures last year, we seized some 4,077 DVDs including many pornographic ones too. We are trying hard to stop this illegal trade,” said senior officials of the municipality.


Messy rooftops in Al Ain raise public health and safety concerns

Al Ain: Oct. 23: Careless residents have been turning rooftops of their villas into garbage bins, causing public health risks and defacing the city's image.

The public health section of Al Ain Municipality and a number of residents have lamented their improper waste disposal.

A health section official warned that action would be taken against those who dump trash on their villa roofs.

"It hurts the city's image and creates health and safety risks for the general public," he said, while requesting anonymity. People involved in such offences could face penalties, he said.

As per the municipality's rules throwing garbage, debris or other discarded goods in the streets, residential areas, open land areas and any place in the city other than the specified sites is strictly prohibited.

Bachelors blamed

The situation is particularly pathetic in villas occupied by expatriate bachelors.

These villas are located in big compounds in different parts of the city. The city is often hit by strong winds and dust storms that blow the trash onto the streets. When this occurs, passers-by face high risk of injury.

Anna Brigit, a Filipina, said civic authorities should take action against careless people as they are endangering public health and safety.

"It is a strange act or habit," she said, adding that in many cases municipality's garbage bins are just yards away from these villas.

Munir Ahmad, a Pakistani expatriate, said people should have civic sense. "A healthy environment is the basic need of the people, and that cannot be maintained with careless dumping of garbage and discarded items," he said.

He said it is easy to throw garbage here and there but it shows total disregard for others. "Such attitude must not be tolerated by the city's civic administration," he added. Al Ain Municipality earlier warned shops and businesses in the city to maintain cleanliness in a five-metre radius around their premises.

Such shops include supermarkets, grocery shops, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, outlets of electronic items, and shops selling home appliances.

A drive was also launched last year in July targeting building owners asking them to remove all unsightly objects from the front sides and rooftops.


Ensuring Eid is free of mishaps

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Oct. 23: While the majority of us will be immersed in the festive spirit some people are working hard behind the scenes to ensure everything goes smoothly and nothing spoils the festive fun.

Kazim, an abra operator, Rosamma Abraham, a nursing director, Sattar, a road sweeper, Sallauddin, a security guard, Ebrahim, a police officer and Abdul Latif who works for Etisalat's directory enquiry service are some of the unsung heroes who will ensure the rest of us spend quality time with our loved ones this Eid holiday.

Gulf News spoke to them and they expressed no regret at being called on duty during the Eid celebrations.

Abdul Latif 20, a Jordanian, will be at his desk at the Etisalat directory enquiry service today at 8am.

"I will celebrate Eid with my family after my duty hours. My job is very fulfilling. It is my job to help others. Why should I have any regrets?" he said.


Rosamma, a nursing director at the Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital along with the hospital supervisor, had made sure there were at least 10 nurses on duty every day during the Eid holidays.

"This is my second home. A doctor and a pharmacist is on call 24-hours during the holidays. Nurses are a link between the doctor and the patient."

Ebrahim, a UAE national traffic policeman, will be on duty patrolling Abu Dhabi streets for the next three days. Like Rosamma, he does not regret working during the holiday.

"Life has to go on. There are thousands of other people performing their duties during the holiday season. Our job is crucial as it involves safety. We have to be on the road to keep things in order," he said.

Echoing what Ebrahim said, Kazim, an abra operator from India, said: "During this holiday I will ferry people across Dubai Creek to meet their relatives and friends. Imagine what would happen if I went on leave. Rain or shine, Eid or Diwali you will find me here at the abra station."

Sattar, a Bangladeshi street sweeper, will be picking up the mess that holidaymakers create in parks and on the streets.

"I'm not alone. Hundreds of my colleagues will be out maintaining and cleaning the city during the holiday. If we all stayed away we would have more problems when we resumed our duties. We might find the city in a big mess. I have no problem working during Eid as we have already been promised compensation," he said.

Slahuddin, a Pakistani private security guard, said he would receive compensation for working during Eid.

"All those of us working on these days will get overtime benefits, which is not bad. It is better to be busy working than being bored by staying at home."

Ahmad Ali, a taxi driver, said he would incorporate his Eid celebrations into his working day.

"On the first day of Eid, I'll be exchanging greetings with friends after prayers in the morning and then go back on the road. As I work, I will visit friends to exchange greetings. For instance if I find a passenger for a place where I have friends I will visit them and exchange greetings.

"We have to be on the road, whether it's Eid or any other special day. Who will serve you if we all went off the road? Taxis are a very important part of today's life. People need our services throughout the year," he said.

Shopping frenzy

Meanwhile, last night shopping malls and souqs were flooded with people rushing to do last minute Eid shopping. Some residents said they liked to go shopping on the last day before Eid because it was fun to see markets lit up with colourful lights and buzzing with a lively atmosphere.

"I don't mind the crowds. The more people you see shopping the livelier. These are the days when the market places are filled with life. We shop on normal days throughout the year. Therefore something has to be different," said Darwaish Ahmad Al Khouri, a young UAE national.




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