Oman raises wage to avert protests

February 10, 2013 - 2:36:00 am


MUSCAT: Oman’s parliament, the Shura Council, approved a much higher minimum wage and curbs on the employment of foreigners yesterday, aiming to prevent joblessness again becoming a source of anger for Omani citizens.

The private sector minimum wage for Omani citizens will be raised by more than 60 percent to 325 rials ($844) a month effective from July 1, state television said.

The council also approved restricting the number of foreign workers in Oman to 33 percent of the country’s total population “to create an employment balance”, but without giving a time frame.

Expatriates are now thought to represent about 39 percent of Oman’s population.

Khartoum-backed militias kill 17 civilians

KHARTOUM: Khartoum-backed militias in Sudan’s South Kordofan state have killed 17 civilians, rebels said yesterday, adding to tensions with South Sudan over a failure to implement security agreements.

The rebels accused a group of ethnic South Sudanese of ambushing a civilian lorry on Friday at Abu Nuwara, about 80 kilometres from the border with South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.

“They clashed with the civilians there and there’s a lot of casualties,” said Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North which has been fighting government forces in South Kordofan since June 2011.

Egypt to try 26 for plotting attacks

CAIRO: Twenty-six alleged Islamist militants, including two former military officers, will stand trial on terrorism charges, accused of planning attacks against the Egyptian state, the official news agency MENA said yesterday.

The state security prosecutor said they had formed an extremist organisation that advocated sedition against public authorities and called for jihad against public servants employed at state institutions.

“Investigation by national security revealed the defendants planned to carry out terrorist attacks inside Egypt during Eid al Adha,” MENA reported, referring to the Muslim festival which falls in October.

Iran ‘damaging’ Yemen: security chief

SANAA: Yemen’s national security chief yesterday accused Iran of “damaging Yemen” as the interior ministry said it was pursuing a probe into an Iran-linked arms shipment which was seized last month.

“Such a shipment cannot be made by traders or smugglers... Only an official power stands behind it,” national security chief Ali Hassan Al Ahmadi told reporters in Sanaa.

“We have repeatedly urged our brothers in Iran to reassess their stances towards Yemen. They had always denied any interference, but this shipment sadly affirms that they insist on damaging Yemen,” Ahmadi said.

The coastguard, in coordination with the US navy, on January 23 intercepted in the Arabian Sea a ship carrying rockets and explosives which the Sanaa authorities say came from Iran.