Kuwait invites Philippine president to visit amid workers row

Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a selfie through a glass wall for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) that arrived in Manila from Kuwait at Manila International Airport on February 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Kuwait invites Philippine president to visit amid workers row

KUWAIT: Kuwait has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit, state news agency KUNA said on Monday, as the countries seek to settle their differences over allegations of extreme abuse of migrant workers in the wealthy Gulf state.
After the body of a Filipino was discovered in a freezer in a Kuwait apartment, Duterte arranged free flights for workers wishing to leave — an evacuation that Kuwait said was an unnecessary escalation of a diplomatic rift.
The Philippines suspended sending workers to Kuwait in January after reports that abuse by employers had driven several to suicide.
Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Jarallah said on Monday that the two countries had agreed to sign a deal to regulate working conditions.
“We proposed to the Philippine authorities to resolve and contain these issues and not to escalate them in the media. There was agreement on this ... and we received a response,” he was quoted as saying.
Two planes full of workers arrived in Manila from Kuwait last week on flights provided for free by commercial airlines at the president’s request. The Philippine labor minister has said more than 2,200 Filipinos were ready to take up the offer to be repatriated.
It was not immediately clear if Duterte had accepted Kuwait’s invitation for him to visit in early March.


21 Daesh militants escape Iraqi jail, most recaptured

Updated 46 min 52 sec ago
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21 Daesh militants escape Iraqi jail, most recaptured

  • Kurdish security officials launched manhunt operations after the break-out late on Wednesday and 15 of the 21 were recaptured
  • The group has resorted to guerrilla tactics since it abandoned its goal of holding territory and creating a self-sufficient caliphate that straddles Iraq and Syria

BAGHDAD: Twenty one prisoners, most of them members of Daesh jailed on terrorism charges, broke out of a prison in northern Iraq but 15 of them have been recaptured, Kurdish security officials said on Thursday.
The fortified jail of Sosa is located near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya and include mainly militants of the hard-line group who were captured during the fight against Daesh which started in 2014.
Kurdish security officials launched manhunt operations after the break-out late on Wednesday and 15 of the 21 were recaptured, two security officials said. The whereabouts of the other six remains unknown.
Although Sosa jail is located in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, the federal government has full control over the prison.
“Almost all of the convicted inmates who escaped are from Daesh,” said one Kurdish security source.
It was not clear how the inmates managed to escape the highly secured prison.
Daesh, which once occupied a third of Iraq’s territory, has been largely defeated in the country but still poses a threat along the border with Syria.
The group has resorted to guerrilla tactics since it abandoned its goal of holding territory and creating a self-sufficient caliphate that straddles Iraq and Syria.