Kuwait to shorten curfew, allow hotels and mosques to reopen

Kuwait’s cabinet has decided to ease the country’s partial curfew slightly so that it now begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 3 a.m. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 July 2020

Kuwait to shorten curfew, allow hotels and mosques to reopen

  • The country also announced that it would enter “phase three” of its coronavirus restrictions on July 28
  • Hotels and resorts will re-open and taxis will be able to operate

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait will shorten its nightly curfew and reopen hotels and mosques next week in the latest relaxation of its coronavirus restrictions, the government said on Thursday.
The Gulf country said it would enter "phase three" of its coronavirus restrictions on July 28, enabling taxis to operate and resorts as well as hotels to re-open.
In addition, all mosques would be open for Eid Al-Adha prayers, the Center for Government Communication (CGC) said on Twitter. Muslims expect the holiday to begin on July 31. Until now, only some mosques had been allowed to operate.
The curfew put in place to limit the spread of the virus will begin an hour later at 9 p.m. (1800 GMT) and end two hours earlier at 3 a.m. (midnight GMT), it said. The decision will be reviewed by the cabinet after the Eid Al-Adha break.
The cabinet also decided to end the isolation of the Farwaniya district on Sunday. It is the last isolated area in the country, which has recorded 61,872 coronavirus infections, and 421 deaths.


Lebanese patriarch warns of crisis without a government after Adib steps down

Updated 27 September 2020

Lebanese patriarch warns of crisis without a government after Adib steps down

  • Al-Rai said Adib’s resignation had ‘disappointed citizens, especially the youth’
  • Frustration at Adib’s failure to form government was voiced by Lebanon’s religious communities

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s top Christian cleric said on Sunday the nation faced “multiple dangers” that would be hard to weather without a government, speaking a day after the prime minister-designate quit following his failed bid to form a cabinet.
Mustapha Adib stepped down on Saturday after hitting a roadblock over how to make appointments in the sectarian system, striking a blow to a French initiative that aimed to haul the nation out of its deepest crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who had pressed Lebanon’s fractious politicians to reach a consensus so that Adib was named on Aug. 31, is to due to speak about the crisis in a news conference in Paris later on Sunday.
Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, leader of the Maronite church, Lebanon’s biggest Christian community, said Adib’s resignation had “disappointed citizens, especially the youth, who were betting on the start of change in the political class.”
Many top politicians, both Christian and Muslim, have held sway for years or even decades. Some are former warlords.
Rai said Lebanon now had to navigate “multiple dangers” without a government at the helm.
Rai’s comments were echoed on the streets of Beirut, where mass protests erupted in 2019 as years of mismanagement, corruption and mounting debts finally led to economic collapse, paralysing banks and sending the currency into freefall.
“There needs to be fundamental change. We need new people. We need new blood,” said 24-year-old Hassan Amer, serving coffee from a roadside cafe in the capital, which was hammered by a huge port blast on Aug. 4 that killed almost 200 people.
In nearby streets, walls were still plastered with graffiti from the protests, including the popular call for sweeping out the old guard: “All of them means all of them.”
Frustration at the failure of Adib, a Sunni Muslim, to form a government was voiced by many across Lebanon’s religious communities. Prime ministers under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system must be Sunnis.
A senior Shiite Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan, said on Saturday Adib’s resignation as the economy collapsed could “be described as a disaster,” calling for national unity to deliver reforms, the state news agency reported.
The cabinet formation effort stumbled after Lebanon’s two main Shiite groups, Amal and the heavily armed Iran-backed Hezbollah, demanded they name several ministers, including finance, a key role as the nation draws up a rescue plan.
Saad Al-Hariri, a former prime minister and leading Sunni politician, said in a statement he would not be involved in naming any new premier and said the French plan was “the last and only opportunity to halt Lebanon’s collapse.”
A French roadmap laid out a reform program for a new government to help trigger billions of dollars of international aid.